by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
That is the advice I would give you for several reasons that I won’t get into here (just click the link to read our advice on that topic).
But, what happens when you find a new recruit late in the process?
Maybe they reached out to you looking for a spot and they are an athlete you would consider taking. Or maybe you came across their recruiting profile online and they don’t seem to be committed anywhere yet. They have either flown under the radar or could be looking to transfer from their current school.
What is the best approach when you don’t have a ton of time to recruit this athlete?
Here are two key things to successfully recruiting these kinds of athletes:
1) Stick to a timeline
They are coming in late and you haven’t had a chance to sell them on your program the way you have with other recruits. So, you should give them more time than your current recruits, right?
Not necessarily! The goal of setting a deadline for when you will be wrapping up recruiting is to put you as the coach in control of that recruiting class. Just because it is later in the process, it doesn’t mean you stray from that strategy.
Does it mean you might only have a few weeks to recruit that athlete? It might!
But, letting them know that you’ll be wrapping up in a few weeks will create a sense of value in that roster spot you are offering. If you’ll be done recruiting soon, you must have a great program that attracts a lot of recruits. That added value will fuel that recruit’s desire to do what they need to do in those few weeks to be able to make that decision instead of slacking and delaying.
Also, what happens if that recruit commits way after the deadline you gave the rest of your athletes. It could raise some questions as to how transparent you were in the recruiting process with the others.
If you didn’t have a timeline to begin with, now is a great time to start one. Figure out when you want to wrap up recruiting and let that late recruit and any others know when that is. It will create some value and add some structure to the recruiting process that these recruits are looking for!
2) Clearly answer the question, “why them?”
Recruits at any stage want to know why you want them. But, when it is late in the game, these recruits don’t have as much time to waste. And they certainly don’t want to waste their time on a coach that doesn’t really want them.
You have reasons you want to recruit that athlete based on their skill, personality, size, position, and character. Let them know what those reasons are! If they know why you want them, they’ll be more likely to listen to what else you have to say.
This is so important because you don’t have a ton of time to tell your story to these late finds. You want them to listen from the beginning so they have a chance to see why they should choose you.
Stick to a timeline. Preferably your timeline, Coach. And make it crystal clear why you want this recruit. If you do these two things, it makes recruiting these late finds much more effective!