I recently got an email from a student asking how they should contact a coach. They asked via email or formal letter? The easy answer is as follows. Fill out the online recruit form found on most college websites which will capture your academic and contact information. Follow up with an email introducing yourself to the coach and alerting them that you recently filled out the online recruit form. Don’t bombard them with worthless stats that tell them virtually nothing about you as a person or as an athlete but describe yourself as a person, an athlete, a student and tell them why you are interested in their school and program. Then follow up with a phone call to the coach to see what the next step might be in possibly getting considered for recruitment. You CANNOT get recruited off of one online form, an email, or a phone call, so don’t even try! The point of contact is simply to introduce yourself to a coaching staff, to express your interest in their school and program, and to see how you could possibly be considered for recruitment.
If it is not the appropriate time for the coach to call you back, (click the link for contact rules) they may not be able to, but you can keep calling on your dime as often as you want! The bigger picture here is not HOW you contact the coach, but what research you have done prior to contacting coaches and what you have to offer. If you aren’t qualified academically to be accepted to a particular school or you aren’t gifted enough athletically to play at a particular school, then no form of contact will get you recruited at that school! You can rent a plane and fly over the coach’s field with a banner that says “RECRUIT ME” and it won’t make a bit of difference if you aren’t qualified. How you contact a coach is so far down on the list of important recruiting steps you need to take before you even consider contacting any coach!
Before you contact any coach via email, letter, fax, phone, smoke signals, etc., try and answer yes to the following 7 questions.
1 – Can I get accepted to this school based on my academic record?
2 – Do I possess the athletic skill to play for this program?
3 – Do I have the ability to display my skills to this coaching staff in some capacity?
4 – Am I interested in this program?
5 – Can I afford this school?
6 – Does this school offer academic programs that I am interested in?
7 – Will I be happy at this school (with and without) athletics?
Before any coach considers recruiting you or making you an offer, he or she is asking the exact same 7 questions.
If the answer to ANY of these questions is NO, then it’s possible a fit does not exist. One and two are easy. If you can’t get in based on your academic record, there is no recruiting process and you can send all the emails and formal letters you want to the coaching staff that will do absolutely nothing. If you are just not skilled enough to play at a certain level, then there is no recruiting process for that school. Don’t dwell on where you can’t play, find a place where you CAN play!
Now, I recognize that the answer to some of these might take more time to discover. You might need to be evaluated by the financial aid department for aid considerations. You might need to tour the school before you know if you truly like it or not. The coach may need more time to evaluate you. That’s all okay!
The point of all of this is that there is so much you need to do in researching a particular school and program before you ever have to worry about how you contact a coach and that is what you should be focusing on. Build a list of colleges that you think might be a good fit based on academic, athletic, financial, social, and geographical factors and then worry about how to contact coaches later!