“Recruiting – like leadership – is a learned skill. Seek out new ideas and mentors. Ask questions, listen, and be honest in evaluating what works and what needs to be better.”
– @PNC_777, April 22, 2020
by Paul Nemetz-Carlson, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
Coaches are busy people. They wear many hats and their time is valuable. So, this week I’m going to share something different.
Recruiting help in short form. For the last two months, each morning I’ve been sharing a “Recruiting Tip of the Day” on my Twitter feed. Here are 20 of the better ones.
• You can’t avoid recruiting basics like writing, phone calls, or talking to parents just because you’re uncomfortable with them.
• Each prospect and family starts the process with a perception of your program. The story you tell and how you approach the process will either confirm or change that perception.
• There are a lot of people who have an eye for talent and considerably fewer who can actually develop the quality relationships that gets that talent to choose their school.
• If you’re losing games, you evaluate your strategy. If you’re losing recruits, SAME!
The Most Liked:
• Most prospects choose schools because of their relationship with coaches. Facts, figures, and rankings touted by the admissions office have a place in decision making, but it’s often as confirmation of one that’s already been made.
• Prospects don’t make logical decisions. Those who feel you truly care about them and their success will choose you over your competitors. Stop sharing only what you have and start sharing who you are.
• If you want to get better recruits, stop letting others define your program. Instead of letting recruits FIND your story, do more to CREATE, SHARE and TELL it.
• Assistants – just because you don’t offer scholarships, admissions slots, or roster opportunities – there is no excuse not to know exactly how those hard decisions are made.
Getting Better Players:
• A common problem both coaches AND recruits have is they look at seniors on rosters and think it should be a one in, one out transaction. Recruit to address needs, not numbers.
• If you’re scrambling to bring a class together at the end, you’re forced to work on a prospect’s timeline. You can gain control of the timeline with a consistent communication plan that always provides clear guidance on a prospect’s next step.
• When you see your program as a destination – rather than a good back up plan – you go after better prospects, you craft a more complete story, and your confidence tells recruits you’re worth choosing. Be a Destination!
• If you want to attract better players, you need to be comfortable sharing your vision of success. Separate yourself by setting ambitious goals and then explaining the important role each recruit plays in getting there.
Having a Clear Vision:
• Right now, most kids don’t think your program is good enough for them. It’s up to you to tell a story of WHY they should change their mind.
• If you don’t believe in the future of your program, recruits won’t either. Be enthusiastic and tell them where you are going and how they fit into your plan to get there.
• Recruiting is more about where you are going than where you’ve been. You need to tell recruits a story of the future and how they will contribute to it if you want them to choose to be a part of it.
• You HAVE to have a big picture plan to tell your story. But you SEPARATE yourself in recruiting by tailoring your message so it feels personal to each recruit and answers their specific questions.
• There are too many coaches selling the same thing. Be distinct in building your program’s brand. You have to highlight what you do differently than your competitors to show why you’re better.
• Every institution has positives and negatives. The trick is to spend more time making YOUR advantages work for you and less time wishing you had someone else’s.
• Don’t let your competitors’ interest in a prospect determine your interest. Develop your own vision and create it. Because someone else likes them doesn’t mean they are the right fit for you.
• When you like the players on your team more than the players on other teams you make better recruiting decisions. Define what you like and be confident in your evaluations.
And for all coaches wanting to get better, but stuck on where to start, here’s a bonus tip:
• When you start recruiting a prospect, try LESS – “Here’s what we have, do you want it?” and MORE – “I have something great, do you want to know more?”
Hope there was something here for you and your staff to help improve your approach.
If you want better players, become a better recruiter! Take control of our story, tell it and retell it – over and over again. Be consistent and enjoy the ride.
I’m excited to continue to be on this journey with you.
Be Distinct. Be Different.