by Greg Carroll, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
When I was an athletic director there were certain periods of time during the year where things got a little more calm and I’d have an occasional weekend off to do something around my house that was due for an update. It might have been painting a room, cleaning the garage or basement, fixing that dripping faucet. The list was endless.
The same thing held true for my administrative duties. There was always a list of things I wanted to do when I had time to. I affectionately referred to these lists as my “Home Improvement Projects” because quite honestly, the athletic department at my school really was my home away from home!
I’m sure you have your own work related home improvement projects but I thought I might offer just a few suggestions that might get you thinking about some things that may need attention in your athletic house:
1. Let’s start in your office. The things we surround ourselves with in our work environments say a lot about who we are and what we value. Whenever I’m watching an interview with someone I’m always trying to read the titles of the books in the bookcase in the background. I want to know what that person is reading because it says something about what interests them, the things they value and view as important. Pictures do the same thing. If you talk about the importance of family with your recruits but have no photos of your own family in your office, that might be viewed as an inconsistent message. The pictures in your office represent an opportunity to support the “brand” your program represents. If you emphasize great academic success, pictures of your players receiving their diplomas says that. If you value community service, a picture of your team taking part in a service event reinforces that message. And if you talk about the deep history of your program do you have vintage photos of past championships, historic victories, legendary coaches from the program, etc. on display.
2. Your locker room also says a lot about your program. Several years ago, our men’s basketball team was playing a first round game in the NCAA’s at another school with a long history of women’s basketball success. Our team was offered their locker room for the game. One entire wall was filled with a beautiful display of impact players from the program going back more than 20 years. I told the women’s head coach how impressive that was. She said every recruit she brings to the locker room talks about that wall and how cool it would be to someday have her name there. What does your locker room say about your goals, your values and when was the last time you visited that?
3. Are you using the same messaging to convince your recruits to choose you? And if you are, how’s that working for you? We’re always busy and it’s much easier to dust off the same introductory message you’ve been using for years than to write something new, fresh, and unique to that specific recruit. At Tudor Collegiate Strategies, we’ve done mountains of research on those messages and we know what’s in a winning introduction as well as a message that will go immediately to the trash bucket. And if you have run out of things to say or how to say them let us know and we can get you on track with our Total Recruiting Solution. We’ll take the words of your athletes and coaching staff and craft a 12 month messaging campaign specific to your program that WILL lead your topic recruits to your program.
4. Are you getting what you need from your leadership team? Are you relying on the same mentoring practices that you have used for the past five years? This is a different generation of athletes and they respond to things differently. If you have not taken a look at your expectations for captains and how to prepare them to “captain” (yes, “captain is a verb more than it is a noun!”) it’s time to dig into some new books on the topic or talk to someone who lives in that space every day. TCS’s good friend Jamy Bechler has a ton of resources and would love to talk with you and your athletes about what’s working in this area right now. You can learn more about Jamy here: jamybechler.com
5. Do you offer winning campus visits? When was the last time YOU took a campus tour with your admissions department? Do your recruits take those tours? Do their families? If so, do you have any clue what they’re saying about your program? Campus visits are game day. Not just a game day but playing in the conference championship game! That’s where you either make the cut or don’t. Within 12 seconds of the time they finish the visit, get in the car, and start driving home they’ve already decided if you are still in the hunt. Campus visits are another area Tudor Collegiate Strategies has done a lot of research so if you think you need a “visit refresh” let us know and we’ll work with you toward a championship visit.
Want help building your program? Greg Carroll and the team at Tudor Collegiate Strategies are helping college coaches implement more effective strategies in all areas of recruiting in order to develop the programs at their schools. You can email Greg with any questions at email@example.com.