Bob Whitcher

Writing Coaches – 1st contact and follow-up

By Bob Whitcher | Oct 9, 2009 in Bob's Recruiting Info

If you have a daughter who shows a love for this game - then I am here to help. Most of us come to this sport having zero knowledge of what we should be doing to help our kids excel - or get the right breaks. I will try to help you here with advice and answers, for both the novice parent and the seasoned pro. I'm a father of two girls who have gone on to play in top Colleges. My guidance comes from both experience and having colleagues who coach at prominent Universities. So feel free to comment, ask questions - and lets Blog!

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SAMPLE LETTERS

Be proactive in contacting college coaches at the schools you have an interest in attending.     Here’s a sample of something you can write in your first Letter (and follow-up with email):

LETTER #1 Keep it short and to the point…

Dear Coach XXXX,

I’m exploring my options of playing competitive hockey in college and would like to introduce myself to you.  I have attached my resume and brief bio below.

I am a current sophomore and Varsity starter on the Atlantic Coast League Champions, Falmouth Clippers, in Falmouth, MA.  Last year  the team recorded its first undefeated season (I was a Varsity player as a freshman) with a record of 18-0-0 and went deep into Tournament losing only in the Massachusetts South Sectional Finals.  This year we look just as strong.

I am interested in playing competitive hockey in college and my academic interest is in XXX.  I will be at Festival playing on team XXXX.  If you have time, I hope you can watch a little of my game.

I’ll send you my game schedule and uniform number at a later date – and I hope to have a video ready and in your hands before November 1.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Jane Doe
Graduating 2011

LETTER #2 – if you receive their Questionnaire
Dear Coach XXXX,

I received your letter and questionnaire, which I have completed and enclosed, along with my resume and fall field hockey schedule.

I was both excited and encouraged to receive your letter requesting this information. As I have written in previous correspondence, I am extremely interested in attending XXXX University and playing field hockey for the XXXX team.

I will call you shortly to see if there is anything else I can provide to help you make a decision on my future at XXXXX University.

Again thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Jane Doe
Graduating 20xx

LETTER #3
Dear Coach XXXX,

As promised when I returned your questionnaire, I have enclosed my demonstration video which includes 3 minutes of drills – 5 minutes of game footage from this fall – including 2 minutes of artificial turf play from this past summer’s Bay State Games.

A quick update: I am a Junior, starting Varsity forward (right wing) for the Falmouth Clippers, defending Old Colony League Champions, and so far undefeated this season.   I am currently point leader in the Old Colony League.

Please do not hesitate to ask if there’s anything I can do to help you make a positive decision regarding my future at XXXX University.

Thank you for your consideration – and I’d appreciate any comments or critique.

Sinccerely,
Jane Doe
Graduating 20xx

PS: I will be playing this November at Festival in California for U19 Team XXX.  I hope you’ll have the chance to see me play.  I will send you my play times and field locations.

– MAKE SURE YOU SEND TARGETED OR INTERESTED COACHES
YOUR FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
Dear Coach XXXX,

I was both excited and encouraged to receive your letter requesting this information

I am a starting Varsity forward for the Falmouth Clippers, which made it to the Final Four of our State Championships.  I was also point leader of my team.

If there’s anything I can do to help you make a decision about my possible future at XXXX, please do not hesitate to ask.

I will be playing this November at Festival in California. Pool F – Team XXXXX – Uniform # 12 – mostly Forward.

DAY      DATE                    TIME                FIELD
Thur     11/27/2003      08:00am          19                �
Thur     11/27/2003      12:00pm          01                                                    �
Fri        11/28/2003      07:00am           13                                                    �
Fri        11/28/2003      10:00am            25                                                    �
Sat       11/29/2003      09:00am            12    �
Sat       11/29/2003      11:00am             04

Again, thank you for your consideration.  I look forward to future correspondence.

Sincerely,
Jane Doe
Graduating 20xx

——- Each Letter builds upon the previous correspondence – and also recapping who you are – as College Coaches  are busy – especially this time of year (Fall) and need to be reminded of who you are.

Each letter should try to update a new team or personal achievement.

All the above is in the Introduction phase.

After this starts the Courtship phase.  The courtship starts after they show some interest back to you.  You will then need to find things to either update about your game or where you will be playing.   This does not have to be earth shattering stuff – but something of interest – that provides a good excuse to reconnect with the coach.

You are trying to create a dialogue and secure Future interest to get you both to the Dating phase.

Bob Whitcher
World Camp USA / Sport EuroTour
Top-Skill Training ~ at home and abroad
Where is Your Game Going?

Comments

meg

Thanks for the great info. I see that on some college sites, a Field Hockey contact person is listed. This name is not one of the coaches. Should a letter ever go this peron, or is that after you begin talking to a particular team?

