As the high school season approaches, it is a great opportunity to connect with a few of your targeted college coaches and invite them to see you play. Whether a junior or a senior, it’s perfect timing. So how do we go about it? How do you stand out in the crowd? Let me offer a little insight and some suggestions.
If you already know the coach then you can just send them an e-mail invite. If you haven’t yet met the coach, then I recommend a two step process.
Step 1: Send an introductory e-mail. Sample Introduction In this e-mail you are introducing yourself as:
A player with interest in their college and academic offerings;
A player with interest in their soccer program;
Someone who can contribute to their success.
Step 2: Send an invitation to the coach. Sample Invitation In this e-mail you are inviting them to see you play.
Please take a look at the sample e-mails. Remember that these are only samples and you must personalize the e-mail to your situation. Here are a few tips to improve the effectiveness of your e-mails:
First ensure that you have gone to their website and filled out the recruiting registration form. You can find it by going to the colleges website and then to the soccer page. I have found that 90% of colleges have this form. It is easy to do and done electronically. Now you’re on the radar. Now wait a week before you send your next e-mail. This ensures that they have probably seen your recruiting registration, but not so long that they have forgotten.
Send your e-mails to the head coach and copy the assistants on it. This way you are more likely to get someone’s attention.
Use a catchy subject line to attract attention. Don’t be overly dramatic or silly. Be direct and state the purpose of your e-mail. Example: “Experienced Premier Soccer Player Interested in XYZ College” or if you went to a camp they were at, maybe: “Trained Together at GPS Camp this summer – Interested in your Program”.
Personalize the e-mail. DON’T send them a form letter where you simply change the coach’s name. This is the fastest way to the trash can! If you know something about the school, soccer program or trained with the coach, then put something in the e-mail referencing that. If not, check their website and see how the team did last season and reference something specific to that or maybe why you want to attend for academic reasons.
Provide some reason why they should see you play. Don’t be scared to “Market Me”. Tout your achievements and why you can add value to their program. Don’t be shy. Attach your bio, resume or links to your online profiles.
Keep the e-mail short and to the point. Make it easy to read – use short paragraphs and bullet items instead of listing them in long sentences.
Lastly, provide all of the pertinent information – like your game schedule, where you play and how to contact you and your coach. Recommend what games they should see. You want them to see a competitive game - not one where you are over-matched or vice versa.
This is an important time for you. Understand that the coaches are beginning training the last few weeks of August or in the middle of their own season. As a result, they have limited time and can only get to see so many games. So make your e-mails personal, informative and professional. Even though you’re addressing it to a coach, don’t forget the academic side. For instance, if your GPA is outstanding or you are ranked 5th in your class – work it in there. It is important!
Check out the sample e-mails and use them as a guide. Start now so that you can get your introductory e-mails out and then the invites out and get them to see a game this coming season. Go see one of their games this fall. It will be a great conversation piece when you get to meet the coach…