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Has anyone ever been recruited as a result of sending a coach an unsolicited email introducing themselves and sharing a link to video?

Thinking about how many kids play ball and want to continue in college. Now considering the pandemic and the inability for kids to get in front of coaches.

How many emails would a coach get in a recruiting period? Thousands? Is it possible for someone to still connect that way?

Original Post
@Francis7 posted:

Has anyone ever been recruited as a result of sending a coach an unsolicited email introducing themselves and sharing a link to video?

Thinking about how many kids play ball and want to continue in college. Now considering the pandemic and the inability for kids to get in front of coaches.

How many emails would a coach get in a recruiting period? Thousands? Is it possible for someone to still connect that way?

Yes - one school out of dozens. ('22 catcher). Said school followed up with specific video requests (blocking, breaking ball receiving). That's one out of dozens, though. I tell my son it's good life practice to write awkward emails, so we soldier on.

@OskiSD posted:

Yes - one school out of dozens. ('22 catcher). Said school followed up with specific video requests (blocking, breaking ball receiving). That's one out of dozens, though. I tell my son it's good life practice to write awkward emails, so we soldier on.

I should have added that the school in question had already been contacted by son's HS coach. 

Yes, I saw a video of the Stanford coach encouraging kids to send videos schools they were interested in.  I had my son send a video and introduction and we could see on the youtube stats that they viewed it for 10 minutes.  The coach called son's HS coach the next week and asked my son to call and subsequently ask him to come for a visit.  

This past fall we created a "resume" for my son and sent it out coaches to try to get my sons name on some radars. We included his PG and PBR profile links, his high school and travel coaches info, accomplishments and highlights, and other type things. This sparked phone calls to his high school and travel ball coaches which he then started talking to those schools. My philosophy was to let schools know that you are interested. Especially if it is out of state/out of region schools. 

My son sent some blind emails with video, and got one school interested that way.  And that led to other contacts.  Sending emails doesn't cost anything, only time.  But, that was HA recruiting; in general, I think the advice of going through a travel coach with contacts is preferable, as long as those people have contacts at the schools you are interested in.

Yes.  My son received multiple D1 offers that originated from unsolicited emails he sent to coaches.  We live in Southern California, my son wanted to go to a high-academic school on the east coast, so he had no choice but to proactively reach out to coaches.  He played for a very strong national travel program that played in PG and other tournaments in GA, FL, AZ as well as California.  His travel coach was very well connected to P5 and other top west coast schools but less so with Ivy's or other HA schools back east.  It was up to my son to figure out how to get these coaches to see him play.  He would send out regular updates, tournament schedules and videos.  He had strong measureables, lots of good video, and he played in the "right" tournaments so this helped.  Some of the coaches responded, others called him up, others never responded.  The coaches that made offers saw him play multiple times over a period of months.

I asked one of the coaches who offered how he came across my son.  He said from my son's email video.  He added that with his limited travel budget there's no way he can go everywhere he'd like to go, so getting email videos is a huge help in him finding needles in the haystacks.

Yes, unsolicited videos START the recruiting process for a large number of players.  Do they finish the process?  Not even close or at least none that I know of.  Many advise to have subject lines that stand out or you risk never having the email even opened. Others swear to keep it simple.  My son's email subject lines started out as "Joe Blow - 2021 MIF/OF {high school w/city]" and only crickets were chirping.  We started looking at his PBR measureables and realized all of his were in the top 10 of the state for his class, so he tried the subject line "2021 MIF/OF with Top 10 [state abbreviation] Measurables - Joe Blow" and all of a sudden responses started coming back.  Everything changed.  The coaches were opening his emails, reading them and watching the videos they pointed them to.  Relationships grew from there.

Are coaches getting inundated with ungodly numbers of emails 7 days a week?  Without question.  Even more so with Covid.  I've seen some college coaches interviewed by Josh Rudd that say they don't want catchy subject lines.  They want basic/less.  That baffles me when I look at my son's experience.  YMMV but I can't imagine getting any coach's attention with emails without something to draw them in.  "You're a 2021 MIF/OF?  Yeah, so is everyone else.  [delete]."

