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The Right Recruiting AttitudeSaturday, May 31st, 2014

by Charlie Adams, StokeTheFireWithin.com

After taking Vanderbilt to new heights thanks to his recruiting success there, new Penn State head football coach James Franklin has Penn State trailing only Alabama as far as recruiting success with the class of 2015. He also has more commits than any other program in the country.

In my motivational programs and books, I emphasize the importance of attitude and making a difference. Franklin is about attitude. In fact, he has a degree in Psychology from his days of playing quarterback at D2 East Stroudsburg State. He earned his master’s degree in educational leadership from Washington State.

Even before he got into coaching his whole thing in life was that he wanted to make a positive impact on people and help them reach their life’s potential.

When he was at Vanderbilt, Franklin’s strategy for recruiting highly rated kids was to tell them they could go to a SEC power and get compared to someone who already had success there, or they could come to Vandy and make their own legacy. That worked with a lot of recruits.

At Penn State, he is tearing it up on the recruiting trail. In a May 27th USA Today story by Paul Myerberg, Franklin and his staff shared their philosophies on recruiting.

Two factors have contributed to Penn State’s effective start on the recruiting trail. The first is continuity, in a sense: Seven of Penn State’s nine assistants worked alongside Franklin at Vanderbilt, meaning each understood the program’s approach despite an unfamiliarity with the general recruiting region – though several coaches, like offensive coordinator John Donovan, are either from the area or scouted local prospects while with the Commodores.

Second, per Franklin’s demand, each assistant coach is active on social media, using the direct-message tool to keep in constant contact with committed and uncommitted recruits. Assistants recruit an area – splitting New Jersey into three zones, for example – but no one coach handles a single prospect alone; each potential signee builds a relationship with several coaches, sometimes on separate sides of the ball.

It’s about checks and balances: Penn State’s recruits must pledge their commitment to two coaches, for example, not just one, while Franklin signs off on each potential new addition to the program. The staff has been able to connect with recruits by layering relationships, Franklin said; the location has changed, he added, but the message hasn’t.

“The thing about James is, no one’s going to recruit harder than him, and it’s all about relationships,” said East Stroudsburg University offensive line coach Mike Santella, Franklin’s college roommate.

“And that’s not just lip service with him. He believes that. That’s what makes him different than a lot of people. He’s going to want to get to know everything about you.”

And, as such, the details make the difference.

“You’ve got to know how to sell that university, what makes that university special compared to somewhere else,” quarterback coach Ricky Rahne said. “You’ve got to be able to embrace those and sell those things. You’ve got to know the little things, and that’s probably the hardest.”

My motivational programs are built on the importance of attitude and enthusiasm about life, and one reason so many good kids are saying yes to Franklin is his never ending enthusiasm and positive attitude. I have delivered hundreds of programs over the years in high school settings and I have found the number one thing kids like about my talks are the enthusiastic way in which they are delivered and how positive I am about their potential in life.

I hope these insights from coach Franklin and his staff are helpful to you in your recruiting!

Charlie Adams is the author of four books on peak performance and the power of attitude, including 2013’s ‘How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing! His oldest son was a college cross country runner and his oldest daughter is a college swimmer. You can read more of Charlie’s motivational articles at stokethefirewithin.com

Create The Ideal Work EnvironmentSaturday, May 31st, 2014

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

You know the phrase “being in the zone”?  It is mostly used for athletes to describe the optimal state of consciousness where they feel and preform at their best.  From the research I have done, I found getting into “the zone” isn’t just for athletes and is arguably the most perfect state to work from.

Have you had the experience where one minute you’ve finished lunch, started to work on a project and the next minute it’s 7 pm and you have no idea where the time went? It is the mental state where we are so focused and engaged with what we are doing, we produce our greatest results and peak performance happens.

Unfortunately, most coaches have a hard time getting there because they are so distracted by the emails coming in, social media, and all of the interruptions they get.

