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How to Stay Focused and Be 50% More Productive ImmediatelyMonday, December 24th, 2012

by Mandy Green

Head Soccer Coach, University of South Dakota and Time Management Expert

Coach you probably can relate to this scene I’m about to paint:

Have you ever started an email which should take you five minutes to write, then your assistant comes in and talks for five minutes.  Then your email notification ringer goes off so you quickly check your email wasting another 5-10 minutes.  Then just as you are getting back to the email you were writing, your phone rings.  Before you know it, an hour has gone by and your quick email that was going to take you five minutes is still not written.

Every coach likes to think they’re great at multi-tasking, and some of them actually are. But there’s a limit to how many things you can do at once without taking away from the quality of your work, plus it almost always greatly increases the time it takes to finish each project.

Experts estimate that the tendency to start and stop a task, to pick it up, put it down and come back to it can increase the time necessary to complete the task by as much as 500%. That means that a task that should take 10 minutes to complete now takes almost an hour.

Each time you leave one task and go to another, you have to mentally shift gears: You have to familiarize yourself with where you were when you stopped that task and what you still have to do. You then have to develop momentum and get into a productive work rhythm… but before you do that, you’ll probably be tempted to switch to yet another task, starting the process over again.

That’s why it is very important to absorb yourself with one thing at a time. Give that task your full focus and attention and complete it before moving on to the next thing. By concentrating single-mindedly on your most important task, you can reduce the time required to complete it by 50% or more. Do your most important task first. Do it until it’s completed. Then, and only then, move on to the next most important task.

One thing I have found extremely helpful in staying focused is to have a notebook nearby so I can write down any thoughts of other tasks that I remember that I need to do that may come into my head.  So if I am writing an email and I remember that I need to call a coach, I write it down instead of immediately making the call.  Writing it down allows me to get the thought out of my head and then I can immediately get back to staying focused on finishing my email, which results in the email getting done a lot quicker.  When the email is finished, I will make the call.

This technique is especially useful if I am searching for something on the internet.  I would start searching for an article or looking into getting a flight and I found I used to always get distracted and start clicking other links.   Before I knew it, I had wasted an hour going from website to website and was no-where close to finding what I got on the internet to begin with.  So now, instead of clicking on every link that interests me I write the link down and I stay focused on accomplishing what I was working on.  I try to do all of my web’s surfing at the end of the day when all of my other important priorities have been finished and only allow myself 30 minutes to do it.

Staying focused on one task at a time will be hard at first. But over time, just like with any other skill, it will become easier, and you’ll get things done quicker and quicker. Give the tasks you work on the attention they deserve and you will find that the quality of your work will go up, and the time spent doing each task will go down, therefore increasing your productivity and efficiency in the office.

If you are interested in more time saving ideas or techniques, check out the Green Time Management System for College Coaches at www.mandygreencps.com. Or send an email to mandy@mandygreencps.com.  Let’s make 2013 the most productive year ever!

 

How to Get Your Prospect to Stop Believing in SantaSaturday, December 22nd, 2012

It’s actually not as harsh as it sounds.

In fact, it’s something that is essential if you’re the coach that is going to direct them most effectively as they maneuver through the often confusing recruiting process.

A little clarification before we get to far into this idea:

What I’m talking about here is a line of separation between believing in Santa, and not believing in Santa.  When our kids are young, believing in Santa is fun.  And they buy into it because their perspective on what is real and what isn’t is a little wishy-washy.  One winter, I earned “Father of the Year” points by sneaking out of our bedroom, scaled a ladder to our roof, and stomped around bellowing “Ho, Ho, Ho!” so that our subsequently terrified kids would believe in Santa (I was even able to make it back to bed before they came in to wake me up telling me that they had just heard Santa).  Getting them to buy-in to Santa was easy.

Fast forward to our adult years.  We know Santa isn’t real (sorry if you’re reading this and you’re a 7-year old kid whose mom or dad who is a college coach…there really is a Santa Claus, I’m just trying to trick your mommy or daddy, o.k.?  Don’t tell them).  Not only do we not believe in Santa, but it’s hard to remember when we did, and why.

There’s a mental chasm that has formed between what we used to believe and what we know as reality now.

