The first contact between a college coach and a prospective player may not “make it,” but it certainly has the potential to “break it.” When reaching out to college coaches, the key is to make a positive and memorable impression.
Here are 5 ways you can stand out when getting in touch with college coaches:
1. Be Professional
College coaches receive hundreds, sometimes thousands, of emails per year from prospects. One of the easiest ways for them to make quick decisions is to delete the ones that contain simple grammar and spelling mistakes, lack important information or are poorly written. Don’t make coaches automatically hit the delete button on your emails!
• Compose emails that err on the side of formal and contain details like your name and graduating class.
• Ensure your email address is appropriate for a professional setting.
• Proofread your email to avoid grammatical and spelling mistakes. Ask for a second opinion; an extra set of eyes can often spot errors you may have missed.
Remember, you are trying to sell yourself to that program and hopefully this is the start of a long-term professional relationship. This initial email can set the tone for that relationship.
2. Do Your Homework
There are thousands of college soccer programs across the country and each one has its own particular features and characteristics such as the coach’s philosophy, the school’s history or location, noteworthy players who were part of the program, etc.. Including some of these details in your email to the coach and tying them into why you believe you are a good fit for the program can help you stand out from the crowd. Coaches can spot a generic email very easily and they don’t make a very positive first impression.
Thoroughly research the programs you’re interested in, and identify which of them you may fit into best. Finding the right fit can include looking at things like:
• Competitive level
• History of the program
• Cost of attendance
If you think the program if a good fit for your play, your personality and your academic ambitions, then be sure to include those details in your email to the coach. This demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to fully consider their program and how you might fit there.
3. Sell Yourself
Make your email stand out from the pack by including information about your soccer career so far, including accolades and achievements.
The purpose of these initial emails is to talk yourself up, so be proud of your accomplishments and let that coach know exactly why he or she should take the time to watch you play.
4. Keep It Simple
It can be easy to get carried away when reaching out to college coaches. While you should certainly provide enough detail to raise some interest, it is also important to remember that college coaches are extremely busy and don’t always have time to read long, drawn-out emails.
Be specific and concise with your message, and remember these bullet points in your structure:
• Brief Introduction (include basic details such as school, academic info and position).
• Declare interest in the program.
• Invite them to an upcoming showcase or ask them to watch your video (see below).
• Thank them for their time.
5. Include Supporting Materials
It’s always a good idea to provide additional materials that make it easier for coaches to get an idea of who you are and why they should be interested in you. Remember simplicity! Coaches are busy and don’t always have enough time to read through their emails fully so anything you can do to make it quicker for them works to your advantage.
Examples of effective supporting materials include:
• Player Profile - Use your Lonestar College Fit Finder Profile
• Highlight Video - Contact Nutmeg Sports Media (official videographer of the Lonestar Girls Showcase)
We hope these tips help make your contact with college coaches a less stressful and enjoyable experience. Use them as the framework for creating an effective communication plan with coaches. Remember to always add your own personal touch as it gives the coach a window into your personality!
More College Showcase Tips: Selecting the right school for you!