Achieving the 'Next Step' Goals Every Coach Should Want For Their New Class of Recruits
Getting them to campus? Falling in love with your school? Nope...
With the start of a new recruiting class often comes a renewed hope that things you did in the past recruiting that didn’t work will suddenly start working.
The top of the list among coaches we talk to and work with would have to be getting a new recruit to come to campus, or getting them to fall in love with you and your school quickly so you can move through the process as quickly as possible so you can get done with your class as quickly as possible.
The problem is, that’s not realistic.
(Yes, there are exceptions to that stated rule I just made, of course…in some Division I sports, recruiting commitments with the new class come 30-45 days after the first contact starts is just the way it all goes. It’s a fast process, and traditional steps are skipped in the effort to wrap-up the process which is happening earlier and earlier for many coaches.)
But for the majority of coaches and division levels, it moves much slower. And, there are several different steps involved in making the decision on where to go to school and commit to playing a sport.
There. Are. Steps.
And bad things happen when we try to skip steps - we pointed that out in a previous article you may have read, Defining Your Prospect’s Next Steps, which included six primary objectives you should be aiming for as you start contact with a new class of recruits.
So what are those ‘bad things’, and how can coaches avoid making these very common mistakes recruiters at all levels are often making? Here are the top four most programs struggle with:
Wanting too much too soon.
Like I referenced at the start of this article, as well as in the other article I just referenced, coaches tend to want to move the process along faster than it seems like it should go for the recruit. Visiting campus right away is by far the one that tops the list: Coaches, excited that they are talking to a new prospect, will tend to push for campus visits right away as one of the first next steps they want to see a prospect take action on.
The problem is, aside from the programs with very short recruiting timelines that I mentioned, that doesn’t feel natural to the recruit. Most tell us that it’s too big of a commitment to make right away without knowing more about you, the program you run, and the college where you coach. And all of those things lead to the feeling that it’s going too fast, too soon…that doesn’t mean they’re not interested, it just means they’re going to tend to move slower out of the gate than you want to. That’s not a bad thing, that’s just human nature (especially teenage athletic prospect human nature).
Not focusing on important little actions first.
So if it’s not responding favorably to your grand gesture of inviting them on campus right away, what should you focus on?
Small steps, especially at the start of the process, are critical as we measure how most recruits begin to feel like they can trust a coach and gain interest in the idea of being a part of a program. That means your job is to get them to take initial small steps like
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