Courtesy NCSA Athletic Recruiting
For many coaches, a season of struggle in the standings is a recipe for disaster on the recruiting trail. After all, what kind of ‘story’ can you give recruits this Summer if your past season’s results aren’t much to brag about?
There are three main areas any coach in this position should want to focus on, based on our research with student-athletes who have been certified in our free recruiting database for college coaches:
1. Potential for improvement
Based on direct feedback from recruits, we’ve found that they don’t care what a program’s record was last year – or the past 3 years for that matter. As a coach, you place a huge value on your program’s record. But what many coaches don’t realize is that recruits see a losing record and tend to think ‘Well I wasn’t on the team yet, and when I am we’ll be really good’. A key to successfully recruiting with a poor record is to build on that mentality by communicating that message throughout the entire recruiting process.
2. Playing time
A poor record also gives coaches the opportunity to recruit players that can have an immediate impact. Recruits often contemplate walking-on to a reach school where they might ride the bench for 2 years. But in many cases, prospects want to be able to prove themselves and get their hands dirty right away. Why should they wait a couple years for a chance at becoming a starter when they can join a team where they know they can be a team leader from day one?
In addition to playing time, recruits may also be presented with the opportunity to become a leader or stand out performer. Getting special recognition and playing a key role in the development of a program can be very appealing to a recruit, especially for talented recruits with their eyes set on a larger program. In fact, current recruits said that the featured athlete section was one of the top reasons they visit your athletic website (based on a recent survey).
One last thing:
You may have used these reasons with recruits in the past. However, the important thing to give your prospect is an understanding why these three main points should be motivators for wanting to come to your program; not just ‘justifying’ why choosing you is o.k., but making it the primary reason they should see you as the smart, logical choice.
Need a fresh group of high-quality prospects to tell your story to? NCSA Athletic Recruiting has the nation’s largest free database of student-athletes for college coaches to review and contact immediately. Get started here.