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CaptainU Recruiting: Writing a cover letter to college coaches

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Communicating with a coach at least once a month will strengthen your cause and help you develop your relationship with that coach. You demonstrate through phone calls and emails that you are committed to becoming a member of the team. Give the coach a reason to seek you out specifically at a camp, tournament or regular season game. Regular communication will put you in a position where they are eager to evaluate your ability.

Cover letter

The best way to introduce yourself to a coach is with a personalized letter. When they’re not out on the field, college coaches basically live in front of their computers, working on recruiting, answering emails, surfing the web for sports news, and so on.

Set a Foundation

The first order of business is to send a letter and recruiting profile to the head coach at each of the colleges on your list. You want the coach to receive your email, print it out and create a folder in his or her filing cabinet with your name on it. This letter serves as the foundation of your CaptainU Recruiting campaign. Without overstating the importance of your letter, recognize that it makes your first impression on the coach. It should be organized, well-written and exciting. Avoid grammatical and spelling mistakes. Impress the coach with your attention to detail and professionalism.

Don’t Start With A Phone Call

Do not begin your communication with a coach with a phone call. Unlike a letter, a call leaves no physical record. Remember, CaptainU Recruiting is about doing the coach’s work for them. Present a written outline of your qualifications. Don’t make the coach write out the transcript of an introductory phone conversation—they probably won’t do so anyway. In fact, they are likely to ask you to send a cover letter and recruiting profile.

Write your Own Letter

The structures, content and sample cover letters that follow are suggestions. Don’t merely reword the examples. The cover letter is an opportunity to express yourself. It’s a chance to showcase who you are.

Be concise. Remember that this is just an introduction, so don’t ramble on for eight pages. Your letter should be succinct—no more than five or six paragraphs—and informative. Establish a tone within your letter to distinguish it from the mass of communication the coach has to sift through. Find the middle ground between over-the-top absurd and sleep-inducing. Don’t be afraid to include personal details that distinguish you from the pack—e.g., “I do my training runs at altitude, on Mount Olympus.” If you’re so inclined be playful, sincere, thoughtful, anecdotal, whatever. Just don’t beg. You are an asset; a coach will be fortunate to have you on the team.

Organization of the Letter

Salutation: Address each letter personally—i.e., “Dear Coach Nascimento.” Form letters addressed “To Whom it May Concern” actually create a negative impression.

Introduction: State the intention of the letter, that you are interested in playing for their team. Explain why you’re interested in this college. Be specific. Coaches will love that you’ve done some research and aren’t just spamming the world.

Self Description: Describe yourself as a player. Discuss what your tendencies are, and the responsibilities you have on team. If you’re a team captain, say so.

Accomplishments: Briefly describe your qualifications and most recent awards. You don’t have to list all of your accomplishments in your cover letter—that’s what your recruiting profile is for.

The Next Step: Promise to follow up on this initial letter with a schedule of your team’s games and tournaments. In the meantime, request any standard recruiting materials. Most coaches have general information forms they like recruits to fill out. This helps streamline the deluge of information they receive from prospective players.

Closing Phrase: Sincerely,” “All the best,” etc.

Your Name: Type your name below your signature

Stay tuned for more of “Make the Team”, written by CaptainU CEO, Avi Stopper with #MaketheTeam

Create a free CaptainU profile today to get your college athletic search underway!

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