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Here is a reprint of a message board thread from the HSBBWeb about sending letters to college coaches.

NHMOM posted on 8/21 8:57 am
The Introduction Letter
I have been reading the info provided under Recruiting Tips. My son is entering his Junior year and noticed that the he should start to send out Letters of Introduction. My son thinks that people don't really do this. I want to know if this is a common practice.

hsbbweb posted on 8/21 9:47 am
re: The Introduction Letter

Tell your son that the only people that do this are those that want to play baseball after high school.

If your son is one of the top 100 or so players in the country he may not need to send intro letters.

You may also want to read "Target Marketing Your Son" in the recruiting section.

SUPPO posted on 8/22 3:47 pm
re: The Introduction Letter

On average, how long does it take a school to respond to an introductory letter? My son, a 2002 grad, sent approximately twenty out a month ago, but has received only five replies to date. How long should he wait before sending out a second letter?

Midwest Mom posted on 8/22 6:04 pm
re: The Introduction Letter

My son sent out approximately 45 letters of introduction in the fall of his junior year (20-Div 1,10- Div 2,10-JUCO) He had the grades and ability to go D1. He received responses from several schools and this helped him focus in to select which program he was most interested. He had a extremely successful junior year - was well exposed - high profile summer team, showcases, etc. - The the mail and calls poured in - and he was ready. He other friends -who thought they were "too cool" or to lazy to do the homework - EVEN though they were in the same situation as him - skills, grades, etc - ended up settling for small colleges & programs well below their abilities because they waited for their dream school to find them.

He must market himself - and have the tools & desire to back it up - it is another part of the game.

Please encourage him to write - and RESPOND to every letter. It will teach him discipline - plus he won't take it for granted.

hsbbweb posted on 8/22 8:53 pm
re: The Introduction Letter

Midwest Mom,
Great post, and right on the money. Thanks for your help!

pitcherlefty posted on 8/22 9:08 pm
re: The Introduction Letter

Suppo, there were no rhyme nor reason to how fast the schools responded. In general it appeared the D1 schools answered quicker. But some schools I never got a reply from, but got a phone call after July 1 from them, go figure. Some took a week and others months. I guess just persist because some never wrote to me but called my high school coach. None that I know of except one one called my legion coach. My high school coach didn't even ;et me know he was getting calls until school started back up.

BeenthereIL posted on 8/23 2:08 pm
re: The Introduction Letter

Mom...EVERYONE should read your post!!!!

Especially the part about the "too cool" guys.

Too often, young men think that if they sit back......all good things will happen. More often, however, nothing happens except a sad and unhappy senior after the first week in June.

There is nothing wrong with a letter followed up by a call if you have received no response. All they can say is "thanks, but we have enough players at your position; or, you are not on our list". Better to learn about that sooner (so you can switch your emphasis re: schools) than later!

Maxie posted on 9/19 1:04 pm
re: The Introduction Letter

I've noticed that many college athletic department websites have player information forms on-line. Should a player simply fill out this on-line form or should he send a specific letter to the Head Coach? Or both?

bb mom posted on 9/19 1:58 pm
re: The Introduction Letter

Our son (a senior) also was reluctant about the introduction letter. I refused to do it for him and finally last May he sent about 16 out to colleges he would consider going to for academic reasons. He received about 9 letters within a matter of 3 weeks. I think the problem that a lot of us have is that we think our son is good (don't all moms & dads) and because we are his parents we feel uncomfortable tooting his horn. Even our son is not comfortable talking about how good he is or isn't. We have seen him improve a little in this area just in the last few weeks since he has been contacted personally and since he knows that coaches are calling his high school coach. But we just keep telling him if he wants it to happen he has to be the one to keep the communication open with his high school coach and others who are sending him info. One big change we have seen in him, he has never cared about getting the mail and everyday now he goes to the mailbox!!!

pitcherlefty posted on 9/19 5:13 pm
re: The Introduction Letter

The introduction letter is hard, I think we (the players) think if we are good enough we will be seen and why do we got to do more work (it seemed like more homework to me) to be seen. The reality is you just have to do it. With the availability of computers it really isn't as hard as some make out. I have all the colleges addresses, coaches names etc that I have contacted or have contacted me on excel. You can mail merge addresses from there (just be sure to double check them) and you can personalize the letters. It is obvious that a lot of coaches do the same thing as to what they send me. But the most important thing and the even harder thing to do is to follow up with personal phone calls, that personal contact really lets them know you are interested.

TRhit posted on 9/19 6:12 pm
re: The Introduction Letter

The Basic Rule for the intro letter and follow-ups--- be yourself-- let it all flow naturally

The letter is not an exam --- it is a opening to further correspondence and conversation-- be yourself and speak the truth and you will be better than just ok !!

Mike posted on 9/21 10:26 am
re: The Introduction Letter

My son sent out approximately 50 letters before his sophomore year (he was lucky enough to start on varsity his freshman year). He got about a 70% response rate. He received questionnaires and letters explaining that they couldn't talk to him until his junior year, but that he should keep them updated. Clearly, there isn't a school on the planet that can keep track of all the good players every year. They some help in terms of direction. Point 'em in your direction!

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