Athletic Recruiting Coach Communication

Emailing Coaches, What Subject Line Is Best?

Writing emails to coaches
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When you’re first reach out by emailing coaches, what subject line is best?

This is a question that recently came up in a Facebook Live chat our recruiting experts hosted, and it’s definitely an important one.

After all, before you can get a coach to read your email, you need to stand out in their inbox, so they’ll open it.

Emailing coaches, what subject line should you use?

When you have a profile with NCSA, you’re able to message coaches directly. So in addition to going through the recruiting process ourselves as former college athletes and coaches, we’ve seen literally millions of emails sent from student-athletes and their parents.

Here’s more on the parents’ role in writing emails, and why the student should be emailing coaches.

We’ve seen that some athletes’ first impulses might be to say something generic, like “Playing football,” or “College swimmer interest.”

But you can probably tell that’s not going to catch a coach’s attention.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, writing something hyperbolic like “Your best recruit!” won’t work either.

Emailing coaches this way doesn’t start with what’s important to the coach.

When you’re thinking about what to include in your subject line, you need to start by thinking about what will be important to the coach:

  • Is it your stats or athletic performance? (Particularly for Division I programs)
  • Is it your GPA and academic interest? (Especially if you’re looking at Ivy League or academically rigorous programs)
  • Or that the college is in-state?

Depending on what type of program, the coach is going to be looking for different recruits. If your heart is set on Division I and nothing else, it might not be the right time for you to be emailing Division III coaches.

But if there’s a Division III program that looks like the best academic, athletic and social fit, you could mention that right away.

Give the coach a complete sense of you and why you’re emailing in your subject line

Remember that a coach is going to be managing multiple years of current players as well as prospective college athletes for their program. So your subject line, in addition to showing that you know what’s important to the coach, should help them know what type of recruit you are.

Make sure that your subject line includes some of these important details:

  • Your full name
  • Your graduation year
  • Your position
  • Stats that are important to your specific position
  • (optional) Another detail that’s important to the coach

So if I’m a track runner who specializes in middle distance, I might list my 400 time — but if I’m a football player, my height and weight might be more important.

(Or, if your 40 time is particularly impressive, then the combine stat could take a place.)

Here’s how that track subject line would work for an athlete: “Andy Smith 2017 Runner 0:51 400m, Learning Hurdles”

Learn more about what it means when coaches contact you.

The important part of emailing coaches is showing what makes you unique

Right from the subject line and all through the body of your email, the purpose of this first email is to show a coach that you know about their program and think you could be a good fit for it.

But more importantly, it’s to show how you’re a standout recruit that this program would benefit from having.

That’s why we recommend researching colleges before you write, and including highlight video in your emails.

If you aren’t sure how to get any of those recruiting materials together, don’t panic! It’s what we’re here for. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.

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About the author
Andy McKernan

Andy McKernan is the content strategist at NCSA Athletic Recruiting. A content marketer with a background in creative writing, Andy brings several years of experience to NCSA.