I know I can’t just show up and expect it to happen.  It certainly isn’t going to happen if I am jumping from one task to the next every 3 minutes because I am so easily distracted.   Ultimately, there is a way to get a lot of work done in a shorter amount of time, but to do it, I need to be intentional and strategic about creating an environment where I can create total focus, void of distractions.

I’m going to recommend some ways you can get in the work zone to get more quality work done faster and stay there for as long as possible.  As I am going through this, think about your ideal work set up, and if there is maybe something you can change.

When Is My Energy Best?

Emails to my top recruits get done first and are worked on in the morning during a time when I have found my energy and focus are really good. I also get interrupted the least.

Get Up And Move

Before I sit down to write, I get up and move around a little just to get the blood flowing.  I go to the bathroom or run some errands or whatever.  I find that not only does this give me a little jolt of energy, I also have a lot of creative thoughts pop in my head while I am up moving and away from my desk.

Get Everything I Need First

I try and make sure I have all the info I need in one folder. I make sure I have water and my hot chocolate/coffee drink.

Listen To Music

Before I get started, I turn on some music. I have found that for me I get more creative and get into an email flow better when I have music playing in the background versus when it is quiet.

Location

I get my best work done either in my office early in the morning or at home after I have dropped the kids off at daycare.

Eliminate Distractions

I schedule a set hour or hour and a half almost every day to do nothing but recruiting emails.  I shut my door so I don’t get interrupted.  I turn off my auto indicator on Outlook so I am not distracted by new emails coming in. I don’t stop to do other tasks that I remember to do (I write them down on my Master to To-Do list so I get it out of my head but don’t forget to do it), and I turn down the volume on my phone so I don’t hear when a new text message or phone call may come in.  Recruiting emails, that’s it.

I try to eliminate as many distractions as I can so I can concentrate all my attention on exactly one thing and one thing only. To reach the state of flow at work you need to be totally focused at your task and not distracted every 3 minutes.

Getting to the point where I am even doing all of this has taken me a few years’ worth of trial and error.  The set-up doesn’t take me long anymore because I have been gotten into the habit now.  Each step individually helped save some time here and there.  When I do all of these things at once, it is like recruiting email nirvana.   I love it.  I spend a lot less time on my email but I can get so many more emails out.  I am more in control of the recruiting process.  I am not as overwhelmed anymore.  Of course, I still have bad days with it.  But adding more structure to the set-up process of doing recruiting emails has saved a lot of time for me.

Mandy Green has a Coaching Productivity Newsletter that goes out every other Sunday.  This newsletter is for coaches who have an email overload issue.  She shares methods or techniques that she is trying in an effort to process, manage, and keep track of recruiting emails better.  If you are interested in joining in on the conversation or if you have something to share please go to www.mandygreencps.com.  Opt in and she will send you her newsletter every week it goes out and you can get a FREE copy of the chapter in her Green Time Management For Coaches Workbook called Organize Your Recruiting.  

Earning the Trust of Your RecruitMonday, May 26th, 2014

Most of us don’t like interacting with people we don’t feel like we can trust.

The reason we don’t trust the telemarketer that calls us is because we don’t know her, and it doesn’t feel right that a complete stranger should be calling us at home to sell us something.

The reason we don’t click on 999 out of 1,000 pop-up advertisements on the Internet is because we remember the time we were burned before when we accidentally downloaded a virus on our computer.

The reason we don’t like to go shopping for new cars is because we know we’re going to feel pressured by a salesman who gives us the feeling that he’s being less than truthful about the promises he’s making to us.

And that gut reaction we all have to each of those three scenarios has big implications for college coaches.

If this is the time of year you might find yourself reassessing how you interact with your recruits, and figuring out how effective it is (or isn’t), it’s important to understand that the same factors you use to judge the trustworthiness of telemarketers, pop-up ads, or car salesmen, are being used by your teenage prospects – and their parents – to judge your trustworthiness.  And, like you, they’re figuring out whether or not to have a serious interaction with you based on whether they feel like they can trust you or not.

