When a prep school coach shows interest he will reach out to you and your parents. He will give his school’s pitch and tell you about the advantages of attending his school. Academics, opportunities, exposure, skill development, etc. After giving his pitch he will ask if you have any questions. You will. Here are the top five questions you need to ask:
- How much is this going to cost?
This is the most important question there is. If you have the funds to write a check for $52,000 a year for a prep school then there are a lot of options for you. Realistically this doesn’t apply to most families. There might be two great schools you like but one is $10,000 cheaper. That could be a determining factor on whether you attend that school or not. Your grades, financial situation, and athletic ability all come into effect when talking financials with a school. Ask for a straight up answer from the coach and admissions staff. There is no use to move forward with a school if you will never be able to afford it. Some will require you to fill out their financial aid paperwork and submit a full application. Some can at least give you a ball park figure.
- What are you going to do to get my child exposure to college coaches?
Many big time prep schools have pros as alums. Some smaller schools might have only placed a few players D3 in its history. The schools with the history of sending most of their kids to college will have coaches with multiple connections. This is what you want. One of my former players showed up on the first day of prep school with his parents. When they met with the coach they had an hour long presentation on how this coach was going to help this player get recruited. Other coaches send out weekly progress reports to college coaches on their team’s and player’s progress. Whatever it might be you need to find this out before you commit to a program.
- How can you meet our academic goals?
Academics in prep school is different for each student. Some need to get their core classes and qualify on the ACT/SAT. Others want to take college courses. Each school is unique in what they offer. Make sure you ask. This is a great year to improve academically no matter your needs.
- What is the culture of the school?
While you might only attend a prep school for ten months, you will want to know what you are stepping into culturally. Will you be staying in a dorm room with a non-athlete? Will it be a military school which presents its own sets of challenges? Will you be in a group house with just other basketball players? Is there a large international contingent within the student body? Is there school pride? Does the team do service work in the community? Prep school is what you want to make it. You can just go for a sport, or you can go and immerse yourself in a year of growing and maturing. How fulfilled do you want to make your year?
- How will you develop my skills?
Different coaches have different strengths and weaknesses. Some have a vast collection of contacts. Others coach AAU teams. Some have a long list of former players who have gone on to bigger and brighter stages. Some are great at game management. Can this coach make you better with your skillset and on court IQ? If not does he at least have some assistants who can do this. If so who are they and what are their qualifications? Can you start training in August when you arrive or does your prep school league make you wait until fall sports are complete? Does your school make you play another sport beside the one you went there for? All of this will determine who much time you will have to develop your skills and who will be doing that.