It can be a nerve-racking experience trying to make a good first impression in the eyes of a coach during your recruitment process.
Thoughts about your posture, your appearance, or wondering if the coach likes you or not can cloud your mind as you try to engage in a meaningful conversation to make a good first impression. Being recruited can be a stressful experience, so we’ve provided 5 simple tips for you so that you can make a good first impression and enjoy the experience of being recruited.
1Firm Handshake & Look Them In the Eye
Two of the best tips to make a good first impression right away when you meet a coach is to give them a firm handshake and look them in the eye. Don’t give them the super competitive vice grip though – it shows that you’re trying too hard. With your head high and your shoulders back, reach out and give them a firm, solid handshake that reflects confidence.
Throughout the entire process of meeting with coaches, you should be sure to remind yourself to look the coach in the eye when they’re speaking. It’s a respectful way of letting them know that you are listening to them and that they have your undivided attention.
2Listen (Don’t Hear) To What They’re Saying
One of the most important tips in making a good first impression is that you need to LISTEN, don’t hear, what the coach is saying. There’s a difference between listening and hearing. Hearing means you hear what they’re saying when listening is actually being present and in the moment, processing and understanding what the coach is saying, and then engaging in a meaningful conversation with them.
This may sound like its pretty basic information. However, you be surprised in understanding how many players just aren’t physically present with what they’re doing. A perfect example of this would be that you have already scrolled over this entire article before deciding to read it. And, your mind has probably wandered at least a couple of times throughout this article. Being present is a skill that you need to work on daily because its vital to both your academic and athletic success.
Have you heard the saying that you can say a lot without saying anything at all? Well, its true. Your body language says a lot how you carry yourself as a person. It can reveal how you’re feeling, what you think about a certain topic, if you’re a leader in a group of people, and if you’re confident about yourself.
So, you need to make sure that you stand tall and have body language that projects confidence and enthusiasm. When you’re speaking with a coach, have your shoulders turned towards them and look them in the eye. Exhibit as many power stances as possible, too. Most of all, just don’t be an energy vampire by slouching over and acting timid. Poor body language is a killer. It won’t project confidence and could make coaches second guess themselves about you.
4Relax & Enjoy It
It can be difficult to remember when you’re caught up meeting with a coach for the first time, but you need to remember to relax. It’s one of the best tips we can give to make a good first impression on a coach. Take a deep breath and just be yourself. You’ve already done all of the hard work athletically and academically to get an elite program, school, or college interested in you. So enjoy being recruited, because its a fun process that doesn’t happen to everyone.
Being relaxed also projects confidence, which gives a coach a sense of security that you’re going to be a confident person and athlete instead of a timid one. Remind yourself that the person on the other side of that handshake is just a person too and create a mindset where your goal is to get to know more about that person instead of being distracted by things you can’t control.
5Smile & Be Positive
Positivity is contagious. And, one of the best tips to make a good first impression is to smile and be positive. Being recruited should be an exciting time for you because it should make you feel good that you’re wanted by others. Its not a bad thing to feel happy and smile when you’re going through a stressful process. But, you should see the joy in going through the process.
If you want to make a good first impression, you need to make the ones recruiting you feel excited about having you there. And, how you do that is by being happy and excited yourself. Remember this golden rule: “It’s hard for somebody else to get excited about something when you’re not excited yourself.” We’re not saying you have to be a cheerleader and act fake, and we highly suggest you don’t do that. Coaches pick up on that stuff instantly.
You should have a genuine excitement about meeting coaches in the recruiting process, and you shouldn’t be afraid to show it. Coaches like players who get excited about their program and they want players that are excited to be a part of their program. They understand that you can’t teach enthusiasm and they’re looking to bring in enthusiastic players so that they can focus on teaching instead of motivating.
Some Principles to Remember:
- Plan ahead by doing your research
- Act natural & be respectful by listening to what the coach has to say
- Ask questions – the better you make a coach feel, the more likely they are to have a positive impression of you
- Smile & Be positive
- Have body language that is uptight & timid
- Be quiet and awkward
- Dress sloppy and have bad hygiene
- Have poor body language that shows a lack of confidence
- Act fake & not listen to what the coach is saying