Team Recruitment: Tips and Tricks from Western Region Alumni

In the first post of our piecemeal article series about alumni tips and tricks for team recruitment we reached out to Midwestern alumni. As the winter season is winding down and spring tournaments are starting up, it is an opportune time to add new members to your team! In that light, and to continue our article series about tips and tricks for team recruitment, we reached out to Western region alumni.


Erik, Washington State University

  • Boat on campus. Bring your boat to campus.


Hillary Hover, Western Washington University

  • Tent on campus at start of quarter and Freshmen orientation. Advertising the team during freshman orientation was great but lots of freshmen don’t go to club tents and hardly any transfer students are on campus the week before school starts (during freshman orientation). It would be ideal to advertise the team during the first week of school when people are around for classes.
  • Dogs! I’d say it’s helpful to have a dog around too if possible.
  • Don’t forget the Spring. It’s important to advertise in spring! People have water sports on their mind at that time of year.
  • Be happy. Be happy and loud and inviting.
  • Dog dog dog. I brought my dog to the tent and she recruited more new members than any of us people.
  • Bring out the boat. We also had a boat on campus this was a huge help.
  • Don’t scare people away. Be nice and inviting. Group and individual intimidation can be scary, a tight knit group must be welcoming to newcomers so as to not scare away individuals from a team that has a well established group dynamic.
  • Ladies recruit more ladies! In my experience, new ladies will be more likely to respond to a text/call/invitation from a female team member.


Kirk Lee, University of California, Los Angeles

  • Orientation and Activity Fairs. UCLA has freshman orientation sessions through the summer, prior to fall semester, as many schools do. During each session, UCLA has an activities fair, which the ski team attends. They have found this is a great way to tell new students about the waterski team on campus. I know many schools have activities fairs at the start of each semester, and this is a great way to engage new students and potential new team members.
  • Social events that do not involve water skiing. Social events off the water help to establish your team as a tight-knit group of friends. To keep new teammates involved, invite them to hang out with you! Team Illinois had an affinity for ice skating in our free time – find something that your whole team can do together.
  • Flaunt your team brand. Flaunt your team brand to everyone on campus by wearing your team jackets, t-shirts, hats, or sweatshirts. UCLA also has team fanny packs (for holding the essentials for a day out and about on campus). When people ask about your shirt, have them come to the next social event or team meeting.


Madeline Hardy, Arizona State University

  • Social media. Have Facebook recruiting events.
  • Promote, promote, promote. Check out the rankings on or USA Water Ski, and promote your team’s status
  • Recruit friends. Utilize team members’ connections, such as people they grew up skiing with.


Matthew Keinbaum, Western Washington University

  • Recruit Boys/Girls 3. WWU looks for experienced team members in Boys 3 and Girls 3 skiers just leaving high school. WWU will send recruiting packets, as well as keep in constant communication to show off the team and what the school has to offer. Having high school students ski with the team has also been useful.
  • Find new skiers on campus too. Finding team members that are new to skiing is a little easier. Matthew suggests attending on campus informational fairs to get the word out to current students at your university.


Nick Staley, Arizona State University

  • Active promotion. Actively promote the ski team on campus, and get contact information from students that are interested.
  • Learn to ski weekends. Dedicate at least one weekend per semester (as allows in your climate) as a “learn to ski” weekend. Invite all of the interested students to go out on the lake, and get them behind the boat!


Rob Chico, California State University, Chico

  • Boat on campus. Rob tells us to bring your team boat to campus, as this always attracts a lot of attention.
  • No experience needed. Always mention to those interested that no experience is necessary.


Sean Crossland, California State University, Chico

  • Talk it up. Talk about how awesome collegiate skiing is.
  • Show it off. If you have a ski site or lake, show it off!


Recruiting new team members can be difficult, but if you get the word out there early and often, you’ll have plenty of new teammates in no time! If you have further recruiting ideas, please comment on Facebook or email