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This Is A Football

By: Taylor Deer

A professional football coach walks into the locker room of the eagerly awaiting team. Having come off a tough loss in the championship game the year prior, they had to wait all summer, sitting with the defeat each and every day until training camp began in the new season. Every player in the locker room was expecting the coach to unveil the new game plan through a speech that would inspire them to take back the championship for their own.

The coach stands before the men. Tension is rising in anticipation for what new tricks and strategies the brilliant coach had been coming up with all along. The coach extends his hand to show that he is holding a football, no different from the one that these players had seen every day of their lives since they were young.

The coach says: “Gentlemen, this is a football.”

He would then go on to describe the football as if the players had never seen one before. Then he took them out to the field, the same type of field these players were playing on their whole lives. He began to describe what the lines meant, that the object of the game was to run, pass, or dive the ball into the end zone. He started on page one of the playbook and would teach the most basic and fundamental maneuvers every player on that team had known for years. He re-taught the players how to block, how to tackle, and how to run up and down the field as if they had never done so.

Was this the world’s worst football coach? Did the players rebel and quit the team?

Nope. This coach’s name was Vince Lombardi. Lombardi is widely regarded as one of the greatest coaches of all time. The Superbowl trophy isn’t named The Superbowl Trophy; it’s named the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

He was so successful because his players knew the fundamentals better than anyone else. They won championships and set records because of this.

Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers weren’t the exception either. Many highly successful coaches taught their teams how to be successful by shifting focus to the most basic parts of the game. John Wooden, a record-breaking basketball head coach would teach his players how to tie their shoes. Emmanuel Stewart, world-renowned boxing coach, wouldn’t take any fighters (regardless of their fame) who didn’t work on their jabs.

What I see in my profession is a sincere lack of teaching the fundamentals. Every year, even if I visit the same group, I am astonished at the lack of knowledge being passed on. Recruitment chairs don’t know their main responsibilities, don’t have a number of men they want to recruit, and don’t teach the chapter the basics of recruitment.

The teams that master the fundamentals are the ones that are highly successful. Here are a few things that I believe every chapter member should know in order to be successful in recruitment.

1)     How to have a conversation.

  • Teach them how to ask open-ended questions that provoke meaningful information that you both care about.
  • Don’t tell them about “that one time you got so drunk you….”

2)     How to treat people.

  • Be friendly, be nice, be open, and be helpful…. To everyone. Regardless of if they are a “PNM”
  • Don’t lose interest and go back to eating the wings because they also don’t like ripping the sleeves of their shirts – stay engaged in the conversation.

3)     How to dress.

  • Don’t wear that really offensive rush T-Shirt from the 80′s that only you (and the guy who gave it to you) like.

4)     How to Pre-Close

  • Ask a question that allows you to gauge a person’s interest in joining your chapter.
  • Learn how to respond appropriately here.

5)     When Recruitment happens.

  • Making friends and building relationships (which is what recruitment actually is) can be done in small ways on a daily basis. We have tons of free stuff to help you with this.
  • Recruitment doesn’t have to end once you run out of frozen hamburgers.

All it takes to get on your way toward becoming great or – even better – legendary, is an ability to get back to the basics. Your chapters are ready, and so are you.