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Stop! Don’t Do It!Friday, March 28th, 2014

by Mandy Green, Head Women’s Soccer Coach, University of South Dakota 

We all have a tremendous amount to do these days.  Between recruiting, managing and training the team, office stuff, meetings, camps, etc, our to-do lists are getting longer and more out of control.

If you are one of the many coaches out there who is overwhelmed trying to get everything done,I want to help you regain control over your workload by helping you make better choices.  Since we only have so much time to get things done, you need to CHOOSE what gets done and what doesn’t get done. You must consciously choose what you will work on based on how it will affect your program and the results you want to produce and delay or eliminate other less important items from your schedule. You can’t find more time, but you can always change the way you use the time you already have.

Many productivity and time-management experts say the most helpful list you may ever create is one outlining what not to do. “Do-not-to-do” lists are often more effective than to-do lists for upgrading performance in the office.

The reason is simple: what you don’t do determines what you can do.

The idea is to list all the activities you are intentionally going to stop doing for the sake of greater productivity.  This is a list of activities that are time-wasters, your list of people not to talk to because they’re time vampires, your do-not-eat list, your not-to-have-in the office list, etc.

In his best-seller Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t, Jim Collins lauds the value of a “stop-doing” list: “Those who built the good-to-great companies… made as much use of stop-doing lists as to-do lists. They displayed a remarkable discipline to unplug all sorts of extraneous junk.”

I believe that there are 2 ways to figure out what should go on your do-not-do-list.

  1. The first step in deciding what not to do in your life is zeroing in on what you ultimately want to achieve.“If you really get clear about your real goals, visions and values, it will be easier to cut the extraneous things off your lists that aren’t that purposeful for you,” says David Allen, author of Getting Things Done.
  2. The second way to figure out what not-to-do is to time track.  Write down on the left hand side of a piece of paper the day’s times in 15-minute increments. As your day goes along, write down what you’re doing at that time all day long so you can identify things that you may be wasting too much time on in the office. By taking a realistic look at how you spend your time, you can determine which activities don’t yield valuable results in return for the time and effort they require. Then, you can cut those time-wasters out of your life.

Let’s take you through some examples. I wanted to share this list with you because I thought that they were very applicable to what we do as coaches.  Tim Ferris, author of the 4-Hour Work Week, had these items pertaining to email on his Do-Not-Do-List.

Do not e-mail first thing in the morning or last thing at night
The former scrambles your priorities and plans for the day, and the latter just gives you insomnia. E-mail can wait until 10am, after you’ve completed at least one of your critical to-do items…

Do not check e-mail constantly — “batch” and check at set times only
Get off the cocaine pellet dispenser and focus on execution of your top to-do’s instead of responding to manufactured emergencies. Set up a strategic auto responder and check twice or thrice daily.

Do not carry a cellphone or Crackberry 24/7
Take at least one day off of digital leashes per week. Turn them off or, better still, leave them in the garage or in the car. I do this on at least Saturday, and I recommend you leave the phone at home if you go out for dinner. So what if you return a phone call an hour later or the next morning? As one reader put it to a miffed co-worker who worked 24/7 and expected the same: “I’m not the president of the US. No one should need me at 8 pm at night. OK, you didn’t get a hold of me. But what bad happened?”The answer?Nothing.

Do not expect work to fill a void that non-work relationships and activities should
Work is not all of life. Your co-workers shouldn’t be your only friends. Schedule life and defend it just as you would an important business meeting. Never tell yourself “I’ll just get it done this weekend.”  Force yourself to cram work within tight hours so your per-hour productivity doesn’t fall through the floor. Focus, get the critical few done, and get out. E-mailing all weekend is no way to spend the little time you have on this planet.

Seeing through on your do-not-do list ultimately may take sheer force of will. Like everything, you will get better with practice.  Jim Collins writes, “The real question is… do you have the discipline to do the right thing and, equally important, to stop doing the wrong things?”

