Parents are increasingly becoming a major force in college recruiting.
It’s true at the biggest of the big-time Division I programs, and it’s true in the small private school tucked away in a small town in middle-America.
Because parents play such a pivitol role in the process, I wanted to pass along some of the latest information we’ve gathered from our research and focus groups at college campuses around the country. Here’s what we’re finding:
- Kids want their parents involved in the process. More and more, we hear examples of athletes who tell us point blank that they want their parents involved in the recruiting process, and that they look for college coaches who engage their parents when they have the opportunity to talk to them. Do you do that?
- Parents are split when it comes to how you’re doing at engaging them during the recruiting process. 54% of the parents of actively recruited athletes we surveyed nationally said that they felt coaches did a good job of including them in the recruiting process. That’s the good news. The bad news? 46% are feeling like there could be more done to include them as a part of the process. So, Coach, here’s what you should do: Take half of your recruiting list, chop it in half, and that’s how many parents are feeling like you’re not doing that great a job at making them feel like they’re important to you. The scary part should be that you probably don’t know which of your parents are on what side of the line.
- Parents want straight talk about why you, your program and your school are different than everyone else. Too often, coaches try to level the playing field and make their program just like the other one down the street. The brochures look the same, the websites look the same, and the message is largely the same. What’s missing? How you are different from your competition. Really different. The coaches who can communicate those real differences to parents will earn their trust, and when you have prospects who look to their parents’ views of a program 91% of the time as an important determiner in their final decision, that’s a big "win" for you in the recruiting game.
During our On-Campus Workshops, the thing we try to stress to coaches and athletic directors in attendance is the importance of having a plan to "recruit the parents". Even with just a basic understanding of what drives parents and their influence over their athletes, you can begin to create an effective game plan for recruiting them (and their son or daugther) to your program.
By the way, another huge key in being successful with the parents of your recruits is understanding the seven things they want out of interactions with you as a coach. Its been one of our most popular articles over the years, and I want to recommend it again to you as a good reminder of what else you need to do to effective recruit the parents. Click here for the article.
Need help developing your plan for parents? Email Dan Tudor directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for an outline of what the team at SFC does to help coaches around the country with their plan-of-attack.