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Writing a Subject Line for Your Emails to College Coaches

Before you can get a coach to read and respond to your email, you need to get them to open it. You might have a perfect personalized email with a link to your online profile and video but if your subject line looks generic or uninteresting, they might skip right over it. There is no one way to write a single subject line that is good for all coaches and all universities. The information below is meant to provide you with a frame work to think about for each coach and sport specific examples of email subject lines for coaches.

Think About What’s Important to the Coach

Your subject line needs to appeal to that coach and what is unique about their university. It’s not always easy to know what is most important to a coach in the recruiting process, here are a couple of things to consider about different schools.

  • Top level DI programs need to know you qualify athletically – Coaches at this level make their first judgment on recruits based on if they think they are good enough now or will eventually be good enough to play at that level. You need to list your size, best times or the fact you are including a video to let a coach know they can determine your athletic qualifications in that email.
  • You must have the grades to qualify for elite academic universities – The most challenging thing for coaches at elite academic institutions is finding athletes that can get through the admissions process at their school. It takes a lot more then the NCAA minimum requirements.
  • In-state or out-of-state can make a difference – Many public schools are experiencing budget crunches and college coaches are being asked to try and find out-of-state walk-on’s for their programs. If you are inquiring about a walk-on opportunity with an out-of-state public school, tell the coach you are from another state. Similarly, some coaches are asked to recruit in-state for scholarships so you might want to include that in your subject line to in-state schools.
  • Tell a DIII coach you are looking for a DIII opportunity – Coaches at DIII programs have a difficult time finding recruits who understand how financial aid works for DIII athletes. If you are emailing a DIII coach, try to communicate that you understand what a DIII school means for them.

Covering the basics in the subject line

With the idea of making the subject line unique to each program, you want to make sure not to forget the basics. You must include your name, graduation year (or walk-on request) and then the unique information. For example

“John Doe 2015 Grad [unique information” or “Jane Doe Walk-On Interest [unique information]”

Examples of subject lines to coaches

Each sport has slightly different information needed in the headline, below are example for different sports and positions

Baseball [Pitcher] – “John Doe 2015 Grad RH Pitcher 6’2” 190lbs 85mph Video Included”

Baseball [Outfielder] – “John Doe 2015 Grad 5’10” 170lbs 6.75 60-yard dash Skill Video Included”

Basketball – “John Doe 2016 Grad 6’3” SG Highlight Video & References Included”

Field Hockey – “Jane Doe 2015 Grad Olympic Dev. Team Experience Highlight Video Included”

Field Hockey [Academic] – “Jane Doe 2015 Grad 3.9 GPA 1400 SAT Highlight Video Included”

Football [Undersized] – “John Doe 2014 Grad S/CB 4.56 40 yd dash Highlight Video Included”

Football [Walk-on] – “John Doe Walk-On Interest 6’0” 180lb LB/S Already Enrolled in Classes”

Golf – “Jane Doe 2015 Grad AJGA Tournament Results and Skill Video Included”

Ice Hockey – “John Doe Starting Year 2014 BCHL Grizzlies Forward 6’1” 180lbs” *hockey coaches need to know when you are expecting to start college hockey, typically two years after you graduate high school. Also include the league and team you are playing for.

Lacrosse – “John Doe 2014 Grad 6’0” 175lbs Attack Highlight Video Included”

Rowing [Rower] – “Jane Doe 2015 Grad 5’8” 140lb 7:55 2k”

Rowing [Cox] – “Jane Doe 2015 Grad COX 5’2” 95lbs Championship Experience 3.95 GPA”

Soccer [Domestic] – “John Doe 2014 Grad Forward Highlight Video Included”

Soccer [International] – “John Doe 2015 Grad from Germany Video Included playing for International School of Dusseldorf”

Softball [Pitcher] – “Jane Doe 2015 Grad LH Pitcher 55mph Skill Video Included”

Softball [Outfielder] – “Jane Doe2014 Grad OF/LH Slapper 2.6 Home-1st Skill Video Included”

Swimming – “John Doe 2015 Grad 6’2” 1:42.57 200 Free 1:56.2 200 IM”

Tennis – “Jane Doe 2014 Grad #15 RPI Skills Video Included”

Track & Field [Sprints] – “John Doe 2014 Grad 10.7 100m 21.8 200m”

Track & Field [Distance] – “Jane Doe 2015 Grad 2:10 800m 4:52 1500m 3.5 GPA”

Track & Field [Throws] – “Jane Doe 2015 Grad 44’2.5” PR 5’10” 180 lbs”

Volleyball – “Jane Doe 2015 Grad 5’11” OH 9’2” Approach Jump Highlight Video Included”

Water Polo – “John Doe 2015 Grad 6’4” 200lbs HS/HG Highlight Video Included”

Wrestling – “John Doe 2015 Grad 54kg 33-4 Varsity Record Highlight Video Included”

Make sure you have what you need to write an email first

When you read these email headlines you might think to yourself “I don’t have the information necessary to write that.” You might not have a highlight tape, established rankings or maybe your grades aren’t very good. This should serve as a wake up call to get things together and get organized in your recruiting.

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