On the East Coast, Columbus Day Weekend is a big soccer tournament recruiting weekend. The coaches from my staff will be in three different states recruiting players at different tournaments. On top of that, we had to turn down going to two other tournaments because we just didn’t have the time or man power to cover them. I am very lucky in the fact that I have 3 assistant coaches that are available to help me in the recruiting process and are willing to go out and do the work. Many D3 programs have only a head coach and one assistant. From our recent Survey Results, the majority of D3 programs (71%) have 2 or fewer assistant coaches that are attending more than a dozen events per year. This takes a lot of time, effort and coordination.
How does this affect the potential D3 student athlete? It is pretty simple- if you want us to come see you play at a tournament, you have to let us know that you are going to the tournament. The best way to do this is by email.
Now again some important email etiquette. Don’t just send generic emails addressed to “Coach”, make them personalized; make the effort and find the coaches name. Also, we coaches know that you are looking at other schools besides ours, but we don’t like to be reminded of that fact in your emails! I still get emails from players addressed to “Coach” and then telling me how excited a player is about the opportunity to play at Haverford or Dickinson or Penn State or UCLA or some other college that is not mine!
When you do send an email, be sure to include the dates, times, and locations of your games. You should also include your team name, jersey colors, jersey number, and position that you anticipate playing.
The last and most important thing is send out your communications in a timely manner! I frequently get emails from players on Friday night before a Saturday tournament. It takes a good deal of effort to coordinate and plan, especially when there are a lot of players to see, and having to try to make changes late in the game is difficult.
Do yourself a favor- if you think that you are attending a tourney, send a note to those colleges of interest at least about two weeks prior saying that you should be attending and you will follow up as soon as you confirm your attendance. Then make sure to follow up with the specific info (date, time, location, etc.) of the competition!
The bottom line is this— the best players are not always the ones that get the most recruiting attention at the D3 level. Players that are thoughtful and conscientious in their communication with D3 coaches will get a lot of attention. If they are also good players, then so much the better.
Questions? Comments? Drop us a line at email@example.com.