Dan Tudor

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7 Great Ways to Add Pizazz to Your Recruiting LettersMonday, November 24th, 2008

Letters and emails.

Like it or not, those are usually the first bits of key communication that you will have with new recruits.  They are usually the thing that kicks-off the recruiting process in most coaching offices when a new year starts, and its a big part of the equation we’ll be tackling in a few weeks in California as we present our popular "Building a Winning Recruiting Message" workshop for coaches who register to be a part of it.  Writing a letter

The problem with most letters?  They’re not getting read because they aren’t interesting to the reader – remember, your prospects are teenagers!  That’s a tough market to crack when it comes to capturing their attention and getting them to pay attention to what you’re saying (as you probably already know).  And if you’ve read our special report, "Inside the Mind of Your College Prospect", you know the drastic drop-off in your mail getting opened and read by those prospects, as well as why that happens most of the time.

The secret to getting your letter open, and read?  It all comes down to what’s in the letter. 

No, not the number of bullet-points or stats you’ve crammed in to that 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of letterhead stationary.  I’m talking about how you talk to them in your letter, and how it’s structured.

I have seven tips I want to share with you that any coach can use to really enhance your recruiting letters and e-mails.  They work great…athletic departments we work with have started to use them over the past few months, and are realizing better results.  See if any of them sound good to use in your recruiting letters:

BE SOMEBODY!  In other words, coach, put your face and voice into the letter.  Make the words connect with your reader.  Take it out of the passive, formal text that normally comprises recruiting letters.  Instead, make the words jump off the page by making it your voice that speaks to the reader.  That "somebody" I want you to be is YOU! 

TALK TO YOUR READER.  Avoid "we" and "I".  Instead, make sure your recruiting letter is packed with "you".  One message that I try to get across to any coach I work with is that they don’t care about you, your program, or what’s important to you.  They only care about themselves, and what makes them happy.  Focus solely on their dreams and goals in your letters.

BE PERSONAL.  Pretend you’re talking to a friend or fellow coach.  What would you say?  What would they say?  What would you say back?  Avoid wording like, "Here at State University, we pride ourselves in…" in favor of something like, "You know what’s really great about playing softball here at State?"  Notice the difference?  Make your letters personal and conversational.

IDENTIFY WITH YOUR PROSPECT.  Let your recruit know that you’ve been there…you understand…you know what they’re going through.  Connect with them at their level, and you’ll stand a greater chance of signing them. 

PUT A FACE ON YOUR COMPETITION.  Whenever you can, in a professional way, point out the short-comings of your competition.  Compare your personal touch with their impersonal touch.  Your commitment to the prospect’s future, compared with your competition who only seems concerned with forcing them to commit early.  Bring your competition to life in a way that draws your prospect back to you.

PROVE EVERY POINT USING PERSONAL EXAMPLES.  Listing all the great stuff about your program is weak and pointless if you can’t relate it back directly to your prospect, and their future.  If you really want to make your point, get a quote from one of your current players that backs up the point you’re making.  Your prospects respect (and listen to) their peers more than they’ll listen to you.

DON’T AFRAID TO GO OVERBOARD ONCE IN A WHILE.  What do I mean by "overboard"?  I mean an outrageously cocky, confident, self-serving statement.  Something like, "Let me just tell you, I think we’re the best program in the West" or "I believe, with all my heart, that our athletes get the best college baseball experience of any program in the state."  Don’t use them too much, but every once in a while is good.  Athletes want to see that you’re confident and passionate about your program.

Try to put these first seven tips into practice right away…you’ll notice a difference!

The SFC Total Recruiting Solution plan can give you customized letters and email messages for you and your staff as a part of a long term recruiting strategy.  Want to hear more about it?  Email Dan Tudor directly at dan@sellingforcoaches.com to get an overview of this unique recruiting tool.

The Importance of Selling Your VisionMonday, November 24th, 2008

by Mandy Green, Selling for Coaches 

Coaching your team and developing leadership starts with having a vision statement, then developing a plan to achieve it.  That’s the starting point for every business that wants to be successful, and it’s a must for college coaches who want to build a successful program.Vision statement

A vision statement answers the questions "What will our program look like 5 to 10 years from now?"

