Dan Tudor

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August 18th, 2014

The Video Solution for Coaching Beyond Your Practice

As more and more college coaches begin to use the inexpensive, easy-to-use Dartfish Express app for college coaches, there’s another free teaching tool that more and more programs are using to coach their athletes even after practice is over.

It’s called Dartfish.tv, and it’s revolutionizing how players at large and small colleges alike are getting visual feedback from their coaches 24/7.

After recording video on the Dartfish Express app for smart phones, college coaches are posting that video for each athlete – with coaching notes and instruction – on their free Dartfish.tv account, which can be accessed by their team after practice is done.

One Division I program that is doing just that is the track and field program at Texas Christian University.  They’ve been seeing the benefits to the Dartfish Express and Dartfish.tv combination for several seasons now.

“There’s absolutely no comparison between showing one of your athletes what they need to understand, versus just talking to them”, says John Kenneson, Associate Head Coach of the TCU track and field team.  “When they see themselves on video they understand why you’re telling them what you’re telling them.  They have to know what the standard is, and Dartfish.tv is the best platform we’ve found for doing it.”

The thing that sold TCU on the winning combination?  How easy it all is to use.

“I’m not a super technical person, but once it’s on your phone or your iPad, it’s really easy to use”, says Kenneson.  “In the old days, it was really hard to film something, save it, download it and then share it.  But now we just get the video on Dartfish Express, and in a few seconds we upload it straight to Dartfish.tv.  It’s simple.”

Getting started with this simple coaching solution is easy:  First, download the app.  Then, start your free Dartfish.tv account.  It’s as easy as that…most programs are up and running in just a few minutes.

Want to make a quick, effective upgrade to the way you coach your athletes this year, no matter what your division level is or what your budget looks like?  Use these two high tech coaching tools from Dartfish!

For help getting started, complete the contact form here.  Or, start your FREE Dartfish.tv account for your team here.

August 18th, 2014

Dads Cry Too

by Mike Davenport, CoachingSportsToday.com

I cried for 20 minutes today.

I’m an alpha-type guy. I’m used to compartmentalizing and burying my emotions. But not today. Today was different. It was check-in-day.

I dropped my oldest off at college — to start his freshman year.

I’m not supposed to cry, my wife is. Sure, I get that.

And there’s a lot of misery in the World right now, so depositing my kid at a good college to get a good education is supposed to be a happy event. Fine and dandy.

But here’s the thing, I don’t care. I’ll miss him. Really miss him.

Here’s the bigger thing — the important thing — the thing YOU should know as a college coach — I’m NOT the only Dad who cries. There are others — lots.

We go to the car while mom gets the dorm-room ready. We cry in the parking lot.

“It’s allergy season,” I heard one guy say today. Another, wiping his eyes, broadcasted, “Got stupid sunscreen in my eyes, again.”

Me? I told one guy my eyes were bloodshot from drinking. I haven’t had a drink in 30 years.

So, why should you care?

Because the person who recruited weeping-Dad’s child might be missing an opportunity to shine.

What if a coach wandered around the parking lot with a box of tissues? Dispensing as needed. Patting a few dads on the back. I can think of worse duties.

And if check-in-day has come and gone? Give the recruit 10 postcards, and make sure he mails one each day to his Dad. Jeez, I haven’t gotten a postcard in years, and never one from him. That’d be cool.

Y’know, if the phone rang right now, and one of my son’s new coaches called saying, “Hey Dad, no worries, we’ll take good care of him,” that would be nice.

Better yet, if the coach called and said, “Hey Dad, I know you’re tight with your son. Thanks for trusting me, I will make sure he keeps you updated, emailing/texting/whatever-social-you-like-connecting each day”, that would rock my world.

Or set up a Dad’s section on your team’s website. Dads will like that, even if it is something silly.

If any of those happened I would be blasting all my friends, “Those coaches got it together, your son should go there”.

Some people say college is a time for parents to let go, cut those strings.  Wander around the parking lot on check-in-day and see how well that message goes with the Dads.

And bring tissues, they will get used.

(Oh yeah … This also applies to high school, middle school, and pee wee sports. Trust me, I’ve been there too.  It does.)

August 18th, 2014

The Moment Vs. The Movement

by Tyler Brandt, National Recruiting Coordinator

We are tuned in to looking for teachable “moments” as educators and coaches, the problem is they are just that – fleeting moments. The thing is,  moments are  are a lot like cats – they operate on their own schedule and are never really where you need them when you need them.

This is the same challenge coaches have when it comes to recruiting, we recruit in the moment. So many coaches are trying to CREATE the “Flutie Effect” in their programs every day, losing sight of the fact that even if they can do it – it’s still just a moment in time and that moment will be gone. Once that moment is gone another moment has to be created to sustain success and we all know moments are on their own schedule! Think about technology and how fast phones become obsolete! Once your phone is old you need a new one and you either are an iPhone person or an Anti-iPhone person, nobody is an LG person or a Samsung person. Similar to Harley Davidson, as a Harley owner I notice nobody has tattoos of Honda or Suzuki on their arms and back! You buy a Kawasaki in the moment but you join the HOG Movement!!

Here is my challenge to you …..

Get rid of the Moment Mindset and make the Change to the Mindset of The MOVEMENT!

Years ago I spoke about the recruiting system we used when I was the head coach at my alma mater! As it would happen I had no idea I was creating a movement, I just thought I was doing what all college coaches did. As it turns out we changed the culture of the program and had extreme amounts of success athletically and academically.

