When Should You Email College Coaches?

If you are a high school athlete interested in playing sports in college you may be wondering when you should start contacting coaches. When introducing yourself, email is by far the best way to contact college coaches. It is your best bet at getting through to a coach and makes it easy to stay in touch. But, when is the best time to send your first email?

You should email a coach as soon as you realize you are seriously interested in their program. The recruiting process takes time. By emailing early, you give yourself more time to develop a relationship with that coach and for them to evaluate you and ultimately make you and offer. You should be aware of your given skill level and what division you are interested in playing at. While many programs may seem attractive, you should keep a realistic viewpoint on your ability to play at your desired level.

To get started, you should research what programs you think you might be interested in and compile a contact list of coaches you want to email. Below we have compiled some strategies and advice for emailing college coaches.

What Should I Put In My Email?

After you decide that you want to email a college coach, you may be unsure about what to say. Since this is your first email to the coach, you want to introduce yourself and relay what some of your goals are. There are many things you could include in your email, but the most important thing is to be direct and keep the content about you. Below are some things you should include in your email.

Your Interests: Since you are interested in a collegiate program, you should explain to in the email why you are interested in that particular program. Tell the coach what you may be interested in studying and if you are unsure, write what makes the program attractive to you. While the coach knows you love to play your sport, they want to know why you are interested in their particular program.

A Highlight Video: In addition to sharing your interests, attaching your highlight video at the end of the email is another great way for the coach to get a better handle on who you are. This also gives you a greater chance to hear back from the coach because they will be able to immediately evaluate your potential based on your skill and abilities.

An Athletic Resume: By putting a resume together of all your athletic achievements, coaches will gain greater insight into your competitive ability. Tell them tournaments, competitions, meets, races, etc. that you have won and any other notable achievements that you believe will impress them.

Contact Information: You should leave an area at the end of the email with all of your contact information, including a link to your recruiting profile and social media platforms. In addition to your contact information, you should also leave the contact information of your current coaches in case college coaches want to contact them.

While it may be weird to talk about yourself and all the awesome things you have achieved, this is the best way to let coaches know who you are and why you may be a good fit for their program. The point of your email is to impress coaches and lead them to get in contact with you further.

What Happens After I Email A Coach?

After you email a college coach, you should give them at least a week until you contact them again. Depending on your age and sport, there are rules set in place that hinder a college coach's ability to get back to you. Regardless of these rules, you should still do the following.

Send A Follow Up Email: You want to send a follow-up email in case your email was accidentally overlooked. If coaches keep hearing from you, they will be more inclined to reply. You normally should send this email as a reply to the initial email that you sent introducing yourself.

Set Up A Phone Call: In the follow-up email or another email, you should aim to set up a phone call. While NCAA rules allow you to call at any moment, you can try to set aside time in an email to have a phone conversation. Even though this may be intimidating, coaches prefer to talk on the phone with recruits instead of emailing back and forth.

If you do not hear a response from a coach whose program you are very interested in, don't give up. You should keep emailing and keep calling. It is more likely that the coach is busy and hasn't had the time to get back to you yet. Coaches rarely ignore recruits, if anything, they would reply to tell you they have gone looking in another direction.

When Will I Hear From College Coaches?

The NCAA places restrictions on college coaches' ability to contact players directly. They do this so athletes are not contacted too early and so that the athlete's interests are protected. Because there is a lot of competition between coaches to recruit athletes, the NCAA sets limits and rules on when that happens to level out the playing field.

Division One Rules

Sport Date
Men's basketball June 15th Before Junior Year
Men's Ice Hockey January 1 Of Sophomore Year
All Other Sports September 1st Of Junior Year
Division Two Rules: Coaches can contact you on or after June 15th of your sophomore year or the summer before your junior year.
Division Three Rules: There are no contact restrictions for division three coaches. They are allowed to email you whenever they are interested. The competition is generally lower for these coaches.

Indirect Ways Of Contact: If it is before June 15th of your sophomore year, coaches are not able to contact you directly. To get around this, they can contact one of your coaches or someone else they know that can relay the message to you. Usually, when they do this, they are aiming to set up a time for you to call them since they are not allowed to contact you yet.

If a coach is attempting to contact you indirectly, that is a big sign they are very interested in you. If this is the case, make sure you pay attention to when they want to set up a phone call or any other means of contact. It is important to know that neither of you are breaking NCAA rules so you should not turn these coaches away.

Things To Keep In Mind

Do Not Wait For A College Coach To Contact You: The biggest mistake you could make in your recruiting process is being passive. Only a tiny fraction of athletes are recruited and never initiated contact with a coach first. While it can be intimidating to know you are competing against tons of other high school athletes, putting yourself out there and sending a lot of emails gives you the greatest chance.

Make A Big List: While you shouldn't email any program just because you can, it is best to compile a big list of programs that catch your eye. By emailing a lot of schools, you are given the best possible chance to spark a coach's interest. This will also broaden your experience when it comes to talking with college coaches.

Be Realistic: Part of being an athlete is knowing your skill level and where you stand in comparison to others. By being realistic about your skill level, you have the greatest chance of getting recruited. Make sure you talk to your club and high school coaches about what your goals are, then make a plan to pursue them.

Keep In Contact: If you are not getting a response from a coach, keep sending follow up emails. While you may feel like you are constantly badgering coaches, this is okay as long as you are being respectful. But, if a coach replies to you saying they are not interested, respect the response and move on.

Parents, Stay Out Of It: One of the worst looks for high school athletes is if their parents contact the coach as opposed to the athlete themself. If coaches do not see initiative from an athlete but rather a parent instead, they will instantly move on to the next recruit. While it is difficult to go through this process without any help, athletes should be the ones who talk to the coaches first.

Keep Reading?

How Do You Politely Decline A College Coach? How To Send Highlight Videos To Colleges? Do Division III Schools Recruit?
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