When you get stuck on your not-to-do list, you waste time and end the day frustrated because you didn’t get anything done. Make your list and post it where you can always see it to remind yourself of what you should not be doing.  Enlist the support of co-workers to help keep you on track.  If you find yourself doing something on your do-not-do list, get up, walk around, refocus, and then get back after your important to-do list items.  Good luck!

I’d love to hear what makes your list!  Please email me your list at mandy@mandygreencps.com

FREE Organize Your Recruiting Ebook.  For a limited time, receive a free chapter out of my Green Time Management For Coaches Workbook when you visit Coaching Productivity Strategies at www.mandygreencps.com

Sales Expert Stresses Need for Positive Recruiting LanguageThursday, March 27th, 2014

At the 2013 National Collegiate Recruiting Conference, sales expert and author Stephanie Melish talked about the way a coach’s recruiting words and language effect the view that their prospect has of that coach’s program:

Want to learn next level strategies and recruiting techniques?  Make sure you’re at the next NCRC!

Get all the information by clicking here.

CEO Or Silent Partner – What Kind Of Parents Are You Dealing With?Monday, March 24th, 2014

by Tyler Brandt, National Recruiting Coordinator

When I was recruiting at the collegiate level I always asked my recruits, “How involved do you think your parents want to be in this process?” The answer to that question was always intriguing but never differed much. The general answer was either “They don’t care where I go they just want me to be happy” or “This is really their decision because they’re paying for it”.

Here is what I came to realize, parents are always involved and usually a big part of the decision making process! Then I looked at a decade of research at Tudor Collegiate Strategies and what I thought – was confirmed.

In our research of college prospects a staggering 91.3% said the opinion of their parents was very important. In other words, more than 90% of the athletes you are talking to, regardless of what they tell you, will be getting direction or decision making information from mom or dad. The big question is, what type of recruiting plan do you have for the parents?

When you come across the CEO parent you will feel like your answer is given to you. They will call you, they will ask for information, they will request a follow-up from you, and you will have a very clear path of communication. You will need to connect with these types of parents because they will be very business like in their participation and need to feel comfortable and confident in recommending that their child go to your college. The flip side is that these types of parents are ALWAYS negotiating on behalf of their child with every other college they can find. As long as you can keep honest and open lines of communication, these types of parents don’t often blind side you.

The Silent Partner parent is a little more tricky. They will stay in the shadows watching the process, they will guide but not lead the direction their child is going, and when asked for input they will often defer in the early stages. As the choices start to get narrowed down the Silent Partner parent starts to get more involved, is out of the shadows and standing in the corner. At this point they have formed opinions on coaches, schools and finances. They have an idea of what’s best for their child and want them to feel like they are making the decision themselves, while in reality it is the parent’s choice.

In a recent conversation with a football coach at a DII University we explained that when all things are equal the parents will generally make the choice based on finances. SO – the goal is to make sure that when the prospect and the parents are reviewing and comparing colleges they don’t feel like everything is equal, they have to feel like you are  different and a better fit.

You need to build relationships with the parents that are just as strong and emotionally connected as you do with your recruits. It is critical that you deliberately develop recruiting plans for parents. You need to schedule calls, send emails and probe the parents regarding their wants and needs for their child, because the parents need to be sold on you, your program and the institution just like the athlete!

Why Recruiting Rep #10 is ALWAYS the Most ImportantSunday, March 16th, 2014

Rep #10 of any workout is the toughest rep.

Those are my pasty, skinny legs on repetition number ten at the gym this past week.  If my legs were the definition of college recruiting, I’d be out of a job.  I’m in the process of trying to undo years of sitting in front of a computer screen, flying across the country, as well as marginal eating habits.

Especially when you’re not on your game, rep #10 is the most challenging.

Many college coaches find themselves facing rep #10 as they read this today:  Their recruiting list is in shambles…they’re out of ideas on what to say to their prospect next…they don’t know what questions to ask…and, more for than a few, their jobs are on the line because of years of lackluster recruiting results.

