For elite athletes and those wanting to continue playing their sport in college, contacting the coach of your prospective school is usually the first step to securing a college scholarship. Writing an email to a college coach may seem intimidating at first, but with these helpful hints you’ll be sure to make a good impression.
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First, whether this is your first email or tenth email, it is always important to be professional when contacting the coach. Always address the email using the coach’s last name. Taking the time to look up their name shows the coach that you are truly interested in the school and the program. Including the coach’s name, as well as explaining why you are interested in the school and what attracts you to the program, will help keep the email engaging and personal.
Remember, coaches love to hear from student-athletes, but they’re also extremely busy people. Keeping your email short and to the point will not only show the coach that you respect their time, but will also make it interesting and professional. Include things like your current grade and grade point average, SAT/ACT scores, position, sport stats (goals scored, 100m time, pitching speed, etc), who you play for, and what tournaments you will be attending in the future. A coach can easily verify these points so be sure not to exaggerate. Being completely honest and confident in your abilities will make the best impression.
In addition to your accomplishments and abilities, providing the phone numbers of your high school coaches or a website link to a scouting page will give the coach a better idea of how you play.
Lastly, don’t be discouraged if you don’t receive a response immediately. NCAA recruiting rules prohibit coaches from sending personalized emails to prospects until September 1st of your junior year (NAIA coaches are allowed to contact players at any time). Before then, coaches may only send you questionnaires and sports camp brochures. If you are eager to talk to a coach, but still in your freshman and sophomore year, remember that coaches are still able to take your phone calls. For information on phone etiquette, see EXACT’s previous article: College Recruiting – Phone Rules and Etiquette.