This is important to understand, Coach: The decision to interact happens before your recruit actually listens to what you have to say. How you construct your letters, what you say in your emails, and how you interact with them on social media will determine whether or not you get to communicate with that recruit.

And you might be surprised at how many different types of interactions factor into whether or not your recruit chooses to trust you enough to communicate with you.  Here are a few of the most important:

Your direct interaction between you and your recruit: Did the recruit see how you coached at a camp they attended? How did you act when they watched practice during that unofficial visit?  The way your recruit feels about that momentary experience will alter their interaction with you, either positively or negatively. If you’re reaching out and communicating with them for the first time, you can bet that the way your message is worded is going to determine whether or not they feel you’re worth the interaction.

What they’ve heard about you:  If your recruit heard good things about you from people he or she knows, the entire relationship changes. You automatically get the benefit of the doubt.  So, it begs the question: What are you doing to make sure that your current team, former recruits, and the parents of all of those student-athletes, are saying good things about you to your future prospects?  (It’s an important question, because we find that they are almost always talking about you.  The only thing you can control is what they’re saying).

What your website, social media and email templates look like:  When they look at those properties, what is the brand image that comes to their mind?  If you’re a smaller school, do you look like the bigger brand programs?  If you’re one of the bigger programs, how are you separating yourself from your other big-name competitors?  Serious question, Coach.

Your tone of voice:  This has everything to do how your message (your letter, your email, your phone call) sounds.  When you’re writing your message, does it sound like you would if you were talking face to face with your prospect?  Or, does it sound so formal that your recruit is going to know it’s the typical, mass mail, non-personal message that they’re used to?  Also, are you patient and not rushing your recruit?  Are you pushing too early?  Urgency rarely leads to increased trust from your recruit.  Make sure you are messaging your recruit the right way.

Whether you sound scarce, or plentiful: Ever wonder why we recommend a fair but firm deadline in most circumstances?  Because it works.  If you’re the coach that gives a recruit all the time in the world, and lets them know that they can make the decision any time they want, expect to come across as a program that will take anyone at anytime.  For most coaches, that doesn’t work.  You need to find some kind of “scarcity” to talk about with your recruits.  Scarcity leads to action.

The size of the commitment you’re asking for: If you’re asking me to reply to your email early in the recruiting process, there’s a good chance that’s going to happen.  On the contrary, coaches who want long conversations on the phone right away struggle to get a recruit to respond.  Coaches who jump into an early conversation about a campus visit might be going too fast, too soon.  Be mindful of what you’re asking them to do, and how early in the recruiting process you’re asking for it.

Your offer:  What’s in it for your recruit to listen to what you’re asking them to commit to?  It’s a simple but serious question.

Their fear:  As we talk about extensively in our On-Campus Workshop that we conduct for college athletic departments, your recruit’s fear is present throughout the recruiting experience.  What are you doing to answer that fear?  How are you doing that early on, as well as late in the process?

What they see about you online:  What they read when they Google you, and how well you post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, matter.  It matters a lot, Coach.  Your online presence is one of the most immediate impressions that gets formed by your recruit.  And in most cases, it helps to determine how much interaction they wish to have with you.

How aligned with them you are:  How are you proving that you are just like they are, and understand where they’re coming from?  More importantly, how are you communicating that?

Your honesty:  This generation of recruits and their parents are actively searching for coaches who prove they are honest.  It’s vital that you demonstrate that honesty, and showcase it to them through your messaging.  You need to repeatedly demonstrate that you are the coach they can trust.  The coaches who are trusted get the best athletes at the end of the day.

