Emails And Relationship Building
The key to athletic recruiting is building relationships with coaches, similarly to how one would go about finding a job. Communication is the most important thing, and an email from a college coach is the first step in initiating communication and building a relationship.
Show Your Character: When a college coach sends you an email, its likely that theyve already seen you play and are aware of your athletic ability to some extent. Communication through email is the first opportunity that you will have to show who you are as a person and how you interact and communicate. When college coaches recruit players for their program, they are looking for a well-rounded person. No coach wants an outstanding player who lacks character there needs to be a balance between your playing level and personality. Communication, specifically through email, is essentially your first impression on a coach to display your off-field skills and impress coaches on a personal level.
To recap, this email presents an opportunity for you to take the next steps in building a relationship and making a case for yourself, albeit with respect and humility. Youll want to show your character, really understand what the coach is saying so that you can be thoughtful with your response.
But Only If Its True That Other Schools Are Recruiting You
Knowing that having other offers makes a recruit look more valuable, some players may be tempted to make up offers that dont actually exist. This is not a smart move. RecruitLook explains that chances are youll be caught, As competitive as the recruiting game and game days are, college coaches are a tight group. They all hang and run in the same crowds, and even though they might not personally know one another, they know somebody that knows them.
Athnets Guide to Communicating with College Coaches lists 5 lies that recruits tell coaches with the first one being Making up scholarship offers. Their advice:
making up a scholarship offer just to try and drive the price up on another program is a huge no-no. Coaches talk to one another and one way or the other they will confirm your scholarship offer, if they found out you lied of course they wont be offering you a scholarship and neither will the school you made up.
Finally, what if there arent any other schools recruiting you? Given everything Ive just said, this would seem to be a more serious problem. Again, no reason to lie. Playced.com suggests the following possible responses: you could say I am just starting to communicate with some schools or I am waiting to hear back from several colleges. After all, Everyone wants to date the popular girl/boy and every coach wants to sign the popular recruit.
CONNECT WITH OTHER PARENTS WITH PROSPECTIVE COLLEGE ATHLETES
Focus On The Most Important Information
Edward Cartee at Bookacoach encourages players to operate like journalists when emailing coaches to increase the chances of getting their attention. A few of his tips include:
Place your name, grad year, and position in the subject of the email.
Include the most important information first, and explain exactly why the coach should be interested in you.
Recap major points about yourself, including your team, your GPA, and test scores.
Cartee writes that this intro tends to be the same for every email you send to coaches, so you can copy and paste to save time. Just make sure to read over it every time to make sure youre not sending the same typos every single time.
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Reference The Video On Your Profile
- Video is an important aspect of an introductory email!
- You may sound great on paper, but coaches need to SEE you play.
- This is why SportsRecruits allows unlimited video uploads.
- Direct coaches to your profile link embedded at the bottom of your email to view your videos.
- No video? Obtaining video should be your #1 priority!
Thanking A Coach Via Email
Email is a great communication tool throughout recruiting because its easy to access, convenient for both coaches and players, and allows you to share important information. When thanking a coach after camp, email is usually the easiest and most recommended way to do so.
Sending A Thank You Email: Youre probably wondering how exactly to send a thank you email to a coach and what to include so that you can make an impression and set yourself apart. Like weve said, youll want your email to be personalized and include anything that you might want a coach to know about you from a recruiting standpoint.
Subject Line: The main goal is to remind the coach of who you are, because despite watching you play throughout the camp, they might not remember personal details or have a way of contacting you. Start by crafting a subject line that identifies who you are and states your reason for sending the email, which in this case is a thank you and follow up from a specific event. So, your subject line could read something like Joe Smith 2022 Grad Point Guard Camp Follow-Up. If its your first time contacting the coach, you might want to include a bit more about yourself in the subject line like GPA, brief athletic stats, or personal attributes .
Remember, coaches receive many emails from aspiring college athletes, so youll want to be sure that your email is personalized and genuine.
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Know When To Move On To Other Schools
Some players endlessly vie for the attention of coaches at Division I schools, even when theres almost no chance of playing for them.
If a college coach does not make an effort to contact you or your coach by phone or email and does not ask you to visit campus, they are not interested in you, Bill Vasko, assistant softball coach at UMass Lowell, shares. Do not take it personallymove on and find a program that IS interested in you.
