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Contacting College Coaches
Contacting College Coaches

Contacting College Coaches

Make sure you are connecting with college coaches (and covering the topics they care about most) during important times in the recruiting process.

Very few high school athletes will receive a high level of attention from college coaches without reaching out to the coaches proactively. Those athletes listed as “five-star” recruits with their names on recruiting boards represent a small portion of the athletes pursuing college athletics. Most student-athletes need to take the recruiting process into their own hands to successfully find a school that is the right fit for them both on and off the field. 

4 Key Steps for Contacting College Coaches

  1. Introduce Yourself: It’s not advantageous to sit back and wait for college coaches to show interest in you. Once you have built your target list of schools, it’s time to send out the first introduction message. This message should have basic information about yourself and why you are interested in that specific program. Check out our Introduction Template at the bottom of this page.
  2. Check-In Consistently: The best way to stay on a coach’s radar is to send periodic updates whenever you have new information. These updates may relate to academics, athletics, video, or events. As a general rule of thumb, if it has been over three months since you’ve contacted the coach, you should be able to find some new information you can provide them with. 
  3. Communicate Before and After Events: Attending a recruiting event is only useful if you let coaches know you will attend. Make sure to contact college coaches between 7-10 days before an event, sharing your schedule and other essential information for them to evaluate you. After an event, share any positive updates with coaches unable to attend, like how far your team advanced or new recruiting video taken at the event. If you attend an event held by a specific program, make sure you send them a thank you note for their time and restating your interest in their program. 
  4. Keep Your Recruiting Profile Updated: When contacting college coaches, make sure your SportsRecruits profile is up-to-date. This includes your essential information, academic and athletic information, and video. Check out our article here to learn what exactly coaches want to see on your profile.

Communications from the College Coach Perspective 

There are no rules for student-athletes contacting college coaches. However, there are rules surrounding how much college coaches can communicate with you. Depending on your sport and the type of programs you are interested in, coaches may not be able to have direct recruiting conversations with you until June 15th or September 1st entering your Junior Year. 

However, just because a coach may not be able to answer you directly does not mean they are not keeping tabs on student-athletes who have been proactively reaching out. Make sure you are putting in the work early on so when the time comes for college coaches to reach out, they know who you are. You can learn more about NCAA contact rules and regulations for your sport here.

What Should I Do Before I Message a Program? 

There are a few steps you should be taking before it's time to message college coaches. 

  1. Build a Target List of Schools: When starting the recruiting process, make sure you are taking the time to research schools that would be a good fit for you. You must be looking at a school holistically and not just focusing on athletics. Read our article here for our step-by-step guide on finding your best-fit schools.
  2. Fill Out Recruiting Questionnaires: Once you have your Target List of Schools, take the time to fill out the program’s recruiting questionnaire. This is how you will get into the program's recruit database.
  3. Put Together Recruiting Video: Coaches must see video to evaluate you. Make sure you add video to your SportsRecruits profile before sending out messages. Check out our article here to learn what exactly coaches want to see in your videos
  4. Update Recruiting Profile: Make sure your SportsRecruits profile is fully up to date with all of your academic and athletic information and video.

Once you have completed the four steps above and feel confident with your academic and athletic achievements, you can start sending out your introduction message. Check out the template below for inspiration.

If you are interested in NCAA Division II or NCAA Division II programs, the earlier you reach out, the better. We suggest sending that introductory email Freshman Year after your club or high school season. If you are interested in playing at the NCAA DIII, NAIA, or NJCAA level, you can start sending out your introductory messages to schools during your Sophomore Year.

*Pro Tip: The earlier you start contacting schools, the better. Coaches will be keeping tabs on the student-athletes who have reached out and expressed interest early on! 

Using SportsRecruits to Communicate with College Coaches 

Finding program contact information can be time-consuming. With the SportsRecruits Messaging System, you can reach out to any college or university directly with just a few clicks. There is no need to gather the current coaching staff’s contact information yourself, it is all right on the platform! Check out our video below to learn more about this tool. 

What Information Should I Include in My Emails?

It's important to use a clean and professional structure that includes basic information about yourself when emailing college coaches. We recommend the following structure:

  1. Subject Line: Your subject line should always have your name, grad year, position, and reason for reaching out. Example: Emily Smite | 2026 | Attack | Introduction
  2. Addressing Coach: When contacting coaches via SportsRecruits, you should email the full coaching staff. Each program has a specific person in charge of recruiting. That could be the Head Coach or Assistant Coach, so address all of them at the start of your email! Example: Dear Coach Smith, Coach Jones, Coach White
  3. Basic Information: This includes information surrounding where you go to school, if you play for a club, etc. This also includes the essential information you have within your subject line. 
  4. Express Interest: In every email, no matter the topic, you should always express interest in the program. It does not need to be lengthy, a sentence or two will work!  Example: “I’ve been keeping tabs on (program)’s current season, and wanted to congratulate the team on their win over (rival school)!”
  5. Include Important Academic or Athletic Achievements: If you received a perfect score on the SAT or ACT, or if your team made it to some sort of state championship, include that in your emails. Anything that would be impressive to a coaching staff should be included in all of your emails. 

