In “Best Practices,” Part 1 of our “Integrated Club Webinar Series,” SportsRecruits Co-Founder Matt Wheeler discussed how having a technology platform can alleviate many of the stresses facing a club organization today.
In the Webinar, Matt touches upon the challenges clubs face in a series of scenarios, and illustrates how issues can be easily resolved with proper planning and the resources necessary to streamline them accordingly.
You can watch the video below, and also read some of the interesting takeaways from the presentation.
Takeaway One: Identify Club Sports Challenges
What It Means: Over the years, SportsRecruits has assisted many student-athletes in finding a collegiate home. Part of this assistance is a commitment to customer service, which means more than few phone calls and email conversations. In many instances, these conversations helped inform us to the issues families have with the recruiting process, as well as shed light on the issues with their club organizations.
Here are a few of these struggles, which are a great place to start when identifying what can be improved at the club level.
Unreasonable Expectations: Clubs often do not clearly articulate their recruiting plan outside of vague or generic language. This inevitably leads leading to families not having a realistic set of goals for their own specific needs, and feeling slighted when these “needs” are not met.
Uneducated About the Recruiting Process: Often, a gap in education about the recruiting process leads to parents taking things said on message boards and the sidelines as gospel – the very same places misinformation rules the day. This process is very harmful to all parties: Families are operating on false assumptions, while clubs are fighting an uphill battle to correct instead of inform.
These issues then lead to:
Customer Churn: With a lack of education on the recruiting process feeding their dissatisfaction, families will leave an organization because their expectations – which are often unrealistic because alternatives were not properly articulated – were not met. With nothing tying this family to an organization – like a technology platform – they will move on to try and meet their expectations elsewhere.
From the Presentation: “Moving forward, the clubs with the best technology will increasingly be the most organized and primed for success. You want to have things in place to keep your membership base happy. The more streamlined you are behind the scenes, the better job you can do on the field or on the court.”
Takeaway Two: A Concrete Plan is Key
What it Means: Many club organizations often speak about helping in the recruiting process, and one of the ways they try and accomplish this is through a meeting with a student-athlete and their family.
We have covered this topic in depth, but it’s worth mentioning again: These meetings – absent a sincere effort from both parties that result in actionable tasks – are not as helpful as they can be.
Families completely relying on this meeting to start their recruiting process without first doing their research are not going to find solace. Similarly, clubs hoping to (Harry Potter reference alert) wave the magic Elder Wand to solve everything in 30 minutes will be disappointed.
There is a better way for these meetings to occur more efficiently for all parties involved. Here is a brief rundown of how it would look on our platform, which serves as a concrete plan to assist a family.
The student-athlete completes their profile – containing all of their relevant athletic and academic information. Then, together with their families, they research schools that may be a good fit academically, athletically and culturally and use the Favorite feature to target about 25-30 of them.
The idea is to show up to the meeting with a general idea. This may take some time, but it is worth it to build a solid foundation.
A club coach goes over this Favorites list with the family, and can Tag schools that they believe fit the student-athlete’s best interest.
Now, this meeting was productive and transparent. Families leave the meeting with a list of schools they know they should contact, while the club has provided tangible assistance and realistic guidance. Now, player, parent and club are all on the same page, and everything is recorded.
Leaving the meeting with confidence, a family can instantly contact these college coaches from the platform, with their club director CC’d. This allows the club director to know when to get in touch with that coach on the player’s behalf, as they not only get that message but can see if that coach has watched or viewed the information sent by the player. An educated discussion can follow, without the back-and-forth that often permeates this process.
Engagement with college coaches on our platform directly correlates with more Favorites and Tags. It’s simple: A more organized process results in a more active process.
From the Presentation: “SportsRecruits members who actively use the Favorites feature are 4.8x more likely to commit to play in college than those who do not. It just shows doing very simple things can help stack the deck in your favor.”
Takeaway Three: Use Technology to Provide Accountability
What It Means: A technology platform can not only make the recruiting process more efficient for both families and club staffers, but it can also hold both parties accountable.
This is accomplished because technology can assist in providing complete transparency throughout the process. Club staffers can see the activity of the players and ensure they are doing their part, while families can see the help of their coaches and directors tangibly.
From the Presentation: “We want to bring technology to youth sports. We want to learn about things that are giving your grey hair. Our goal is to help you focus on the things you actually would like to do, and not the underlying administrative tasks that can be a hindrance.”