And that’s where most coaches begin to make a fatal flaw as it relates to recruiting…

  • Are you wondering why your B-caliber prospect is insulted when you don’t offer him a full scholarship, when you know full well that he isn’t going to get any full ride offers from coaches?  It’s because he (and his parents) believe in Santa, and you don’t.
  • Are you confused when your prospect gets bored with you six months into the recruiting process and no longer replies to your occasional emails or mediocre form letters?  It’s because she (and her parents) believe in Santa, and you don’t.
  • Are you incredulous when your top tier prospect loves you, your campus and your great offer but is calling you to tell you that the other coach just offered $1,000 more at the last minute so he is going to take their offer?  It’s because he (and his parents, plus his club coach) believe in Santa, and you don’t.

When I talk about “believing in Santa”, I’m describing the often unrealistic expectations that your prospects have as they move through recruiting.  So much so, in fact, that they will let those emotions and beliefs rule their decision making process.  They’re “believing in Santa”…something that looks and feels real, but is actually a fantasy.

As a high level college recruiter, one of your core responsibilities is to explain reality to your prospect – and those individuals helping him or her – that it’s time to stop believing in “Santa”.  Your other core responsibility is to tell them how.  Most coaches fail on both counts.  However, the coach that is able to achieve those two objectives during their recruitment of a student-athlete is going to have a rich, successful career as a college coach.

If that’s your goal,  here are a few of the successful ways we’ve helped college coaches lead their prospects back to reality:

  • Influence their parents and/or coaches. That means you’re going to have to come up with a separate recruiting messages aimed specifically for them that will give them logical justification to point the prospect to you and your program.  Sometimes, it’s hard for a prospect to trust and believe in what you say (especially if you are inconsistent in your messaging with them).  They’ll trust and believe those already close to them far more quickly.
  • Explain the “why” behind your talking point. Whether you are trying to justify why they should choose your program that is far away from home, or explaining a partial scholarship offer, going into detail about why that makes sense is essential.  Most coaches skip over that part of the conversation, thinking that today’s prospect might be insulted or confused by a lot of details.  Our research shows the exact opposite to be true.  Going into detail will often be the reason they connect the dots, see your logic, and (possibly) change their view of what the “right” decision is.  If you leave out the details, it’s unlikely that will be the case.  That doesn’t mean you’ll never get prospect to commit; rather, it means that your results will be far more sporadic.
  • Talk about a deadline far in advance. We’ve become fans of fair, long-standing, established deadlines for a prospect to make a decision, primarily because it works.  Telling your prospect when you’ll be needing their decision – and then sticking to that deadline – tends to cut out the sugarplums dancing in their heads, and focuses them on the task at hand: Seriously considering your offer, and making a final decision.  The coach that fails to set a deadline, or mentions a date and then gives-in when a prospect tells him that she needs more time, is more likely to see that recruit take an unrealistic approach towards the decision making process.
  • Tell them that maybe it’s just not the right fit, and that they should pursue other opportunities. In other words, give them a little taste of “loss”.  Let them know that you’re prepared to move on.  Give them the feeling that life will go on – and that your team will actually suit-up next season – even if they aren’t there with you.  Talk about walking away.  When you do, you’ll often see the prospect (and their parents/agents) respond with verbiage that tells you “whoa, wait a minute…we’re still interested!”  It’s an effective verbal technique when used properly, and at the right time in the process.

The most important lesson in all this is for you, Coach:

It’s your responsibility to lead your prospect from fantasy to reality, and to do it with sensitivity.  You shouldn’t be surprised that your prospect holds the world view that they do…many of them have been told that they’re the second coming of (insert name of your sport’s legend here) by their parents and coaches, and they have been slaving away at year-around training and private coaching with the expectation that it would pay-off with a full Division I scholarship within easy driving distance from home.

Your job is to get them to stop believing in Santa, while understanding why they still believe.

Easy?  No.  But if you’re able to perfect this important part of the recruiting process, you’re going to be a solid, successful recruiting who can close the recruits they want down the stretch.

Not a bad Christmas present, right?

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, coach!  Want to give yourself the recruiting gift that keeps on giving?  Make sure you attend our annual national conference designed for coaches and recruiters, the National Collegiate Recruiting Conference!  Spend an early Summer weekend with fellow coaches from around the country and a line-up of amazing speakers and experts.  CLICK HERE for all the details!

 

Evaluating the Impact of Your Recruiting StrategyTuesday, December 18th, 2012

 

At some point each year, coaching staffs sit down and evaluate the effectiveness of their recruiting campaigns that they are either in the midst of, or have just completed.

