Writing to a College Coach | STACK

Writing to a College Coach

April 1, 2008 | Featured in the April 2008 Issue

Must See College Recruiting Videos

Click here to download attachment.

Click here to download attachment.

As the saying goes, first impressions last. As an athlete, your first interaction with a coach may be in the form of a letter, so it must represent you well. Penny Hastings, mother of a former Stanford soccer recruit and co-author of How to Win a Sports Scholarship, explains how to make a coach take notice with just a piece of paper.

Importance of a letter
A letter is a great way to introduce yourself to a coach, show interest in his sports program and ask for information about his school. "Write a little paragraph about yourself and let the coach know, right off the bat, that he can start looking at you," declares Hastings.

A well-written letter also reflects your ability in the classroom, which is important, Hastings says, "because college coaches want their athletes also to be students. They want to see that you can write a letter and know the proper way to do business, which is part of being a college student."

Be a student-athlete
Whether you're sending the letter via email or snail mail, Hastings stresses making it clean and succinct. "It doesn't have to be formal," Hastings explains, "just neat-not wrinkled or stained-and concise, so coaches can see that you're college material."

Remember to proofread the letter, making sure every word is spelled correctly and your grammar is correct. "Don't use the informalities you would in a text or email to your friends," Hastings says. Save the "dude," "ur" and "2" instead of "to" for chatting with friends, and conclude with "Sincerely Yours" or "Best Wishes."

When to send
For the third edition of her book, Hastings interviewed more than 500 college coaches, and most of them said they prefer to hear from sophomores and juniors. "Coaches want to hear from athletes earlier, so they can see them compete in their sports," she says. "So if you contact coaches [then], they can start a file on you and watch you play."

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Be honest
Don't lie. Hastings says, "There are all kinds of ways coaches can find out if you're telling the truth [about your skills and accomplishments]. So don't say you've done something if you haven't; be honest about your capabilities."

Make it personal
According to Hastings, a general "Dear Coach" letter is a huge turnoff to a coach. She says, "'Dear Coach' letters make the coach think you just sent an email or letter blast, so you don't really care where you go to school-you just want a scholarship."

Always use the coach's name, title and address, and make sure that information is correct. You can find it by going to the school's website.

Other ways to make your letter personal include pointing out specifically why you like the coach's program or school; mentioning a family member who went to that school; or writing about a friend or former teammate who played for the coach. Hastings says, "These details indicate a true, strong interest."

Don't get discouraged
If you don't hear back from a coach soon after sending your letter, don't get discouraged. Instead, Hastings suggests following up. "Send another letter that says, 'I wrote to you a few weeks ago, and I haven't heard back. In case you didn't get it, let me tell you again . . .' and then just reiterate your first letter. Coaches are contacted so often that sometimes letters get pushed to the bottom of the stack," Hastings says. "Persistence is good when you're really interested in a school."

Sample Initial Contact Letter to Coaches

Sample Cover Letter for Sports Resume Kit

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

College Admission Tips for Ivy League and Division III

As a former Ivy League head coach, I was blessed with a successful career and many fond memories. Considering the selectivity in recruitingand the high...

Recruiting Tips for High School Soccer Players

Combatting the Early Commitment Epidemic in Women

Understanding the NCAA Eligibility Center

Why You Should Consider Post-Grad Prep School for Football

14-Year-Old Quarterback Verbally Commits to LSU

The Best (and Worst) Part of Choosing a School

Volleyball Recruiting: Searching for More Than Talent

STACK Recruiting Guide 2014: Victor Cruz and the 'It' Factor

NCAA Recruiting Rules: Baseball

Featured STACKlete: Reagan Rogers

What's in a National Letter of Intent?

Why You Should Play Small-School Sports

Basketball Recruits: What You Should Do in November

3 Ways to Climb the Recruiting Ladder

Prepare Early for the College Recruiting Process

Tips to Improve Your Chances of Landing a Basketball Scholarship

Tennis Recruiting: 6 Tips for Getting Attention from Colleges

College Recruiting FAQ: How Does National Signing Day Work?

College Recruiting FAQ: Early Action vs. Early Decision

How a Bad Game Affects Your Recruiting Status

4 Common College Recruiting Myths Debunked

What the New SAT Means for Student-Athletes

One Thing All Outstanding High School Senior Athletes Must Do

The Tennis College Recruiting Summer Checklist

How to Get Yourself on the College Golf Team

Tennis Recruiting: Official vs. Unofficial Visits

3 Ways to Trust Your Gut During the College Recruiting Process

Practical Recruiting Tips for High School Athletes

Do Athletes Make Better Students?

Boost Your Academics: 4 Tips for High School Athletes

Volleyball Recruiting: Why Hasn't the Coach Called Me?

7 Bad Behaviors That Will Help You Play College Sports

College Football Recruits: 5 Strategies to Get Noticed

Tennis Recruiting: Making a Decision

Basketball Recruiting: It's Never Too Late

Demystifying the College Athletic Recruiting Process

5 Essential Steps for College Recruits

New NCAA Rules on Junior College Football Recruiting Explained