by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
The fall can be a super busy time of year for coaches.
At least a third of you are in the core of your regular season. Another third of you reading this are probably practicing and competing in your non-traditional season. And the rest are gearing up for winter competition that is coming up really soon.
But, as busy as it is, there are things that you need to be focusing on right now in order to grow your program. Strictly speaking to recruiting, here are two that a lot of coaches will not be paying much attention to, but they should:
1) The next class
Being first is important. In a recent post, I went into more detail about this. But, in order to be first you need to be ahead of your competition.
Be the first coach to give a recruit serious attention. Be the first school that prospect visits. Be the first coach to connect with the parents of that recruit.
In order to be first in these things, you need to start early. If you’re not already talking to juniors, you need to start soon.
It might seem like there are so many other priorities at this point. But, the reality that your competition is ahead of you will hit by spring or summer of next year when recruits start turning you down because they’ve already narrowed down their list. Or for some, have maybe already committed to another school.
Now all of a sudden you are at this time next year and your recruiting pool isn’t big enough and you’ve missed your chance with your top recruits.
For those of you that have rules against direct communication with your next class because for you that is the current sophomores, Paul Nemetz-Carlson wrote a great article with ideas on how to get ahead with this group that you should check out.
2) Write more letters
Letters can work wonders for your recruiting. But, so many coaches are not taking advantage of this method of communication.
Letters take time. And we have already established the fact that coaches are short on time, especially in the fall.
Knowing that this is the case though, wouldn’t that provide the coaches that are able to get letters out to recruits with an opportunity to stand out?
Come up with a plan that is realistic for you.
Are you able to crank out a dozen letters every Sunday while you’re watching football?
Could you schedule a 15-minute, set-in-stone appointment every morning where you can put together two or three letters?
Maybe you have an assistant coach or graduate assistant that can print out 25 pre-written letters every Tuesday afternoon, give them to you to sign, and then they ship them off for you.
Whatever way you can incorporate these letters that you send to a kid’s house, make it happen. And make it happen this fall while the opportunity to stand out is great!
Dan Christensen is one of the trusted experts on the Tudor Collegiate Strategies staff who works with coaches around the country to help them develop and manage their recruiting plan. You can contact Dan with questions about this or other topics at firstname.lastname@example.org.