Contacting coaches? Good idea or not?

<p>I play one varsity sport, and a few instruments, and I am applying to 5 different HADES schools. I was wondering if it would be a good idea to contact the coach/ director through email. I'm live on the other side of the country so I cannot go visit.
I've heard it's a good idea to contact them, but how would that help? Do they have any affect on the admissions decision? Is it too late? What sort of things do I say? </p>

<p>Thanks!</p>

<p>DEFINATELY.
That can be your way in. Believe me. They have a huge affect on admissions. I'm currently applying as an athlete, but my friend goes to Andover and is in her fourth year; she's a very talented swimmer and I believe that is a lot of the reason she was admitted. The HADES schools need to have all areas of their school 'shine'; whether its dance, debate, athletics, the math program.. They need it all. If you can make one of these areas 'shine' for them you're going to be weighted so much higher than someone with the same grades and scores as you, but who doesn't play a sport.
Best of luck!</p>

<p>Thanks! Sooo... Should I just talk about myself a whole bunch, or ask questions? I really don't know what to say!</p>

<p>Speaking as a coach/arts director, there's a limit to how much influence most of us have, especially at the schools that are rejecting 80% or more of their applicants. So I'd caution you to keep your expectations in check--writing a letter to a coach will probably not be "your way in," but it can answer your questions about the program that the website didn't.</p>

<p>If you do write a coach keep in mind that this individual may or may not have strong ties with Admissions. S/he may or may not pass along any details of your contact. At any rate, keep your contact brief. Introduce yourself as a prospective student, explain your involvement with the sport/art in a sentence just to give your skill level some context. Then ask your genuine and specific question about the program. Faculty at boarding schools are busy, but we will usually stop to answer a question or two about our programs if we can squeeze in the time. The most you can then hope for is that the coach/director will follow up with admissions and a little note will go in your file. Again, there's no guarantee that this will even happen. The rarer your sport or instruments are, the higher likelihood that you'll get a response, but even then, no promises. Teachers get dozens of emails every day--all requiring our time, care, and attention. Even a teacher with the best intentions could easily get sidetracked by the immediate needs of current students, advisees, colleagues, and his own family. </p>

<p>I think the kids who post on these boards tend to be nice, earnest kids, and I know it can be difficult to wait for March 10. I'd urge you to have confidence in the application you already put together, and only reach out if you have specific, genuine questions. (If you didn't get to visit the school in person, you probably do have some honest questions.)Boarding School faculty who coach/direct the arts are busy people with lots of demands on our time--and we don't have singular magical powers to get you admitted. Your essays, interview, grades, scores and activities will tell the admissions folks so much more about the positive impact you'd make on the community than one quick comment from a coach. So think carefully about why you are contacting this individual, and be realistic about the outcome.
Best of Luck!</p>

<p>I say absolutely. Our daughter plays a sport in a position that is often needed. Regardless she either contacted via email or during her interview every coach. She would have to work with this person for four years, in one case she found she could not work with that specific coach, she has to go with her gut and personally I agreed with her regarding this coach. So as much as you want to sell yourself and provide documentation about the sport you play whether that's through a stats sheet or video, you need to think about whether or not you can work with the coach for four years, it's a two way street if you are serious about your sport. The same could be said for anyone looking at musical or artistic interests as well.</p>

<p>This is interesting as my daughter was just "recruited" by what we consider a top 3 school. A coach came to a practice and came to my girl and I and said "I'd like to ask you to apply to ____________" she is short of players at my girls position and it's passed the application deadline, the coach called admissions for us and asked them to accept our application. the COACH (not an AO) said my daughters test scores were above what she'd seen from her other athletes. I'm trying to be realistic here, wondering how much of a hook the coach has?</p>

<p>Hockeydad,</p>

<p>Your conversation with the hockey coach is a positive development. Unfortunately, it's not a 'bankable' one at a top prep school. I know of kids who were deferred after receiving letters from coaches all but guaranteeing acceptance. And I know of kids who were accepted even though they were not highly recruited. </p>

<p>The coach will "advocate" for your daughter. But the admission officers will make the decision. Your daughter's athletic hook and good SSATs are important factors, but they are not the only factors. Obviously, grades and extra-curricular activities matter. So, too, do essays, recommendations, and the interview. </p>

<p>Tell your daughter to focus on the things she can control. Her grades and extra-curricular activities are what they are. But she has it within her power to write compelling essays, obtain the best possible recommendations, and be herself during the interview. </p>

<p>Good luck on March 10!</p>