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Ask Coach Taylor – What Should I Include in my First Letter to a College Coach?

 To answer this question, I am going to refer to Athletes Wanted – The complete game plan for maximizing athletic scholarship and life potential. 

If an athlete is initiating a first contact with a coach through a letter or email, the initial letter should include an introduction, expression of interest in the university, questions, and a copy of the student’s résumé or enhanced video, as well as a link to a highlight, skills, or enhanced video.

Sample First-Time Letter to Coach

Dear Coach Jones,

As a member of the Eclipse soccer club and a freshman varsity starter at Niles North High School, I am beginning my search for a college soccer program where I can make an immediate impact, as well as further develop my skills and strength.

My goal academically is to pursue a degree in medicine, and I am impressed by the pre-med program that Hiram College offers. I also like the small class sizes and professor-to-student ratio. I currently attend a large high school and am looking forward to a more personalized college education.

I know the process is early, but I’m hoping to be considered for your program. Would you be so kind as to send me information about Hiram and a questionnaire?

Enclosed is my profile. I am in the process of putting together a video, and I will send you a link to my video as soon as it is prepared.

As a heads up, I will be at the Disney Showcase and the Las Vegas Shootout, so hopefully you will be able to see me play. In the meantime, please let me know if you have any questions.

I look forward to continuing the recruitment process with Hiram College.

Sincerely,
Jane Student
#3 Eclipse (blue and white jersey)

A minor point—but nevertheless an important one—student-athletes need to be sure they are correctly identifying this year’s coaches. Coaching staffs have high turnover rates, so athletes should make sure that they are looking at a current roster of coaches. Student-athletes should send personalized letters and be selective about who they are targeting. Nothing should ever be addressed, “To Whom It May Concern.” College coaches receive hundred of letters and emails from interested students. If an athlete’s letter appears to be a form letter, it may well be overlooked.

About the author
Aaron Sorenson

15 Comments

  • Hi Keith,

    Should you send out the introductory letters to the schools before contacting them about an unofficial visit? My son is a Soph. now and we are looking at schools right now.

  • Hi Jim – Your son’s unofficial visit will be much more productive if your son’s name is on that coaching staff’s recruiting list. So, yes, your son should send introductory letters prior to scheduling the visit. If your son is receiving camp brochures and questionnaires from college coaches, then you know he’s on their recruiting list. If not and you need to get his name on those lists, call 866-579-6272 to find out how you can do that. Good luck and safe travels!

  • Hi Keith- My son is a freshman. About how many college coaches should he either email and/or send a letter to. Also how do you get across to the coach that you would really like to have an unofficial visit.

  • Patick – I don’t know your sport or I could give you a specific number. Your son should contact about 15-20% of the total number of college programs in his sport. Make sure he’s targeting a wide range of schools from D1, D2, D3, and NAIA. Expect about a 5% response from those schools because a lot of college coaches delete unsolicited emails or throw away unexpected letters, relying on trusted sources to find out about potential recruits. Once the college coach responds, then the dialogue has been opened to schedule an unofficial visit. Make sure your son is handling the discussions, so teach him what he needs to do to be successful in setting up his visit. Once on the visit, stay way in the background so your son is interacting with the coach without you “hovering”. If you need help on that, go here: http://recruit-match.ncsasports.org/fasttrack/lead/preSAEFEntryV1.jsp?lnkSrc=SAEF-Blog or call: 866-579-6272. Good luck!

  • Keith,
    Im currently a sophomore and im starting my search for college. I play soccer, im on the varsity team at my school and my club team is #5 in the country. How many letters should i be sending out? How do i make my letter stand out, so i have more of a chance of getting a response? P.S Target school is UNC

    -Skye

  • Hi Skye –
    It’s great that you’re becoming proactive in this process by contacting college coaches. Women’s soccer players should target about 200 of the right college programs. It’s great you want to play for Coach Doran at UNC, but it may surprise you to know that he probably has a good idea of who he’ll recruit in the class of 2013 already. So have you received a camp brochure or questionnaire from UNC yet? The way to make your communication stand out is to be introduced by a trusted source. College coaches have small recruiting budgets and are inundated with communications from “wannabe” student-athletes. So they rely on the most trusted sources. Also, it’s tough writing separate, individual letters to 200 different college coaches. If you want to find out more about trusted sources or saving time, have your parent/guardian call: 866-579-6272. Good luck!

  • Sarah – College coaches rely on trusted 3rd party sources. NCSA is a trusted 3rd party source. To see if you’re qualified, have your parents/guardians call 866-579-6272 to schedule a recruiting analysis. Good luck!

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  • Keith,
    My son was not eligible to play the 2010 season, however he had a great 2009 football season. What should I include in the contact to the schools that he is interested in playing for. ( He did not play because he would have been considered a 5th year senior at the high school. He played a basketball half the season in the 9th grade and should have graduated in 2010). Any advice/suggestions on what to include in the letter would be greatly appreciated. I alread have a dvd of his season made, and I have the stats from the season

  • Im a freshman and do ODP and play varsity high school soccer and im also in a good club team. I would love to play soccer in college i just dont know how to start talking to other coaches and sending letters, can i send letters? do i send a resume?