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The Newest Cool Tool for Advanced College RecruitersMonday, April 23rd, 2012

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

Are you looking for a better way to show off your school’s facilities to recruits?

We found a really cool app that can help.

There is a new app out on the iPhone and iPad called TourWrist (tourwrist.com) that allows you to take full panoramic pictures of, well, anything and share them via email, on the web, facebook, twitter, or other social media sharing websites (or even your school’s website!)  All that you do is download the app (free) and follow the directions. Its as simple as spinning in a circle and taking a couple of pictures. After a few minor adjustments, your combined panoramic picture is uploaded to the web and available to be shared.

Here is a quick example of our office…

So take the above example and apply it to your facilities. Do you have a great soccer stadium? TourWrist it. Your locker rooms just re-done? TourWrist it. Great engineering building? TourWrist it.

The social implications are cool too. All of the pictures that you take can be embedded directly into Facebook or shared via Twitter. By the time this article is released we will probably do the exact same thing and share our office picture on our social networks.

Sean Devlin, the technical genius behind the Front Rush recruiting management system, is one of the featured speakers at the upcoming National Collegiate Recruiting Conference.  He’ll have more to share at this must-attend event…don’t miss it!  Click here to register.


The Facts You Need to Know About Follow-Up Recruiting Phone CallsMonday, April 23rd, 2012

TelephonePhone calls to recruits don’t rank very high on most coaches’ list of things to do.

So, what about follow-up phone calls?  Even harder, for most recruiters.  It’s a challenge to work through the first phone call effectively, but what in the world do you talk about on phone call number two, three or ten???  It’s not an easy subject to tackle.

So, what’s a perplexed 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 their decision, or the prospect that is slow in even showing interest in your program.

So, since many of you are facing the challenge of making effective follow-up phone calls on a fairly regular basis, I wanted to give you six tips for making great follow-up calls to your recruits.

Get a Commitment 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 next week”) or recruiters (“I’ll send the paperwork you need and follow-up in a couple of days”) result in missed calls, voice mail messages and ultimately a longer recruiting cycle. All you need to do is ask for a follow-up date and time. Try something like this, Coach:

“I’ll be glad to that information about our business program pulled together so I can mail it to you. And what I love to suggest is that we set up Tuesday, the 19th, maybe around 8:45 to review it in detail and determine the next steps if any. How does that sound?”

If you’ve had us on campus to work with your athletic department, you have learned 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.

Build “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 that I wanted to send you.” 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 what you see as the next step, if any.”

Notice how the words echo those used when the follow-up was initially set. In particular, notice the trigger phrase “. . .what you see as the next step.” 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. 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…”
“The reason for my follow-up was to see if you had come to decision…”

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.

Got prospects to follow-up with?  Try some of these proven principles and use some of these tips to get a better response.

2012 National Collegiate Recruiting Conference – Speaker ScheduleMonday, April 23rd, 2012

If you’re planning on joining us for the 2012 National Collegiate Recruiting Conference in Boston, June 1-3, 2012, you’re in for a spectacular array of recruiting experts and panelists.

If you don’t have your reservations set, you need to hurry to secure your seat.  Click here for all the information.


Here is the schedule for the 2012 NCRC:



3:30 P.M.  Welcome Reception

4:00 P.M.  Kick-Off Roundtable Discussion - Hosted by Dan Tudor, Tudor Collegiate Strategies

5:00 P.M.  Rick Chandler – “Untie Your Sailboat” This life-coach for young adults, business professionals and students drives how the point that we were all meant to live at maximum capacity.  This is a message you’ll want to give to your team once you return to your campus, and take Rick’s message to heart to make sure 2012-2013 is everything it can be for you as a college coach.



6:00 P.M.  Paul Biancardi, ESPN Recruiting Analyst Our featured guest on Friday night is Paul Biancardi, long time college basketball coach and nationally recognized basketball recruiting expert for ESPN.  Paul will talk about his observations about how today’s college coaches recruits, how kids are making their decisions, and what kinds of lessons can be learned from recruiting at the highest level of college sports.  Paul will also have a Q&A session at the end of his discussion.

