written by Erica Quam
"I've got so much to do!" "I've got so many calls to make!" "I don't know how I'm ever going to fit it all in!" "Why can't I just have a little more time?"
The recruiting process CAN be overwhelming...if you allow yourself to be stressed, anxious, or panicked.
Your thoughts make you think you're overwhelmed.
And they're pretty darn good at convincing you of...well, just about anything...because they're your thoughts.
Your thoughts aren't real.
They're just thoughts.
If you keep thinking and saying, “I just wish I had more hours in my day! I don't have enough time right now to keep up and get everything done that I need to,” this is exactly how you'll FEEL.
Coaches are great at taking this story of overwhelm with them into the recruiting process.
I talk to them and they say things like, “I feel like I’m behind..like I haven’t done enough in recruiting by the time July 1st rolls around. I feel like I’m still just catching up.”
This is NOT a time issue. It's NOT about being more driven or disciplined.
This is a MINDSET issue.
Begin to pay closer attention to how many times you think or say 'not enough...':
- not enough time
- not enough information
- not enough money
- not enough success
- not enough experience
- not enough resources
- not enough help
- not enough...fill in the blank
When you're constantly focused on what you don't have, you're in a lack mindset.
Next, notice when you're trying to perfect things to avoid future challenges:
- "I've got to have the right strategy..."
- "I need to think of the perfect question..."
- "I've got to find out everything about this athlete...so I don't get screwed in the end..."
- "This has to be the perfect visit for us to land this recruit..."
Scarcity and perfection go hand in hand.
When you are feeling stressed, anxious, or panicked you're brain is goes into fight or flight.
It thinks it needs to protect you.
So...your heart rate goes up, breathing increases, your muscles tense, and you're no longer thinking clearly.
This is not the state you want to be in when you're recruiting!
You want to bring your best energy into recruiting because it's all about building relationships.
During this recruiting season, when you begin to notice a crazy, chaotic energy within you...remember these five secrets.
TIP #1: GET OUT OF THE WEEDS
Most coaches approach recruiting from a reactive place instead of leading the recruits and their parents through your process.
Instead of reacting to the recruit, the parent, and what OTHER coaches are doing...put yourself back in the driver's seat.
"This is how it works..." can be the phrase you use to walk them through your process.
Begin to position yourself as a coach who IS different.
Notice the shift in the energy you'll bring into the recruiting process.
And... you might just find yourself capturing more of the people who are the right fit for your team because they also recognize you're doing something different.
TIP #2: PROJECT VS. TASK
How do you break down your recruiting process?
If you're like most coaches I know, you have big headings like, "Call recruits. Create database. Schedule trips."
If this accurately describes you, then it’s time to discern between a project and a task.
A project is something big…like creating your database for 2020 Recruits. It will suck your energy and creep into your head every time you glance at your to-do list.
A task, on the other hand, is something you can actually complete. Like, “Call 5 recruits.” Or “Write 3 follow up emails." "Identify 3 recruiting weekends for the fall.”
You can check it off your list and get a nice hit of dopamine for actually getting it done.
When you can learn to break down your projects into tasks you'll considerably reduce your sense of overwhelm!
TIP #3 GET GROUNDED
Getting grounded is quite simple...if you'll allow yourself a moment to pull yourself out of chaos.
- PAUSE - stop what you're doing to slow down
- BREATHE - take 3 long slow deep breaths
- FEEL - be in your body and get out of your head. (You might even put your hands on your heart and close your eyes.)
Remember why you coach. Remember what you're trying to do.
Connect with your potential student-athletes with THIS energy.
The great coaches I know coach because they genuinely care about people and they want to change lives. They want to help their athletes learn and grow - into better leaders and better people.
There's a magnetic energy around you. People want to be around you and want be part of what you're trying to accomplish.
Yet when it comes to recruiting, it's easy to forget and show up all chaotic, driven and competitive - in an effort to "sell" your school, your team, and yourself.
If you're a coach who is all about relationships then this cut-throat approach will do more harm than good - for both you and the recruits!
TIP #4: TAP INTO YOUR INTENTION
1. What's the ideal OUTCOME for this conversation?
What do you WANT to happen in this conversation? What am I leading them towards? What action will they take next?
Don't figure this out as you're talking. Know it going into the conversation. Writing it down can help you get super clear.
2. What are my prejudgements and assumptions?
What are my prejudgements about this person and talking with this person? What are my assumptions about my role in this conversation? What's the history here? Do I have prejudgements that may play into this conversation - from their coach or parent or another athlete?
It's important to have this kind of awareness because it could impact your energy. If you get clear ahead of time, then you can diffuse some of that energy and show up in a way that's consistent with the outcome you want.
3. What's my truest intention for this conversation today?
Who do I want to be in this conversation? What do I value when I talk to people? What can I do to bring more of those qualities?
You can't control how other people will act or respond in a conversation...you can only control yourself. Yet, if you allow yourself the time to set a strong intention, you're always going to have a better interaction with the other person.
TIP #5: ELIMINATE ALL-OR-NOTHING THINKING
When your top recruit that you've put all your energy into tells you they've committed to another school, all is not lost.
All-or-Nothing Thinking is a limiting belief.
It's untrue, destructive, and will drain your energy and your power.
You are in charge of translating the situations that come up in your life.
Any recruit who tells you "no" actually frees you up to focus on other athletes who may be an even better fit for you and your team.
Let go of the energy of convincing and focus more on connecting.
Use each recruiting conversation as a way to listen deeply - so you can get clear more clear on who is a good fit - for you and your team.
Get clear on who you’re no longer willing to spend your time, energy, and resources on - and ‘release them’ to the other teams and coaches who are a better fit.
Shift away from lack to a mindset of abundance!
Set an intention that you'll find the right people who will be fun to coach who want to come and be a part of your team.