Six Details to Include in a Short Email to College Coaches

Athletes that get recruited know that at some point it is necessary to email a college coach. This brief communication is crucial to your recruiting because needs to be short but detailed enough to give the coach enough information to put you on the recruiting radar. So, if writing isn’t your strong-suit or your unsure of what to include this blog will help.

For serious recruitings drafting a recruiting email takes serious effort
For serious recruits drafting a recruiting email takes serious effort

The format I’m sharing with you is great for the initial email to college coaches. However, if a coach contacts you this email will work, but you need to add one extra detail.  That detail is to ALWAYS thank the coach for contacting you. Do this in the introduction of the email. Also its a good idea to include how the coach contacted you. For example,  “Thank you for taking the time to contact me… write me…..email me..send me a postcard…”

Now, on to the 6 important details. Here’s what should be included. 

1. Introduce yourself

  • Name, City, State,

2. Give them some specifics about you

  • graduation year, sport, position, academic interest
  • I attended the [camp/combine] on [date]

3. Tell them something about their program and/or college (some brief research will help )

  • Ex. “Your school has both a great [sport] team but also a top-notch [subject] program”

4. Request information about the college’s athletic and academic programs be sent to your home

  • Ex. “I would like to know more about your athletic program and the academic programs offered at [name of the school]”

5. Include address and phone number in your signature.

  • Name, address, phone

6. Help them connect with you on social media

  • hyperlink your Twitter handle or Facebook profile info at the bottom of your signature.

Again, remember to keep this email short. Its not necessary to be long winded. Truthfully, no more than two paragraphs is necessary.

One other tip. As your recruiting gets more serious a longer email will be necessary. I’ll show you what to include for that email in another blog.

Good luck,

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Coach Mike Woosley is a National Scouting Director at CSA-PrepStar.  As a professional collegiate sports scout Mike works with qualified next level student-athletes to find the right college athletic and academic fit. Comments and questions are always welcome.
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Early signing day for football could speed up the recruiting process for some and slow it dow for others

Talk of allowing December early signing date for National Letters of Intent for FBS and FCS schools. By the end of the month this matter should be settled following an upcoming vote. ESPN broke the story Monday about the CCA experimenting with new recruiting regulations.

Currently, there no early signing date for collegiate football program. However, most other collegiate sports except soccer and mens’ water polo have early signing date the second week of November. This new regulation can take effect as early as 2016 with a review coming after two year of experimenting with the new rule.

NLI signing dates could undergo a monumental change following an upcoming vote of FBS and FCS representatives.
NLI signing dates could undergo a monumental change following an upcoming vote of FBS and FCS representatives.

So, how will an early signing date affect Senior football players hoping to get to the next level?

First, it means for some players recruiting will speed up while for others it will slow down. Secondly, collegiate hopefuls will have to rethink they way they approach the college recruiting process both athletically and academically.

Here’s a general breakdown of what to anticipate.

Undoubtably, recruiting will speed up for prospects that are high on the recruiting boards. These athletes will be identified much earlier and recruited with more intensity. We can count of this because college coaches will need to be more aggressive with blue-chip players to make sure another school doesn’t steal them away.

As a result, this intense focus will cause recruiting to slow down for prospects that aren’t primary targets for the December declaration day. These prospects will likely experience a lag in communication with college coaches. Make no mistake, college coaches will benefit from the additional time permitted by the early signing date to pick and choose the most ideal player, or players, to fill the remaining roster spots. But for the rest, this process might become tedious and perhaps stressful.

So where do we go from here? Simple. Recruiting exposure needs to start earlier and athletes will have to be on top of their core courses and ACT/SAT tests to make sure they are early academic qualifiers.

Most certainly, athletes must be on the coach’s recruiting radar by the Sophomore year to get a pen and paper placed before them in December. Furthermore, athletes will need more aggressive with their strategy to get seen, scouted and recruited. Clearly, the advantage goes to players able to play at the varsity level as underclassmen, who take the initiative to get quality recruiting exposure and perform well in the classroom.

