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Articles / Applying to College / Is This College Coach Just Not That Into Me?

Jan. 21, 2009

Is This College Coach Just Not That Into Me?

Question: I wrote to the soccer coach at my first-choice college, which is an NCAA Div. 3 school. I told him that I was interested in being on the team, with the hope that he could help me get admitted. He wrote back and said that he was happy I was applying. He gave me the try-out dates in September and said he would look for me there. Does this mean that he will talk to the admission office about me? (This is definitely the college I want to attend, whether I can play soccer there or not.)

This seems like a generic "kiss-off" letter to me. You may, indeed, impress this coach at try-outs next fall. But, until then, it sounds like he probably has other recruits in his line-up, and he's giving you the boot. A coach who is truly interested would make greater effort to convince you to attend his school and/or to learn more about your soccer prowess.


My best guess is that he wasn't wowed by whatever you told him in your initial letter or, perhaps, you just didn't tell him enough. Did you simply say something like, "I am a starting fullback on the Happy Valley High School boys' varsity soccer team" or did you tout your selection to the State All-Star team or other elite squads? Did you submit a DVD of game highlights? How about letters of reference (talking about your soccer skills, not just your fine sportsmanship) from current coaches?

If you feel that you didn't do a good enough job of "selling" yourself, then write again with more specifics. But, if there's not a lot to tell (or you already did tell all), then your best shot at your goal is to hope you're admitted to this college for academic reasons, and then go and wow the coach at the try-outs in September.

Good luck!

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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