How to Find the Perfect College (and Compete on their Track Team) Part 4
Based on the last three blog posts and videos, you should now have a good list of schools (10 or so) that are interesting to you and fit your "type." You should have also taken a look at the college's athletics website to see if you are good enough to compete on their team. If you need to go back over those three blog posts and videos, please click here for part one:
and click here for part two:
and here for part three:
Now it is finally time to reach out to the college throws coach and let them know exactly who you are, why you should be on the college team next year, and why you deserve a spot.
Your first step is to watch the video below. There is a "checklist" in the video with steps to take to contact the coach and the correct information to tell him or her about you. Please watch this video first, then look at the written checklist below.
So to recap what the video is saying:
1. Go to the track and field page of the college's athletics website and find the PDF/questionnaire/info form, fill it out, and send it back to the coach. This might go to the head coach, another event coach, or even an intern or recruitment coordinator so don't get upset if you don't hear from the coach right away.
a) The only info you should include here are the basics. All the info about you, age, school, address, email, etc and basic information about you as an athlete. Don't type your life story. Just some highlights and some of the basics so the coach can get an idea of who you are without having to read a 10 page history of your life.
2. A week or so later, send an email from your email account to the throws coach's email address. You can find these on the track and field portion of the athletics website. Don't have mom or dad do it, you do it! This shows responsibility and maturity.
a) Include all of your info. Height, weight, how long you've been throwing, year you are in school, PRs from the last season and previous seasons, weight room numbers (squat, bench, cleans, etc).
b) Provide evidence. Links to meet results, bigger meets you participated in, etc.
c) Create a video of you throwing and lifting and send it to the coach along with this email. This will be a "highlight video" showing the coach that you are who you say you are and also what your form and technique looks like.
d) Show the coach your potential as a thrower. Video will do a good job of this but the text of the email will do this as well. Let the coach know if you have had a coach before, how many coaches you've had in your high school career, how many seasons with a coach, how many seasons without a coach? Not having a coach, not having a weight room, being undersized, not coming from a good high school program can all be a positives if the coach can see your potential.
e) Throwing 140 feet as a junior is pretty good. If you are over 6 feet tall, over 200 pounds, have had the same coach for 3+ years, come from a school with a tradition of great throwers, have a weight room at your school, and have a school strength coach, 140 feet as a junior all of a sudden isn't that good anymore! A college coach might want to see an athlete with that pedigree throwing around 160 feet!
If you are 5'10, 150 pounds, your school has never had a throws coach, your school has a super tiny track team, you have no weight room at the school, no strength coach, and you have never been on a serious weight training program, 140 feet is AWESOME and shows the college coach that you have massive potential. Make these seemingly negative things positives by showing your potential.
f) Show them you're serious. Do you do travel long distances to work with a private throws coach, do you go to a strength coach at a training facility, did you go to a bunch of camps, do you watch YouTube videos constantly to get better, are you a part of multiple online resources like EliteThrowsCoaching or Facebook coaching groups?
3. If the coach still has not responded to you after the PDF and the email you personally sent to him, you should send a third email and explain to the coach how serious you are about attending his school. This is where you can become a great recruit. This is what you include in the third email:
a) I did the PDF, I sent a personal email, let's talk on the phone, let's set up a time to meet at one of my track meets, let's set up a time to meet and tour the facilities when I visit the school and talk to the admissions department. This shows the coach that you are serious about attending the school because you like the school, you like how far away from your house it is, you like the campus, the size, they have your major, etc. This shows the coach you are interested in the school, you have the grades to get into the school, and you would attend this school anyway even if there isn't a spot on the team for you. This takes a TON of pressure off the coach and makes you a more viable recruit.
b) Keep it easy for the coach to be interested in you. Most times, coaches are going after top level throwers. They keep their fingers crossed that the athlete has the grades to get in the school, stay at the school for all 4 years, and like the school enough to actually apply and attend. 1 out of 4. You are 4 for 4. You already like the school. You already have the grades to get into the school. You are going to stay at the school for all 4 years. You researched previous throwers and you already know that you throw far enough to compete on his team. This makes it easy for the coach to look at you! This makes you a good recruit.
If you do these three things, it makes it very easy to start talking to college coaches and get them interested in you. This is how you break the ice and start your conversation with a college track coach. If the coach already knows you are interested in the school and you want to be on the team, it is very easy for the coach to have you come for an official visit, start talking about early admission or scholarships, and be considered for a role on the team next year.