A vision is more than a destination.  It is an inspiration, a motivator, and a rallying point for a team.  Results matter, but they are often the by-products of an effectively created and communicated vision. 

How does the vision you have for you team apply to recruiting?

Dan Tudor, the founder of Selling for Coaches, talks a lot about how recruits don’t care about your past or your present, they only care about how they fit into your future.   

Coaches who consistently sign the recruits they want have mastered really good communication and a great selling message on how the program’s future expectations, goals, and aspirations will meet the recruit’s needs and help him or her achieve their goals.  

Communication of a vision is the difficult process of inspiring your recruits to see the future reality which you see, and are committed to make happen for them. Communicating your vision will help recruits focus their energies to see that their real needs might best be met through your program.

So, how do you do it?  Communicating your vision is talking about the future, evoking images and responses in the mind about what it is going to be like for them over the next 4 years while at your college.  Communicate your vision so people can feel it, see it, and feel it. 

When communicating and selling your vision to recruits remember the following:

1. Clearly articulate the vision of your organization.
2. Be enthusiastic toward your vision, and let others see your passion for that vision.
3. Repeatedly share the vision in various ways.

Concentrate on the "what’s-in-it-for-them" and the what’s-in-it-for-you will usually take care of itself.

Developing leadership techniques with your current athletes is essential for long-term success at the college level.  Did you know SFC has a complete program for helping you train your athletes to buy into your vision, and help you recruit future athletes?  Do you need help building real leaders on your team?  Email Mandy Green at mandy@sellingforcoaches.com and ask about our special workshop for coaches who want to develop their current players and program.

Bad Economic Times Force Coaches to Get CreativeMonday, November 24th, 2008

by Carrie Bigbie, Selling for Coaches 

There has been a lot of buzz lately about college athletic department budget cuts, or at least the threat of reductions in the near future.  Some schools are losing programs, while others are having to find ways to work around their ever tightening budget. 

At many colleges, recruiting has become one of the major areas that seems to be effected by the worsening economic climate.  Coaches and recruiters are having to search for other ways to reach their top prospects for less.

Brad Downs“It is no longer becoming feasible for some coaches to spend time and money traveling to see kids,” says Brad Downs, co-Founder of Front Rush (pictured here in his college baseball days at the College of New Jersey).  “Coaches are looking to technology to build relationships, expand their reach and communicate more effectively.  And, they’re learning how to do it far more economically than some of their fellow coaches who are reacting more slowly to this changing economic climate.”

Besides saving money on travel expenses, coaches are finding the need to find other creative solutions to recruiting more effectively.  And, they are trying to doing it from the convenience of their office.

“Coaches are having to find ways to recruit smarter,” says Lisa Strasman, NCSA Recruiting Coach Lisa StrasmanDirector.  “NCSA’s high tech approach includes our free Recruit-Match™ database, which helps track more than 100,000 of the top high school student athletes in the country.”

The result for coaches who use their system?  Free access to a nationwide network of pre-qualified prospects, filtered to match a coach’s specific needs and guidelines.  Plus, NCSA has a dedicated team of former college coaches and athletes that can work with you (at no charge) to help you put together a great recruiting class.

Although no coach wants to hear that they have to reduce their spending, or no longer can go to scout their recruits as they once did, there are solutions that can help if this is the case.  Even when the budget does get back to normal, coaches might just find these are still good solutions they would like to continue using for their long term recruiting needs.

Selling Your Prospects on Becoming LeadersMonday, November 17th, 2008

by Mandy Green, SFC Recruiting Solutions Consultant

Coaches who successfully recruit players use their leadership development program as a tool to draw in high-potential recruits that otherwise would go to another program.

Why?  Because most high-level recruits understand that they need to develop great leadership skills to be the best college player they can be, and to be successful after college. 

An even more important question: Do you have an established leadership development plan? 

If so, you should sell your leadership training program to recruits by telling them (and showing them) how invested you are in helping them develop as a leader. Recruits that are keenly aware of the importance of self-development will be impressed that you want to make an investment in them.

Don’t have a leadership development plan?  Here four suggestions for getting one started.

1.  Evaluate what you already have in place.  Make a list of what you what you have been doing and what you would like to be doing.  What worked well?  What needs to be changed? 

