// you’re reading...

Coaching Tips

The One Question You Must Ask Each Applicant

Suppose you’re a boss who must make a key hire. Or a college admissions director who faces a choice between two or three qualified applicants. Or a coach who is holding tryouts. No matter what your organization is, its future depends on how often you make the right choice.

But how do you see into the future? How can you know if the person sitting in front of you will grow, persevere, win? You’ll never for sure, and that’s what makes hiring so tricky — and such an opportunity to gain an edge over your competitors. Here’s the one question you can ask your applicants to help take some mystery out of the future:

“Are either of your parents a coach or a teacher?”

This idea comes from “Dream Like a Champion: Wins, Losses and Leadership the Nebraska Volleyball Way” by John Cook and Brandon Vogel. Cook makes this observation: “I have found over the years that about 60 percent of our athletes are daughters of teachers or coaches.”

So powerful is this factor that Cook and his staff have given it a name. The 60 Percent Rule.

Cook explains his discovery this way, “If a prospect has at least one parent who is a teacher or a coach, those kids bring something different to a team. They know it is not about them. It is about something bigger than themselves.”

Note: Cook does not say that he necessarily asks this question of each recruit. He probably knows the answer anyway through meeting the family. But he does find that children of coaches and teachers tend to make great additions to a team.

“If you grew up with a teacher or a coach, your mom and dad did not do that for the money. They did it because they care about kids. Athletes who grow up in that kind of environment have role models that make them understand what it takes to make a great team and a great teammate.”

So the next time you’re faced with a key personnel decision, ask, “Are either of your parents a coach or a teacher?” It could tell you much more than a resume can.

Anyone can polish up a resume. Anyone can look good in an interview. But not everyone grew up in an environment where value was placed on being a great teammate, where the children realized there was something bigger than them.

*** *** *** *** ***

For more on coaching, try “Ten Things Great Coaches Know” by Gary Prichard and Mike Tully


No comments for “The One Question You Must Ask Each Applicant”

Post a comment