7:00 P.M.  Dr. Adam Naylor, Boston University / Telos Sports Psychology Coaching – “The Coach’s Reality, The Player’s Reality, and the REAL Reality” Think you know what’s really on your players’ minds?  Not so fast, Coach.  This session will focus on the latest psychological research from one of the premier experts in the field.  Dr. Naylor has over a decade of experience coaching athletes and coaches on the mental game of sport.  His clients include US Open competitors, NCAA champions, Olympians, Stanley Cup champions, and UFC martial artists. He is also aclinical assistant professor at Boston University, and lectures and publishes both nationally and internationally.

8:00 P.M.   John Brubaker, “Why the Successful Succeed” Longtime college lacrosse coach John Brubaker has taken his expertise in forming great college teams to the business world, and is one of the rising national stars in business performance coaching.  John will end our evening with a straight-forward, inspiring speech for every recruiter who is wanting to be successful in their coaching and recruiting career.



8:00 A.M.   Dr. Thom Park, “Recruiting: Then and Now” Dr. Thom Park’s coaching and recruiting career spans several decades. which included a stint as one of the most successful Division I football recruiters in the history of the sport, as well as a Division I athletic director.  He has a fascinating perspective as a recruiter, and is one of the most knowledgeable experts on the topic and the history of the art of recruiting.  This is an individual every college coach should have the opportunity to meet in their coaching career!



9:00 A.M.   Charlie Adams, “Parents, the Recruiting Process, and Finding the Right Fit” Charlie is the parent of a college athlete, and a nationally recognized speaker who helps lead athletes through the recruiting process.  As the author of an upcoming book on the role of parents in the recruiting process, Charlie’s insights will be invaluable to college recruiters who want to address the needs of parents in 2012-2013.


10:00 A.M.   Rick Chandler, “The College Coaches’ Most Overlooked Recruiting Tool” Want a strategy to present seven key ideas to the parents of your recruits that will resonate with them and set you apart from your competition?  Rick Chandler will give you the details on his approach to connecting with parents and prospects.


11:00 A.M.   Dan Tudor – “The 7 Deadly Recruiting Sins (and How to Avoid Them)” There are seven big mistakes that coaches tend to make as they get ready to recruit a new class.  Nationally recognized recruiting expert Dan Tudor will take you through the list, and gives you ideas on how to adjust your approach heading into 2012-2013.


12:oo Noon   Lunch – Presented by NCSA Athletic Recruiting Enjoy a wonderful lunch, courtesy of National Collegiate Recruiting Association.  A focus group research discussion will be a part of this 90 minute break, which will be followed by a 30 minute break.

2:00 P.M.   Sean Devlin, Front Rush One of the NCRC’s most popular speakers, Sean Devlin – the technical genius behind Front Rush – will present the latest technilogical changes that college coaches will face in 2012-2013, and give strategies for out-performing your competition in the coming year.


3:00  P.M.   Dr. Thom Park, “Why Coaches Need Contracts” Dr. Park returns for an important session for every coach, young and old.  As an advisor to college athletic directors and departments – and as a former athletic director himself – he’ll explain why every coach should look for opportunities to build their coaching careers through contracts.  This is advice every coach needs to know as they build their college coaching career.

4:00 P.M.  Adam Martel, “D1 Recruiting on a D3 Budget” Back by popular demand, Coach Adam Martel is back to present his session on how coaches at a small college can out-recruit their large college counterparts.  Coach Martel, a former D1 volleyball coach, is now the head coach at a D3 school.  Can you really recruit at a high level at a small school?  Coach Martel says “yes!”, and will share his inspirational how-to story to coaches who want to follow his model.



5:00 P.M.   John Brubaker, “Finding Work/Life Balance in College Coaching” We end day one with a powerful message from Coach John Brubaker, who challenges coaches to find a balance between the work they need to do as a coach, and the role they need to play as a vital part of their family.  It’s one of the toughest challenges a college coach faces in the 24/7 world of college coaching and recruiting.


8:00 A.M.   Mandy Green, “Organizing Your Coach and Recruiting Life” Mandy Green is a Division I college soccer coach and a frequent contributor to College Recruiting Weekly.  She is also the author of a new college coach organizational guide, as well as a daily calendar for college recruiters.  Coach Green will present the outline for how coaches can become ultra-organized, and how she uses the system to get incredible recruiting results – with time left over to be a wife and new mom!


