What do I say?
As we dive into this process of communication, the first thing you need to know is… Coaches want to hear from the STUDENT-ATHLETES! Mom and Dad, we love you, but the athletes have to do the leg work. So much so, that if you email the coaches, the coaches may automatically delete the email since it doesn’t come from the athlete themselves! The want to see initiative, they want to see persistence, consistency, communication skills, professionalism etc.
This is the first communication outreach to the schools of interest. This email should be sent to every coach listed on the schools website. I also recommend copying (cc) your summer coach and any private coaches you work with. The reason this is important is, this give me, as a private coach, the opportunity to follow up your email with an email to the school endorsing you.
This email should consist of:
Introducing Yourself: Who you are and what you do (i.e. YOUR BRAND!). This includes where you are from, the school you attend, your GPA, test scores (if applicable), the positions you play, your competitive team information, and any community service involvement. Community involvement is a HUGE differentiator! If you are up against an athlete with similar physical and academic skills and you have the community involvement aspect, you will be elevated above the person who doesn’t. This says a lot about your character and you as an individual.
Why you are interested in that school. This should start with areas of study. (ABC University has a strong nursing program… OR… ABC University is a faith-based institution which is really important to me…OR… ABC University has strong academic standards etc.).
What value you will bring to the softball program. (Your Brand) For example – Solid catcher with a 1.6 pop time with strong leadership skills… OR … a right-handed hitter with a strong on base percentage who leads my team in homeruns.
A link to your ScoutHub Profile, which is inclusive of your skills video and any other digital media outlets with workouts, game footage etc. If you don’t have a skills video done at the time of your first outreach, let them know you are in the process of getting one made and will follow up with the link when it’s available.
Your competitive team and coach contact information.
Your private instructor coach information.
Your personal contact information (athletes email and cell phone). If you aren’t comfortable listing your personal (athlete) contact information, create an email that is accessible by both parents and athlete for safety purposes. Be sure to list your teams GameChanger link so they can follow your live streams
An invitation to watch you play in any upcoming camps, showcase tournaments etc. Be sure to follow up a few days before the event with your game schedule and jersey number.
MAKE IT AS EASY AS POSSIBLE FOR THEM TO FIND YOU!
Follow Up Communication
Once you’ve introduced yourself to the school, expressed your interest in why that school and their program appeal to you, it’s ALL ABOUT CONSISTENCY!
TIMING: During the months of March – November (i.e. recruiting season), it is recommended an email outreach to the coaches twice a month. These emails can be short and sweet and consist of anything from tournament updates, links to recent game or practice footage, invitations to watch you play in an upcoming camp or tournament, anything cool you did in the community, congratulate them on something that may have happened in their program (won a big series etc.). The more they see your name in the top of their inbox, they will start to have brand recognition and see your passion for attending the school. This is when you start to get their attention!
**It’s important to note you may not hear back from these schools right away or even after several emails – THAT IS OKAY AND NORMAL. Some may want to see how bad you want it (i.e. persistence) and make you work for it a bit. Coaches are REALLY busy and get A LOT of emails, just because they don’t respond right doesn’t mean they aren’t interested – this process takes time, thick skin and persistence.
If you are in the off season months (Nov – Feb), email outreach once a month is sufficient, unless you are attending their camp or a showcase tournament.
** One thing to be aware of, depending on the recruiting season (where we are in NCAA rules), a coach may text you instead of email you. If this is the case, you can text them back… communicate via their preferred method of communication! This being said, it is not appropriate to send them random texts all of the time. Occasional ‘update’ and ‘check in’ texts are appropriate.