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recommendation letters to the coaches

mintangmintang Posts: 18Registered User New Member
edited September 2011 in Athletic Recruits
Can one give just the recommendation letters to the coaches before supplying it to the admissions office with the application? They would naturally be sealed. I am asking this question because strategically it would best serve my son in his specific situation. This would apply to coaches of mainly ivy schools.
Post edited by mintang on

Replies to: recommendation letters to the coaches

  • bellybonesbellybones Posts: 119Registered User Junior Member
    I think it's not a good idea for a coach to write one of the two recommendation letters most colleges require. (if you're already sending letters from two academic subject teachers and this is supplementary, that's different, although I don't think admissions would give a coach's rec much more credence than one from, say, a choir director or a debate team faculty advisor).

    Whoever does your son's rec letters, in many schools you will have the option to review it or to have the teacher send a more candid, confidential letter. College admissions departments know if it's reviewed or confidential and value the confidential kind of letter a lot more. But, bottom line, a coaches rec letter will not carry nearly the weight of an academic teacher's letter.
  • fogfogfogfog Posts: 4,049Registered User Senior Member
    If I understand your question---

    The app and the letters of rec,
    scores etc should only go to the admissions,
    not to the coach at the college nor through the coach at the college.
    LOR should be from academic teachers directly to admissions.

    The hs coach may be contacted by the college coach when the college coach is considering recruits
    The hs coach will not have input to admissions.
  • whynotmithoowhynotmithoo Posts: 92Registered User Junior Member
    What if the coach is also an academic teacher?
  • stemitstemit Posts: 475Registered User Member
    A great letter of rec is a great letter of rec.

    In many high schools - especially large schools, the coach is the person who may have the greatest insight into the personality and soul of a player; the player's committment to excel; the player's leadership skills; even the player's commitment to be a great student. The coach has seen the player's preparation and has seen the player perform under intense pressure and can speak to the player's make-up. If the coach can write a great and truthful letter of rec so much the better! (I am of the camp who believes that the admissions office understands that most athletes have a single minded devotion to their sport and are "lopsided" towards athletics - as opposed to "well rounded." This mean that while the athlete presumably has the grades to get into the school, he/she put their heart and soul into their sport.)

    Is it better to have a letter of rec from this type of relationship or from an AP teacher who has glimpsed into the student's soul for an hour a day for a single year?

    Personal letters of rec trump proforma letters of rec any day.

    Now, if the coach is also a teacher who has taught the player, so much the better!

    Letters of rec should be sent to admissions -- they are part of the application.
  • bellybonesbellybones Posts: 119Registered User Junior Member
    If the LOR is supplemental to academic teachers' recs, then it would be a nice little addition to an Ivy League School's admission file. However, the admissions staff is primarily interested in excellence in the classroom. They read your LOR's to discover whether you are a leader in the classroom. They want to know how you measure up scholastically with other students in your class. Re: whether it's better to get an AP teacher's rec if he/she doesn't really know you too well...if your AP teacher can't speak in-depth about your academic chops, you will probably have a pretty tough time being admitted to an Ivy. Every single admissions info session I have attended stresses the importance of current academic recommendations. They even go so far as to say they should come from teachers of "big five" courses (math, science, English, history, foreign language).
  • fogfogfogfog Posts: 4,049Registered User Senior Member
    ^ amen to that bellybones.
    Our hs GCs would say the same thing
  • stemitstemit Posts: 475Registered User Member
    We once more have a spirited debate about where an athletic recruit stands in the admission process. Yes, I have been at the admissions presentations where it was made very clear that letters of rec should come from the mainstream academic areas. But, your kid is being recruited as an athlete and is not competing with the rest of the pool of applicants. There are many great students who are recruited athletes who just got straight A's in APs but who didn't stay late to get to know the teachers - instead they went to practice. Of course, there are many who established a relationship with the teacher!

    I think that we need to understand that athletes are not treated as a standard applicant at the Ivy's. If it were otherwise there would not be guidelines set by the Ivy's setting forth the guidelines for athlete admits.
  • riverrunnerriverrunner Posts: 2,707Registered User Senior Member
    I say don't ignore clear instructions on admissions websites, even (or maybe especially) if you're an athlete. Admissions will make the final decision and they want to know that you are ready to contribute in the classroom as well as on the playing field. Here's Yale's recommendation about these letters:

    Two Teacher Recommendations*
    High school teachers can provide extremely helpful information in their evaluations. Not only do they discuss your performance in their particular class or classes, but they may also write about your motivation, intellectual curiosity, energy, relationships with classmates, and impact on the classroom environment. It is important that you solicit recommendations from teachers who have taught you in academic subjects, who know you well, and who have seen you at your best. It is also preferable that letters come from teachers who have taught you during your junior or senior year of high school. Please ask your teachers for letters of recommendation well in advance of application deadlines to give them ample time to write a strong letter for you. Teachers may submit letters of recommendation online, using a link you can provide them through the Common Application. Alternately, they may mail or fax letters of recommendation. We do not encourage supplemental letters of recommendation.
  • maineparentmaineparent Posts: 898Registered User Member
    Our students only ever considered rec letters from teachers...our view was that the endorsement of the coaches showed itself with the different athletic awards won, ie best freshman, leadership awards, top athlete in the season (any sport)...our HS has a variety of different awards available and they reflect the support of the coaches and were listed on the app or on the resume page brought on OVs.

    If you really need to exploit the coach relationship, try to determine which academic teacher of yours is a peer of the coach, has a good sense of the coach and can serve as the official reference, with input from the coach to flesh out the letter. Ask the teacher if they will work with the coach, to ensure the reference letter best reflects all of your accomplishments, in and out of the classroom.

    Coaches want talent and potential...past results are important, but in some instances you are being recruited for years 3 & 4 of college....so leadership and classroom excellence are imperative ALONG with athletic prowess, which is why a teacher rec helps to round out admissions understanding of what you can contribute to the campus at large.
  • whynotmithoowhynotmithoo Posts: 92Registered User Junior Member
    The original poster I think meant to ask if the recommendation letters from academic teachers can be given to the recruiting coach along with grades/sat scores for the pre-read.
  • sidelinessidelines Posts: 102Registered User Junior Member
    ^^ Agree. I'd ask the coach what he/she thought. We sent official transcripts and score reports to coach for the pre-read. Seems like good letters of rec from academic subject teachers ( just my opinion, but I would be very leery of using a coach for one of the two letters of rec unless coach was also an academic subject teacher in the junior year) wouldn't hurt as part of the pre-read. We found out that the on campus interview with admissions was also very important.
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