9:00 A.M.  Matt Boyles, Recruiting Researcher  – Matt has produced a cutting-edge mathematical system for determining how many recruits you need to target in a particular class based on the number of athletes that end up staying on your squad.  The implications can be huge; college coaches are constantly trying to figure out how many prospects is the “right” number to target and devote time and resources to.  Now, there may just be a mathematical equation to help you determine that magic number.

10:00 A.M.   Roundtable Discussion: Part One Lead by the conference host Dan Tudor, this will be a wide ranging discussion of recruiting issues raised at the conference, with ideas on solutions being shared by workshop leaders and your fellow coaches.  This is one of the highlights of every conference!

11:00 A.M.   Roundtable Discussion:  Part Two We put plans on paper and help our attendees come up with a game plan for making the 2012-2013 recruiting class their best ever, using the information they attained at the conference as their guide.  A fantastic way to end the 2012 NCRC!

12:00 Noon   END OF CONFERENCE         Not registered to attend yet?  Click here so you don’t miss it!

5 Ways to Make Your Recruiting Surplus ScarceMonday, April 16th, 2012

Sounds contradictory, right?

How do you have a “scarce” surplus?

Marketing guru and best selling author Seth Godin outlines a great example that many of us who are old enough to remember rotary dial telephones and having to get up to turn the knob on the television when we wanted to change the channel:

When I was a kid at summer camp, a letter was as precious as gold (or perhaps candy). If you got five letters in a week, you were rich. Most of the time, we stood by the mailroom, plaintively waiting to see if there was some sort of message from the outside world–only to walk away disappointed.

Back home, missing a TV show was out of the question. If you didn’t see this episode of Mannix or Batman, it was likely you’d never get a chance, ever again.

Information, entertainment and communication was scarce way back when I was a kid walking in the snow uphill both ways to school everyday.  It was scarce.  And, therefore, quite valuable.

Today, scarcity has been replaced by surplus.  Godin observes:

A new generation, one that grew up with a data surplus, is coming along. To this generation, it’s no big deal to miss a tweet or ten, to delete a blog from your reader or to not return a text or even a voice mail. The new standard for a vacation email is, “When I get back, I’m going to delete all the email in my box, so if it’s important, please re-send it next week.”

This is what always happens when something goes from scarce to surplus. First we bathe in it, then we waste it.

So the trick, then, is to turn the tables on this generation.  Most coaches who skip past this article, or who are convinced that just overwhelming a recruit with “more” is the key to earning the relationship, are going to add to the surplus of information that a recruit is subjected to…information that routinely sounds the same as the other coaches’ communication, with the same sales message that this generation has long since learned to ignore.

“Surplus”, by the way, doesn’t necessarily refer to the number of emails or letters that you send.  True, you can go overboard and completely bury a prospect in so much messaging that he or she will simply choose to ignore it.  But I am also speaking of the type of messaging that is in surplus today…long, information-heavy letters and emails that jumps too quickly to selling a program instead of building a relationship.  That’s the kind of surplus no coach should aim to accumulate.

What is scarce in the world of recruiting messaging?  Here are five of the ten most common opportunity areas, in no particular order of importance, that we’ve identified for our clients heading into this next recruiting cycle:

