I find myself in an interesting position as Head Coach of both the Otter Tri Team, as well as Houston Christian High School Swim Team.   I am recruiting.   And while coaches tend to forget that a BIG part of their role is salesman —selling the team, selling  their services, selling themselves— I am faced with it Every. Single. Day.   What they forget to tell you is…… a BIG part of selling is the personal relationships developed, the time spent with the client, team member, or prospective is KEY.   How you answer their questions, the time you take for them, how clearly you explain expectations (all things at which I have failed epically!) influences the buy in.   


  • I  always carry business cards.   I am at practice and parents are watching what we are doing, the interactions I may have with the kids, the interactions the kids have with each other.   I would like to be able to collect everyone’s contact information, so my card does not get lost, but it is not always possible, when coaching.   


  • I speak to the kids.   Ultimately, it is the kid WHO is being coached.  I want kids present who want to be there.   I want kids to be engaged, and want to participate.   And so, it is the dynamic that I establish with the kids that makes the differemce.   I shake their hands, I get down on their level (i am 6ft tall, afterall).   And then I speak with the parents.  


  • And I remind myself, that while it would be pretty cool to coach or work with the next great one….. all the kids I coach are pretty awesome in their own right.  They have pretty diverse goals and objectives and are coming together to participate in a common sport.  
This morning, I got a text message from a potential high school swimmer.  ‘I might be recruited by x on the swim team.  I am not sure if I am welcome, because my skills are ok.’   Awesome!  You should come and join us!  We are looking for swimmers who want to learn, get better, practice hard, and have fun!  Response:  Great!  I will be there!  And so, I have made an impression on this high school kid, that it is important to try and learn and improve, and we are not all perfect at swimming.   
My attitude and words greatly influence the kids with whom I work, regardless of their age.   
I keep learning how to express myself, to allow my compassion, energy and empathy shine through.  I want to attract people to my programs, and not chase these away!   
And in all of this……… I am recruiting.