Recruiting quality prospects is the most difficult part of your job as a college coach.  Period.  It’s not the X’s and O’s, it’s selling your program to teenage recruits and their parents.

And the toughest part of that process is “Rep #10″…what you do at the end of the recruiting process.  That, and that alone, usually determines how strong (i.e., not skinny, not pasty) your results are.  I once heard a great definition of the important of the last few reps of any workout, which said it was a lot like pumping up a bicycle tire: The first twenty pumps don’t make the bike ready to ride, the last three pumps do.  At the end of the process, college coaches need to focus on those final pumps.  Or, rep #10.

With that in mind, let me give you a quick checklist of three tough-to-do, but high impact, “rep #10” type duties that coaches can focus on at the end of the recruiting process:

Have the parents of your prospects define where you stand in their eyes.  It’s a hard “rep” because many coaches still don’t put a heavy emphasis on developing an ongoing conversation with parents.  If that’ you, put on the heavy weights and pound out this really important recruiting “rep”.  Often, you’ll get different answers – and more honest answers – than you will from your recruit.  And, honesty is really important at this stage of the game…you should want to know exactly where you stand as a recruiter.

Don’t assume that your recruit knows everything they need to know about your campus and your program.  Your prospect has been to campus, you’ve watched them compete in person a few times, you’ve talked with their coach, and you sent them the big, long letter packed full of information right at the beginning of the process.  What more could they want?  Most of the time, plenty.  As they go through the process, our research shows that they absorb very few actual details about your program if you aren’t consistently, creatively telling them a compelling story about why they should commit to you.  So, as you sit back and wonder what in the world you can tell your recruit that they don’t already know, try emphasizing the basics.  And, tie it back to why they should view your essentials as a smart reason to pick your program.  Most coaches won’t follow through with this recommendation, so it’s an easy way to gain some extra recruiting muscle in the later parts of the cycle.

Tell them you want them, and ask them if they want to commit.  Don’t think they need to hear it again?  Wrong.  They do…now more than ever, actually.  Haven’t verbalized those words yet?  Do it now.  I’m listing this as an official Rep #10 task because it’s hard to do, and some coaches find it awkward to do.  That’ why it often goes unsaid, and coaches just “assume” that their recruit know a coach wants them, and that they can commit anytime they want.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case.  For many other coaches, it’s just too scary: They view it as pressuring their prospect, or sounding too “desperate”.  Slap on the extra weights, and max out with this vital Rep #10 recruiting task.  Ask for the sale, Coach!

A word of warning:

Make sure you aren’t this guy when it comes to recruiting.  He’s got all the big brand clothes on, and he’s actually made it to the gym.  But every day, we see him sitting and texting while he does an off-and-on workout on the bike.  He’s not breaking much of a sweat, and it’s safe to say he’s not going to be at risk of pulling a muscle.

Recruiting at a high level is tough work.  It’s demanding.  It requires consistency, and a high degree of “pain tolerance”…unreturned phone calls, deceitful parents, uninterested teens, less than desirable facilities to show them when they come for their visit…contrary to what you might think, it’s not easy anywhere.  We work with more than a few extremely successful programs in many different sports and a lot of different levels, and I can tell you that when the office doors close, they have the same struggles and concerns that most mediocre teams’ coaches have when they assess their recruiting needs.

What separates a successful recruiter and coach from someone who ultimately fails at this important part of their job as a college coach is effort on rep #10.  Look for ways you can creatively and aggressively maximize your connection with a recruit and his or her family during the crucial final weeks of the recruiting process.

Want a great weekend of creative techniques, late-breaking research, and amazing speakers who reveal their secrets of successful recruiting?  Join us this June at the upcoming National Collegiate Recruiting Conference!  It’s a one-of-kind gathering of recruiting minds and coaches from around the country.  Don’t miss it, Coach…click here for all the details.

How To Handle The NaysayersFriday, March 14th, 2014

by Mike Davenport, CoachingSportsToday

This post is based on a recent jam session by Jonathan Fields.

