by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
In a recent webinar that I did on “How to Recruit in the Middle”, I explained the importance of having a plan to consistently let your recruits and their families know WHY they should choose your school and program.
Most coaches talk a lot about what their school and team have to offer a prospect. Not as many coaches do a good job of explaining why what the school has should matter to the recruit. And that connection is so important!
So, as you talk about your academic environment, campus location, athletic facilities, and coaching style, you need to be giving reasons why those matter. But, what are the reasons? What kind of connections should you be making to show that your school is worth the commitment and for most programs, worth the financial investment?
Here are two questions your recruits are asking that you need to answer with WHY:
1) How does this aspect of the school help me get a job and make money?
Coach, what do your athletes do after they go to your school? They get jobs! And so, as your recruits are trying to figure out which school is best, they are considering which experience will help them be best prepared for life after college.
Your athletes might want to get into a great graduate program. They might want to get into a really high-paying career. They might want an exclusive internship opportunity.
Coach, YOU need to explain why your academic offerings, coaching mentorship, campus connections, and location are going to help your athletes get to those end goals. And you need to explain why you can do it better than the other schools they are considering!
2) How is being part of your program going to be best for me to reach my potential?
Many coaches say that their team is a family. Many coaches talk about the past success of the program or coaching staff. Many coaches discuss how awesome their facilities are.
Whether you have great facilities or a history of success matters some. But, what matters more is how you can make the connection that your experience is going to be best for that recruit to help them grow and reach their potential. Talk about their potential as an athlete, as a leader, as a student, and as a community member.
If you can explain why what you have (coaching staff, team culture, facilities) will provide that athlete with the best opportunity to reach their potential, you are making a connection that helps them decide that you are different and better than their other options. If you don’t, you are leaving a teenager with the responsibility of making that connection. And making it in a way that makes you the best. Instead this will probably lead to you being mixed in with the other schools that are also not explaining WHY. We don’t want that, Coach!