What do college coaches look for

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What do college coaches look for

Unread postby Jered63 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:09 pm

I am already a senior in high school and have partially went through this process with my family and am putting this on here for other high schoolers who are also interested. What do college coaches look for in pole vaulters? What is the right way to contact coaches and how should athletes approach them? anything helps! thank you

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Re: What do college coaches look for

Unread postby monteo » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:49 pm

This will be different for each coach, somewhat based on if they are at a D1, D2, D3, or NAIA school, but also based on how established their vaulting program is, how much the head coach and school supports vaulting, etc.

As an example, I coach at a D3 school. Therefore, no scholarships. Short of extreme talent just really liking the school, I know I can't attract the same level of athlete as a D1 school that can offer scholarships and frequently have much better name recognition. So I'm looking for several types of vaulters: those that started late but are making good progress, but won't get considered by schools that offer scholarships: those that vault well enough to score points at Conference even though they are showing little improvement, and those that are "stuck" at one performance level due to lack of technique or conditioning (as opposed to lack of motivation).

How to contact a coach again depends on division, as D1 has more restrictions than D3. Generally, most schools will have an interest page you can go online and fill out, and that is always a good first step. Make sure you include a way for the coach to see a video of you vaulting, either by a link in an area provided on the page, or a URL you paste in a comment section. Every coach will be different, you need to find one that you can work with at a school that will meet your academic needs at a price you can afford. Few coaches will object to you emailing them directly if their email is listed on the school athletics page. I'll add one caution: YOU should contact the coach(es), NOT your parent(s).

Hope this helps.

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Re: What do college coaches look for

Unread postby flyingfish12 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:17 am

I fit right into this category: “those that started late but are making good progress”. I started pole vaulting as a HS junior but as a 2nd spring sport; my first sport was lacrosse. I made the difficult decision to leave lacrosse my senior year and focus on the pole vault because I really enjoyed it. I went from 8’ to 10’ 6” that spring, was named captain and inspirational, set the school record, finished 9th in State, and finished 4th in the WA State girl’s decathlon.

And I was recruited by no one. No D1, D2 or D3 coach or representative ever contacted me. No letter, email, or phone call. So I am clearly not in the same state as monteo :)

I asked to walk on at the (D1) university I enrolled at. They said no, that the walk-on height was 11’ 6” to 12’. So I trained on my own and made it to 12’ by the spring of my freshman year (2016) in college. And they still said no, and I still am not on a team.

So my advice for what college coaches look for: A high career pr through the HS junior year.

Once you are a senior the road gets much more difficult. Once you are graduated it is virtually impossible. I am only able to do this because I have a very strong support group (my family) and because I have a strong desire to make it. But it is hard to describe how difficult it is to be a full time college student and train for this sport without the support of the school.

My experience says athletic potential means very little to coaches. They want high pr’s in your soph or jr. year. I am a 4 sport letter-winner in HS, went to State in XC and Track, and won multiple athletic and scholarship awards. I am 5’9”, 125 lbs and have been increasing my pr steadily. I have potential. But that really does not matter to college coaches.

What does matter is that high pr. I hope I am not being too blunt here but 1) start early in this sport and 2) go get that pr that can get you noticed. My brother is doing it right but he got an earlier start! He will have a great season this year (he is a junior). But he is working really hard (took a weight lifting class in school this semester and is lifting 3 nights/week at a gym and is now pole vaulting indoors). That’s what it takes. But if you want it bad enough you can do it!

Oh and also, and this is important: do your best in school. You don’t have to be perfect but do your best.

Good luck to everyone out there and believe in yourself!

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Re: What do college coaches look for

Unread postby VTechVaulter » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:41 pm

As a club coach new to the recruiting process, the number one question i get asked by college coaches in big D1 Programs (Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, etc etc) is, are they fast. With how good the athletes in pole vaulting have gotten, coaches are not interested in milking a few inches out of a kid with no horsepower. So if you aspire to be in the big D1 Programs, be a good sprinter, high hurdler, or long jumper, in addition to being a good pole vaulter. Easier said then done, i dont envy high school kids coming up now, its a really competitive time.
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Re: What do college coaches look for

Unread postby dj » Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:16 pm

What college are you attending and what intended major are you looking for?


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