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You need to use this google maps hackMonday, December 26th, 2016

neal_headshot_dantudorNeal Cook, Front Rush

Hey Coaches!

Hope your Holiday weekend was splendid!

As much as I would have loved to slide down each and every one of your chimneys, like Scott Calvin, from Santa Claus, I am physically unable to do so (side note…Neal from Santa Claus is a huge prick).

What I can give to you is my top-secret Google Maps hack. This have been tested on the iPhone 7, but should work on Android devices as well.

Without further ado!

Your Places

Follow these steps to save you time in the long run:

  1. Open Google Maps
  2. Click on the 3 horizontal bars to the left of the ‘Search Google Maps’ search bar
  3. Click ‘Your Places’
  4. If you haven’t done so before, click ‘enter an address’ next to the Home and Work icons. Plug in your addresses.
  5. Click the back arrow to get back to the search bar
  6. Enter in an address that you use GPS for frequently (gym, grocery store, mall, etc). You can also enter in family/friends addresses (aunts, girlfriends, grandparents, etc)
  7. Click on the address
  8. Click on the ‘Label’ icon in the center-bottom of the page
  9. Name this address (moms, dads, gym, etc)
  10. Click ‘Done’
  11. Repeat this for all of your frequent searches


What you just did was associate your favorite people/places with their physical address.

So instead of typing in “2240 Mercerville-Whitehorse Road, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619” to find your Grandma’s nursing home every time you pull up your Google Maps, you can just type “Grandma” to be directed to her location. That is, unless she has ran away on her wheelchair (which my Grandma frequently hints at).

This is a great time-saving hack, and has saved me from repeatedly asking my close acquaintances for their address over and over again.

Hope this helps a tiny bit!


Your Admissions Wish List for SantaTuesday, December 20th, 2016

by Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services

Christmas time is here.

You’ve managed to get through a crazy fall that was full of school visits, fairs, campus visits, phone calls, emails, reading applications, and so much more.

How are you feeling right now about this next class of students? Are you excited…nervous…frustrated…or secretly freaking out a little on the inside?

Regardless of how you’re feeling today, here’s what I want you to do. I want you to come up with one wish for Santa. Other than more time or a bigger budget, what’s one student recruitment problem or professional skill that you could really use help with right now?

Got it? Okay, on to the fun part. Start a new email to me by clicking this link. In the subject line put “admissions wish”. Write down your wish and click send…and then come back and read the rest of this article. If you do click send, you’ll get a helpful response from me before Christmas day.  That’s right, free help for the holidays!

If you skipped over that part and didn’t just send me an email, that’s okay. I’ve been keeping a wish list all year long based on my conversations with VP’s, Directors, Assistant Directors, Counselors, and other admissions professionals. Maybe your “admissions wish” is on this list.

Here are 5 common wishes along with my recommendations for creating a winning solution to each:

