As a high school student-athlete, one of the first ways to get on the radar of a college coach in the recruiting process is by sending them an Introductory Email.
The email serves as a starting point of your correspondence with that coach and school, while also highlighting your interest in the program. This is an essential step, as being proactive is the only way to ensure a coach is aware of you and your interest in their program.
These can feel daunting to write, but they are the only way to ensure a coach knows of your interest. While they are important, don’t fret! Just be sure to write individual notes that include the relevant information a college coach needs to evaluate you.
Members on our platform that send 1 message receive 5x as many profile and video views as members who don’t send any.
Checklist of Things to Include
The main purpose of sending your first note to a college coach is to express your genuine interest in the school (more on that later) while including everything a coach needs to evaluate you as both a student and an athlete.
Here is some of the vital information you’ll need to include.
You’ll want to be sure to include the obvious, so while it feels silly to include in a checklist, better safe than sorry. Be sure to mention where you are from, what high school you attend, your grade, club team and other information that a coach will not know unless you tell them.
This doesn’t need to be a laundry list of facts, but including this will help introduce you to a college coach.
Academic Transcript and Information
You are hoping to attend a school AND play your sport; not attending a school TO play your sport. As such, make a point to present your academic information. If you don’t have a transcript, speak with your guidance office to try and obtain one (unofficial transcripts are OK!).
In addition to including your transcript, you’ll want to highlight in your note any AP, Honors or other classes you have taken to help show what makes you a good fit for the school academically.
This is an extension of the section above, but be sure to include any standardized test scores you may have taken. This can include SATs, SAT II Subject Tests, or ACTs.
If you have yet to take them, not to worry – just be sure to mention that fact and when you plan on taking the exams.
Highlight Reel/Skills Video
Once you’ve included your academic information, shift your focus to your athletic information. First and foremost here is to include your highlight reel or skills video.
This 3-5 minute presentation should serve as a snapshot of your abilities to the college coach, allowing them to see if you are a player that fits their program’s needs. While most coaches will want to see you play in person, the highlight reel is a great way to entice them to do this!
Details About the School Outside of Athletics
Make it a point to note why you are interested in the school off the field – notably academically. Research majors and courses offered, and align them with your areas of interest and potential areas of study.
These points are not something to harp on, but including them will alert a coach that your interest is in the entire school, and not just the athletics program.
Provide Specifics About the Team
Show good knowledge of the team you are interested in, citing recent accomplishments, facility upgrades or other similar information. You want to make it very obvious your interest is real and genuine.
Again, this need not be lengthy, but including them will show a coach you know about the program.
Highlight Your Own Accomplishments Academically and Athletically
It is important to distinguish yourself from other prospective student-athletes by citing your accomplishments. This is not free reign to brag about yourself and ramble on, but, the only way a coach will know about your accomplishments is for you to tell them.
Be sure to note any awards you may have received, positions of leadership you have held and most importantly, how these reflect on your work ethic, passion and dedication.
Awards will not make you successful at the next level, but those underlying qualities that led to them will help.
An Actionable Task
One of the most important aspects of this correspondence is to make sure there is an action point at the end of the email. The action point should be to follow up with a telephone call or to arrange a campus visit.
Something similar to “please let me know about scheduling a campus tour” or “please let me know the best time I can reach you to speak further” will show you are ready to keep the conversation going.
Spell/Fact Check Everything
Spell check and fact check everything. Then, do it again. While this may seem like common sense, the number of instances college coaches have mentioned where spelling or grammatical errors occur would come as a shock to most.
While simple errors may seem trivial, they reflect poorly on a prospective student-athlete’s attention to detail. Spelling a coach’s name wrong, for example, or spelling the name of the school incorrectly, are not positive first impressions.
Below is a template that can help give you an idea of how to structure your note. This is NOT something to directly copy/past, and as mentioned, doing so will be at your own peril: College coaches hate getting form letters and will discard your note immediately!
I hope all is well. My name is Spike Malangone, and I am a junior (Class of 2005) at St. Anthony’s High School on Long Island. I am very interested in Wesleyan University and particularly contributing to the Cardinals lacrosse team.
I have followed the Cardinals for some time, and was impressed by your run to last year’s NESCAC playoffs. I hope to come in and contribute as a defenseman and help the team’s already outstanding reputation.
Wesleyan is a school that has been on my radar for some time, and I am particularly interested in the Film Program. A liberal arts education is something I feel is a great fit for me, and the freedom to select courses across a broad spectrum of topics is very intriguing.
I currently have a 3.8 GPA and am enrolled in 3 AP courses and 3 Honors classes. I am awaiting my SAT scores, which come out next month, but I scored an 1800 on my most recent practice test. I am also a member of the National Honors Society at my school.
On the field, I am a 2-time captain and have started for three years on defense in the St. Anthony’s program. I was awarded team MVP last season. During the summer, I play for FLG and have for the past 3 years.
Attached you can find my highlight reel and academic transcript. Please let me know the best time I can reach you to speak further and potentially arrange a campus visit.
Thank you so much for your time, and I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Best of luck this season!
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