Email is more than just part of the recruiting process. As we all deal with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, digital communication is one of the few ways that college coaches can still actively recruit student-athletes. Especially with the NCAA suspending all in-person recruiting at the D1 and D2 level until May 31st, 2020, college coaches and recruits are now even more heavily relying on email to stay in touch with one another. Read up on how you can best utilize email to connect with college volleyball coaches.

Email tips for the high school class of 2020

Most D1 and D2 programs finalized their rosters for the 2020–21 season, but the NCAA’s recent promise of eligibility relief for spring sport athletes may have college coaches re-evaluating their roster availability. While volleyball scholarships may no longer be available, programs may still have walk-on availability. Traditionally, D3, NAIA and junior college programs recruit on a later timeline, so the chances of finding an open roster spot are slightly better there.

If 2020 seniors are still pursuing open roster spots, they should start by reaching out to coaches at schools where they’ve already been accepted. Recruits should start their emails off by letting the coach know they’ve already received an acceptance letter.

Student-athletes will then want to briefly explain why they’re interested in the program and what they can bring to the team. Emails should also provide key information, including GPA, club/high school team details, sport-specific stats and relevant measurables.

If college coaches aren’t engaging with your emails, it might be time to try a different approach. To find out if a program has walk-on availability, research the team’s coaching staff and identify the person who is in charge of walk-on recruits. Focus on gathering information about the program’s walk-on process and if this is a viable option. Finally, college coaches are still actively searching NCSA’s database to fill their last-chance roster spots and NCSA is supporting these coaches by providing a list of top unsigned seniors. Find out more here.

Email tips for the high school class of 2021

While recruiting at tournaments, showcases and camps—as well as official and unofficial visits—remains on hold indefinitely, college coaches are more heavily relying on digital communication to reach out to 2021 recruits.

For recruits who aren’t already communicating with college volleyball coaches via email, now is the time to start. Begin with an introductory email to get on the coach’s radar. To make an email stand out in a coach’s inbox, student-athletes must include their most impressive stats in the subject line (i.e. 2021 OPP, 9’8″ APP, Premier VB Academy, video attached). It’s also important for recruits to include a link to their NCSA Recruiting Profile and highlight video to help coaches evaluate their fit for their program.

Athletes who have already begun building relationships with coaches should stay on top of these conversations by checking email daily and taking no longer than 24 hours to respond, as well as letting the coach know when they will follow up with a phone call to continue the recruiting conversation.

This time is a great opportunity to update existing highlight video and create additional videos. Also, keep in mind that coaches and recruits alike are experiencing the same setback at the moment, so recruits shouldn’t be afraid to ask about coaches’ approach to training during quarantine.

Email tips for the high school class of 2022–2023

Despite recent changes to the college recruiting process as a result of the coronavirus, there is little immediate change for underclassmen when it comes to emailing college volleyball coaches. These student-athletes are still in the early stages of recruiting and should continue sending introductory emails to college coaches at their reach, target and safety schools.

The only adjustment that recruits will need to make is in the conclusion of the email, where they would typically let the coach know about their upcoming competition schedule. Instead, student-athletes can share highlight video for the coach to watch and also emphasize their commitment to staying in shape and focusing on skill development while sporting events and practices are paused.

Resources for clubs, coaches and athletes during COVID-19.About the Author

Ashlee Lawson is the VP of Event Team Operations for Next College Student Athlete (NCSA), the Official Recruiting Services provider of the JVA. NCSA assists JVA club directors and coaches with guiding their athletes through the college recruiting process. Read more about NCSA.