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How You Can Take the Early Lead With JuniorsTuesday, March 29th, 2016

by Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services

Are you ready to tackle the Class of 2021?

Yes, I know…you’re still working on this current group of students which is why each of my articles over the past six weeks has focused on conversion and yield. So, if you’re wondering what kinds of questions you should be asking down the stretch or what the silent treatment from recruits might mean, click those links because I’m here to help.

Having said that, I also know that many of the admissions counselors reading this either just started spring travel, or are about to. My goal today is to make sure you get started on the right foot with this next class of prospective students.

Spring college fairs and high school visits with juniors, or other underclassmen, should never be undervalued. Often times counselors tell me they find themselves going through the motions during these events and visits because all they can think about is converting seniors and hitting their numbers. I hope that doesn’t sound like you, but if it does, email me. I’m happy to listen and offer advice.

Your follow-up communication in the weeks after spring travel is extremely important. Early in the process many prospective students are looking to see which schools maintain consistent contact. In their minds, it’s an indicator of just how serious your school is about them.

Determining those early talking points can be a challenge for many counselors. In fact it’s one of the biggest reasons that admissions departments start working with us. They’re tired of sending the same first letter and viewbook and not generating any back and forth conversation.

It starts by defining what gets them to keep talking to you after you make that first contact.   Our research shows that when a prospect and his or her parents are comfortable engaging in conversation with an admissions counselor, that school immediately moves up the list.

Here are six things that current high school juniors want and need to know from your initial messages:

  • If possible, remind them where you met. This is a great example of the obvious getting overlooked. Most counselors don’t even think to mention where they first met a prospective student. And yet, recruits tell us it’s one of the easiest ways for them to determine that your school is serious about them initially.  It gives them context for why you are reaching out to them and more importantly why they should take the time to reply back to you.
  • Tell them what you like about them. This generation of students wants to know what you like about them. Why? Believe it or not, some of your prospects aren’t sure they’re good enough to be considered by a school such as yours. Pointing out two or three specific things a student mentioned to you, or you saw from their information, is another important way to tell them they “have what it takes” to be considered for admission to your school. If you include these first two points in your initial letters and emails, you will see an increase in replies versus a more generic, non-specific message.
  • Create curiosity. If you’re a frequent reader of my newsletter you understand that the worst thing you can do early on is cram tons of information about your college into a letter or an email. If you want a response from your prospect that is. By being short and to the point, you will leave room for their curiosity to take over. It’s also important to craft messages that after being read by your prospects leave questions unanswered. Are you doing that now?
  • Share the positives and the negatives.  Counselors that talk only about the positives associated with their school are missing the boat.  This generation of students (and their parents) is looking for colleges that are demonstrating honesty during the recruitment process. Remember, students and parents are coming into the conversation with biases for and/or against your school. If you paint a “perfect” picture in everything you show them and tell them, you run the risk of making them question whether they’re getting the real story from you. It’s best to show your “cracks” before they show up in unexpected places or at unexpected times.
  • Engage the parents. Our research finds that many parents are anxious as you begin contact with their child. They want to play a part in the recruitment process, and naturally they too have questions they want answered. While a majority of your competition will ignore the parents for as long as possible, I encourage you to do the exact opposite. Begin contact with them early and work to establish that same emotional connection. If you do, you’ll find that they’ll be more than willing to contribute useful, usable information during the process.
  • Have a call to action. This is essential if you want them to respond to you. I’m not talking about asking them to visit campus or fill out your application. There’s a time and a place for those, and it’s not always right out of the gate. Instead, try asking your prospect at the end of your email if what you’re saying matches up with their list of priorities and “must-haves.”  Not only will this demonstrate that you understand the process is about their wants and needs, but you’ll also be making them feel more comfortable engaging with you.

Early communication with a prospect is about getting a response. Your goal should be to get a back-and-forth conversation going, and let the relationship (and their interest) build from there.

Is your admissions team stressed about converting those admits or preventing summer melt? They don’t have to be. Bring me to campus to lead one of our famous two-day training workshops. Your team will leave with more confidence and better tools that they can use immediately with recruits. The next step is to send me an email.

Is Your To-Do List Working For or Against You?Monday, March 28th, 2016

by Mandy Green, Coaching Productivity Strategies

I want to share a great way to eliminate running around like a chicken-with-your-head-cut-off and always feeling busy.  It’s as simple as creating a proactive way to set up their to-do list.  

A daily to-do list for coaches I’m finding with the coaches that I work with tends to be a reactive list – it’s based on what has just recently come up and is in your immediate area of concern for that time.

