If you’re reading this, then you have decided you want to play sports at the next level. The problem is that you do not know where to start, or most importantly, you do not know the first thing when it comes to communicating with college coaches. Don’t worry! In this article I will give you 4 tips you should consider when beginning the process.
Keep It Short
Who likes to read long emails? No one! And yes, that includes you.
When contacting college coaches, I encourage you to keep it short and concise. College coaches receive dozens of emails per day, and the last thing they want to do is read your personal autobiography. In reality, the longer the email, the better the chance your email will be unread, or worse, moved into the trash bin.
Doing your research is very important, especially when contacting college coaches. If you are a backup player, have limited game film, or have no accolades behind your name, then don’t be frustrated when the top school in the country does not return your email. Be realistic. Coaches in the top programs receive dozens to several hundred emails per day from interested athletes, coaches, parents, and recruiting agencies. Don’t take it personally. Do some personal reflection and identify where your skillsets best fit in the college arena. I promise you, if you are truly interested in playing at the next level, there are colleges that would love to have you.
Sending cc’d mass emails or even generic emails is looked upon negatively by coaches. Plus, it will most likely get overlooked through the clutter of emails. A college coach friend of mine at a mid-level division 1 program says that he receives roughly 10 emails per day from student athletes before 10AM. Mind you, that is at a mid-level Division 1 University. Nationally ranked athletic programs are probably seeing 3x-10x as many emails per day from interested athletes.
College coaches want to know about you, not your personal autobiography, but a bit about who you are. In addition, coaches would much rather get a personal email from you, over any recruiting agency, parent or coach. A personal contact shows you are self-reliant, taking control and have a self interest in your college search.
When sending the email, be sure to include your name, sport, year, position, as well as any accolades you have received.
In addition, make sure you have a purpose for contacting the coach. What do you want the coach to do after reading your email?
1) Do you want to know when the coach will be at a specific camp?
2) Do you want information on what types of athletes they have recruited in the past?
3) Do you want to send additional information and want to know if he is the right person to send it to?
4) What are the next steps you should take if you are interested in their program?
Make sure your letter cuts through the clutter and gets the college coaches’ attention. The best way to change that generic email into a personalized email is through flattery. I mean, who does not want an ego boost?
Sending out personal letters to coaches can be time consuming, but the reward will be tenfold and will drastically increase the likelihood of a college coach returning your email.
So what is flattery? Flattery is giving excessive praise for or highlighting one’s accomplishments. Flattery shows that you have done your research as well as displaying that you have an actual interest in attending that particular school.
Generic Example: Hello, my name is Mike WantstobeRecruited, and I am interested in attending your program. Please review my athletic resume, as you will find reasons why I am a perfect fit for your school.
Flattery Example: Hello, my name is Sally You’regoingtosignme and I am an all-conference swimmer from Main high school. I would first like to congratulate you on your team’s conference championships win! It must have been an amazing experience. Mike Smith really had a strong performance on his last attempt to squeak out a win. I am sure your coaching expertise and leadership played a huge role in his win as well as the overall success of the conference title. It’s obvious why I would be interested in being a part of such a great program.
This email shows that you have done your research as well why you may be interested in their particular program. In addition, the coach will be more inclined to respond to your email when he notices you have put effort into understanding him and the program.
The Wrap Up
The college recruiting process can be a stressful time and you want to make sure you are well prepared when starting the process. Take time to self-reflect and do your research before you start haphazardly sending out emails to coaches. Keep it short and concise and make sure you have a purpose for sending the email. And lastly, highlight the coach or team’s success; this tip will show that you have done your research and have a genuine interest in their program.
It’s important to start off on the right foot, because you only have one chance to make a great first impression.
If you’re looking for additional resources on the college recruiting process or maximizing your athletic performance, please feel free to check out my website at www.askcoachak.com or contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!