Recently, SportsRecruits conducted a voluntary survey of club leaders whose organizations are integrated with one of our sport-specific platforms.
The reason for conducting the survey was to understand how different clubs utilize our platform, and use the responses as an educational resource. The ultimate goal was to provide some “best practices” for organizations in the space that come directly from our integrated club leaders.
All responses were anonymous, and respondents were not required to answer every question. In all, 30 club leaders responded to the survey.
Here are the “best practices” which will be explored in further detail below:
- Outreach to college coaches is a vital component in the recruiting process, and should be driven by the student-athlete.
- Research by the student-athlete and their family is the best way to ensure a good fit academically, athletically and socially at the next level.
- Recommending schools for student-athletes that may be a good fit for them can catalyze further action in the recruiting process.
I. Outreach Is Key
Student-Athletes Must Express Interest In Target Schools
The Stat: 66.3% of respondents noted that they’d prefer their student-athletes contact a minimum of 10 schools.
The Takeaway: While the recommended number of college coaches varied by organization, the club leaders that responded to our survey all agreed that student-athlete outreach is a vital component in the recruiting process. Proactive communication with schools was encouraged by all clubs, with a majority recommending as few as 10 up to as many as 30. This aligns with our proprietary data, which indicates that student-athlete engagement and outreach is vital to a successful recruiting process. Committed members on our platform send an average 70 messages to college coaches.
Committed members send an average of 70 messages to college coaches.
Quotable: “We want all of our players to be consistent with their contact emails…It’s important that they cultivate relationships with schools at all levels so that there is a history of interest.”
Protect Your Blind Spot: Using the robust analytics dashboard on our platform, club staffers can easily see how many messages their student-athletes have sent to college coaches. If a player is not very active, a quick note can be sent to ensure they are staying on top of their process and not slipping through the cracks.
II. Research is Key
Developing a Target List of Schools is Crucial
The Stat: 100% of respondents recommend their student-athletes research schools that will be a good fit for them.
The Takeaway: Club leaders all agreed that student-athletes should do a copious amount of research to create a Target List of schools. This list gets a student-athlete started in the recruiting process, providing a framework from which to base further action. Again, club leaders varied in the amount of schools they recommend their student-athletes include on their Target List, but the consensus was that this list is imperative. Again, our data backs this up: Committed members on our platform have an average of 28 schools on their Target List.
Committed members have an average of 28 schools on their Target List.
Quotable: “We want educated and realistic players and parents who understand recruiting timelines. In a perfect world, players would be engaged only with schools that are a personal, academic and [athletic] fit.”
Protect Your Blind Spot: Common sense alert: Short of those rare student-athletes that have college coaches lining up at their door, it is safe to say players will not find a school that is a good fit for them if they are not looking proactively. Utilizing the Advanced Search tool on our platform allows the student-athletes and families in your organization to conduct research to locate schools based on a wide variety of criteria.
III. The Visible Hand
Recommending Schools for Student-Athletes Allows for Transparency
The Stat: 73.3% of respondents believe they should be recommending a minimum of two schools for their student-athletes.
The Takeaway: A majority of club leaders that respondent to our survey believe they should be recommending schools for their players. While again the numbers varied by club, the majority indicated that working in tandem with their student-athletes to create a target list of schools was important. This hands-on approach ensures that players are targeting the right fit for them from an academic, athletic and social standpoint. Our data again backs up the underlying point: Student-athletes on our platform contact 2X as many schools when their club staff has used the Tagging feature.
Quotable: “Timing is changing…families of sophomores are panicking because their son is not committed. We need to help our families understand that the process is different for each kid and there will be a spot somewhere. Managing panic is taking up more and more time for younger and younger kids.”
Protect Your Blind Spot: Our platform allows club staffers to recommend players for their student-athletes via the Tagging feature. To ensure players are still driving the process, a best-practice recommendation is to have them create an initial Target List, and then alert the appropriate club staffer. This point person can then quickly look through the list, and use the Tagging feature to reinforce those schools they find to be an especially good fit for the student-athlete.