Student-Athletes: How and When to Contact Coaches at Universities

by | Jun 21, 2023

Adapted from an article by Prep Scholar

How and When College Coaches Can Initiate Contact With You

The rules vary by sport and division, but the general rule is that college coaches can’t talk to you before the end of your junior year. However, many schools will send you information via mail as soon as you’re on their radar. If you receive a recruiting questionnaire and you have any interest in that school, make sure you fill it out and send it back.

If you’re a priority recruit, the coach will call you in the spring of your junior year or the summer before your senior year. July 1st before your senior year is the date when coaches can initiate contact for most sports for Division I colleges. Once college coaches are permitted to talk to you, the general rule is that they’re allowed to contact you once per week.

Keep in mind that just because you get mail or a phone call from a coach doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get a scholarship offer.

Initiating Contact With Coaches

Most student-athletes will have to initiate contact with coaches if they want a scholarship or want to participate in intercollegiate athletics. I highly recommend that you take a proactive approach to your recruiting process.

When To Contact Coaches

There is no exact right time to contact college coaches, but the general rule is that earlier is better. Typically, prospective athletes will contact coaches during their junior years or the summer before their senior years.

Even though there are rules regarding when and how much a coach can contact you, there are no rules stopping you from contacting a coach whenever and however often you deem necessary. Use your discretion, though. If a coach is not responding to you, don’t continue contacting him or her.

How to Contact Coaches

The most common way to initiate contact with a coach is through e-mail. Your initial e-mail should express your interest in the school along with key information about you: your academic accomplishments, your athletic accomplishments, including awards, stats, and experience, and any attributes that would make you a good fit for that school or team.

Additionally, the e-mail should contain a link to a video. The video should be relatively short, only a couple of minutes long. Show highlights from games and possibly practices that demonstrate your athletic abilities and readiness to participate on the collegiate level. If you do a team sport, make sure it’s clear who you are in the video. Also, have a full game tape ready, in case one of the coaches requests it.

Feel free to a call a coach to express your interest. Even though it may be hard to get a coach on the phone if you’re not already on his or her recruiting radar, you can always try or leave a message. Ask what the coach needs from you to be considered for a scholarship or a spot on the team.

Furthermore, you can make a profile on a recruiting website. Examples of recruiting websites include BeRecruitedNCSA, and CaptainU. Some of their services are free and some require you to pay. The recruiting websites make sure you’re sending the right information to coaches, and they can provide you with contact information for college coaches. While these websites can be rather helpful, they’re not essential.

Weil College Advising

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