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Most Powerful Questions

Say Yes To Woods Recruiting

The most powerful way to get the parents to respond is through the process of asking questions.

College scouts who are inexperienced spend entirely too much time talking.

Scouts are talking about their recruiting service, how long they been in business, how great they are, the number of kids they helped get into college, where they went to college. It’s all talk and it’s too much and it’s unnecessary.

I’m going to provide a series of the most powerful questions you need to ask parents of student-athletes.

Remember, and let’s be perfectly clear, it is the parents that you must convince to sign up with your recruiting service.

We already know the position of student-athletes who are being under-recruited and under-exposed.

It’s the parents who are going to pay for this. All of your questions should be directed towards the parents in any conversation you have.

If you make the mistake and began asking the student-athletes questions you’re going to get one word answers, nonverbal responses and your best questions will be wasted and blown up in your face.

In this most critical process leave the student-athlete out of it. The parents are the adults, they are old enough, mature enough, and wise enough to make business decisions. The student-athletes are teenagers who are not that far removed from eating cereal with a plastic spoon.


Question:  What motivated you to meet with me today?

What motivated you to talk with me today?

What’s your motivation about this process today?

What’s your motivation today?

It’s the power of the question asked correctly. No doubt the parent will respond with a wealth of information.

There’s always a goal, absolutely there’s a plan. You’re trying to get the parents to open up to you with information. Let the parents tell you, let them talk to you.

Be smart, take notes, bullet points if necessary from the wealth of the responses from your powerful questions.

Amazement and surprise is your reaction from the receiving end of information and all it took was one simple and amazing question to get started.


Question:  What exactly are we trying to accomplish here today?

What do you want to accomplish in this meeting today?

What are we trying to accomplish here today?

These are very powerful questions to ask parents. Think about how you would ask that question in your own words or how you could use these questions.

Open-ended questions are very powerful. The parents are going to think about it for a few seconds and give you their response and reaction.

Every question is powerful. Every question has a plan associated with it. Every question you ask is gold and there’s a purpose and a reason for it.

So brutally tragic is the questioning process from college scouts who don’t know what they’re doing and don’t know what they’re talking about.

Preparation is the work no one sees behind-the-scenes, it goes unnoticed. We see the successes and you want to emulate that process.

Practice preparation, the process is not complicated or critically necessary. Goals are on paper so are questions.

Do you practice? Are you role-playing? What’s the discussion?

Is it about TV or is it about improving your business, your skills, executing a game plan, and developing your strategy?

What do you care about the score from last night’s game?


Question:   Where are you today and where do you want to be in recruiting?

Where are you right now in the recruiting process?

Where do you want to be in recruiting right now?

Are you where you should be in the recruiting process now?

These questions are most powerful. It tells me exactly the recruiting status and the recruiting frustration student-athletes and parents are challenged with.

This is perfect. Because of the pain you are uncovering in this process, there is always going to be a high level of frustration, a certain amount of anger, and a high level of pain.

It’s kind of like a child on Christmas day.

They didn’t get the toy they wanted and they’re angry, they’re frustrated, and their day is ruined.

That’s how recruiting can be, abnormal is the process for most.

Part of your job is to show the parents where they are right now in the recruiting process.

In most cases it’s unfavorable.

There is nothing to the process, no strategy, no plan, no goal, no college list, and, in most cases, nothing is taking place, they’re not moving forward. The action is slow, the responses are minimal, and the frustration is mounting to the point of an angry volcano or an avalanche.

Frustration suppressed by hope looking for a light at the end of a dark tunnel that seems too long of a journey to complete without assistance from an experienced professional.


Question:  What seems to be the problem with recruiting?

What are your concerns about the recruiting process?

How long have you had issues with recruiting?

What are your issues and concerns about recruiting?

What are your problem areas in recruiting?

Dr. Phil is a problem solver.

Every day families have issues and complaints with one another and he has developed strategies based on his vast experience to correct their issues.

Your job is similar, you have a gold mine of information that can’t be found anywhere.

Problem solving is your specialty.

The recruiting process is different!

High level of frustration. A certain level of anger.

Bouts of confusion. Mis-education runs rapid in the process.

The high school coach is helpful to a certain degree.

They have no time devoted to recruiting.

They have no skills that are required for the process and what’s lacking are the fundamentals needed for college placement.

No, this is not an indictment of high school coaches.

This is an indictment of a broken system of going from high school athlete to college athlete.

As a college scout you know the system will never be correct  and can never be fixed.