When you coach, you WILL attract naysayers:

That’s a stupid idea 

– Your team is too small 

                                                                 – You don’t have enough experience 

                                                                – You can’t win

You know these people. They are trying to bring you down. They have an opinion that you can’t achieve what you’re trying to do, and they let you know all-about-it.

Some naysayers are vocal. Some are quiet. Regardless of the intensity of their voice, they are there. Lurking.

So, are their words worth listening to? That’s something I deal with frequently as a coach, and I bet you do too.

I’d like to discuss a few words about their opinion, and then share a simple tool to help you determine whether their opinion is worthy of your attention.

THE OPINION’S STRENGTH

It’s helpful to know what the opinion of the naysayer is based upon. Is it based on facts? If so, then maybe you should listen. There MIGHT be wisdom in the words.

Based on jealousy? Has the naysayer failed at what you are trying to accomplish? If you were to be successful, does the other person stand to lose something (money, status, press)? In case of a fan, you win, he losses. That fan’s words are probably dripping with jealousy. Ignore jealousy-based naysayer-words. They ARE destructive and not helpful at all.

How about this basis for a naysayer’s voice — fear. I can still hear mom saying, “You’re too uncoordinated to go out for football. You’ll get hurt.” She was speaking from that very strong, very parently-voice of protection. She was really saying, “I’m afraid you’ll get hurt.” (BTW, thank you Mom, you were right.) Fear-based naysayer-words might be worthy of your attention. Maybe, but certainly not always.

WHO IS BEHIND THE OPINION?

The naysayer, who is he or she? A family member, or close friend? A mentor? Someone working in athletics, coaching your same sport? Some bored bozo in a chat room?

It makes a difference who the is  person, in terms of the worthiness of their opinion. President Theodore Roosevelt weighed in on this, when he said:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood …

– from Goodreads.com

TUNE IN, TUNE OUT

As promised, here’s my simple tool that helps me quickly figure if I should listen to a naysayer. I award the point in the brackets if the naysayer fits the description. The higher the point total, the stronger I listen to the opinion:

  • [1 point] If the naysayer works in my field
  • [1 point ] If the voice is based on fear
  • [2 points] If the voice is based on facts
  • [1 point] If the voice is from a family member or close friend
  • [minus 1 point] If the voice is based on jealousy

Add up your total. The greater the number, the more I listen. In essence, I have a short list of people whose opinions I listen to, and I tune out the rest. And you?

How do you handle the sayers of “nay?”

Dr. Mike Davenport is a longtime college coach and the man behind the popular website CoachingSportsToday.com.  He is a regular contributor to College Recruiting Weekly.

The 3 Things Every Coach Struggles WithFriday, March 14th, 2014

by Tyler Brandt, National Recruiting Coordinator

It seems like, regardless of the location, size of the school, level of the institution or neighborhood it’s in, all coaches have similar challenges. We all know that in today’s society parents are more invasive than ever, we also know that technique and strategy are a click away for anyone with a smart phone. The expectations have never been higher from administration to recruit and retain kids at the collegiate level. Coaches are being evaluated on metrics that didn’t even exist 10 years ago.

Year round specialization, club and travel teams, personal coaches, recruiting services and so much more are being invested in by parents with the intention of seeing their child on national television, while not having to pay a dime after they leave the house. Where does the coach fall into this equation? How do these factors play out in the teaching profession with stipend coaches? I’ll tell you – they are expected to:

Do More With Less – Compete with the Best – and Somehow Reduce The Stress!!

Generally speaking these are expectations laid on the shoulders of coaches across the country without any additional support. When was the last time an athletic department brought in a person to do Athletic Professional Development? Administration does “teacher”-in services, as required by the state, but what about specific athletic related professional development? I have never seen it.

Who helps develop the coaches’ working philosophy? How do coaches learn how to build programs effectively? Where do coaches become educated on how to effectively communicate with an entirely new generation of kids? What about voluntary buy-in, mental training, mistake management, leadership training and so many other things that our young athletes need today? Are we really going to leave these important tasks up to the coaches – coach? Understand that is where these topics are discovered and learned by athletes – from when their current coach learned them from his coach 10 years ago or more.