If there are D1 coaches getting less than 100 unsolicited emails EVERY DAY from prospective players, I'd be shocked.  Coaches at Vandy and Arkansas?  Where's my calculator...

Early in the process for son, when the target list was very wide, he did get some responses and follow-up dialog but it was not a high percent by any stretch and it was, as one may expect, far more likely for it to be from schools that probably struggled to get decent prospects.

There are no magic pills.  The more you can connect with a school with the right skill set, the right grades, the right connections/coaches/travel orgs/mentors speaking on your behalf, getting in the right places to be seen by targeted schools, fitting the right need at the time, etc., the better the chances.

There are exceptions - moreso with HA's, D3's, etc., but again, it makes sense.  Those schools are more motivated to coax anyone who can qualify academically and financially to attend.

Additionally, if the skill set and player track record gives good indication that the player can excel at a given school, they will be more likely to respond.  But those players will usually use more effective methods of communicating to such schools than just an unsolicited email.

Francis: The initial "email introduction w/ video" was definitely the rule with most of my son's recruiting (not the exception). These videos would often result in email response and put him on the schools' clipboards at showcases he would attend.  Even before this son (with my help) he completed recruiting questionnaires for each school as the INITIAL contact. This put him on the school's vastly database of players for that recruiting year. I say with my help, as RipkenFanSon often didn't know specific dates, stats, etc.  The vetting process is 2-way; schools like players with talent and those that have interest in their program. For most who wish to play college ball, THEY HAVE TO BE AN ACTIVE player in getting the school's attention/initial interest. REcruiting is not a spectator sport. Exceptions may be if the player is known locally, or blue chip P 90's +mph, 400 ft HR swing, etc.

Finally, I also agree with @Danj on subject of the email. You do want to set yourself apart from the masses. RCs get oodles of video/emails to go through. Son would put his grad year, positions, 60 time (or SBs) and GPA.

If you fish in the right pond you will always get a response from half the recruiting coordinators in a given conference.

Its important to be realistic about which truly is the right pond.  Early on, when my son was 15/16, he was told by Baseball people that he projected to a mid major D1 if he improved his 60 time and throwing velocity.   He did get some responses from D1 mid major RC’s but it was along the lines of “hey, I like your swing.  We’ll keep a look out for you.  What’s your summer schedule?  We’d love to have you attend our camp.”

Now that he’s a rising Senior and fishing in the right pond for him (D3) the responses were “thanks for your email, we are very interested, is there a time this week we can talk on the phone?”  After the first phone call there have been multiple regular texts back and forth and invites to visit campus soon.

If he had been running a 6.6 60 and throwing 90+ across the infield, I have no doubt he would have gotten similar responses from mid majors.

If you are a pitcher who throws 97mph, LSU & Vanderbilt will email you back.   Just gotta fish in the right pond.

We were probably overkill but it worked in the best of the best, IMO.  We sent over 30 emails to P5 SEC, ACC, and B12 each Monday during high school and tournament season from summer before 9th grade year until he committed right before junior year.  The emails included link to his website which I built for free, his stats and updates from last week and schedule for coming week including when he was pitching and where.  We would also try to specialize it each week for each school which was a pain but well worth it.  He got responses and questions almost every week from someone asking about schedule, compeition, or generic questions.  We had multiple P5 coaches who came to watch him and make offers that as far as we know the emails were first contact.  He may have been on their list but had not contacted until after email.  It was vital since he wanted to play in SEC/ACC and we lived in midwest.  We only stopped sending them to schools when they were removed by us as an option.  As we got to know some staffs or situations we removed some from the list.  it was a lot of work but getting what you want is always a lot of work. 