Your job as the problem solver is to step in and make it right, make it work, make it successful, and to make it available. What’s needed are your skills, your talents and desires.

Your information is valuable and it cannot be found in a book or on Amazon.

The pain is real and the parents rely on you as a trusted source guiding them through an unbelievable process.


Question:  If this meeting accomplishes everything you could possibly hope for, what would that look like?

What do you hope to accomplish in this meeting?

What would you like to accomplish in this meeting?

What do you want to accomplish in this meeting?

What pisses you off about recruiting?

This is one of the most amazing questions you can ask the parents. It paints a picture in their mind of what they want recruiting to look like.

You’ve heard me say this a billion times, it is better to ask questions then listen for feedback, keep your mouth shut until you’re ready to ask another question.

Can you imagine the amount of feedback you’re going to accumulate from simple basic questions?

Amazing what you can accomplish.

What’s more amazing is you already have the solution, a response from their questions.

Their reply is like music to your ears.

The sound is most beautiful.

It’s a hit song that brings you joy and confidence.

What you’re hearing from the parents are their responses to your most powerful and amazing questions.


The Idea Behind The Question:

Behind great questions are awesome answers uncovering problems that would otherwise go unnoticed if not asked.

Parents are pushed to the end of the line of recruiting.

They’re being ignored, their concerns overlooked, dialogue not established, and their frustration mounting into an avalanche of concerns. Overly aggressive is the nature of the parents.

So what, you may say.

The college scout enters the picture for the first time asking one amazing question after another. The parents feel engaged, they feel important and necessary.

Someone’s finally hearing their concerns and their frustrations.  

Their anger begins to subside.

Followed by positive feedback of a positive nature, the direction of recruiting is their main concern and you’re there to help them, guide them, develop a strategy that they’ve never heard before because recruiting is a puzzle to figure out.

There is no instruction book in the box, they make it up as they go along.

Failure is an occurrence until the scout enters the picture.

(1. Commitment to questions) College scouts: develop a list of your top 10 questions you’re going to ask parents. Commit those questions to memory. Instead of watching hours of TV every night put that time into developing your questioning skills.

(2. Commitment to questions)  Put your thinking cap on. I want you to develop another list, this time of 25 questions. Remember, these questions are directed towards the parents. When it comes to the development of questions think of it as a final exam but the parents know the answers to every question, you’re not trying to confuse them or trip them up. It’s not necessary nor is it important to ask unnecessary information about the NCAA Rule Book which nobody cares about. These are questions the parents already know the answers to.

(3. Commitment to questions) This may shock you and you may shake your head in puzzlement but go ahead and develop another separate list of 25 questions. You may be thinking aloud, ‘why would I do this?’ The inventory should be a full stockpile of questions. That’s your ammunition in this process. I think it’s critical to commit yourself fully to questions. I’ve already said it in this blog post and I’ll say it again- the questions lead to answers which leads to information which eventually leads to money in your pocket.


Final Thoughts

Without properly crafted questions you’re going nowhere. You’re a dog chasing its tail but you’re never going to catch it.

We reviewed in detail the most powerful questions to ask parents of student-athletes. Make no mistake and let’s be very clear, you need the parents to sign up with your recruiting service. Without them you’ve got nothing.

The general consensus is failure is rampant in this industry because college scouts are close-minded to fundamentals needed to succeed in this business.

Just like a professional athlete who are constantly working behind the scenes developing, the end result is what you see on game day but you never see the invisible work.

To achieve greatness at any level is going to require sacrifice, commitment to excellence, development of your skills, and a strategy to set aside the necessary hours needed.

Some college scouts actually make it up as they go along with no strategy or direction of what they’re doing. It’s all based on a hope and a prayer that the parent will move forward. That really sucks if there’s no strategy whatsoever.

Anyone can spend a dollar on a lottery ticket by picking random numbers that requires no brain power or any real thought whatsoever. It’s just a game of chance and of luck.

It’s the same thought process when it comes to the parents. You’re hoping and praying for a miracle that your lucky number comes up and they sign up with you. Hope is just luck, no strategy behind this mindset.

Finally, there’s money to be made in this business if that’s your goal. Maybe your thought process is to help many kids get recruited, maybe it’s something else but no one works for free and you shouldn’t either.

Forget about those freaks who have those free recruiting services, they have no value and if you believe in that then I would like to sell you my stake in the Brooklyn Bridge. Develop your talents as if you were a professional athlete.


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