How to Email College Coaches: The Complete Guide
Email continues to be one of the best ways for recruits to reach college coaches.
I know, I know, emailing college coaches sucks.
You'd rather be on the field, in the gym, or (maybe) even doing homework.
Heck, even I hated it some 12-odd years ago during my recruiting process.
But email is a superpower. It gives you a predictable and straightforward channel to contact college coaches.
Like anything, email isn't perfect.
Some college coaches receive hundreds of emails a day.
And even so, there is a reason it remains one of their favorite communication channels — it is simple, reliable, and asynchronous.
If you are a student-athlete looking to play college sports, you need to send emails to coaches consistently.
Emailing college coaches may seem simple, but given the amount of inbound recruiting emails coaches receive, you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd.
This guide will provide you with strategies for effectively emailing college coaches.
So if you want to learn how you can effectively email college coaches to get recruited, this guide is for you.
Let's dive right in.
Steps to effectively emailing college coaches:
- Finding college coach contact information
- Write a good subject line
- Personalize (show you did research)
- Show why you're interested
- Share GPA, test scores, and key stats
- Share video highlights and online profiles
- Include contact information
- Setting your email signature
- Sending and tracking the email
- Follow up!
- Bonus Section: Email Example!
Finding college coach contact information
Before you can start emailing college coaches, you need to find their contact information.
How do you find coach contact information? There are two good options.
- Via the school athletic website
- Via a recruiting-specific software tool
To find the school athletic website, perform a google search. For example, suppose I searched for the University of Michigan's Mens' Soccer Program. I may search "Michigan men's soccer coaches" in that case.
Then I would click on the first result and be taken to their coaches page. On this page, you can find the relevant contact information.
Searching for coaches via google is free but time-consuming.
You can quickly find coach contact information with a recruiting-specific software tool like ProductiveRecruit.
With a ProductiveRecruit account, you can search for any college program and find the contact information for any coach in seconds.
Search for the program you want, click more info, and you can view the coach's contact information and other vital metrics.
Now that you have the coach's contact information, it's time to write your email.
Write a great subject line
Your subject line should include important information like your grad year (e.g., Class of 2019), name, position, height, weight, and GPA.
Try to make your subject line stand out. Coaches will be more likely to open emails with unique subject lines because they can get hundreds of emails per day.
Also, keep it short. While including critical information is vital, avoid using filler words or trivial information. For example, you could remove your name from the subject line since the email is coming from you.
Here are some examples of good subject lines for emailing college coaches:
6'6" SG | Class of 2023 | 3.4 GPA | Detroit, MI
2022 Center Back | 3.7 GPA | 28 ACT | Business Major
6'2" RB | 220 LBS | Class of 2024 | 31 ACT
Now that you have your subject line, it's time to personalize your email.
Personalize your email (show you did research)
College coaches receive dozens (if not hundreds) of emails a day. They will immediately delete any email that is a template you have copied and pasted to multiple coaches.
So how do you personalize your emails?
It's simple. Learn more about the coach and their program, and include a few-sentence compliment on something they've accomplished that you think is cool.
Don't be lazy. Read articles, scroll through their Twitter profile, and read the athletic site. You will find something interesting there.
Then summarize this in a sentence or two.
For example: "Coach Smith, I am very impressed by your recent conference championship. I was able to watch the game and loved how much passion the team showed. I want to be part of a program like that."
Super simple right? But you'd be surprised by the number of players who skip this or send mass emails to coaches without any personalization.
Don't do it. It's lazy.
The research will also teach you more about the school and program. Maybe you will realize it's not a good fit after all.
Now that you have a great first few sentences, it's time to show the coaches why you're interested in their program.
Show why you're interested
After adding personalization, write a sentence (or two) on why you're interested in the school and program.
For example, if your goal is to become an engineer and this school has an excellent engineering program, say that. Or, if you love the academic support they provide to student-athletes, say that.
You don't have to mention things related to your sport. You are a student-athlete, after all.
However, since you are emailing a college coach, it is in your best interest to relate why you're interested in their program and the school.
Once you've told them your why, it's time to show them you've got the grades and skills to compete at the next level.