In the end, while the vote has yet to be cast, it is expected to pass. So athletes better start preparing for it.

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Coach Mike Woosley is a National Scouting Director at CSA-PrepStar.  As a professional collegiate sports scout Mike works with qualified next level student-athletes to find the right college athletic and academic fit. Comments and questions are always welcome.

Twitter: @michaelwoosley

Some Instruction Required. Making sense of the contact period for hopeful college softball players

Breakdown of recruiting contact period.

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College recruiting regulations can be hard to figure out without someone to help direct you through the process. Sometimes rules need to be defined and broken down so they are easier to understand. One rule is the contact period rule.

Have you ever tried to figure out how to put together something without instructions? This Christmas my son got a remote control car from Santa (;0 ) but it didn’t work right out of the box. Some assembly was required. Disappointed, I looked in the box no instructions were to be found. To say the least, it was a bit frustrating. Where do the batteries go? What were the extra wheels for? And why weren’t the remote commands and combinations noted? Without the instructions to direct us my son and I had to figure it out on our own.

High schools softball players, do you know that today, January 2 begins the college recruiting contact period? Are you aware of the guidelines that college coaches must follow as they try to recruit you?  If you’re as confused about recruiting as I was trying to put that child’s toy together, then this blog is for you! Here’s a breakdown of what the contact period is, what coaches can do and who can be evaluated during this time.

College Recruiting Contact Period

By definition provided by the NCAA Guide for College-Bound Student Athlete, a for D1 prospective student-athletes contact period is the time frame where, a college coach may have in-person contact with an prospective student-athletes and/or his or her parents on or off the college’s campus. The coach may also watch prospective student-athletes play or visit their high school. Athletes and parents may visit a college campus and the coach may write and telephone prospective student athletes during this period.*

College recruiting regulations can be hard to figure out without someone to help direct you through the process. Sometimes rules need to be defined and broken down so they are easier to understand. One rule is the contact period rule.

Breakdown of the rule

So what does that mean? Here’s the breakdown in simple terms.

  • Basically, the contact period is the only recruiting period where a college coach can both evaluate and communicate with a player.
    • This is important to know because other recruiting periods have greater contact restrictions.
  • PSA’s and coaches can talk to one another on or off campus.
    • Specifically Junior and Seniors
  • Coaches can evaluate players by watching games or practices.
    • This includes underclassmen as well. Its a great opportunity to catch a coaches eye!
  • Contact with PSA can be made through phone, letter, email, text, and social media.
    • Underclassmen will only receive school info as noted in my previous blog.
  • PSA’s can take unofficial and official college visits during the contact period
    • Mostly, upperclassmen take advantage of the allotted visits.

A few other important notes. Contact periods are the least restricted of of the four recruiting periods. For many juniors and senior athletes this is also time where scholarship are offered, agreements are drawn up and athletes make commitments to colleges.

Lastly, if all of this is as confusing to you as instructions printed in Korean feel free to reach out to me by leaving a question in the comment section or finding me on twitter @michaelwoosley.

cropped-main_logo-1.jpgCoach Mike Woosley is a National Scouting Coordinator at CSA-PrepStar. As a professional collegiate sports scout Mike works with qualified next level student-athletes to find the right college athletic and academic fit.

Avoid the Sophmore Slump with a Focused Recruiting Strategy

sophomoreslumpEver heard of the “Sophomore slump”? In the sporting world the Sophomore year is often the year when performance in the classroom or on the field doesn’t quite meet expectations. How do you avoid the Sophomore slump in recruiting? Simple. All it takes is to be prepared and focused!

For most college sports nearly 85 percent of collegiate athletes are identified by college coaches by the end of their sophomore year. This is true because college coaches can only begin making contact after sophomore year. This means coaches are paying attention to what athletes do Freshman and Sophomore year.  Therefore, the goal with preparation and focus is to get noticed. And to get noticed you have to prepare.

