Initiating the recruiting process for college soccer or any sport with a specific school is almost always up to the athlete. It would be best if you didn’t wait around for coaches to notice you; contacting a college soccer coach to get recruited is the first step of your college journey.
To contact a college soccer coach, find their email address on the university website, write a personalized email, proofread and edit it for spelling and grammar, send the email, wait for a response, follow up if necessary, and respond promptly to their reply email. Include relevant personal information and an upcoming game or tournament schedule.
Getting recruited for college soccer is all about being proactive and contacting coaches ahead of time to give yourself enough time for them to see you play. This article covers everything you need to know about contacting college soccer coaches, including how to talk to them on the phone or via text message.
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What is the best way to contact a college soccer coach?
You’re not alone if you’re wondering how to contact a college soccer coach. It can be an intimidating first step into your recruiting process. However, contacting a coach is as easy as finding their email online, drafting an introduction, and pressing send.
The best way to contact a college soccer coach for the first time is through their university-registered email, which can be found on the college’s website. Email is the standard first-time communication method between college coaches and recruits. Coaches typically move to cell phone communications after connecting via email.
Coaches are allowed to communicate directly with potential recruits via phone calls, text messages, and emails, permitted that the athlete is at least in their junior year of high school.
Email is the most professional way to contact a college soccer coach for the first time. Then, after establishing a connection and relationship with the coach, they may opt for a more direct, personal, and faster line of communication via cell phone calls and text messaging.
Remember that college coaches are busy; although email is sufficient, it’s relatively slow. Don’t be surprised or taken aback if a coach reaches out through the phone for a chat instead of opting for an email chain.
At the beginning of your recruiting process, expect to be the one reaching out first. If that’s the case, always go with an email to start that process.
When can college coaches contact high school athletes?
At what point are college coaches allowed to contact high school athletes? It’s not until halfway through their high school career that athletes can start communicating back and forth with college coaches.
College coaches can contact high school athletes starting June 15 after the athlete’s sophomore year in high school. High school athletes cannot receive official college athletic scholarships before August 1 or September 1 of their junior year.
Conversely, high school athletes are allowed to contact college coaches at any point before their sophomore year. Still, college coaches are legally prohibited from responding until after June 15 following the athlete’s sophomore year.
Coaches cannot give verbal offers to high school recruits until June 15, after their sophomore year. After that, an official scholarship offer cannot be made for another 17 days on August 1.
College coaches can (and will) watch high school or even middle school athletes at club or school competitions, training, and especially tournaments and showcases. If they do this, there’s a good chance they’re communicating with the club or school’s coach about recruiting players.
In this case, your club or school coach acts as the middleman between you and the college coach since they can’t contact you directly until after your sophomore year of high school.
How to contact a college soccer coach for the first time
There is a right and wrong way of contacting college soccer coaches. The right way to do it is with proper communication skills and an emphasis on professionalism.
Here are 8 steps on how to contact a college soccer coach to start the recruiting process on the right foot:
- Find the coach’s email address on the university website
- Draft a personalized email (with additional contact info)
- Review the email for spelling, grammar and accuracy
- Send the email
- Give the coach time to respond
- Follow up with another email if necessary
- Reply promptly to the coach’s response (say thank you)
- Keep in touch with the coach
1. Find the coach’s email address on the university website
This part is straightforward. Find the coach’s email address on the university or institution’s website. Type in the university name followed by “men’s/women’s soccer roster.”
Coaches are typically listed in the roster with the players at the beginning or end of the page. Always reach out to the head coach unless otherwise stated. Sometimes, you might have to contact an assistant, but that’s okay. Just proceed as usual.
2. Draft a personalized email (with additional contact info)
After you find the coach’s contact information, it’s time to write the email. First, think about what you want to say.
Is there a college showcase tournament coming up that you’re wondering if they’ll attend? Do you want them to see a game of yours? Or do you want to introduce yourself and put yourself on their radar?
With this in mind, introduce yourself in the email and then express your interest in playing college soccer or, more specifically, playing for the university where they coach. Then, tell them why you’re reaching out.
It’s best practice to include your upcoming match or tournament schedule in this first email to streamline communications as much as possible.
3. Review the email for spelling, grammar and accuracy
Professionalism goes a very, very long way in any facet of life, down to how you write emails to college coaches. Once you draft your email, review it for spelling and grammar mistakes. This next part is the most overlooked and essential aspect of emailing college coaches.
Make sure you spell the coach’s name and the university correctly.
For example, it’s not “The University of West Virginia.”
Instead, it’s “West Virginia University.”
Although it’s unlikely, making this simple mistake could potentially cost your entire recruiting process with the coach. Take the time to carefully review every word of the email for spelling, grammar, and accuracy before clicking send.
4. Send the email
After you’ve reviewed the email for spelling, grammar, and accuracy, take a deep breath and click that send button. Congratulations–you just took your first step into the college soccer recruiting process!
Give yourself a pat on the back for reaching this huge milestone, and keep up the good work.
The recruiting process doesn’t stop here. Proactively contacting coaches is the first step in your college soccer career.
Pro tip: use your first email as a base for future emails to other college coaches. Be sure to personalize each one for the proper coach and institution, but feel free to start with the one you used in this exercise.
5. Give the coach time to respond
As mentioned above, college soccer coaches are busy, especially during the season. They have a lot of competition and training to prioritize ahead of recruiting and answering emails.
