In this series of articles on Georgetown University’s use of the Sportsology Recruiter app to support the student-athlete recruitment process, we’ve seen how the Hoyas are benefitting from the app in terms of engagement with prospects and the codification and communication of culture and values. In this article, we get an insight into how the app is helping to streamline the workloads of coaches at Georgetown.
Improving Time Management
It goes without saying that the demands on coaches time are numerous and intense. Without careful time management it can be easy for staff to reach burnout under the strain of multiple responsibilities. For Julie Culley, Director of Track & Field and Cross Country at Georgetown, one of the key benefits of the Recruiter app is how it helps coaches to be more efficient in how they allocate their time.
“College coaching is crazy because you’re on 24/7, you can’t really turn it off,” says Culley. “So I think coaches reach a burnout phase pretty quickly if they’re not careful. So this sort of thing can help us walk that back a bit. We can ask whether a coach needs to do 10 home visits during recruiting season; maybe they can do five and bridge the gap with the application.”
As well as helping coaches allocate their time more effectively in terms of the formal recruiting process, it can also help the program provide useful information to walk-on prospects without committing an inordinate amount of time to potential student-athletes who aren’t being formally recruited by Georgetown. By doing that, coaches are able to remove a relatively common, but often unforeseen, demand on their time and focus more attention on coaching.
“One of the things that drives coaches insane is walk-on prospects that show up at your door in the middle of a random Tuesday 20 minutes before training starts,” Culley explains. “You have to give them your time, but it’s easier for us to send them the app and give them some information on the program and recruitment standards. That’s a way to save time and save face, protecting the coaches’ time. We need to make sure that the coaches get more time coaching and less time putting out fires all day long.”
The Role of the App in Filtering Prospects
As part of the recruitment process, it’s important for staff to get a strong indication of a prospect’s intentions in order to rule them in or out and allocate resources as efficiently as possible.
The Sportsology app can help to expedite this process by giving prospects a way to explore Georgetown’s culture, values, standards and facilities even when they aren’t in direct contact with coaching staff. Not only does this help the student-athlete to make a more informed decision as to whether Georgetown aligns with what they want from their college experience, it also means the staff feel less pressure to fill in all the blanks for every prospect.
“It’s a relief to send the link and directions to the app to prospects at the initial introduction,” says Mitchell Baker, Assistant Coach on the track & field/cross country program at Georgetown. “Putting that onus on them immediately establishes that, a) we have worked to give you valuable information, and b) you have to invest in the process with us and engage in the app to learn more. With the volume we do in recruiting, just knowing that they have access to this information takes some of the pressure off to fill in every gap.”
By being transparent about the culture and expectations at Georgetown, the athletics staff feel they are better able to give prospects all the information they need to rule themselves in or out of the program. Of course, this is mutually beneficial as it helps Georgetown focus on the most engaged prospects while helping others to realize that they might not be a great fit for the program before they get too far along the process.
“The app helps prospects get a better idea of what we’re all about, so if the app helps to filter out the people who don’t want to come to Georgetown, then that’s great for us too,” says Culley. “It’s not just about selling to them, it’s about being honest about who you are. We tout culture strongly being a Jesuit school, so it’s a huge part of our recruiting process; we’re looking for the best level talent but they need to have the right values.”