As you are working through your reactive list, by the end of the day you have worked hard, done lots, but achieved very little.

Sound familiar?

It makes for a “busy” coach – but not necessarily an effective coach. It’s like you’re always chasing your tail!

So, how can you make your To Do list work for you?

Getting organized so you can be less “busy” means creating a proactive system that works best for you and saves you time and effort.

I believe being proactive begins by making a master list of everything you can think of that has to be done over the course of the year as a coach.  To do this, take out a piece of paper, or turn on your computer, and as they occur

On a piece of paper or on the computer, record all the “must-do, should-do, gotta-do” tasks that pop into your mind. Whenever you think of something new that you have to do, write it down on your master list.  

This Master To-Do List holds all of the tasks that need to get done over the course of the year–and gets them out of your brain until you’re ready to act.   This list then becomes the central control list for your coaching life.  

I have my Master To-Do List organized by the month that I should work on it.   That way I already have a list that covers everything that I can be proactive on in the coming weeks so I can avoid rushing to do it last minute.   

At the beginning of the month, I pick a few things from my Master List and put them into my daily planning pages in my Green Time Management System for Coaches that I created.  

Having this list allows me to:

  1. Free up my mind so I don’t have to remember everything.  
  2. Be proactive with my schedule and get things done in advance so I can avoid a lot of running around frantically trying to finish a lot of last minute things. There is no more “oh crap, I forgot we have to do this” for me…for the most part .
  3. I can plan ahead which tasks I NEED to do and which tasks can be delegated.
  4. Being proactive on my to-do list has made it easier to meet goals, it has reduced a lot of busyness, and I have been able to work more efficiently.

If you are interested in hearing more of the details of how I do this, please email me at mandy@mandygreencps.com.  If you want to read about How to Restart a Bad Day and get other productivity advice that is applicable to what we do as coaches, go to www.mandygreencps.com and sign up for my newsletter.  Have a productive week!     

Will A Robot Take Your Coaching Job?Sunday, March 27th, 2016

by Mike Davenport, CoachingSportsToday.com

You’re not going to like this, but I have to ask you a question. You’ll probably think it’s the stupidest question you’ve gotten today. Or this week. Or maybe this decade.

Regardless, I’m going to ask …

Will a robot take your coaching job?

Will you be replaced by a machine?

There’s a new reality brewing

You, we, me are way too valuable to be replaced by a machine. We bring too much to the role of a coach.

How could we possibly be replaced by a robot?

Heads up — it’s happening already.

  • Yesterday, I took my pulse during practice by placing two fingers on my carotid artery, Coach would count to 10, then I would multiply by 6.
  • Today, I all have to do is look at my Fitbit and read the display.
  • Yesterday, to fine-tune a player’s moves to the basket, Coach would stand, watch and then instruct.
  • Today, video cameras are turned on, and players can watch their mistakes in all shades of slow motion. Where, when and how they want to watch it. (Each NBA team has six cameras in the ceiling.)
  • Yesterday, the intensity of my workout was at best an estimation.
  • Today, an app tracks my steps, stairs and heart rate and tells me to work harder or rewards me when I exceed my goals.

03-26-16 - Fitbit image

Are those robots? Close.

robot can be defined as a mechanical or virtual artificial agent, electro-mechanical in nature, which is guided by a computer program or electronic circuitry.

I think it’s scary how close we are to robot-coaches.

Human powered?

Why do humans even need to be involved in the coaching process?

Is it because we know more than machines and computers. Actually, we don’t.

Is it because we can communicate better. Actually, we can’t.

Is it because a machine could never drive better than us? Actually, they can.

Or is it because we learn as we go — and machines don’t. Actually, they do. As evidenced by an artificial intelligence named Giraffe, which taught itself to play chess and attained an International Master status in just 72 hours.

Taught. It. Self.

Knowledge, communication and learning are NOT just human strengths. Machines can do them, and if they aren’t doing them better than us TODAY, they will TOMORROW.

Our advantages

So what does a human-coach actually do better than a robot-coach? Humans blow away robots in at least two areas — areas critical to coaching: empathy and relationships.

Empathy — We can read people’s facial expressions. We can tell by the look in their eyes or their voice intonation how they’re feeling and what’s going on. We can grasp what they are emoting.

But, how long until robots can do that?

For instance, the computer I’m typing on has facial recognition. How difficult will it be to connect that recognition with an emotional data base? Then, when I sit down at my computer, it knows how I feel. “Need a few minutes of Twitter, Mike, to see what your friends are doing? It’ll pick you up.

