by Greg Carroll, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
When I am doing a workshop for an athletic department the majority of the points I make are all about building out best practices we’ve identified at Tudor Collegiate Strategies based upon the research we do every year on what recruits want from their recruiting experiences and the success our client programs have using that feedback.
But we also address things that we suggest you STOP doing in the same way that when you are asking recruits what they are looking for in the college they choose you also want to know what things are not important to them or would even be a huge turn off. With that in mind, I’m offering a few things that as you go into another year I’m suggesting that you stop doing the following things:
- First and foremost stop making recruiting your second priority. It’s a bad career move! I was doing a workshop recently and asked the group how many had ever attended a conference on recruiting. Not a single hand went up. And then I asked how many had attended a conference specific to the sport they coach and EVERY hand was raised. If you don’t have the athletes it doesn’t matter how good you are with technique, strategy, or practice planning. This may sound self-serving but this advice is free – get familiar with all the resources at TCS, most of which are free. Enroll in Tudor University, listen to the podcasts on College Recruiting Weekly. You need to do the training for the big game! Our website is the gym!!! Being a good communicator, a good recruiter, and yes, a good sales person, is a GREAT career move.
- Stop relying on what you have ALWAYS done. Unless you won a national championship last year you need to consider new ways of doing things, try new strategies, and step into some new waters. It may mean deeper engagement with parents, changing how you do campus visits, committing to a new message strategy and a more genuine effort to be a story teller about your school, your program. Psst., we can help you with that!
- Stop depending on your admissions department. At every level I find coaches who are way too anxious to pass their recruits on to their admissions staff to do the all important task of “leading the recruit” through the process. With great respect for those professionals, you’re the one who invited them to consider your school and programs so you have their trust. Take advantage of that trust and use it to establish the relationship that will make them anxious to commit. Your recruits and their families expect you to be able to speak to the process and lead them through it.
- Stop short changing the opportunities raw video from your phone can have on showcasing your personality and the personality of your team. Those spontaneous moments of your team just having fun, being silly, celebrating a win, having dinner together are essential pieces for your recruits to see how they’re going to fit into your locker room. The same thing for you as their coach. They need to see who you are as a person, not just as a coach. Are you the person they can come to when things aren’t going well? Can they trust you? Record those moments and send them directly to your recruits as part of your messaging campaign. That way you know they’ll see them.
- Stop guessing. As I talk to coaches I often find that they are guessing all over the place. Will these players make me better? Are these players taking me seriously? Is my messaging working? Am I going to fill my roster? Coaches are guessing all over the place. The alternative to guessing is taking charge of the situation. Establishing a timeline for your recruiting removes the guessing about whether you’ll fill your roster. A consistent, strategic approach to your messaging will remove guessing related to “are they serious about us.” Build a relationship with them – and then ask them! Quantity for your recruits and compare their score against your current team. There are ways to remove the guesswork for virtually every area where you find yourself guessing.
So, that’s a good start! Seriously though, you will find that you have a lot more time for the things we know get results (consistent messaging, parent engagement, deep identification, network building, etc.) when you stop doing the things that are not helping and maybe even holding you back.
Want to know more about what you should and shouldn’t be doing when it comes to your recruiting plan? Email Greg Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a strategy call!