Think about this, coaches have to spend their own money (and we know how little they get paid) to go to a clinic to find professional development – right? So what do you think happens, coaches only go when it’s paid for or sporadically, but they don’t get the same luxury during evaluation time from the AD who is getting pressure from parents for wins TODAY!

 

Why wouldn’t you want to bring in a successful coach and speaker to discuss the concepts of building an online library (free) or how to partner with businesses to bring in a camp (free), both of which increase the capacity of the athletes and raise their level of competition. As the strategies are learned and put into place, the coach can take a breath and realize that there is time to take the kids to the museum or go out to dinner with the spouse!

Teachers, doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, chiropractors, mechanics and hundreds of other progressions require continuing education to stay on the cutting edge of information related to best practices in that industry – coaches should get the same opportunity. This will also reduce the challenges that come through administration, as the programs improve the challenges are removed.

Be open to being coached – do what the successful do – don’t accept mediocrity at any time!!

14 Questions to Ask Your Recruits Late in the ProcessMonday, March 10th, 2014

“Late in the process” is becoming a moving target, isn’t it, Coach?

For some coaches, at certain division levels, “late in the process” might mean it’s the end of a recruit’s Sophomore year in high school. Or it could mean that it’s the end of October.

“Late in the process” is no longer tied to a traditional calendar. It’s always changing, and it seems to be getting earlier and earlier

Since there is a certain degree of mystery surrounding the later stages of the recruiting process, I wanted to cut to the chase and give college coaches some fresh ideas on topics and questions that we’ve seen work in the difficult quest to get information from high school student-athletes.

They may yield nothing, or they could yield vital information that will tell you how to close them at the end of their decision making process.

All I know is that if I was a college coach who was trying to wrap-up a recruiting class late in the game, here are some of the questions I would make sure I was asking my recruits:

  1. Who are you leaning on to help you make a final decision?  Once they tell you, ask yourself how well you’ve recruited those other individuals.  If the answer is “not that well”, you know what you need to do later tonight.
  2. What are they telling you?  Because if they answer this, you’ll know exactly where you stand with this recruit.
  3. Can you see yourself living here on campus?  If they can’t answer that with some kind of specificity and clarity, it means they haven’t been picturing it in their mind.  Which is a bad sign.
  4. When have you told other coaches that you’ll be letting them know what your final decision is?  For all you passive-aggressive personalities out there, this one is a double-helping: You can find out when they’re probably reaching a decision, and who else they are talking to (if you ask them who those other coaches are).
  5. What’d you like most about the guys/girls on our team?  If they don’t know, or can’t describe something specific about their time together on the visit to campus, that’s a red flag.  Our research shows that how they are treated by your team is the top way they figure out if a program feels right to them.
  6. What are you and your parents talking about at there home when it comes the idea of coming here and playing for me?  As the parent’s opinion of you and your program goes as we enter the final days of their decision making process, so goes your chances of coming to your school.
  7. If you were going to tell me “no” at the end of the process, what do you see being the #1 reason you’d end up doing that?  Get them to play “what if” with you.  Their answers are almost always based in reality.  If they are going to tell you “yes” or “no”, you’ll most likely get a hint of that using theoretical situations.
  8. Since we can’t give you a full athletic scholarship, is it really all just going to come down to who gives you the most money?  This one, of course, is for a program that can’t give a full-ride athletic or academic scholarship.  For some families, the legitimate, 100% forthright answer is “Yes, Coach.”  For most, it’s the fall back decision making tool that they use if they haven’t been consistently and passionately told a story about you and your program that matches their world-view of what college sports should be like.  Either way, you need to know.
  9. What would you have to know about us to get you to feel like we were worth paying for?  That’s a natural follow-up to the previous question, and a great question (and probably a more appropriate question) to ask your recruit’s parents.
  10. Why did we end up being one of the program’s that made your final cut?  It is always a good idea to get them to verbalize why they liked you in the first place as we head into the stretch run.
  11. Where are you going to visit next?  Maybe they’re done visiting campuses, and maybe they aren’t.  If they aren’t, you need to know who else is on their list and when they are visiting that campus.  And, of course, why (it’s probably because they’re still looking for something that they haven’t felt like they found on your campus).
  12. When do you see us being able to talk again about all this?  If they answer with a date that’s sooner (in the next week or two), that’s a good sign.  If they tell you they’re not sure, but they’ll “keep in touch”, that’s a red flag.  It’s not a guarantee that they won’t be picking you, but would you tell your high school prom date that you’ll “keep in touch” before the big night?  Probably not.
  13. What do you want to see us talk about next?  Hopefully, they give you a new topic that is central to their decision making process that they just haven’t brought-up before.  The goal during this time of the year is to keep them talking, and making sure they feel free to communicate new questions or ideas to you.
  14. Are you feeling like you’re ready to commit to us?  If you have been through our two or three day On-Campus Workshop experience, you know how important it is to “ask for the sale”.  At the end of every phone call, or every email, or every text conversation, ask for the sale.  Give them the chance to tell you “yes!”, or even express to you that they aren’t ready yet.  It’s important to keep the process moving forward – and, this is the best question you can ask in order to make them feel wanted.

