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How to Email College Coaches

Email

One of the most asked questions we get is how to email a college coach. Sending an introductory email to a college coaches can get your foot in the door with a program you’re interested in and give a coach the opportunity to conduct their initial evaluation of you. However, emailing college coaches as a means to get discovered isn’t as effective as it was five years ago. Coaches are getting hundreds—if not thousands—of emails from recruits. Simply sending an email isn’t enough to get a coach’s attention. You need to create clear, concise emails with attention-grabbing subject lines to give yourself a chance at the coach opening your email, reading it and responding.

Insider Tip: Download the NCSA app in the App Store or on Google Play to email coaches, get notifications, get coach contact info, create and manage custom email templates.

Before you start emailing college coaches, there are a few specific details you need to know first. Here’s a rundown of what we’ll be covering to help you better understand how to email college coaches:

How to email a college coach

Sending an email is one of the best ways to introduce yourself to a college coach. But reaching out to a coach you’ve never spoken to can be intimidating, and the problem is, many student-athletes struggle with what to say to college coaches. So, we’ve put together a few resources, including examples and templates, to help you feel more confident when emailing college coaches.

Here’s a quick rundown on how to write an email to a college coach:

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Crafting a subject line for college recruiting emails

When it comes to coach emails, the subject line is a critical piece. Without an eye-catching subject line, a coach won’t even open your perfectly crafted email. Before opening an email, college coaches want to know three things: who you are, where you’re from and how you can benefit their program. When crafting a subject line for college recruiting emails, be sure to include:

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Subject line examples to use when emailing college coaches

Generic subject lines like “football recruit” or “looking to play for you” and even “talented high school football prospect” are going to blend into the background of the coach’s inbox. Including numbers and key stats about yourself, such as your graduation year and sport position, can really make an impact. Remember that the more personalized your subject line, the better chances you have for a coach to read your email – and better yet, respond!

Take a look at a few examples of well-crafted subject lines:

Insider tip: Keep your subject line to 50 characters or less. Coaches are on the go and probably read most of their emails on their phone. An extremely lengthy subject line will only get cut off, so you need to maximize the space you have.

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What to say when emailing a college coach

You’ve laid down the groundwork, now it’s time to write the email! When emailing college coaches, the goal is to respectfully introduce yourself, your skills and interest in being recruited. So, as you think about how to write an email to a college coach, visualize an inverted pyramid.

The top section of the email is where you need to grab the coach’s attention. This is a great time to show coaches that you’ve done research on their program in about 2-3 sentences. Use a recent stat about the team that interested you, or explain why you’d like to play for them.

Example:

I recently read an article on Twitter that your team won the highest GPA for all sports. Congrats! I’m happy to see your players share the same dedication as I do to both athletics and academics.

The middle section of the email is perhaps the most important when it comes to emailing college coaches. This is where you give a little more information about yourself, including athletic and academic standouts, to tell coaches why you would be a good fit for their program. Include the following information in the middle section of your coach email:

The bottom section of the email should be giving college coaches a specific next step, such as letting the coach know you will be giving them a call at a specific date and time or inviting them to come see you compete.

Example:

I will be competing nearby University College at Generic High School on Friday, January 15. I would really appreciate it if you would see me compete in person! I have also attached our complete schedule for the 2021-2022 season in case there is another date, or location, you would like to attend.


Whatever you do, avoid sending mass, generic emails out to all the coaches you want to contact when emailing college coaches. The coach will know if you took the time to personalize your email, and it will make a difference. Coaches want to recruit players who are genuinely interested in their program—most don’t have the time and resources to recruit an athlete who is not likely to commit to their school.

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How to start an email to a college coach

Like your subject line, your opening paragraph needs to be attention-grabbing and personalized. The opening sentence, or two, should be different for every coach email you send – this is where your research comes into play! The information you gather about the school and sports program will dictate what you say to college coaches.

If you’re looking at academically-focused schools, lead with how impressed you are by their academic record, or mention specific players who have recently won honor awards. If you’re sending emails to college coaches with a winning record, point out that you’d love to be part of such a successful legacy. Here are a few examples of how to start an email to a college coach:

“I wanted to connect with you after speaking with Amber Brown, an athlete on your team. She told me about your coaching style and I believe that, based on your emphasis on work ethic and training, I would be a great fit for your program.”

“I’ve been following your program for a while, and recently found an article about you that inspired me. I wanted to connect with you because I think that I would be a great addition to your team.”

“In researching your program, I noticed that you will be graduating 5 seniors this year. I would love to help bridge the gap left by those departing seniors.”

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How much information do I need to include in my email to college coaches?

For an introductory coach email, you don’t need to include your whole history. A good rule of thumb, when emailing college coaches, is to keep messages short and to the point. Tease a few key stats that you think that coach would be interested in knowing. Are you the ideal height and weight for your position? Include that. Do you have an outstanding GPA and test scores and you’re emailing an academically-focused coach? Include that.