At the core of the questions most staffs ending up asking themselves is this: “How can our recruiting campaigns be more effective?”

The Fortune 500 business world asks the very same question when evaluating the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, and gauging what they should do next to grow their respective businesses.

One of the ways to evaluate the way you and your college coaching staff manage the process of recruiting a class of prospects – and the overall “impact” of your message and approach to your prospects – is to use the seven point evaluation method in the graphic to the left, a process outlined by marketing expert Seth Godin.  In short, he makes the claim that your “project” (i.e., your recruiting campaign) is not going to be at full effectiveness unless each of these seven points intersect.

So, Coach…are you feeling like your recruiting campaign isn’t quite hitting on all cylinders?  Let me take you through these same seven points that we look for when we’re developing a recruiting strategy for our clients.  See if any of these points raise a red flag for your program’s recruiting process:

Strategy: Is your strategy outlined in a way that is achievable, and (more importantly) measurable.  By “measurable”, I mean it should be able to tell you whether or not you are on track to succeed and meet your recruiting goals.  A strategy is more than a list of recruits and a schedule of what games you and your staff are going to go scout.  It should be a series of planned steps that allows you (and not your athlete or their parents) to control the recruiting process from start to finish.  Can you outline your program’s specific recruiting strategy, and measure the results you are getting?

Persistence: As I see it, this is a two-fold point.  First, I believe it means that a recruiting staff doesn’t give-up, and doesn’t waver in their focus and attention to recruiting.  Secondly, persistence is reflected in your ongoing messaging with recruits.  Far too many staffs are content with a few long-winded letters, weak emails, and randomly planned recruiting visits to secure their recruiting classes.  Persistence (and consistency) are essential for attracting the next level recruits that every coach craves.  Do they commit to your program by accident?  Rarely, Coach.  It takes persistence.  How does your program do when it comes to persistence in recruiting?

Fear: Coaches don’t talk about this one much.  Coaches “afraid” of something?  Ridiculous, right?  Not at all.  Coaches fear changing the way of doing things differently than the way they were recruited as an athlete.  There is a fear of deviating from the “normal” way of doing things, even though most coaches also describe a gnawing feeling that the approach they are taking with this generation of athletes just isn’t getting it done.  Fear can also manifest itself in the way a staff deals with specific recruits: “We can’t set a deadline because what if we lose her?  Not getting her to commit will ruin our recruiting class for this year.”  And so, the coach in that situation – fearful of making a mistake or insulting their recruit – does nothing.  They take the “middle road” (where things get run over, unfortunately) and pray that they get lucky and land the recruit they need.  Fear?  We see it in a lot of staffs.  Does it manifest itself in your recruiting efforts?

Tactics: This is feet-on-the-street, get-it-done stuff.  A prospect throws a coach an objection about the lack of diversity on their campus, and the coach is ready with an answer that not only deflects the question, but turns the answer into a selling point as to why the make-up of their campus’ student body is exactly what that recruit needs to be successful in life.  Tactics are not inherited, they are learned.  They take practice, and are never something that are perfected in the heat of battle.  Are “tactics” something that you and your staff discuss on a regular basis?  Moreover, are they something that are talked about in relation to specific top level athletes that are on your list?  Those are important questions.  Persistence without smart tactics is just a huge waste of time.

Execution: Similar to tactics, but this is where planning and movement end, and results begin.  Execution is the end result of a plan.  Planning an approach to calling your list of prospects and coming up with some questions you want to ask is a good start.  That’s what I would define as your tactical approach to making those calls.  “Execution” is the act of actually making the phone call and achieving the results you want as a byproduct of how you made those recruiting phone calls.  Like tactics, expert execution is not inherited magically once you put on your school’s polo shirt and get your business cards printed.  It’s an art form that is perfected over time, with lots of practice and evaluation along the way.  Execution is the end result of all of your philosophies and training, and it’s the aspect of your recruiting that can most accurately be measured and evaluated on an ongoing basis.  So, on a scale of 1 to 10, what do you rate your recruiting execution?

Reputation: A lot of coaches will use this aspect of their recruiting strategy as a crutch, and will point to it as the reason why they can’t possibly recruit those next level athletes they need to be successful:

  • “Our facilities (reputation) are horrible…who would want to play here?”
  • “We haven’t won here in years (reputation)…how am I going to overcome that?”
  • “All of our competition always slams us on our location (reputation)…it’s a big reason we can’t the really good athletes to come here.”

