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Five Steps to Writing an Effective Email to College Coaches

emailing college coaches

Make sure you include contact information for your current coaches: your club coach, high school coach, personal trainers and anyone else who you have worked with for your sport.

Sending an introductory email to college coaches can be a great way to get your foot in the door. However, writing an email to a college coach takes some preparation and planning.

Coaches get a lot of emails every day. Think in the hundreds or even thousands. In other words, your email needs to really stand out. It should be clear, concise and to the point, illustrating why you’re interested in that coach’s program and why you would be a good fit.

Coaches aren’t going to read — or even open — generic, mass emails sent to all the programs you’re interested in. Follow our email guidelines below to create your best message.

Step 1: Your subject line should include key information about you as a recruit

Coaches are human; if you don’t have a compelling subject line, they won’t even open your email. To get started, there are a few crucial pieces of information you should include in your subject line: Your grad year, your position, state (if you’re emailing a local coach) and a key fact that’s unique about you, like your height, weight, 40-yard dash time, ACT score, club team name, etc.

Here are just a few examples of well-crafted subject lines:

  • 2020 Linebacker, 6’2” 220lbs, 4.6 40yd dash

  • 2020 LH Pitcher, 90 MPH FB, 33 ACT

  • 2021 from IL, 23.25-second 50 free

  • 2022 Center-mid, Premier Academy, MLK Tourney schedule attached

  • 2022 OPP, 9'8" APP, Premier VB Academy, video attached

Insider tip: Keep your subject line to 50 characters or less. Coaches are probably reading your email on their phone and longer subject lines will only get cut off. If you are not getting a response with your first subject line, revise it.

Step 2: Start your email with a fact about the school or program

Depending on the type of school and the coach, your opening sentences will change. If you’re looking at academically-focused schools, lead with how impressed you are by their academic record. If you’re emailing a school with a winning record, point out that you’d love to be part of such a successful legacy. There are numerous reasons to email a college coach; here are a few examples:

  • “I’ve been following your program for a while, and recently found an article about you that inspired me. I wanted to connect with you because I think that I would be a great addition to your team.”

  • “In researching your program, I noticed that you will be graduating five seniors this year. I would love to help bridge the gap left by those departing seniors.”

Step 3: Include a few key facts about yourself and your highlight video

In this introductory email, you don’t need to tell the coach your whole athletic history. Keep your email to a few key stats and your highlight or skills video, if applicable for your sport. Think about what a college would want to know about you. If you are the ideal height and weight for your position, include that!

If you’re looking at an academically focused school, be sure to point out your great test scores and GPA. Make sure you include contact information for your current coaches: your club coach, high school coach, personal trainers and anyone else that you have worked with for your sport. Then, link to your NCSA profile where the coach can find the rest of your information.

Step 4: At the end of your email, let the coach know what you’re going to do next

You always want to conclude an email with what the coach can expect from you next. For example, mention that you’ll be following up with a call — don’t forget to include the date and time you’ll be calling. Or, let the coach know that you’re scheduling a visit to his or her school and would like to arrange a time to meet with them. Include all your contact information so the coach knows exactly how to get ahold of you if they are interested.  

Insider tip: Turn on your “read receipt” function in your email to see if a coach has opened your email. This feature is really helpful for athletes who are too young to be contacted by a coach yet. Read receipts will let you know if a coach has received and opened your email, so you can be sure to follow up accordingly.

Step 5: Have someone take a last look at your email before hitting ‘send’

You’re so close to sending off your introductory email, but you don’t want to forget the last step: editing! Read your email out loud; this will help you catch any grammar or phrasing errors that you often self-correct when you’re reading silently.

If you have a parent or friend available, have them take a look at your email, too. It’s more difficult to spot errors in your own writing.

After you’ve sent out your email, don’t forget that your follow-up messages and calls are just as important as your introductory message!

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get a response right away. It may take one or two more emails to break through. Be persistent.

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Recruiting NCSA