I have heard this can sometimes be beneficial, I would like to learn about this.
Yes, it is a must! It is nearly impossible to enter a college on a sports scholarship if you had not contacted or talked to the coach beforehand. Unless you are intending on being a walk on which means no scholarship, then it could be an option. However, with most teams around the country at top division schools, even a walk on must talk to the coach beforehand as the coach must assess you as an athlete and a person before agreeing. Not only is it important to contact coaches before applying for a college on a sporting scholarship, you should contact them well ahead of time such as 2-3 years ahead for top schools. It is a very competitive field for college athletics so you must get in early, so the coach knows who you are and that you exist.