I hear you, tallgirl. When you have firsthand experience with the standards that coaches are looking for in any particular sport, it can be a real eye-opener. Academics are important, of course, but only to the point that you'll pass muster with admissions. A 2380 SAT is only marginally more valuable than a 2000 to a coach. The main thing the coaches want are great athletes who can contribute and help the team win.
Of course, there is no downside to sending the coach an email other than a few minutes of you time.