Share GPA, test scores, and key stats
You could be one of the best players in the country and still fail to compete at the next level if your grades and test scores are below average.
It's cliché, but remember you are a student first and athlete second. You need to have the best GPA and test scores possible to give yourself the best chance of playing in college.
Don't believe me? Hear what some college coaches have to say:
I could write an entire article on this topic, so let's continue.
You need to include your GPA, test scores, intended major (if you know it), and other key statistics related to your sport. For example, the number of goals you've scored if you're a forward in soccer or your free throw percentage if you play basketball.
Without this information, you're wasting the coach's time because they first need to know if you're a good fit for the school academically before assessing if you're a good fit athletically.
Once you've shared your academic information and critical stats, you need to share any video highlights.
Share video highlights and online profiles
Reviewing video has always been a tool coaches leverage to make decisions in the college recruiting process.
Over the past few years, video has become even more important since the covid-19 pandemic.
Many college programs don't have the budget to travel across the country and see every prospect play in person. Due to low budgets, many colleges recruit student-athletes in their local region. However, with video, coaches can expand their reach to the entire country.
Make sure to upload any highlights you have to YouTube, Hudl, Vimeo, or another user-friendly video hosting platform. Add your video(s) to your online profile with ProductiveRecruit or another recruiting platform.
Then make sure to include links to your video and profile in your email so that the coaches can quickly review your highlights and information.
Include contact information and references
Now that you've shared your video and online profile, it's time to include your contact information and references.
Make sure you create a professional-looking email address if you have not already with a free email service like Gmail.
Then include your email address and phone number so that the coaches can quickly contact you and add you to their database.
Additionally, include your Twitter and Instagram profiles if you share recruiting-related content. Social media sites like Twitter are becoming more prevalent in the college recruiting landscape. Check out our post on how you can leverage social media to improve your recruiting opportunities.
You should also include any references college coaches can contact for more information. They will usually be your club or high school coach. If you utilize ProducitveRecruit or another online recruiting platform, you can also add references to your online profile.
Setting your email signature
A great email signature will reinforce who you are and highlight your online presence and contact information.
Make sure to set one in your email client of choice.
Here is an example of an excellent student-athlete email signature. It's what I would use now if I were getting recruited again to play college soccer.
Notice how it includes relevant information on my team, high school, test score, GPA, online profile, and contact information. You could probably skip the contact info portion of the email if you have a great signature.
Using ProductiveRecruit, you can easily set up your email signature from the settings page when logged in to your athlete account.
Sending and tracking the email
Now that you've done all the hard work to write your email, it's time to send it!
Open up Gmail, Outlook, or whichever email service you use to send your email. If using one of these services, I recommend labeling the email so that you can easily keep track of your communications with college coaches.
If you want to keep track of all your emails to coaches in one place, you can consider using ProducitveRecruit. With ProducitveRecruit, you can easily manage your communications with college coaches, see when they've opened your email or viewed your profile, mangage tasks, add notes, and log calls.
College coaches are busy, and chances are you won't get a response to the first email you send them. This could be due to many reasons, but your job is not to guess what that reason is.
Your job is to move the process forward to the best of your ability. You can only control what you can control. And unfortunately, the coach's response is out of your direct control.
Some factors could limit a coach's response. For example, coaches cannot contact you until a specific date within your recruiting process, depending on your sport.
View the NCAA recruiting calendars for more info on that.
That aside, if you are early on in the process, I recommend you continue to follow up with new information. If you have a new highlight tape, send it over. If you get a better ACT score or improve your GPA, share that.
The goal here is to get a scholarship, don't take anything personally. Anything that could help the coaches evaluate you further is not a waste of their time. If you are not a good fit, they will (hopefully) let you know, and you can move on. Don't be afraid of a coach not being interested in you.
Bonus! Here is an example
Let's take everything I just showed you and put it into a concrete example. I am crafting an initial outreach email to Michigan Soccer's newest assistant coach in the email below.
So that’s how I'd go about emailing college coaches.
Now I want to turn it over to you: Which strategy from today’s guide will you try first?
Are you going to improve your personalization? Or are you going to work on improving your subject lines or email signature?
Let me know by tweeting us @ProdRecruit.