by Ellen Sawin, NCSA Athletic Recruiting
What do John Wooden, Anson Dorrance, Bill Bowerman, Sue Enquist and Russ Rose have in common?
All of these coaches established historic programs in their respective sports.
They established brands: UCLA Basketball, UNC Soccer, Oregon Track & Field, UCLA Softball and Penn State Volleyball.
Seth Godin, one of America’s greatest marketing experts, publishes a daily marketing blog with tips and tricks for people trying to establish a brand, something those coaches were and are experts at. As a college coach, you need to think like a marketing guru: How are you going to establish a brand, and how are you going to establish your team? How are you going to reach the hundreds of thousands of athletes online that might be perfect for your program?
Last week Godin wrote about habits. He started off by listing a handful of common habits (both good and bad). He mentioned, “The habit of wasting time in meetings … the habit of doing more than promised … the habit of skepticism … the habit of generosity,” and more.
And then at bottom of the message he included the profound statement, “There’s a million habits out there, some good, some bad, all learned. Every habit (your market, your family, your organization has) was formed because people got rewarded for it, at least in the short run.”
As a coach, and as a recruiter, you’ve developed habits. Just like any other person, you have both good and bad habits, but all, as Godin stated, “learned.” You’ve learned and developed these habits as a coach because they’ve paid off for you in some way, “at least in the short run.”
But establishing a brand, (a program with a strong history, a team name and record that will be remembered for its strength) isn’t about the short run. As you recruit athletes, and even as you coach your team every day, be aware of your habits. Are you only doing something now because at one time it provided instant gratification? Or is what you’re doing continuing to strengthen the foundation of your program at your college?
Take a look at your routine, at your recruiting day-to-day. Are you in a rut? Have you developed bad habits? If so, you might have to change part of your recruiting process. You could start recruiting online, using a cutting-edge organization like NCSA Athletic Recruiting to speed up and simplify your recruiting process. It doesn’t mean what you did in the past was wrong, it just means you need to move forward. And even though breaking habits often sounds daunting, Godin hit the nail on the head when he finished his advice by saying, “every habit is changeable with effort.”
Using a trusted online resource to build your recruiting list is something thousands of coaches did last year. The result? More recruits with verified information and HD video to view. Coaches who lament not being able to recruit out of area, or who have trouble getting basic contact information from prospects, won’t experience those problems with NCSA Athletic Recruiting.