Stay tuned on this, because I think it’s happening now.

Relationship — A critical factor in coaching is the ability to build positive relationships. A robot could never do that. Right?

Well — what’s your relationship with your smart phone?

Even if you don’t do any of those, I bet you know someone who does.

A prediction

I’m lousy at predicting the future. But there are voices to listen to.

Scott Santens wrote Robots Will Take Your Job, published in the Boston Globe. In the article Santens writes about the jobs already being replaced by robots (hint — it’s not just on the assembly line).

And he throws this bomb shell on the reader, “Nothing humans do as a job is safe anymore. From making hamburgers to anesthesiology, machines will be able to successfully perform such tasks and at lower costs than humans.

Evidence suggests Santens is right.


To keep our coaching jobs, we need to be valuable.

So, what makes YOU more valuable to your athletes/team/organization than a robot?

I’d love to hear …

The Greatest Moment in Sports HistorySunday, March 27th, 2016

by Charlie Adams, StokeTheFireWithin.com

Just a few weeks ago, after extensive research, Sports Illustrated came out with the Top 100 Sports Moments in American history. The 1980 Miracle on Ice was named the greatest sports moment of all time.

When you think about that, it is staggering considering all of the remarkable sports accomplishments in the U.S. That Herb Brooks, after seven years of coaching college, could take a group of 20 true amateurs and beat professional Soviets, who fielded their best ever over all team in Lake Placid.

Having been around sports closely now as a broadcaster, anchor, writer and speaker for 40 years, I believe not only was it the greatest sports moment, but also the single greatest coaching accomplishment. Not overall career, but what Brooks did leading up to and in the seven months he had that team.

It can be argued as the greatest upset ever in sports, the 4-3 win over the Soviets. Legendary ABC announcer Jim McKay said it was, up until the day he died. Historian and author Wayne Coffey has said goalie Jim Craig stopping 36 of 39 Soviet shots was arguably the greatest performance ever under pressure (Cold War, America in the dumps).

What I have often found myself wondering is why is it not studied more by coaches, especially at the college level? After extensive research, I have been delivering my insights on the template the past two years mainly to corporate audiences. What I have found is while many of them are inspired by and learn from the story, the target audience should be college coaches and athletes. You see, of the many corporate events I have done, you have the leader that is into it and the top sales people and the extra driven employees, often former athletes. I have also found that many employees are content to do their job and get to retirement. To be frank, many are taken aback by the fire within of Herb Brooks. They can’t or won’t relate to the incredible drive of him and that team.

On the other end, college coaches get him. They get his passion and desire to not put greatness into players but pull it out of them. They get his work ethic and drive for team, that he didn’t want a dream team but a team of dreamers.

Don’t get me wrong. I love sharing their incredible story with companies, schools and churches, but the other day driving back from delivering this to an Indianapolis company at their annual off-site meeting, I thought to myself, “I have got to prioritize college athletic programs. They are the ones that get this most!”

The vast majority of college athletes and many coaches don’t truly know how the Miracle on Ice happened, and how it was not a miracle, but earned. And there’s nothing wrong with that because it happened 36 years ago. I am 53 now so I remember it vividly as a 12th grader in Oxford, MS. Some younger people know it from the Kurt Russell movie Miracle, but that came out in 2004 and did not have the time to get into what Brooks did as a college coach and so many other things.

I have developed a specific college coaches and players program where I come in for part of a day and deliver my extensive research from many trips to Lake Placid, many interviews, over 1500 articles and all 15 books written on it, and more. There are powerful life changing insights. Not just from the USA side, but how Soviet hockey became the top sports dynasty in the world for decades. Insights like from Soviet hockey architect Anatoli Tarasov, who wanted his players to have the accuracy of a sniper, the wisdom of a chess player, and the rhythm of a musician.

This program is designed to help athletes truly understand what total team commitment is, as that 1980 USA Olympic hockey team was the greatest true team ever in American sports, as far as buying into what TEAM truly means.

To see how this program can help your program, contact me at:
(574) 807 – 2279

“As spectacular a program for college programs as I have seen in 40 years.” – Bob Bayliss, College Tennis Hall of Fame, former Notre Dame and Navy Coach

“Our players got so much out of this as far as what it means to be a team, and the power of work ethic. ‘Legs feed the wolf’ is what coach Brooks said. Thank you, Charlie!” – Mike Lightfoot, NAIA Basketball Hall of Fame,
Bethel College coach

Breaking the Tie Between You and Your CompetitionTuesday, March 22nd, 2016

by Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services

How are you preparing to do that?

