How To Effectively Communicate With College Coaches
The college recruiting process is highly competitive and requires persistent communication with college coaches.
Most college coaches receive hundreds of emails daily from aspiring college athletes. In fact, some high school athletes reach out to college coaches as soon as they are done with their middle school education while others wait till junior year. The earlier you can make contact with a college coach, the better.
EXACT has worked with thousands of college coaches from DI, DII, and DIII schools across the United States and they agree that these are the top college recruiting tips that you need to know.
The Do’s Of College Recruiting
What are the top things that any aspiring college student-athlete needs to do?
Send Multiple Emails
This can’t be over-emphasized. It’s common for young athletes to think that they are not getting recognized by a college coach after sending one email. College coaches have a lot on their plate and receive multiple emails daily. It’s recommended that you send an email at least once every two to three weeks during the college recruiting process.
Even when you have all the right email criteria, just one email never cuts it when contacting a college coach. You need to be consistent and deliberate in your email outreach, so keep an email checklist handy to make sure you're hitting the right marks. Let the coach know about your athletic improvements, any mental toughness training, and include video links to your top athletic highlights.
Write to your preferred college coaches as much as courtesy and reason allow or until the college coach has signaled to you that there isn’t a spot for you on their program.
Know The Coach You Are Emailing
It's important to do your research on the coach and their team/sports program. You may be sending introductory emails to more than one coach, but that doesn’t mean you lose the personalization of each email. Give each email that you write your dedicated attention and let them know you are a serious candidate who aspires to be a part of their program.
A DI college coach once commented at an EXACT ID Camp about how a student-athlete addressed her in an email by another name. So she didn’t even bother reading the email because, technically, it wasn’t written to her. Don’t be that student-athlete. Know the coach that you are emailing!
Structuring Your Emails
While it’s only proper that you write your emails yourself, getting people who are more knowledgeable than you to help properly structure and proofread your emails is highly recommended. Parents, club coaches, or even your school teacher can help in this process. Here are some helpful college recruiting letter samples to you get started on your college coach outreach!
Similarly, work on your email etiquette. Read the email out loud prior to sending it. If your email comes across as negative or unclear to you, it will definitely be perceived that way by the coach. If you want positive results, remember your basic manners: say “please” and “thank you,” and do not use words that are overly-negative, ambiguous and/or dramatic.
Send An Athlete Highlight Video
Most College coaches require a player highlight video, so try to give them a professionally edited highlight video. You can learn how to shoot an excellent highlight video yourself and continually update college coaches on any athletic achievements. Be sure to alternate your highlights, keep the final video edit to less than five minutes, and only show your best plays!
Best Time To Reach Out
Try reaching out to college coaches between 3pm and 5pm of their respective time zone as this is the best time window. Most coaches are available in the late afternoon after spending the early part of the day coaching their teams.
Think deeply about what you want to say before emailing or calling, and if you have scheduled a call with a college coach, be sure to prepare in advance. Have your parent or close friend do a “mock-call" conversation with you. Remember, you want to be direct with what you say, and above all, keep a polite disposition.
Inviting college coaches to your dedicated student-athlete social pages helps too. Just be sure your page doesn’t contain any offensive material and do not message college coaches through your social media under any circumstances unless instructed to do so by the college coach.
Build Lists of Colleges and Attend ID Camps
Student athletes always have their dream colleges in mind and know what role they want to play on a team. However, getting those colleges to recruit you isn't an easy task. Most top colleges are extremely competitive, and even if you do manage to get in, you might not get the role you want on their program.
It helps to build your list of potential colleges through in-depth research. Ask yourself: "What other colleges could be a a potential fit for me?" Be sure to add them to your list. When it comes to building your list of potential colleges, there is no one-way solution, so stretch out the possibilities and be open minded in your search.
A valuable opportunity that will optimize your recruitment process is to attend College ID camps like EXACT’s national college exposure camp where you connect with college coaches from across the country who can influence your recruitment.
It is very common for the college coaches from your top-pick schools to be involved at ID camps or showcases. If you get the chance, attend one and take full advantage of the valuable experience.
In an EXACT Sports interview, Dwight Hornibrook, head coach of women’s soccer at Cornell University said, “Go to ID camps, meet college coaches, stand out in your followup emails, and consistently give college coaches your A-game.”
Leave Out Key Information
You don’t want college coaches to wonder what your grad year is, the state that you’re from, the position you play, etc. You must communicate all the stats and basic information they need to better understand where you are in the process. If you don’t know how to write a proper email subject line, you can ask for help from your parents or high school/club coach.
In an EXACT Sports interview, Dallas Jaussi, assistant men’s soccer coach at UC Irvine, mentioned how this is an issue. He said, "Putting your grad year and position you play in your emails helps them know the best way to approach and place you in the recruiting process."
Let Your Parents Take Care Of It
Of course, parents want the best for their children and help them get the best result possible. Now, while a parent’s role is significant, it’s important to understand that they are not the main character in the college recruitment story. You don’t want your parents doing all the communication for you. If anything, it only shows your coach that you are incapable of managing yourself and your responsibilities.
Allow parents to help you with email structuring but you must write each email yourself. Reach out to these college coaches “yourself” and let them know you are very involved in your recruitment process. Your parents should be playing on the sidelines as a strong support system but you need to be the star player. Many student-athletes in the past had lost their recruitment chances due to their parents standing up for them and communicating with coaches on their behalf.
Talk Too Much About Yourself
Coaches want to know a bit about you off the field too, but the primary objective is not just talking about yourself. This is your opportunity to let know why you aspire to play for their program. Why them? What makes them stand out to you? Why do you think you have what it takes to get recruited by their program? You need your email tailored specifically for them.
Therefore, It helps to learn about the college, note their highlights and understand why you want to attend their program. It is easier to convince them when you, yourself, are convinced. Mention why you like the college, as a whole, in your emails and concisely list your strengths that could benefit their program.
Getting recruited by the college of your dreams takes a lot of dedication and persistent hard work, but it’s surely not impossible. Now that we’ve run through some important dos and don'ts, we hope that you continue to gain the confidence needed to be college recruit ready.
Want to supercharge your college recruiting efforts? EXACT College ID Camps are designed to give you the confidence you need to be recruit ready. Be seen by thousands of college coaches from DI, DII, and DIII schools from across the country as you level up your game with college-style training, receive one-on-one athlete evaluations, and master the college recruiting process.