by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
Being first is fun.
First in the conference standings. First seed in the national tournament. First on your top recruit’s list.
There are some areas of recruiting where it is critical to try and be first. If you are, it’ll give you a big advantage towards getting your top prospects. And that is fun too, right?
Here are two things I want you to be the first at, Coach.
1) Campus Visits
This is a topic that is often debated. And I get why.
There have probably been some recruits you have had where your school was their last visit and it made a big impact so close to their final decision. And they may have ended up choosing you because of that.
My fear though, Coach, is if you always aim to be the last visit for this reason, there will be many recruits that don’t even end up coming to campus.
Let’s say you’re the fifth scheduled visit for that recruit. What do you do if after visit number two or three, the recruit calls you and lets you know they have committed to another school after a great visit there?
I’ll tell you what you do, you go back to the drawing board because you just lost that prospect.
So, what happens if you are the first visit instead? A few things.
First, the recruit probably will not cancel that visit because they have already committed to another school. Unless they commit to somewhere they never visited, which could happen but is rare.
Second, you might be able to get them to cancel their future visits. If they like you, and have a great visit, they might just be ready to end the process and commit to you before they make other visits.
And lastly, even if they still go on other visits, their visit to your school is the one that set the standard for how awesome a campus visit should go. If no other visits can live up to it, they will still remember that experience with you very well.
2) Asking them to be on your team
One of the biggest misconceptions that coaches have is that they should give recruits lots of space when it comes to making their commitment by not bringing it up directly.
The problem with this assumption is that on the other side, recruits are eagerly waiting for a coach to ask them to commit.
The athletes you recruit are teenagers. Teenagers that have never been recruited before and aren’t too familiar with how the process works. Teenagers that are nervous and scared about this big college decision.
Because of this, they are less likely to just take action on their own. If they say they are ready to commit, what if you reject them? That worries them.
So, what most recruits will do is wait until a coach opens the door and makes it clear they can make this decision. They might just be waiting for a sign because they really like the final two or three schools on their list and they’re having trouble deciding which to choose.
What would be a good sign? If a coach came out and asked them if they feel ready to commit!
Be the first to ask. They might not say yes in that moment. But, you’ve at least now established yourself as the coach that wants them most if you are the only one to have asked so far!
Be first, Coach. It’s more fun.
Want help making sure you are first on your top recruit’s list this year? Contact Dan Christensen, the author of this article, at firstname.lastname@example.org.