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  16-Apr-2021      By Travis Geopfert

How to be Recruited for Track & Field/Cross Country: The Truth from a College Coach

Be self-aware – Do your research on the schools that you are contacting. Look up the conference they are in and find the conference meet results. Ask yourself are you going to be competitive in that league right away or do you have the ability to develop into a conference scorer relatively quickly. If the answer is yes, then it’s possible that the program will be a good fit for you. If the answer is no, than you may be better off finding a program in a conference where you can make an impact in during your collegiate career.

As a student-athlete contact the coaches yourself– Take the initiative and show the coaches that you are motivated and have the ability to be self-sufficient once you are “on your own” in college. Do not have Mom and Dad email or call the coaches on your behalf. You also don’t need to hire a recruiting agency to do this for you. A follow up email from your high school coach giving you a solid recommendation is fine, but do not have Mom and Dad do the work for you. Your parents should be involved in the process but college coaches will be more impressed if the student-athlete can speak and do most things for themselves. It gives the coaches assurance they are making a good investment on a motivated young person.

Be genuine and personal – When contacting the coaches of a school you are interested in make the email personal. Use the coach’s name and why you are interested in their school. It’s a bad idea to mass email coaches who you are and express interest in 100 different programs at the same time. College coaches will look at that email and likely delete it right away. Doing this shows that you aren’t truly interested in that one program, but rather taking the easiest route possible and simply contacting as many coaches as you can. However, emailing multiple coaches on the same staff is fine. Often head coaches get 100 plus emails a day. Emailing assistant coaches along with head coaches can help you get on their radar more quickly.

Send a concise email– Do not write a page long email. College coaches time is valuable and they don’t like to spend hours reading emails. Get to the nuts and bolts of who you are and what you do. Email the basics.

  1. Name and high school you are from.
  2. What events you do and what your best performances are.
  3. Your grade point average, ACT or SAT score and class rank.
  4. Your high school coach’s name and contact information.
  5. Attach a VERY brief video of one of your best competitions. The video needs to be as short as possible for your event. Most coaches will know within 10 seconds if you are going to be a good fit for their program.
  6. End the email with your signature and all of your personal contact information.

Keep a positive attitude and an open mind– There is a school out there that will be a great fit for you. Each school you are interested in has its own challenges and variables to look at when recruiting. There are many variables for all kinds of programs all over the United States. There are different levels of competition with different divisions and different conferences. There are different time frames for admissions and academic scholarship applications. There are different resources and focuses of programs in a variety of ways, including even specific event focus. Stick with it and be willing to consider schools you hadn’t thought of before.

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