3 strategies for more powerful recruiting conversations

written by Erica Quam

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop..png

Most coaches I know would not list 'RECRUITING' as one of the main reasons they went into coaching. It's not a skill everyone has or a responsibility everyone likes...although there are the rare coaches out there who really love it.

Let's face it. Recruiting is something coaches have to do consistently in order to be successful. So, why not try a few simple things that will help you get better. 

Change the way you approach recruiting calls.

Powerful conversations begin by setting a simple intention. Your intention will help you be the leader in the conversation. Take 60 seconds before you dial to set a simple intention before each call.

  • Who do you want to BE? 
  • What do you want to CONVEY?
  • What do you want to LEARN?

Just remember: you are presenting an amazing opportunity to the athletes you are choosing to contact. Get clear about how YOU want to feel about each call.  

Let each recruit know your expectations in the recruiting relationship.

  • Do you intend to communicate through email and phone calls and which do you prefer?
  • How often do you expect to be in touch and when will you talk next?
  • What's the best way to communicate with you if they have questions that come up?
  • When are you unavailable?
  • Do you have any specific policies or expectations on how their parents will be involved during the process?

Teach them how to treat you. Let them know these things up front!

Having this conversation will likely set you apart from other coaches. Find out what expectations they have of you. You can use this as an opportunity to let them know if their expectations are aligned with what you are willing to do...or not!  The sooner you can gain clarity and insight into each person the better. It will save you both a lot of time and energy!


Have you ever been overwhelmed by an overly energetic and charismatic person on the phone? Does it ever make you want to shut down or even hang up? Don't make the same mistake.

When you talk on the phone, be an active listener so that you can "read" the energy and behavior of the other person. It can be a challenge! You can't see their facial expressions. There are lots of unknowns. 

Each time you are on the phone with a recruit, consider two things:

  1. Are they more fast-paced & outspoken or cautious & reflective?  
  2. Are they more questioning & skeptical or accepting and warm?

Knowing the answer to these two questions can help you adapt your behavior to have the best possible interaction with them. From the answers, you can guess which style they are on a DiSC profile. Once you know that, then you can incorporate a specific strategy to communicate with them in a way that they can hear you.