The job of recruiting top-level student-athletes doesn’t just involve “selling” your program.  Much of it, especially down the stretch, revolves around being the coach that can get them to communicate with you more than they are with your competition.

These questions are aimed at doing just that.

The right approach, using the latest techniques and research, is the cornerstone to successful, long-term recruiting. And now, there is an entire weekend dedicated to making sure coaches take the jump to next-level abilities and techniques: The National Collegiate Recruiting Conference.  It’s packed with experts and fellow coaches who will be sharing how they became successful recruiters, and what you can do immediately to improve your recruiting results.  Get all the details here.

Battlefield Hero Turned Olympic Athlete Inspires Coaches at NCRCMonday, March 10th, 2014

Rob Jones’ incredible story of sacrifice and commitment was one of the big highlights from the previous National Collegiate Recruiting Conference for college coaches.

His story of being a hero on the battlefield, losing both his legs to an IED blast while serving our country, to becoming a medalist in the Paralympics for the U.S. team was unbelievably inspiring, as highlighted in a 2012 Sports Illustrated profile.

Here are the highlights of his incredible story that he told to the crowd at NCRC:

Do the coaches who attend the National Collegiate Recruiting Conference come away with next-level knowledge of how to better sell their program to this new generation of recruits?  Absolutely!

But they also come away inspired to overcome the obstacles and challenges that they face in college coaching.  Rob Jones’ story will be one that they don’t soon forget.

Make sure you join us for the next NCRC event!

 

 

What’s The Deal With Snapchat?Saturday, March 8th, 2014

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

Now that Snapchat is en route to being NCAA legal, we thought it might be a good idea to generally explain the app so that you can come to your own conclusions. First thing to know, your players and your recruits are snapchatting. Second thing to know, parents are not. That is a key differentiator, but we’ll explain that later.

The general concept behind Snapchat is one person takes a photo/video and shares it with their personal friends. The photo/video is then destroyed once it is viewed. This means instead of taking a photo and sharing it with the world like Twitter or Instagram, or posting a picture to a network of associates (whether close or not) on Facebook, Snapchat is very personal…sometimes too personal i.e. for the same conclusion that many people come too when they first hear about the app. With that said, its popularity is unquestionable and as a Snapchatter myself, I can attest to its habit forming addictiveness. So what’s the deal?

It’s like sending a text message, but you can tell more of a story with the video and it’s not difficult because the app opens directly to the camera. There is also little consequence because the photo/video will be destroyed so your guard is let down, which makes for less formality and a larger variety of content. Parents aren’t on Facebook which maybe is one of the reasons that their kids are…although Facebook did make a $3 billion dollar offer for Snapchat, which was turned down. The question is, should you be on Snapchat?