  1. It’s rare to find a coach who makes a claim about their program, and then backs it up with facts. Most coaches have the “facts” part down cold, without a doubt.  What we find missing is coaches that will make a bold claim, and then back up that headline with interesting facts that they can personalize to the recruit.
  2. It’s rare to find a coach that will connect the dots in a line of reasoning and give their prospects an answer to their primary question, “What’s In It for Me?” For some of you who have had us walk you through this aspect of your recruit’s needs during the recruiting process, you know that this question should be front and center in your mind as you communicate with your prospect.  As you plan your recruiting strategy for the class that you are currently messaging, here’s the big question: Do you clearly tell them what’s in it for them personally at your school if they choose to compete for you?  If the answer is anything but a resounding “yes!” then go back and re-work the wording in your recruiting letters and emails.
  3. It’s rare to find a coach who uses Facebook and Twitter for anything more than just another place to post results and news releases. The greatest revolution in communication – social media websites – have been turned into another avenue to post statistics and news.  And, your recruits don’t like it.  Most of us use social media to interact and deepen relationships with those that are close to us, so are you surprised when you don’t get a lot of traction on your team’s Facebook site from the prospects you’re wanting to engage?  You shouldn’t be.  They aren’t there to read results, they are there to interact with you and get a behind the scenes look at what your program is really like.  Instead of posting your next set of results, hand a Flip cam to some of your team and tell them to do a two food review of the fast food place you’re eating at on the road after the game.  I promise you’ll get more interaction from that sloppy, unedited video of your recruit’s future teammates than you will be telling them which of your graduating Seniors just made second team all-conference.
  4. It’s rare for a coach to explain why a prospect should pay their own way and come for an unofficial visit to campus. Our research is showing that most prospects will make an investment in time and money to a campus that isn’t their dream school only if there is a clear and personalized reason that they should do it.  Start off your invitation with the words, “I really want you to come here on an unofficial visit because I want to…” and then tell them what you have in store for them: Meet the team to figure out if you like them, let you talk to your business school Dean one-on-one, or sit down face to face with the recruit and their parents to walk them through the offer you want to make them.  They need a reason to come, Coach.  Gone are the days (for the most part) when families awash in disposable cash from their third home equity line of credit would jet across the country to see if a particular campus was to their liking; today, you need to give them a tangible reason with a pretty solid potential pay-off.  That’s very, very rare these days.
  5. Ask for the sale. (You knew that was coming, didn’t you?)  More and more coaches are amazed at how this simple idea gets results, but the vast majority still balk at the idea of making a strong plea like this earlier than they are used to doing.  Here’s a compromise: Ask for a “soft commitment” from your prospect that will tell you whether or not the time might be right to ask them to come play for you.  Click here for an outline of the idea.

I firmly believe that we are entering an age when recruiting messaging will be harder and harder to break through all of the noise that bombards today’s teenage athlete, both from other coaches as well as mass media advertising.  If you are a coach who is settling for being a part of the surplus, your challenges will continue to grow as the years go by.

The alternative?  Become a program who’s message is impossible to ignore.  To achieve that means taking some risks, sitting down and mapping-out a better plan, and quite possibly taking your letters and emails currently being used and starting completely over.

It’s more work, but being “scarce” will have it’s rewards.  Trust me.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a magical place that crammed all of the very best recruiting ideas into your head in one fast-paced weekend?  A place where you got to listen to other coaches, athletic directors, marketing experts, organizational pros and Dan?  That recruiting nirvana exists: The National Collegiate Recruiting Conference!  It’s coming up soon and you can find out more – and register to reserve your seat – by clicking here.  Don’t miss it!

Imagining the Recruiting Possibilities with Google GlassMonday, April 9th, 2012

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

Last week, Google announced their “Glass” project which is their peak into the future of mobile computing.

We here at Front Rush see it as a peek into recruiting technology for you, Coach. The Google Glass project look like everyday glasses that the user will wear and be able to perform all kinds of cool tasks. The example video showed the user looking outside (with the glasses on) and seeing from within the glasses the weather conditions for the day. They then walked into a book store and the glasses showed them the layout so they could find the book they were looking for. As they were shopping, they were alerted that one of their friends was 400 ft away and the two met up for a coffee. The user then contacts another friend and video chats directly from within the glasses. If you haven’t seen the video, it can be found here.

So what does this mean for recruiting?

Well, the video shown was just a demo of what potentially could happen, so lets take a minute and come up with some ideas from the same perspective.