With the help of some great assistant coaches, Rob Thomas, Dan Tudor (yes I called him an assistant coach because he was an integral part of the recruiting staff – OUR Director of Recruiting Communications) and myself engaged in a recruiting movement! Why do I call it a “movement”? Because it had all of the elements of a movement and it was sustainable!

The first thing my assistant coach had to do was eliminate my Functional Fixedness. Functional Fixedness is a cognitive bias keeping people from accepting creative options as possible solutions for challenges they face. In layman’s terms, it is a way of thinking that keeps you doing what you have always done because you can’t wrap your heads around doing it any other way – even if a new system or process would produce more success. He educated me on how having a Director of Recruiting Communications would create a more consistent, meaningful and engaging messages that would cause the recruits we wanted to read, react and respond to us. He sealed the deal when he told me I could stop writing the recruiting collateral and free up a ton of time!

So we implemented a recruiting program focusing on the athlete:

1)    Becoming Sovereign

2)    Becoming An Expert

3)    Becoming Significant

Once we implemented this recruiting plan, that actually got our recruits to read & understand our S.E.S. message, we saw National Level success in our recruiting classes and in competition. We also had higher graduation and retention rates, and less behavioral challenges on campus. The really cool thing was by the time our athletes got to campus they were already INVOLVED in the “Movement” because that is why they chose our college and our program!

I challenge you to let us help you destroy your Functional Fixedness and shift your recruiting plan into a Sustainable Movement!! Email me at tyler@dantudor.com and let’s talk about transforming your next recruiting class!

August 11th, 2014

The App That Changes the Way You Coach Your Athletes

Most college coaches want to coach their athletes quickly, effectively and accurately.

Yet, communicating with them in a way that meets those three important goals is challenging, to say the least.

Well for a few college coaches – especially those who look to technology for newer coaching tools – they’ve uncovered an easy-to-use app that is making coaching athletes quick, effective and accurate.

And the best part?  It costs about the same as a cup of your favorite overpriced morning coffee.

It’s the cool new Dartfish Express app for smartphones and tablets, and it’s being used to provide instant coaching feedback to college athletes through video.  And after the instant feedback on the field, court, track or pool, coaches can upload that video to their own Dartfish.tv site for their individual team members to view and learn from after hours.

All of the app’s features was one of the reason Apple chose to highlight it as part of their “Life on iPad” series, and it’s ease of use is the reason that so many college coaches are using Dartfish Express to begin the year.

“I really like to use it at practice, right at the venue, especially when we’re focusing on technique because you’re able to give immediate visual feedback,” says John Kenneson, Associate Head Coach for Track and Field at Texas Christian University, who has become a fan of the Dartfish technology.  “But the beauty of Dartfish Express is being able to have our athletes be able to view it later back at their house or dorm room on our Dartfish.tv site.”

“Any kind of training and coaching that we’re trying to give them that can be made visual is really important to me.”

The app is so simple to use that most coaches are finding themselves able to use it just a few minutes after downloading it.

Want to give it a try today?  Download it here, or take a few minutes to see what it can do – and why coaches around the country are changing the way they communicate with their college athletes.

August 11th, 2014

Balancing Parents and Prospects During Their Visit to Campus

One of the trickiest balancing acts college coaches are asked to perform on a regular basis is effectively meeting the needs of prospects on their visit to campus, along with their parents.

Unfortunately, it’s an act that many coaches never learn how to master.

For years, when we’ve heard coaches describe their campus visit strategies to us during our On-Campus Workshops and consultations, there has been one primary question that gets asked by college recruiters: What’s the right mix of time and attention that a coaching staff should devote to both prospects and their parents?

While there’s no universal “perfect mix” we could recommend – because, of course, every prospect and parent is unique – there are two important rules that any coach can use to build better campus visit experiences for their best prospects that they really, really want to impress:

  1. Separate the prospect and their parents.  Not too soon into the campus visit, find a way to separate the prospect from their parents.  The reason is simple: Each party will usually have a much more memorable visit, and coaches will get more information from both the recruit and the parents.  Useable, actionable information that will help increase a coach’s chances of winning that recruit they really, really want.
  2. Send parents on the traditional admissions tour, and send the recruit off with some of your team.  This is where I could unload mountains of data from all of our focus group surveys we’ve done with clients over the years, helping them design winning recruiting visits for their prospects.  That data, largely comprised of feedback from current college athletes reflecting back on what they liked and didn’t like about their visits to college campuses, tells us something that I’ll boil down to this main point:  When you separate the recruits and the parents while they are visiting your campus, they are both free to speak their mind.  Parents can ask questions that they might not normally ask around their son or daughter.  Recruits can relax and be themselves around their peers, instead of awkwardly deferring to those over-eager parents who gladly jump in to answer the question that you just tried to direct to their son or daughter.  The long admissions tour?  The parents will be much more receptive than their kids – who, by the way, would love the chance to just hang out and play xBox with your players as a way to determine whether your campus feels best to them.

Yes, there are many potential twists and turns any smart college coach could implement into those two basic rules.  The possibilities are almost endless, depending upon the needs and personality of the recruit coming to their campus.

However, these two rules are big keys to a good foundation from which to build a solid recruiting visit.

Want more specific strategies for great campus recruiting visits?  There are several books we’ve written on that topic – and others – that every coach should have in their office library.  Click here to order these two popular recruiting resources today!

July 29th, 2014

The Right Way To Message A Prospect

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