3 years ago
Admissions Advice

How and when should I go about contacting college coaches?

I am a rising senior and I am considering running in college as a student athlete. I don't really have a great understanding of how recruiting works and would love a little guidance. I know that I have to reach out to the coaches, but I was wondering if there was anything specific I should add in the emails and when I should send them. Thank you in advance!

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
3 years ago[edited]

On the same boat (but I want to row). It really depends what division he school is you want to run at. I don’t know much about D2 but I can give you advice on D1 and D3.

As for NCSA and other recruiting websites, I don’t recommend signing up for them. They give you a free trial and then make you pay (a lot of money). I did it and I haven’t gotten much use out of the website.

At this point in your recruiting contacting D1 and D3 schools is not that different (as you are a rising senior and you are allowed to have conversations with coaches).

These are the steps you should follow (based on my experience):

1. Research colleges and find coaches emails (you can find them on the schools athletic websites)

2. At least for crew (IDK about running) fill out the athletic questionnaires

3. Contact coaches. Write individual emails and make them specific to the school, address the coach, and add a few details of what you like about the program and the school, include your GPA, best stats, (un)official transcript, height, weight (if it applies to running).

4. Wait until coaches write back to you

Some more info:

I haven’t signed up for NCAA eligibility center because you have to pay for it, and I don’t feel like paying for it unless a D1 coach becomes really interested in me. I wouldn’t pay for it until you start communicating with D1 coaches.

For official visits you only get 5 so make sure you use them wisely.

Edit: the Ivy League does not offer athletic scholarships

Recruiting can be stressful at times. I hope this helps (a bit) and best of luck with your recruiting.

3 years ago


These are the very best recruiting websites. I've used MaxPreps and NCSA recruiting. You have to fill out an extensive profile with your picture and your stats. Since I played water polo, I had to upload my lap times for the 50 free and 100 free even though I wasn't interested in joining a swim team. Water Polo Coaches want to know if you can swim fast. Also, I had to put in my height, weight, and unique things like wing-span to height ratio. So in water polo, if you have long arms that's an advantage. So someone with a 6' span who is 5'8" is more desirable than someone who has a 5'9" span who is 6'1". I didn't upload any videos or game clips because I was not good enough for D1 or even D3 in my opinion. So if you are good at your sport, the best way in front of all the college coaches who are all subscribers of these websites.

If they want you, they will first reach out to you in an email. And then they will invite you to a zoom meeting with other recruits. There you see who your competition is. In my case, I only went to 1 of these meetings for CalTech water polo. I didn't want to apply to CalTech so I lost interest.

The next step is they invite you out for a weekend where you play some games so they can see who you are in real live action. After that, you will either get a follow-up call with a verbal offer followed up by a formal offer if they still want you or they will just send you an email if they don't want you.


Most football, lacrosse, baseball, basketball players have a Hudl or MaxPreps account.

If your sport is a popular one, then you don't want to miss out by not attending some of the key recruiting camps that happen all over the country during the summer. So you need to check the websites of whoever are key players in the sport. At these camps, you pay a fee to attend, room and board and get some tweak coaching from some national-level coaches. Usually, they have their radar on and alert other recruiters if they have some good attendees and want to get a kick-back or some quid pro quo.


First, do your research. Many colleges do not give financial aid for certain sports. I know that in Water Polo, you only get a $$$ offer from a D1 school like Stanford, Princeton, Harvard but not a D3 school like Pomona, CMC, MIT, Caltech, Occidental. Since Columbia has only a Club team, they neither recruit nor offer financial aid to water polo players. If I want to play, I will have to tryout out as a walk-on.

I found the standards for D1, D2, and D3 for track and field.



So I might begin there and see if your Event and Personal Best time is within range for a D1, D2 or D3 school.

Good luck.

3 years ago

I feel as if this is obvious but if you participate in track and field but aren’t great at it contacting coaches may not be a viable option. Aditionally you do need to register with the NCAA for recruiting. I know very little about that but there are plenty of guides online.

As for the contacting coaches I believe (emphasis on believe) that most schools have a preset procedure where you can go to thier athletic department home page and fill out a form that indicates you want to contact a coach.

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