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Friday Scholarship Guide

How To Contact College Coaches | Smarthlete


You have probably come to read this edition of the Smarthlete Friday Scholarship Guide because you are about to embark on your recruiting process or you have already done so some time ago.
No matter how you decide to get recruited, this topic of "How to contact college coaches" or "How to speak to college coaches" will be on your plate sooner or later:

  1. Planning on getting recruited all on your own?
    Take ownership and be in control of reaching out to coaches from Day 1.
  2. Working with a recruiting service?
    Sooner or later any good recruiting service will put you in contact with coach(es) directly and let you take over from there.

In our world it really comes down to 4 clear rules and take-aways to make for a winning communication with coaches.

1. Contact Coaches

Wait, wasn't the title of this article "How To Contact College Coaches"?
Why on earth would that be the first rule to keep in mind? Because over and over again, we see that it's not happening. And we hate to see that happening.

The athlete puts a video online, maybe on a platform like Youtube, sits back and waits. Maybe uploads it to some online recruiting profile (like you can do here on this website) or posts it in some sort of Facebook Group to get some more exposure. But again, sits back and waits.

Guess what. You may be found, eventually, with a bit of luck, but you are far off from creating your own future. You are not in control.

What is it then that we want you to do? You need to have coaches hear about you. Get your name out there, show that you are interested, get coaches' attention - in one way or the other! What we mean by that is:

  • It can be yourself contacting college coaches actively by email, phone, or texting; or
  • It can be someone who does it on behalf of you (a recruiting service, not your mum or dad)
Here's something important though: do not contact random college coaches. Contact the ones with a realistic shot at getting recruited by them. (see also "Getting Recruited to Your Dream College Formula")

TAKE-AWAY #1: Find a way for coaches to learn about you as a recruit.

2. Follow-Up With Coaches

Let's make something very clear to start with:
"To follow-up with somebody" means

  1. "to maintain contact with (a person) so as to monitor the effects of earlier activities (...)"
  2. "to pursue in an effort to take further action"

No matter what type of following-up, you'd be about to undertake, you have a reason to do so.
This could be a second email because the coaches hasn't responded for x number of days, following your very first message. But this could also be at a much later stage, when you have established good talks with a program, but all of a sudden they're stalling.

Following-up essentially means nothing else than showing: "Hi Coach, I am still here and I'm not going anywhere. So in case the interest is still mutual, please get back to me! I am interested and I would be excited for you to contact me."

Following-up signals to a coach that you really care and that you really do have a strong interest in the program.

TAKE-AWAY #2: Not following-up shows to the coach, he's probably not made a mistake by not getting back to you.

3. Respond To All Coaches

Coaches know each other, they talk, it's a small (recruiting world) and you really don't want to be the one athlete, 2 coaches have a chat about your character.

How can you easily avoid that? The good news is: it's simple. The bad news: it's more work!

We'd actually not even call it "bad news" as you learn tons for life while managing the various dialogues with coaches and ultimately, it's your job at the end of the day. You will be rewarded with being recruited by your dream school. What you've got to do leading up to that is work, work, work.

No, you shouldn't mislead any coach and tell them you're all excited about their program, if you are not. Clear communication and transparency is appreciated by coaches. For example, let a coach know you really are not interested at this point, because you are recruited by strong D1 programs. Also, there's nothing wrong in letting a coach know that you just don't think her school would be a good fit, academically.

They will understand, accept and - most importantly - respect that you are a lost case. But if a program cares enough, they're going to try to make a case and convince you, by selling in their program.

TAKE-AWAY #3: Respond to each and every message/phone call!

4. Keep in Touch

Last but not least, keep the dialogue going. There're two timelines to this:

  1. Before committing/sigining
  2. After committing/sigining

There'll be a lot of back-and-forth between you, the coaches, coaching staff, perhaps even other players on the team leading up to you singing a Grant-In-Aid, Letter of Intent or National Letter of Intent (NLI). That's a really important time for both sides to get to know each other better.

After signing there may often be a bit of a cooling-off phase with less contact during certain time periods. But despite all that, it still is very important you check in with your coach from time to time until you arrive in college months afterwards. Let the staff know how things are going for you in high school, let them know how you are progressing athletically. Be part of your future team's season by reading up, watching games online and/or wishing the coach Good Luck once in a while!

TAKE-AWAY #4: Continue to build a relationship with the coach.

With these 4 rules/take-aways you should find yourself in a pretty comfortable position to call the next shots.

  • Decide with your parents - how do you want to master the recruiting process?
  • Get your name out there (on your own or through a recruiting service)

But you should also know what not to do: "The One Question Not To Ask A College Coach"

Smarthlete offers both options.
On the one hand you can sign up with a free recruiting profile here, start researching schools and reach out to coaches from Day 1! All we're going to ask from you is to build a strong enough profile, for us to verify your profile. You can do all that with a "Basic"" plan, or you get yourself a 7-day free trial on the "Expert" plan if you want!
On the other hand, we offer athletes to work with them meticulously through every step of the recruiting process. Just drop us an email, give us a call or complete our Recruiting Assessment and let's set up a call :)