Life and Leadership Lessons as College Recruiting Coordinator

Feb 7, 2013 by


For a few years I have had the opportunity to serve a highly competitive softball travel team as college coordinator. In other words, I was able to connect with college coaches about players they might be interested in to play at the college level. This happens in all sports, I have learned, and is a reality for those wanting to play college sports — to get their names and faces in front of college coaches. The recruiting coordinator will engage in the initial conversation, connect the college coach and travel ball coach and player, and help the player begin to initiate interest in the college if they so desire. There is much to go into this but that is a basic beginning scenario.

It was interesting to realize lessons that I could apply in life, leadership, and relationships…it really is all about relationships. Through these experiences and connections of building these relationships, I have learned a few things about life and leadership. Here I attempt make a few observations and then hopefully make it applicable to you for life…these are some simple direct comments that apply to any relationships.

  1. Be polite. You would think this is a no brainer but how many of these organizations’ coordinators are rude and thoughtless.
  2. Be approachable and be willing to approach coaches. They are people and will engage in conversation. Introduce yourself and then get out of the way. Too many seem to want to promote, and FYI, too many of us forget we are promoting the players and not ourselves… allow me to be gently direct here… DO NOT talk about yourself. Let them talk about themselves. Coaches are people who want to talk about their lives and who they are as people. We all want to be heard. People love to share if given the opportunity.
  3. Build a friendship/relationship. Ask them about themselves and their colleges. Many of these coaches were more than willing to talk about their own stories and lives. It was good to get to know them, and appreciate them for more than just what they could offer a player. It also taught me about the coach and fit that could potentially be for a player.
  4. Learn to ask questions and listen. To learn to close our mouths more, and open our ears is a wonderful gift to give to others.
  5. Find out their needs/desires for players.
  6. Offer information they request. Lead by asking questions.
  7. “Please do not tell me you have a player I need or have to have. How do you know what I need?” This is the one thing that college coaches stated more than anything else. Find out from them their needs and see if you can offer a player or players to fill the need(s). This builds trust in the relationship.

This is a great way to build that relationship and connect with them. A positive experience with them will afford you the credibility and opportunity in the future to discuss a player or players. Building trust with them is key to helping them begin to investigate future players.

I have been blessed to meet some very high level coaches and to have an acquaintance or contact with them. Those relationships remain, and whether we ever connect on a player or not, my life is richer for it, and I trust theirs is, as well.

So it is with leadership and life. We all want to be heard, and not simply talked to by another person who appears to be a know it all. We all have input and can add value to others. We can learn their needs and help fill those needs. What can we both offer in the relationship to add value to one another and strengthen the relationship?

How are you building those relationships with others to effectively speak into their lives?

For those of us who are in leadership opportunities, in what ways do you ask questions and then listen? How well do you develop trust to earn the right to lead? What steps do you need to take to implement more of these observations in relationships, as a leader, a follower, a business owner, employer, employee, friend, or family?


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