Let’s dive in and discuss 3 main reasons why you should contact at least 30 or more college coaches. I have this discussion quite often with recruits seeking advice because they aren’t seeing results from their contact efforts. Typically when a recruit shows me a list of schools, the majority, if not all of them are unrealistic for the given recruiting timeline and they haven’t reached out to enough schools yet.
While I am an advocate for having big goals to play at your dream school, you have to be cautious about what percentage of dream schools vs realistic schools you have on your list. This not only leads to a lack of coach interest, but also creates a lot of anxiety and a decrease in confidence as you get mostly negative responses or just no response at all.
One of the reasons I suggest contacting a large number of coaches is to give yourself a chance to have interviews and conversations with coaches at schools that aren’t your top choices. It takes practice and feedback to get better with interviews and answering questions, so give yourself some opportunities to fail when it doesn’t matter as much. I do not recommend that you waste a coach’s time if you decide you don’t plan to attend their school, but give yourself a chance to at least learn more before closing that opportunity.
The second reason you should reach out to 30 or more coaches is to ensure you get enough realistic options on your list to see your efforts start to pay off. Even if you think you are being realistic, odds are there are still factors you aren’t taking into account so go ahead and expand your list. This may mean you have to expand your radius from home, ideal weather, division level, size of school, academic rigor, or other factors, but once you start to get some positive feedback where you are at the top of a coach’s recruiting list you will feel much more confident and less anxious about your options.
Lastly, the more options you have, the more leverage you will have once it’s time to consider your offers and make a decision. If you don’t have any offers then you will find yourself waiting and wondering what to do next. Receiving even just one offer gives you some flexibility to discuss your standing with other coaches and put a bit of the power in your hands to get closer to making a decision. And if you put in the effort you may find yourself with multiple offers to consider and an increased chance to find the best fit possible!
And as with most parts of this process, the number of schools you will need to contact is dependent on many factors. When I am providing general advice and tips on steps of the process I am trying to consider what most players will tend to do on their own and why they may not get the coach responses they are expecting. So if a player takes the time to initially contact 30+, then hopefully they expand their reach to include at least 15-20 realistic options in order to then have 7-10 programs that they can focus on where they have some positive communication going.
If you still don’t find your efforts paying off with your current list of schools then keep expanding your list while working hard on your game and try to identify areas of needed improvement with your communication skills, on-course demeanor, and attitude towards the process. Stay proactive but patient!