How consistent you are in your recruiting efforts: How long have you been showing up? That’s an important question in the mind of your prospect.  When we work with clients, and take their team through a series of focus group questions to determine how best to help formulate their recruiting strategy, one of the most common themes that stands out as being vitally important to recruits is how consistent a coach is in the way they communicate.  If you are the coach who sends a couple of messages at the start, and then is hit-and-miss during the rest of the recruiting process, you’re probably going to get labeled as inconsistent.  And as our research shows, that’s going to hurt you as your prospect reaches their final decision.

Since you’re going to be judged by this generation of recruits, doesn’t it make sense to make sure you’re taking an intelligent, thorough approach when it comes to sending out a message that prompts interaction?

That’s how trust with your recruit is built.  Start now, Coach.

Need help determining the best way to earn trust and create interactions with your recruits?  We successfully work with clients day in and day out throughout the recruiting year in helping them create winning recruiting strategies.  You’ve just read some of the factors we make sure are working in our clients’ favor.  Are you ready to let us help you, too?  Email Dan Tudor directly at dan@dantudor.com to start a conversation about how we would do that for you and your program.

A Product Of The ProductSaturday, May 24th, 2014

by Tyler Brandt, National Recruiting Coordinator 

Have you ever looked at the pictures of the dogs that look just like their owners? What about when you look at your baby pictures versus your child’s baby pictures? Scientifically, a product refers to “the result of one or more multiplications”. What this means is when the original is multiplied, the result is separate but connected to the original. There is no getting away from that – a derivative of a product is a:

Product of the Product!

So the dog looks like the owner, the kids look like the parents and the new model resembles the old model…usually. This is almost always the case regardless of whether the result is good or bad, positive or negative. Invariably this is the situation in athletics. Look at a team and you will see an extension of the coach and the leadership. Look at an athlete and you see the teachings and the coaching of their mentors and coaches – it is inescapable!!!

I stepped on the scale this past Fall and unfortunately verified what I already knew – “ I was extremely overweight!” Tipping the scales at the most I had ever weighed, I decided it was time for a little reflection. I realized that EVEN WITH all of my scientific knowledge (BS & MS in Exercise Physiology) and practical knowledge (12 years as a successful wrestler and 25 years as a successful wrestling coach) I made the conscious decision to use the resources available to me by trying what the Olympians use and starting on a regimen of supplements. After 30 days I had seen results, but then I let my EGO get in the way of continued success. I told myself that “You can do this, you’re an Exercise Scientist and a former college athlete and coach – you got this – you don’t need ANY HELP so I stopped the promising program to do it myself. Two months later I had gained back the weight I had lost and vaulted to a new “Highest I Had Ever Weighed category.

Once again I decided to reflect and look at the results of doing things on my own versus doing things with assistance. The decision was easy, I chose to start another regimen of supplements but this time with a different caveat. This round I committed to 3 straight months on the program no matter what. The result was I lost 25 lbs, so I kept using the products and got to 30 lbs, then 35 lbs and now I am starring down the barrel of being 40 lbs lighter since January. What did I learn from this experience? First of all, consistency and commitment are crucial to success. Second, everything is a Product of the Product!

Athletes are a product of their coach, teams are a product of the collective athletes and both will represent what and who the coach is. For instance, if a coach places a team in a lower division to dominate the competition, they probably will dominate, but at what cost? The development of the athletes? The reputation of the coach? When those athletes need to compete against the top talent  the result will be – A Product of the Product – they will not be ready!

When I see someone that I haven’t seen in a while they all react the same way – “Wow, you have lost a ton of weight! What are you doing?” I let them know what I am doing to be successful in my goal to lose weight and become healthier. Now they’ll become a product of THEIR product. If they choose to make a change to what they have been doing they will see success and be a product of that change. If they choose to make excuses as to why they can’t or shouldn’t change – they WILL BE a product of that choice.

