If your high school athlete has been contacting college coaches and has not heard back from any of them, you’re left wondering what is going wrong. There are several reasons you will not immediately hear back from coaches. Discover six reasons coaches don’t respond to you, make simple changes to your strategy, exercise a little patience, and see what happens.
Is your child is serious about playing in college? As a family you have (hopefully) already taken the first steps to get recruited: contacting coaches. Your teen finally took the time to write an email (if they haven’t yet, they need to!).
Next you helped edit the email and polish it so it would be presentable. Your family made a list of schools and gathered email addresses of the college coaches. With excitement and high expectations your teen sends out the emails. For the next couple of days your child is looking at their email inbox at least every hour. Nothing. Not even the crickets are making noise. Hours turn into days and then a week goes by. Still nothing. Not one response. What went wrong? Why aren’t even a few coaches responding?
I have addressed this article to your teen. Parents, send this article to your kids, and work together to use the suggestions and connect with college coaches.
Here are several reasons you may not have heard back from a coach:
Your email looks like spam
First, ask yourself if your email looks like you have sent it to a hundred different coaches? Emails that look mass produced, and that are not personalized don’t get responses.
To avoid this you need to send emails that are directed personally to each coach. The emails need to mention the coach by name. Include a couple sentences about their program, something you noticed on the website or a comment about their season. Tell the coach why you like their school and why you are interested their program. Coaches get hundreds of emails per day. If your email is just a generic email you won’t hear back from any coaches. Set your emails apart by making them personal.
Still don’t understand why mass emails don’t get responses? Try thinking of it a little like dating. If you send a generic email to every girl or boy in school asking for a date what are your chances? But, if you pick one girl or boy that you like and tell them why you like them, your chances of a positive response go up significantly.
Maybe you have hired a recruiting service that has promised hundreds of coaches will see your athlete’s email. Guess what? Those emails sent out in mass will be never be read. Emails that come from recruiting services all have similar head lines and the body of the letter looks generic (because it is). Coaches don’t have time to waste on these. If the coach hasn’t already worked with the recruiting service, these are the first to be deleted.
Don’t send out an email that looks like spam. Everybody hates spam (remember, college coaches are people too).
Coaches are overwhelmed and very busy
Next, remember that college coaches have a demanding job and are often very busy. Recruiting is a priority, but coaches are not able to engage with every athlete that emails them. Even coaches at small colleges receive hundreds of emails from potential recruits. They don’t have time to answer every email.
Your best bet is to continue to show interest and send several emails over the course of a couple of months. Then when the coach has some time to catch up on recruiting, your name will be right there at the top of the list.
You should call the coach’s office phone several times as well. You will most likely be leaving voicemails. Before you call, plan what you will say in the conversation or on the voicemail. When you leave a voicemail, be confident and clear about who you are. Ask a question or give an invitation on the voicemail so they have a reason to engage with you. Examples are: “What should I do next for you?” “Do you have any camps coming up?” Or, “Here are my next two showcases: _____.” Feel free to ask any important questions you have. When you ask questions, responses are prompted and two-way communication can begin.
If you are an underclassmen, depending on the division of the coach they may not be able to call you back (NCAA Divisions 1 and 2 have much stricter contact rules than NCAA Division 3, NAIA, and Junior Colleges). It is still a good idea to call and leave voicemails, as they will notice your interest.
The coach doesn’t believe you have enough talent
Another possible reason coaches are not responding is if they think you don’t have enough talent to play at their school. Maybe they have seen you play and made an accurate assessment of your talent. Maybe they made a determination based on the team you play for right now. Either way, the coach has decided not to recruit you.
When you begin contacting college coaches do your best to accurately assess yourself, then clearly communicate to coaches what level player you are. You should send in game film and highlight film so coaches can see who you are and what your talent level is. Invite them to your upcoming showcases. Make sure the information you send shows what you can bring to their program. If you out perform the club or high school team that you play for, be more persistent to get the coach to look at your game film. If you still haven’t heard back after several phone calls and emails, you can assume that they don’t think you are a good fit for their program.
I suggest you send out emails and call coaches at different levels: D1, D2, D3, and NAIA. You may find a certain level of coaches are interested in you, while other levels are not. Once you know what level(s) you belong at, begin contacting more schools at the appropriate levels.
The coach doesn’t know enough about you
Don’t expect responses to vague emails. Make sure you are clear and concise in your email about who you are, what year you are, your position, your grad year, your academic and test scores. Along with one of your emails, attach a player profile so they can see very quickly all of your information, academic, athletic, extra curricular. Provide them with your club and high school coaches’ names, phone numbers and emails as well.
If you are an underclassmen and are applying to divisions that have strict contact rules (NCAA Divisions 1 and 2), it would be worth your while to ask your club or high school coach to call and email the college coach. Ask them to find out if the coach would be interested in you or if you should move on.
You sent your first email in during their season
While coaches do recruit during their season, you will have a greater success contacting coaches when they are out of season and have more time. Go ahead and send emails during the college season, but be patient and don’t get discouraged. Wait awhile and try again.
You should definitely avoid sending information about yourself or asking coaches for anything during preseason and playoff runs. If you do contact them by email during playoffs, congratulate them on their success, but don’t ask for or expect a response. Remember to be specific about what you have seen. Tell them you watched their game online. Let them know what you liked about their team, coaches, or style of play. Close by telling them that you look forward to talking with them after the season.
Remember, the more you express interest in their program, the more they will be interested in you. Being mindful of the athletic calendar is one more way you can show genuine interest in a college program.
Your social media posts scared them off
College coaches look at your social media accounts. After they look at your highlight video and academics, if they think you’re a good fit, they will research you. One of the coaches may hop on social media to see what kind of posts you have and who your friends are. If you’re not hearing back, it may be because of what you have posted on social media.
Treat all of your social media as a resume. Coaches don’t want to recruit garbage. If you are posting garbage: negative comments, complaining about teachers or coaches, alcohol, or a party lifestyle, coaches won’t recruit you. You are free to post whatever you want, but coaches are free to not recruit you based on what they see. Consider your social media as one part of your resume. By the way, it’s not just coaches who look at your social media- future employers will too.
Every post and comment becomes public. Even if you have privacy settings, posts still get out. Jump on your social media account right now. Look at it through the eyes of a coach. What will they see? Do you need to delete some posts or pictures? Clean it up and keep it clean.
To sum this all up, there are several reasons why a coach may not have responded. Go through the reasons I listed above one at a time. Think about if this could be the reason you haven’t received a response. Once you know the possible reasons, take some steps to counteract them. Be persistent. As Chris Bosh (former NBA player) said,
“You can’t be afraid to get back up and try again, and you really can’t do that unless you acknowledge the failure.”
Here is another great article: 5 reasons coaches will stop recruiting your child because of you
Is your family struggling with the recruiting process? How to Get Recruited is a step-by-step plan to turn your child’s sports talent into offers from excellent college and university sports programs.
The How to Get Recruited Guide may be the most important book you can get your hands on!
How to Get Recruited: Got Talent. Get a Plan. Get Recruited.
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