There are things that are out of your control like your facility, your location, and the program you inherited when you became the coach.  You own those things, Coach.  However, you also own the ability to define (or re-define) your reputation.  Most of the time, your prospects and their parents are simply looking for some definition about how to think about your program.  So, how well are you managing that power that you have, Coach?  Are you taking the initiative in radically defining what your program’s vision is, and how you are making sure that vision becomes a reality?  Or, if you are the coach of a program that has a long history of success, how well are you defining yourself for your prospects?  Your reputation is everything.  Use it, Coach (and if it’s not something you’d brag about at this point, start re-telling your recruiting story in a way that makes it something you would be excited to tell)

Desire: Do you really want to recruit?  Do you really want to be the best possible recruiter you can be?  Do you really want to beat your competition when it comes to recruiting?  I hope the answer is yes.  Desire comes down to an attitude that accepts nothing less than excellence.  Not only on the court, or on the field, or in the pool, but on the recruiting trail.  Do you desire to make sure your recruiting strategy more amazing than everyone else’s?  That’s the standard you need to meet…amazing.  Did I just describe you?  (If I didn’t, that should make you think).

All of these factors are vital when it comes to achieving a successful recruiting strategy.  It’s not magic, it’s planning.

What you do next is up to you.

Need help in developing your recruiting strategy – as well as flawless execution – as you head into this next recruiting year?  Our staff of experts have proven, research-based strategies that can be applied to any program’s individual needs.  We’d love to talk to you about how we work with some of your competitors, and what we’re doing to improve their recruiting results year in and year out.  We’ll be happy to send you a complete overview of what we do, and how we do it…just email Dan Tudor at dan@dantudor.com.  Or, visit www.dantudor.com for all the details.

Winning Streaks: Which Team Is The Best In History?Monday, December 17th, 2012

by Ellen Sawin, NCSA College Relations

“Best” can be defined in many ways. But if you’re judging by records, wins, and titles, there’s a handful of teams that standout from the rest of the pack.

Most people know that the UCLA men’s basketball  team was successful thanks to an impressive team coached by John Wooden. They won 88 straight games from 1971-1974. That record qualifies them to be considered among the “best” collegiate teams in history.

Then you have to consider UNC’s women’s soccer team, who won 92 games in a row from 1990-94. Or what about the Penn State volleyball team that won 109 straight matches from 2007-2010, under Coach Russ Rose?

These teams have unparalleled winning percentages, but they aren’t the only teams with impressive undefeated streaks. From 1953-57 Oklahoma Football won 47 straight games, and then from 2008-2011 UConn women’s basketball won 90 in a row. Yet none of these records match that of the Yale Swim team, who won 201 straight meets from 1940-1961. And more recently, Trinity Squash, who won 252 matches since 1998 until they lost to Yale this past January. So what record is the most impressive? And does that record make them the “best” team in history?…

This is a debate that many people have an opinion on. One idea is that the best team is determined by the number of seasons they went undefeated, the number of national titles, or the amount of games they won in a row. There are also different things people take into consideration. For instance, how many teams compete in that sport, what division level does that team compete in, and how many teams did they upset along the way?

No matter what the answer is to any of these questions, each of these teams is impressive in their own way and to their fans. If you ask a volleyball player about winning streaks, they’ll brag about Penn State for days, after all they not only won 109 matches in a row, but they went 37 matches without even losing a set (volleyball plays best out 5). Ask most guys and they’ll boast that no team will ever be better than Wooden’s Bruins. And what about the fact that Trinity squash has 13 national titles and remains undefeated. This accomplishment is unparalleled.

So back to the original question: which team is the “best” in history? As much as this goes against my inner athlete, I have to declare it a tie (though deep down I have to vote for my sport and go with Penn State volleyball. (You can voice your opinion in our (facebook group). Each of these teams has in turn, increased press coverage, followers, and notoriety. This is something many of these sports would not have had without their respective winning streaks.  And as athletes, coaches, and fans of collegiate sports in general, we can’t help but respect all of the athletes and coaches that were a part of any one of these teams. And now we’re left to wonder, what team will be the next to join these ranks? What other team will be argued as possibly the best collegiate team in history?

