In the world of college recruiting, social media has emerged as a powerful tool for athletes seeking to demand attention and communicate with college coaches. Effectively navigating this digital landscape requires a strategic approach that combines professionalism, research, and authenticity. Whether you’re a rising high school star or an aspiring college athlete, understanding how to communicate with college coaches on social media can significantly impact your recruiting journey.
Today, The Wire will help recruits understand how to utilize social media to maximize their communication with college coaches.
Power of the First Impression
Creating a lasting impression starts with your social media presence. Before initiating contact, ensure your profile represents you as both an athlete and an individual. Coaches often form initial opinions based on what they see, so make sure your profiles reflect your dedication to your sport and academics.
Researching Your Target
Before crafting your first message, conduct thorough research on the college coach and program you’re reaching out to. Personalize your communication by referencing recent team successes, coaching philosophies, or academic offerings. Showing that you’ve taken the time to learn about their program demonstrates genuine interest.
Crafting a Genuine Message
Your first message is your introduction, so make it count. Keep it concise and specific. Express your admiration for the program and highlight a recent accomplishment that showcases your skills. Be respectful, addressing the coach by name, and convey your eagerness to learn more about their program.
“The biggest thing is to make your message specific to every school,” said J.J. Kilgore. “Make it evident to the coach that you have done your research and are genuinely interested in the school, instead of just fishing for offers.”
Kilgore offered an example of mentioning something specific about the school or even the team’s scheme that they use for offense or defense.
Personalization Sets You Apart
“The best messages I received while I was at Arizona State were the ones where you could tell that the recruit knew about our staff or university,” said Kilgore.
Avoid sending generic messages that coaches can spot a mile away. Tailor each message to demonstrate your knowledge of the program and your sincere interest in becoming a part of it. Mention specific reasons why their program aligns with your goals.
“Some recruits have mentioned that they loved the way one of our players ran the football in a specific play or they loved the way one of the coaches ran our defense,” Kilgore recalled.
- Give some background information on who you are (name, year, HS, state, position, etc.)
- Show your knowledge of the school and team
- Thank them for taking the time to read the message and that you hope to hear from them in the future
The timing of your message can influence its impact. Avoid peak recruitment periods when coaches are overwhelmed. Opt for less crowded times, but remember to respect coaches’ schedules, avoiding late evenings and weekends.
Showcasing Your Personality
While your athletic abilities are crucial, coaches also want to gauge your character and potential team contributions. Share aspects of your personality, hobbies, and leadership qualities to create a well-rounded impression.
The Art of Follow-Up
Remembering his time with Arizona State, Kilgore mentions that coaches miss lots of messages during the season due to how busy they are elsewhere. So, you don’t receive a response, it’s important to follow up in an effective way.
“Follow up messages during the season are easy,” said Kilgore. “Simply mention that you were watching their game they played on Saturday and provide your highlights below.”
Express gratitude and ask insightful questions that show your commitment to their program. Use follow-up messages to build rapport and showcase your dedication.
Here’s some quick examples of an effective follow-up that Kilgore drafted:
“Hey Coach (Smith), nice win on Saturday! I know you are very busy during the season but please check out my highlights below.”
“Good luck with Spring Ball Coach (Smith). Please check out my highlights when you have some time.”
Strike a balance between showcasing your personality and maintaining a professional tone. Avoid overly casual language and inappropriate content. Remember that your communication represents your character.
Leveraging Video Content
Visual content, such as highlight reels and match clips, provides coaches with direct insights into your skills. High-quality videos can leave a lasting impression and offer coaches valuable insights.
Seeking Expert Advice
“Talking to someone who has been on the receiving end of messages from recruits is crucial,” explained Kilgore. “They can tell you what to say, how to say it, and perhaps most importantly, when to say it.”
Gaining insights from experts who have navigated college athletics can provide invaluable guidance. Individuals like J.J., a former college football coordinator of evaluation, offer firsthand advice on best practices for initiating contact, fostering connections, and making a lasting impact in the world of college recruiting.
Mastering the art of communication with college coaches on social media requires a combination of research, authenticity, and strategic planning. By following these guidelines and learning from experienced individuals, you’ll be well-equipped to effectively communicate with college coaches and take significant steps toward reaching your signing day.