I ask because what you do during the next few weeks will in large part determine whether or not many of your undecided students choose your school.

A number of my recent articles have focused on conversion, and this one will follow that trend. Right now there’s a big group of admissions counselors around the country “sweating it out.” Your school’s financial aid staff is trying to work their magic and put together packages that will help seal the deal with your prized prospects.

Here’s something interesting that we continue to see. Typically there comes a time late in the process where the following question enters the conversation:

Your prospects and their parents are trying to figure out if, and how much, you care.

Respected business marketing guru Seth Godin makes the same point when it comes to what we look for as adults:

“We’re hyper alert to the appearance of caring. We want to do business with people who appear to care, who appear to bring care and passion and dedication to their work. If the work expresses caring, if you consistently and professionally deliver on that expression, we’re sold.

The truth is that it’s what we perceive that matters, not what you bring to the table. If you care but your work doesn’t show it, you’ve failed. If you care so much that you’re unable to bring quality, efficiency and discernment to your work, we’ll walk away from it.

It’s probably hard to argue against this line of thinking.  The majority of our research shows that prospective students are looking to see who cares the most from start to finish.  More specifically, how does the admissions staff treat them, particularly at the end of the process.

So, how can you show your prospects that you care more than the competition this time of year? Here are five basic strategies that have consistently worked for our clients:

  1. Keep them updated as the process unfolds. We continue to find that a lot of admissions counselors make the fatal mistake of not communicating regularly with their recruits during this nerve-racking time of year.  In many cases you’re waiting for information just like your undecided prospect. That’s fine, but you need to consistently give them an update on what’s going on.  Even if your latest update has nothing new to report, this is a must do! I can’t stress this key point enough.
  1. Provide them with examples of how you’re working behind the scenes to help get them the best possible package. The more that you can use this time to demonstrate how you are doing some heavy lifting behind the scenes for them goes a long way towards getting them to perceive that you care more.  Remember, what we perceive is even more important than what we are doing in many instances (actually caring and working hard behind the scenes is important too of course!)
  1. Get to know the parents (if you haven’t already). If you read this newsletter often, then I probably sound like a broken record. The thing is, often times the recruitment process is so rushed that counselors never really take the time to get the parents on their side (if you were at my IACAC presentation a few weeks ago you know this a BIG mistake that many counselors make, and one that needs rectifying). I want you to make a concerted effort to contact your prospects’ parents and ask them questions about their son or daughter. Not sure what to ask them? Email me, and I’ll help you. Spending time with the parents is critical to setting yourself apart from other counselors who don’t have a deep relationship with family members other than their prospect.
  1. Ask them what objections they need answered.  Just because you still have good back-and-forth conversation with your prospect this late in the process doesn’t mean they are ready to say “yes” once that financial aid package comes in. Take this time to ask them these two questions: “Give me one or two big questions about our school that you’re still trying to figure out.” and “If there was one thing about campus that you could change, what would it be?”  Those two questions just might open up a new conversation about an objection that’s still on the table. If you don’t ask these questions, though, you’ll never be 100% certain.
  1. Connect them with your current students. “Your students made me feel like they wanted me more than all of the other colleges combined” and “The more I talked to students, the more it became clear that everybody is just one big community that looks out for each other.” Those are just a couple of the recent responses we received when we asked students what the deciding factor was that led them to pick their current college. Your current students, specifically your freshmen, just went through the same tough choices and dealt with the same sorts of feelings that many of your undecided prospects are dealing with right now. Are you creating opportunities for them to connect? It can tip the scales in your favor very easily if you do.

Right now many of your recruits are trying to figure out how to “break the tie” between you and the other colleges they’re considering. You need to prove to them that you care more than the other guys. It may be the most important thing you’ve done to this point!

Considering doing some staff training this summer or fall?  We can make it easy for you, and I guarantee it will be the most comprehensive two days of recruiting skills training that you’ve ever experienced.  Did I mention it’s also inexpensive? Your next step is to click this link and email me.

Bringing in the Best Class PossibleTuesday, March 22nd, 2016

counselor-brianThis is the third post in a series from a college counselor attempting to navigate the current admissions recruiting cycle. He is Brian Switay, a second year admissions counselor at Stevens Institute of Technology, a private research university in Hoboken, New Jersey.  His stories are intended to provide an inside look at the challenges he faces as he aspires to grow and advance in the profession.

In his first post, which you can read here, Switay talked about keeping up with the inquiries.  His second post offered tips to help other counselors successfully climb the admissions ladder. 