When you see athletes and coaches in interviews after winning National Championships, rarely do you hear selfish statements like “I was the one who made this happen – without me this would not have been possible – I want to Thank ME, MYSELF and I for having the courage to win this National Title for my team!”  What you hear is thank yous to the people who made that Championship possible! They are a product of a team atmosphere, of an open mind, of faith, of accepting help and understanding that they don’t know everything. They allowed themselves to become A Product of the coach and his leadership – they are A Product of the Product. Now ask yourself about the team that didn’t even make it to the National Tournament – are they still A Product of the Product?  YES!

What is the PRODUCT that you represent and how are you representing it? What culture are you promoting through the success or failure you are publicly displaying? If you were asked right now to choose between the words SUCCESS and FAILURE to describe your current athletic season which one would it be AND who would get the CREDIT for Producing that Product?

Remember if your team is losing or if your team is winning – they are A Product of the Product – and as the coach you are the Product!!!

 

The Power Of InfluenceThursday, May 15th, 2014

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

For better or for worse, a lot of recruiting is influence. I like to believe it is more the former, which is why I’d like to share some things we have learned about influence (as you can imagine, a lot of technology creation is influence) and how they can be related to the recruiting game. This is a short list, a teaser if you will, but very impactful to say the least.

“It’s Your Choice”
This by far is my favorite. People like to feel empowered and hate to be told what to do. Simply saying “It’s your choice” after giving an option can dramatically increase the probability the person will act in the direction you intend. A basic example would be “You can eat this sandwich or not…it’s your choice” vs “Eat this sandwich”. The former being the optimal way to deliver the option vs the latter, which puts the recipient on the defensive.

Apologize Before Asking
If you apologize for situations outside of your control prior to asking a question, you are more likely to come across as trustworthy. An interesting study was done where an actor asked 65 strangers if he could borrow their phone. Prior to asking, he apologized for the rain (it was raining that day) and 47% of people asked offered up their device…compared to 9% when he didn’t.

Use Social Influence
This is ingrained in product people and should be second nature to you too. People are influenced by their peers, much more than you may think. Have you ever gone to a website and seen case studies, a client list, logos, etc? Even with Front Rush, when we speak with potential customers, we will bring up some of our clients in that potential customer’s conference or clients that the potential customer competes against or will compete against or has worked with, etc. This makes the potential customer feel like they need to invest in our product as well.

Hopefully these can help you get off the ground, but please use your new influential super powers for good and we’ll be happy to share more.

Sean Devlin is the lead technical architect of the popular contact management database, Front Rush.  Yes, they can help you produce branded, graphic-rich email templates to use with your prospects.  But that’s just the tip of the giant Front Rush iceberg!  Visit Front Rush online for a complete rundown of their awesomeness, and find out why they are the #1 choice of college coaches around the country.

 

 

 

If Nothing Else, This Has To Get Done!Thursday, May 15th, 2014

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

What is it for you coach?  What is it that no matter what else gets done, as long as these one or two things are finished by the time you leave the office, you are feeling pretty good about your day?

I thought I knew what it was for me.

Being that I read, write, and talk to people about time management regularly, I certainly have a general idea which few activities for me were the ones I knew needed to get done.

Then, about a week ago, I went home feeling uneasy and stressed.  I started to reflect on what happened during the day and what maybe didn’t get done that was causing me to feel this way.

That day I had to readjust my schedule of To-Dos because a few student-athlete meetings lasted longer than planned.  When I got home, I took out my Green Time Management Planner and looked back over my day.  I had finished the majority of things on my To-Do list, but there were still one or two things pushed aside.  Reflecting back on my day helped give me some insight as to what was causing me to be stressed, but I needed to look more into it.

The next day was just as crazy as the day before, but I went home feeling okay with what I accomplished during the day.  Did I get everything done on my To-Do list, no, but I did get a few of the things done that I hadn’t gotten done the day before.  I again sat down and looked at what was finished and what was pushed aside during the day.

I ended up experimenting for a few days, monitoring what I had completed and what I left for the next day to do, while really paying attention to how I felt when I got home that night.

What I found is, for me, I feel good leaving the office as long as I have sent my recruiting emails out and had a chance to plan and prepare practice for the following day.

