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Learn The Program and Coach’s Background
In addition to finding out the mentality of the coaching staff and culture of the program you should read the bios of the entire coaching staff (maybe you find out you know someone who has played with a coach to get a personal introduction), research the history of the program, see how they are doing this season and also review the roster of players on the current team. This will be part of your strategic messaging to coaches which I will describe in more detail later and can also come in handy when you are having conversations with coaches.
What Do You Want To Study? Have a Clue
The last research/homework I want you to do is write down why academically you would want to attend a particular school. Now, some of you may know exactly what you want to study or major in when you get to college. If you do, write it down and why. Then find out what the name of that particular course of study. For example, the business school at the University of New Hampshire is called the Whittemore School of Business and Economics. If you are not quite sure (don’t worry, most 16-18 year olds are not) do some research into what courses of study your target schools offer and see if any draw your attention and interest. No, you don’t have to know your major or what you are going to study right this minute but before you even try to engage with a school or a coach you should have a general understanding of what they offer from an academic perspective. Trust me, if you do end up meeting with the coaches they will ask you “What are you thinking about studying?” and giving them an indication that you know what the school offers academically sounds a lot more professional than “Uh, I don’t know.” You know what I mean.