If you want your team to get better, you have two options:
Get better at developing athletes, or recruit better athletes to your program
Most coaches do a combination of both, of course. But what does it take in order to accomplish option number two?
You need to be able to identify athletes that would come in and be immediate contributors and difference makers. This part is not too hard to do. You know it when you see it.
What is much harder to do is to get those top athletes that you’ve identified to commit to your program. Because the reality is if they are that good, they probably have options. And options that are “better” than you. I put “better” in quotes because that is based off of their perception coming into the recruiting process, and not necessarily the truth.
So, what do these recruits need to hear from you in order to commit to your program?
1) That you want them more than any other coach
Every recruit wants to be wanted. It is one of the top factors in their final decision. And that is because it is an emotional factor in what is ultimately an emotional decision.
How can you show them you want them more than any other program?
Well, start by actually telling them. Have you mentioned it on your phone calls? In your emails? What I find is that many coaches don’t really make it that clear. Yes, you’ve been communicating with them and watching them play a lot. But, have you actually said that you want them?
And then have you asked them to commit to your program? A huge roadblock in getting commitments from top recruits is that coaches wait. They give the recruit space to make a decision, trying to be the nice coach. While on the other end, the recruit likes that coach and that school but is waiting for coach to officially ask them to commit. They do this because they are scared of rejection. They are scared that the timing isn’t right. They are unsure of how to say they want to commit. And so, they wait. That means both sides are waiting and no one is acting.
You as the coach, who is guiding this recruit through the process, NEED to ask them to commit, if you are ready to hear them say yes. It confirms that you do want them to be part of your program. And, you just may be the first one to do that, separating yourself as the coach that wants them the most!
2) That you have a clear and personal plan for them
In order to commit to your program, an athlete needs to have a picture in mind of what it will be like to go to school and compete at your institution. And it needs to be a favorable picture!
The best recruiters paint that picture for the prospect instead of relying on that athlete’s own imagination. To paint a strong and clear picture, you as the coach need to talk about your plan for that athlete.
- How do you see them fitting in on your team?
- What roles will they play in competition?
- What roles will they play as a teammate?
- How will you make them a better athlete?
- How will you prepare them for life after graduation?
If you can answer these questions clearly for that top recruit, they will be able to see themselves in that experience and that clarity will make it more comfortable to pick you. Our research proves it.
Dan Christensen is part of the team at Tudor Collegiate Strategies that helps coaches develop comprehensive recruiting messaging plans that communicates proven, research-based information to their prospect classes. Click here to find out why so many programs have relied on this partnership to achieve their best recruiting results ever, or email us at email@example.com to talk one-on-one about how we can design a customized plan for you.