One Key Takeaway From an Athlete 'Survivor'

Just because they're great prospects doesn't make them less emotional

We just released our premier episode of our amazing College Recruiting Weekly podcast, and it featured ‘Survivor’ finalist Lauren O’Connell.

Lauren is a former Division I soccer player from Baylor University who grew up idolizing (no pun intended…well o.k., maybe there was a little bit of a pun intended) the hit CBS reality show, and ended up getting on the show after her college career was done.

Listen to the episode if you haven’t, because there is a lot of great stuff in there for college coaches.

Here are two takeaways I want serious coaches to pay attention to as they listen to the podcast episode:

  1. Lauren, a smart, serious D1 caliber athlete, was making her recruiting decisions emotionally and based on feelings.

  2. Lauren, a smart, serious D1 caliber athlete, was leaning heavily on her mom and dad as she was making her decision (that’s her hugging dad in one of the episodes…look at that picture and explain to me again why you don’t talk to the parents right away when you recruit and athlete?)

Both traits I just outlined are 100% normal for this generation, which is what I want to make sure coaches understand:

Your campus visits, whether you’re a D1 football coach or a NAIA women’s golf coach, have got to focus on the emotional aspects of their decision making. In other words, your itinerary needs to reflect appointments that will let them make an emotional connection with you, your team and your campus - not a logical one.

Take a look at your schedule for your next recruiting visit, and take out as many of the meetings, appointments and presentations as possible. Try it once. Replace it with time hanging out with the team, and let me know how you feel it works for you.

(We also have a book for college coaches about restructuring campus visits, but you know what?…if you do those two simple things I just told you to do, you may not even need to buy it).