 

 

Sean’s Favorite Things: Fabulous and Useful Tech Gifts For ChristmasMonday, December 10th, 2012

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

 

So I know this guy – he’s a real character. He makes a living teaching people how to “get rich”…seriously. This weekend there were pictures of him all over Facebook and the Lamborghini he bought himself for Hanukkah. It’s outrageous and ridiculous really but, it fits the image he is trying to get across.  Since it is the holidays I was thinking of making a list of the best technology gifts for you to get yourself…even if it is not a Lamborghini.

There are plenty of great technology gifts that can be extremely useful to you as a coach or recruiter. So, add some of these items to your own list for Santa or shop for yourself while you have the Christmas spirit and are buying gifts for others.

 

Apple MacBook Air ($1199)

It’s an ultra thin, portable, high performance, awesome laptop. Our head of training has one and it’s the only device left that people still take a double take when you are at the coffee shop.

http://www.apple.com/macbookair/

 

Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones ($299.95)

When you are on the plane and need to tune out the background noise so you can concentrate and get in the zone. There literally is nothing better on the market. The new version even comes in blue.

http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/shop_online/headphones/noise_cancelling_headphones/quietcomfort_15/index.jsp

 

Google Chrome (FREE)

Its time to move away from Internet Explorer. I can’t stress this enough. Unless you are on Windows 8, the most recent version of the browser that you are using is outdated. Not using the latest web technologies put you at a disadvantage.

https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/

 

iPad mini ($329)

It’s the latest greatest iPad. The big negative is that it does not have a retina display, but everything else about it is amazing. Feels great to carry, very portable…it’s essentially thinner then the iPhone 5.

http://www.apple.com/ipad-mini/overview/

 

Getting Things Done Kindle Edition ($12.99)

This is the book that “they” all talk about. It’s THE book on productivity. Seriously, read this, it will kickstart a life (lifestyle really) of making things happen.

http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Productivity-ebook/dp/B000WH7PKY/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

 

Athletic Recruiting Software (prices vary)

Obviously our bias is toward Front Rush but we recommend moving away from Excel/Outlook, Pen/Paper, etc. and looking into a product that is built to help you manage your recruiting. The upside just keeps increasing.

 

Acorn Image Editor for Humans ($49.99 for Mac users)

Do you ever have to do any image manipulation but are scared off by the technical nature of Photoshop? Acorn is like a scaled back Photoshop (but not so scaled back that it lacks key functions) and it’s a bit more friendly than its much more expensive counterpart.

http://flyingmeat.com/acorn/

 

Dell UltraSharp U2311H-23″ Monitor ($249)

If you are using a laptop as your primary computer, it’s time to invest in an external monitor. Once you try two screens, the single screen lifestyle is almost unimaginable.

http://www.google.com/shopping/product/11629069938611818175?tbm=shop&source=mog&gl=us&tab=wf&q=Dell%20U2311H&sa=N&biw=320&bih=416&ei=La83UMb2NcLa0QHPqYFg&ved=0CFoQ8wIwAA#hsec:online

 

Apple TV ($99)

Yes – this is the 3rd Apple item but for $99 bucks it’s amazing. At the very least, it can replace your projector which can be a nightmare to get started. With Apple TV, you can project whatever is on your iPhone, iPad, MacBook directly onto your TV. It streams directly.

http://www.apple.com/appletv/

 

Makerbot 3D Printer ($2199)

So this is really what I want. It’s a printer that sits on your desk and prints in 3D. It’s the next wave of technology. If you get one, please let me know, I would love to see it.

http://www.makerbot.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get A Great Start To Your Day By Using Your Email EffectivelySunday, December 9th, 2012

By Mandy Green, University of South Dakota

I have been getting a lot of emails lately from coaches who are realizing that they waste a lot of time during the course of their day looking at and responding to emails. They are looking for tips to help them organize their day and get their email under control.

The first step should be to set up an email plan or routine for when they first get into the office. I start with the morning routine because I have found that what you decide to do with your email during the first 30 minutes, can make or break how productive you are throughout the entire day.

A lot of time management gurus will tell you that you should not open your email first thing in the morning.  I understand why they advise against it, but I also understand how much coaches rely on email. It is a vital part of contacting recruits, communicating with their staff and team, making plans for camp, and for other administrative purposes.  I truly believe that as long as you are using your email in a productive way, it can be an effective tool that will help you get a lot of work done.

