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A Coach Contacted Me and Now Won’t Respond

responding to college coachesOne of the most difficult things to do is get college coaches to notice you and begin recruiting you. That’s why when you get your first letters from coaches you get so excited and you should be. But what happens often times is an athlete responds to the coaches, fills out a recruiting questionnaire and then… nothing. Don’t panic, this is a common behavior in recruiting.

Here is a comment I got on my blog about gauging coach’s interest and I wanted to share the response with everyone.

“I received an email from a college coach specifically stating they were “actively recruiting” me and wanted to call and talk. I replied to the email and told him that would be great and I would really like to speak with him about their program. I gave him my number and told him when I got out of practice. It has been a couple of weeks and I haven’t heard from him. What should I do?”

The devil is in the details

There are a lot of rules that restrict how and when a coach can contact a recruit. In this example, the athlete is a Junior football player and they received this email September 1st. This is the first date a coach can send a letter or email to a recruit, but they are not allowed to call them yet. So when the athlete responds with their phone number and says “you call me” the coach can’t call.

The athlete should have responded with a complete email that included not just their own contact information but the contact information for their coach. The college coach can contact his high school coach and organize a time for the recruit to call him. If you call a coach and they pick up the phone, they can talk to you. But if you leave a message, they can’t call you back unless it fits within the time coaches can call recruits (some time during your Junior or Senior year depending on your sport).

What should he do now?

The most important thing is getting back in touch with the coach and letting them know you are still interested. The coach is probably emailing/sending letters out to hundreds of recruits and it is easy for them to lose you in the shuffle. It is your job as the recruit is  to stand out from the other recruits. Here is what coaches are looking for around the time they are sending letters to recruits:

  • An ability to better evaluate you – this can come in the form of online video for sports like football, baseball, softball, volleyball or basketball or more detailed competitive results in sports like track and field, swimming and golf.
  • Contact information for you, your high school coach and club team coach – this helps coaches make their book on you. They are restricted from calling you, but they can do a lot of their initial evaluations by contacting your coaches.
  • What your grades are – coaches need to know what your grades and test scores (if you have them) are. If your grades are bad, they can help by making sure you catch up. If you have good grades, they can relax and move you ahead in their recruiting process.

Don’t stop when you begin getting letters

It’s easy to get complacent when a coach sends you letters and think that more will come or a coach will take over from here. You want to have multiple coaches emailing and calling you and that can only happen if you continue to work at recruiting and doing the outreach that got you your first letters.

It is really difficult to give a one size fits all answer to how to communicate with coaches, every situation is a little different. If you have specific questions about something that is happening with you, leave them in the comments below, contact me on twitter or you can email me by getting my email off of my Google+ profile.

by David Frank

photo credit: cseeman cc


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