The development and future success of my program is obviously dependent on my ability to consistently communicate with recruits.  The success of my current team depends on preparing and executing challenging practices so we can keep getting better.  When I make sure to get these two things finished before I leave for the day, I feel assured knowing I still have time to review my practice plan the night before and make adjustments if necessary.  As a result, I walk into practice feeling more prepared.   I also love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I know I have taken another step forward with the recruits we are trying to get.

When these two things don’t get done at work however, I have to do them at home.  These things have to get done.  What causes me the most stress is not only does this take away time with my kids, but I feel they don’t get done as well as I would like them to be.  I feel like my recruiting emails are not as clear and concise and my practice plans aren’t as well thought out as they could and should be since I have a 4 and 1 year old also competing for my attention.

To avoid feeling stressed out, it took three or four days of analyzing what I did and didn’t do, as well as assessing the feelings that followed for it to really hit home with me which tasks absolutely had to be done before I left the office.

I now try to do my most important activities first thing in the morning, when I get done with practice (we practice from 6-8 am).  I found if I put them off until later, I get busy and run out of time to do them.

So coach, what are your most important activities?  What are the one or two tasks that you know if you get done, even if you don’t get everything done, you can leave the office and feel good about what you’ve accomplished for day?

If you are not sure, do what I did.  At the end of the day, review your To-Do list and see what got done and what didn’t get done.  How are you feeling when you get home?  Once you have your data, analyze what could be causing you to feel this way.  Then try to restructure your day to make sure you are getting your most important tasks done.

I would love to hear what they are?  Please email me at mandy@mandygreencps.com and put “My MIT’s” (Most Important Tasks) in the subject line.

Mandy Green has a Coaching Productivity Newsletter that goes out every other Sunday.  This newsletter is for coaches who have an email overload issue.  She shares methods or techniques that she is trying in an effort to process, manage, and keep track of recruiting emails better.  If you are interested in joining in on the conversation or if you have something to share please go to www.mandygreencps.com.  Opt in and she will send you her newsletter every week it goes out and you can get a FREE copy of the chapter in her Green Time Management For Coaches Workbook called Organize Your Recruiting.  

4 Ways To Add Structure In The OfficeSaturday, May 10th, 2014

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

Having a mundane 9-5 job wasn’t for me.  I love my freedom to work when and how I choose as a College Coach.

The freedom and flexibility to come and go as I please is certainly nice.  But, what I found out the hard way is that allowing myself too much freedom in the office usually resulted in unproductive and much longer working days for me.

To be more productive than I have ever been, I had to create structure into my workday and life. When I had no real structure or routines, with no plan for what was going to get done and when, I ended up working about 4 hours more a day than I wanted to. I challenged myself to find a way to get the same amount of work done in 8 hours.

There are a lot of different ways to add structure to your day.  I will outline a few that have been important for me here.

Plan the Night Before

Having structure to my workday starts the night before.  I used to just get up in the morning try to“wing it” through the day.  Now I plan everything out before I leave the office or at home before I go to bed.  I review my priorities and what I feel are the most important levers that will move my program forward in some way.  Then I create a list of things I’d like to get done the next day. That way, when I get to work the next morning, I know exactly where to begin and what I need to get done.

Structure Your Ideal Work Week and Day.

When specifically during the day are you going to work on your recruiting? When are you specifically going to plan practice? When are you specifically going to work on administrative tasks? The more you can schedule these activities into your weekly and daily schedules, the easier it will be for you to know exactly what you should be doing at any time while you are working.

Have A Morning Routine With Email.

I found that what I do with my email first thing in the morning really makes or breaks how productive I am throughout the day.  Check out my post Get a Great Start To Your Day By Using Email Effectively for more tips.

Make A “Do-Not-Do” List

An important list that has helped keep me on track in the office is my Do-Not-Do List.

