How to Contact College Volleyball Coaches
Consider this: There are approximately 330 programs between Division I and Division II volleyball (both offer athletic scholarships) across the nation and thousands of prospects vying for scholarships at those schools. Because the disparity between the number of coaches and athletes is so great, being a good player doesn’t guarantee that a coach will find you. That’s why it is a good idea to contact the coaches at any or all schools in which you are interested. This guide will further explain just how you should go about getting on the collective coaching radar.
Recruiting & the Database
In order to better evaluate and track athletes hoping to attend their respective institutions, coaches keep a database of each graduating class. This database contains contact information for all prospective student athletes in a given class. Coaches use this database to determine which players they will watch in order to evaluate the likeliness of that player becoming a part of their program. Although it is a coach’s goal to cast a wide net while making a database, they can easily miss athletes who are more than able to contribute at the collegiate level.
The Introduction Email
Writing an introduction e-mail should be your first step, as it's an opportunity for you to get your name in a given school’s recruiting database and to endear yourself to the coaching staff.
Ideally, an athlete should start sending out introduction letters during their sophomore year of high school, soon after they receive their club volleyball tournament schedule. The club season is when college coaches do the majority of their recruiting work, so making yourself known to coaches before the start of club season will allow them to schedule time to watch you play.
Since this is an introduction e-mail, you’ll want to remember to keep it brief, while still communicating all the necessary information. Here is a list of basic information you should be sure to include:
- Mailing address
- Telephone number (both home phone and cellular phone)
- E-mail address
- Name of current high school and graduation year
- Club team name and age group
- Positions played
- Physical profile (height, weight, vertical standing reach, vertical jump/approach touch)
- Club tournament schedule and/or high school schedule
Now that you know whys, whens and whats, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. Follow the steps below and get writing.
The athlete should make a list of schools he/she is interested in attending. When compiling this list, it is important to consider other factors besides volleyball – like the school’s academic reputation.
Gather Contact Information
The school’s website should have the most recent contact information for the coaches. Remember to get the information for the head coach, because that is to whom you will be addressing your e-mail.
Take some time to brainstorm and come up with a few interesting facts about yourself. Coaches want to get to know the athletes they will be recruiting, so feel free to let a little bit of your personality shine through in your e-mail.
Sit down and write a draft. Don’t worry about the e-mail being perfect or even the length of it at this point. The most important thing to do is get a draft written. Once you write your draft put, it aside for a day or two.
It’s time to get that correcting pen out and whip your e-mail into shape.
A good introduction letter should do just that – introduce you to the coach. Coaches receive hundreds of e-mails a day, so it’s important to remember to keep your correspondence brief while still communicating the necessary information.
Tell the coach you want to play for them
Go back and re-read your letter. If you don’t explicitly say that you want to be considered for a scholarship at the given school, then go back and add that in somewhere.
Here is an example of an introduction e-mail:
Dear Coach Gruden
My name is Jane Doe and I am an outside hitter from Berkeley, CA. I am currently in my sophomore year of high school at Berkeley High and would like to be considered for an outside hitter position at Bowling Green State University.
I was named MVP of my high school varsity team this past season and I led the league in both kills and hitting percentage. In addition to my success on the court, I am also the president of the astronomy club. My passion for planets and stars has allowed me to represent my school at the national astronomy convention.
I have a 3.6 GPA and have scored a 26 on my ACT and a 1200 on my SAT. I would like to major in chemistry in college
The introduction e-mail or letter is an opportunity to share a bit of your personality with a prospective future coach. So while it is important to be professional and get the necessary information across, be sure to let your personality shine through.