THE RECRUITING CLOSET PODCAST
Top coach and recruiting coordinator André Lennox applies simple solutions to complex recruiting problems.
Today we’re talking to André Lennox, recruiting coordinator at Los Angeles Volleyball Academy (@lavacademy), or LAVA for short. Recruiting is a complex topic, and I know a lot of listeners are extremely motivated, extremely serious people – if you’re a club staffer, you want to make sure your club is setting your players up for success, if you’re a parent, you want to know what works, if you’re an athlete, you want to DO what works.
I’ve known André for about a year, and I’ve wanted to get him on this podcast for a while now, because more than anyone I’ve talked to, he’s a guy who has figured out the recruiting process. He’s cracked it.
In this episode, we talk about how LAVA uses gamification to get players to take ownership over their own recruiting processes, we talk about the small things clubs can be doing to help their athletes get to the next level, how LAVA believes in empowering their players to succeed by giving them the tools to control their own destinies. We talk about why video is transforming the recruiting landscape, making it possible for players on the west coast to get recruited and play for colleges all the way on the other side of the country.
And let me tell you, none of this is conjecture, it’s all been tested and refined at LAVA and it’s backed by real world success.
[ecko_toggle style=”solid” state=”closed” title=”About the Recruiting Closet Podcast”]On The Recruiting Closet Podcast, we hear from elite college athletes, owners and directors of some of the largest youth Lacrosse, Volleyball, Soccer, Field Hockey, and Baseball clubs in North America. We interview college coaches at NAIA and NCAA colleges at the Division 1 (DI), Division 2 (DII), and Division 3 (DIII) collegiate levels to find out what they’re looking for when they recruit student-athletes. Our guests know what’s important in the complicated world of college athletic recruiting. The show features thought-provoking discussions with the experts who are passionate about youth sports. Want to know how NCAA rules effect your ability to get recruited? This is the show for you. Want advice from leaders at the biggest, highest profile clubs about how to help your high school student-athletes secure rosters positions, even college scholarships and financial aid, to play at the next level? Listen up.
The Recruiting Closet Podcast is hosted by SportsRecruits and the SportsRecruits Recruiting Management Platform. The SportsRecruits Recruiting Management Platform is the technology built for youth sports clubs and high school student-athletes to give them access to every college coach in the country. Club organizations use our Platform to empower their players in the college recruiting process and oversee their efforts and communication with complete transparency. Connections made on the platform have resulted in commitments to the best academic and athletic institutions across the country. SportsRecruits is headquartered in New York City. For more information, visit SportsRecruits.com/clubs.
TOPICS IN THIS EPISODE
- How to use gamification to engage players, expedite their efforts, and maximize recruiting results. [4:18]
- The most influential club initiatives to boost family satisfaction. [9:00]
- The impact that an online presence has on a player’s recruiting process. [11:00]
- Why video is the biggest differentiator for players. [12:16]
- The first question college coaches ask clubs at national tournaments. [12:28]
- Empowering players to highlight their skills with video. [14:36]
- The benefits of providing athletes with the resources to take ownership over the process. [16:55]
- What college coaches really think about player-initiated outreach. [18:40]
- Helping players reduce anxiety towards college coach interactions. [19:35]
- Questions to ask college coaches. [20:08]
- Using simplicity to demystify the recruiting process. [22:15]
- “That was our first goal, to get everybody logged in and get them to have a picture, so when college coaches went to the profile, they could always put a face to the name.”
- “We weren’t quite getting the engagement that I was hoping for, so what I did was I challenged them that all 12 players with their profile logged in and a picture added will win a prize. I just wanted to kind of kickstart them and get some engagement, and hopefully that their peers would help spur them on to get this process going.”
- “Sure enough, by the time it rolled around to that tournament, 34 of the 36 players had their profiles built, at least the basics, and a picture added, which was amazing. When we rolled into that first tournament, it worked out well for those kids to have that prepared ahead of time.”
- [On gamification] “Their competitive nature took over. These kids wanted to win.”
- “One of the best ways for [our kids] to be available for the college coaches is to have a picture up on a profile and a video, as these college coaches around the country don’t all get to come watch us play in Southern California.”
- “It’s important that we have our academic information, our contact information, a picture, and if possible, a video to really help give these kids a leg up with the coaches.”
- “The number one question that college coaches ask is ‘Do you have video?'”
- “At these national tournaments that I go to to represent LAVA, I speak with all these college coaches, it’s the first thing they’ll ask. The first thing they ask is ‘Do you have video of player X. I’ll say, ‘Yeah, it’s on their profile, here’s the link.'”
- “We made sure during the season last year to start to stress the importance of, if you’re able to videotape a match, it will help your profile.”
- “We’ve seen some stats from you guys about how much more engaged college coaches are with player profiles that have video. So we used that data and presented it to our players to say that it’s in your best interest, […] if you could get some video up of your skills, it will help you engage with college coaches and start that dialogue. That’s really the number one goal, to get the player’s foot in the door with those coaches, and sell themselves after that.”
- “We’re just trying to offer as many resources to help our players and parents take ownership of this process. We want to make sure that they have all the resources available to be successful.”
- “When it comes to volleyball and recruiting, we believe that for these young ladies to be successful, it’s in their best interest to learn to do this for themselves, and we will support them as much as possible. We feel it’s better for them long-term to own the process of becoming a better volleyball player, own the process of getting to a good college. It’s something we strive towards in all the aspects we offer at LAVA, recruiting being one of them.”
- “The feedback we get from college coaches is that they really appreciate when the players make the engagement with them. When they hear from a player first, and the player takes the initiative to contact them, that says a lot about the player. That’s another check in the good box for these players that’ll get them to the school that they want to go to.”
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
- Los Angeles Volleyball Academy
- What to Ask on a Phone Call with College Coaches
- Tips for Creating a Recruitment Video
- Follow LAVA on Twitter: @lavacademy
- The recruiting technology André Lennox recommends every player use
- The recruiting technology André Lennox recommends every club should use to help their players