I’m proud to announce the beginning of a new series here on the College Golf Experience entitled #TheFifthScore. This series is meant to present fresh new ideas and stories from other college golfers. The mission of #TheFifthScore is to expand the viewpoints offered on the College Golf Experience as well as getting more college golfers involved.
If you have an idea and would like to write a post for #TheFifthScore, email me at email@example.com. Thanks for your support! – Justin from CGE
Today’s inaugural #FifthScore post is from Andrew, a NCAA Division II golfer. Andrew was a standout player in high school and is quite familiar with what it takes to play golf at the collegiate level. His post will take you through what he feels is the most important part of recruiting – the First Impression. Thanks Andrew for sharing your ideas! Hope you all enjoy.
First impressions are very important when meeting coaches for the first time as they are the starting point to all your interactions with your future coach. If you’re able to set up a meeting with a coach, then it is apparent that you are skilled enough to play golf for that school and be an asset to the team both on and off the course. College coaches are looking for more than just good golfers though. These coaches are looking for student-athletes who are capable of handling and interacting with people. Making a great first impression through your communication skills will set you apart from all the other equally talented junior golfers.
Ways to Make Good Impressions
- Be Interested – Becoming genuinely interested in others is a great way to make them feel important. It will show coaches that you really are committed to finding the right school and golf program to continue your athletics and academics. Think about how great it makes you feel when others take an interest in you and the things you like; that’s the feeling you want the coaches to have. However, you cannot just fake it, you have to truly take an interest in the program. If you find yourself having a hard time taking interest in certain schools and programs, it may be a sign that you should take your talents to a school and golf program that you are actually interested in. The coaches will notice and will be appreciative of your interest in their program.
- Smile – Smiling is an extremely easy and simple thing to do, and has a huge impact on your mentality and the way others view you. Smiling shows that you want to be where you are and also instantly makes you more approachable. Smiling and enthusiasm are almost contagious in a sense. Enthusiasm is a powerful tool that can create equal enthusiasm in others. A great example would be dogs, when dogs see us they are beyond excited to see us, which leads to us being glad to see them. The more inviting you can make yourself to a coach, the better the chance that you will leave a lasting first impression on them.
“Smiling and enthusiasm are almost contagious in a sense.”
- Listen – Give exclusive attention to the person talking. This shows that you have interest in the subject. When others give you this kind of attention, it makes you feel important. This is the feeling you want to give to the speaker, especially if it’s a coach. Most people focus on what they are going to respond with; however, that is what you shouldn’t do. Listening to learn is different than listening to respond, so focus on what is being said.
- Find Their Interests – You should speak in terms of the coach’s interests. You need to sell yourself to them and express to them how you think you can help the team. There are many things other than scores that can help the team, whether it be attitude, leadership, or competition. Coaches are not just recruiting golfers, they are recruiting competitors and leaders who will push their teammates to better themselves on and off the course. It is important that you show the coaches how you can better their team.
- Ask Questions – Part of active listening is asking questions. College coaches are going to give you a lot of information on the golf program and how they run it. If you truly were listening, then you should have questions to ask after they have finished. It shows that you are interested in the program and learning more about it. The more questions you ask, the better, but make sure they are open ended questions. You want the coaches to do most of the talking. Getting the coaches to talk more will allow you to learn as much as possible about the school and program.