by Mike Davenport, Coaching Sports Today
Authentic coaching is critical to recruiting. Specifically, you NEED to represent yourself, your program, your school honestly.
This is super critical for two reasons.
First, today’s prospects are a savvy group. They can tell if someone is not being authentic, and it’s a turnoff for them when people aren’t authentic.
They have a well-tuned BS detector. And they expect (and deserve) authenticity.
So, if you are not authentic about yourself and your program, you’ll probably lose the recruit.
Second, if you aren’t authentic, and a recruit does actually come to your school, there’s a significant chance she will quit your team and transfer from your school.
Unfortunately, there’s often significant pressure on coaches for recruiting success. That pressure could come in the form of having a specific incoming class size, or publicity from getting that “blue-chip” signing. Or even more serious pressure such as: “Ya better start winning to keep your job!”
And this pressure can push coaches away from being authentic.
Let Yourself Shine
You can be authentic as a coach. And stay authentic.
Let me share a few ways I’ve seen coaches do it.
One football coach has a page overview of his program that includes his coaching philosophy. It’s not a boring piece of paper just covered with text. Instead, it’s more like an info graphic, with pictures, a flowchart, and a few drawings. It was very visual and it outlines highlights of his program and his true coaching philosophy.
Another coach, in field hockey, has on her wall a framed chart. The top-half is “What you can expect from me.” Which has several expectations that she truly wants the prospect to understand and then to hold her accountable for. The bottom-half is a section of “What I expect from you.” It has five or six bullet-points about her expectations of her players.
What’s cool about both examples is when the coach is in the middle of conversations with a prospect—maybe getting excited about the possibility of a top-quality athlete coming to his or her school—those two pieces act as props to help the coach stay on track and be truly authentic.
Instead of swaying or saying something in the heat of the moment to entice the prospect that was…well…not exactly a lie, but not exactly something authentic, the prop helps Coach stay authentic.
Be yourself when you recruit and when you coach. Often it’s not easy—but it’s critical.
Let yourself shine through. They’ll be reasons not too, but shove those aside.
By being your true-self you’ll be a much better recruiter, a much better coach.
And it will be a much better experience for you, your recruits, and your future athletes.