Posted by Ken Krause
Guest post by Lindsay White, Let’sGetSigned.com, Instagram: @LetsGetSigned. For many young softball players, playing in college is the dream. They know they need to contact college coaches to make that dream happen, but beyond that they’re not sure what to say or do. This guest post from Lindsay White, who has been through the journey and now helps others, will provide some more specific guidance on how to achieve greater success in your hunt for a place to play in college.
So you want to play college ball but don’t really know where to start. Or maybe you’ve already started reaching out to some coaches but haven’t heard anything back. Trust me, you’re not alone. (And if you haven’t started reaching out yet, what are you waiting for? Go for it!)
Remember, coaches have busy schedules and aren’t always able to reply to your email at lightning speed. They’re probably sifting through their emails as we speak and will eventually get to yours. Don’t give up just yet.
I don’t know how many times I’ve been at a tournament speaking to girls and their parents and they say… “I just don’t know what to say in my emails,” or… “I wrote an email introducing myself but never heard anything back.” This happens a lot, trust me!
So today I’m going to help you out. I’m going to show you how to stand out in a coach’s in box and ACTUALLY get a reply by following the 4 tips below when reaching out to college coaches.
1. Include the Coach’s Name
This one might seem obvious, but I can’t stress its importance enough (and many times it’s overlooked). Make sure to include the coach’s NAME.
The absolute worst thing you can do is copy and paste the same email over and over again to 100 college coaches. And trust me, they can tell. Addressing them by name at the beginning of your email shows that you wrote this email specifically to them.
I don’t know how many times I’ve worked with a student athlete, taken a look at the emails they’ve been sending and I see this at the top of their email…
“To Whom It May Concern”
or… “Hey Coach”…
or… “Mr. Peterson”
First of all, “To Whom It May Concern” shows that you took absolutely zero time researching who you’re contacting. You might as well tell them you picked their team out of a hat.
Second, “Hey Coach” will have them wondering if you even know their name. Grab their attention by showing them you know EXACTLY who you’re contacting. That you reached out to them specifically because you’re interested in playing for them.
Last, “Mr. Peterson” is just weird; they aren’t your 3rd period history teacher. Have you ever been on the field and yelled to your coach… “hey! Mr. Peterson?” No. This will just catch them off guard and leave them a bit confused.
Make sure to start the email with “Hi Coach XYZ,”…
Do NOT miss this step!
2. Tell Them Specifically Why You Want to Play for Them
Again, coaches can tell when you’ve copied and pasted the same email over and over again. You want to show coaches that you know exactly who they are, know a bit about their program and why you want to play for them specifically.
Do you know how many emails these coaches are getting from girls a week? Do you know how many of them are probably copy and pasting the same email to tons of other coaches?
Most emails sent to college coaches are super generalized. Meaning, any coach could read it and it would apply to them. No, you want the coach to read it and realize that you reached out to them specifically, because you want to play for THEIR school in particular.
Take a look at this general email below:
My name is Lindsay White and I’d love the opportunity to play for your team. I’m a center fielder and think I’d be great asset to your program. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah and will be graduating in 2019.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Now take a look at the email below where I tailor the email to this specific coach:
“Hi Coach Isakson!
First off, I want to say congratulations for winning your regional this year. That’s so exciting! You had such an awesome group of girls.
Anyway, I can’t help but notice that you’ll be losing 2 of your starting outfielders in 2019. I’m sure you’re already looking to fill those spots. It just so happens that I’m a center fielder and will be graduating high school in 2019 and would LOVE the opportunity to play for you and wear the Grizzly uniform
I look forward to hearing from you!
In the second email, I not only address the coach by name, I show that I know about his program and how they did this year (that I’ve done my homework), and I even mention their school mascot. This coach clearly knows I sent this email to him and only him.
3. Include A Player Profile
The best thing you can do is to keep your email short, simple and easy to read. Like I said, their inbox is probably overflowing. The last thing they have time for is to open a super long email and take out 10 minutes of their time just to read through it.
Make it so they can skip the boring stuff, and go straight to the good stuff… the stuff they’re actually looking for.
This is where your player profile comes in. What’s a player profile? It’s a simple document, ideally a single page, of all stuff softball. What position you play, when you graduate, any special awards you’ve received, where you’re from, etc.
This becomes their quick reference guide; you’ll want to attach it to your email as a PDF document. Now they can quickly print it off and add it to their stack of prospects, and can come back to it later if needed.
Not sure exactly what to include in your Player Profile? Or maybe you have one but it’s just a word document and not organized very well. Don’t worry, I designed 3 different templates you can use. These templates are sure to help you stand out from all the other girls. Click HERE to download these Player Profile templates. Just pick your favorite design, edit it to your own information, save as a PDF and now you’ve got a killer profile to send out.
4. Your Game Schedule
Please don’t ever send an email out without including your summer game schedule and/or your high school game schedule. These coaches want to come watch you play (if possible). They can’t do that if you don’t let them know when and where you’ll be playing.
Often times these coaches will already be at your tournaments scouting (if you’re in the same area). But they’ll be SURE to make sure to come find you. You already reached out to them, told them you want to play for them, trust me, they’ll make time to come find YOU.
Sometimes coaches aren’t always able to make it, simply because you live far away or they’re busy. Trust me, they have connections everywhere. Sometimes a coach will send a friend, colleague, or another coach to scout you out.
A game schedule is overlooked way too often. Put it in the very first email you send them. That way, they have all the information all in one place and don’t have to come back to you asking for more info.
Making their job easier is your goal. And trust me, not many other girls are doing most or even any of these 4 things.
Use this post as a guideline when writing your next or even first email to a coach and you’ll be super happy with the results.
And don’t forget to download your Player Profile templates HERE. Coaches will be super impressed, trust me!
Have you already been reaching out to coaches? Leave a comment below and tell me how it’s going.
Lindsay White played every varsity softball game in high school from freshman to senior year. She then went on to play in the SWAC conference, making All-Region 2 years in a row. She then got signed to Dixie State University where she graduated with a degree in Business. She now works with high school girls to help get them signed to play college softball on scholarship, with amazing success. Many of her girls have gotten signed within just a few months of implementing her strategies.