There are 3 things that you and your son or daughter can do to keep the coaches’ interest over the long haul. The first and most important one is that you keep communicating with the coaches. That may sound obvious but you would be surprised at how often families just sit back and don’t do anything after the first contact. We talk to coaches and they tell us if you stop communicating, they will assume you have lost interest and your son or daughter moves off their list.
So above all, you have to keep communicating. I don’t mean calling or writing the coaches with no purpose, but by having some substance when you do contact them. There are some key documents that you can send coaches on a regular basis that they welcome and it works great to keep their interest.
#2: There’s a second thing you want to do and that is to respond to every communication that a coach makes with you. Believe me, it’s going to be a lot because you’re going to have a lot of coaches contacting and following up. Every time you get a letter from a coach, every phone call you get, every email you get from a coach is an open invitation to keep the dialogue going. Keep dialoguing until you have eliminated that school from your list. Make sure you don’t eliminate schools from your list too early; you want to make sure you keep a lot of people on your list as long as you can.
#3: A third thing is to keep an accurate record of every communication. Picture this– you have thirty or forty coaches you are in contact with, so are you really going to keep that all in your head? You’re not going to remember which coach you talked to and asked this question or that question and what his answer was if you don’t have something organized. You have to write it down in an organized way and that way you can check up every week or two and you can see which coaches you need to re-contact, revive the relationship, nurse it back to health before it dies, and even remember who they are.
When you’re on the phone with them it’s embarrassing if you talk to them like you think they are somebody else. With our boys, one of the things we were committed to was to keep the information flowing to the coaches. We did write everything down to keep good accurate records. Because we kept the information going and the communication going, that’s the reason we had several deals working at the same time when it got close to decision time.
I believe if we had stopped communicating earlier we would have lost those opportunities. I guarantee that you don’t want to burn the bridges with coaches. You never know where your best offer is going to come from. The point is this:; you have to have a fool proof system of communication with the coaches so nothing falls between the cracks. That’s how you stay on their radar and not get replaced by another athlete who will move up higher on the list and move you down the list.