The Value of a High-Level Club Recruiting Program

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Perceived value is the worth that a product or service has in the mind of the consumer. For the most part, consumers are unaware of the true cost of production for the products they buy or the cost of services that are provided to them; instead, they simply have an internal feeling for how much certain products and services are worth to them.

In other words, when a customer's expectations are met (or exceeded) at what is considered a reasonable cost, value is realized.

In regards to Recruiting Programs at volleyball clubs, perceived value is currently a hot topic. A plethora of questions, discussions and reassessment of current services are trending topics.

Recently, SportsRecruits conducted a survey of their client base regarding this very subject. Let's take a quick look at some of things they discovered...

"Each year, we survey families in order to gain insight into what they want. We find that this is a powerful way to let the facts tell the story. This year, the results revealed something pressing. Families are investing heavily in clubs, but failing to perceive a return of equal value."

In the past 12 months, 60% of families spent between $1000 and $6000 on athletics. 87% of families spent between $1000 and $6000 on club dues alone.

"When asked about the overall satisfaction they felt with their clubs, only 45% of families answered with complete satisfaction. This leaves 55% of families cognizant of the fact that their clubs fall short on value."

SportsRecruits asked their families to share their priorities for club improvement. The single biggest feature that families would like to see their club improve upon is their recruiting program.

Recruiting Programs and better players were nearly tied in terms of what families felt were much needed areas of improvement.

Elevating the level of your recruiting program and efforts are a sure way to boost the perceived value of your club. Let's take a look some key components of a high-level Recruiting Program.

With the understanding that each club has their own philosophy, culture and personality, developing a program that conveys the best your club has to offer is key. At Munciana, we began with the self-awareness that we needed to offer a more comprehensive program that needed to better in all areas of recruiting and began with defining our mission:

"Our goal is to prepare every student-athlete to achieve their aspirations of competing at the collegiate level.

We are committed to partnering with the athlete and their families in educating, guiding, and providing them with the recruiting tools necessary to attain success!"

Once your mission statement is defined and the choice is made to forge ahead there are two KEY factors that will determine the success of your program:

Key No. 1: Designated Recruiting Coordinator

  • This individual must be a highly effective communicator who interacts with college coaches, athletes and families in a professional manner
  • A person who is passionate about partnering with student-athletes and their families in the recruiting journey and understands the complexities of the process
  • Must have a strong knowledge of the sport & ability to evaluate athletes
  • Understands that the goals and needs of the student-athletes are always first
  • Possess negotiation skills and business acumen

Key No. 2: Comprehensive Communication Platform 

  • Essential to the management of outbound/inbound communications with athletes, parents, & college coaches
  • Seamless back office features, comprehensive athlete profiles & unlimited video, athlete communication tools (with coaches) to include: email, profile attachments and school search and data tools
  • Administrative tools that feature message blasts, multiple profile attachments, comprehensive tracking features and real-time analytics
  • Leading edge technology

The commitment from both a financial and staffing standpoint forces a club to look at their business model and how they will charge for the increased staffing costs, software platform and overall business expenses related to this high-level effort. Let me be clear, there are other elements that constitute a successful program but the above are what most dramatically affect the perceived value for the families.

Thanks to the research of SportsRecruits, their survey efforts included asking families; What they were willing to give in order to get what they want? How do they perceive the value of an optimized recruiting program?

The average increase in dues families were willing to spend to improve the club's recruiting program was $251.

In other words, families are willing to pay for a higher-level recruiting program.

Now, I am not suggesting club directors/owners across the country rush to increase club dues by $251 in order to increase the perceived value of their offerings. Much thought, planning and commitment goes into elevating your Recruiting Program. What I am suggesting is that club ownership simply needs to ask and then listen to their families and then take action to invest in an optimized recruiting program. 

In closing, may I remind you that when a family's expectations are met or exceeded and they have paid a reasonable cost – and you have delivered...value is realized and what was previously a perception is now a reality!

For related reading on the volleyball recruiting process click here. 

About the Author

Patty Costlow is the Recruiting Coordinator for Munciana Volleyball, a long time JVA member club located in Muncie, Indiana. 


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