Writing a quality introductory email to a college coach is one of the most important steps in the recruiting process for any high school player looking to play at the next level. Targeted communication through email shows interest, initiative, and when done right, can kickstart the recruiting process. Many times, an interest email is your introduction to a college coach. First impressions go a long way, so make sure you take the time to do it right.
College coaches are flooded with interest emails from recruits each day, so if you want your email to get read, you have to do everything right and make it easy for the coach to get the information they need. This starts with understanding the goal of your email!
Email Goals and Expectations
The goal of an introductory email is to captivate the interest of the coach or coaching staff so they want to follow up and evaluate you as a potential fit for their program. As such, contacting coaches before you have the skill set they are looking for will not get you very far. Use this article to make sure you are contacting coaches at the appropriate time in your development and recruitment. Contact coaches at the right time and provide them with the information they need (outlined below!) in a clear and concise manner. No need to launch right into your entire life story!
Even if your email is well-received, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a response right back. If you don’t hear back, don’t give up! Here’s what you can do. It’s also important to keep in mind that there are restrictions on when coaches at certain levels can email recruits back. At the D1 level, coaches cannot email recruits before September 1st of their junior year, even if it’s in response to interest initiated by the high school player. At the D2 level, it’s similar. That’s why including your coach’s contact information is very important. You can find communication restrictions for all levels of college baseball here.
Who Should Send the Email?
A quality introductory email needs to come from YOU, the player. Don’t rely on your high school coach, summer coach, or parents to make initial contact with schools for you (although it can help to have your coach follow up with his own email or phone call after you have reached out). Set up your own recruiting email (first and last name with graduation year works great) and use it for all your recruiting communications. Reaching out to coaches yourself shows a level of maturity and commitment that coaches look for and value. In all our years of college coaches surveys, we asked dozens of coaches across every level of college baseball how they like to be contacted by a recruit for the first time and nearly every one said a short email. Of those same coaches, every single one said they want the recruit to be the main communicator throughout the recruiting process.
Who Should You Send the Email to?
As we mentioned above, the key to having your introductory email read is to make it easy for the coaches to get the information they need to evaluate you as a potential fit for their program. Send the email to the school’s head coach (although he likely won’t be the one reading it) and all the assistant coaches.
Get right to the point and personalize it! Tell coaches what they want to hear and don’t waste their time with unnecessary information. Don’t talk about players or teams you have defeated in the past or current college players who you believe you could outperform. The coaches don’t need information about your training and workout programs right away. Think of your introductory email as an initial inquiry about a job you really want. Keep the email simple. Show them why you are qualified for the team, give them the information to measure your qualifications, and explain in one or two sentences why that particular program is a fit for you. This personalization is key! Generic emails without coach or school names and mass emails sent to a bunch of coaches at once go straight to the junk bin. You also don’t want your email to be so rigid that coaches think it’s written by a recruiting service. Failure to personalize your email is a sign of laziness and shows a lack of serious interest.
Proof read it and show them you care about details! Emails that are hard to read or filled with grammatical and spelling errors are also destined for the trash. Take time to read your email over several times or have someone else do it for you. You are presenting yourself to the coach and you want to come across as sharp. You can bet if you spell the name of the coach or school wrong (XYZ University instead of XYZ College), you won’t be taken seriously. Details and communication skills matter.
Video is a must! Most college coaches don’t care about seeing your stats listed out in an introductory email, so save the time and space. You absolutely will want to include a one-click link to a skills video and any type of useful information (Rapsodo or Trackman data) that accompanies it. Video is the most important thing you include other than your name and contact information. Video allows coaches to get a general overview of your skills right from their office and is a must in today’s recruiting. Coaches prefer one-click video links that take them right to your video on any device. Attachments requiring downloading/formatting and videos that requires a password won’t get watched.
We discuss at length what to include in your pitching skills video or position player skill video, and you’ll want to make sure you put your most valuable skills at the very beginning of the video. If you are known for your bat, put hitting first in your video. If you have a power arm, show it off first. You’ll likely have 10-15 seconds to capture a coach’s interest and get him to watch more from the time he clicks play, so don’t waste any time. For everything you need to know about creating a successful recruiting video, take our free online course, which walks you through the process from start to finish.
Include your schedule! You’ll also want to include information about how and when coaches can see you. Understand that coaches have busy schedules during your high school season. Share information about any tournaments and showcases where you’ll be playing during the summer. This will give the coaches a better idea about how to get a look at you in person if they are interested.
Be persistent with follow up! It’s smart to keep in contact with the coaches in order to keep your name in their minds. Email them every month or two, just to let them know how you’ve been doing. If a coach has been responsive, you may communicate with them more. If they haven’t, you only have something to gain by keeping them in the loop. All it takes is a quick note saying, “Hey coach, I’m throwing tomorrow at XYZ High School. I’ll let you know how it goes” or “Hey coach, I went 5-12 this week with 2 HRs, 8 RBIs, and threw a CG shutout. My fastball was up to 86.” Keep these emails short, simple, and informative.
Recruit questionnaires are a must! Finally, fill out the recruit questionnaire on the programs website before you send you email so you can give them additional information they want while keeping your email short and to the point. You’ll see how it becomes important in the sample email below (It keeps the email short while including a lot more information!).
Below is a list of everything you should include in your introductory email and a sample email. Take your time, read your email over more than once, and get it done right:
Checklist: What to Include in an Intro Email
- Subject line that will capture attention (standout skill or attribute) EX: Interested 2022 RHP Sitting 92 MPH
- Graduation year and position
- Personal contact information (cell #, they’ll have your email once you contact them)
- High School and high school coach’s contact information (email and cell #)
- Travel/club team and coach’s contact information (email and cell #)
- Academic information (GPA and SAT/ACT score)
- Link to skills video and relevant skill metrics (Velo, Pitching/Hitting readouts from Rapsodo, etc.)
- Specific reason why you are interested in the school (no more than 1 or 2 sentences)
- Whether or not you have filled out the school’s questionnaire online (make sure you fill it out in advance)
- Future games schedule
- Any other details they should know (If you have previously attended the school’s camp or met the coaches)
Sample Introductory Email:
To: Reed@email.edu, RecruitingCoordinator@email.edu, SecondAssistant@email.edu, VolunteerAssistant@email.edu
Subject: Johnny Appleseed- 2022 P/SS- 6.6 60 Time
Coach Reed and Staff,
My name is Johnny Appleseed. I am a junior at City High School and play for the City Bulldogs during the summer. I am a pitcher and shortstop and am very interested in your program because it is a mid-sized D1 school, has the sports management major I am looking for, and my dad is an alum. I will be coming to your prospect camp on August 10. I will also be playing with the Bulldogs in the North Tournament close to your campus July 22-30 and will follow up with the pitching rotation. My GPA is 3.82 and my SAT score was 1420. I have attached a copy of my academic transcript and my future game schedule. Here is the link to my short skills video, which includes Rapsodo data from my last bullpen and a 6.6 60 yard dash. I filled out your online questionnaire and included more information about myself there.
My coach at CHS is Paul Thompson. Email: email@example.com Cell: XXX-XXX-XXXX.
My Coach with the City Bulldogs is Steve Jones. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: XXX-XXX-XXXX.
Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.