At the end of your emails to college coaches, there is an important item you don’t want to forget to include. It’s a small piece (at the bottom section of the inverted pyramid), but extremely important!

Insider tip: Turn on your “read receipt” function to see if a coach has opened our email. This feature is really helpful for athletes who are too young to be contacted by a coach yet. Read receipts will let you know if a coach has received and opened your email, so you can be sure to follow up accordingly. Learn more about how you can enable this feature for your next email.

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Template for emailing college coaches

When it comes to coach emails, it can be easy to fall into the trap of copy-paste-send (especially when you’re contacting a lot of schools!). But athletes who do this have lower chances of getting their email seen. It’s important to provide coaches with the information they want to see but you must do your own research and personalize each email to the school and coach you’re addressing if you want your email to get noticed.

Use this template as a guide for sending introductory emails to college coaches:

Dear Coach [Last name],

[Write 2-3 sentences about the research you did on the school, coach and/or sports program; Highlight why you are interested in their program and school]

My name is [name]. I am a [year in school] at [high school] in [city, state] and will be graduating in the class of [graduation year]. I have a [insert GPA and/or SAT/ACT test scores].

I am [height] and play [position] for my team. Some of my proudest accomplishments are [list 2-3 athletic or academic recognitions that are relevant to the school/program]. Last season, I [insert a few key athletic stats to highlight your skills]. In the off season, I’ve been working to improve on [include 1-2 skills you are working to improve on].

To view the rest of my athletic stats, highlight video, academic stats and personal statement, please visit my online profile at: [link to NCSA profile]. Please feel free to contact my [club coach, high school coach or trainer], [coach/trainer full name], at [email and phone number for coach/trainer], for information.

Attached is my upcoming schedule. I would appreciate it if you could watch me compete in person. [be sure the attachment includes the date, location, your team’s name, opponent, your jersey number, and the name of the court/field].

I will be calling you on [date and time] to further discuss my interest in [school name]. I look forward to talking with you!

Thank you,

[Your Name]

[Class or graduation year]

[Email]

[Phone]

[NCSA Recruiting Profile or highlight video link]

[Social media handle]

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6 sample emails to college coaches

Below, you’ll find 6 sample letters from athletes to coaches. These examples will help give athletes a better understanding of the various recruiting topics they need to cover when writing emails to college coaches.

Sample recruiting email to college coach: Athletic-focused

When to send: Student-athletes who have a strong athletic background and competitive stats should send this type of introduction email to college coaches to highlight how they can make an impact on the team’s performance.

What to include: Key athletic stats, measurables and awards; highlight video, skills video and/or game footage; schedule for upcoming competitions.

Example:

Dear Coach Smith,

I’ve been following University College for a while now and was really impressed by your team’s performance in the championship game last year against State. I am reaching out because I would love to be part of this competitive team and win a championship.

My name is Jane Doe and I’m a 6’2” junior forward at Generic High School in Chicago, IL. I am a four-year varsity starter for my high school team and was recently honored by being named the Regional Player of the Year. Last season, I averaged 20 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists per game. I believe my work ethic and athletic talent would be a great match for your program.

To view the rest of my athletic stats, highlight video, academic stats and personal statement, please visit my online profile at: [link to NCSA profile].

I noticed you will be attending the upcoming Chicago AAU Tournament on July 9-11. I will be competing in the tournament with my AAU team, Team Select – Gold. Our first game is July 9 at 1:00p.m. CT on Court #3. I have attached our final AAU schedule, which includes a list of every tournament I will be competing in this summer. I would really appreciate it if you would see me compete in person!

Please feel free to contact my AAU coach, Joe Taylor, at [email protected] or 555-555-1234 before the tournament for more information about my desire to play for your program.

Thank you!

Jane Doe

Class of 2024

Junior | Forward | 6’2”

Generic High School, Chicago, IL

NCSA Recruiting Profile

Phone: 555-555-5678

Email: [email protected]

Social media: @janedoe_34

Sample email to college coach: Academic-focused

When to send: Student-athletes who have a strong academic background or are looking to attend a high-academic school with a competitive admissions program should send this type of introduction email to college coaches to highlight their academic interests.

What to include: Key academic information, including GPA, test scores and notable academic honors; Interested area of study or major.

Example:

Dear Coach Johnson,

I’m really impressed by your team’s dedication to both their athletics and academics. I noticed that you not only had a winning record last season, but you also set the school record for the highest team GPA! As an aspiring college athlete, I am driven to excel both on the field and in the classroom, and I believe I would be a great fit for your program.

My name is John Smith and I’m a senior at Generic High School in Chicago, IL. I’m a left-handed pitcher with an 85-MPH fastball. I’m currently in the top 5% of my class with a 4.0 GPA and a 32 ACT. I plan to major in prelaw, and I’ve been researching State University’s well-known prelaw program.

