Question for you, Coach: Have you recently asked your top recruits if they feel they are ready to verbally commit to your program?
And I am not just asking about your seniors. That could be your juniors as well!
“Well, Dan, they haven’t received their financial aid package yet. They haven’t visited campus yet. We only started recruiting them a few months ago.”
I understand all this. But, the only real requirement that I want you to follow when it comes to asking a recruit to commit is this: only ask if you are ready for them to say “yes”. Not to only ask if you expect a “yes” but just if you are ready to hear it.
Why is this such a great strategy to use in recruiting? Well first of all, your recruits believe the last step in the recruiting process is YOU asking them to commit. So, they expect it.
Besides that, here are two important reasons to be asking your top recruits for a commitment:
1) Get decisions sooner
I think it is safe to say that most coaches do not love having to recruit deep into the senior year of a recruiting class. Wouldn’t it be great to know whether or not that prospect will be choosing you as soon as possible to avoid late recruiting?
Asking for commitments can help accomplish this!
For many recruits, they might already know they want to commit to you. But, they are worried what you might say if they do. Will you be accepting and excited about it? In your mind you might be thinking, “obviously I would be!” But for your recruit, they are less certain. And so what do they do? They wait.
How can you help them make that commitment? Ask for it!
For other recruits, they might already know they definitely do not want to go to your school. Why don’t they tell you? They might just be scared to disappoint you. Or they might like being able to leverage you as a competing school to gain interest from other programs. But, in the end they know right now they are not choosing you.
How can you get them to tell you? Ask!
Hearing “no” is not ideal from your top recruits. But, wouldn’t you rather know now and be able to focus on other serious recruits or even add more names to your recruiting pool to replace that athlete? I would rather get this news in October than later into the school year!
2) Move them closer to choosing you
You asked and they said they were not ready to commit yet. That is fine! As long as there is still time left in the timeline you provided for them.
But, when you ask for a commitment the recruit is now more confident in how you feel about them. They know just how serious you are because you just officially asked them to be on your team!
So, now that visit they have not scheduled yet or that application they still haven’t filled out might actually get done because they know you are a serious option. Especially if no other coach has asked them yet!
You asking just pushed them to take the next steps. Something that badgering them to visit and apply was not accomplishing.
What also happens when you ask is, they will begin to be more honest with you. You were just so honest with them and explained how much you want them. What you might find is that they tell you more about what is going on in their mind. They might even tell you more clearly where you stand on their list. And why.
You’ll now have all this great information that you can use to further help them see why they should choose you. You didn’t know exactly what was most important to them, but now you have a better idea and you can focus on those values more in your communication.
Asking maybe did not get you a definitive answer. But it moved the relationship forward and gave you the information you needed to move things along quicker!
For help with getting commitments from your prospects, talk to us one-on-one. Dan Tudor and our team of experts, like the author of this article, Dan Christensen, are experts at understanding what drives recruiting decisions and how coaches can position themselves for maximum success. Click here for details.