by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
Over 90% of recruits say that their parents have an influence on their decision. That is huge!
Yet, a lot of coaches continue to underestimate how important the coach/parent relationship is in the recruiting process.
Whether you decide to talk to the parents or not, they’re going to form opinions of you, your school, and your program. I would recommend trying to have some influence on how those opinions are formed by establishing a relationship and communicating early and often with your recruit’s parents.
There are several ways they impact this decision but here are two important one’s coaches need to recognize:
1) They help their athlete narrow down their choices
When it comes time to narrow down the list of schools the athlete is considering, they consult their parents. They value that opinion from mom and dad or some other parental figure, and look for advice in that time.
If the parents have never talked to you and don’t have much trust in your ability to take care of their kid and have their best interests in mind, how likely are they to recommend their student keep you on the list?
Not very likely.
This is a big impact moment that I want you to prepare for, Coach. Prepare by building a relationship and trust with your recruit’s parents.
2) Parents help coordinate campus visits
When your recruit comes to visit campus, it is very rare that the parents are not involved in making that happen. At the very least, they need to let their parents know they plan on going to visit you.
But, more likely the parents will be the ones who travel with the athlete to your campus. They’ll book flights or hotels. They’ll figure out who will watch the younger siblings or take care of the dog. They’ll make sure they have whatever information the financial aid office might be requesting they bring to the visit.
There are many ways the parents are involved in making this visit happen. So, if you struggle to get your top recruits to visit, take a look at your relationship with the parents of these prospects.
If your relationship is weak or non-existent, that may be the main issue holding your recruit back from actually coming to campus.
Start connecting with these people that have a huge influence on the recruit’s ability to ultimately choose your school and program. You’ll be happy with the results.
Dan Christensen is part of the staff at Tudor Collegiate Strategies helping college coaches improve their communication with prospects and their parents. If you need help doing a better job with your messaging, contact Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a strategy call.