“It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that.  It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”  ~Paul “Bear” Bryant

Prepare

The Sophomore year recruiting strategy is to prepare.

  • Prepare in classroom.
  • Prepare in the weight room.
  • Prepare on the practice field.

Why should you prepare? Because, otherwise, if the Sophomore slump gets to you, the only kind of notice you’ll get from coaches will be disappointment. Conversely, if you want coaches to take note of you, you’ll have to defeat the Sophomore slump with hard work.

Focus

This is the year where the recruiting plan that you put in motion way back in back in Junior high really begins to come into focus. Athletes, the focus should be on putting yourself in position to get noticed by college coaches for your performance in the classroom and in the lineup.  Once again, for most sports, coaches begin to take note of and reach out to contact contact prospective athletes following their sophomore year.

Sophomore Year Recruiting Tips
As a potential collegiate level student athlete you’re sure to be prepared and focused your sophomore year if you keep these recruiting tips in mind.

  • Play up to your potential, avoid the slump.
  • Maintain grades, keeping on track with NCAA core requirements.
  • Research list of potential schools
  • Create a player profile – update it quarterly
  • Start collecting video of game-film and athletic skills footage
  • Record accurate athletic metrics
  • Work towards goal of starting on the varsity team
  • Attend sports camps to continue to improve

Being prepared will help you so say so-long to the sophomore slump. Being prepared will help you get that call or letter of interest after your Sophomore year. So focus on these final recruiting tips is to help you prepare and focus.  Parents and athletes need to know the recruiting timeline. By the time  sophomore year, athletes can receive questionnaire of athletics interest, institutional educational information and camp invites. Personal contact with DI and DII college coaches is not permitted until after your sophomore year.

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Readers are welcome to leave comments to this week’s post or ask questions to be answered in next week’s post.  As always, I can be reached around the clock on twitter @michaelwoosley.

~Coach Mike

Beginners Guide to College Recruiting

Parents of junior high athletes often ask me when they should begin the recruiting process for their son or daughter. Typically, my reply is an emphatic, “Now!”  The most frequent response I get from that parent then is, “well, we have time.” Sorry friend, that’s just not true. Here’s why. According to the NCAA student-athletes become college prospects the first day of their Freshman year. So while the goal is not to get a college scholarship in the 8th grade, instead, the goal should be to use the junior high years to get your student athlete prepared for the recruiting process. This week, I’m going to help you come up with that plan as part of my beginners guide to recruiting series.

Parents of young athletes with big dreams need to start planning now.
Parents of young athletes with big dreams need to start planning now.

It may be true that only a select few athletes get on college recruiting boards the first day of Freshman year, it is equally true that you need to start making plans for your student-athlete if he or she ever expects to get noticed by college coaches.

The Junior high years, 7th and 8th grades, are the formidable years of athletic development. This is the time when athletes start to take an interest in favorite sport. Also, it is during the Junior high years talent begins to either blossom or wither.

Look for the 3 D’s
During the Junior high years parents need to look for the 3 D’s. Junior high is a great time to test for the 3 D’s. As a scout, I measure athletes by the 3D’s because they are found in the DNA of elite athlete, The 3 D’s are desire, determination and drive.

Desire– athletes that have an unyielding passion for the game. They eat, sleep, and breath it!
Determination  – athletes that motivated by the “have to” effect. These athletes have to master there position.
Drive– athletes that thrive on competition and the relentless pursuit to be the best.

The 3 D’s separate good athletes from great athletes. Good athletes get by on talent. Great athletes put in the work to become great. Almost every athlete has some amount of the 3 D’s, but I’m looking for the student- athlete that has noticeably more dedication to the 3 D’s than their peers. So parents, if your student athlete a shows measurable amount of the 3 D’s then its time to devise a plan.

