After you have familiarized yourself with the NCAA rules, built your resume and researching schools, now it’s time to contact coaches.
The topic of contacting schools is a question that I get asked numerous times throughout recruiting seminars and individual consultations. As with many parts of the process, this tends to be very specific to where the individual recruit is at in her own recruiting process. Obviously, the higher ranked players don’t have to work as hard to contact coaches because they are being sought after by the coaches and will generate enough interest through a smaller number of intro emails. However as you move down the rankings list, the number of coaches you need to contact in order to ensure you find the right fit increases. While some will be able to contact a small group of schools and generate enough communication and interest, it is rarely that easy.
I recommend contacting 75 or more schools initially. While this may seem like a lot, from my experience of working with players, they will get about 20-25% of their emails answered, of that 20-25% many of them will be generic replies or decline of interest replies. Many times a player’s initial list of schools include a majority of golf programs that are not realistic, it is ok to have some dream schools on your list, but when that is the majority of your schools and you only contact 15-20 then you won’t get anywhere. I recommend the 75+ or more because that hopefully opens the door that the recruit will at least identify 20-30 schools that are actually realistic and give themselves the opportunity to start the process with a few programs.
Keep in mind that when I recommend “75 or more schools” that simply means that you have researched the school, identified it as a possibility and sent the coach an introduction email with your resume. After you have sent out all of your intro emails you will begin to narrow down the list to your top schools and to the schools where the coach replied to you. From there you need make phones calls and try to set up visits to those schools. Below are a few of the reasons why you need to contact as many coaches as possible:
- More schools mean more options – more options mean a better chance of finding a good fit
- Having several coaches interested in you is a confidence booster to know that you are wanted and being recruited.
- Many of the schools that a recruit contacts aren’t within their athletic and academic range so many coaches won’t even reply or won’t consider them to be a prospective recruit
- You’re much better off to have your initial visits and phone calls with a coach who isn’t at the top of your list. You can get some practice in by talking with coaches at schools that may not be your top choices so that you are more comfortable and prepared for the schools you really want to go to. Then you will also have those as fall back schools in case the others don’t work out.
- You never know what is going to happen with your game, your goals, and your future plans so if you only contact schools that are above your level will miss out on opportunities that may end up being the best fit.
- When you are looking at all the different aspects that must be considered when choosing the right fit, it can be very difficult to find a school and golf program that has them all (location, tuition, financial aid, size, major preference, coaching style, practice facilities, extracurricular activities, etc…)
“Almost 75% of emails I receive are from recruits who I can’t even recruit”. – Division I Women’s Coach
“Most families do not do their homework to know how good a team is or is not.” – Division I Women’s Coach
“Visit as many schools as you can in order to make the most educated decision about where to go to college.” – Division II Women’s Coach
“Be realistic in schools you contact and visit as many places as possible” – Division I Women’s Coach
“Kids don’t do enough research on more than one or 2 schools and then they end up unhappy” – Division I Women’s Coach
If you have any questions about the college recruiting process Brandi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.