I don’t know. I think it’s personality driven at this point and some coaches may be able to partake without turning kids off because they see through the attempt to be “hip”. And for those that can, it could potentially be very effective. The constraints of an expiring video will certainly lead entrepreneurial coaches to have a leg up (at least in the early stages)..the same way that early adopters of Twitter did. Hopefully those coaches can keep it PG because if/when they do, it will be really cool to hear about. The argument that athletes want to be contacted via the medium that they already communicate is a strong one. However, Facebook is proving that their is a counter example so that’s what’s up.

Speaking of time saving tools, Front Rush is the best of the best.  If you’re a serious recruiter, this is one tool you don’t want to be without.  Click here for the low-down on this incredible resource used by thousands of coaches around the country.

Coaching Under The Microscope, Your New RealitySaturday, March 8th, 2014

by Mike Davenport, CoachingSportsToday 

Wisdom can come from the strangest places.

I’ve written about finding “coaching smarts” at partiesblogs, and growing up.

Now here’s a new one … bottle caps.

Specifically, the sayings under the tops. For example: Dance As Though No One Is Watching

DOSE OF WISDOM

That quote got me thinking, something clicked, I played with a few words, and came up with this …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT

There is a sense of deep coaching-truth to that morphed saying, which is becoming more truthful each and every day.

We do need to coach as if everyone is watchingbecause they are watching.

Ninety-nine percent of what you do as a coach, what you say as a coach, how you act as a coach can be, will be, and probably IS ALREADY, recorded, blogged, and archived.

You now coach under a microscope.

Not a telescope, where someone far away is watching, and could easily miss the intracies of what you do.

The days of coaching secrecy, of things said in confidence, of one-on-one conversations are long gone.

You are now on a slide, under a lens, being watched.

And it is not just one scientist (or referee, or compliance officer, or adminstrator) watching you. For good and for bad, everyone is watching.

DON’T BELIEVE ME?

That’s okay. Ignore me. Happens all the time.

But if you have 3 minutes, go to YouTube and search for *stupid coach*. Thirty-seven million results. I looked through just the first three pages. Numerous examples of a coach, trying to do his/her job, making a mistake, and now becoming an unwilling junior internet star.

That is just the public venue of YouTube. I would guess (don’t know, but would guess) that there are many times more examples on the internet behind the closed doors of some of the other social media platforms.

And it is happening not just during games … but practices, locker rooms, classrooms, parking lots.

Everywhere.

SHOULD YOU CHANGE?

So, should you act differently, coach differently?

Damn yes, if you are doing anything wrong or improper. Stop now. Immediately. First, from the POV that it’s wrong. Second, because you will be exposed, called out, on a world-wide platform. Have you forgotten the unfortunate example of Mike Rice?

But face it, if you are doing things wrong/improper/illegal as a coach … you’re not reading this blog anyways.

Damn no, don’t change, if you are trying your best to coach with the best interest of your players, the game, and those around you in mind. In this case, you can’t coach worrying about someone recording your mistakes. Full speed ahead.

And if your mistakes show up, like mine, smile, learn, and move on.

MY SCREW UP

Here’s an example of one of my screw ups.

We had a boat flip at practice. No one was hurt, just enough bruised egos to go around. We were all trying our best and an accident happened. In this case, we were the ones who filmed it, and posted it. Hoping that others might learn from our error.

I’ve had many emails and several phone calls about that screw up. Each one was either, “Oh, that’s happened to me!”, or, “How can we make sure that doesn’t happen to us?”

In this case, putting ourselves under the microscope was worth it.

Is that an iPhone over there, recording you as you read this post? Probably.

And it is also our new reality.

The bottle cap says so.

Dr. Mike Davenport is a longtime college coach and the man behind the popular website CoachingSportsToday.com.  He is a regular contributor to College Recruiting Weekly.

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