Stalking a coach at your dream college despite complete radio silence on their end can actually move you further from your dream. You will annoy them while wasting time on a dead end.
Questions About Scholarships And Costs
- Do you typically increase scholarship amounts after freshman year?
- What medical expenses are covered by the college?
- What equipment costs are covered and what will I be required to provide?
Are you a talented athlete in the UK and want to study in America? Fill out the free application form to see if you could get a USA sports scholarship.
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How To Let Coaches Know Youre Interested In Their Program
During the recruiting process, it is essential that prospective student-athletes reach out to college coaches. Not only are coaches busy, but this also shows initiative on the part of the prospect. But how should prospects show that they are interested in a program? In this video, Gettysburg College mens basketball coach B.J. Dunne shares how student-athletes can communicate with coaches and show that they are proactive.
Avoid: Talking About How Coachable You Are
Finally, do not spend time telling a coach that you are coachable. This is something that words cant express. Believe me, I will call your coaches and references, I will watch you play and watch you practice, I will listen to how you talk to me about your coaches, I will observe your body language, and I will get a good idea about how coachable you are long before you show up. If you tell me you are coachable, and all of your references tell me something different, that will tell me that either you arent very self-aware or you are telling me that you are better than you really are.
Instead: Let your actions speak for you. Being coachable is something that you are and that you do.
When communicating with college coaches we talk a lot about what to say and what to ask, but we dont always focus on what not to say. Hopefully youve avoided giving these sorts of impressions in your communication with college coaches.
New to the recruiting process? See what college programs you might quality for by creating your free NCSA Athletic Recruiting profile
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Guidelines For Emailing Coaches
Personalize each email If you dont take the time to personalize the email to the coach, they wont take the time to respond. College coaches receive hundreds of emails each week. They can tell when an athlete has taken the time to write them a personalized email and when someone is using a form letter, just changing the name of the coach and school.
Include the contact information for your coaches If you are emailing a college coach before they are allowed to respond to your email, they need the contact information for your coaches so they can let them know they are interested. Here is how it works, you email the college coach, and if they are interested, they will contact your coach and let your coach know when to call them so you can talk.
Just your basic athletic and academic information Coaches dont expect you to be a college ready athlete when you email them they just need to see that you have potential. Include your basic info, there is no need to detail every award or stat from the last few years.
Let them know where you will be competing Second to your contact information, coaches need to know where/when they can watch you in person. Coaches bring a list of athletes they want to watch at a tournament or showcase they dont go there hoping to discover talent. They need to know where you are playing so they can add you to their list of players to watch.
Can High School Athletes Contact College Coaches
In short: yes. Unless youre one of the top athletes in the country, youll need to be proactive to get recruited by college coaches. Theres a common misconception that high school athletes arent allowed to contact college coaches until their junior year of high school. In reality, athletes can reach out to coaches any time they wantNCAA rules only limit when college coaches can contact recruits. Even when college coaches cant directly respond, they can still read your emails and follow you on social media.
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Additional Tips For Effective Coach Communications
In addition to the list above, here are four ways that student-athletes can better prepare coach communication:
- Narrow down the college list. Research the schools that the recruit is interested in or received mail from to see which programs best meet their needs athletically, academically, financially and socially. Then, create a realistic list of schools that the recruit can begin contacting.
- Send an introductory email to college coaches. Every introductory email should demonstrate that the recruit has researched the program and explain why, specifically, they would make a great addition to the team. Learn how to make an introductory email personalized and memorable.
- Use social media to get recruited. College coaches are using social media more and more to connect with recruits. A great way to get the attention of a college coach is by sending a direct message to their Twitter or Instagram account. Learn more about how athletes use social media for recruiting.
- Pick up the phone. This is generally the most effective way to connect with college coaches who have busy schedules. Before picking up the phone, recruits should prepare questions for the coach and practice with a friend or family member.
Template For Emailing College Coaches
My name is , I am part of the class of at in . I am interested in and learning more about your program.
I play . Some of my best accomplishments to date are . You can view my complete online profile here . Here is a link to my highlight tape . Please feel free to contact my coach . Here is my schedule:
Date Location Name of Event My Team Name
2/22/2014 Sacramento, CA Elite 7-on-7 Tournament Nor-Cal All-Stars
I will be following up this email with a phone call. I look forward to hearing back from you and learning more about your program.