I have tried A LOT of different ways to get off to a good start.  After a lot of trial and error, this is how I am currently using email during the first 30 minutes of arriving in my office. This is also the framework I am using to help other coaches get a better start to their day as well…

Before I look at my inbox, I send off a quick email reaching out to connect or express my gratitude to at least one person.  It could be a coach, a parent, somebody who works at the school, etc.  It really has been amazing to see how sending out this one quick email has helped with my recruiting or with building relationships with other people on campus.

Second, I send a to-do list email to each of my assistants which I started to prepare the night before.  I find that my staff appreciates me sending out just one email of what I want them to do for the day. I send this email first thing rather than sending multiple emails throughout the day or stopping every time something new comes up.  It requires me to be a lot more organized but it gets them started and they don’t have to waste time reading multiple to-do messages from me. They don’t have to deal with me constantly interrupting them, and I don’t have to deal with them coming in looking for things to do…it saves us all a lot of time.

Third, I actually look at my inbox and do one of these four things with my emails: I will forward it, categorize it, respond to it, or I will delete it.

  1. Forward it – I go through my inbox and forward to my assistants any emails that pertain to their responsibilities.  Once I forward it, I delete it to clear out my inbox.
  2. Categorize it -as you may know by now if you have read any of my articles or my Green Time Management For Coaches Workbook, I am big on time blocking.  I block off 30, 60 or 90 minutes of time during the day where I focus on doing nothing but recruiting, administrative duties, or team tasks.  For each email in my inbox, it gets assigned to a category folder and will get worked on during the block of time that I have assigned for it.  I have found that I save an incredible amount of time doing like tasks together instead of randomly jumping around from one item to the next.
  3. Respond to it – I will respond to email if I can give a quick response in under two minutes or spend the time gathering needed information to complete the task.
  4. Delete it.  Self-explanatory.  It is probably junk and I don’t need to waste time reading it.

This process takes me about 30 minutes.  It is amazing how much I can get off my plate by going through emails this way first thing in the morning.  It is at this point that I shut down my email until I am in my assigned block of time.

I have been setting up my days this way for quite a while now and have really loved the results. I have spent the last four years creating a college coach specific Day Planner and a Time Management Workbook to go with it. If you would like me to help you get the same results or want to look at the Planner and Workbook check out my website at www.mandygreencps.com or email me at mandy@mandygreencps.com .

Mandy Green is a frequent contributor to College Recruiting Weekly, and is a Division I head soccer coach. Coaches around the country know her as a premier expert on organization and coaching, and she is the developer of the Green Time Management System College Coaches.

 

 

Anticipation, Anxiety and Your Recruiting ApproachMonday, December 3rd, 2012

Best selling author and marketing guru Seth Godin makes a great point about the way we approach things in life, and it has a lot of application to the job set before you as a college coach in recruiting this next generation of athlete.

“When you work with anticipation”, says Godin, “you will highlight the highs. You’ll double down on the things that will delight and push yourself even harder to be bold and to create your version of art. If this is going to work, might as well build something that’s going to be truly worth building.

“If you work with anxiety, on the other hand, you’ll be covering the possible lost bets, you’ll be insuring against disaster and most of all, building deniability into everything you do. When you work under the cloud of anxiety, the best strategy is to play it safe, because if (when!) it fails, you’ll be blameless.

Maybe you see where I’m going with this, Coach:

  • Way too many coaches selling themselves – and their program – short.
  • Way too many coaches give up too soon on their “next level” recruits.
  • Way too many coaches worry about recruiting instead of approaching it as an incredibly exciting opportunity.

Working through the filter of anxiety, as a lot of coaches do in our experience, stops you in your tracks as a coach and recruiter.  Coaches who play it safe, don’t take a “heck yeah I can get that recruit!” attitude, and generally don’t aggressively pursue a recruiting plan that aims high never, ever make big changes to their program.  Exactly the opposite happens:  Coaches settle, take on a negative outlook on who they can get and what they can achieve through their recruiting efforts, and experience year after year of frustration when it comes to their results.

Now, look at the other approach:  It’s riskier, in the sense that a coach who takes this approach will fail…and fail often.  There’s risk in that, because a coach who doesn’t take a long term, consistent approach to recruit won’t be able to afford to fail; that coach needs success, and needs it in a hurry.  And so they push, stretch the truth, and pressure recruits.

On the other hand, the coach that takes the “risk” – that is, anticipating and enjoying the recruiting process as a central part of their job as a college coach and recruiter, will build a program that is successful for the long haul.  Risk?  Yes.  But the rewards almost always follow.  Look at any coach you consider successful in your sport, and chances are 1) they are a great recruiter, and 2) didn’t approach recruiting with anxiety and a negative attitude on what they could do in building a program they would be proud of.

