I’ve been talking with a coach. How do I know if I’m going to make that team?

So far, so good—the school seems like it might fit you, but does interest go both ways? Ask the coach, the one person who can say for sure if your shot is real, unlikely, or unclear. If it’s real, ask how to lock it up. If it’s unclear, ask what’s left to show. If it’s just not happening, say thanks and move on with other colleges on your list.

Let’s say there’s a college that’s high on your list and, and things seem to be going well with the coach. He or she has had a chance to check out your profile and watch your video. Now you’re curious: where do you stand with this school?

The best thing you can do is ask: ask the coach where you stand.

If you’re trying to learn about your chances with a school, whether the coach thinks you’re cut out to be part of the team, then you have to ask.: “Where do I stand?”

The coach will say one of a few things. The first option is something like, “Hey, you’ll be a great fit, and we’re excited to move forward with you.” That’s great news! If the coach says something like that, then ask what next steps you should take to lock in your opportunity with that team.

A second possible reply is not as thrilling, but it’s helpful. You may hear that the coach doesn’t think it’s a great fit between you and the program. That’s fine. Thank the coach and say you appreciate the honesty. You’re better off having a clear answer than no answer at all, and you’re now able to scratch this school from your list and focus on finding an awesome fit at another college.

Finally, there’s a middle response the coach might give: The coach isn’t sure if you’re a good fit for the team and has to learn more about you. It’s less clear than what you’re hoping for, but there’s a way to follow up and make things straight-forward. Ask the coach what you should do next to show the coach you fit the team.

When a coach tells you what he or she needs you to do next, it’s a great opportunity for you to take the right steps and show that you’re coachable—someone the coach will want to have on the team.

Knowledge is power. By finding out where you stand with more schools, you’re able to edit your college list and have clear steps to make the team that’s great for you.

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