You can view my profile for more information about my athletic and academic qualifications, as well as my skills video here: [link to NCSA profile]. You can also contact my high school coach, Jim Taylor, at [email protected] or 555-555-1234.

I recently filled out your online questionnaire and would like to connect with you to further discuss the opportunity of joining your program. I will be calling you tomorrow at 5p.m. CT. I look forward to talking with you!

Thank you,

John Smith
Class of 2023
Senior LH Pitcher
GPA: 4.0 | ACT: 32
Generic High School, Chicago, IL
NCSA Recruiting Profile
Phone number: 555-555-5678

Email: [email protected]
Social media: @john_smith11

How to email a college coach about walking on

When to send: For many programs, walk-on spots can be just as competitive as scholarship spots. Student-athletes who are not being recruited by a school and do not have a scholarship offer from the coach, but have interest in being a walk-on should send this type of introduction email to college coaches.

What to include: Why you want to be a walk-on recruit for their program; include your highlight or skills video, game footage, key athletic and academic stats.

Example:

Dear Coach Jones,

My name is Lisa Doe and I’m a senior at Generic High School in Chicago, IL. I’m attending University College in the fall on an academic scholarship and am interested in joining your program as a walk-on. I’ve spoken with your former player, Allie Smith, and I believe your coaching style is a perfect fit for what I’m looking for as a student-athlete.

I’m a four-year starter for my high school team and was recently awarded 1st Team All-Conference. I’m 5’7” and play multiple positions including, setter and libero. My best asset is the ability to communicate and lead my teammates on the court.

I invite you to watch my highlight and skills video here: [Insert video link]. You can also contact my high school coach, Jane Smith, at [email protected] or 555-555-1234.

As I mentioned above, I have been accepted for the fall semester and I want to continue my volleyball career under your leadership. I will be calling you tomorrow at 5p.m. CT to further discuss a walk-on opportunity at University College.

I look forward to talking with you!

Lisa Doe
Senior | Class of 2023
Generic High School, Chicago, IL

NCSA Recruiting Profile

Phone number: 555-555-5678
Email: [email protected]

Social media: @lisa_doe

How to email a college coach about a visit

When to send: Student-athletes who are in the process of being recruited by a school and is interested in visiting campus should send this type of email to college coaches. Wait to bring up a campus visit until after you’ve had an initial phone conversation with the coach and can get a better idea about where you stand on their recruiting list and know whether it’s a good fit for you.

What to include: Available dates to visit campus, who will be attending and what you’d like to accomplish.

Example:

Hi Coach Smith,

Congratulations on a great season! I saw Jane Doe was awarded MVP and 1st team All-Conference at the banquet. It has been a lot of fun to watch the games online this year.

As we talked on the phone, I’m very interested in scheduling a visit to campus with my parents and sister! I’d love to meet with you and the coaching staff in person along with some of the players. I’m excited to see what campus life is like during the school year. I would also like to meet with an academic advisor to discuss the areas of study I’m interested in.

Below are the dates we are available to visit campus this month.

  • April 15, 17, 18, 21 or 23

I also uploaded a new highlight video from a recent tournament with Team Select – Silver in Chicago. I am #32. You can watch it here: [Insert video link].

Please let me know if one of the above dates will work for a campus visit. I will give you a call this Friday at 5 p.m. CT to reconnect. I would also like to hear your feedback on my video!

Thanks,

Taylor Jones
Junior | Class of 2024
Generic High School, Chicago, IL

NCSA Recruiting Profile
Phone number: 555-555-5678

Email: [email protected]
Social media: @tay_jones

Follow up email to camp invite

When to send: Student-athletes who receive an invitation to a camp should send a follow up letter as soon as possible. Let the coach know you received the invite and whether you will be attending.

What to include: Call out that you received the invite and whether you will attend. If you are attending, let the coach know what you’re looking forward to most about the camp.

Example:

Hi Coach Smith,

I received your invite to the Generic University’s Elite Camp in July, and wanted to let you know that I filled out the forms online. I’m looking forward to meeting you and some of the current players. I’m also excited for the campus and athletic facilities tour after our lunch break!

Here is a link to my latest highlight video: [Insert video link] You can also contact my high school coach, Jane Doe, at [email protected] or 555-555-1234.

Please let me know if there is anything else you need from me before camp.

Thanks,

Taylor Jones
Class of 2024 – Pitcher

Generic High School, Chicago, IL

NCSA Recruiting Profile

Phone number: 555-555-5678
Social media: @taylor_smith

Follow up email to recruiting questionnaire request

When to send: Student-athletes who receive a recruiting questionnaire request from a college coach should send a follow up email to the coach promptly. Always let the coach know you received the request and have completed, or will be completing the questionnaire.

