As we near the end of March, I hope the old saying “In like a lion, out like a lamb” holds true as we have certainly had our share of “lion” type weather here in Lancaster and the rest of the Northeast. As the weather improves, spring soccer can finally take off, and with it comes spring college recruiting. Last week I discussed how to be seen by the colleges you are interested in possibly attending. This week, I want to focus on what good communication with college coaches may look like.
Effective communication is vital in the recruiting process. As the Director of Recruiting for Franklin & Marshall Men’s Soccer, I receive a large amount of emails from prospective players on a weekly basis. Some of these emails serve as introductions, as players are introducing themselves to the coaching staffs. Other emails serve as follow-ups, building on previous email conversations. Whatever the purpose of the email, there are details you should always consider before hitting SEND.
- Proofread, Proofread, Proofread! One of the first things college coaches notice is mistakes in emails. Of course you were taught at a young age to check for misspellings and grammatical mistakes, but there are bigger mistakes that spell check won’t catch. If you are using a template to send to multiple college programs, make sure you are using the correct college and coach’s name in the email. Sending an email intended for a different college program is a red flag for college coaches.
- Short and Precise: The best emails are short and to the point, while also including all necessary information. Due to the immense amount of emails that coaches receive, longer emails sometimes can feel drawn out. Necessary information would include your high school, your club team, your position, your graduating year, your soccer accolades, and your academic information.
- Video is Great: One of the greatest tools for me as a director of recruiting is the use of small video clips attached to emails. Not only do they serve as evidence of your play, they also are a great way to cement yourself into the coach’s memory. I often times refer back to these clips to remind myself of the type of player with whom I am communicating.
- Do Your Research: Don’t be too elaborate, but show that you know something about the college to whom you are writing. Examples would include mentioning a program at the college you are interest in, or better yet, mentioning details about the soccer program that you have noticed. This shows the coaches that you are following them and have a serious interest in possibly attending.
Finally, be sure to follow-up your emails with more communication. That may mean sending email updates on tournaments you are attending, or successes you just experienced on the pitch. As the recruiting process progresses, that may also include phone conversations as you get to know the coaching staff and program in more depth.
I hope you found this helpful. I’ll be emailing next week on the importance of Getting To Campus. We also have our camp coming up this July. Feel free to sign up, and we can talk more about these recruiting tips in person. Good luck on the pitch!