From Jessica Berkowitz Minier: Assistant Director of Swimming, American College Connection
At American College Connection we don’t just help our swimmers get recruited. We help them and their parents with all aspects of the recruiting process. Having to tell college coaches that you have made a college selection, and it is not their program or school, is one of the hardest things you will have to do.
|The most important thing is to do it with class and don’t burn any bridges.|
For a teenager, having to tell respected adults who have shown great interest in you that their program is not for you is cause for much consternation. This can be one of the most distasteful parts of recruiting for the recruit and the college coach.
If you have visited a school, it is best to call the coach and talk with them in person. If you can’t reach them, the second best option is to leave them a voice mail that you would like to talk with them about your college decision. If you still can’t reach them, you may let them know via email (but as a last resort). If you have not visited, email can be appropriate.
Below is an example of how to tactfully let a college coach know you have selected another school or decided to look elsewhere. If you do it right, the rejected coach will have even more respect for you and you will have gained another fan and supporter.
“Dear Coach _______,
I have really enjoyed getting to know you, the staff, and the team this season. I am fortunate to have found more than one affordable college option that is also a good fit academically and athletically. Unfortunately, I have to choose only one. I have decided to attend _______ next season. I appreciate all of the time and energy you have spent with me in the recruiting process and I hope that telling you as soon as I made my decision gives you time to recruit another deserving prospect that could be a good fit for your program. I will be sure to tell my teammates about the wonderful opportunities at SCHOOL and I look forward to watching your progress next season.”
Don’t copy this word for word. Put it into your own words and send it to coaches as soon as you are sure of your decision.
Coaches are rejected by recruits every year; most will appreciate your honesty and will move-on quickly. Most coaches will be glad that you informed them of your lack of interest so that they don’t waste their time.
Some coaches will ask why you are not interested, or some you may feel you want to give an explanation. Give them sensitive, but sincere and honest answers. I like the ‘it’s not you, it’s me approach”. Let them know you decided to stay closer to home, were interested in some very specific academic programs, have to choose a school that is more affordable for your family, or just felt ‘right’ at another school.
Don’t make your parents do your “dirty work”. You will lose the coach’s respect if you try to pass the buck. This is not enjoyable, but suck it up and get it done. Pat yourself on the back…it is a nice problem to have.
If you would like to find out if you can swim in college and at what level, go to www.ACCrecruits and submit a Free Profile.
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