How an Email to a College Coach Can Open a Door or Slam it Shut
This is an excerpt from “Notice Me: How to Get College Coaches to Take Notice of You”
Why Your 1st Email Matter so Much
The email is a critical piece of your marketing yourself to college coaches. The first email is crucial to all that follows. For every coach, the email needs to be personal. You would be surprised how many prospective college athletes are sending mass emails to coaches or are having a recruiting service send out mass emails for them.
Let me be honest, any mass email sent by either you or your recruiting service gets immediately deleted. Coaches receive hundreds of emails. They do not have the time or desire to deal with an email from an athlete that was sent to a hundred other coaches as well. College coaches focus their time on athletes who they believe are interested in their school and program.
At my last college position we had a few pretty rough seasons where we only won a couple of games. I received many emails in which potential recruits would say they wanted to be part of our “Amazing” or “Successful” program. I deleted those emails straight away. The ones I kept said, “I saw you only won 3 games last year. I want to come in and help you turn that around.”
What’s in an Email?
The email should be short. You don’t need to include your life history. Include 3 short paragraphs.
Keep all emails and texts fairly formal. Write like you are speaking to an adult, not a friend. Use full sentences and punctuation.
Begin the email by addressing the coach by name.
The first paragraph should introduce who you are, where you are from, academic GPA, test scores, club and high school team. Keep it brief.
Add one sentence in between the first and second paragraphs. It should reference that you have filled out the questionnaire and have tried to call them (include the date).
The second paragraph is very important. It should include information that makes it very clear to the coach this was not a spam email (one to every coach in the country). You would not believe how many emails coaches receive from players that are more like spam than one written by an interested athlete. Include something about the school or program that is very specific (call the school by name) and why you are interested in their team.
The third paragraph should detail what events you will be at and where to find a video (the link) if you have one on You Tube.
“For the first contact, I recommend sending an email directly to the coach and doing some research before so you can mention specific things you like about the school. Then I know that this player truly has some interest and it’s worth my time to find out more about her.” NCAA Division 2 Women’s Soccer Coach of the University of Wisconsin Parkside, Brittany Nikolic.
“Personal emails with a video link are the best. An email that starts ‘Dear Coach’ and then proceeds gets thrown out pretty quick. Start an email ‘Dear Coach Babinski’ and then in the 1st paragraph make it personal and comment on our season or most recent wins. Then…you can copy and paste. It’s a little trick that will show coaches that you took an extra few minutes to connect in a personal way. It will set you apart and make the coach want to read the rest of the email. Email the coach. Tell the coach why you fit our university. Send your resume with academic and athletic accomplishments. Send a highlight video or game film that is well marked so we can identify you.” NAIA Softball Coach of Indiana Wesleyan University, Steve Babinski.
“The best way to get our attention is to either email or send a short note of interest. They can always fill in a questionnaire on our track page. We normally look for essential information like events, results (not places), grades and area of interest to major in college.” NCAA Division 1 Track and Field Coach of Manhattan College, Dan Mecca.
“1st Email to a Coach” Template
One of the most important tools you have is your first email to a coach. It is not complicated, but if you don’t know what to do, how can you fix it?
I have included a simple how to guide to a great email to introduce yourself and a fill in the blank template to get you going quickly.