After speaking with several respected D1 coaches I’ve found that asking great questions, and getting a prospect to open up about truthful & useful information – is one of the foundational keys to being successful as a college coach.
Ask your prospect a question that assumes something negative.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you’re in a situation where you’re recruiting a prospect from two states away, and you’re competing with a program that’s closer to their home. Your prospect just isn’t giving you any insight into what they’re thinking.
Ask your prospect, “My assistant coach and I were talking over the weekend, and we’re kind of thinking that you’re probably going to end up at (name the school that’s close to them) because it’s closer to home.”
Now the ball is in their court, and when you think about it, there are only a few possible reactions that they can give you (and by the way, I’d recommend asking this over the phone or in an active email or text message conversation that you’re having):
- They will disagree immediately with you. “No, coach, that’s not a big factor. That’s not really important to me at all, actually. What’s it’s really coming down to is…”
- They will reluctantly agree with you. “Yeah, I think that’s the way we’re leaning coach…I just didn’t know how to tell you, but since you brought it up I think I am going to stay closer to home.”
- Or, they will not really say anything in response. In which case, you can take that as a bad sign because if it wasn’t true, they will usually want to jump in and correct you.
The goal of asking this type of question is to jump-start a serious conversation that moves the process forward. You want to be dealing in reality with each one of your prospects and this technique is a great way to generate honest feedback. Good luck to you and your staff during this competitive recruiting season.