by Mandy Green, Busy Coach
We know that trying to get through something challenging – whether it’s losing weight or having a baby – is a lot easier when you do it with a buddy.
Coach, the same is true with recruiting. Recruiting is tough and can be lonely, especially if you are in a situation where you have nobody to run ideas by. Over my 22-year college coaching career, I have found the being a successful recruiter is much easier when you’re accountable to a team that’s truly rooting for your success rather than trying to go it entirely alone.
If you don’t currently have a recruiting support group, don’t worry, you are not alone. I have been to a lot of college campuses over the last 3 years in my work with Dan Tudor doing On-Campus Workshops, and I always ask the group I am working with how often they get together as a group to share recruiting ideas and techniques. Nine times out of ten, the answer I get is: “Mandy, this is the first time all year that we have sat down as a group to discuss recruiting as a group.”
It always surprises me how little coaches use each other for support and as a resource to help them with the recruiting process. Think about it…just within your athletic department, you have an unlimited resource in the form of your associates to ask for ideas, help, and support as you are working to achieve your recruiting goals.
If you are going at it alone and are looking for more support there are two things you can do. One option is to call us here at Tudor Collegiate Strategies and we will help you. Or second, set up a recruiting club within your athletic department or among your coaching friends.
A recruiting club is a support group where you can share about your experiences, brainstorm for new ideas, and offer much needed camaraderie to keep everyone’s spirits up. Think about it like a book club, but instead of talking chapters, you’re focused on recruiting.
Those that become a part of this group are there to help one another stay positive during the recruiting year. The club is a safe haven where everyone can practice skills in leaving voice messages, find a second set of eyes to look over a letter or email you want to send out to a top recruit, get feedback about their on-campus visits, share frustrations about not getting responses to questionnaires, and work on your closing techniques. You can invite expert guests or people from other departments on campus to speak to your club to offer advice on any number of subjects.
To get a recruiting club going, all you need is a commitment of time and a genuine desire to share ideas and experience among a core group of coaches. If you do want to get one started up at your school, here are three tips for making your recruiting club successful.
1. Get started by recruiting a small group of members. When I first did this at a Division II school I was working at, I sent out an invitation to every coach in the athletic department and only about 8-10 showed up. That turned out to be a great number because we ended up having a diverse group and the group was small enough were we could all share our ideas.
2. Use Time Wisely. Time for a coach is a precious resource, and no one wants theirs wasted. With the amount of time we all spend doing the thousand things we do in a day, you owe it to yourself and your colleagues to streamline the meeting as much as possible. An important aspect of running effective meetings is insisting that everyone respect the time allotted. Start the meeting on time, do not spend time recapping for latecomers, and, when you can, finish on time.
3. Pick a topic and stick to it. I know that there are a thousand different aspects of recruiting that could be discussed. In an effort to have a timely and productive meeting, decide before the meeting what the topic will be and focus on nothing else but that topic. With an idea of what will be discussed beforehand, all coaches who can attend can prepare all relevant information and handouts to share with the group.
The ultimate goal for us at Tudor Collegiate Strategies after we have conducted an On-Campus Workshop is to have the coaches leaving energized and with the feeling that they’ve really learned something. If having us come to your campus is not an option right now, coach, you can create the next best thing by organizing a recruiting club on your campus.
Just a few hours a month can make all the difference in your recruiting life, attitude, and energy as you continue with the daily recruiting grind. Plus, you can make great contributions to your athletic department –a perfect way to give back to peers in need.
Mandy Green is part of the team of experts at Tudor Collegiate Strategies dedicated to helping college recruiters fine-tune their message and get GREAT at recruiting. She also heads-up our Team Development program, which helps you make sure you’re making the most of the players you’ve got competing for you. For information on what we can do for your program, visit us at www.dantudor.com