Once the athlete researches and determines what schools they are interested in, the next task is to get their name out there. The initial contact to the college coaches should be via email and their school’s recruiting questionnaire. This can be quite time consuming, and there are several steps to follow to complete this step.
- Open your web browser and open two tabs:
- Your email account (preferably a Gmail account, as it is widely regarded as the most professional, personal email account. This will reduce the chance of your email coming through as spam or being deleted)
- A Google search bar
- In your email account, type up a template to send out to college coaches. You want to include the following information if you know it:
- Year in school
- Stats (keep it short)
- Physical Stats (anthropometrics (height/weight), strength and conditioning statistics applicable to the sport)
- Academic Stats (GPA, ACT/SAT if applicable)
- Sincere expression of interest
- A highlight film or mixtape if you have it. (Keep it short – 2-4 minutes)
- In your Google search tab, search for the school you are interested in (using your list you created in Recruiting Step 1). You will want to search for the school’s official athletic site by typing into the search bar “(Name of school) official athletic site”. The site you want for the school’s athletic program should be one of the top three listings in the search. Just make sure it says “official athletic site” because some schools have athletic sites created by fans, boosters, etc.
- Once you enter the site, there are two tasks:
- Find the Staff Directory so that you can email your template to the coaches of your sport.
- Find the team’s recruiting questionnaire.
- To find the Staff Directory, go to:
- “Inside Athletics” – a tab at the top of the site
- “Staff Directory”
- You will find that most of the sites for the schools look similar. However, sometimes there are exceptions, especially with schools that are NAIA instead of NCAA. In this case, the “Staff Directory” might be found on a side panel rather than through the “Inside Athletics” tab at the top of the page.
- Once you find the Staff Directory, scroll until you see your sport. The emails of the coaches should be listed next to their name. Sometimes, not all of the coaches’ emails are listed (especially the head coaches of larger schools). You really would like to hit your position coach and the recruiting coordinator (for football). My suggestion is just to send it to all of the sport’s staff, including coaches, directors, graduate assistants, even video coordinators. At smaller schools, these positions probably have more direct contact with the coaching staff. Either way, sending it to more people increases the probability of someone in the program seeing it.
- You can include all of the coaches’ emails (from the same school) in one email. Make sure you copy your template that you wrote up for the next email you send out to the next school on your list.
- In the subject line, put “(Athlete Name) – Potential Recruit”.
- Send email to coaching staff.
- Back to finding the recruiting questionnaire. To find this, you may need to look in several places on the school’s athletic site:
- It may be located in a “Recruiting” tab located at the top of the screen or on a sidebar down the page.
- If not, you can usually find it by going to the page of the sport you are interested in (i.e. Men’s Basketball, etc.) To get here, just hover over the “Teams” tab at the top of the page or on a sidebar. Once you are on their page, you can find it by locating their schedule, stats, roster, etc. It will either say “recruiting”, “recruiting questionnaire”, or you should click on “more” and it will be listed there.
- Fill out the recruiting questionnaire. It will ask you for a lot of personal information, and you will find that many of the forms that schools use are similar. If your browser saves form information, it is helpful to activate this feature, as you will be filling many of these out. Some schools use third party forms that allow you to create a free account and save your information.
- Repeat steps 1-11 for all of the schools on your list.
Now that you have contacted the coaches directly and filled out their recruiting form, you should wait for interested coaches to email you back. The recruiting questionnaire provides them additional information that they may be interested in, and enters you into their generic mailing list. You will now receive generic mailings about the school, campus life, the athletic program, etc. that will provide useful information to you in making your college choice.
Look forward to writing Recruiting Step 3 in the near future. You can always sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page, or check back frequently. I hope this information helps many athletes and their parents. You can see how this process over four years can become tedious. There just simply isn’t enough time for a coach, parent, etc. to learn this, implement it, and maximize the opportunities that the athlete receives from colleges. There may be time to hit a few schools, but not as many as should be contacted. This is where Veritas can really help. We already know it, and it is our job. We have the time to stay on top of it.