Plan the plan
Usually, we fail when we fail to plan. If your goal is to get a scholarship to play a sport in college now is the time start making a plan. Remember to keep in mind that plans are flexible, not rigid. So my advice is to devise a plan, work towards that plan, and if necessary, adjust accordingly. Advice that I was given when I was young sums it up completely, “Plan the plan.”

Put the plan in motion
Now that a plan is coming together, start putting that plan in motion. Plan to be in the midst of your plan on day 1 of Freshman year. Here are a few suggestions to consider when putting your plan in motion.

  • Practice frequently
  • Get private position coaching
  • Go to sport specific camps.
  • Start playing on a competitive travel ball team
  • Start planning your high school course load.
  • Excel in the classroom and get good grades. (Only eligible players can play. )
  • Learn good study habits
  • Research your local high school, find out how many teams it has (Fr, JV, Var) and get to know the coaches.

All recruiting begins with a plan. These are just some the beginning steps to get you started with college recruiting. Next week’s post of the guide to recruiting with focus on Freshman year. That’s when the real fun begins!

So, if you want to be sure to get all the posts take a moment to click the follow button to make sure you get the entire beginners guide to recruiting sent to your email.

As always, readers are welcome to leave comments to this week’s post or ask questions to be answered in next week’s post. Tweet me around the clock with questions or comments on Twitter @michaelwoosley.

Your Future Isn’t Just in Your Hands….

The average debt of 2013 college graduates was over $35000. Its essential that whoever helps you get recruiting exposure helps you find the right college fit, otherwise you'll be paying to play.
The average debt of 2013 college graduates was over $35000. Its essential that whoever helps you get recruiting exposure helps you find the right college fit, otherwise you’ll be paying to play.

Fact is, who you choose to help you get to the next level can make a substantial difference. Please don’t take this consideration lightly.  Afterall,  its your future that you place in the hands of whomever you choose to help you get noticed by college coaches.

Let’s be honest, there are only a select few athletes who don’t need help to get to the next level. Truth is most athletes rely on help from an outside source such as a coach, family friend, or recruiting organization to help them get noticed by college coaches.

Not to sound too overly dramatic, but you must choose carefully because your future depends on it!  Take some time to ask yourself two simple questions. ‘Does this person has your best interest in mind?’ “Do they want to see me succeed not just in sports but in life?”

Again, the person or organization you choose to guide you through the recruiting process will make a world of difference. Here are three reasons why you need to put some thought as you to choose the right person to help you get to the next level. The right person handling your recruiting can help you get maximum exposure, financial assistance and the right fit. Here’s a brief explanation of each.

Exposure– who you choose to help you needs to have reach. What I mean by reach is relationships and connections with colleges nationwide to help you get the exposure you need to get noticed. A person with reach should know coaches from coast to coast. More reach equals more exposure and more exposure equals more opportunity for collegiate athletic scholarships.

Financial assistance– who you choose to help you will impact the amount of scholarship money offered to you. There is a huge difference between playing for a school and getting a scholarship to play for a college. The difference is not just the financial assistance you will receive, it also means the amount of money you will have to finance to pay back after you graduate.

Fit– who you to help you will have an affect on fit. By this I mean whether or not you fit in athletically and academically at your new college. Fit is more than going to a school you “like”.  Fit is knowing the answers to questions like these. Does the college you want to play at have a the major you want to study? Is that program top notch? What are the values of the college? Do you like the community where the college is located? Will going to that college prepare you for a career after you graduate? What kind of athletic program are you going to be a part of? Do you have a good repore with the coaches? Do you like the offensive or defensive schemes? Is your position already filled or will you have a fair shot a earning a spot on the depth chart and seeing playing time as an underclassman?

So, what’s your recruiting strategy? Who are you relying on to get you noticed by college coaches?

Need help? Want some advice? Use the comment section to ask me questions.