Road Map To Contacting College Coaches

Road Map To Contacting College Coaches

The College Recruiting Process is all about building relationships with college coaches.

It's time to begin reaching out to college coaches whose programs you are interested in.   There are certain steps you should follow to garner the attention of college coaches.   But before we start emailing and calling college coaches you should understand the recruiting rules and regulations. First, as the prospective student-athlete, whether you are interested in  NCAA Division I, II, or III school you are allowed to initiate contact with a college coach.   You are permitted to call, email, text a college coach at anypoint in your athletic career.  I don't recommend texting a college coach until you have built a strong relationship in which you feel comfortable texting them.

When Can College Coaches Initiate Contact with Prospective Student-Athletes

NCAA Division I -

Recruiting Materials An NCAA Divsion I college coach can begin sending recruiting materials to prospective student-athletes beginning September 1st of junior year.
  • Exceptions
    • Men's Basketball beginning June 15 following sophomore year
    • Men's Ice Hockey beginning June 15 following sophomore year
Telephone Calls  A NCAA Division I college coach can begin calling prospective student-athletes on September 1st of junior year.
  • Exceptions
    • Men's Basketball beginning June 15 following sophomore year
    • Football -  once from April 15 to May 31 of junior year

NCAA Division II - 

Recruiting Materials An NCAA Division II college coach can begin sending recruiting materials to prospective student-athletes beginnning June 15 following sophomore year. Telephone Calls An NCAA Division II college coach can begin calling prospective student-athletes June 15 following sophomore year. NCAA Division III An NCAA Division III college coach can begin sending you recruiting materials, calling, or text you at anytime beginning 1st days of classes freshmen year.    There are no contact restrictios for NCAA Division III programs.  

What to send to college coaches?

Before you send your first email or make your first phone call to a college coach you should fill out a programs recruiting questionnaire. This can be usually found on the programs athletic website under recruiting.   This questionnaire is usually linked to the prgorams recruiting software, e.g. Front Rush, and it will automatically create a personal profile.  This way you will begin to receive updates about the program, find out about upcoming games, camps, or clinics.

Screenshot 2016-11-22 at 9.44.57 AM

  Introduction Letter  As prospective student-athlete you have to send information that will grab the attention of a college coach.  First is your introduction letter. You should write a personal introduction letter to each college and coach that you are interested in.  An introduction letter may be the 1st impression that you have on a college coach.
  • Be sure you have the correct coaches email address!
  • Copy the  assistant coaches and Recruiting Coordinator on all emails.
  • Have a Subject that Grabs the College Coaches Attention (Chris Stack -  2019 Playmaker; Sharp Shooter, etc)
  • Be sure you address the coach by his name (Dear Coach Smith,  not Dear Coach)
There are three parts to writing an introduction letter that will stand out
  1. Purpose / Objective -  Introduce yourself  (Name, grade, high school and/or club team) Why are you writing to the college coach? State your intention of the letter. Why are you interested in the program.  Be specific!  Give personal reasons why you think the school would be a good fit.
  2. Value - Who you are as a student-athlete?  Discuss your academic and athletic honors and achievements.  What are your strengths and your role on the team.  Are you a leader, captain, etc?   Why should the coach recruit you?  What can you bring to the table on and off the field.
  3. Follow Up -  This goes back to building relationships with college coaches.   You want to keep the conversation going.  Request additional information like setting up an unofficial visit, or inquiring about an upcoming camp/clinic.   Provide regular updates to college coaches every 3-4 weeks just to keep them informed of what is going on in your life.
Student-Athlete Profile The college recruiting process is similar to searching for a job.   Your student-athlete profile is your resume.  It is a snapshot of who you are as a student-athlete. Coaches will not recruiting solely based on your student-athlete profile just like a manager will not hire solely based on your resume.  The student-athlete profile will help you get on a coaches radar. Here are some tips and strategies on how to build and distribute an effective student-athlete profile What your student-athlete profile should include? Your student-athlete profile should include all the academic and athletic facts a college coach needs to easily determine whether or not he or she is interested in finding out more about you.  There are many ways to organize student-athlete profile, but it should at least include the following:
  • Your personal information, including a profile picture
  • Your academic accomplishments,
  • Your athletic statistics and honors, and
  • the contact information for your current coach.
Academics Your academic information would include high school name, graduation date, cumulative GPA, desired major (if you have one) and your SAT and/or ACT score. By clearly summarizing your academic information it allows coaches to quickly determine if you are a good fit academically for their program.  Remember, you have to get into the school to play for the school.  You may also want to include other organizations or groups you are a member of. Athletics Your athletic information is a little trickier.  Every college coach evaluates players a little differently and the important statistics are different for every position in every sport.  You want to include the statistics that are relevant to your sport and position.  In addition to your statistics, in the athletic section of your resume include a link to your highlight video and attach a copy of your upcoming game schedule. References Finally, you need to include your current coach’s contact information.  This is critical, because your current coach’s opinion about you can be a difference-maker in your scholarship search. You have to make it easy for the coach to make a decision quickly or your resume won’t even be considered.  There is a fine line between too much information and not enough information.  A one page resume would be preferable if that leaves you enough room to include all your important

Should you have an Online Profile or Paper Profile?

Having an online profile can be helpful in your recruiting process but don't think that college coaches will magically find you online. Most college coaches don’t spend their time searching through thousands of online profiles to fill their rosters.  You need to take the initiative and contact college coaches and direct them to your online profile. The most effective way to use an online profile is for you to share a link to your profile with the coaches you have identified as realistic possibilities.  If you aren’t interested in using an online profile, you can prepare your own student-athlete profile.  Just use the guidelines listed above.

Calling a College Coach

Do you want to grab the attention of a college coach early on in the process then pick up the phone and call a coach.  Calling a college coach out of the blue can be a scary thing but if you plan and prepare for it , it can be something that sets you apart from the crowd. A phone call can be a great follow up to your email especially if college coaches are not permitted to contact you directly yet. A phone call does not need to last a long time for it to be effective a 5 - 10 minute phone conversation will get the job done. So prepare some thoughtful questions and practice with a friend or parent. Make the conversation more natural: The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be in conversations with college coaches. When you are at ease, you will leave a better impression on coaches because it demonstrates confidence. The College Recruiting Process is all about building strong relationship with college coaches. The only way to do that is through strong communication skills. This process begins by expressing interest in the program directly.



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