Updated: Jul 22, 2020
This is a question that I heard a college coach ask an athlete this week and I think it's a great question for a variety of reasons. It's one of those questions where you can't just answer "yes or no" and you are forced into giving a "why" to really explain your answer. The question is partially about the answer, but it is probably more about how you come to your answer.
First I wanted to throw out some reasons a coach is going to ask this question:
This points to your financial situation when it comes to paying for college
Speaks into what your goals are AFTER you get to college; is getting a scholarship your end goal?
Are you willing/able to put in some money to be a part of a (their) program?
Do you want to be a part of a winning program?
Gives the coach an idea of your interest level in the school in general
It can tell them whether or not a scholarship is something you think you deserve vs something you are willing to earn
It gives the staff an idea of where your priorities are
How determined are you to meet your goals
Remember, your answer to the question is not quite as important as your explanation of that answer. In many ways it is a better worded question than, "Are you looking for a scholarship?" I think that every athlete would prefer and love to have a scholarship in the same way that every coach would love to have their entire team on a full-ride. Realistically though that isn't going to happen. It's certainly not a bad thing to want, need or be looking for scholarship opportunities; no coach is going to think less of an athlete for making a decision to have her education paid for. This notion of asking one question to get to an indirect answer is nothing new. It works significantly better than questions like, "Are you competitive?" or "Do you have good work ethic?" It's similar in many ways to me talking to families about asking specific questions vs general questions. Take these two questions for example:
What is your coaching philosophy? (General)
When you were an assistant at Oklahoma, what's one thing you took from that experience and wanted to implement into your own program? (Specific)
The specific question in this case is going to lead me to the same answer that I would get if I asked the general question, which is finding out about their coaching philosophy. But the specific question is going to give me way more insight into who the coach is as a person and what their goals and expectations are for their athletes and program.
These kinds of questions from college coaches can be thought of as loaded questions. Where they are trying to get to an answer, of course, but indirectly they are learning and finding out more about your personality and whether or not you would be a good fit for their program. It's certainly a great question to ask, in my opinion. It should be a question that athletes begin to think about and have an answer ready if/when asked.
Have any other great questions that might have stumped you or caught you off guard?? Share or send those to me and I can discuss them here on the blog, PRI Talk and in my videos!
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