Lots of high school athletes want to play sports at the next level, but few know the first thing about communicating with college coaches. Here are some tips to begin the process.
1. Keep It Short
College coaches receive dozens of emails each day, and the last thing they want to do is read your autobiography. The longer the email, the better its chance of going unread.
2. Be Realistic
If you are a backup player or have limited game film or no accolades to your name, don't be frustrated when the top school in the country does not return your email. Coaches in the top programs receive hundreds of emails per day from interested athletes, coaches, parents and recruiting agencies.
Don't take it personally. Do some personal reflection and identify where your skill set best fits in the college arena. I promise you, if you are truly interested in playing at the next level, there are colleges that would love to have you.
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3. Make It Personal
Coaches look negatively on mass emails and generic-sounding messages, and they will overlook them in all the clutter they receive in their inboxes. A college coach friend of mine at a mid-level Division I program says he receives roughly 10 emails per day from student-athletes before 10 a.m. Nationally ranked athletic programs are probably seeing up to 10 times as many emails per day from interested athletes.
College coaches want to know a bit about who you are. They would much rather hear from you directly than from a recruiting agency, parent or coach. Personal contact shows you are self-reliant, taking control, and have a self-interest in your college search.
When sending the email, be sure to include your name, year, sport and position, as well as any accolades you have received.
In addition, make sure you have a purpose for contacting the coach. What do you want the coach to do after reading your email?
- Inquiring when the coach will attend a specific camp.
- Requesting information on the types of athletes the coach has recruited in the past.
- Wanting to send personal information, and wondering if the coach is the right person to send it to.
- Wondering what the next steps are if you are interested in their program?
4. Do Your Research
The best way to change that generic email into a personalized letter is through flattery. I mean, who doesn't want an ego boost? Flattery shows you have done your research and have a sincere interest in attending that particular school.
For example . . .
Hello, my name is Mike Wantstoberecruited, and I am interested in attending [name of school]. Please review my athletic résumé, as you will find reasons why I am a perfect fit for your program, which I have admired for years.
Hello, my name is Sally Youregoingtosignme, and I am an all-conference swimmer from Main High School. I would first like to congratulate you on your team's conference championship victory. I would be honored to be a part of your program's winning tradition, and I'd love the opportunity to benefit from your coaching and leadership.
This shows you have done your research and explains why you have an interest in the program. Most coaches are more inclined to respond to emails that reflect a real understanding of their programs.
RELATED: Market Yourself to College Coaches
If you're looking for additional resources on the college recruiting process or how to maximize your athletic performance, please feel free to check out my website at www.askcoachak.com or contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!
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