What to include: Call out that you received the request to fill out the questionnaire and when you completed it; Include links to your highlight video and recruiting profile and game schedule.

Example:

Hi Coach Taylor,

I received your invite to fill out the online recruiting questionnaire and wanted to let you know that I filled out the form today! I’m very interested in Generic College’s soccer program and learning more about the team. I noticed your starting goalie is graduating next year and I believe I can help fill that gap!

Here is a link to my highlight video: [Insert video link] You can view my profile for more information about my athletic and academic qualifications, as well as my skills video here: [link to NCSA profile].

I have attached our match schedule for the remainder of this year. We have a game in your area on October 3at 1:00 p.m. CT. I hope to see you there!

Thanks,

John Smith
Class of 2024 – Goalie

Generic High School, Chicago, IL

NCSA Recruiting Profile
Phone number: 555-555-5678
Social media: @john_smith32

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The best time to email college coaches

Athletes and parents often ask, what is the best time to email college coaches? Unfortunately, there isn’t one answer that will fit every coach’s preference. So, when it comes to emailing coaches, athletes need to think like a coach. Keep these three things in mind before hitting send.

B.J. Dunne, head basketball coach at Gettysburg College, and his coaching staff aim to answer athlete emails in the morning or before their 4 p.m. practice. Hear more on the best time to email coaches below.

Insider tip: Try sending your email between 4-8 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday. Our data show that this is the best time to send an email to college coaches.

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How to go about sending film to college coaches

When it comes to sending film to college coaches, follow these steps:

  1. Upload the athlete’s highlight video to their NCSA Recruiting Profile and YouTube to increase exposure.
  2. If this is the first time the athlete is reaching out to a coach, draft an introductory email with the recruit’s basic information, a description of why they are interested in the program and a link to their Recruiting Profile and highlight video.
  3. If the recruit has already been in contact with the coaching staff, include a link to new highlight videos in an email about the athlete’s latest athletic achievements and a schedule of upcoming tournaments, showcases, etc.
  4. The right person to send your video to will vary depending on the program and division level. Research the program to see if they have position-specific coaches or a recruiting coordinator and include them in the email, as well as the head coach. NCSA’s college coach search feature gives student-athletes access to coach contact information, including email addresses and phone numbers, from every school across the U.S. This resource helps student-athletes save time and focus their energy on contacting and building relationships with coaches.

Read moreHow to get coaches to view your highlight video

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Who to email besides the head coach

In some cases, emailing the head coach is in the athlete’s best interest. But depending on your sport and division level, you may have better luck contacting someone other than the head coach. Larger sports programs typically have multiple coaches and coordinators on staff, which can make it difficult for student-athletes to know who to email first.

If the program has a recruiting coordinator, start there. This is oftentimes the best person to send your introductory email to as they oversee all things recruiting for the program. If there is not a designated recruiting coordinator, look for a position coach or an assistant coach. No matter who you contact, be specific with your coach content and address their name.

Learn more about the different roles in coaching and how they might play a factor in your recruiting.

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How to get college coach emails using NCSA’s Message Center

Another great tool to find and communicate with college coaches is the NCSA Message Center. Users can search NCSA database for the coach contact information of any college, directly through the app – which means less time searching the internet for coach email addresses and phone numbers. With the help of your Recruiting Coach, create and manage custom email templates and sort your incoming college coach emails by camp invites, requests and more. Imagine having all your coach emails organized and in one place.

Download the NCSA app in the App Store or on Google Play to get notifications when coaches message you.

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What to do before emailing college coaches

Feeling more confident in how to write an email to a college coach? Great! Before you hit send, there are a few things you’ll want to make sure you do. Remember, a good coach email can put you on their radar, but if you aren’t prepared for a coach to research you (or even better, respond!) then, you can quickly fall off their recruiting list.

Here are three things to do before you email college coaches:

Talk to your current coaches. At the end of your coach emails, it’s a good idea to list the contact information of your current coaches. Be sure to let them know before you email college coaches, so they can prepare to talk about your coachability, academics, and athletic skills. Also, talk with your current coaches about what your goals are for playing sports in college. Learn more about how to be coachable.

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Before you send, edit, edit, edit

You’re so close to sending that email, but before you do, run spell check and re-read. A great way to catch strange wording or grammar errors is to read your email out loud. When you hear a phrase that sounds wrong, you’ll know you need to fix it. You can also cut and paste your email into Google Translate and listen for any errors.

Still not sure if the email is error free? Have your parents take a look to double check. Make sure that you have included all your contact information, your call to action and a link to your full recruiting profile

Insider tip: Try sending your email between 4-8 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday. Our data show that this is the best time to send an email to college coaches.

Congratulations—now you know how to email college coaches, from the research to the subject line, from address to the email body! But your work is not done yet.

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