By Brian Switay:

Your applications have been read and decisions are being made. Take a breath and relax at least for a couple of days by watching some March Madness and catching up on your Netflix shows.

Once those decisions are sent it is a whirlwind of phone calls, emails, appeals and Admitted Student Day, or in our case, Admitted Student Weekend events. Yes, at Stevens we hold a free for all open house on both a Saturday and Sunday! So, you might be thinking to yourself, not a problem, I will show up for work, answer a few questions and go home, no big deal. Well as you probably know, Admitted Student Day is the one of the most important events that your department will hold. This All-Hands-On-Deck attitude can be the catalyst of a great recruiting class.

So, what can you do during Admitted Student Days to bring in the best class possible and ensure that all those late nights and long days weren’t for nothing? Here are some ideas:

  1. Drink Coffee, plenty of Coffee (bring gum to combat Coffee breath!) You will need to keep your energy up because answering questions with a smiling face never ends.
  2. Get involved, don’t stand around. Most of you will be assigned a certain task throughout the day, and that is fine. Take the time to mingle and interact with families. Inquire about how their day is going. Some of the most frustrating answers we hear about why students did not end up enrolling are “No one asked me questions” or “I didn’t have enough interaction with my counselor/school.”
  3. Ask what other kinds of schools they are considering or what are some of the factors that the student would like to have in their campus environment. Listen closely and then follow up by showing the student/family exactly how your school can offer what they are looking for.
  4. Know who is working the event that day, specifically what professors from what department. Many times students and families would like to meet with a certain professor or student organization/office on campus. Many times, it is Financial Aid. Try to absolve all these questions to the best of your ability, but if you are unable, know where to bring the family so you can get them the answers they are looking for. One of the worst things is looking around and not knowing who can help fix/address the problem a family is having. Preparation is paramount!
  5. Business Cards…hand them out. Once you answer a question, follow up with a business card (1 per family is sufficient). That way when they go home and digest everything that has been marinating within their brains throughout the day, they know who/where they can turn if questions arise. Seems basic, but I have attended Admitted Student Day events where this never happens.
  6. Be Excited. So obvious I know, but if you don’t look excited to be there, then why should your students be excited to be there as well?
  7. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN. Just listen to the requests of families.  Don’t assume you know what they are thinking.

I know that most of this seems to be very basic, but you would be surprised at how quickly one might forget these little things.

After all the planning, packing and staging of swag happens, you can find yourself already exhausted. Reach deep and find the will to power through the next couple of days and land the outstanding class that you are striving to achieve. You can relax once you are home that evening (that is until your emails and phone start ringing off the hook). I wish you the best of luck bringing in your class.

Follow me on Twitter @BrianatStevens to discuss this with me further!

3 Simple Strategies to Defeat “I Want to Think About It”Monday, March 21st, 2016

My guess is if you’re a college coach who has been recruiting for more than a few months in your career, you’ve encountered the six-word phrase from your prospect (or parent) that is the bane of coaches’ existences throughout the country.

“I want to think about it.”

Seems reasonable, right? I mean, this is a huge decision…potentially life altering, certainly important. “Thinking about it”, on the surface, is the smart, reasonable response for a prospect to give you when you ask them if they’re feeling ready to commit, or even if you’re just looking for feedback after telling them about your program during a campus visit or a recruiting phone call.

But it’s not. It’s not reasonable.

Actually, it’s one of the natural easy-to-use delay tactics that families have learned they can use with coaches who are recruiting them.

Here’s why I land on the side of it not being a reasonable, Coach:

  • In research we recently completed to help our clients craft a more coherent recruiting strategy down the stretch, we found that about 8 out of 10 recruits spend “little” to “no time” actually thinking about you, your offer, or your campus after they tell you that’s what they need to do.
  • We know from experience, and getting feedback from live student-athlete focus groups during our On-Campus Recruiting Workshops at college athletic departments around the country, that athletes make-up their mind and have defined a college within 10-15 minutes of completing a visit to your campus.
  • Most often, parents are viewing the entire recruiting process as a cross between what they watched in Jerry Maguire (this part, and unfortunately, this part, too), and what they read on recruiting message boards. In other words, they feel like they need to play poker with you so that, in the end, their hand beats yours.

