Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

Recruiting One on One in Youth Football








Most programs have to hustle to get players, they need some help when it comes to recruiting players one on one in youth football. What do you say? How do you say it? How do you approach it?

New players are the lifeblood of youth football programs, if you don’t get them the program withers up and dies. For most of us, we compete for players with other programs and let’s fess up, we compete with other sports too.

While nothing is a better recruiting tool than word of mouth praise from your parents, there may be times where your coaches need to go out and press some flesh. Or even when a possible new parent calls you up and asks for more information on your program.

Most guys who are recruiting one on one in youth football just blather out what they think is important. We all need to have our 30 second “elevator pitch” of what sets our programs apart from others. What are your unique selling points that are important to most parents and unique to your program? Every program is different. No one wants to listen to you for 10 minutes about how great your program is, they are going to decide on your programs credibility in that first 30 seconds.

Unique Selling Points

Some Selling Points May Be:

Coach Training

New or Newer Equipment

Helmet Reconditioning/ Brand of Helmets

Close Practice Facilities

Shaded Practice Areas

Safe Practice Facilities

Game Fields- Stadium

Coach Background Checks

Unique Practice Approaches

Former Players Success at High School and College Levels

Partnerships With Schools

Awards Won

Retention Rates

Championships Won

Coach Certifications- CDC etc

Parental Support

Short Season/Long Season

Safety Protocols

Coaching Pedigrees

Player Awards

Team Character and Chemistry Programs

Speed Camps

Position Group Camps

Special Training

Out of Town Travel

League Makeup/Size/Quality

Web Site/Communications


Fund Raising/No Fundraising

The Conversation

The deal is every parent has their own set of needs and goals. While you may have a lot of information that YOU feel is important to share, the parent may only be interested in a sliver of information. If someone calls me about our program I always start off by personalizing it and asking what their sons name is and how old he is. Then I use the players name in every question- let them tell you what is important to them.   It might go something like this, “ Joe, what kind of program are you looking for for Trevor to play in next season.” Then address the things that Joe is interested in.

Whatever he asks, make sure to let him know that it is important and you understand his concern. If Joe talks about Trevor not being a great athlete and Joe is interested in Trevor being part of something and making friends, you need to talk about your minimum play rules, retention rates, your buddy system and how you bring teams together in an inclusive way. If Joe talks about wanting to play in a competitive league, I would talk about the 3 players from one of our league programs that all started in the NFL in the same week last year.  I would talk about film study and Hudl. I would talk about some of your coaches pedigrees. If Joe is concerned about daddy favoritism, I would talk about how we evaluate players using a point system that all coaches have input on and the fact our Pee Wee team had 5 coaches and just 2 were starters, neither of them at Quarterback.

At the end of the conversation you can let loose with your 30 second elevator pitch and then let Joe know that this is an important decision. He needs to understand it needs to be a good fit, so let’s be very frank.  Ask if there are any other concerns at all that would stand in the way of Trevor playing football for you next year.

At the end of the day, you can’t be all things to all people.  Make sure you close with the standard: “We don’t make any guarantees on positions or starters. It’s based on merit, attendance and team needs. We aren’t for everyone, but the kids that do decide to play for us, seem to have fun, make progress and develop a love for the game.”

Free Book Offer

Need more players? Need to get in front of more parents? For more information on how to step by step rccruit youth football players in VERY unique and inexpensive ways for your youth football program- download my free book on “How to Start and Manage a Youth Football Program”Free Book Download

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