I was his HS coach for 9-10 grade year and it was amazing how many calls I got from coaches and most of them not putting it together until I told them that he was my son.  One in particular that we developed a great relationship with asked his strengths and weaknesses.  Then asked one moment in his time under me that he showed what it meant to be more than a baseball player.  After I answered those questions honestly and he found out I was his father he responded I want to meet you and shake your hand one day.  Most dads would have never been that honest and vulnerable about their kid.  We met at a tournament 2 weeks later and ate lunch together while he watched another player pitch.  He even asked me what I thought about the kid.  My son contacted every team that had made him an offer and a few that had shown a lot of interest but never made an offer to tell them he was going to UT.  It was interesting that only 2 of the 20 plus teams were upset.  Most of them thanked him for his courtesy and wished him well.  Several of them stopped him at tournaments and congratulated him.  One even contacted him a few weeks ago about a kid that plays on his 14U team that he is coaching since he did not get to play a lot this summer.  Small world. 


Creating the right email address for recruiting helps. If ABC Baseball Academy is known for placing players an email address like BobbyBaseball2022.ABCAcademy@gmail (dot) com is more likely to be viewed. 

One of my son’s high school teammate’s father sent out about 100 unsolicited emails with video in the kid’s name to mid majors and D2s. The response rate was about 25%.

The best avenue is have the travel coach presell. Then, the player sends video and a game schedule. 

Last edited by RJM
@Francis7 posted:

Thanks. So, it really started with the coach and not the email, right?

Francis, it's hard to say. The coach had done this outreach well in advance of the contact with no immediate response (said coach doesn't have any connections to the university in question). By contrast, HS coach's outreach had garnered interest from other schools, just not this particular one. 

It's important to take your location into consideration with your approach.  Not only where you live, but where you hope to play.  We live in the midwest where travel ball at the high school level (it's rampant for 8U-14U ball) is in it's infancy stages.  And it's fighting hard with high school coaches who are hell bent on keeping Legion ball alive.  Those coaches have a death grip on the outdated cliche that "if you're good enough, they'll find YOU."  The best avenue might be having a travel coach pre-sell, but that option isn't possible for everyone.  And yes, it puts you at a distinct disadvantage.  The kids with the best offers, rankings, reputations, etc in our state are those that got into traveling and did so early as freshmen and sophomores.  For those that don't, you're forced to get creative, highly  strategic and work much harder when not on the field.

You truly have to build your own HIGHLY customized magic bullet from the ground up.  

@DanJ posted:

Yes, unsolicited videos START the recruiting process for a large number of players.  Do they finish the process?  Not even close or at least none that I know of.  Many advise to have subject lines that stand out or you risk never having the email even opened. Others swear to keep it simple.  My son's email subject lines started out as "Joe Blow - 2021 MIF/OF {high school w/city]" and only crickets were chirping.  We started looking at his PBR measureables and realized all of his were in the top 10 of the state for his class, so he tried the subject line "2021 MIF/OF with Top 10 [state abbreviation] Measurables - Joe Blow" and all of a sudden responses started coming back.  Everything changed.  The coaches were opening his emails, reading them and watching the videos they pointed them to.  Relationships grew from there.

......

My son's experience was very similar...started by putting name/position/year in the subject.  After a few rounds we included his best measurable and had much more success.  My perception is that these coaches have so many kids to consider that they quickly reduce a player to his best metric (RHP 88, or LH OF 6.5, etc.)

He did get some responses from D1 mid major RC’s but it was along the lines of “hey, I like your swing.  We’ll keep a look out for you.  What’s your summer schedule?  We’d love to have you attend our camp.”

Now that he’s a rising Senior and fishing in the right pond for him (D3) the responses were “thanks for your email, we are very interested, is there a time this week we can talk on the phone?”  After the first phone call there have been multiple regular texts back and forth and invites to visit campus soon.

 

This is how my 2021 son has experienced the difference as well.  Mostly polite but lukewarm email responses from D1s, enthusiastic requests to talk either via phone or zoom from D3s.  The difference was clear as day.  And, now I understand why folks here say, you know when they are interested.

