Email is a recruiting tool with unlimited potential. It is a great way to get your information 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 email savvy. If a coach is sitting at his or her desk when you send an email, you might receive an immediate response.
INFORMAL EMAIL EXCHANGES
If email 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 emails that they send you.
When you receive an email from a coach, hit reply and write a few paragraphs. Don’t let it sit unanswered for days on end. Have rapid-fire email conversations with coaches; encourage them to have casual back-and-forth interactions with you. Don’t agonize over the wording of your emails. 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 EMAIL UPDATES
In addition to your informal emails with a coach, you should develop a monthly email update so each coach knows that he or she is 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 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 EMAIL UPDATE WILL WORK FOR EVERY COACH
An email 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 10 different emails. A single update—which you can write in an hour—can be emailed 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 emails. From a mile away, they can tell which emails have been sent to tons of coaches. An email update like the one described above only works if you don’t try to pass it off as a personalized email. A title like “Monthly Lax Dispatch” shows that this is a newsletter, not a personal email. By contrast, when you send personal emails they should be tailored to each college.
Each email 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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