Being interested in college coaching, I have been Googling (yes, I just twisted a noun into a verb) tips of the trade for effective recruiting. I also have current personal ties to the topic because I am a high-school aged competitive volleyball coach with athletes looking to be recruited and I am also friends with college coaches who have recently contacted me on Facebook looking for players. This all seems unprofessional; old players I played with in college see photos of me coaching on Facebook and they send me a message asking for details on certain players. I have never been a college recruiting coach, so perhaps these techniques are effective and accepted. If I were an NCAA coach, I would actively work on developing me recruiting skills and pride myself on attracting talented and driven athletes. What other tips do coaches have to offer?
I came across a website called “Selling for Coaches” by Dan Tudor that had many anecdotes from current and past NCAA coaches. It offers that the number one hindrance to recruiting is simple time restraint; coaches do not find the time to personalize visits to campus, follow up contact with athletes via phone, spend time speaking with parents and athletes’ past coaches and being available for all parties involved. In my other findings, I was pleasantly surprised by the average athlete’s mature perspective. They are not looking for flashy gyms or marble floors anymore; athletes want to be able to see themselves in a program, on a campus, and infused in education. This is good news to me because it means a better fit is going to occur more often, and this is good for everyone.
Taking an athlete perspective while recruiting is key. What will make them feel comfortable, what is their priority list in the process of choosing a school? Are they interested in the quality of life and activity availability outside of campus? Are they social creatures? The list is endless, but this is only one piece to the puzzle. The other important areas to be assessed in the recruiting process are: Will the athlete’s personality fit in with the team? Does the athlete’s work ethic and relationship to sport fit the team’s mission and values? Will the athlete remain academically eligible and excel in the classroom? Will the athlete party and shift priority away from sport? All of the pieces must come together. Find the time to solve the puzzle.