You need to be ready to make a good first impression on prospective coaches by email or in person. Remember there are a lot of rules that coaches must follow in terms of when and how they can contact you so don’t panic if a coach doesn’t get back to you by email or talk to you very much at a game or skills clinic. Remember, college coaches communicate a lot with each other, so make sure you follow these rules when communicating with any college coach, not just the ones at your top choice schools.
Here are some DOs and DON’Ts when contacting prospective college coaches:
- Personalize the email to that specific coach and program (Coach name and program interest)
- Tell the coach why his program is a good fit for what you are looking for (Make specific to that school, e.g. You have the criminal justice program I want and are a D1 within driving distance of my home)
- Provide necessary information for the coach to evaluate you and move forward (use this checklist!)
- Keep your email short and clear. Ask your parents or another adult to check your grammar and spelling.
- Include a link to your recruiting video
- Create an email account in your name, and email coaches using that account. It is helpful to include your name and graduation year in your email address (e.g., Johndoe2014@online.com). You should put your high school and graduation year (again) in the subject line. Coaches receive countless emails each day, so making it easy to know where you are from and when you graduate will help you get better recognition.
- Send the same mass email to a bunch of coaches at the same time.
- Send a generic, un-personalized email (E.g. “Dear Coach Johnson” instead of “Dear Coach”, “Cal Tech State program” instead of “your program”, etc.)
- Address a coach by his first name or informally.
- Send an email filled with unimportant details.
- Send emails to coaches from your parents’ email accounts or have your parents sign and send the email.
- Over-sell yourself. Present the information the coach needs and leave the evaluation to him.
- Introduce yourself to the coach and introduce any other family members who are with you to the coach.
- Show the coach that you are confident (but not cocky) in yourself and your ability to play with positive body language. Make eye contact and use a firm handshake when you meet the coach and when you leave.
- Be sure to let the coach know that you are interested in the program and look forward to getting to know more about the school.
- Answer the coach’s questions directly and clearly.
- Be yourself! If you want to find the best coach for you, you shouldn’t pretend to be a different kind of person.
- Follow up on the meeting with an email (see above!) and reference your in-person conversation.
- Be shy or display poor body language.
- Let your parents dominate the conversation or talk for you.
- Be disrespectful of anyone, including your coach or other players competing for your spot.
- Be one dimensional. Be prepared to talk about interests other than baseball (like what you want to study or what you want to do as a career) when asked.
- Be concerned if the conversation doesn’t last very long (there are many rules that govern how and when college coaches can talk to you)
Want more resources on contacting coaches? Check out the links below!