You are absolutely correct. When I went to University I contacted the Head Coaches at the three schools I applied to and they all came out to watch me play. They all said yes I would fit in with their plans. Of the three one was the most positive and enthusiastic. Well I got accepted to all three and which one do you think I went to? No actual promises but a feeling I got. I went out that fall and made the team but road the pines most of the time that year as I was the rookie after all. That all changed the next year and I loved every minute of my four years there.
So yes contact the coaches and they will be up front with you about how you stand as they do not want to lead you down the garden path and develop a negative reputation. Just be aware that nothing is written in stone.