See the end of this blog post for Suzie Hinman’s biography and info on her new guide for recruiting website.

Contacting a coach can be an intimidating process. It is hard to know what information to include in the message or if the coach  will even know who you are after you push send.  But don’t worry, here is a quick guide on EXACTly how to email a college coach.

Tip 1: Have the Right Address

While this article will offer several important tips, if you can only remember one of them, remember that writing an email is the new equivalent to writing a letter. It should be formal, well written, but still have a personal touch.

Imagine writing a letter to the President of the United States. You would want to represent yourself well because this maybe the only time the President reads a letter from you. With a college coach, this will hopefully be the beginning of a relationship and you want to put your best foot forward.

  • You would not sign your letter RedHotPlaya99, so do not select that as your email address.

  • Make sure your email is appropriate, leaves a good first impression and is informative.

    • i.e. firstname.lastname_graduation year (john.doe_2005@gmail.com)

  • Finally make sure you proofread your email, spell check and write in full sentences.

Tip 2: Do your research

Before you head to the NCAA website and download the women’s soccer coaches contact list into your email, do a little research. There are over 1,000 women’s soccer programs out there and while emailing every school might sound like a great idea, not every school is going to be the right fit for you.  It is important that you research the programs you are interested in.

Here are a few good questions to get your research started:

  • How many players do they have in your position already on the team?

  • Does the school offer a program of study (major) that interests you?

  • What is the history of the program (winning percentages, championships, awards)?

  • Are there players from your state or area on the team?

  • Is the tuition financially feasible for you and your family?

  • Does the program offer any camps you can attend?

Once you have the answers to a few of these questions (or any others relevant to your search), you should have a general idea if the school is one you would like to pursue.

Tip 3: Get Specific

No one likes generic mass emails. As coaches, we know prospective students are more responsive to personal communication. Coaches will have the same expectations when receiving emails from recruits. Since you have already researched the institution, you should be able to be EXACT in your email.

Tips to make your email stand out:

  • Email only one coach at a time (no mass emailing)

  • Fill out the subject line with an appropriate email heading

    • 2014 Graduate Hermione Granger

    • All State Goalkeeper Justin Bieber

  • Address the head coach or recruiting coordinator specifically

  • Address the school by name

  • Mention that you have done research on the institution

    • Try to incorporate what it is about their specific academic or athletic program that appeals to you

Tip 4: Keep It Simple

Emails are a great way to communicate with a coach, but they should be sent with a specific purpose. You have to find a balance between overwhelming a coach with information and making yourself stand out as a prospect.

Select a purpose for your email and stick to the topic:

  • Introduction and Interest

  • Showcase Invitation

  • Camp or Showcase Thank You

Once you have selected the purpose of your email, decide what information is critical. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Introduction and Interest

    • Team (Club, High School and/or ODP)

    • Brief Athletic Information (Position, most significant award or statistic)

    • Brief Academic Information  (GPA, Grad Year, test score)

    • I am interested in your program because…

  • Showcase Invitation

    • Team

    • Schedule

    • Why they should come watch your game

  • Camp or Showcase Thank You

    • Team or Group name and jersey number

    • Do they have any feedback for you?

    • Are there any other upcoming events they will be attending?

Tip 5: Attachments and Links

Rather than inundating a coach with every detail of your playing history in an email, attach your player profile to the email. Remember Tip 4: Keep It Simple! Coaches are busy and they should be able to immediately identify the purpose of your email. If you are able to attach a profile or provide a link to a highlight video, they can review your additional information on their own time. Often, videos and profile information are inserted into a recruiting database, allowing for a coach to access and take notes on the information at anytime.

Keep the meat of your email clear and concise, but give the coach an opportunity to learn more if they are interested in what you have to offer.

These five tips should reduce your email stress and put you on the right path towards high-quality communications. Recruiting is about selling yourself to an institution and shining a positive light on what you would offer to a program.

Remember, these tips are meant to serve only as a guide.

Add your own personal flair and set yourself apart from the pack!

About Suzie Hinman:

As a former collegiate soccer player and current soccer coach at Butler Community College in El Dorado, KS, Hinman hopes to bring quality perspective to recruiting and college prep ideas. Hinman is preparing to launch an online educational site, college-sports-recruiting.com. Do not be deceived by the name. The goal of the site is not to help prospective student-athletes be recruited. It will focus on the issues of recruiting and aid parents, players and coaches in navigating the process from eligibility requirements to official visits. This one-stop recruiting site will hope to meet the needs of prospects for all sports and from all different backgrounds. Launching July 2013… you won’t want to miss it!