  1. Figuring out how to best communicate with prospects/parents. What’s the most effective method of communication according to your prospects – phone calls, email, text messaging, social media, or direct mail? Our ongoing research still ranks email as a student’s preferred method of communicating with you, but you always should ask your prospect which one they prefer most. Keep in mind that each form of communication has its place in the recruitment process. Ultimately what you need to do throughout the entire cycle is create a good mix and have a consistent flow. This generation of prospects will react favorably to a good combination of all the above. If you choose to believe that direct mail has no value for prospects any more or that a separate comm. flow for parents isn’t necessary, you’re leaving the door open for a competitor (especially if they’re a client of ours) that will employ all of their communication resources.
  2. The perception of your school at the beginning of the process. It’s a proven fact that today’s prospect and their parents start the college search process with biases against most schools. If you refuse to accept that notion, or you don’t think you need to address those biases, you’ll be fighting a major uphill battle.  Your prospect’s mind is like a whiteboard. Whatever goes up there first is what they usually believe even if it’s not 100% accurate. You need to tell your prospects as early as possible what to think about various aspects of your school.
  3. Turning those admits into deposits. When we talk to prospects about their final decision, there’s usually a common thread. The school they chose constantly asked questions about their wants and their needs and was able to connect all the dots throughout the recruitment process not only for them, but also their parents. If you missed my article last week about getting “little yeses”, then click that link because you need to gain agreement at different points in the process before you can realistically think that it’s time to ask your admits if they’re ready to submit their deposit. As far as your communication plan goes, you should NOT significantly decrease the information that you send a student after they’re admitted. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that they have all the information they need to make an informed decision at this stage. And don’t use the excuse that you’ve got nothing left to talk with them about.  One more thing – what’s your school doing to connect admitted students with current students and recent graduates? Organizing networking events for admitted students to interact with those two groups offers a ton of value…and don’t forget about the parents!
  4. Truly differentiating your school from your direct competition. Aside from the actual dollar amount, what makes your school different and better than school B and C when it comes to fulfilling your prospect’s wants and needs? This generation craves a reason to choose a college based on the unique selling proposition it offers them. Are you helping create a logical and emotional connection for them? In my article a few weeks back I gave you all kinds of ideas on how to truly stand out. Click that link if you missed it, or if you need to read it again.
  5. Talking about price and demonstrating value.  If you don’t think that a large majority of families are willing to pay more for that “right fit”, you’d be wrong. In fact, I’m willing to bet you’ve done the same for something at least once in your life…coffee, your car, your house, a dinner out…I could go on and on.  When it comes to talking about price, you need to do it early, be 100% transparent about your school’s entire financial aid process (and how it compares to other colleges they’re considering), figure out what kinds of challenges this process creates for them, and work hard to be their guide. A big part of demonstrating your value is creating a connection and cultivating trust. You do this by constantly asking questions so that you can understand what they’re looking for and how you can best meet that need. When you create and nurture that connection, you separate yourself and your school by delivering the most memorable customer experience. Proof of that continues to pop up in recruiting surveys that we conduct when we partner with a college.  Students will state their college wasn’t the cheapest option, but they chose it because they felt a sense of community and belonging on campus, and their admissions counselor was such a fantastic go-to person throughout. You do those things by providing valuable content that helps them navigate the college search process smoothly, while also explaining what makes your student experience so incredible. You explain how your students learn, the relationships they have with faculty and others on campus, the opportunities your campus offers them to grow, and what your institution does to prepare them for success upon graduating. Don’t just tell them about the R.O.I. they can expect, show them recent results and explain what that means in terms of their investment. Value can be communicated logically and emotionally, and you need to do both.

Happy Holidays, and thank you for your attention.

Admissions VIP Extra: December 20, 2016Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Questions and talking points for parent conversations: by Jeremy Tiers

“I’m not happy to admit this but I haven’t been good about talking with parents. Can you help me start the conversation?”

That’s the text of an email I received from a counselor last week and it got me wondering how many other counselors haven’t spoken yet with the parent(s) of their admitted students.

Let me suggest several questions and talking points that have worked well for our clients.  In addition to establishing credibility, asking these kinds of questions will get parents to open up and allow you to determine just where your school stands at this point in the process:

  • “What are you trying to get out of this whole college search process?”
  • “What is it about our school that makes it a potential good fit for <child’s name>?”
  • “What are you trying to get <child’s name> to focus on at this point?”
  • “What do you see as the next step in this process?”
  • “What’s your biggest fear as a parent as you help <child’s name> choose a college?”
  • “What’s one big question that I could answer for you right now?”
  • “Has your family talked about a timeline for a final decision?”


Screen Shot 2016-12-20 at 8.33.14 AMMost college recruiters are constantly searching for that holy grail of all recruiting messages out to their prospects: The right balance.

On today’s College Recruiting Weekly podcast, we explore the latest research on what the balance should be. Based on the popular talk Dan Tudor presented at the American Volleyball Coaches Association convention, we talk about the five categories that today’s athlete identify as being a part of that “right” balance, and what kind of mix each element should have in an overall strategy.

We focus on some of the misconceptions many college coaches bring into a discussion about their recruiting strategy, and point out some of the smart ways to take advantage of this data as you reconstruct your plan.

Take a good look at the image here on this page, as well, because we will reference it in the podcast as a teaching point.



Why Your Social Media Message Is Last at the BuffetTuesday, December 20th, 2016

Go to any buffet, and you’ll always find the tasty stuff at the end.

