When trying to stay on the radar of busy college coaches, a lot of recruits worry about how to reach out. It’s pretty easy to respond to an email from a coach and answer questions they’ve asked, but sending unsolicited information can be much more difficult.
The most important element is to keep it positive. Put information in front of them that portray you best as a rower, student, person, and recruit. Communications with a coach become a distilled snapshot of a recruit, a patchwork of phone calls and emails and you want those to maintain a positive overall picture.
The low-hanging fruit are great rowing updates: PRs, strong race results, or even great training camps are great reasons to reach out. Even making a higher boat for a race is a good start. If you’re figuring out your summer plans, let them know what camps you’re looking at or if HP or Junior National Team are options.
Academics may seem less exciting, but they’re important nonetheless and can provide a good ice-breaker. Quarter or semester grades are givens, as are new SAT or ACT results. If you’re looking for a reason to get in touch with a coach, even a midterm report or a project you’re excited about could be the impetus to reach out.
The final important piece of an update is to end with a “call to action.” Give them a reason to write you back! Ask them some questions that encourage them to reply to you instead of just glancing at your update and moving on to the next 50 emails in their inbox. See our last blog post, “Making a Great First Impression: A Guide to Asking Questions” to learn more about how to ask a coach meaningful questions. Give the coach a reason to pause, think about you as a recruit and how you will fit into their team, and keep the communication train rolling.