Communications with college coaches can sometimes be intimidating for our student-athletes but it’s a very rewarding process. Everything starts with communication and there is never enough of it. You would rather be known as communications too much than too little.
In todays modern world, technology has made it so easy for student-athletes to interact with coaches via emails or even social networks. The most popular one is still EMAIL. I will focus on how players can improve their communication skills when talking to college coaches via email. The goal is to educate the student-athletes on how to respond and interpret what they read so they can give the best possible answers.
1. Where do I start
I have been asked on multiple occasions by the players on where they should start or what they should write. The best case is when a college coach contacts the player directly and leave his or phone number to you. IF that’s the case, then the player should call the coach back and start the conversation. If you call and the coach doesn’t answer, no problem. Just leave a detailed voicemail and email the coach to let him know that you just called him. I would highly recommend doing this because the opportunity is there for you to grab and make the best of it.
As a student-athlete you can also contact the coach yourself. Coaches love to hear from players directly and this is a great opportunity to show how responsible and accountable you are. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back right away or at all. You need to contact over 20-30 coaches from each division and feel lucky if you hear back from 5 of them. Just be persistent and don’t get discouraged.
2. What’s an appropriate email like
To be honest nothing is private anymore. Please be very careful when you draft your email for the college coaches. Have a teacher or your parents revise your first email before you send it out. Your grammar, punctuation, structure and spelling have to be very proper. Don’t rush to send out an email quick out of excitement. Take your time, proof read it and make it better. It will never be perfect but you will know when it’s ready and that’s when you should send it.
Keep your email short, clear and concise. Your story should also be unique and interesting so coaches want to find out more about you. Don’t be afraid to ask the coach at least one question that’s very important to you. Please, don’t ask about scholarships right away as the time will come for that as well.
The key is to show that you care enough to find out more about the coach’s program and to keep the conversation going.
3. Which coach should I contact from the school website
If you had the pleasure to meet with one of the coaches, try to communicate with that coach. If you don’t know any of the coaches then try to email the Head coach directly and also cc the assistant coach and recruiter coordinator. Just be careful with your title as you no longer address yourself to one coach only.
It will also depend on how big the program is and what kind of budgets they allocate to certain sports. Some D1 schools have full time recruiters and assistant coaches. Not all programs are the same and a lot of times the Head coach has to wear many different hats.If you end up communicating to an assistant coach, that’s great as well. Assistant coaches are well known for scouting and recruiting on regular bases. Coaches talk about players amongst themselves all the time and I am sure they will notice you right away if you are a good fit.
4. How do I respond to coaches that I am not interested in their program
This is a tough one but always keep in mind that all your options should always be open. Always respond back with a positive attitude and an open interest. The minute you say to a coach that you are not interested in their program, you will no longer be on their recruiting radar. And that’s exactly what you don’t want to do.
When you ignore to respond to a college coach, they will sense that and will move on quickly. At the same time you shouldn’t say to a coach that you are not interested UNLESS you are very sure of yourself that you will not attend that school. That means that you should have at least 3 other schools that you can choose from and have been admitted already.
Also, don’t play a school against the other one because college coaches are friends and the news travels fast. Don’t ruin your character and lose credibility in the hopes of making yourself more valuable than you already are. Coaches will respect you more that way. When coaches put in the time to communicate with you, they have the right to hear back. Just don’t take weeks or months for a replay.
Regardless of where you are in the recruiting process, the key is to educate yourself, have the courage to email coaches and continue the conversations until you find your ideal college fit. There are many steps along the way and if you are persistent with your strategy, you will succeed.