E-mail is a recruiting tool with unlimited potential. It is great way to get yourself in front of college coaches. Surprisingly, coaches spend most of their time working at their computers, so emails get read almost immediately. Some coaches are incredibly e-mail savvy. If a coach is sitting at his desk when you send an e-mail, you might receive an immediate response.
INFORMAL E-MAIL EXCHANGES
If e-mail proves to be an effective tool with a particular coach, maximize its potential throughout the recruiting process. Update coaches regularly on your successes on the field and the status of your application. Respond promptly to e-mails that they send you.
When you receive an e-mail from a coach, hit reply and write a few paragraphs. Don’t let it sit unanswered for days on end. Have rapid-fire e-mail conversations with coaches; encourage them to have casual back-and-forths with you. Don’t agonize over the wording of your e-mails. Just be yourself. Information emails don’t have to be as polished as your cover letter. Coaches want to hear from you, because then they don’t have to do the chasing. So keep them posted on your accomplishments and application progress. This will show that you’re reliable and committed.
REGULAR E-MAIL UPDATES
In addition to your informal e-mails with a coach, you should develop a monthly e-mail update so each coach knows that he’s going to hear from you every four weeks. Use a playful, memorable, and descriptive title like “Socorro LaFortune’s First Monday Report” for your update. Coaches know that they will hear from Socorro on the first Monday of every month. Coaches love it when athletes show this kind of creativity and effort. Regular contact like this demonstrates genuine interest, determination, as well as dependability—traits that coaches value immensely.
One E-mail Update Will Work For Every Coach
An e-mail update like the one on the previous page is personalized enough to get a coach’s attention. Meanwhile, it’s generic enough to work for the coach at each of your candidate schools. You don’t have to spend eons writing ten different e-mails. A single update—which you can write in an hour—can be e-mailed to every candidate coach.
It’s fine to add details to your update that are specific to a particular candidate school. Just make sure you don’t accidentally send to College B what you intended for the coach at College A!
Personal Emails Should Be Personalized
College coaches really dislike generic e-mails. From a mile away, they can tell what e-mails have been sent to tons of coaches. An e-mail update like the one described
above only works if you don’t try to pass it off as a personalized e-mail. A title like “Monthly Lax Dispatch” shows that this is a newsletter, not a personal e-mail. By contrast, when you send personal e-mails they should be tailored to each college.
Each e-mail should have at least one paragraph that includes specific details about the college or the team. For example, “I saw that your physics department is hosting a panel discussion on the future of NASA.” Or, “I read about the recent Toots and the Maytals concert.” Or, “It looks like you have a really big week of conference games coming up. I’ll be really interested to see what happens in those games. It sounds like you have a pretty intense rivalry with Lakeland College.”
Coaches will love it when you show that you’ve done your homework on their schools, that you have genuine interest, and that you’re not just spamming them to see who responds.
Stay tuned for more of “Make the Team”, written by CaptainU CEO, Avi Stopper with #MaketheTeam
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