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Maintaining Communication with Coaches

Maintaining Communication with Coaches.

The goal of both student-athlete and the college coach in the recruiting process is to find the right match. To make that determination, both need to connect regularly. Because college coaches at all levels are extremely busy, the responsibility falls mainly on the student-athlete to keep the lines of communication open.

In the sections below, you’ll learn how to follow up with a college coach during the recruiting process including when and what to communicate. Being proactive can be your biggest advantage; athletes who effectively communicate with coaches often give themselves a leg up in the process. If you’re equally matched talent-wise with another recruit, but you consistently speak with the coach and have a good rapport, you’re more likely to receive an offer.

When and what to communicate to college coaches

Student-athletes can contact college coaches at any time, but coaches must adhere to the rules laid out in the NCAA’s recruiting calendars. Because coaches are limited to when they can reach out to student-athletes, they like it when recruits initiate conversation. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that just because you can reach out to a coach doesn’t mean you always should. Being persistent in your communications without over-stepping can be challenging, but doable.

There are two important things to keep in mind when thinking about when and how to follow up with a college coach. Make sure your communications provide value and are consistent.

How often should you check in with college coaches? If you are a freshman or sophomore who is being heavily recruited, check in with your target schools fairly often—every two or so months. Once you hit your junior year, it’s important to start emailing and calling more often—about once a month. As a senior, you should be in communication with coaches every two or three weeks.

When reaching out to a coach for the first time or following up, make sure you’re not emailing or calling them too late or too early. Coaches have different schedules depending on their sport, season and program, so they may not be able to get back to you right away. 

Not sure what time is best? B.J. Dunn, head basketball coach for Gettysburg College shares his insights on the best time of day to email a college coach:


As a reminder, student-athletes can contact coaches at any time, but coaches must adhere to the rules laid out in the NCAA’s recruiting calendars. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that just because you can reach out to a coach doesn’t mean you should. If you don’t have a reason to reach out, you risk annoying the coach.

Insider Tip: Even though student-athletes can contact coaches at any time, a coach may not be able to respond due to NCAA rules around contacting or responding to athletes. Don’t be surprised if you don’t hear back from a coach right away (especially if you’re an underclassmen) or if a college coach reaches out to your high school or club coach for updates on your progress instead.

Here are 20 reasons you might update a coach:

Once you’ve contacted or followed up with a coach and your conversation is coming to an end, remember to always tell the coach when they can expect to hear from you again, or ask if they have any preferences around receiving periodic updates on your recruiting. Then, make sure they have your contact information and confirm the best way to get in touch (email, text message or phone call). 

There are plenty of other reasons you may have for contacting a coach. If you have a question, or you just hit another milestone, it doesn’t hurt to let the coach know. Going the extra step and being able to comment on the coach’s program and school is even better. It shows coaches that you’ve done your research, are genuinely interested in their program and aren’t just sending out another mass email.

How often should I message college coaches?

Former D1 and D3 swim coach Danny Koenig sat down with Phil Wells, former D1 football player, to discuss what to share with college coaches and when. Both agreed that while consistent communication is key to building a relationship with coaches, it’s important for recruits to demonstrate their passion for the sport in these conversations.

Read more: How to send highlight videos to coaches and get them to watch them


Insider tip: If a coach emails you, make it a priority to email or call them back within 24 hours. If you’ve contacted a coach via email or phone, wait 48-72 hours before reaching out again. The key to communicating with coaches is to be persistent but respectful. Also, keep your communications to normal business hours. Even if the coach sends a text at midnight, wait until the morning to reply.

Ways to communicate with college coaches

These days, pretty much everyone has their phone on them at all times, which means they have multiple ways to communicate at their fingertips. But not all methods of communication are created equally. It’s important to know when each avenue to reach out to a coach is appropriate.

Discover more tips for each method of communicating with college coaches.

Insider tip: As much as possible, make sure your student-athlete is the one communicating with the coach. Coaches don’t mind including families in the process, but they are turned off by helicopter parenting. Learn more about the parent’s role in communicating with coaches.

Example email and follow up letter to college coach

When it comes to writing follow up emails to college coaches, focus your thoughts on why you’re reaching out and why the coach should care. There are many reasons why you might need to follow up with a college coach. Maybe they haven’t responded to your introduction email and you’d like to make a connection. Or perhaps you have a new highlight video and game schedule to share with them. Whatever the reason, your follow up email will vary depending on the situation.

Below are two examples of how to write a follow up letter to a college coach:

If you haven’t heard back from a college coach after sending an introductory email, start your email by introducing yourself and that you’ve previously reached out to learn more about their program. Include your name, location, graduation year, sport position(s) and any other notable athletic or academic stat that will stand out to the coach. Like your introduction email, be sure to include a link to your highlight video and NCSA Recruiting Profile. Always end your email with an action item for the coach.

Hi Coach Jones,

My name is John Doe, I’m a 6’1” junior and starting quarterback for Generic High School in Chicago, IL. I sent you my highlight video about a week ago and wanted to follow up to see if you’ve had a chance to evaluate it. I’m very interested in playing for your program at University College.

Here is the link to my highlight video: [Insert video link]. You can also contact my high school coach, Taylor Smith, at [email protected] or 555-555-1234.

I will call you tomorrow at 5p.m. CT. I look forward to hearing your feedback and learning more about the Bobcats program!

Thanks,

John Doe
Class of 2023

6’1” Quarterback
Generic High School, Chicago, IL

NCSA Recruiting Profile
Phone number: 555-555-5678
Social media: @john_doe11

If you’re sending a coach a significant athletic or academic update, it’s more than likely that you’ve already established a connection with the coach and are actively being recruited. Your focus for this email should be to build upon the relationship you have with the coach by letting them know you are still interested and passionate about their school. Keep your email professional and provide coaches with the information they need to know.

Hi Coach Taylor,

I have some exciting news to share with you! My high school team beat our rivals last night 52-30. I had a game high 20 points and 6 steals. And two of my teammates also scored in double digits which was a fun way to end our non-conference season!

Here is the link to the game article: [Insert article link]

I attached our conference game schedule and invite you to come watch me play in person. I highlighted some games that will be the most competitive to watch.  

I look forward to hearing from you!

Jane Smith
Class of 2024

Shooting Guard

Generic High School, Chicago, IL

NCSA Recruiting Profile
Phone number: 555-555-5678
Social media: @jane_smith24

Read more about the different types of college recruiting letters.

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