I’m talking about the fruit and marshmallow salad, jello, pudding…all the stuff that tastes good, but isn’t all that good for you. In other words, all the stuff that my kids used to make a bee-line for any time we found ourselves in front of a buffet table.

Is it tasty and fun to look at? Absolutely!

Am I guilty of putting a little bit on my plate any chance I get? Sure.

But if you eat too much of it, and make it the main part of your meal, you’re not going to feel very good afterwards. After the temporary sugar high, you’ll feel a little sick to your stomach. And, nutritionally speaking, you’re not going to do yourself any favors when you attack the buffet line as I’ve described.

So with that visual now firmly cemented in your mind, let me talk about the recruiting equivalent to the jello and pudding at the end of the buffet line:

Social media.

The longer it’s been in existence, the more it is misunderstood by college coaches throughout the country.

And since the number of social media platforms continues to increase, and the number of teens who use it on a daily basis remains steadily high, I want to try to describe the ways we see it being used most effectively when we develop social media and communication strategies for our clients on an ongoing basis.

There are right and wrong ways to approach social media when recruiting an athlete, and many coaches are making incorrect assumptions in how prospects want it used in the communication process.

In other words, they have some advice for you when it comes to how you lay out your buffet, Coach:

First of all, understand that about half of your prospects don’t want you to interact with them on social media. 

In the landmark recruiting study we conducted two years ago for college coaches, one of the surprising findings was that social media and the recruiting contact process was not universally wanted by teenagers.

That’s important for coaches to understand because the assumption that I hear being forwarded more often than not is “all these kids are on social media, and so I should be there right alongside with them.”

Coaches definitely need to factor social media into their overall strategy, but they also need to find out if their prospect is on the side that is saying it’s fine to communicate with them via social media, or if they will look at it as a negative when a coach attempts to do that.

Prospects want a mix of communication media that tells them the overall story of the program that is recruiting them.

Think back to the buffet example.

The thing that makes a buffet magical is that there is such a variety of good stuff to choose from. And it’s that variety that keeps buffet restaurants in business: All kind of different main dishes, side dishes, salads and deserts. If you were limited to just one category of food, there’d be nothing compelling about eating there. The same holds true for the way you combine your social media messaging with the rest of it.

It matters. The “feel” of that mix is vitally important to your reader.

Social media is all about the feel of your program’s personality, not about a direct sales message.

We don’t usually spend time on social media to take in sales messages, right?

Guess what. Neither do your recruits.

They tell us that what they’re looking for in a coach’s social media message is to get a feel for the overall personality of the program, you as the coach, and your team. They want insider video, pictures and stories. And it’s best to tell it visually, rather than with a lot of text. That means very few press releases, not a lot of stats, and a limit on results of games.

They tell us they want you to focus generally answering the question of what it’s like to be on the team, and proof that you are going to be the best college to take their talents to. That means lots of normal day-in-the-life-of your athletes, what you are really like as a person, and what makes your campus the most fun.

One last recommendation: Get permission before you send them a direct message.

We’re finding that one of this generation’s greatest pet peeves when it comes to recruiting contact from coaches is uninvited, unwanted direct messages from college coaches. In their mind, it can easily cross the line, and you’ll begin to look like someone that will earn the dreaded title of “creeper”.

The solution is simple: At the start of your contact with a prospect, ask them if they want to talk to you via direct message on their favorite social media platform. Or, as a back-up, have them tell you how they do want you to contact them – email, text, phone? The goal is to find the best way to hold ongoing conversations with them; despite their love of social media, don’t assume that they’ll “love” hearing from you as the coach who is recruiting them.

Remember, social media should be part of a mix…it’s not a stand-alone communication method that can get the job done all by itself. As a part of the recruiting buffet that your recruit steps up to, you need to give them a balanced meal of mail, email, texting, phone calls, personal time, and social media.

Don’t load them load up on all the sweet stuff and empty calories waiting for them at the end of the line.

Want to dive a little deeper into the topic of social media, and how best to balance it with the rest of your message out to your recruits? Take the time to listen to our special podcast on the topic, where we explore the right balance of media to use when you contact recruits. You can listen to it here.