  • When you are on the field/court/etc., you would no longer need your iPhone, your Android, your iPad, your Kindle Fire, or anything else along those lines. Instead, it would be entirely automated. While watching a player run down the court/field/etc, their statistics/accolades/parent information/high school information and whatever else you are storing on them would come up through your glasses.
  • You would be watching a player on the field and at the same time watching a video they have on NCSA, beRecruited, or other recruiting service.
  • You would compose an email directly from the field without taking your hands out of your pockets.
  • You would take full action yet steady video just by pointing your eyes in their direction. This video would be shared directly with other members on staff instantly and all that you need is a cellular signal.
  • Imagine, you show up to an event to see a specific player and as it happens another player catches your eye. You would no longer have to convince other members on staff about this great ‘gem’ you found, because they would see exactly what you see from wherever they are.
  • Imagine, walking around campus with the glasses on and giving a full tour to prospective athletes who are hundreds of miles away.
  • Imagine the possibilities with your current team: You would wear the glasses during practice and afterword point out specifics to your players and they would better understand because they would see exactly what you saw. Or, players would wear the glasses and you would see the plays develop from their perspective. The analysis you would do would be uncanny.
  • Imagine the alumni and booster tasks you could accomplish. Imagine key alumni being able to watch the game from the coaches perspective! Wow!

If these things come to fruition, the NCAA will have to pay close attention because this technology will be hot and it will push the limits of the rules of interaction between college coaches and prospects. So as of now, this is only a Google project that they are just looking for ideas. But if it were to materialize, it would sure be fun for recruiting!

These kinds of insights are what make Front Rush the national leader in recruiting management systems.  Seriously, if you’re not a Front Rush user, you’re starting the recruiting game two steps behind, Coach!  Don’t start next season before you arm yourself and your program with the easiest to use, best reviewed web-based database management system in college athletics.  Click here for all the info!


Struggling Prospects, and What You Should Do to Help Them (and Your Recruiting)Monday, April 9th, 2012

As coaches, you often search for the best stuff to talk about with your prospects.

What’s going right in their lives, what they’re excited about, what they did for fun last weekend.

Generally, coaches search out the line of conversation that will make the prospect smile, laugh and feel comfortable talking.  And most of the time, with most your recruits, that’s the right approach.

But there’s another possible conversation that may win their allegiance in a faster, more effective, more meaningful way.  And we discovered it by accident!  Here’s the story:

In review focus group research we’ve gathered over the past two years working with coaches who have us help them develop their recruiting campaigns and storylines, we noticed something curious that we had previously glazed over.  Occasionally, but consistently, prospects would reveal that there was a moment in the recruiting process where the coach that they ended up committing to would stumble upon something the prospect was struggling with – family issues, a tough class at school, a painful relationship break-up – and offer some deep, heartfelt sympathy.  In the prospect’s eyes, for both males and females, they achieved a powerful connection with these coaches that “connected” with them and showed them that they cared for them over and above what they could bring to their college sports program.

Three stories stood out as we started uncovering these previously hidden strategic gems, told to you below as direct quotes from the recruits themselves:

  • “When Coach ____ called me right after my dad left the house, I really didn’t want to talk to her.  Two minutes into the call I was just a wreck and was balling and basically sounding like an idiot. It was really embarassing.  But she was so kind, and spent a lot of the call just trying to talk me through it.  She didn’t try to sell me on her program, she just was a friend.  The next day I knew that was the coach I wanted to spend the next four years playing for.”
  • “I struggled with math my Senior year and I was afraid it was going to ruin my chances for earning a football scholarship. I wanted to pick a place where it wasn’t just all about football day in and day out but still play D1, and the way the coach tried to help me feel better about what I was going through with academics in high school really made me feel like he was the guy who was going to watch out for me and make sure I was successful when I played ball in college.  The way he handled that told me a lot about who he was as a person which is why I chose to play here.”
  • “Most coaches would just email me or call and it was about sports 24/7.  I started feeling like I was just a piece of meat almost.  I liked the way that Coach _____ made it more that just about the sports side of college.  I felt like that’s who I wanted to be around.  The way he tried to get to know me and help me through some stuff I was dealing with at home was awesome which is the main reason I came here.”

You see the common thread through those comments, right?  The coaches who came alongside the prospects and helped them through a difficult situation, and offered heartfelt encouragement, ended up making an impact and most of the time, earned the commitment of the recruit.

In other words, simply by taking a few minutes to comfort a male or female athlete you are recruiting, you set yourself apart from other coaches.