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Dont Pass Off Your Communication Plan To Your Parents
Your parents want you to succeed, but asking them to do follow-up emails for you is impersonal and infuriating for coaches. While emailing dozens of coaches is labor intensive, the effort is wasted when coaches realize the parents are behind the communication.
One of the key foundations to a great email is that it is coming directly from the heart of the , Jill Hicks writes. Having been a college coach, I read thousands of recruits’ emails and always saw it as a red flag when I could tell that a parent wrote the email.
Hicks says she immediately doubts the passion of the athlete and wonders if its actually the parents dream that their teen plays college sports.
Contacting college coaches is a lot like hunting for a job, Katie Andersen writes at GuidedPath. I tell my student-athletes to be proactive and contact college coaches directly.
Over the next several months, your goal is to get noticed and recruited. You wouldnt ask your parents to go to a job interview for you, so why would you put them in charge of your future athletic career?
How To Respond To A Coach Request To Complete A Recruiting Questionnaire
If the recruit is or might be interested in the program, complete the recruiting questionnaire. This is just one of many steps that student-athletes will take as they start communication with coaches. If the recruit is an upperclassman, they should contact the college coach to let them know that they filled out their questionnaire and are very interested in the program.
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Set Dates To Follow Up With Coaches Throughout The Year
A short email after camp wont help coaches remember who you are for very long. According to Athnet, players should continue updating coaches every 2-4 months on their performance. This might include sending them new highlights as you enter the fall season or sharing SAT/ACT scores that are higher than your initial efforts.
Even if you feel like the coaches arent listening , staying top of mind can help when an opening occurs and your coach looks to recruit someone.
What Do You Say
You need to make sure you make a good first impression when you reach out to coaches. What you say is going to be important. You want to give enough information to express interest without overwhelming them.
An email to coaches should include the following:
- Address the coach by writing, Dear Coach
- Introduce yourself
- Include your age and expected graduation year
- Tell where you are from and where you train
- Include years of experience
- Express interest in the particular school. Add a detail or two about their season or academics, but keep it short and sweet
- Highlight a major achievement you have had and link to your highlight reel, professional social media, or resume
- Thank them for their time
- Have the email come from your parents account
- Have your parent write the email for you
- Copy and paste the same email to every coach – coaches talk!
- Have any unprofessional or inappropriate words or phrases
Important Questions to Ask
Once you start correspondence with a coach, its important to ask questions that cannot be answered through research. Make sure whatever questions you are asking cannot be easily found online.
These questions are worth asking once you develop a relationship with the coach:
These are all difficult but important questions to ask a coach to get a better sense of how the team is run.
When to Bring Up Certain Topics
How Often to Talk to a Coach
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What Not To Say To A College Coach
Throughout the recruiting process, potential recruits will have many opportunities to communicate with college coaches. Whether it is through email, phone calls, text messages, or face-to-face meetings, each time you communicate with a coach, you positively or negatively influence that coachs perception of your character and level of interest in their program. Believe it or not, coaches are looking for more than just talented baseball players. They are looking for players who will buy in to the program, and the words you use carry just as much weight as your talent on the field. I have put together some tips to help with those communications below:
Questions To Expect From A College Coach
Speaking with college coaches is part of the recruiting process a high school athlete should definitely prepare for. When a coach calls a recruit, it is important for the recruit to have a basic understanding of what questions the college coach is going to ask. This will help keep the conversation flowing, and will give the recruit time to have a well-thought-out answer. It looks better when the athlete can articulate their thoughts rather than stuttering through answers.
College coaches depending on the recruiting dates will be contacting athletes to get a better understanding of what the recruit is all about. Lets take a look at what some of the questions a college coach might ask a recruit and our thoughts on how a recruit should answer.
Question: What are your grades like? Have you taken the ACT/SAT?
You need to be truthful about your grades. Making up grades or simply not knowing what your GPA might be indicates you are a poor student. Even if your grades arent where you would like them to be, you still need to be truthful about what they are. A college coach will eventually find out, and it wont look good if you lie about your academic standings. Grades are very important in the college recruiting process. You need to know at all times what your GPA and test scores are. Recruits can earn academic scholarships with good grades, and you can also move up a coachs recruiting board if you are smart in the classroom.
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