Amazon Go (Ho Ho)Monday, December 19th, 2016

jw_headshotJulie Weiss, Front Rush

Yesterday while standing in a long snaking line in Bed Bath and Beyond I caught myself in a brief state of holiday hypnosis as I gazed into the eyes of a dancing Santa figurine  perched on the top shelf of the aisle endcap. Sigh, ‘tis the season for magic. As I came out of my haze I wondered if this familiar shopping experience is soon to change.

Earlier this month Amazon, a company who continues to push the magical envelope when it comes to catering to the consumer, unveiled it’s newest trick, an even more convenient convenience store they are calling Amazon Go. You may have seen the commercial. Customers walk into the store and are free to put whatever they want in their bag then simply walk out. No check out, no lines. It’s all handled through your phone. The Amazon Go app recognizes what you have put in your bag (blows my mind) and then charges you accordingly. So how exactly do they do that?

Amazon has figured out a way to read our minds. Upon entering the store a drone greets you with a bag full of everything that is on your shopping list. Okay okay, so maybe it’s not quite like this (yet).

The concept of the store is made possible through a combination of machine learning, sensors in the form of cameras and microphones; and artificial intelligence. USAToday outlines the flow as follows…

  • Customer walks in, taps phone on sensor in an area Amazon is calling the “transition area”
  • Surveillance identifies the customer
  • Cameras placed throughout the store capture items shoppers pick up and can determine whether the item stays with them or is placed back on the shelf
  • Microphones are used to detect where customers are by the noises they make
  • Infrared pressure and load sensors are used on the shelves to help note when an item is picked up or put back
  • The sensors also tell the store where everything and everyone is at any moment
  • Upon exit, items are totaled up and charged to the user’s Amazon account where they will receive a receipt for their purchases.

The blueprint is intriguing. The system feels thought out and well planned (so far?). The patent filed by Amazon in 2014 gives us an even closer (and somewhat creepier) look at what is involved.

“The use of cameras can even go as far as to determine your skin color. The patent says this is used to identify the shopper’s hand to see whether they actually pick up anything off of a shelf, but combine that with the fact that Amazon knows what you’re buying and who you are and this is pretty next-level market research data.” (verge.com 12/6/16)

Yes it does sound a little creepy, but if they make us aware of the creepiness from the get go while making the shopping experience more efficient in the process, do we give them a pass?

What about the human variable? What if an item is put back in the wrong place? How will the sensors react? Are the microphones able to differentiate between customers? Will quiet shoppers go undetected when drowned out by crying babies? How will Amazon account for multiple cell phones when families, friends (and teams), shop together? Will an army of drones be released on potential shoplifters? It is yet to be seen how such variables will be taken into account.

The beta store located in Seattle is currently being tested out on Amazon employees and is slated to open to the public in early 2017. The inventory consists of basic grocery needs and pre-made meal kits. With Amazon’s hold on ecommerce it is not hard to imagine how this concept will branch out if proven successful.

Imagine running to the store to stock up on food for your next away game without lines.

Looking past retail, the possibilities that this technology creates are endless.

Is Your Staff Spending too Much Time on “B” and “C” Priorities?Monday, December 19th, 2016

Mandy Green, Busy Coach

Is your program making the progress you want?  

If you were to do a time audit, where you track how much time you are spending on each task during the day, what would the result of your audit tell me?  Hopefully it would say that you are you spending 80% of your time on things that are progressing your team, recruiting, leadership, and relationships in your program forward.  

I have found that coaches often expend their best on “B” and “C” priorities because they seem urgent, and they give “A” priorities what’s left over.  

John Maxwell, in his book Developing The Leaders Around You, gave a good explanation of what “A”, “B”, and “C” priorities are. I changed his descriptions to make them more College Coach specific.    

“A” priorities are ones that move your program, athletic department, or job function forward. They break ground, open doors to new opportunities, or develop new markets.  They prompt growth, within your staff, your team, and in your program as a whole.  

“B” priorities are concerned with maintenance. They are required for things to continue to run smoothly, such as taking care of all of the details, answering recruiting letters or phone calls, and taking care of details.  They are things that cannot be neglected, but they don’t add value to the organization.  

“C” priorities are not important things such as checking social media, gossiping with co-workers, or any other task that really adds no value to your program.   

