It is not breaking news that families expect guidance from their club teams in the recruiting process. Too often, however, they are being let down. This is not necessarily because of a lack of effort by one party or the other, but instead because the practices being utilized do not ensure follow-through. By implementing a system for uniformly monitoring student-athlete progress in the recruiting process, however, many of these issues can be alleviated. Here is how your club can put this idea into practice.
Finalize A Target List of Schools with the Student-Athlete
One of the best ways to set up a solid foundation in the recruiting process is to build a Target List of Schools upon which to base action.
As we say consistently in this space, recruiting is ultimately a college search process for a high school student. It should be treated as such.
We have explored this topic at length, including ways in which this can be done in conjunction with a family.
As we say consistently in this space, recruiting is ultimately a college search process for a high school student. It should be treated as such. Starting here will solve a lot of the miscommunication and lack of motivation that can occur later.
Building a Target List of Schools will set up a club and student-athlete to be on the same page. This is no small undertaking, but doing so is a vital way to build positive momentum for a student-athlete and their family. Remember, while you may have gone through this many times, for many families, this is a first, and it can feel overwhelming. Getting things started on the right foot, then, is vital.
The process is now moving, which is great. However, it is here that club’s may unintentionally run into some trouble. The key to avoiding potential pitfalls lie first in encouraging further action, and secondly — and potentially more importantly — actively monitoring this process.
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Monitoring Actionable Tasks in Recruiting
They key to monitoring anything – be that a fitness goal, a business plan or a recipe (for those that are able to cook, which excludes me) – is to first know just what it is you are monitoring.
While this may sound obvious, in something as multi-faceted as the recruiting process necessitates breaking it down into smaller, actionable steps.
The fitness analogy is useful. Popular technology like FitBit, for example, allow you to track the amount of steps you are taking or your heart rate. While the entire process of living a healthier lifestyle is quite complicated, by breaking it down into these smaller facets, you can track them, allowing you to see where you are slipping and need to make adjustments.
Recruiting can be thought of in the same light. By providing a student-athlete and their family with actionable tasks, you’ll better be able to follow up on whether these occurred. More importantly, doing so will allow you to see where the process may be going of course for that student-athlete.
Examples of these small actionable tasks can include creating a highlight reel, sending emails to college coaches, getting an academic transcript prepared so it can be sent as needed, amending a target list of schools and so forth.
The key is being able to set an achievable goal, follow up to see if it was achieved and log the activity for future reference.
On our platform, you can see your student-athlete’s activity in real time as it happens, allowing you to know when a player is following through while automatically organizing what is sure to become a lot of information.
Informing Future Decisions
Once a student-athlete is given actionable tasks that are being actively monitored, the key is using your expertise to mold the methods of your club to fit the need of each individual student-athlete.
Monitoring progress is an outstanding start, but it means little if what is learned does not inform future choices.
This will inevitably vary from club-to-club, but the key is to pool together what you have learned to notice any patterns or trends that may help you provide more valuable guidance.
Learning that players are not reaching out to college coaches, for example, may help inform your club to hold a night to let them know the best ways to construct an initial email.
Whatever the statistics, ensure that your club’s leadership is doing what they can to aggregate and learn from that data. On our platform, this is done automatically, and you can easily see an overview of your club’s activity – helping to inform potential decisions down the road.
As you can see, monitoring the progress of your student-athletes can be a mutually beneficial avenue. It ensures that a player has actionable tasks to drive their own process, while helping club staffers to see where to focus the attention for that student-athlete. Further, taking a look at the data club-wide can inform future choices so that a club is providing every bit of value and guidance that a family expects from them in the recruiting process.