Communication Counts - Reaching Out to College Coaches

Chapter 2 - Emails and Phone Calls

By: Geoff Raives, Director of Partnerships

Fact. The number of emails College Coaches receive from potential recruits is never-ending. Fact. These thousands of potential recruits are all vying for the exact same, and very few, roster spot(s). Fact. You’re one of these potential recruits.

So, how do you make your email stand out from the thousands of others? What else can you do to get your name out there? We’ll take a look at creating eye-catching emails, and following up with….drum roll please… PHONE CALLS! Yes, your smart device actually has phone capabilities, and we highly suggest you use it. Click for more details!

Below are some ways to make your emails and phone calls more unique and noticeable from other recruits. Note that whether or not a coach can contact you back depends on your age and their division.

Emailing Coaches

The more time you spend reaching out to coaches, the better your chances of getting recruited. Make emailing coaches part of your daily routine. Set goals for yourself - 5 per day? 10 per day? Beat your record from last week? Set your limit, and get to it!

  • Recruiting Questionnaires: Before you reach out to a coach, if the school is in your top 25-30 schools, go online to their athletic website and fill out the recruiting questionnaire. By taking time to do this the athlete gets put into the program’s database, receives emails with up-to-date info about the program and lets the coach know you are serious about going to their school.

  • Research and Reasons: Do the research and give reasons why their school is a good fit for you. For example “I want to go to your school because I want to major in finance, and your school is one of the top business schools in the country.” Doing the research allows you to stand out in a positive way, while not doing the research makes you stand out as someone who isn’t serious about the process.

  • Persistence: If a coach doesn’t return your email within a couple weeks, reach out again to see if they received your profile and email. Repeat this until they respond. Maybe the coach was busy, your email got lost in the shuffle, or maybe the coach just wants to see how serious you are about attending their school.

  • Consistency: This is key when it comes to email conversations with college coaches. It allows programs you want to attend to get to know you, keeps you up to date with what is going on on their end, and lets the coach know that you are still interested in their school.

  • Stay Organized: Track your conversations with coaches so that you can recall topics you spoke about in the past and not get confused with correspondence you have with other coaches.

  • Quick Tips: Start with a very large list of schools. Don’t only email your favorite schools. Reach out to in-conference schools as a way to target your favorites, as coaches who are interested in you definitely don’t want their team to play against you.

Calling Coaches

It is difficult for young people to pick up the phone and have a conversation with a college coach, but it is imperative to do so. It will assure the coach that you are serious, make you stand out, and move your recruiting process forward at a faster pace. Keep in mind that as much as they are getting to know you, you want to get to know them as well. You are looking for a coach who speaks to you and inspires you, and if you can hit it off with a coach and build a relationship with them, then it is more likely they will want to bring you into their program.

  • Mock Phone Calls: Practice. Do mock phone calls with a coach, parent or someone else. Have them give you feedback, and get all your jitters out.

  • Leave a Message: If they don’t answer, leave a message and refer to the email you sent prior to calling them. Tell them you’ll try again on a certain day at a certain time, and then call again then.

  • Be Honest: Be up front and let them know why you want to go to their school. Has your major? Location is near family? You like the weather?

  • Ask Questions: Write down a list of questions you have about the program or the university, and make sure the answers aren't easily found on the school's website.

  • Ask for Feedback: Ask for feedback/thoughts on your video and profile.

  • Am I a Good Fit: Give the coach a chance to be honest with you by asking them if they think you might be a good fit for their program.

  • Be Persistent: If they don’t answer or call back after you follow up at that certain time, try again every couple weeks.

  • Research: Do the research and know why you fit the school and how the school fits you. Coaches will be impressed that you know so much and will remember your interest in their program.

Follow these tips, and your conversations will likely be smooth and help generate some positive interest in you as a student athlete!

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