by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
You’re not recruiting the parents, you’re recruiting the athlete, right? Many coaches take that approach. Doing so will put you at a distinct disadvantage in landing top recruits.
You need to recruit both the student AND the parents. For some kids, it might be a grandparent or other relative that is helping them make that decision, but you should figure that out early on. Why? Here are two reasons for you:
1) Parents help their child narrow down their choices
The players you recruit probably started the process with a fairly big list of schools. It is not rare for a prospect to consider over ten programs at the beginning. Several schools will get crossed off the list early on for whatever reasons. That list will continue to dwindle until the recruit chooses two to five schools they want to be in their final consideration.
Based on the research we do at Tudor Collegiate Strategies, over 60% of recruits say that mom and dad help them narrow down the list throughout the process.
If you as a coach, are not communicating with mom and dad early and often in the process, how can you expect them to keep you on the list as they cross schools off?
You need to recruit the parents if you want the best shot possible with the players you recruit. It will help you stay in the running longer and give you more opportunities to show the athlete (and parents) why they should choose you!
2) Parents share their opinions of schools with their child
As parents help their son or daughter narrow down their choices, they are sharing their opinions of those schools. In fact, over 70% of the thousands of athletes surveyed say that mom and dad clearly share those opinions.
If you do not make your case to the parents and involve them throughout the process, their opinions are completely out of your control. Just as we suggest telling your prospects how to think about what you have to offer, we suggest you do the same with the parents.
If you are still hesitant and just want to stick with recruiting the players and not the parents, you are putting some unnecessary roadblocks in your way of landing that recruit.