It works the same outside of sports as well.  In the Malcolm Gladwell book “Tipping Point”, it was revealed that doctors who spent an extra three minutes chatting with patients and getting to know them personally had dramatically lower rates of medical malpractice suits filed against them.  The reason mirrors the principle I’ve outlined here today:  Showing concern and investing even a few minutes of your time with your prospect can help in creating a much deeper, much more meaningful bond with that recruit.  Male or female, it works the same.

The most common areas that athletes felt were important were stressful situations with grades, a family crisis, boyfriend or girlfriend problems, or other issues specific to his or her family.

In one respect, it’s a bit odd to be recommending a “strategy” revolving around just being a good person.  I’m hoping that any coach would take time to do what we’d all probably agree is “the right thing”.  However, analyzing this from a strictly psychological and relationship point of view, cementing your relationship around you offering encouragement to your prospect who is going through a difficult, stressful situation is the smart thing – and the right thing – to do.

As you plan for next season’s recruiting campaign, why not have a team of experts help you behind the scenes?  Work with Dan and his team one-on-one and have them put together a strategy and a system that’s proven to get results.  You can go to www.dantudor.com for all the details, or email Dan directly with your questions at dan@dantudor.com.

Creating Checklists to Save Time in Your Coaching OfficeMonday, April 2nd, 2012

by Mandy Green, University of South Dakota

There are a lot of tasks that we do as coaches every day, week and year in the office, with our teams, staff, and with recruiting.  If you want to save time, and want to do it right every time, use a checklist.

For example, setting up a successful campus visit potentially can take a lot of time because there are a lot of details involved.

For those that read Dan’s articles, you know that you need to plan every possible area of your visit and your interaction with your recruits because they are watching your every move, and making judgment calls along the way as to whether or not to buy what you’re selling. On-campus visits are a pretty big deal, are a lot of work to set up, and can make or break your recruiting efforts.

An easy way to reduce the time it takes to schedule the visit and make sure that everything gets taken care of is to invest a few hours creating a streamlined procedure and have everything documented on an on-campus visit checklist.

The reason why checklists are good is simple: it’s easy for us to forget things. When you do something that involves multiple steps, it’s likely that you would forget one or two of them. Using checklists ensures that you won’t forget anything.

Besides helping you do your tasks correctly every time, here are some other benefits of using a checklist:

  • Creating a checklist will allow you to take the thinking out of repetitive tasks. Since you don’t have to remember all the steps you need to take, you can use your brain power for something else.
  • You can save time. When you have to think, remember, weigh your options, and agonize over every small task, it takes a lot of time, not to
    mention mental energy.  But when you make decisions in advance, you free up time to focus on other important activities that need to get done.
  • You can delegate more easily. If your recruiting coordinator is out recruiting, is ill, takes another job, or whatever, you don’t have to rush around trying to figure out what to do because every step for setting up a perfect on-campus visit is already outlined and recorded down on your on-campus
    visit checklist.

Start by writing down the steps you take when planning a visit from the start to the end of the visit. What tasks need to be done?  Who is responsible for doing each task?  When do tasks need to be done by?  What is the phone number and email of the people you would want the recruits to meet with?  What paperwork do you need completed by the recruits?  What compliance paperwork needs to be done?  I could go on and on but you get the idea.

Taking the time to map out each step in the process and document all of the important details will take a lot of work the first time you do it.  But because these will be steps you need to take every time you have an on-campus visit, by following a checklist you will save a TON of time in the long run and no important details will be forgotten.

Off the top of my head, here are four other things that you might want to create a checklist for:

  • Running a successful practice
  • Game-day routines
  • Travel procedures
  • Camp procedures

I urge you to evaluate all tasks that you do on a repetitive, routine basis to see if you can dream up ways to do them faster and better.  Take the time to create a checklist for all of these repetitive tasks and record all of the details involved.  You will be amazed at how much time and mental energy you will save when you are working off a checklist instead of trying to accomplish a task off of memory.

Mandy Green is one of the featured speakers at the upcoming National Collegiate Recruiting Conference (register now!) and the author of an upcoming workshop and calendar system for coaches who want to become more organized and efficient as recruiters and professionals.  She is a regular expert contributor for Tudor Collegiate Strategies and College Recruiting Weekly.