Updated: Dec 16, 2022
To start, it definitely depends on WHEN you are in the recruiting process. If you are sending out emails to coaches while you are a sophomore, then this isn't a big deal. But for those athletes past the June 15th contact date (prior to the start of their junior year) this is one of the bigger issues I see in emails...still.
Below you will see the phrase that I am mentioning. This comes in several different forms but I hope you can get the basic idea with these examples:
"I would love to speak with you!"
"I hope we can talk soon!"
"I'm looking forward to talking with you!"
"I can't wait to talk to you about your program!"
The reason that I take issue with these kind of phrases is because they communicate very little initiative and they are extremely reactive. In this situation, the athlete is putting all the control in the hands of the college coach. Now, I love all of my college coaching friends, but they aren't necessarily the BEST at responding to emails and texts. They have a lot to do and unless it happens at the right time and place, it can get lost in the shuffle or buried under stacks of admin work. This tells the coach, "I'm going to wait for you" to take the next step. It's not a good plan. This is an "out" for college coaches. Unfortunately, they will almost always take it.
As a college coach:
There isn't a question in these statements that I need to respond to. There isn't something that I need to ADD to my calendar here.
Instead, we need to be more specific with this phrasing. Here are two examples:
"I am free to talk Wednesday or Thursday night, between 6-8pm. Is there a specific time that works for you?"
"I am planning on giving you a call on Friday after my practice around 5pm. Does this time work for you?"
Both of these lines have questions and questions will often get answers. 2nd, there is a specific timeframe to which the athlete is planning on or looking to call the coach. This triggers a need for the college coach to, at a minimum, register whether or not they will be available for a call at that time. Both of these things will increase your chance at getting a response from the college coach.
I talk to families all the time about being less passive in their recruiting process. Be specific about what you're looking for. Initiate conversations by NOT waiting for schools to reach back out to you. Nudge college coaches to respond by asking direct questions that will lead to the answers you are looking for vs. general recruiting fluff. Be confident in how you address college coaches. They are not scary people. In reality they are no different than your club coach, high school coach or parent of one of your best friends.
Confidence and initiative can make a huge difference in your recruiting process. Take small and necessary steps to help make that happen.