Much of the success you have in the process will depend on the management of communications with American coaches. That is why it is imperative that you always know how to handle communications.
Communications with coaches are a fundamental part of the university search process. It is important to dedicate enough time to this section during the entire process and especially during the first contacts, since the first impression can be crucial.
If you receive a message from a coach, first read the content carefully, check the University website, and check the links or additional documents that may have been sent to you. In order to take the initiative by contacting a coach, or to respond quickly to a first contact, it is very important to have a standard message that covers the most important points.
There are many ways of communication (email, Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype), but our recommendation is that you always try to have everything well organized in your communications section of Mooxye to keep track of all contacts. Here are some of the most important points you need to include in your first communications:
Thank you for the interest shown by the university (if you have been contacted) or the time dedicated to reading your message (if you are taking the initiative to contact a coach).
Expand the content of your profile with more detailed information on the following aspects:
Comment a little on what your expectations and goals are at academic, athletic, y and personal level.
Include questions while sharing information. For example: What are college practices like? Here in my club we usually…
Once you have a draft ready and your list of target universities defined, it is time to take the initiative and introduce yourself. Contacting coaches shows that you are involved in the process and that you are proactive, something that is always valued. Ideally, each communication should be personalized, with the name of the university, coach´s last name, and some noteworthy feature of each university you are contacting.
This message may have a similar structure to that discussed above but includes more specific information about each university. For example, you can refer to the latest results of the team, upcoming competitions, academic programs offered by the university that you are most interested in, etc. This is one of the best ways to initiate a very personal contact with each coach and to have more possibilities for feedback on your interest, on scholarship availability, or on university requirements. These personalized communications are also a great opportunity to ask more specific questions, to help you learn more about the coach, team, university, campus life, etc.
It is very important to keep track of those coaches you contact, those who respond, those who do not, and those who maintain good communications with you as well as the ones who do not, to follow up with the latter group when possible. It is important that you do everything you can to make the communications fluid and consistent, although this will not always depend on you, so do not be discouraged if this happens, since it is more common than you think.
You will not always receive a response from a coach after the first contact, so you will need to consider making additional attempts to contact them, adding new universities to your list and continue contacting them one by one. This action will help coaches see that you are committed to the process and that you are proactive. Ideally, as we said, each communication is personalized, with the name of the university, the names of the coaches and some significant aspect of each university you contact. This establishes a personal contact with each coach and can provide feedback on the minimum university requirements or the availability (in terms of vacancies) that a team has. It is also a good time to ask more specific questions and consider if it would be a good option for you.
Depending on the factors that interest you most, some options will be more, or less, attractive. There is no university that does not deserve at least a response of gratitude, even if there is no interest on your part, so you should always thank those who show interest (see section “Thanks to coaches who submit a proposal”). You should never leave any emails or messages unanswered, as all options can become an opportunity (at the beginning of the process or later). The response during this part of the process is translated into interest, so you should respond as quickly as possible to the coaches, always checking the format and the tone of the communications.
The cover letter can be sent at different times, but especially in two moments:
Our recommendation is that you plan to review your communications once or twice a day and invest some time in responding and researching the universities, what you would have to do to improve your profile, and prepare your answers well.
Yes, it is important to be polite and respond appropriately even if the offer does not interest you. It is the best way to thank them for the time they spent contacting you and at the same time allows you to leave the door open in case you want to recover that opportunity again or if, for example, the Coach changed university and became part of one which you are interested in.