2.  Develop your definition of leadership. Spend some time thinking about what leadership means to you and what it might look like in your program. With this definition in mind, you are ready to communicate your expectations to those who may be ready to lead.

3. After you’ve defined your leadership expectations, you need to demonstrate these qualities in your daily decisions and interactions. Modeling the leader behaviors that you want to see in others has a dramatic effect on your program by shaping its culture. Demonstrating the leadership values and behavior you believe in lets people know that you take your leadership role seriously and that you have high standards for leaders. Your prospective leaders will take their cues from you when they see you set challenging goals, deal effectively with failure and adversity, respond quickly to opportunities, guide the team through tough problems, or sensitively deal with an upset player.

4. Develop an outline for how you are going to develop your leaders. A mistake a lot of coaches make is that we talk about the need for leadership but don’t teach people how to do it.  Don’t assume your team has the skills needed to be a good leader.  Make a list of the skills needed on your team, then map out a plan for how and when you are going to teach and develop each skill.   

Once you have formed an outline of how you want to develop your leaders and what "success" looks like, you must start implementing the program within your team. Keep in mind that leadership development takes time, patience, and persistence. 

Author Jeff Janssen, in his book The Team Captain’s Leadership Manual, says that effective team leaders impact the most important areas you hold near and dear as a coach: Your success, sanity, satisfaction, and significance. 

Developing the leaders on your team will not only create a more successful culture within your program, it will also establish an environment that will attract future leaders in your upcoming recruiting classes.  Mandy Green

Mandy Green is an experienced college coach who is an expert in sports psychology strategies and team development techniques.  SFC has developed a special one-day training course for college coaches and their current athletes that focuses on team leadership development and using your team to effectively recruit athletes during on-campus visits.  To find out more about this new on-campus workshop for coaches, email her at mandy@sellingforcoaches.com.

6 Ways to Make Better Prospect Phone CallsMonday, November 17th, 2008

Dan TudorPhone calls to prospects: That was the hot topic this past weekend for coaches in Atlanta during our successful "Overcoming Objections" recruiters conference, and it’s on the mind of the college staff I am working with today in the Northeast conducting one of our SFC On-Campus Workshops.

Why are recruiting phone calls such a popular topic right now?  Here’s my take…

We’re at that time of year when coaches all over the country are starting to hear about decisions from their prospects (or wishing they were hearing from them, in many cases!).  For the majority of coaches reading this today, the jury is still out in terms of what next year’s recruiting class looks like.

What’s a nervous coach to do?  I know what you want to do.  You want to pick up the phone and make another follow-up call to that prospect who’s taking just a little too long to call you back with a decision.

So, since many coaches seem to be facing the challenge of making effective follow-up phone calls, I wanted to give you six tips for making great follow-up calls to your recruits.  See how many of these proven strategies you are already doing as a part of your recruiting plan, and what others you need Recruiting phone callto add to make it more effective. 

Get a Commitment from Your Prospect for the Follow-up
Perhaps the single biggest mistake coaches make is not establishing a specific date and time for the follow-up call at the end of their previous visit. Vague commitments from prospects ("call me sometime next week if you want") or recruiters ("I’ll send the paperwork you need and follow-up in a couple of days or so") result in missed calls, voice mail messages and ultimately a longer recruiting cycle. All you need to do is ask for an exact follow-up date and time. Try something like this, Coach:

"I’ll be glad to work up all of the paperwork you need to get back to me and mail it to you. And what I would like to recommend is that we set up Tuesday, the 19th, at say, 8:45 to review it in detail and determine the next steps if any. How does that sound?"

If you’re registered for our upcoming December workshop in California, "Building a Winning Recruiting Message", you’ll learn all about why asking how something "sounds" is vital to moving the process forward.  For right now, just trust me…ask "how does that sound?" instead of something like "what do you think?"

Back to your call…if this is not a good time, recommend another time. If that doesn’t work, get them to establish a time and date. Creating a deadline is a simple but extremely powerful tactic. Use it.

Recruiting letterBuild "Call Equity" and Be Remembered
After every first call to a prospect, send a thank-you card. Handwrite a message that simply says, "John, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. I look forward to catching-up with you further on the 16th! Keep up the good work." No more, no less.

