How Your Body Language Affects College Coaches

  • 17 Aug, 2016

There is no better time to meet college coaches than in the summer vacation. Unfortunately, we are almost at the end of the summer and I am sure some of you went to college ID camps, are going to camps now, will go soon or you have decided not to go at all. Whatever your case may be, we try to educate athletes on the importance of their body language. Why? Because, when it’s done successfully, it can help players boost their confidence which is key when talking to college coaches. It’s important for players to be prepared when they first meet in person with the coaches. The first few seconds are very important and everything you say and do can impact your recruiting future.

When you prepare yourself to meet with college coaches, you can be nervous but at the same time exciting. You don’t know what to expect but you can control how and when you will reach out. Do your best to prepare yourself in order to make a great first impression. There is no specific formula on what’s best to say or do but there are a few major things that you want to make sure you do them right. Just like there are some things you should never do. Players often ask themselves:

  • How can I make a great first impression?
  • How should I dress?
  • What should I bring with me?
  • What questions should I ask?
  • How can I not be so nervous?

How Your Body Language Affects College Coaches

As a friendly remainder, your body language can often be like your main evaluation. Every move you make, your gestures and the tone of your voice is constantly acknowledge by the college coaches. They can easily sense when you are nervous. So try to be as natural, calm and confident as you can be. I know it’s not easy but you can practice it and you will get better at it. The key here is to have confidence so you can overcome your nervousness.

It’s crucial to know that your body language builds your confidence. Hard to believe but the research show that’s true. We all need more confidence especially when we meet with people we don’t know. Researcher Amy Cuddy, has found that using powerful, confident body language actually causes you to feel more powerful.

Since coaches don’t really know you, how do you think they will first judge you by? Well, it has to be your body language which can show a lot about who you are and how you express yourself. They also want to see how you treat others around you. Are you thankful for your opportunities and treat everyone with respect? 

You body language can show how engaged you are, how you carry the conversation, your eye contact, if you are open, confident and in control of the situation.  But most importantly how much control over your emotions do you have. Please, don’t look like your are not interested in the coach because it will cost you more than you think. Don’t waste anyones’ time. College coaches are friends and they talk to each other more than you think. If a coach has a bad impression about yourself, that one bad impression could potentially travel very fast. So make sure you are always prepared to make a great first impression and that starts with your body language.

What you should do when you first meet a college coach?

  • Dress appropriately
  • Stand tall and keep a good posture
  • Be yourself
  • Sit slightly angled
  • Be respectful
  • Always make eye contact
  • Give a proper handshake
  • Smile and look excited
  • Focus and stay engaged on your conversation
  • Your phone must be away and it should be on silence or vibrate
  • Don’t talk too much about yourself unless the coach asks you
  • Listen to what the coaches have to say
  • Always thank the coach for his or her time and be thankful for the opportunity

What you shouldn’t do when you meet a college coach?

  • Assume the coach knows you
  • Look desinterested even for a second
  • Never look at your phone or watch unless you are asked by the coach
  • Ignore being in the moment
  • Look bored
  • Keep your hands in your pockets
  • Chew gum or eat food
  • Talk way more than the coach
  • Don’t let your body show your tension
  • Touch your face and hair
  • Purse your lips (makes you look like you are holding something back)
  • Talk entirely about yourself

As a student-athlete you don’t want to show lack of confidence by not being able to fully express your personality, manners, attitude and your character. All those attributes emphasize and can dictate how your body language is viewed by the college coaches.

Don’t be afraid to look up to people that you admire for the way they carry themselves, dress, look and feel. They probably must have done something right. College coaches can sense your level of confidence based on your physical presence which overall translates into your body language. 

Your body language can also help you gain control over your feelings and emotions by ultimately changing how you feel. If your head is up, you have a big smile on your face, I am sure you are about to have a great day and accomplish success. Your body language will also help you overcome fear. If you have to give a presentation at school, work on a project, play in a game, or in our case, meet a college coach. Everything you do in sports will later play a major role in your everyday life. Players need to remember to strike a powerful pose that’s full of confidence because coaches love that.

When meeting with the college coaches, the most important aspect is to think why you are there, how hard you’ve been working for this opportunity and that your time is now. Be confident, believe in yourself and act as natural as possible. College coaches want those student-athletes who come up as sincere and confident. Coaches will trust you and it will make the communication process more open. Good luck and remember to JUST BE YOURSELF and BE THANKFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY. Now, you should be ready to meet with the college coaches.

Author @Nicolae Popescu

Nicolae Popescu is a former NCAA D1 full-scholarship student-athlete and the Founder of WeGotPlayers. He has experienced first-hand the complex college recruiting process himself. Nicolae' s knowledge, skills and sports expertise make him a valuable contributor in helping guide players and parents to find the right school fit. He is passionate about coaching, mentoring and positively influencing players succeed in their sports journey and life thru the power of education and technology.
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