Tips on Contacting College Coaches

Tips When Contacting College Coaches

 

It is an exciting time when a student-athlete looks forward to the prospect of playing collegiate sports. The possibility of playing college sports is a rare privilege. A meaningful education should be the ultimate goal. Sports may be a way of pursuing this experience.

 

College sports is a competitive business. Coaches are looking for athletes who will take their program to the next level. As a potential college student-athlete get educated, be prepared, and use every resource available. The following contains some guidelines you may want to consider in the pursuit of athletic opportunities at the collegiate level.

 

Earn Good Grades and Test Scores

One of the first questions recruiters ask is “What is his/her overall GPA, core GPA, and what are their test scores (SAT or ACT). For NCAA Div I or II the NCAA Clearinghouse determines academic eligibility. It is best to register with the Clearinghouse by the end of your junior year. Get a form in your counseling office.

NAIA schools determine your academic eligibility using their national guidelines.

 

 

Play and Excel in Your Sport(s)

College coaches do a majority of scouting at off season camps, showcases and tournaments. Work hard, hustle, and play your game for the good of your team. The second question recruiters ask usually is, “Is he/she coachable?” Recruiters will get this information from your high school and club coahes. Recruiters are looking for leaders/impact players. Be a leader and a positive influence on your team.

 

Display a Good Attitude

When coaches go to a game, they don’t only watch to see if you make great plays. They also watch to see how you interact with your coach, teammates, opponents and officials. Always remember that someone may be watching and evaluating you at all times.

 

Brainstorm

Come up with a list of 4-6 colleges you are interested in that offer the degree you would like to work towards. Meet with your counselor and coach to discuss you academic and athletic potential. Get educated on a variety of levels of college athletics. Be careful to choose the best level for your needs, abilities and desires. Strive for your goals, but be realistic. All levels have walk-ons or non-scholarship players on the team. These players pay their own way, but are treated as a regular player in every other way. Most programs have red-shirt programs. This means the athlete practices, but does not participate in games. The following year the athlete will still have four years of athletic eligibility.

 

Send a Packet

Introduce yourself to the coaches on your list. Take the initiative. If you're interested in a school, don’t wait for them to “discover” you. Contact them, or have your coach do so. Let them know you are sending information. They are more likely to review it if they know it is coming. Have several packets on hand and send them to whomever you contact. Your packet should include the following:


• Cover Letter (Four brief paragraphs)

—Thank the coach for his/her interest in you (or for their time if you are initiating contact). Remember you are hoping for a spot on his/her team and may be dependent upon his/her wise investment in you (scholarship). Be sure to use the coaches last name in the salutation.

—Tell the coach why you are interested in his/her college and athletic program. Your interest and initiative may set you apart from others.

—Tell the coach how you would benefit their program. Coaches are looking for the best student-athletes with the best character who will fit into their program. Include relevant honors, awards and statistics.

—Thank the coach again for his/her time. Remember humility. “Thank you”, and “Please” are terms not used often enough these days.

• Resume

—Personal Information – Name, Graduation Class, Date of Birth, Address, Phone, Fax, Parents Names and Work Numbers

—Academic Information – Current School, School Address, School Phone, Principal’s Name, Coaches Name-Number-Email, GPA, SAT and /or ACT Scores, Class Rank, Academic Interests and Awards

—Athletic Information – Position, Height, Weight, Statistics, Honors, Awards

 

Video Outline

This is a crucial part of the recruiting process, especially for smaller colleges who do not have the staff or budget like the Div I Schools. Make sure the video is clear, does not have distracting audio, and the view often includes all the players (not just zoomed in on one player). Coaches need to see numbers on tape, so dark and far is not good. Expensive, professional quality production with special effects, music and graphics are nice, but not necessary. The following is an outline for an ideal video.


• Brief Personal Introduction 
—Dress casual and introduce yourself to the camera. State your name, position, school and coach. Indicate what number you are and what the following game(s) might be.


• Individual Highlights 
—Less than a minute at the beginning of the tape. Coaches do not want to see just highlights, but rather continuous action of you playing.


• Game Video
—Pick your best halves that display a variety of things you 
do well. These should be your best performances with a good start. Some coaches will actually watch your body language on the bench to assess your attitude when you are not in the game. Maybe finish with another 30 seconds of highlights

 

Scouting Services

These are optional and some can be useful. These services can be expensive. You can choose to use a service such as this, or bypass the service and track down the contact information and contacting colleges on your own with the help of parents, coaches and counselors.

 

Updated List of Honors and Accomplishments

Have a updated resume readily available. This should include academic, athletic, civic, team, and extracurricular honors.

 

Create Your Own Web Page

Many internet providers , blogs, and email services will allow you to set up a small web page. These can normally be completed in less than 30 minutes by someone with little or no computer savvy. Use this to set up an online resume and promote yourself to several colleges. This is a place to post or link videos, referring to the guidelines previously mentioned.

 

Apply to the College

Once you have narrowed your choices, schools may want you to apply for admission. Make sure you meet deadlines (many of which are in the Jan/Feb of your senior year. This step can be crucial, otherwise you may cut your options significantly.

 

Many colleges begin the recruiting process by sending out questionnaires. Do not throw them away. You never know how the recruiting process is going to end and that school may end up being the best situation for you.

 

Your senior year should be an enjoyable year. Maintain a balance that will allow you to participate in all of the school extracurricular activities of your choice while laying the groundwork for attending college. Don’t stress too much, enjoy the ride, and make the best of it. Be realistic and have an open mind. Do your due diligence in making a selection.

 

GOOD LUCK!!