- Email specifically to the coach by name. Even if you send essentially the same email to many coaches, take the time to use the actual name.
- Ditto for the college. No coach is interested in getting “Dear Coach, I am interested in your College or University."
- Google yourself. What do people find when they type your name? What about when they type your name and the word “volleyball”?
- Mention your academic/career interests, if you know. This will help the coach respond to you with specific information about their school. If a coach is interested, he/she may want to promote their school by sending you info about programs you didn’t know about at their school that the coach thinks would be attractive to you.
- Don’t be afraid to ask pointed questions. This is so important because some coaches have a hard time telling recruits no. Ask:
o “How many players are you recruiting in my year?”
o “Are you recruiting [my position] in my year?”
o “How do I compare to your other recruits?”
o “Would you guarantee me a spot on the team?”
- Be direct and follow up if you get a non-specific answer. You are not being too forward to ask. If a coach tells you that you are in their top 5, that means you are #5. If you were #3, the coach would say so.
- Ask how the coach thinks you compare to the players already on the roster.
- Ask what influence the coach has with admissions or financial aid.
- Don’t wait for colleges to contact you! If you are interested, get in touch with them and give them a reason to care.
- Don’t worry about being too forward, assertive, or appearing too interested. The more interested you seem in a school, the more the coach will want to learn about you and the more they will try to see you play.
- Don’t let your parent do all the talking. Your parent is perfectly entitled to ask lots of questions, and they should definitely do that, but you need to be the one doing most of the talking – asking and answering questions. It is totally appropriate for parents to have their own meetings/phone calls with coaches.
- Don’t come on an overnight visit looking to party and experience a wild nightlife. You definitely want to know what makes the school tick and what kids do for fun, but you want to meet the team and find out if that’s a place you want to live for 4 years. Talk to people and ask questions.