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Posts: 5,056
Reply with quote  #1 

With the recent talk of college on this forum, how many of you as coaches have written letters of recommendations for your players?  What have you found is the best way to format these letters?  Or for college scouts, what do you most look for in these letters of recommendations?


Posts: 1,905
Reply with quote  #2 
I have written them before and besides what they are as a soccer player I add what they mean to the team as a person and what they are like off the field. Grades, school clubs, civic involvement, etc.

Posts: 7,792
Reply with quote  #3 
Here is a letter I wrote for a keeper to get a walk on in his college of choice after he finished his stint in the army. He is now second choice keeper on his team.


To Whom It May Concern:


            This letter is being written in relation to any academic and athletic opportunities which may arise at your institution for which Pxx Wxxxxx might be eligible.


            I have known Pxx for the last two years, and have both coached and observed him playing in my capacity as Junior Varsity Girl’s Soccer Coach at Naugatuck High School. Pxx is an excellent Goalkeeper, in terms of his ability, his skill level, his athleticism and his understanding of the game. He is one of the fittest players I have ever met, and having been exposed to both professional level players, as well as International standard players, as a coach, I would comfortably say that his fitness levels are more than a match for anyone I have encountered at that level. His ability in the position that he plays is also exceptional, and had it not been for a lack of opportunity to play at the Premier level when he was younger, would surely have been a player of note at the Regional and National levels. In terms of understanding of the game, Pxx has an excellent understanding for his age and experience, and is a keen student of the game, both generally and in terms of his position. His hard work and dedication are almost peerless, and I believe he will make a success out of any opportunity that arises.


I would not hesitate to offer Pxx Wxxxxx a position on any college team, if I were a College coach. Academically, he applies himself well, and I have no doubt that he is one of the more talented Goalkeepers of his age in Connecticut, and would be a credit to any institution that took him on as a student-athlete. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


Yours Sincerely,

Eric McGrath


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Reply with quote  #4 

I ask my girls if they have spoken directly to the coach yet and if he has provided any hint as to what he might be looking for -- I try to write the letter based on that input. I am as honest as possible, while still being positive.

As to the your example, I would worry less about fitness levels (which coaches can "train," at that level, and more about coachablitiy, desire and work rate.

Just my 2 cents.

Be Impeccable with your Word -- Don’t Take Anything Personally -- Don’t Make Assumptions -- Always Do Your Best:

Posts: 7,792
Reply with quote  #5 

Well, I wrote the letter after consultation with two college coaches as to what they were looking for in a walk-on, and fitness was one of the big things they stressed from someone they hadn't seen before. That's why I emphasized the fitness aspect.


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Reply with quote  #6 

Thanks Eric.  That's what I was looking for.  Surprisingly few responses.  Maybe Coach Marino will check in.


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Reply with quote  #7 

I have written many. I focus on the various attributes that will be beneficial to the school...assuming they have them. I speak to their strengths as players to begin and then deal with what I think really matters: their character.

theft is the highest form of flattery.

Posts: 1,930
Reply with quote  #8 
Here's one our hs coach sent out recently on my daughter's behalf.  I have removed her name and some other information that had names listed. 

"Hi Coach,
Thanks for sending me an email.  I coached X when she was a U10 player and again for the last three seasons on my varsity soccer team.  She is a very polished player with an extensive travel background in Michigan premier division one.  Her first touch is excellent and she's very good tactically.  Our program has sent 20 kids to college programs in the last 15 years, so I'm pretty familiar with collegiate level of play.  X would be a very good division two collegiate player and borderline division one.  Her weaknesses as a player are that she tends to have a passive personality.  She doesn't usually look to take anyone on 1v1, and she sometimes has to be pushed to play with intensity.  Please don't mistake this, though, for not working hard or not caring.  X is a great practice player who works hard, is respectful, and genuinely wants to be a good player.  She just has a very laid back personality.
I also was fortunate enough to have had X in my history class.  She's a very solid A to A- student.  I found her to be intelligent and hardworking in class, as well as very conscientious about her grades.  She has good study habits to go along with an agile mind and will be a very good college student.  You would have no issues with her concerning eligibility or not pulling her weight academically.
In short, she's a great kid who happens to be a darn good soccer player.  Her parents are good people, and they're very invested in her.  She is very much worth your time to look into.  If you're looking for more references, her travel coach would also be a great source.  Her travel team is nationally ranked, and the coach is a great guy.
Please let me know if I can help you further,"

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. --John Wooden

Posts: 5,056
Reply with quote  #9 

Thanks Fury.  The letter is very much appreciated as are the other comments posted here.


Posts: 230
Reply with quote  #10 
Here is another letter:

Dear Coach *****:


I have known ***** for the last five years as a player for my club soccer team, the ***** United U17 boys.  From these experiences I can say with confidence that ***** is a dedicated student-athlete who leads others by setting a strong example with his effort and intensity both in the classroom and on the playing field. 


*****’s drive is very evident in his home life and extra-curricular activities.  He is a loyal son and brother who demonstrates his parent’s strong moral values on a daily basis through his interactions with people.   He participates and excels in the National Honor Society and the Junior Academy of Science.   *****’s commitment to any activity he involves himself in is without a doubt his best of many fine qualities.


*****’s work ethic also transfers to the classroom and the athletic field.  In the classroom he maintains a 4.0 G.P.A at ***** High School and was honored as the school’s top student-athlete.  On the playing field, he has been honored as a 1st team all-conference and all-state soccer player and also competed in basketball and track.


*****’s goal is to become a college soccer player.  Throughout the time I have known ***** he has displayed the moral character, discipline, organization and commitment necessary to become a successful student-athlete at the next level.  He would be an asset both athletically and academically to any university.  If you have any questions about ***** or need film please contact me at your convenience.




Mr. *****


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