How To Decline College Coaches Interest

  • 1 Dec, 2015

The worst thing you can do as a student-athlete is to ignore answering to a college coach. Not only that you are wasting his or her time but you can ruin your reputation and image by showing lack of communication and responsability. Just make sure you stay on top of your communication process regardless of the outcome. If you’re not meant to go to a school you’ve always liked, the sooner you find out the earlier you will know.

Go to a school where you’ll be accepted and admired for who you are and what you have to offer. Once there, do the best you can.

Telling college coaches that you are not interested in their program takes guts and is no easy task by any means. Regardless of what other offers you have, there is never easy to end a relationship in good terms with someone who’s interested in what you can offer. But you always have to choose what’s best for you since you are the one going and playing in college.

Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Always keep all your options open until you commit.
  • As soon as you know that you are not interested in a particular school, tell the coach right away. Just like s/he puts the time to talk to you, do them a favor and save them some time by communicating to them politely that you’re not interested.
  • Any situation you are part of, always act with class. Don’t let your frustration to get the best of you. Stay composed and communicate clearly.
  • Stay grounded, informed, be sincere and show respect.
  • Keep your conversation short and sweet if possible.
  • Coaches appreciate nothing more than an honest answer.
  • Coaches will respect your decisions and give you credit for your professionalism. Who knows, one day you may work/coach together.
  • Some coaches are curios as to why you declined their offer. Just tell them the truth no matter what. They will eventually find out anyways. So it’s always best if it comes from you.
  • Don’t let your parents or guardian to communicate with the coaches on your behalf. I know it’s not easy but you will end up with a lot more respect if you do the work yourself.

Many times is not what we say but how we say it. Please keep in mind that if you communicate via email then you need to watch out how you will structure your answer. Here is a sample letter you can inspire yourself when looking to let a college coach know that you are not interested in their program. Do it in a professional and respectful manner so you have no regrets. The coach will give you more credit for it than you can imagine.

Dear Coach ____  (First Name),

I was extremely honored and thankful that you believe I’m a good fit and I could compete for your team. I’ve recently completed the difficult task of narrowing down my list of schools.

Over the years you have done great things for your program and I am sure your hard work will grow it even more. I have such great respect for you and everything you’ve accomplished so far. I feel it’s my responsibility to inform you that I am truly looking elsewhere to go to school and compete.

Thank you for your sincere interest, time and effort that you have dedicated to me. I wish you and your team much success and I hope we can remain friends. Never know when our paths will cross again.


Your Full Name

Class of 20XX

Make sure you write from your heart and put it into your own words. Once you are sure you’ll not attend the school you are in contact with, just send the letter to the coaches as soon as you can.

This is not easy but in a way it’s a nice problem to have. Just make sure you act in a professional way by showing responsibility to communicate effectivelly. That’s what great leaders and athletes do when they face problems.

Author @Nicolae Popescu

Nicolae Popescu is a former NCAA D1 full-scholarship student-athlete and the Founder of WeGotPlayers. He has experienced first-hand the complex college recruiting process himself. Nicolae' s knowledge, skills and sports expertise make him a valuable contributor in helping guide players and parents to find the right school fit. He is passionate about coaching, mentoring and positively influencing players succeed in their sports journey and life thru the power of education and technology.
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