In today’s fast paced world, a handwritten card tells your prospect that you took the time and the effort to do something a little different. This registers in your recruit’s mind and creates a degree of "equity" in you. It differentiates you and is remembered. And, it gives your teenage prospect a reason to be there when you make your follow-up call.  If you want the details behind this line of thinking, you should read our special report that goes inside the mind of your college prospect…it’s fascinating, and will tell you all about what your prospects think about handwritten notes and letters.

If you don’t think a card will get there in time, send an email with the same note. Just be aware that an email does not have nearly the same impact as a handwritten note.

Email a Reminder and an Agenda
The day before your follow-up call, email your prospect to remind him or her of your appointment. In the subject line, enter the words: "Telephone appointment for March 19th and article of interest." Note that the subject line acts as a reminder but it is vague enough that the prospect will probably open it. There is a hint that maybe the date and time has changed.

Your email should confirm the date and time of the appointment and then briefly list your agenda:

"John, the call should only take about 10 or 15 minutes. We’ll review what we talked about last time and I’ll answer any questions. And then we’ll determine the next steps, if any."

Notice how the words echo those used when the follow-up was initially set. In particular, notice the trigger phrase ". . .the next steps, if any." The "if any" helps reduce some of the stress or concern your prospects or their parents might have. Often they skip the follow-up call because they are worried that they’ll be pressured to make a commitment. This is natural. If prospects sense an easy, informal, "no pressure" type of phone call, they are more likely to show up and be on time for that call.

Add Value in a P.S.
Notice the reference to an article in your email’s subject line. At the end of your email, add a P.S. that says, "John, in the meantime, here’s an article I thought you might enjoy regarding. . ."

The article may be about your your team, a big win, an interesting story about a recruiting issue of interest, or something completely non-sports related that might show a little bit of your fun side. This creates tremendous value even if your recruit does not open it. Why? Because you took the time to do something extra. This helps you be remembered and gives the prospect yet another reason to take your follow-up call.

Of course, this means you have to do some homework, Coach. Keep an eye out on the web for articles of interest and value relative to your sport or the topic of recruiting. You might even keep a file of these articles because they can be used over and over again with future recruits.

Call On Time
Don’t start your relationship on the wrong foot. Call on time. Never, ever be late with your follow-up call. Not even by a minute. The promptness and respect you show on a follow-up call reflects on you, your program and your college.

By the way, you know who notices late calls the most?  The parents.  And you don’t want to get your relationship with them off on the wrong foot, do you?

Avoid Opening Statement Blunders
So many coaches stumble and fall by using these routine follow-up opening statements:

"I was calling to follow-up on the paperwork…"
"I am just calling to see if you had any questions…"
"I just wanted to make sure you got my email…"
"I was just calling to see if you had had a chance to think about things…" 
   
These opening statements are not only poor, they are commonplace and do nothing to differentiate you. You are perceived as yet another run of the mill coach looking for a "sale". You need a little more pizzazz, don’t you think?  Think of ways to differentiate yourself and give your prospect a real reason to sit up and pay attention to your follow-up call.

Here’s the key to follow-up calls: Have something original to say, and know when to say it.  It’s a bit of an art form, to be honest, and the best way to become an expert at it is to practice, practice, practice.

New information gets attention and keeps your prospects engaged.  Old information, or no information at all, results in a non-productive phone call every single time. 

Got prospects to follow-up with before the holidays come around?  Try some new tactics and use some of these tips to get a better response.

Want help developing your plan and getting our team of experts creating creative messages for you to use in your recruiting?  Click here.

 

Why You’d Better Sooth Your Prospect’s FearsMonday, November 10th, 2008

Prospect hidingWhy is "confidence" so important when a coach is in a recruiting situation? 

Because most coaches don’t put recruiting high on their list of things they like to do as a college coach.  Selling isn’t something that comes natural for a lot of coaches, and that can contribute to that lack of confidence that I was just talking about.

As legendary author Robert Louis Stevenson said, "I find it useful to remember, everyone lives by selling something."  College coaches are no different.  If you don’t sell, you don’t get the players you need to build a great program.

So, how do you get past the feeling of not wanting to "sell" your program to recruits and their parents?

The first important thing to realize is that your recruits will commit to your program because its a good fit for them…but not if its billed as a good fit for them. 

