by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
There are many different factors in a recruit’s final decision. Your job is to prove that you satisfy what they are looking for in the most important factors. Those are the ones that at the end of the process they are going to put the most weight in.
For many of you reading this, you probably do not have the nicest facilities of all your competitors. You might also not be the most affordable. Or maybe your school has low academic standards and retention rates. Your program may have a history of losing seasons as well.
All of these are things recruits may look at. But, there are several important factors that every recruit considers. And the good news is, these factors are completely in your control. Unlike many of the ones I mentioned above.
If you don’t win in all the categories that are out of your control, you’ll need to prove you fit some of these universal wants that every recruit has. Here are two:
1) Be the coach that wants them the most
Let’s play out a scenario:
School A has really nice facilities. A beautiful competition space and state of the art training equipment. But, the coach at school A has not quite shown his recruit, Jimmy, that he really wants him. Jimmy loves the facilities but is not even sure he will be a valued member of the team and might just be another number on the roster.
School B has mediocre facilities. The locker room is kind of small and the competition space is nothing special. But, that coach at school B has made it very clear throughout the recruiting process that he wants Jimmy. This coach has expressed how much he values Jimmy and how much he sees Jimmy fitting in and making an impact at school B.
If all else is equal, who has the edge? What we find happening most often is the recruit is willing to look past the lesser facilities in favor of being at the school he is most confident that he is truly wanted and will be valued.
That is completely under your control in the way you communicate with your recruits!
2) Be the coach that will support them the most
Another scenario for you:
School A has a great academic reputation. Good retention rates and a very solid average student GPA. But the coach at school A is not always the best at responding to Sarah’s emails. And she has not really spoken much to how she cares about her athlete’s performance in the classroom.
School B has weak retention rates and a very high acceptance rate which leads Sarah to think this school is not very strong academically and might not be a place she will thrive. But, the coach at school B has discussed this issue with Sarah. She explained how although the school’s retention rate is not the strongest, all of the athletes that have gone through her program have graduated and finished with GPAs above 3.0. This coach explained how that has happened and the ways she sets her athletes up for success with individual attention and support.
Based on the stats of each school, school A certainly has the edge. But, the coach at school B has done a much better job of describing how she supports her athletes and has the proof of her alumni to show for it.
At the end of the day, recruits want to trust that their coach has their best interests at heart and will be there to support them on and off the field. The coach at school B has won that important factor in this scenario giving Sarah a reason why she should choose them over school A.
Throughout the recruiting process, if you can prove you want a prospect more and will support them better than their other options do, you will often be able to win battles where you fall short in other categories!
Did you know you can partner with Tudor Collegiate Strategies and have our team join yours? We work behind the scenes with hundreds of college coaching staffs at all levels, developing their recruiting approach and helping them tell their story through more effective, response-oriented messaging. To find out how we can help you prove you’re the best option for your next class of prospects, click here.