So you’ve reached Step 5 along the College Recruiting Pathway. You’ve made your list of colleges, contacted coaches, and showcased yourself at tournaments and/or camps. It’s time to entertain interest. But how do you know if a college coach is interested?
You might have gotten some emails, but how can you tell if they’re just generic emails that coaches send to everyone who contacts them?
Don’t worry - this is one of the most common questions we get. And we’re going to break it down for you!
What Does this Email Mean?
If you’ve sent emails to college coaches, chances are you’ve gotten some emails back. But what do they mean? Here are some key things to look at…
When Did You Receive the Email?
If you get a response immediately after sending an email, it’s likely a generic email, not expressing interest.
If you get an email from a coach before he/she has seen you play, it’s definitely not expressing interest.
Who Sent the Email?
If the coach (or one of the coaches) that you emailed responds directly to your email, then there’s a better chance that it’s genuine interest.
If you get an email from an email address that you didn’t contact (but from a school that you did contact), then it’s more likely that it’s a generic email. Some soccer programs use generic email addresses (like (wo)email@example.com) to send generic emails.
Check the email sender details carefully. If it says something like firstname.lastname@example.org via X, then it’s likely that the email was sent to multiple people through an email service (similar to Mailchimp).
What Does the Email Say?
What the email actually says is the most important factor to check. Unless the email says something like…
I was impressed by your play
I liked what I saw
I think you’d be a fit for our program
then it doesn’t mean the coach is interested in you. BUT, it also doesn’t necessarily mean the coach is not interested in you.
If you take nothing else from this article, know this:
Coaches are generally very clear when they are interested in you.
If they want to recruit you, then they’re going to tell you! And they’re likely going to tell you the next step they want to take, whether that’s you visiting campus, them watching you play more, or setting up a time to talk on the phone.
Keep in mind - just like you’re interested in multiple colleges, college coaches are interested in multiple players. Just because a coach expresses interest in you doesn’t mean you’re going to get an offer from that college.
If the email doesn’t express obvious interest in you, but instead invites you to a camp, then it’s likely a generic email. NOTE: It’s very possible for a coach to express interest in you and invite you to a camp. In fact, that’s how I got recruited!
However, if the coach is just inviting you to camp without expressly saying that he/she saw you play, then it’s most likely a generic email, not expressing any real interest in you.
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What if I Don’t Get an Email?
If you don’t get an email back from a particular coach, don’t sweat it. In fact, you probably won’t get a response from most coaches you email. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not interested!
Some college coaches respond to every single email they get, while others don’t take the time to do so. Remember, they get hundreds of emails!
If you don’t get a response, don’t cross the school off your list. Keep emailing the coaches before showcase events. BUT, over time, if you keep emailing them without response, don’t get your hopes up. You can keep the college on your list, but don’t make visiting it or going to its camp a priority.
Tips to Find Out for Sure
There are several ways to increase your chances of knowing for sure whether or not a college is interested in you.
Take Note of College Coaches at Your Games
At showcase tournaments, a parent on your team should take note of every coach that watches each of your games. By doing so, you’ll then be able to tell if a particular coach saw you play or not. If he/she did see you play but didn’t email you, wait a week, then shoot him/her a thank you email and ask what he/she thought.
Talk to Coaches at the ID Camps You Attend
Camps are a great opportunity to get feedback from coaches. At the beginning of each camp you attend, personally introduce yourself to the coaches whose programs you’re interested in. Then, towards the end of camp, ask them what they think of you!
Ask for Clarity
If you get an email from a coach, and you can’t tell whether or not he/she saw you play and is interested, then ask! The coach will be honest with you, so don’t be afraid to hit reply. If you’re too young for the coach to respond (find out if you are), then ask your coach to email on your behalf.
If you’re still uncertain about a particular college, let us know! Shoot us an email or slide into our DMs - we’ll be happy to help.