7 Tips for Bringing Your Recruitment ‘A’ Game
When legendary Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski recruits players he tries to relay what his program and the school stand for. “It’s not about persuading or selling. It’s about telling the truth—who you are and how you’ll do it,” he told the Harvard Business Review. But he also has to see if the player is the right fit for his team. It has to be a mutual match.
While Krzyzewski is trying to find players to allow his basketball juggernaut to compete for the national title each year, the same method can be used when trying to attract top coaches to your youth sports club. You want someone who understands your team and what it stands for, and someone who will fit with your club’s mission and values.
Get tips below on how to attract top coaches to your team.
#1. Success never hurts
Winning attracts winners, and that is also true in youth sports. Having a successful program and a team with a winning record can be a good attribute to taut when trying to attract top coaches. Having a successful team could turn some coaches away, however, as it might make them question what contributions they could make, and how much pressure there would be to keep the team performing at a high level. When recruiting coaches to successful programs be sure to include in your pitch how that coach’s skills and personality can help lift the program to a new level and be upfront about what expectations will be placed on him or her.
#2. Bring candidates to you through clinics
Get a jump on recruiting top coaching talent by hosting events such as coaching seminars and clinics. Hosting these events will help bring top coaches into your facilities and community, and will offer the chance to observe the coach and his or her skills throughout the event to see if he or she is a good fit for your club.
#3. Be upfront about the support offered to coaches
All coaches – no matter how talented or effective they are – need a support system. When trying to attract new coaches let them know what kind of support they can expect from other staff members, including assistant coaches, trainers, administrators, directors and board members. It can also be effective to let a coaching candidate know what training will be offered to enhance his or her skills, including seminars and clinics.
#4. Be clear about your mission and values
For a coach to be successful at a club, he or she has to be a good fit both on and off of the field. The coach is representing the league, so it has to be determined early on if the coach is a good culture fit with the team. To try to establish this in the interview process, be clear about the league’s mission and values. Determine if the coach agrees with the statements and if he or she is comfortable following these and instilling them in the players.
#5. Showcase your community
A coach doesn’t just join a club, he or she also joins the community. This can be a selling point for teams. Show your coaching candidates the family, friends and local supporters who make up your team’s community. Tell him or her about parent groups, boosters, and fundraising efforts that are underway so he or she knows how much support they can expect from the community. Showcasing sponsorships that are already in place can also be a selling point. And don’t forget to taut facilities the team will have access to.
#6. Be aware of why coaches leave other teams
One way to attract coaches is to be cognizant of why coaches might leave other teams. According to USA Today, one of the top reasons why coaches leave is due to parents. Coaches are feeling pressure and stress from parents more than ever before. While coaches know parents want the best for their child, helicopter parents can be difficult for coaches to deal with. When recruiting new coaches it can be helpful to explain how your club deals with disruptive parents and what policies are in place. Discussing the team’s philosophies around playing time during the interview process can also be helpful. It can also be beneficial to talk to prospective coaches about any parent groups the team has, such as a parents association.
#7. Get the word out
Make sure prospective coaches know you are looking to fill vacancies. Use social media and in-person and online networks to advertise open coaching positions. Connected coaches will be members of coaching groups and will likely see the opening. This will help deepen your talent pool when looking for new coaching candidates.