We’ve covered e-mails and phone calls in past posts. Brace yourself, but the Hub is about to go old school. Our last recommendation is to send the coach a handwritten thank you note in (hold your breath…) the regular mail. Why? Too many reasons to count. It demonstrates initiative and adds a much-needed personal touch in a digital age. Also, regular mail is 3-dimensional and you can touch and feel it versus e-mail and can help you stand out more. For these reasons, we recommend you take the high road and send a personalized thank you note.
For example, The Hub recently spoke with a coach at a perennial D-II powerhouse program and they shared an interesting story with us. The coach had received one (yes, one) handwritten letter from a prospect in their last 10 years of coaching! Naturally, we were curious and asked “did you recruit that player, Coach?” to which they replied, “of course, I did!”
Now on to the follow up. Follow up has a few different components such as what happens if the coach doesn’t respond? How often should I follow up? And secondly if I’m on a coach’s radar screen how often do I keep them updated?
Let’s take the coach not responding first. The reality is that in many cases the coach simply will not respond to your e-mail or call. We wish it was different but the reality is that many coaches get inundated with hundreds of resumes per year and for some programs it may be in the thousands. With such a high degree of volume it can be tough to get a response. Our recommendation is Be Persistent. Don’t send the coach one note, not hear back, and then give up easily. Keep trying and trying some more. We are not of course recommending that you send the coach 3 e-mails a day but we do recommend you following up regularly. Don’t be bashful, what do you have to lose?
If you have connected with the coach and moved onto their prospect radar, we recommend you keep the coach updated fairly regularly with your progress. Feel free to send the coach an e-mail every two weeks or every month outlining your recent tournament scores and progress. Remember that out of sight is out of mind, and the goal is to stay on the radar. Even better, send the coach occasional notes outlining your development plan including how you recently started working out with a TPI certified trainer 4-5x per week and have made positive changes to your practice schedule. It’s fine to communicate that you’re on top of it and making progress towards your goal. It will help you stand out!
Lastly, don’t forget NCAA rules and regulations. You may call or e-mail college coaches at any point in time and as often as you like. NCAA D-I and D-II college coaches may only reply, or reach out by e-mail and phone in select windows. This means that if you are outside of these windows you either may not receive a response, receive a somewhat limited response, or receive a computer-generated form response. The communication of course will pick up summer of sophomore year of high school with a more extensive back and forth. In the meantime, the coach can keep updated on your progress and status through your Hub Profile.
Wishing you best of luck! As we said at the beginning of the article, this is where the payoff comes.