Throughout the process you probably have asked your recruits this many times, “do you have any questions for me?” Most of the time the answer is “no, not right now.” But near the end of each recruit’s decision process, they often have two questions. They are simple questions, but many coaches never really answer them. Answering these two simple questions will help out your prospect AND your staff in big ways.
1) Does coach really want me?
You have been recruiting them for over a year. Obviously you want them! But, have you told them you do?
You’d be surprised how many recruits are uncertain as to whether or not you want them on your team. If you don’t tell them clearly that you do, doubt will pop into their head. They might assume that since you didn’t tell them you want them, they are a backup option for you. This might cause them to delay their decision and even choose another coach that makes things clearer.
Do not risk that happening to you. Be clear and let the prospect know where you are at. It just might help you get more of your top recruits to commit and commit earlier!
2) When should I make my decision?
Choosing a college is a big decision that often brings your prospects a lot of stress. For many of them, they are the first child in their family going to college or being recruited for an athletic program. Without some clear advice and guidance, they might feel stuck and confused as to when and how they should decide on a school.
One of the first questions you should ask a prospect is, “when do you plan on making your decision?” If they know, great. Make sure you tell them what your timeline is. If you don’t have one, you should. If their timeline does not fit within yours, just be clear about that and if you have the conversation early, you shouldn’t have as many problems.
If they do not know when they plan to make their decision, that is your opportunity to help guide them. Tell them what your timeline is and explain they should do what they need to do to feel comfortable making a decision in the timeframe of your process.
The prospect will appreciate some guidance and now you will be in control of the recruiting timeline with that player which helps relieve some of your stress. That is important too!
Dan Christensen is a former college coach and sales professional, and now consults with coaches and athletic departments for Tudor Collegiate Strategies throughout the Atlantic Region of the U.S. To contact Dan, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.