Going to College Archive

Is Your Written Communication to Coaches Sending the Right Message?

Knowing what to say and how to say it can help you stand out as a prospective student-athlete.

At some point in the recruiting process, prospective student-athletes will engage in written correspondence with college golf coaches, and for some junior golfers, it may be the first interaction they have with a coach. Properly designed emails and letters provide coaches with a positive impression of a prospect’s academic and athletic ability and goals. Poorly written communication, on the other hand, can potentially cause coaches to question your professionalism and attention to detail.

From my experience as a coach, I can confidently say that many junior golfers would benefit from guidance on how to put their best foot forward when writing to coaches. To increase the effectiveness of your outreach to college coaches, keep the following suggestions in mind:

  • Research before you write – Before you send an email or letter to a college coach, be sure that your academic and athletic skills match the requirements of the school and golf program of interest. Coaches will usually respond to inquiries from recruits who possess the talent and credentials similar to players on their team. The Ping American College Golf Guide (collegegolf.com) is an excellent resource for identifying “best fit” schools.

  • Remember the basics – Be mindful of using correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. In addition, check that you have entered the correct coach’s name and school, especially when sending introductory messages or updates to a list of programs. Taking time to revise, or having a parent assist with editing, can prevent embarrassing mistakes.

  • Be specific – When writing to a coach, take time to mention the unique reasons why you are interested in his golf program and school. Coaches want to feel that you have taken time to learn about their background, team, and university.

  • Express your mission – When emailing coaches about recent tournament performances, avoid the temptation to over explain poor rounds. Coaches don’t want to hear excuses or how you got a bad break. They know that all players have tough days or tournaments. Coaches really want to hear what you learned from your round and about your mission for improvement.

  • Propose the next step – Each time that you send an email to a coach, propose an actionable step to move the relationship forward. For instance, ask if the coach requires additional information about you. You might also tell a coach about your upcoming tournament schedule in hopes that he can see you compete. Inquiring about the possibility of scheduling an unofficial visit or phone call is a useful next-step idea as well.

  • Be patient – College coaches balance an extensive list of responsibilities as they manage their teams. Due to this reality, their schedules may not always allow for immediate responses to emails or letters. Be patient, and don’t be concerned if a coach doesn’t reply right away.

  • Say thank you – Telling a coach that you are appreciative of his time and interest in you is always a good strategy. Good manners go a long way!

As you begin writing to college coaches, utilize these tips. Taking an informed, detailed, and sincere approach to your communication will definitely help strengthen your position as you pursue college opportunities.

nicky goetze


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