Neal Cook, Front Rush
As a coach, you have many ways of acquiring and storing data from your recruits.
One of the more popular, and effective ways of obtaining a recruit’s information is via a questionnaire that is placed on your athletic website. Once the recruit fills out that questionnaire, they are automatically stored in the proper database so you have access to this information and can start recruiting the athlete.
If you go to your school’s athletic website, click on your sport, and find your recruiting questionnaire, this submitted form is winding up in one of two places:
- Your Recruiting Database for the sports software you use (i.e Front Rush)
- Your Admissions Database, which your admissions department uses to facilitate the recruits info to you
Now to the form itself. Let’s take it back a few years, before computers, when you had to fill out a paper form with a pen or pencil (as a 28-year-old, I do have a faint memory of such times).
With a paper form, it’s possible that a form-filler (your recruit) could turn the form into you without filling out all of the fields. Since there’s no way of forcing a recruit to fill out every single field, unless you know some magic I’m unaware of, it’s possible the recruit could leave some important fields empty. There was, however, an unspoken understanding that if a question was asked, you’d be best to fill it in.
Then came along the internet which allowed form-fillers (your recruits) to fill out forms digitally instead of manually.
With digital forms, you have the ability to make certain fields required/mandatory, so when the user clicks ‘submit’ they would be unable to proceed unless the required fields are filled in.
You’ve seen these required fields (usually marked with red * symbol) when you sign up for a website or place an order online. It makes sense. If you are ordering a new pair of shoes from Zappos, you should be required to enter your shipping details and payment information before the order goes through.
The same rules apply for your athletic recruiting questionnaire. As a coach, and a Front Rush user (OK, maybe you use one of our competitors, but we still love you), you have full control of the required fields on your questionnaire.
By default, Front Rush only requires First Name and Last Name on your form. Meaning, a recruit could technically only put in their First and Last Name and press ‘submit’ and the form would go through to you.
Recruits, and humans, in general, are pretty savvy and they realize that just giving you their name would be pointless. You can’t do anything with just their name. Add the fact that recruits are trying to get YOU to contact them, and this results in recruits giving you plenty of data points that will help you research them and contact them (name, email, address, grad year, high school, position, gpa, video links, etc.).
Still, as a coach, you can take measures to ensure that you have the minimum info on a recruit so that you, or your admissions office, can contact them.
All you need to do is contact our Front Rush support team and let us know which fields you’d like to make mandatory for your recruit questionnaire, and we can make those fields required.
If you are a Front Rush school that uses our Admissions package to pass recruits automatically back and forth between Admissions, you’ll notice there are certain required fields on your recruit questionnaire. The fields that are typically required are: First Name, Last Name, Email Address, Home Address 1, City, State, Zip and Graduation Year.
Admissions offices need these fields in order for them to start recruiting your recruits academically and pass their enrollment info back into Front Rush.
Even if you are not using our Admissions package, you can still make those fields mandatory on your questionnaire so that you send emails out of Front Rush, create mailings labels via an Export, etc.
Besides contact information fields. You can make your academic fields mandatory (high school name, GPA, SAT scores) or athletic fields (position, club team name, club coaches name, video link).
However, there is research that shows that form-fillers may be more inclined to ONLY fill out the required fields on your form, omitting the optional fields that are also important, but not required.
My recommendation would be to make sure the recruits necessary contact info (name, email, address, cell phone number) are required, along with some academic and athletic info (grad year, high school, position, club team name), that is important to you. If your school takes academics very highly in applications, you may want to think of requiring more academic info. Likewise, if you are very select in the recruits you contact, you may wish to make more athletic fields required.