Give the coach time to respond to your email. Wait two weeks for an initial reply. If you expect a response sooner because they said they could get back to you, you can follow up more shortly.
6. Follow up with another email if necessary
Follow-ups are helpful for many reasons; the coach might not have seen your original email, they may have opened it and forgotten to respond, your email may have gone to their spam folder, or something else may have prevented them from seeing it.
Follow up with the coach after at least one week with no response. Wait two weeks for an initial reply back to your introductory email.
If you aren’t having any luck with the head coach, send another email to an assistant coach or vice versa. This shows your persistence and that you have a genuine interest in playing for the team.
7. Reply promptly to the coach’s response (say thank you)
Upon receiving a response, whether good or bad, thank them for their time and consideration. Reply within 24 hours if you can, and use your response email to give them information they might still need or asked for from you.
At this point, they might ask to set up a phone call or online meeting to talk more about recruiting, your upcoming schedule, or your overall interest in college soccer. In this case, find time to jump into a conversation with them, and if you do schedule a meeting, put it in a calendar or write it down somewhere so that you won’t forget!
8. Keep in touch with the coach
After talking to the coach a bit and building a rapport with them, don’t be afraid to stay in touch and keep them in the loop with your upcoming schedule. They will notice your proactivity and appreciate your thinking of their program.
It can be as simple as sending them a PDF or link with your upcoming matches or tournament schedules or a result from a recent game your team won against a tough opponent.
What should you say when you contact a college coach?
Writing an email to a college coach can be nerve-wracking. What you should say to a college soccer coach is based on your personal goals. What should you say when emailing a college soccer coach?
When you contact a college coach, explain the reason for the email, i.e., you want them to watch an upcoming game or competition. Include your name, your high school or club team’s name, your position, year or age, height, and weight. Review the email for spelling and grammar, and attach a link or file to your upcoming competition schedule.
You can (and should) also include a link to or file of your highlight video. If you don’t have a highlight video, make one if possible–highlight videos are essential in your recruitment toolkit.
Essentially, you want to give the coach enough information in the email to;
- a) look you up on Hudl or another recruitment platform to get more information about you; and
- b) come to a competition even if you don’t have a conversation about it.
Because of how busy they are, there’s a possibility a college coach might see your email, not get a chance to respond, and then come to your competition without you knowing.
Always be polite and professional when you contact a college coach, as this could set you apart from other recruits.
Once you get a response, reply within 24 hours if possible and no later than 48 hours–if you need more information to respond to them, but don’t have it yet, send a short reply explaining that you got their email and will send the information as soon as you get it.
College coaches appreciate it when you keep them in the loop. Don’t make it their responsibility to track your schedule. Making their job a little bit easier is one way to get yourself noticed quicker.
How do you talk to a college soccer coach on the phone?
College coaches often opt for phone call conversations after you’ve introduced yourself via email or in person. Phone calls are a more streamlined and personable communication method, so it makes sense that college soccer coaches prefer them to emails.
College soccer coaches generally ask to talk on the phone after in-person or email introductions. When talking to a coach on the phone, do so in a private area, away from noises or distractions. Speak clearly and answer their questions to the best of your ability. Don’t be nervous; they only want to know more about your interest in college soccer.
The purpose of the phone call with college coaches is for them to get to know you better. They want to see if you’re looking at other schools, how far along in the recruiting process you are, and other college soccer or academic information.
College coaches typically ask questions on the phone like:
- Are you looking at other schools?
- What are your grades like?
- Do you know what you want to major in?
- Why do you want to play college soccer?
Prepare answers for these questions beforehand so you’re not caught off guard during the phone call. But remember that this isn’t a test; they just want to learn more about you and where you’re at in your college journey.
How do you text a college soccer coach?
Texting is traditionally the most informal communication method for speaking with a college coach. However, it’s not an excuse for you to forgo professionalism. It’s a quick and easy way for college coaches to send a message and to keep each other updated.
Text a college soccer coach similarly to how you would email them. Usually, they will text you first as a formality. From there, texts generally consist of quick updates regarding the recruiting process, schedule changes, or other pertinent information.
You should still use a professional tone when texting a college coach, even if their manner is less professional. It’s good practice to be professional and avoid potentially inappropriate semantics.
Always email the college coach. Don’t initiate an introduction via text message unless they tell you they’d prefer it. Also, don’t send personal information over text; if they ask for required personal information, it’s best to keep it in the email chain.
Never share things like passwords or social security information with college coaches.
How to contact a college soccer coach for a walk-on tryout
If you’re wondering how to walk onto a college soccer team, this part’s for you. It’s a bit different than the high school athlete recruiting process, but they share similarities. For a more detailed guide on the college soccer walk-on process, read here.
To contact a college soccer coach for a walk-on tryout, find their email on the university website and draft an introduction message. Express your interest in trying out for the team, inquire if they hold walk-on tryouts, and ask for the date and time of the tryout.
Include your year, age, height, weight, and preferred position in the email to the college coach. Follow up with another email if you don’t hear back within a week.
College soccer walk-on tryouts can happen in the fall preseason or spring. Get ahead of things by reaching out to the coach over the summer before the regular season–you don’t want to miss the fall tryout or be unprepared if it’s sooner than you thought.
When you contact them, be professional and respectful of their time. Give your thanks and express a genuine interest in joining the team. Coaches want more than just soccer players; they want level-headed individuals who can set an example on the field, in the locker room, and the classroom. This goes for all recruits, not just walk-ons.