Which brings it back to you, Coach:

If you’re someone who might be taking the wrong outlook towards your job as a recruiter, and filling your days with negative thoughts and anxiety about the job in front of you, here are three things I’ve seen successful coaches do to turn around your results when it comes to attracting the right kind of prospect to your program:

  1. Understand that you’re going to lose more than you win. One big mistake I see recruiters make over and over again is assuming they will win more recruits than they lose.  That’s not realistic, unless you’re recruiting athletes who aren’t those game-changers you need.  If you’re getting a lot of no’s, at least you know you’re going after the right recruits.  (Don’t change that approach, by the way.  You can adjust your tactics to get better results, so keep aiming high).  That being said…
  2. Be realistic and have a good foundation to build on. If you use letter grades to rate your prospects, I’m talking about getting a healthy number of B+ and B caliber recruits.  Aiming high for the A+ recruits fits right into that positive “anticipation” approach that turns good programs into great ones. But along the way, don’t sacrifice your foundation…it’s a combination of the right recruits that builds a solid program from top to bottom.  Too many coaches either swing for the fences with every recruit, or simply settle for good (but not great) recruits that result in middle-of-the-pack finishes year after year.
  3. Make sure you’re having fun.  That’s what Godin refers to when he talks about “doubling down on the stuff that delights and pushes you.”  If you aren’t enjoying the recruiting part of your job, then figure out why that’s happening and what you need to change it.  The other trait I’ve seen among the great coaches we get to work with is that they figure out what they’re passionate about, and do it as much as they can.  Recruiting is challenging enough…you need to find ways to enjoy it, or your prospects for a successful, long term college coaching career aren’t going to be bright.

Every coach has to find their own answer when it comes to how to enjoy and anticipate the recruiting side of your life, while also eliminating the anxiety that handcuffs you from making real strides.  As you head into this next recruiting year, make sure you take the time to figure out how to make that happen – for they good of your program and your own coaching career.

Need help with formulating a strategy and putting proven ideas to work for you and your program?  An inexpensive option that hundreds of coaches have found helpful is reading our popular recruiting workbooks.  They’re packed with ideas and new ways of approaching the most important part of your coaching career.  Or, for something more in-depth, consider becoming one of our clients.  We work with you one-on-one to create and execute a recruiting plan that will get results.  Click here for the details.

Get More Emails Done In Less Time By Using The Shot ClockMonday, December 3rd, 2012

by Mandy Green, University of South Dakota

If you have ever heard me speak in person or read my Green Time Management Workbook for college coaches, you will always hear me talk about how you should work like you are going on vacation tomorrow.  The reason, you will get a lot more done in a day with this added sense of urgency.

One way to create this urgency is to set time deadlines for getting work done.  In this email, I want to specifically talk about setting time deadlines for doing all of your emails.

A big mistake I see coaches make a lot is that they tend to put together an ambitious plan of emails to send out each day, but with no regard to the time.  Coach, if you just sit down like most coaches do and don’t set a time limit to get your emails done, you will run far over the time you expected to commit to it, and as a result it will destroy your productivity plans and the rest of your workday.

Can you relate?

Timothy Ferriss, in “The 4-Hour Workweek” introduces a concept called Parkinson’s Law.  Parkinson’s Law dictates that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

So for you coach, I am saying that you should set shorter deadlines and you’ll get a heck of a lot more done than you are right now.  For example, if you don’t give yourself a deadline to get your emails done, it is a good possibility that it will take you all day to get them done.  If you give yourself 60 minutes to write an email, Parkinson’s Law says that it will take 60 minutes.  And if you give yourself 45 minutes, magically the email will get done in 45 minutes.

Setting a deadline for how long you allow yourself to do emails and/or for how long you allow yourself to do each email is the secret to getting all of your emails done today coach.  These deadlines you set for yourself will keep you on track.  By incorporating deadlines for everything you do in the office each day, especially with emails, you’ll find yourself getting more done and ending the day with less of the stress associated with hitting quitting time and still having a to-do list that is a mile long.

Add it to your planning today, and reap the benefits tomorrow.

If you have any other questions about time management for college coaches, please take a look at www.mandygreencps.com or email me directly at mandy@mandygreencps.com.

 

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