These lists have helped me remove a lot of the negatives from my work environment.  A few examples of things on my Do-Not-Do lists are: do not browse the internet, do not check my email continuously throughout the day, and do not answer random phone calls.

It is important to structure your day so that you can continually get things done and move forward with your program.

Adding structure to my workday became easy when I started treating, thinking about, and planning my workday just like I would plan a practice.  My practice and office plans are very similar in that I have a plan for what and when things will get done. I get there before anybody else so I can get set up, I pay attention to the clock and give myself a certain amount of time to do things, etc.

It was also easier to stay focused on what I was trying to get done when I remembered my “why”.

Getting my work done in less time frees up more of the day for me to spend it with my husband and kids, my friends, and even on my hobbies.  I have a picture of my kids on my desk as a friendly reminder to stick to the plan.  Looking at this picture helps keep me focused on getting my work done so when I go home, I can play with my kids having the peace of mind knowing I did something to move my program forward today.

What is your “why” coach?

Where can you be putting more structure into your day and week to help you stay on track so you can be even more successful with your program?

As long as you are in control of the structure of your day, you’ll always have freedom in your life.

Mandy Green has a Coaching Productivity Newsletter that goes out every other Sunday.  This newsletter is for coaches who have an email overload issue.  She shares methods or techniques that she is trying in an effort to process, manage, and keep track of recruiting emails better.  If you are interested in joining in on the conversation or if you have something to share please go to www.mandygreencps.com.  Opt in and she will send you her newsletter every week it goes out and you can get a FREE copy of the chapter in her Green Time Management For Coaches Workbook called Organize Your Recruiting.  

The Orchid Mantis Beats The Flower At The Flower’s GameSunday, May 4th, 2014

by Tyler Brandt, National Recruiting Coordinator

In 1937 a concept was published that has been discussed, dissected and disseminated in every conceivable way across every possible industry. Thought leaders, CEOs, managers, coaches, you name any type of leader and they have used this concept in an inspirational speech along the way to their team and employees.

As it usually happens, if you believe and look hard enough, life imitates art in a way that leaves us with indistinguishable knowledge that the 77 year old concept is was then and is now – real. The basic concept of the book Think And Grow Rich was……..

If you have a belief and a passion that is strong enough and you surround yourself with like-minded, passionate people – regardless of how many failures you have – success is inevitable!!

Well, it seems that a group of Hymenopus Coronatus decided to read the book and incorporate that same philosophy in the Amazon jungle. The Orchid Mantis has made evolutionary changes to mimic flowers in the jungle for camouflage. This puts itself in a much better position for success in hunting for food. A study conducted by scientists James O’Hanlon and Marie Herberstein of Macquarie University in Australia shows the Orchid Mantis actually attracted MORE insects than the actual flower it was mimicking.

The interesting part is the strategy the Orchid Mantis implements is different from most other camouflaging predators. They are out in the open, out in front on the flower and are not sitting back in the vegetation hiding, waiting for insects to come by via happenstance. This is a really important shift because so many people wanting to succeed go at it from the comfort of the camouflage back in the vegetation and wonder why someone else is having so much more success.

The Orchid Mantis has proven the real secret is not keeping your desire, goals, dreams and passion hidden in the backdrop. The lesson is to mimic those who came before you, even if it requires a massive change in your personal paradigm! If you attempt to feed on the left-overs of the Orchid Mantis from back in the shadows – that is exactly what you will get, the scraps and leftovers, if there are any.

When you have the opportunity to follow something or someone that has been successful in what it is you are attempting to be successful at, latch on and do what they did. Get out front and commit 100% to doing exactly what “that guy” did because he was a national champion, made it to the league, coached a national championship team or whatever.

The biggest question is this – as a coach, will you evaluate your program honestly? When you discover what needs to be changed, are you willing to make an evolutionary change to create enormous success in your program? Are you willing to learn from the Orchid Mantis (and all of the others doing the same thing) to bring absolute success to your team?

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