Here’s what I mean by that… 

Think about what therapists do. They charge pretty good money to give people "comforting" advice. Yes, there are some who deliver discomfort, but they don’t stay in business very long. People pay money to have their therapists make them feel good. If you’ve ever been in therapy with a successful therapist, you already know that.

But if therapists said that they were in the business of comforting their clients, no one would take them seriously and no one would pay them good money for their "comforting" advice. Rather than advertise what they are really selling, therapists advertise their methodology (Freudian, Behaviorist, etc.) or the type of "problems" they deal with (addiction, obsessive compulsive disorders, etc.).

Now, lets bring this back to recruiting. 

Let’s say your prospect’s main concern is the getting into the right grad school after his playing days are done and he has his undergraduate degree in hand. What you would do, in this case, is ask him questions about it and find out, in as much detail as possible, what his worries are.

Having done this, you are then in a great position to address each one – to explain how your school can give him effective solutions that will ensure he’s going to be on the right track after four years of playing for you. By driving home the benefits of your school and your program that the prospect really cares about, you are – in fact – making a very strong sales presentation. You are telling him exactly what he wants to hear.

Remember – your prospect wants to be "sold". So long as you help him understand how your school can help him achieve his desires or solve his problems, he will be prejudiced in your favor. You lose your prospect when you start talking about other things – your interests, your past success, your stadium, your schedule, your conference…information that he doesn’t really care about.

So don’t sell him, help him. Begin by finding out what he wants and needs in terms of his desires about playing college sports and getting an education. And then (if and only if you and your program can really help him), make the strongest, most specific case you can to convince him that his desires will be achieved and his problems solved through what you are offering.

Once you’ve figured out how to sell your school, and have moved past your distaste of selling, you’ll have that confidence to address any objection and develop great messages out to your prospects.  But you have to do it by addressing their fears, not leading with the features at your school.

Is it "unethical" to focus on addressing their fears as a recruiting approach?  Absolutely not.  All of us want our fears soothed when we look at buying something: Insurance, a safer vehicle, low fat mayonaise…we buy things because we are trying to address our fears. 

Your prospects are no different.  Talk to them in the language that they are searching for, which is the language of having their fears and questions resolved. 

They’re looking to you for that comfort, Coach.  Are you speaking their language?

Recruiting Compliance Headaches: Solved Through New Technology?Monday, November 10th, 2008

by Carrie Bigbie, Selling for Coaches 

The number one headache for most college coaches these days?  Keeping good compliance records for all of their recruiting contacts.   

In response, recruiting technology leader Front Rush have launched a new release that contains improvements in its functionality, and have added some amazing new features (even for the headache of keeping all of your compliance records straight!).   How did all this come about?  By getting insight from coaches actually using the product.

“The end users (coaches) are getting more technological and are reaching out beyond the scope of the original design of Front Rush,” says Sean Devlin, V.P of Product Development for Front Rush.  “They are calling and letting us know what they are needing the product to do for them to make it more efficient.”

One of the main features of the new release is to help college coaches with reporting for compliance.  Some of the added features are:

• Outgoing Call – Coaches can add start and end time, total time, phone number called, phone number called from.  Once its in the system, it can be accessed from anywhere a coach has an Internet connection.
• Official and Unofficial On-campus visits – Coaches can add the start and end date, start and end time, how long the visit lasted.
• Off Campus Contact – Recruiters can add start and end time of any off campus contacts with prospects.
• Reporting – Produce a full report on each of the items above for their college’s athletic department.

Front RushAccording to Devlin, the coaches were getting asked by the compliance officers to be more clear on reporting their recruiting activities on and off campus.  Using this feedback, Front Rush began making improvements on the functionality their product but also made it more user-friendly as well. 

“When Front Rush was developed, we wanted the product to be cost-effective so coaches from Division I, II or III could have access to the same technology,” says Devlin. “As we continue to improve our product, we will keep a running dialogue with coaches from all divisions to keep enhancing it to meet their needs – big or small.”

And, the best is yet to come when it comes to recruiting technology tools.  Front Rush is in the process of coming out with a major release in the near future with the focus being on increased speed and usability for coaches using the system. 

Want a free demo of Front Rush from the comfort of your college office?  For that, or to get other questions answered, contact Sean Devlin personally at sdevlin@frontrush.com or call 866.634.1186 x105.