Francis, my son’s story is a little different then the email route.  He put several videos of himself hitting on flatground hitting on twitter.  Several recruiting coordinators/hitting coaches saw those and and kept in contact with him for quite a while.  One day son put a three second one swing video on flatground and five minutes later a RC from one of the top Jucos in the Midwest contacted my son and two weeks later he had an offer...son committed on Father’s Day.  This coach had never seen my son play in person..just the video.  Obviously that’s no guarantee that it will work for others, but that’s my son’s recruiting story...fwiw 

Have to agree with the above. He’s sent a number out at all levels but not a huge response. He’s had more luck with the summer coach sending video up front for sure. 

the pond fishing thing is what we can’t figure out at all. He gets some really random D3 requests to talk which we’ve started to politely reject. It’s been a huge step back in Covid times so not really sure when he stands. Like today he talked to a D3 coach and I was literally shaking my head that there was even a conversation because to me it’s a non starter but it’s his life. A few have started the conversation with “I know you could play D1 but.....” which to me is a strange way to start a relationship.

I think at this point I would do whatever means you have to initiate contact and keep a dialogue going no matter what the way is that it started but for us it’s been mostly coaches calling vs. prospect questionnaires and emails to RC’s.

@Tim Turner posted:

Francis, my son’s story is a little different then the email route.  He put several videos of himself hitting on flatground hitting on twitter.  Several recruiting coordinators/hitting coaches saw those and and kept in contact with him for quite a while.  One day son put a three second one swing video on flatground and five minutes later a RC from one of the top Jucos in the Midwest contacted my son and two weeks later he had an offer...son committed on Father’s Day.  This coach had never seen my son play in person..just the video.  Obviously that’s no guarantee that it will work for others, but that’s my son’s recruiting story...fwiw 

Tell them what your kid’s 60 time is.  Your son is extremely gifted athletically, and when you can run like he can, it simplifies getting recruiting attention a good bit.

(Saying that completely as a compliment, Tim.  Your kid absolutely deserves every bit of success he can get)

3n2 it’s not at all..... but where we are there are definitely levels to the D3 schools. So in this case that was my point. I think when you are advertising on twitter for “any ‘20 pitchers” I’m not sure I can take that program seriously. There is a big difference in facilities and coaching everywhere but in general it’s a pretty wide gap from D1 to D2 and then to D3 in many cases , and I haven’t even touched the coaches. Again, a very wide variety.

So in many cases if we are going to pay 30k for any D3 school yes I’m going to shake my head and really ask “why”. It’s not a knock per se but a very valid question to ask. At some point it’s a very expensive travel team.

Tell them what your kid’s 60 time is.  Your son is extremely gifted athletically, and when you can run like he can, it simplifies getting recruiting attention a good bit.

(Saying that completely as a compliment, Tim.  Your kid absolutely deserves every bit of success he can get)

3&2, Son runs a laser timed 6.49 60 but he had to slow down the last 10 feet or so because he would have run into a wall beyond the finish line.  Also 100+ mph from front soft toss...he’s worked hard on his swing mechanics over the years but hasn’t had any sprint training at all.  Thanks for the kind words 3&2

My son, a 2020 RHP, sent an unsolicited email to a coach after a showcase event even though he hadn't connected with the coach at the event. That got him invited to the school's next prospect camp, which ultimately turned into the offer he accepted. So, it wasn't a completely 'cold' email, but there's no question the offer only came to be because my son sent an unsolicited email to a coach he'd never met.