As you are getting ready tonight for going back into the office tomorrow, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Make sure you know what your top priority activities are.  Make a list of tasks that you feel are program developing tasks.  
  2. From that list you just made, find 3 program growing activities that you could do during the week this week.  It could be something like reading a coaching or sales or leadership book, developing relationships with youth coaches who could help you by recommending better players, watching game video, or whatever you feel it is for your program.  
  3. Block off time as early in the day as possible where you will work on nothing else but those program growing activities.  
  4. At the end of the day tomorrow, reflect on how well you did.  What went well?  Did you stick to your plan or were you easily distracted?  What could you have done better?  

It is almost impossible to build your program into what it could be if you are choosing only to work on “B” and “C” priorities during the day.  You need to know what your growth priorities are, proactively schedule and fit them into your schedule, not allow yourself to get distracted until you have finished, then review and reflect at the end of the day so you can make any necessary improvements.   

If you would like more articles like this sent to your inbox every Sunday, email me at mandy@busy.coach and I will put you on my list.  If you want other articles like this or other productivity products that are made specifically for college coaches, go to www.busy.coach.  

Have a productive week!

Mandy Green

Why You Need to Get “Little Yeses” From Prospects and ParentsTuesday, December 13th, 2016

by Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services

It’s vitally important to take your time and lead prospective students, and their parents, through the process of understanding why they should want to come to your school, and why they’ll feel proud to put on that sweatshirt.

That involves persuasion, and another “P word” that I’ll get to in a minute.

Way too often I see admissions counselors try and skip steps and accelerate a prospect’s college decision-making process. Sometimes it actually works, but almost always the end result is either not in their favor, or it increases the length of time for the result.

Along with persuasion you need to lay the groundwork for agreement. Consistent messaging is a big part of the equation as our clients discover on a regular basis.  That takes the other “P word” – Patience.  It’s the idea of building something great brick by brick. Patience is also at the heart of this next strategy that I want you to adopt, if you’re not doing it already:

Gaining agreement through small wins or as I like to call them, “little yeses”.

That means rather than trying to jump to the end of your argument (“You should pick our school and submit your deposit now”), focus on earning as many “little yeses” as you can throughout the process.

When you get a prospect or parent to offer agreement to something and give you that “little yes”, versus you telling them what they should do/think, they’re more likely to move forward because they were the architect. For example:

  • Get them to agree that your location or school size (big or small) is actually a positive
  • Get them to agree to follow you on social media
  • Get them to agree to set up a follow-up phone call with you
  • Get them to agree to talk to their parent(s) about visiting campus
  • Get them to tell you that they can see themselves living in your dorms, eating in your cafeteria, attending events on your campus, or enjoying all that your surrounding community has to offer
  • Get them to agree that filling out the FAFSA now can benefit them
  • Get the parent(s) to agree that your campus is a safe environment and you have programs in place to help their son/daughter successfully transition to college
  • Get them to agree on what the next step in the process will be
  • Get them to agree when they’ll make their final decision, and how

I would classify all of those things as small wins. Once you get enough of those small wins or “little yeses”, it makes asking for the big yes (their intention to enroll at your school) a hundred times easier. You won’t have to worry about being pushy or scared to “ask for the sale”, because they’ve already given you a bunch of “little yeses” along the way.

Remember though, for you to get one of those “little yeses” you need to cultivate those relationships and consistently ask the right questions (sometimes more than once) in the right way at the right time. Don’t ever assume you know what their answer to a question is going to be, or that the answer won’t change over time.

Getting those “little yeses” will be a real difference-maker for you, and it’s another way to stand out from your competition!

Follow Jeremy Tiers and TCS Admissions on Social Media:






Admissions VIP Extra: December 13, 2016Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Mastering the art of persuasion: by Jeremy Tiers

Just about every successful admissions recruiter I’ve ever met has mastered the art of persuasion.