What’s the Secret to “Recruiting” Team Leaders?Monday, November 10th, 2008

Mandy Greenby Mandy Green, Selling for Coaches 

The more effective you have been in creating leaders on your current team, the more effectively your team will handle conflicts, remain cohesive, and work together to succeed.  In turn, better leadership from within can and will help in recruiting future leaders. 

How do you develop leadership on your team?  It starts with YOU coach!

John Maxwell in his book Developing the Leaders Around You, says “I really believe that it takes a leader to know a leader, grow a leader, and show a leader.  I have also found that it takes a leader to attract a leader.” 

While there are many things coaches need to do to develop leaders, I am going to talk about 3 important steps that you need to take first.  

Law of the Lid- John Maxwell

In his book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John Maxwell says that leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effectiveness.  Coach, if your leadership is strong, then the lid of potential to develop leadership ability for your team will be high.  The lower your ability to lead, the lower the lid on not only your potential, but your teams as well. 

John Maxwell uses the metaphor of walking up a narrow staircase – you can only go as fast as the person in front of you. When leaders stop growing, they quit climbing and impede the progress of everyone following them. However, when leaders grow, they ascend the stairs and create space for those behind them to climb higher.

If you desire to develop leadership within your team, then pay the price of getting better. Personal growth involves challenging yourself, and pushing beyond the realm of comfort.  As you grow and improve as a leader, so will those that you lead.  Remember that as your team follows you, they only go as far as you go.  If your growth stops, your ability to lead will stop along with it.
 
Model the behavior you wantYelling coach

Your team will do as you do, coach.   Positive model = positive response.  Negative model = negative response. 

You cannot demand of others what you do not demand in yourself.   Your team needs to see from you and your staff how things are going to be, not just hear how you want it to be. 

As V.J. Featherstone said, "Leaders tell, but never teach, until they practice what they preach." The best leaders embody their values. Their passion exudes from every pore and demands respect.

Create the right environment

Are you creating an atmosphere where it will be easy for the players on your team to succeed?  Are you creating an environment that will attract leaders?  For example, successful coaches who have developed great leadership within tend to have created a program where athletes know they will develop to their potential as players and as people and where participation on the team will enhance and inform their education.  They have programs where you work hard so you can play the game hard.  They speak often of commitment, integrity, excellence, and success.  They instill a sense of belonging and loyalty in the student-athletes and give them a desire to remain connected to the program and the people long after their playing days are done. 

Have you created this same sort of environment?   If you are not getting what you want leadership wise from you team, create a different sort of environment and see what you get. 

Coach, as you already know, it is hard to have a successful college program without leaders on your team.  You can’t expect your team to develop into leaders until YOU tell them, show them, develop them, and let them do it.   Develop your own leadership abilities, show them how to do it the right way, and then create an environment where they will be successful.  In turn, your recruits that want to be future leaders will see and be attracted to this new environment of leadership and growth potential!     

Tomorrow for Premium Members, you will get a list of Leadership qualities to look for in players you are recruiting.

New Technology Helping College Coaches Overcome Recruiting HurdlesMonday, November 3rd, 2008

by Carrie Bigbie, Selling for Coaches 

 

Picture this coach: You are wanting to go to a high school game to check out a potential recruit but logistically you cannot be there because of scouting your next opponent.  You and the other coaches need a way to see this athlete play so you can decide if he would be a good fit for your team.

 

Even if college coaches can’t make it to see their prospects play in person, there is now new Dartfishtechnology that allows them to see it all through video – video that uses technology to analyze the mechanics of each prospect’s movement.  College coaches who are scouting an athlete can give high school and junior college coaches a dedicated Dartfish TV channel so they can upload video of the team and or players to review over the Internet.  It is a completely secure site so coaches would decide who has access to it to review the video.

 

“College coaches could use this type of technology to watch a video and break down a recruit’s pitching or hitting mechanics and make that part of their decision criteria,” says Chuck Wilmot, Regional Sales Director, Dartfish USA.

 

If the college baseball program is looking to recruit pitchers, the Inside Edge Palm Scout can be helpful in capturing and gathering statistical information about their pitching.  All of the information is stored in the Inside Edge device and can be downloaded using Dartfish and can then be sent with the video over their Dartfish TV channel.