So, unless a game of high stakes, winner-take-all, “are they bluffing or not” gamesmanship sounds like a welcome addition to your already complicated recruiting process, I suggest you eliminate the option of “I want to think about it” from your prospect’s communication lexicon. Here are a few proven strategies that we recommend:

Since we know that most prospects spend little to no time actually “thinking about it”, call them on it. There’s a variety of ways you can do this, but the most fundamental way to respond to this when you hear it is by replying, “Tell me what you’ll be thinking about.”

There are only two possible scenarios that will play out: Either they will a) fumble around and not really be able to define anything for you (because, as we know, most don’t actually think about it), or b) they list out objections, selling points, and insider conversations going on at their home as they try to reach a decision.

The think I love about this reply is it’s simplicity, and the way it quietly calls them on this obvious stall tactic.

Head it off at the pass. Since we know that they’ve pretty much made up their mind and have largely defined you after their campus visit, reach out for their opinion soon after their visit. At the most, two or three days after. At the soonest, about 20 minutes after they leave campus. Seriously…text your prospect, tell them how much you loved having them on campus, and then ask him or her what two or three big things they and their parents talked about after leaving campus. Specifically, what are the road blocks that they all see when it comes to the idea of them competing for you.

If you do this, Coach, you’ll be surprised how much it will eliminate the “I want to think about it” reply. Why? Because you’re getting them to define it for you, they go on record as to what they “think”. And that’s a very good thing for you to do in the long run.

Devote time to finding out what the parents “think”. It is still alarming to me how long it takes some college coaches to develop communication with parents. It’s imperative that you do, Coach. And when you do – hopefully sooner in the process rather than later – you need to find out what they see as the big hurdles to their son or daughter coming to compete for you on your campus. Focus on what mom and dad don’t like, have big questions about, or doubt they could support.

We’re finding that in slightly more than half the cases we help our clients with, the parents are going to impart way more actionable information to you than the recruit will. If you make this part of your recruiting communication strategy, you’ll find that you will insulate yourself against the “I want to think about it” stall.

Final note to all this:

You may have noticed that I’ve used the word “stall” when I talk about your recruit telling you that they want to think about it. The reason? Simple. That’s what it is.

They are stalling for time. They don’t like making a final decision (do any of us?). You want to lead them to a decision, in a professional way, and in a fair way. But in the end, it’s your job to help them reach a final decision.

If you’ve spent time telling them your story, they know your plan for them, and they’ve visited your campus, there shouldn’t be much to think about.

Want more next level strategies from your fellow coaches and recruiting experts? Attend the upcoming National Collegiate Recruiting Conference. What you don’t know can kill you in the recruiting process…this amazing three day conference will give you the edge you need. Get all the details about the upcoming event we’re planning here.

2016 NCRC Official Speaker Lineup Announced!Monday, March 21st, 2016

Indianapolis NCRC2016


Look at the amazing line-up of speakers, authors and recruiting experts we’ve assembled for college coaches who attend the 2016 National Collegiate Recruiting Conference in Indianapolis, June 10-12:



RESERVE ONLINE VIDEO ACCESS TO ALL SPEAKER SESSIONS (included for all coaches who attend the event in Indianapolis)

Friday, June 10

  • Dan Tudor – We’ll kick off the 2016 NCRC with an overview of the weekend, what the latest recruiting trends are, and more from our conference host.
  • Pat Rigsby – This well known expert will teach coaches how to effectively build their program’s brand for their recruits, fans and boosters.
  • Jeremy McCool – This former coach who now works in the NCAA will outline what the future holds for college recruiters around the country.
  • Theresa Beeckman – This former Division I volleyball coach will talk about what she’s involved with now, and how it can positively impact student-athletes that you coach.
  • Dan Tudor – Getting past objections that you encounter from your prospects is hard. Dan will show you how to not only overcome them, but use them to sell your recruit on your story.
  • Derek Rosseau – How college coaches can use their admissions departments more effectively in recruiting better prospects
  • Kyle Akin – We’ll wrap-up day one with Kyle’s inspirational story of perseverance and commitment.


