On the East Coast, Columbus Day Weekend is a big soccer tournament recruiting weekend. NCAA Division III college coaches are attending recruiting tournaments all over the area looking for players. With so many tournament options and so many players to see, it takes a lot of time, effort and coordination.
How does this affect the potential D3 student athlete? It is pretty simple- if you want a college coach to come see you play at a tournament, you have to let the college coaches 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, coaches know that you are looking at other schools besides theirs, but don’t make the mistake of reminding them of that in your emails! If you are sending an email to the coach at Haverford, don’t tell them how excited you are about the opportunity to play at Dickinson or Penn State or UCLA or some other college that is not theirs!
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! Don’t send out emails 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.
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