Recruiting Mistakes Coaches Make with Parents of Millennials Follow-up

The WBCA Webinar Series officially launched on Aug. 16 with a presentation on “Recruiting Mistakes Coaches Make with Parents of Millennials” led by Dan Tudor of Tudor Collegiate Strategies.

For those WBCA members who could not attend the webinar, the recording is available in the online Coaching Library here.

Due to time constraints, some participants’ questions were not addressed. However, Dan Tudor has provided answers to these below.

When is it time to let the parents go and focus on the recruit after they sign?

Different coaches have differing philosophies on how they want (or if they want) parents involved in their program after a recruit signs and shows up on campus, so I won't cross that line of telling you that one way is "right" and the other "wrong.” That's your decision as a coach.

What I would advise is that you clearly outline on paper how you expect the parents of your players to interact with the program. Outline whatever points or rules you want to stress and have them initial, sign and return that form to you. In that way, everyone is on the same page (note: if you are a client reading this, and want help, please contact me so I can help you put together that kind of form.)

How do you keep from getting too comfortable with a young recruit or their parents so you don't become irrelevant?

By "comfortable,” I'm assuming that the question pertains to keeping the attention of your prospect so that they still want to interact with you over an extended period of recruiting.

The key to that is to develop a consistent, ongoing communication plan. You will need to plan out what kind of repeated story you can tell over a two-to-three-year period (and it is perfectly fine to repeat themes and information; in fact, I recommend it).

Coaches make themselves irrelevant, at times, when they run out of stories to tell about their school, program and coaching vision, and they resort to repeatedly asking a recruit, "So are you ready to commit yet?" A major emphasis in your program's recruiting strategy needs to center around how to effectively sell your program piece by piece over a long period of time as well as to lead your prospect through the process with your story - written, verbal and online. Kids and parents tell us that is what they're looking for.

How would the timeline look regarding inviting PSA's on campus in the fall (when they presumably are less busy) when we just evaluated/started communication after the July evaluation period?

The timeline - and your "story" I just referred to in the previous question – should not be affected by when a prospect comes to campus. Whether it's an early visit or a late visit, it just becomes part of that overall story. If you have a recruit on campus soon after you start communicating with her, you would want to put that visit into context with everything she has yet to learn about the program: things she and her parents may not know, getting her comfortable with the idea of being a student-athlete there down the road, etc. On the other hand, if you have a prospect on campus later in their high school career, and after communicating with them for the past 18 months, the visit should change: Less "we need to show you everything" and more "we want you to feel at home and get to know us as your future family." The key here is context: Your role as a recruiter, when talking to prospects and their parents over a long period of time, is to put everything they experience in context with where they are at in the decision-making process.

Regarding a specific timetable for making a decision, that again is completely up to you. I would advise letting them know far in advance the general time of year in the future that you expect to wrap-up recruiting, and when you'll be needing their decision. Communicating that early is much better than having that date in mind, not telling the recruit until a week before you need an answer, and being viewed as "unfair" or putting pressure on them.

Dan Tudor is a regular presenter at the WBCA Convention, and works with women’s basketball coaches around the country to help them develop more strategic recruiting approaches. If you have questions about these strategies, or for any other help, email Dan at

Release Date: 
Thursday, September 15, 2016