Exciting, maddening, hurried, lengthy, confusing, rewarding…just a few ways to describe the recruiting process.
Those words also describe the job of coaching. You have experience managing tense situations, and your skills can help prospects navigate the recruiting process. Because, believe it or not, the athlete that’s trusted you throughout wants to lean on you during such a crucial point in their life.
Recruitment takes thought, planning and patience. You can bolster your value to a prospect by assisting in the following ways.
Be A Resource, Not The Resource
Tons of information exists, parents/guardians/counselors lend support and the internet can answer a lot of questions. A prospect has needs throughout the process, continuing being the resource that’s encouraged, supported and guided them to this point. Don’t become something you haven’t been.
Set Realistic Goals For The Student-Athlete
Get to know a student-athlete true capabilities. You and them should set high goals and expectations. However, avoid setting the student-athlete up for failure by pushing limits you and them know can’t be met. This is important, because it may be reported to a college recruiter as a weakness.
Avoid Guiding The Entire Recruiting Process
Access and college choice should be guided by NCAA rules, parents and the athlete. You’ve shown your care over the career of the athlete and you serve a more valuable role now as a coach and useful resource to the college recruiter. This keeps everyone respecting what you’ve done.
Remind Everyone It’s About College, Sports And Life
It’s easy for a group or individual to lose focus during the recruiting process. Athletes and parents can get ahead of themselves, college recruiters can turn impersonal and onlookers can get nosy. Keep focus on the athlete and the fun they have in sports and the dreams they have for the future.
Every prospect will be different. Every recruiting process will be different. Each recruiter will have different needs. The three constants that have to remain rock solid are the athlete, you as coach and the player/coach relationship developed over time. Use your tested skills to help everyone navigate this stressful time, and keep anchored to those three rocks.