If you want to do a better job persuading this next class of prospects then try implementing these two persuasion-boosters into your conversation:

  1. Figure out whether you need to talk faster or slower.  Did you know that it’s better to talk faster if your prospect is likely to disagree with you, or have doubts about your school?  That’s because it gives them less time to formulate their own counter-opinions, and makes it more likely that they’ll accept your super confident talking points as truth.  Plus, it also makes it less likely that their mind will wander and they’ll stop paying attention.  Conversely, if you’re talking to a prospect who’s likely to agree with you, or is excited about you and your school, you should slow your rate of speech down.  If you want more proof, here’s an insane amount of research that backs up the points I’m making.  Being persuasive involves giving off the right “feel” to your prospect.
  2. Share both the positives and the negatives.  As I’ve said before, this generation of students, and their parents, are looking for people who are transparent and demonstrate honesty throughout the recruitment process.  It’s okay to show your cracks…in fact I’d encourage you to do so.  I don’t know of any college or university in the country that’s perfect in every way.  When you don’t touch on those perceived negatives understand that many of your prospects assume that you’re trying to hide something.  Don’t lend credence to that notion by not having a conversation when the time is right.  If you don’t, I assure you that someone else will, and who knows how they’ll frame that discussion.

5 Ways to Make Time for RecruitingMonday, December 12th, 2016

Mandy Green, Busy Coach

I am 100% guilty of not making recruiting a priority at times.  I would get into the office and then get busy doing other things and would tell myself that “I will do it later.”  I would fit in a few minutes in here or there but at the end of the day, I would leave the office feeling guilty because I knew that I didn’t make any significant progress.   

Can you relate?

It is easy to get lost in all of the details of what we do day-to-day.  But for all of us, obviously recruiting quality student athletes is vital to the continued or future success of our program. Recruiting is and should be a priority, so we need to find a way to give it the time it deserves.      

As I have been reading about and applying different time management techniques over the last 8+ years, some methods have worked better than others.  

Here are 5 most effective things that I have done to make time for recruiting.  Depending on your work hours and situation, maybe some or all of these could help.

  1. Start my day earlier.  Instead of waiting to do it when I got into the office, I woke up early and got at least 1 hour of pure recruiting work done before I got into the office.  It was quiet and there were no interruptions so I was able to work for a solid chunk of time and cranked out a ton of emails. It felt great walking into the office for the day knowing that I had already gotten a good amount of recruiting done. 
  2. I worked from a different location.  Depending on the week and how much there was to do, I figured out which were my least busy days and times around the office and went and worked from home or in a coffee shop for a solid block of time.  I was having a hard time making any significant progress in my recruiting when I was only doing it for a few minutes here and there in between 4,000 other things that needed to get done. Going somewhere different where I couldn’t be interrupted and was able to work for solid blocks of time was really helpful. 
  3. I made a long list of everything that had to get done with recruiting.  I figured out what I HAD to do, then I found people to delegate the rest to.  I’ve hired students through work study to do my database entry.  I have gotten my communication majors do our social media for a class project.  I have had to get creative here because my 1st 3 years here at South Dakota I didn’t have a full-time assistant.  There was a lot of work to do so I had to think outside the box and go find help with the resources I had on campus. 
  4. I created systems or checklists for almost everything.  I have checklists for what needs to get done on on-campus visits, recruiting phone calls, game day, preseason, travel, after season meetings, the spring season, etc.  It takes longer, the work doesn’t get done as well, things get forgotten, and it is mentally exhausting when you always trying to remember things because you only have everything up in your head.  Get your standard operating procedures out of your head and down on paper.  When you can get those things running smoother, it will free up a lot more time to do recruiting as well. 
  5. I time tracked what I was actually doing during the day.  From when I started working to when I finished for the day, I wrote down everything I did and for how long I did it.  It was annoying to do for the 2 days that I did it but I was shocked at how much time I was wasting doing unnecessary things and how little time I was allowing for things I know would help grow my program. I tweaked a lot of things from that one exercise and made myself take control of my day better. 

I did all of these things above because I was tired of being tired and stressed out about not getting enough recruiting done. As you may have noticed, doing all of these things above required me to change how I was currently working.  

It was really hard a few years ago to make changes to how I was working because I was used to doing things a certain way.  But now, I don’t think twice about it. 

My program is so much better now because I am working on my program, and not just being busy working in my program. 

How do you make time for recruiting?  Email me at mandy@busy.coach and let me know.  Love hearing all of the ways that everybody else is staying organized and focused on the right things.

Want to work with me this year to get more organized and productive?  Click here.   If you want more information like this delivered to your inbox every Sunday night, get the Busy Coach Newsletter.  

Have a productive week!

Mandy Green

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