Last edited by D2020

My son is a 2021 OF P5 commit. He sent two rounds of letters. One at the beginning of the summer between his sophomore and junior year and another mid-way through the summer season. Some were to schools that were already following him and those Emails were more about sharing his schedule and his travel coach's contact info. The rest were introductions (also with schedule and contact info.). We did not have video in the first letter but we had video in the second. I do not think the letters had a huge impact, except perhaps a memory tickle/putting his name on a list of someone to follow. I would say conversations from his coaches and his performance at events (Jr. National Showcase and WWBA 16U in particular...Future Games was a great event as well but he was pretty far down the decision path at that point) is really what set his recruiting on fire. However, I also agree with a previous poster that preparing and sending letters it is a good muscle for kids to exercise no matter what. It forced him to really think about where he wanted to go to school and why. I do believe that we are in different times now and that direct contact is actually helpful to coaches. I listened to a podcast from my son's future head coach and he said because of COVID, his staff is sitting around and watching a ton of video. Josh Rudd's videos also talk about the art of the letter.   FWIW my son went to four camps total over two years (including where he is going) and all four followed him closely after camp. 

The best avenue might be having a travel coach pre-sell, but that option isn't possible for everyone.  And yes, it puts you at a distinct disadvantage.

My son was listed among top college prospects at his position in a large metro area paper high school sports article. Guess who the sportswriter contacted for the article. It wasn’t the high school coaches. It’s much easier to gain consensus from the coaches of the top travel teams.

College coaches in the region don’t recruit players because they’re on this list. But they make sure they know who they are in terms of checking them out. 

@Tim Turner posted:

3&2, Son runs a laser timed 6.49 60 but he had to slow down the last 10 feet or so because he would have run into a wall beyond the finish line.  Also 100+ mph from front soft toss...he’s worked hard on his swing mechanics over the years but hasn’t had any sprint training at all.  Thanks for the kind words 3&2

This comment above says so much about the recruiting process.  Many of the schools that started recruiting my son did so after an initial unsolicited video.  But, there are three things that get you recruited - #1) Velo, #2) Velo, and #3) Velo.  It can be off the mound, 60 time, or exit velo.  For getting recruited, this is the answer. 

Yes, but they were also both hard throwing pitchers which is easier to stand out with. The entire thread I created the other day stemmed from unsolicited emails. 

Obviously having somebody with some baseball street cred refer your kid to the school is best, but nothing wrong with emailing schools - it can work if you're good enough. 

Email played a pretty big role in my 2020's recruitment.  He sent TONS of emails at the end of his junior year and especially that following summer (I'd say 15-30 before each weekend tournament).  His summer team put him on a platform that tracked profile views, video views, and allowed for easy emails/messaging to and from coaches.  He would regularly get views, but nothing too major.  His coaches had contacted schools here and there, but it had not generated an offer.

How it happened- he sent an email (only one) to a P5 school as a shot in the dark- he saw they viewed several videos but no messages.  That coaching staff leaves and scatters.  One of those coaches takes a job and asks another one of that original school's coaches that had left for another school if he knew anyone in this area bc he didn't have a lot of contacts- and he says he saw my kid's video a couple of weeks ago and he'd be worth a look.  At almost that exact time, my son sent another wave of emails to this new school bc he was playing a tournament in that area.  The coach at this new school immediately picked up the phone and called my son and watched him that weekend and offered him the following week.  

I don't think that's a typical situation- he had  good measurements (97 exit and 91 positional velo) but that didn't generate interest on its own.  The combination of the email and seeing him in person was big...but when we went on the visit, the coach quoted those numbers from PBR- so they were important to him.  But we had no one reach out bc they saw those numbers.  

Honestly- I'm still shocked how it all happened.  So strange and I'm not sure how I'd even advise someone other than to turn over every rock you can.  Why not send the emails?  Why not get some verified numbers at a PBR/Perfect Game? If you have something to advertise, don't bury the lede- put it in the subject line and see what happens.  

Yes.  My son received his first D1 offer from a school via an unsolicited email.  Actually it was like the 6th time he had emailed therm over a 3 year period (senior year to Juco).  The one where they responded had his Juco stats in it and they had been interested in a couple of other players from his Juco and decided to come out to watch when he threw. 

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