Email Template: Introduction Email

SUBJECT: (YOUR FULL NAME) | (GRAD YEAR) | (POSITION) - Interested in (COLLEGE NAME)

Dear Coach (COACH LAST NAME),

My name is (YOUR FULL NAME). I am a (GRAD YEAR) (POSITION) currently playing club for (CLUB AND TEAM NAME) out of (CITY, STATE). I also attend (HIGH SCHOOL) and last season (INSERT SHORT ACCOLADE).

I am beginning to look at college options and I am very interested in (COLLEGE NAME). It (REASON ONE - EXAMPLE: "is close to home") and (REASON TWO - EXAMPLE: "has a great biology program"), and plays at a very competitive level of (SPORT). Therefore, I wanted to make sure that I introduce myself and give you my athletic and academic background.

Please click on the link below to access all of my information including contact information, club info, (SPORT) awards, event schedule, and academic information. You can contact my club coach, (CLUB COACH NAME) at (insert coach's email here).

(IF APPLICABLE) Also, I have recently uploaded my (INSERT YEAR) highlight reel, which you can access via the link below. I would appreciate any feedback on the video and if you think I can be a fit for your team.

I really hope I have the opportunity to play in front of you sometime soon. Please let me know if there is anything I can do on my end these next few months! I believe I have what it takes to be a part of the (SCHOOL MASCOT), and contribute to their future success!

Sincerely,
(YOUR FULL NAME)
(YOUR PHONE NUMBER)

Importance of Communication Surrounding Recruiting Events 

When attending recruiting events, you must communicate with coaches both before and after the event. 

  • Before the Event: Coaches do not attend events walking around trying to find the best athlete. They are attending recruiting events with a pre-determined list of student-athletes who reached out beforehand to let them know they will be attending. Make sure to send your event schedule 7-10 days before the event!
  • After the Event: After events, specifically camps, clinics, or events where you are working with coaching staff, you should reach out and thank them for their time. If your team did particularly well at the event, or you have new recruiting video from the event, you can share that with coaches who were unable to attend in person.

Check out our example email templates here for guidance on what to email coaches before an upcoming recruiting event.

How Often Should I Be Emailing Coaches?

There is no magic timeline for how frequently you should be reaching out to a college coach. The basic rule is that you should only be reaching out when you have new information to share. You should have some new information to share at least every three months. 

Below is a list of reasons to reach out:

  • Introduction
  • Inform them of an event you are attending
  • You have added or updated video on your profile
  • You have added or updated your transcript on your profile
  • You plan to visit their campus
  • You are within five days of your official or unofficial campus visit
  • On the day of a coach’s off-campus visit with you
  • Wishing a coach good luck in a pivot game/match
  • Any new athletic accomplishments 
  • Setting up a phone call to learn more about the program 

We've outlined several example email templates here to help you craft these emails.

Email Template: How to Let a Coach Know You Are Not Interested

You must be transparent with programs you are not interested in. Similar to how you would want to know if a program is not interested in you, coaches deserve the same level of respect. 

You should be 100% sure you are not interested in a program before completely writing them off. If there is the slightest chance that you may have an interest in that program, you should continue working with them during your recruiting process.

Below is an email template to use to let a coach know you are not interested in their program:

Dear Coach (COACH LAST NAME),

Thank you for reaching out regarding your program. I'm honored to be considered as a prospective student-athlete for your team. Unfortunately, I don’t believe (COLLEGE NAME) is the right fit for me and my family, so at this time, I will be pursuing other options for my college decision.

Thank you again for your interest and I wish you and your staff the best of luck filling your recruiting class.

Sincerely,
(YOUR FULL NAME)
(YOUR PHONE NUMBER)

Parents/Guardians: How You Can Help Your Student-Athletes Contact Coaches

College coaches want to hear directly from the student-athletes. They should be the ones sending the messages and driving their recruiting process. However, there are still several ways you can assist them in this process!

  • Help Build Target List: Take the time to sit down as a family and discuss what is important in a college or university. Attending college is a family decision, so discussing what types of schools should be on their list will be helpful.
  • Check Grammar & Spelling: Take the time to read through and make sure their grammar is correct. Also, ensure they are addressing the correct school and coaches! 
  • Practice Interviews: After your student-athlete starts to narrow down their list they will most likely be having phone calls or even official visits. Take the time to practice interview questions, and help them come up with questions to ask college coaches.

Next Steps: Start Communicating Today!

Here at SportsRecruits, we understand that the recruiting process can be stressful. That’s why we built a platform for student-athletes, their families, and clubs to navigate the process with ease. With your SportsRecruits profile, you can host all of your academic and athletic information and video all in one place for coaches to view!  

With your SportsRecruits account, you can use the Advance School Search Tool to build out your target list of schools. From there you can start contacting college coaches directly through the Messaging System. Start a free profile today here.

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