by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
Your program gets better by either developing players faster or recruiting better athletes.
Unfortunately, I can’t offer a whole lot of advice on developing your athletes better. But you’re the expert in that category, Coach!
What I can help you with is how you recruit better athletes. Specifically, those recruits that are kind of out of your league.
I am talking about that prospect that would come in and probably be the best athlete on your team. Maybe by far.
One of the hardest parts of recruiting these types of athletes is that they have options. If you’re a D3 program, this athlete might have D2 scholarship offers in addition to the D3 programs vying for their commitment. If you’re a mid-major D1 program, this athlete is getting recruited by top 25, Power Five conference programs.
So, how do we sell this recruit on coming to our program when they have a large variety of options?
1) Recruit the influences
Again, if this recruit is “out of your league”, they have options. And options that might seem better on paper or based on reputation.
Often, the source of a recruit’s view that they are too good for your program comes from outside influences. Parents, coaches, and teammates all play a role in helping form that prospect’s opinion.
There are certainly some parents and coaches that will encourage a prospect to consider all their options. But, if that influencer doesn’t know who you are or is convinced the next level is better for the recruit, it is going to be hard to win over that athlete.
You have control over this influence though, Coach. What you need to do is establish communication with the people in that recruit’s circle, early and often.
If you can do a better job of communicating with these people than any other coach, that will certainly make an impact. The better you do with this, the more often your program’s name will be in the conversations at home or at practice.
If you have the parents and coaches in your corner, you can collectively get that recruit to choose you. It isn’t a guarantee. But, we want to control what we can control and these relationships are in your control!
2) Have a clear plan
Recruits want to know what they are getting into. If they have uncertainties, they’ll be less likely to commit anywhere.
Early on and throughout the process, you need to paint that recruit a picture. A very clear one!
What kind of role will that prospect play on your team? Both on and off the field.
How will you work with that recruit to make them a stronger player?
How will you help that prospect succeed post-graduation?
If a recruit understands and believes in the plan you have established, they’ll feel more comfortable committing to it. And if that higher-level coach doesn’t do as great of a job painting a clear picture, the advantage is now yours.
Make this plan clear and talk about it often. And combine this tip with point number one and paint the picture to the prospect’s parents and coaches as well!
Want two ways to take action on what you’ve just read?
Have us help you execute these strategies in an organized, consistent way, by becoming a client of Tudor Collegiate Strategies. It’s the fastest way to successfully implement these detailed strategies and have them specifically apply to you and your program. Or, bring us to campus to lead your athletic department in a two or three day recruiting workshop. You’ll see immediate results!