Archive for How to get recruited

How to Get Recruited: Part II

In How to Get Recruited: Part I we talked about researching the schools that interest you and how to craft your initial email to the coach. If things work out as planned, within a few days you might see something like this in your inbox:

Dear Mike –

Thanks for your email. Congratulations on a very successful high school career so far. I was glad to hear you’re interested in Northern State U. I would be interested to talk with you and see any game footage that you may have. Per NCAA rules I can’t call you until after July 1st, but you can call me anytime you’d like. Please fax a copy of your transcripts and test scores and also fill out our online recruiting questionnaire. Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon.

Coach Kindle

Northern State University

The first door is now open and you have established a dialogue with the coach, congratulations! If you haven’t already put up some game footage on YouTube or Vimeo, get to work!  You don’t need a professional service to do this. Here are a few tips on making a recruiting video. The actual video editing is pretty easy to do with a program like Windows MovieMaker. Remember, it doesn’t have to be fancy. it just has to be clear. Upload the clips to YouTube and I’d recommend setting the privacy settings so that only users with the link can view the video.

If the coach requests it, go ahead and fill out the recruiting questionnaire. Personally, I don’t think recruiting questionnaires are the greatest tool, but he asked you to do it so go ahead and show him you can follow directions.

Now let’s craft your return email to the coach.

Dear Coach Kindle –

Thank you for your reply. I filled out the recruiting questionnaire as you requested and here is a link to some of my game footage from this season:

I’ll fax over the transcripts that you requested and will follow up with a phone call. Is there any time or day when it’s best to reach you?

Thanks again-

Mike Jones

Washington High School, Class of 2014

You hit ‘send’ and fax the transcripts and scores, and you wait. Maybe you wait for a few days and you don’t hear anything. You start to worry a little that maybe the email didn’t go through. You can log on to your YouTube account go the the ‘Analytics” link and see – yep, somebody in Minnesota (the location of fictional Northern State U) watched your video 3 times! At least you know you’ve made contact.

Eventually you get a brief email from the coach:

Mike- thanks for the video. Call me when you have a chance – between 7 and 8pm is usually a good time.


Coach K

Things are moving along – the good news is, the Coach wants you to call. The bad news? Coach wants you to call.

Relax, it’s not that bad. I’m running long here so I’ll go into “making the call”  next time.

A member of the College Confidential community (a terrific resource, if you haven’t checked it yet) summed up the essence of recruiting perfectly:

Recruited = passion + skill + exposure + persistence + luck.

Good luck!


How to Get Recruited: Part I

If you are a high school athlete and you want to play your sport in college, there are a few basic things you need to know about how to get recruited. Unlike the Hollywood storyline, you probably won’t have coaches knocking on your door and throwing scholarship money at you unless you reach out to them first.

How to Get Recruited: Step 1

Don’t Rely on the Online Recruiting Form

Most high school athletes get a little freaked-out at the thought of contacting the coach of a college program. Relax. It’s important to remember they are looking for athletes like you just as much as you want to get recruited by them. One of the biggest mistakes that kids make is they just fill out the standard athletic recruiting form on the school’s website, sit back and cross their fingers.

The best way to find out if a coach is interested is to reach out directly. Online recruiting questionnaires have a nasty habit of disappearing into cyberspace, never to be seen again. The first step in ‘how to get recruited’ is to e-mail the coach directly.

Compose Your E-mail

A few things to remember, the coach of a college program is going to get hundreds of emails each week from prospective athletes. Here’s an example of what NOT to do:

Dear Coach:

I am a midfielder at Washington High School and have played soccer since I was 6. Soccer has always been a passion of mine. I have always dreamed of playing college soccer. I am attaching a PDF with my full resume as well as 2 video files of some of my soccer highlights.

Thank you for your time,

Mike Jones

Yikes. First problem: The generic introduction. If you can’t be bothered to find out the coach’s name and personalize the e-mail, don’t count on getting a response.

Secondly, a coach doesn’t want to hear about your ‘passion’ and ‘dreams’. A coach wants to win games. Give him something to make him believe you might make his passion and dreams come true. In other words – how can you help him win?

Finally, don’t send a bunch of attachments and video with your introductory email. Remember, at this point you are one of hundreds in his inbox. Besides the very real possibility that your attachments will trigger spam filters and he’ll never get your message, he’s probably not going to open every file sent to him by every random kid.

Here’s a better way to structure your 1st email to the coach:

Dear Coach Kindle:

My name is Mike Jones and I’m a Junior midfielder at Washington High School in Seattle. I’m very interested in being part of the Wildcat program. A little about me:

  • All-conference as a Soph, All-State as a Junior
  • 23 goals and 18 assists this year
  • Team co-captain this year
  • Have a 3.4 GPA and scored a 28 composite on my ACT

I plan on majoring in accounting, and I know the department at Northern State U is highly respected. If you think I might be a good addition to the Wildcat soccer team I’d be happy to send you a more complete resume, as well as transcripts, my coach contact info and game footage.

Thanks very much for your time-

Mike Jones

Class of 2014

Okay, that’s the first step in ‘how to get recruited’. If things go well, the coach will reply to your email. Be patient. College coaches are busy people, if you don’t hear anything back in a week or 10 days, try again. In “How to Get Recruited” Part II, we’ll talk about what kind of info to send the coach after he replies and the power of picking up the phone (even though it’s nerve-wracking).

Until next time –