Oct 24, 2009 at 6:24 am
Bob Whitcher Bob Whitcher (author)

Meg,
Send me a link to the site – I’d have to see it to give you a good answer…

– however – I would still CC the head coach.

Typically a head coach will pass your correspondence on to their assistant coach who is responsible for initial screening.
Then once they contact you – follow their protocol.
Regardless of who you are directing your correspondence to – you can CC the Head Coach.
Bob Whitcher

Oct 27, 2009 at 10:38 am
David M Young

Hi Bob,

My daughter is a JR in High School and she is sending out letters to schools, in your example letter #1 you mentioned having a video ready for coaches your contacting for Festival, Is that crucial? Does that apply to Giirls that are Junior’s or only the Seniors in High School? I don’t currently have a video of my daughter made.

Nov 4, 2009 at 10:35 pm
Bob Whitcher Bob Whitcher (author)

YES – you should have a video ready for mailing by November Junior Year.

Here’s a short synopsis of what each grade year should be doing…from a previous Blog:

9th graders: you need to Train and Play as much as you can – NOW!

10th graders: You should be able to start to evaluate your game… see where you are in regards to other players. This coming spring and summer are critical to develop your game to its highest level. (Train and Play as much as you can). This is a good time to start writing to college coaches and introducing yourself and your interest.

Start visiting campus’ – and meeting coaches face-to-face.

11th graders: Video your games and contact college coaches. (and Train and Play as much as you can). This fall, winter, spring and summer you want to showcase yourself. Training and improvement are still vital to your success.

Spring & Summer between Junior & Senior year is the time to aggressively sell yourself to prospective colleges.

12th graders: Sell yourself… there is a team for you. And when you connect – never forget what got you there – hard work, training and play – it amazes me how many players stop this when they get selected to a college team. Now is the time to work harder if you want to be on the field with the big dogs.

Nov 5, 2009 at 8:37 am
Bob Whitcher Bob Whitcher (author)

David,
If you don’t have a video at this time – you should prepare to have one – and don’t worry about it until they ask to see one. If they are interested – they will ask for one.

But if you can offer one – all the better.

Nov 5, 2009 at 8:49 am
David M Young

Bob,
You indicate to keep things brief in the initial letter to a coach. There is also a line in your mock letter indicating attaching a resume and brief bio.
Can you tell me those should include to still make the letter brief.

Much appreciated,
David-

Nov 19, 2009 at 4:20 pm
Bob Whitcher Bob Whitcher (author)

David,

I’ve used your question as a basis for a blog
go here for answer: http://www.worldcampusa.com/blogs/index.php/2009/11/20/a-high-school-hockey-resume/
Bob

Nov 20, 2009 at 11:49 am
David M Young

Bob,

We just returned from festival (which was amazing). A parent of a player on our club team who’s daughter will be playing for Georgetown, told me that my daughter should send out a thank you emails to all the schools she contacted before the festival, and to also include a little update on how she did in festival.

Is this a good idea, and if so I’d like to get your thoughts on what it should say? or should I wait a couple of weeks to see if my daughter is contacted by any of the attending schools, since the festival has just ended?

I saw lots of coaches at all of our clubs games.

My daughter had a very good tourney, she played about 30 min in each game for a lottery club team, and was very active on both defense and offense as a left forward and even played at left defense for about 8 min one game.

She did well enough that her coach asked her if she wanted to play some more defense or if she wanted to concentrate on forward, she chose forward.

My daughter scored the game winning goal one game, and the tying goal in the game to decide the division champion.

I saw your booth but no one was there when I was in the area.
I was hoping to say hi to you.

Can’t wait for Arizona next year!

Dec 1, 2009 at 2:09 pm
Jennifer Hom

Thank you for your great examples on the letters for Coaches. I find this tremendously helpful! My question is how to get the Resume DVD made? I’ve never seen one so don’t know what to put in the film footage. You mentioned drills, game play… should we hire a “professional” to make the DVD? If so, how would we even begin the search for such a person/company? Thanks!

Feb 4, 2010 at 4:19 pm

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Bob Whitcher

Bob Whitcher

If you have a daughter who shows a love for this game - then I am here to help. Most of us come to this sport having zero knowledge of what we should be doing to help our kids excel - or get the right breaks. I will try to help you here with advice and answers, for both the novice parent and the seasoned pro. I'm a father of two girls who have gone on to play in top Colleges. My guidance comes from both experience and having colleagues who coach at prominent Universities. So feel free to comment, ask questions - and lets Blog!

Recent Posts: Did you learn something? , Don’t Forget the Basics , Futures – and all its Nuances , Showcases – When? , After Festival – Now What?