It’s important to bridge the communication gap that naturally exists between a recruit and a college coach. Recruits want to get recruited, and college coaches need players, so why does the process feel so rigid? It’s because you don’t know each other. Recruiting is all about building a relationship.
High School Athletes: Start the Process Early
The first thing you need to take into account when trying to break the ice with a college coach is that the earlier you start, the more likely it is that the coach will be receptive. This has everything to do with a coach’s perception of your potential timeline. If you start communicating with a coach Freshmen to Sophomore year of highschool, the coach will immediately understand that if they choose to recruit you, they will have two to three years to watch you develop.
Any relatively successful college coach will have a cluttered inbox, backlog of potential recruit highlights and series of deadlines to meet, so beginning your relationship with an open timeline raises their likelihood of being receptive to you as a new recruit. Ideally, you are establishing connections with nearby successful programs as early as freshman year of high school, providing any given relationship plenty of time to develop. When it comes down to it, a solid relationship can get you an extra look, an extra piece of advice, or maybe even a preferred walk-on spot.
Recruits: Showcase Yourself to College Coaches Concisely
Regardless of when you start, you will most likely break the ice with a coach via email. You’re going to want to keep this email brief. Start by saying who you are, where you’re from and what your anticipated year of high school graduation is. Coaches always want a who, a when and a where. They don’t want a why right now, so once again, keep it short.
Being concise not only raises the odds that a coach will have time to read your entire message, but also demonstrates that you understand the process from both sides. A college coach is looking to bring a player on for four years, so the first impression should ideally leave the coach with an impression that you as a recruit are both easy to coach and open to communication. The dynamic that exists once a recruit joins a program and becomes a member of the roster changes to that of a relationship, rather than during the recruiting process where it can feel like more of a transactionary interaction. It’s important to keep this in mind when talking with a college coach; you’re looking to build a relationship.
Provide College Coaches with your Contact Information. Then Follow Up!
After you say your name, team and graduation year, say you’re interested in the program, and that you were looking to touch base and establish a relationship. If you can do so organically and honestly, mention that you follow the program. It’s always helpful to throw in a ‘prove-it’ fact to show you really do follow the team, such as a comment on one of their recent performances, or even a general remark about the status of the production at your anticipated position.
It’s important to stay positive, grounded, and confident. This can be hard to achieve in one draft of an email, so going over a draft of an email multiple times and reading it from a college coach’s perspective is beneficial as well.
Finally, provide them with contact information to reach you. Remember to include:
- Phone Number
- Email Address
- Your Current Coach’s Phone Number or Email Address
- Graduation Year
If you really want to establish this relationship, say you’ll follow up with them on a specific date. This will show the coach just how serious you are about your athletic career and the interest you have with their program.