Start with a good impression. Every single coach I’ve spoken with has said the same thing, “they want to hear from the player first, not the coach.” These coaches want to hear your voice, your desire, your self-introspection, your enthusiasm, your critiques, flaws and brags about your play, your academic goals, and mostly, your want and need to play beach volleyball for their school.
How do you do this? Take time with your introduction letter. This is not a hurried thing. You need to write it, then write it again, then read it out loud, then rewrite it, then share it with a parent, or friend, or coach, then rewrite it again. Keep doing it until you feel great about it. This is your first impression with the coach that you hope to spend several years learning from. That letter is your “voice” and that’s what coaches want to hear.
Coaches get hundreds of emails. You need to stand out. Make coaches want to know more about you. Coaches also want to know that you’ve done your homework on their school and their program and this isn’t some canned letter that you’re writing to every coach in the country. Be specific to each school and coach. They will notice!
VERY IMPORTANT - Please copy Coach Brett on the letter/email you send to each school and coach, as well as your video. Coach Brett needs to know what you have shared so you on the same page should the coach reach out to him directly.
TOP TEN TIPS
- Write your own letter! Even if you’re not a great writer, it needs to come from you.
- Include your graduating year in the subject line of your email.
- Have a clever title to your letter.
- Be sure to talk about the school and why you want to go there. What draws you to the school? Do you have a personal connection to it? Do they have specific academic programs you’re interested in?
- Tell them what you love about the program. What you like about them as a coach or a mentor and their coaching philosophy. Share any similiarities between the systems they run and the system you’ve trained in with Stealth.
- Detail a skill you’re most proud of and why.
- Detail a skill that needs improvement and what you’re doing to improve it.
- Briefly talk about your accomplishments in beach volleyball (i.e., you’ve played in 36 competitive tournaments and have won 11 of them with 23 (Top 3) finishes. "I’m most proud of my 5th place finish in a CBVA “AA” tournament in Manhattan Beach this past March. The competition was incredible and I’m working hard to win it next month.").
- Be sure to include Stealth as your club and our contact info: Coach Brett O’Keeffe, (480) 734-8236, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- BE AUTHENTIC AND MEMORABLE!