by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
What is something both you and your recruits are constantly trying to figure out?
Is this going to be a good fit?
You are looking for the right athletes for your program. And your recruits are looking for the right school and athletic program for them.
As you are looking for the right athletes for your program, you are trying to figure out as quickly as possible, which athletes will not be a good fit. The sooner you figure that out, the sooner you and that athlete can stop wasting each other’s time and start looking elsewhere.
But this conclusion is not always simple to figure out. And what I want to avoid is you spending months, if not years recruiting an athlete to only find out in the end it just was not a great fit for whatever reasons, when you may have been able to figure that out much earlier in the relationship.
Here are two questions you can ask early on, to help you find out if a recruit will or will not be a good fit with your school:
1) What makes us similar to your other top schools?
The first potential response is that there are several things about your school they are interested in, just as they are with others. Maybe you have a smaller campus and that is something they are really looking for. Great!
Now the job for you, knowing that you’re in consideration, is to show why you are different and why those differences are better than the other similar schools they are considering.
Their response could also lead to the conclusion that you are actually much different than the other schools they are looking at. Maybe it is a west coast recruit, and you are the only east coast school they are looking at.
If something like that is the case, it is not necessarily a red flag. In fact, it could be exactly what helps you stand out and ultimately land that recruit. But, in case it is a red flag, you should dig deeper.
In this example, I would follow up with some questions as to why they are excited about the idea of going to school on the east coast. If the response there is that going to the east coast is not ideal and their parents really don’t want them going that far away for college, it might be time to make some decisions about moving forward.
2) What are some schools you have already crossed off your list?
Even if it is early in the process, there are probably some schools that prospect has either already crossed off the list or decided to never even put on the list.
If you can find out what those schools are and why they are not being considered, it will give you a lot of insight into what is important to that athlete.
If we follow the above example of being a smaller campus, maybe they have crossed off other small campus schools and only have large campus schools on their list still. You should dig into why they have done that. There is certainly a case to be made about why your school and its small campus will be great for that athlete. But, if they are crossing off small schools because it is not the right fit for them, it might not be worth your time.
Both of these questions will help you get inside the mindset of your recruit. They will give you feedback that will either confirm this might be a great fit or raise some red flags to consider. Ask these questions early on so you can find out sooner which athletes are worth your time and which will probably be going elsewhere in the end.
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