by Bryan Mathews, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
I was reminded recently of some different methods in relating to prospective student-athletes for your program. A couple of coaches whom we work with kept bringing up the subject of being able to relate more to their interests outside of the recruitment process.
Just as that conversation was occurring, another coach messaged me about a social media post they were going to use of their current student-athletes playing the coach’s favorite song (an older one) as they walked into a workout.
The lesson to be learned from these two conversations is that, yes, coaches do need to try and keep up with what the prospects find “cool” nowadays, but, more importantly, it’s about asking questions and starting that conversation with them. It is not 100% dependent on the coach’s research and ability to adapt. It is 100% about the coach being able to create that conversation (in addition to explaining WHY their program is the best fit for that prospect). Chances are that if a coach just takes shots in the dark with this, they will miss. Or if they leave it to general, such as “So what music do you listen to?” However, telling your story about your roster playing Tom Petty for you before a workout, can initiate “Have you ever heard of Tom Petty?”
One coach who did this successfully could not believe that his prospects listened to songs ranging from Tupac to Billy Joel. And as a result of the conversation, they also became familiar with Pop Smoke. This created an even deeper conversation into movies, television series, and game shows. (Have you seen the new version of Supermarket Sweep?)
These conversations do not have to be long or scripted, but it does play a huge role in comfort level with a prospect. Not only with the coaching staff, but their future teammates as well. The more genuine and human that you seem to be, the more relatable you are each time you speak, the more they are going to feel the connection and believe your reasons WHY they should join your program. Plus, it is a bonus to gauge their interest level in your program by their participation or energy within the conversation.
The best part is that every coach’s tastes are just about as unique as their program and what they have to offer. So, differentiate yourself, Coach!
Bryan Mathews works with coaching staffs and colleges on a daily basis as part of the team at Tudor Collegiate Strategies. To find out more about how we are helping their programs get better overall results with their recruiting classes, email Bryan at email@example.com.