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As a college coach and owner of keeperstop.com I receive many questions on the recruiting process. If you are a top prospect then coaches will try to sell their program over another. If you are not one of those very few players competing at the top academy level, prep school, or in the youth national pools then you will have to engage in some salesmanship as well. One of the most over looked part of the recruiting process in communication.
Coaches receive 100s of emails every week from players and recruiting services. It can be tough to distinguish a player’s ability from another based on a resume or even video footage. Well thought out respectful correspondence may be the difference between the trash bin or the list to recruit.
Here are few basics of what not to do when corresponding with a coach.
No generic emails or letters that say “Coach”. Those get deleted or thrown away. Coaches feel that if you don’t have the time to address the communication properly or research anything about the school than you are not interested in attending. Personalized email. Example: Dear Coach Benjamin. State your intention; why you want to play for the team; why you are interested in the school.
Improper grammar or slang. Communicate to the prospective coach as you would with a respected elder in your family. Slang and casual conversation is amongst friends. Sir or Miss is not necessary. Coach, Mr., or Ms. is respectful and shows a level of maturity.
One and done. As mentioned before coaches receive emails daily. They may be occupied with recruiting, practice plans, budgets, travel schedules, and the list goes on. Your position may not be a priority at the moment or they are hot on another prospective player. The recruiting landscape changes daily. Coaches find out that a player is not a Division 1 qualifier or a player commits to another school. You want to be fresh in their mind. My father use to say when I was applying for Jobs “ The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease”. I find it amusing that I am using that now but it is true. Follow up with coaches by email, by letter, and by phone to stay on their radar, on their mind, and to show your interest. Update coaches with successes, awards, big up coming tournaments and games, congratulate the coach on a big win or award. If coaches don’t get back to you right away don’t take offense to it. Until a coach says, “we do not need another goalkeeper” keep after them. Depending on the sport and the year coaches may not be able to call you back but will be able to talk if you call them directly. Coaches can email back but cannot email first depending on the year of the student. It is a very good idea to learn about the NCAA rules and guidelines for communications. Rules can change every year to keep up with the changing forms of communication such as text messages.