by Mandy Green, Busy Coach
From all of my consulting work as the National Recruiting Coordinator for Dan Tudor and with my company Busy Coach, mixed with my background as a college soccer coach (8 as a head coach, 16 years as an assistant), I get to talk to a lot of head coaches about how things are going in their programs. Usually at some point, the conversation goes to their assistant coaches, and how those coaches can better serve the program on the recruiting side of things.
In my research putting this article together, I found a lot of articles about how to be a great assistant coach. I would say that the majority of them had these 7 things in common.
1. Find some way to bring value to the program
Take charge of something that needs to be done without the head coach having to delegate it. What needs to be done that you can do? Surely there is something. What are you passionate about and good at doing within all of the recruiting that has to get done?
2. Do the little things that need to be done
There are so many things that need to happen in every program when it comes to recruiting. Just one on-campus or virtual visit holds a list of tasks: scheduling the time, sending a confirmation email, getting the link if it is virtual, organizing the players who can help, etc. Who is “in charge” of all of this? The head coach. How does it all happen? The assistants. Take some of these off the plate of the head coach, take ownership of them. Be the guy/girl who gets his hands dirty, no job is too small.
3. Become an expert
Another way to put this is: Be a pro! Never stop learning how to be a better recruiter. Your head coach wants experts on his/her staff. You might not be one now, but you can become an expert at recruiting. The more experts who are on the staff, the better the recruits you will get and the better your program will be.
4. Know your role
Remember, you are an assistant coach. You are not the head coach. Be careful not to overstep your bounds. Your role is to be a loyal assistant to your boss. You might totally disagree with how your head coach recruits, the type of talent they want, or how your boss conducts an on-campus visit. None of that matters! It is not your program. Know your role, accept your role and become great at your role.
5. Don’t just be a “yes person”
Head coaches don’t want all of their coaches to sit around the table saying “yes, yes, yes.” They want what is best for the program. They want to improve the program. And they don’t always have the answers. This is where assistants come in. When the head coach asks for input, or when the door opens for you to give your input, do it. If you disagree with something, or have an idea to make something better, express that. Just remember, if your boss doesn’t like it, they are the boss!
6. Be dependable
The last thing that a head coach needs is to babysit their own assistants. If you say that you’re going to do something for the program, do it, period. Make it happen. There were not many things more frustrating to me as a head coach as when an assistant tried to take something off my plate, and then either failed to do it, or did a bad job at it. Be on time, be prepared, and leave no doubt in the head coach’s head that you will be who you say you will be.
7. Be hungry
Take the bull by the horns. Take ownership for the recruiting responsibilities that you have been given. Be proactive to make the program better by having an appetite for success! Demonstrate to your boss that you want what is best for the program by taking initiative on a year-round basis.
I think we all would agree that these 7 things are needed to be a great assistant coach who is in charge of recruiting.
If you want more ideas on how to be an amazing recruiting coordinator, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.