Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

(Legal!) Recruiting

Posted by admin April - 10 - 2018 - Tuesday

I received a question from a coach the other day that I thought deserved some commentary. He was asking about “recruiting.” I don’t know if illegal recruiting (poaching, I call it) is a problem in your area but it is a problem where I live. My policy was if a player from another school contacted me about possibly transferring to our school… my response was: “have your parents contact me or the AD and then we can talk.” Too many HS coaches are out there trying to “convince” kids to transfer to their school. Not good and not fair! Anyway…

The coach I was speaking to was talking about legal recruiting— primarily how to go about getting some guys who are walking the halls to come out for football. I asked him what he was doing about getting middle school kids to come out for the HS teams? This (recruiting middle school players) is the KEY to recruiting! And, again, only talking to players who would legally funnel into your HS!

For those guys “walking the halls”… a lot of times all it takes is showing them some interest. Invite them out for weight lifting. Or let them know you’re going to be playing 7 on 7— would they like to play? Most people respond positively when someone shows some interest in them. Tell them you’ve seen them in PE class or you like his physique. I’ve asked plenty of guys, “Have you been lifting weights at home?!” It’s a great conversation starter.

But, for those middle school kids… you need the personal touch there too! Ask the middle school principal or AD for a time that you can come to their school and talk to ALL of the 8th grade boys. Heck, if it works out… talk to all the boys in all of the grades! All you need is 15 minutes. Make your appeal; let them know how important they are to the success of the HS program and get them to fill out a Personal Information Sheet so you’ve got names, addresses and numbers.

I saw the tri-fold color brochure that a coach put together for “recruiting.” He was worried about just handing them out. That’s when I recommended that he go to the middle school in person. Let the kids see you, hear you and ask questions. Again, the personal touch matters.

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