by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
One of the challenging aspects of recruiting is that there is always more that can be done.
You could spend more time looking online at recruiting profiles and film.
You could attend more recruiting events.
You could send more emails, texts, or letters.
You could reach out to more club and high school coaches to network and find kids.
But, no one has unlimited time. And so, prioritization is essential to make the most of the time you do spend recruiting.
Here are two things you can do to help prioritize your time when working on recruiting:
1) Rank Your Prospects
Your prospects are not all equal. There are some you’d absolutely love to have and others you hope you won’t need but will take if it comes to it.
Unfortunately, most of the time, the way these prospects are valued is kept inside a coach’s head. It isn’t visually represented anywhere.
I am going to highly suggest you create a visual representation of how your recruits rank in your mind. It could be A, B, and C recruits. Could by 1 through 5 stars.
What I would recommend is having it be numerical and even a little more thorough than those options. Scoring recruits 1 through 100 would provide even more differentiation. Because, in a group of B recruits, there is a wide range from those that could almost be considered As to the ones who are barely Bs, and in reality might actually be Cs.
Come up with a system for ranking your prospects based on what is important to you. Physical attributes, skills, personality traits, and whatever else you might want to consider.
Not everything will be equally valued so make scales accordingly. Maybe strength is on a scale of 1 to 3. But mental focus is more important and so that is on a scale of 1 to 7. And after all these measures are added up, a player gets a score out of 100.
Use this as you figure out who to further scout, who to send that extra text to, who to send a letter to, and who to spend more time connecting with their parents. Otherwise, you might be wasting too much time with lower ranked kids unintentionally.
Do it in whatever way makes the most sense to you. But, rank your recruits to prioritize the right ones so you spend time wisely.
2) Understand the breakdown of your recruiting classes
Using the ranking system you have (or will have after my recommendation) and evaluate what your typical breakdown is with your recruiting class.
How many of those are As versus Bs? How many of them are considered 4 stars versus 2 stars? Or on a scale of 100, how many are above 70 and how many are below 70?
You’re going to continue to get better as a recruiter and so you should always expect things to get better. But, you need to be realistic too, Coach.
If you are a basketball coach that brings in around five recruits each year, maybe you typically get one stud player. The A level, 5-star, 85 plus ranked athlete. Then there are three core players that are the B, 3-star, 60-70 ranked recruits. And inevitably, each year there is one final C level, 1-star, sub 60 ranked player you take to fill out the roster.
So, if that is the breakdown, you shouldn’t recruit expecting to get five elite recruits. It is incredibly unlikely, even for the best programs.
I never want you to ignore those top tier recruits. But, based on this breakdown, we know we’re going to need around three of those core middle level recruits. If you have a good, solid athlete in this group that you feel might be ready to commit early if you focus on them a lot early in the year, do it. Don’t hold out.
Now, if you get to the point where you have three or four of those kinds of players committed to the program and you still haven’t gotten your star, maybe now you can try to stall other mid-level recruits in hopes of getting that star player. But, don’t stall until that point because you’re probably going to lose out on those solid, mid-tier recruits before several A-level ones decide to commit.
Know your breakdown. Be optimistic but still realistic. And prioritize your time based on this breakdown.
If you have questions about coming up with your recruit ranking system or want help knowing how to better prioritize your recruits, email Dan Christensen to set up a strategy call at firstname.lastname@example.org.