At its most stripped-down level, college recruiting is a sales job. Coaches are the salespeople, the athletes the customers, and it’s the coach’s job to convince the customer, aka the recruit, why their product is the best one.
Sometimes, though, the coach needs to forget about the sale and just focus on the person.
When Tuesdi Tidwell was going through the recruiting process, she unexpectedly found herself in a place where that sales decision suddenly didn’t seem that important. Tidwell was a four-time state-qualifying pole vaulter at Early, Texas, who was considering joining Baylor as an invited walk-on. But on a recruiting visit to Waco, she received word of a family emergency that forced her to cut the trip short.
“I never got to finish,” Tidwell said. “But they prayed over me, and they were very sweet. And both Coach (Brandon) Richards and Coach (Todd) Harbour, they were very supportive of me, and just getting better and getting past it, instead of saying, ‘Oh, you have to go to Baylor.’ They told me, ‘Don’t worry about picking schools, just worry about yourself. And then we’ll figure out where you’re going to go after.’”