Saturday, June 11th

  • John Brubaker – Have you heard of the popular “80/20 Rule”? This former college coach will teach you how to use it to supercharge your recruiting efforts.
  • Tom Koller – This Senior Associate Athletic Director will teach coaches how to stage an effective presentation – whether its communicating with recruit, boosters or your community!
  • Tiese Roxbury – One of the lead researchers for the NCAA will present her latest student-athlete findings that will affect how you recruit your next class
  • Tyler Brandt – A longtime successful college wrestling coach will present “They’re Not Recruits – They’re Millennials”. It’s a different way to approach your prospects in 2016-2017!
  • Mark Tewart – This respected professional sales author and advisor will present “Business Lessons for Recruiting: How To Persuade, Sell and Tell Your Story for Recruiting Success”
  • Gabe Bolton – This successful Division II soccer coach will talk about the importance of developing a successful program that demonstrates it cares about recruits, and each other.
  • Mandy Green – This popular presenter and Division I soccer coach will teach coaches more techniques to organize their day, and become more effective with their recruiting.
  • Panel Discussion – A fascinating collection of coaches and recruiting professionals talking about what works in recruiting, how to become more efficient, and what trends to watch for the upcoming recruiting year.
  • Stephanie Zonars – This former Division I basketball coach will teach on developing your incoming recruits the right way using effective team building techniques used by successful coaches and programs
  • Anthony Randall – Looking for creative and effective ideas on communicating with recruits in the digital age? This Division I swim coach has some things he wants to teach you!
  • Aaron Boettcher – This former basketball coach now works in admissions, and has some valuable advice for coaches at both large and small schools when it comes to using that department to your advantage.
  • Michael Cross – This assistant athletic director at Penn State talks about personal coaching career evaluations. It’s invaluable advice for serious, career-minded college coaches they won’t hear anywhere else!
  • Dr. Mark Robinson – The founder of the Institute for Personal Player Development will teach his techniques to coaches who want to build student-athlete performers
  • Sean Devlin – Every year, the co-creator of Front Rush joins us to talk about what technology trends are going to impact college coaches in the upcoming year. The tradition continues! He’s one of the brightest tech minds on the planet, and we’ll get a chance to marvel at his gigantic brain.
  • Garry Rosenfield – Getting your coaching career focused on the right goals that will solidify your future is the focus of this expert from Coaches, Inc.
  • Travis Clarke – This creative soccer coach will be offering winning ideas on building the right kind of team culture to guide your recruiting
  • Sue Enquist – The former national champion UCLA softball coach will wrap-up an amazing Saturday with her ideas on coaching, recruiting, and being a coach who makes a different. If you haven’t heard her before, you’re in for a career-defining talk that will make you better at what you do!


Sunday, June 12th

  • Charlie Adams – By popular demand, Charlie Adams brings another facet of Coach Herb Brooks’ incredible coaching and recruiting job to life as he explains how this legendary leader built a college program, and the 1980 Miracle on Ice Olympic hockey team.
  • Adam Henderson – He’s the tennis coach at Furman University, and his talk is “Recruiting Championship Players to a Program Without Championships”. You’re going to love it! (And, learn from it!)
  • Dennis Short – As a follow-up to the previous talk, this experienced college lacrosse coach will present “Selling Your Championship Dreams – Even Though Your Reality Feels More Like A Nightmare!” After these two incredible sessions, you’ll know how to sell any shortcomings at your school.
  • Dr. Mike Davenport – One of the preeminent thinkers in college sports (and a pretty good collegiate rowing coach, too!) talk about the “digital impact” on coaches, team development and recruiting.
  • Dan Tudor – The final extended wrap-up session for NCRC 2016 will focus on applying everything coaches learned at this year’s conference, final recruiting points to remember, and our popular rapid-fire Q&A session with our conference host.

NCRC Promo 3 NCRC Promo 2 NCRC Promo 4 NCRC Promo 1 IMG_1433 NCRC2014 7 NCRC2014 10 NCRC2014 4

A Game Changing Mindset For Your ProgramMonday, March 21st, 2016

by Mandy Green, Coaching Productivity Strategies 

The late Steven Covey, who wrote the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has done a lot of research on your work mindset.  He says that most people have one of 2 mindsets when it comes to dealing with work: urgency or importance.  Whether you’re operating from a mindset of urgency or a mindset of importance, it will profoundly affect your coaching life.  

When you react to the urgent – you tend to stop what you are doing to do the things that are right in front of us and seem to “need” our immediate attention.  

Or you can act on the important – which means you take the proactive initiative to determine what the right things are and to take action on them.   

I know for me, when I get sucked into the urgency mindset when I am in the office, I tend to keep my inbox open and my phone is on and as I get work done, it seems that my brain is just hovering, waiting.  The email chimes, the phone rings, or a text message beeps.  There’s something new!  Somebody wants me!  I’ve got to respond!

You get a dopamine hit, right, and in time you become dependent on the rush and excitement.  Like Pavlov’s famous dogs that were conditioned to salivate at the sound of a bell, we, too have been conditioned.  Can you relate coach?  

And if you’re like most coaches you get a dozen of these little interruptions every hour—do the math, you literally can’t focus on one thing for more than 5 minutes.