 

“This solution provides coaches the ability to make player assessments based on game video review where they can collaborate with other coaching staff over the Internet with no logistics issues,” says Wilmot.  “Spreadsheets and word documents can be attached to the player’s video having all the recruiting data in one place where the coaching staff can review this data online.”

 

Imagine the ability to remove logistic hurdles, being able to upload a video so the coaching staff can review it, and having statistical information right there while watching the video.  College baseball coaches can get a free online demonstration by emailing Chuck Wilmot at chuck.wilmot@dartfish.com or calling him directly at 817.329.9285. 

 

Not a baseball coach?  No problem…Dartfish TV can help transform the recruiting evaluation process for any college coach.  Click here to get a free demo. 

Can Slick New Uniforms Help You Tell YOUR Story?Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Storytelling is an art.  It’s a learned skill, developed over time.

And it’s essential to consistently good recruiting.

But wait…

If you think that I’m talking about only the storytelling that goes on in your letters, or your emails, think again.  Every aspect of your program can tell a story and can be that something "extra" that convinces a recruit to choose you over another school.

The problem?  Most coaches don’t look at the little things as opportunities to tell a great story, and to connect with their prospects in the process.  They do O.K. at most of the "big picture" items that they are faced with on a daily basis, but really do need help with some of those little things I just mentioned.  Are you missing an opportunity to sell your program and tell a great story?

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about…

The University of Kentucky men’s basketball program just got new uniforms.  That’s not big news most of the time, but these uniforms are getting a lot of attention.  Here’s a blurb from the Nike blog about it: 

Kentucky basketballNike is taking symbolism and storytelling within the context of sports uniforms to the next level. Using the new form-fitting jerseys first worn by such Nike schools as Arizona and the Ohio State University, the new wildcat uniforms feature tributes to a former program member, a legendary racehorse and the basketball program’s successful history.

Bill Keightley, the Wildcats’ longtime equipment manager, passed away this past offseason. As a tribute, the uniforms read “Mr. Wildcat” across a black shoulder-band and keep the Kentucky “K” on the jersey differently-colored then the rest of the word. Additionally, the subtle checkered boxes which adorn the jersey are a nod to Secretariat’s blue and white racing silks.

Last, on the shorts’ waistband is yet another checkerboard pattern with eight squares, 7 containing the year of a UK national championship and an eighth left empty for the next one.

Wow!  Talk about storytelling in a way that connects with today’s Millennium Generation teenagers!  Every part of their uniforms gives a recruit a taste of the history of the program, and includes them in the extended family of being a basketball player at Kentucky.

Is it going to matter to every single recruit, and cause them to sign on the dotted line to be a Wildcat?  Of course not.  But what if it connects with the right prospect, at the right time, in the right way?  What if the recruit that signs is the one that sinks the free throws that wins the game and gives the Wildcats the conference title? 

Recruiting is about the hundreds of little things that convince a prospect that you are right for them.  Think about that challenge for a moment…convince a teenager who doesn’t know you that what you have to offer is perfect for them.  That’s an extraordinary challenge, coach! 

So why wouldn’t you want every piece of the puzzle in place and working in your favor?  Why wouldn’t you want to include your uniforms – and any other object or piece of your program – in the equation that might connect with your prospect?

One of the things I enjoy the most about conducting our two day On-Campus Workshops at college campuses around the country is all of the amazingly unique qualities that many athletic programs have at their disposal.  Unique mascots, amazing athlete ammenities, historic arenas…there is so much to talk about and to tell a prospect about.  Some use these tools wisely, and other don’t.  And often the difference is being able to attract the right recruits, or settling for another so-so recruiting class that gets the job done (just barely).

Take a close look at the different elements of your program, coach.  Are there things there that you aren’t using to help connect with your prospects?  I’ll bet there are.  Follow Kentucky’s lead…find a unique way to tell your story to the recruits who are dying for a good reason to listen.

Need help with your ability to tell a great recruiting story and develop your communication skills?  We have two workshops for coaches coming up that you should be at.  They are cost effective, highly personalized, and earn rave reviews from the coaches who attend.  Wouldn’t it be smart to invest in your coaching career outside of the x’s and o’s?

 

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