How to Contact College Coaches
If you want to play college sports and find an athletic scholarship you will have to reach out and contact coaches proactively. Coaches cannot call or email you until July 1st after your junior year of high school and the likelihood of getting discovered at a camp or combine before that is not very high. Most coaches find out about potential college recruits when athletes contact them directly or through online profiles and recruiting services. In addition, before they can contact the athlete or family directly, they establish contact with a recruit through their coaches.
When to Contact a Coach
It is best to contact a coach as soon as you have identified their school and program as a place you would like to go to college. Athletes and families are reaching out, emailing, calling or visiting programs as soon as their 8th grade or freshman years of high school. This is a good time to begin contacting coaches.
Do not expect to be getting scholarship offers when you first contact a coach; think of this as an opportunity to introduce yourself and the first step in a long recruiting process.
It is a common misconception that athletes can’t contact a college coach first or that it is a violation of NCAA rules to do so. As an athlete you can contact a coach anytime you want, but coaches are restricted in when they can contact you (here are the NCAA rules on when coaches can contact you). Below we explain how coaches commonly get around the contact rules so they can begin talking to a recruit early.
The Best Ways to Contact Coaches
Each sport and coach is unique in the way they prefer to communicate with recruits and evaluate potential scholarship athletes. Because you won’t know the best way to contact each coach until you try, we cover all of the methods below. Each link takes you to more information about each of these methods and how to make sure you are using them correctly to get noticed and get recruited.
Emailing College Coaches
Email has become the default method for reaching out to coaches and getting them your information. 99% of coaches have an email address listed on their school website and you can email them anytime you would like. Coaches are restricted in when they can respond to athletes, but if you email them they can contact your coaches and arrange a time for you to talk. To learn more about emailing college coaches, go here.
Calling College Coaches
Just like email, their direct phone numbers are listed on the school website and you are free to call them anytime. Coaches might not call you back right away, but they can always get more information on you if they are interested. By calling coaches, you are taking the chance the coach will answer the phone. If an athlete calls and a coach picks up the phone, a coach can talk to you at any time. If you call and the coach doesn’t pick up, leave a message and make sure to follow up with an email.
Letters to College Coaches
It used to be that in order to let a coach know you were interested, you sent them letters in the mail with your highlight video. With the ease of email and online video, this has become less popular with coaches. Most coaches ignore letters from recruits unless they already know the athlete. That said it can be a way stand out from all of the other recruits as long as you are using email and phone calls in addition to letters. We don’t recommend sending letters initially to coaches, but instead use email and phone calls.
Online Recruiting Profiles
Good online profiles allow coaches to search for athletes and make it easy for them to quickly evaluate you. 90% of coaches say the recruiting process begins online and they are directly referring to online profiles and scouting services. By having an online profile, you are significantly increasing the chance you will get discovered by a coach and get recruited. You can create a free online profile by clicking on the Parent or Athlete button above.
Author: David Frank