How To Respond To A College Coach Email?
When a college coach initiates contact in the form of an email, you are probably wondering what the best way to respond is.
There are many tips and strategies to keep in mind when responding to college coaches via email. The email process is the first step in building relationships with programs, which is the key to recruiting. When you respond, the goal is to engage interest, be sincere and polite, but do not limit yourself by saying too much or too little.
You want to be personal, show gratitude to the coach for reaching out, and use it as an opportunity to learn more and express specific interests or concerns with regard to the program.
Emails And Relationship Building
The key to athletic recruiting is building relationships with coaches, similarly to how one would go about finding a job. Communication is the most important thing, and an email from a college coach is the first step in initiating communication and building a relationship.
Show Your Character: When a college coach sends you an email, it’s likely that they’ve already seen you play and are aware of your athletic ability to some extent. Communication through email is the first opportunity that you will have to show who you are as a person and how you interact and communicate. When college coaches recruit players for their program, they are looking for a well-rounded person. No coach wants an outstanding player who lacks character; there needs to be a balance between your playing level and personality. Communication, specifically through email, is essentially your first impression on a coach to display your off-field skills and impress coaches on a personal level.
Be Thoughtful With Your Response: When you are first contacted by a college coach, it is important that you take a moment to digest everything they’re saying, and do your proper research on the program that is contacting you. While you might be extremely excited to hear from a coach, don’t be too quick to send an impulsive response that might limit your chances of furthering the relationship. At the same time, you want to respond in a timely manner so the coach is aware of your interest and gratitude for the opportunity.
Understand What the Coach Is Saying: College coaches send emails to tons of athletes. Receiving one of these emails is a great sign because it means that a program is showing genuine interest in you as a player, but it is only the first step of a longer process. Receiving an email by no means guarantees that the coach is already willing to make you an offer, but it does mean that they’re interested in getting to know you as a person and gauge whether or not you have mutual interest in their program. A typical email from a coach will be personal, welcoming, and highlight some key aspects of your playing ability that they are attracted to. They will likely conclude by saying that they think you could be a good fit for their program, and they would like to watch you further and remain in contact. You should be proud to hear this, but remember that you are probably not the only player who received an email from this coach.
To recap, this email presents an opportunity for you to take the next steps in building a relationship and making a case for yourself, albeit with respect and humility. You’ll want to show your character, really understand what the coach is saying so that you can be thoughtful with your response.
Make Sure To Address What The Coach Is Saying and Asking
An email from a coach could contain a number of various compliments, bits of information, concerns, or requests. The most important thing is to address everything that the coach alludes to in his or her initial email, while additionally adding anything else you would like them to know or any questions you might have. Covering all necessary aspects of your response shows the coach that you value attention to detail and sincerity, which is an extremely important quality to have on and off the field. It also shows a genuine mutual interest for the coach and their program, which will greatly increase your chances of furthering communication.
Praise: If a coach compliments your game, make sure to acknowledge this with sincere gratitude while also detailing how you plan to improve further and continue working. Coaches love players who seek fundamental perfection and are constantly looking for ways to improve every detail of their game. Remember to remain humble and respectful when addressing any aspects of your own skill as a player.
Information: When a coach emails you, they might include certain pieces of information about their program and their recruiting process. Make sure you address this by thanking them for sharing and offering your own respectful acknowledgment of their program’s success and standing.
Concerns: While it might be rare for a coach to express concerns about you as a person or player in an initial contact email, be sure to address anything mentioned. For example, you might be from Virginia and the University of Hawaii coach mentions that you might not want to travel so far for college. Or, you might be a highly touted Division I recruit and a Division II coach acknowledges that you are probably gaining interest from more competitive programs. Don’t ignore these concerns, it will mean a lot to the coach if you address them politely and with an open mind. For a lot of players, the recruiting process always holds a level of uncertainty; keep your options open and be grateful for every potential opportunity, and do this by being honest yet open-minded in your response.
Requests: A coach will sometimes request further information from you and it is extremely important that you provide it. This might include academic information like test scores and GPA, or athletic material such as highlight tapes or future plans.
Call Requests: If a coach gives his phone number and asks you to call him, you should absolutely do it even if it is less comfortable than replying via email – verbal communication is a huge step above an email exchange with regard to relationship building, and it gives you a better opportunity to present who you are as a person and to learn more.
Addressing all requests from the coach further shows attention to detail and sincerely demonstrates your interest to move further in the process.
Follow-Up Questions And Information From You: One of the most important things is to conduct your own due-diligence on the program that is reaching out to you. Take the time to research the school and its athletic program so you can include any questions you might have for the coach. Not only does this show your interest in the program, but it increases your chances of furthering the communication between you and the coach and ultimately building a stronger relationship.
It is also appropriate to send information that is not explicitly requested from you, but you should proceed with caution here. For example, you might want to attach your most recent highlight video if the coach hasn’t had a chance to see it, or your most recent GPA if it shows an improvement from your previous academic standing. However, it is especially important to not overexpose yourself with any information that could hurt your chances of getting recruited, and remember to always be humble and polite when sharing unsolicited information.
Sending Your Response
When you do ultimately send your response email to the coach, you’ll want to make sure that it covers all the information detailed above, but you also want to make sure it is well formatted and puts you in the best position possible with respect to the overall recruiting process. A well-formed email should have specific characteristics that will impress the coach and reflect your character quality.
Format & Grammar: Make sure your email is free of any typos or grammar mistakes. Read and re-read it before sending, and definitely have someone else look it over as well. At the very least, an email free of spelling and grammar mistakes demonstrates intelligence, attention to detail, and a level of respect to the coach.
Personalized Email: Make sure the email is personalized and don’t send a standard response to every coach. They will likely know that you are doing this and could interpret it as a sign that you aren’t genuinely interested in the program. Start by thanking them for reaching out, then address everything they’ve said or asked for as outlined above. Finish by asking any questions you have yourself and be sure to state that you are grateful for the opportunity and look forward to communicating further.
Tone & Manner: Make sure to always be enthusiastic, respectful, humble, and grateful. Your email is a way of demonstrating your character and personality to the coach, and in doing so properly you will increase your chances of furthering your recruitment.
Don’t Limit Yourself: While you absolutely want to engage interest with the program and show excitement, you need to remember that the recruiting process is about finding the best fit for you. Make sure to build a relationship, but keep your options open and avoid saying anything overly committing because there are often multiple opportunities available.
Don’t feel stressed by wanting the email to be perfect. Just following these recommendations, and you’ll put your best foot forward when you send your response email.
Things To Keep In Mind
Relationships: Recruiting is all about communication and building relationships, and email contact is usually the first way to do this. Remember that your response is an opportunity to build a relationship and you should utilize this opportunity by responding in a timely manner and doing so properly.
Opportunities: You might get emails from schools that you have no interest in, and you might get an email from your dream school, but you should always keep an open mind. Engage interest and build relationships but always give yourself the opportunity to have as many options as possible. By learning more and communicating as much as possible, you will eventually find the right fit.
Respect & Humility: The tone and content of your response is extremely important. Remember that the coach is emailing you because he is already aware of your athletic ability. Your response gives you an opportunity to show who you are as a personal and your level of character, which is often equally as important to coaches as physical skill.