One of the dirty little secrets about recruiting is that it is easier than it has ever been for college coaches to find recruits. What hasn’t changed, is that they don’t have the time to sift through all of these recruits in order to find the few that are actually right for their school. This is why coaches rely heavily on qualified athletes contacting them.
If coaches are relying on athletes to contact them, why is it so difficult to get a coach to respond to you? The majority of recruits aren’t actually showing interest in a school, they are telling coaches they are interested. Coach’s get thousands of emails from recruits telling them they like their school. The key is, showing them you actually did some research by writing personal emails and showing knowledge of what it takes to play for their program. Here are the common ways coaches decipher the generic emails from the legitimate ones. Use these tips to get coaches to respond to your emails.
“I am interested in your great school.”
You think, you are telling the coach you like their school and are interested in their program. Coaches think this is one of the exact same emails you sent to hundreds of other coaches. Add the school’s name and tell them something unique as to why you like their school. For example, “I am interested in Lewis and Clark University because is located in Portland, a city I have always thought I would like to live in.” This sentence cannot be part of a generic email and shows a coach you took time to address them specifically.
“I think I could be a good member of your team.”
When coaches here this, they are thinking why do you think you could be a member of my team? This is a generic statement and you need to let them know specifics. Take 15 minutes to look at the bio’s of the athletes currently on the team. Are there seniors at your position? Are your accomplishments comparable to theirs in high school? Try something like this; “Coach I noticed you have three seniors at my position and would appreciate consideration as a member of your team for the class of 2014. I reviewed some of the high school accomplishments of your current team members, I play in many of the same tournaments as they did and think I have what it takes to compete within the Atlantic-Sun Conference.”
“I am looking for a scholarship opportunity.”
If you are talking about scholarships in your first email to coaches, it is a red flag. Whether it is the truth or not, when you mention a scholarship in the first email to a coach, they are going to think you are primarily interested in a scholarship and not their team. The majority of college athletes aren’t on scholarship. Most coaches have very limited scholarship money and they need to know that an athlete is contacting them with interest in being a college athlete first, committed team member second and scholarship athlete third. Everyone knows getting a scholarship is great and is important, but it doesn’t need to be talked about in your first email.
“I am a hard worker and love the sport.”
Being vague in the description of your abilities makes it very difficult for a coach to know how good you are. If you make it difficult for a coach to evaluate you, you increase the chance they ignore your email. Use hard stats related to your sport to show your ability. For example, if you are a basketball player and you don’t tell a coach how tall you are, don’t expect a response. If you run track and don’t list your best times or play soccer and can’t name a team or league you’ve competed in, don’t think a coach will look it up. You would rather show a coach how good you are and have them say they aren’t interested, then continue to send emails and hear nothing back.
It can be very difficult to get the hang of researching schools and writing good emails to coaches. If you are having problems, feel free to contact me on Google+ or by leaving your questions in the email below.