There is just no way to get significant work done that will move your program forward when you can only focus for short spurts.

My tip today for getting out of the urgency mindset is to close your inbox and don’t use it as your to-do list.  

These are the 4 things that I find happened when you keep your email open all day:

  1. You are letting somebody else dictate your priorities.  I’ve heard it said a lot that the email inbox is just an organizing system for other people’s agenda.  
  2. Basically, somebody else can control your day just by sending you a bunch of emails.  
  3. As you are checking your to-do list (your inbox), other messages come in to demand your attention, and you’re always distracted.
  4. Your inbox organizes your emails in chronological order making it virtually impossible to have a prioritized to-do list.

The key to true productivity is not to get a lot of other people’s requests done, but to get the right things done—the important things.

You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage-pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically—to say no to other things.    

I don’t know that it is possible to do this all day, but find a few blocks of time where all you do is work on your important stuff.  You might find this hard at first.  I did.  At the time, I just couldn’t quite get ahead in anything I was doing and felt busy all the time.  It wasn’t until I changed my mindset, turned off my email for parts of the day, and spent larger chunks of time working on important things that I really was able to make significant progress on turning the program I am at around.  Try it.  Then email me and let me know how it goes ☺ mandy@mandygreencps.com.   


Athlete Excuse Tournament BracketMonday, March 21st, 2016

by Mike Davenport, CoachingSportsToday.com

If you coach long enough you’ll hear some amazing excuses.

Excuses why an athlete:

  • Is Quitting
  • Didn’t perform well
  • Was late to practice
  • Did something wicked odd

… and for everything under the Sun.

Mike Hughes, my podcasting partner over at This Old Coach, and I recently compiled a list of some of our favorite athlete excuses.

Between our shared experiences of Olympic and national team leader roles, coaching college rowing, and coaching other sports we’ve heard some good ones.

What you’ll see are the best athlete excuses we’ve heard over our combined 80+ years of coaching.

Being mindful of the madness erupting in sports this March, I offer you our:

Athlete Excuse Tournament Bracket

03-20-16 - athlete excuse bracket

(click image to enlarge)

And for you folks that prefer lists, here are the excuses as such (#39 is the winner):

  1. There is mold in my car
  2. The Yankees lost
  3. My tutor feel asleep
  4. My hair is embarrassing
  5. My snake died
  6. It’s way too hot
  7. It’s cold out
  8. I don’t like the rain
  9. Birds. I’m afraid of birds
  10. My experiment caught fire
  11. You don’t like me
  12. A bat flew in our room last night
  13. My alarm didn’t go off
  14. I set my alarm for PM not AM
  15. We had 3 fire alarms last night
  16. My dad got arrested
  17. My parents had my car towed
  18. This sport is no fun
  19. The captains are idiots
  20. It’s too sunny out
  21. It’s too dark out
  22. There was a crack in my windshield
  23. I went to a concert
  24. This is so boring
  25. We never have a fun practice
  26. This sport costs too much
  27. My computer crashed
  28. I’m getting married (only 18!)
  29. You play favorites
  30. We always do the same thing
  31. Practice takes too long
  32. I don’t like winning
  33. A sod truck flipped over on the road
  34. I drank milk last night (lactose intolerant)
  35. There’s a Shuttle launch
  36. My grades are too low
  37. Facebook said practice was cancelled
  38. This team is cursed
  39. It’s Bruce Springsteen’s birthday
  40. I have a paper due
  41. I have to Xmas shop
  42. I’m enrolling in the Salvation Army
  43. Lab due for months, just getting to it
  44. My roommates friend was sick
  45. Going home because of family party
  46. He/she dumped me
  47. I got knocked out in boxing class
  48. I separated my shoulder in wrestling class
  49. I have to meet the President
  50. I’m escorting a Senator to dinner
  51. I have a make up test
  52. I have to usher tonight
  53. I have to pick my parents up at the airport
  54. I have to pick up my car at the mechanics
  55. My eyes are dilated from eye doctors
  56. I can’t miss church
  57. I’m too sunburned
  58. I have the hiccups and I can’t stop them
  59. I have mitosis (really had tendonitis)
  60. I was stabbed in fencing class
  61. Al Gore lost, I’m emotionally spent
  62. I don’t understand why we are doing this
  63. I’m moving
  64. I ate snails — I’m allergic

I’m sure you’ve heard of some beauties. If you’d like to share, pop ’em in the comment section below. I’ll add them to the list, and maybe they’ll make the tournament next year!

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