Recruiting. The majority of coaches react strongly to the word. It’s usually something like “Yippee!” or an expression that isn’t able to be used within this piece. I believe that when we know what recruitment is and what it means, we can take an active and involved interest in prospective student-athletes. The process of recruiting is a chance for us to have an impact by teaching young people the importance of teamwork, leadership, and goals setting…more about this in the next blog post. If we’re fortunate sufficient to have female coaches, we’ll get the chance to demonstrate to them that women and girls don’t just be a part of groups…they can accomplish great things when they work together. We’re not able to impart these lessons if we don’t have our recruiting going! This is why I’m discussing recruitment in the month of “I love coaching” month.
We’ve come to the conclusion that recruitment is more than gathering a collection of individuals with a range of abilities that be beneficial to the entire team (though it’s definitely crucial! ). Let’s look at the four quadrants of the most successful class of recruiters.
It is the start of the process. One of the most effective ways to find out about a player is to go to the events for recruiting. I’m not going to talk about how much I adore the first moment I enter an event center and watch volleyball courts for as far as my eyes see…it’s beautiful and is never dull. The most important thing than scouting is staying connected. If we have connections with clubs/AAU teams, high schools coaches, or even the other coaches at colleges, we are able to increase our chances of success.
Once we’ve identified athletes we’re interested in, it’s the right time to communicate with them. If that’s going to an exercise, or watch an event by phone or emailing, chatting with their coach at home, or making home visits…whatever you’re able to accomplish within the guidelines that your team follows is a fair game. If you’re not doing something, then someone else will.
Every Admissions professional will tell you that your chances are increased dramatically if you bring in students to campus. Therefore, we must ensure that we have the students on campus! They not only get to see the campus, but they can also be a part of classes, get to know their teammates, and generally explore what campus life has to be like if they choose to attend your school. I have heard of managers who threaten their teams by putting a lot of time on their bench when they’re not happy about a potential recruit. I’d like to remind them that they spent time with them while they were making their college decisions, and now is their chance to reciprocate. Additionally, they would prefer that the team not be a mess after they leave…the only method to ensure that the quality of play is to recruit players.
Simple as that, We have to hold them on the line. We don’t want hours and hours on an athlete only to see them taken off our feet since we thought we were all wrapped up. Utilize your team, let them send recruits emails, or connect with them via Facebook. We must be in contact with them and remind them of the reasons why they loved our team and the college in the first few months before. In the weeks prior to my wedding, my brother advised me to “not do it again.” Fantastic advice! He was basically warning me not to become a Crazy Wedding Lady and forget to tell my hubby the reason we did this initially. Coaches, we’ve literally “wooed” the recruits…let’s not let it go wrong by not completing the deal.
Recruitment is the lifeblood of a team. It is my belief that remembering the role of coaches is to share the lessons of life through sports will make recruiting more essential and less of a burden.