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The Habit of Drinking Water Will Make You a More Effective CoachMonday, March 13th, 2017

Mandy Green, Busy.Coach

As coaches, we get paid for the results and the value we bring to our teams and programs we work for, not for the time we put in.  I don’t believe our Athletic Directors really care how many hours we work as long as we are winning, graduating our players, creating a good experience, and don’t break rules doing so.  

Your coaching and recruiting performance throughout each day and week, and ultimately being able to accomplish your big goals for the year personally, with recruiting, and with your team, will be predicated on how you better manage yourself, your time, your decisions, and energy during the day.

That is where habits will come in.  A Duke University study says that at least 45 percent of our waking behavior is habitual. Although we’d like to think we’re in charge, it turns out that we’re not so much controlling how we act with our conscious mind as we are being driven by our subconscious or unconscious mind. It’s amazing; also, it’s a little disturbing.

We all know that habits can either help or hurt your success in life. Bad habits can fester and grow into a lifestyle that takes you away from the things you want to do—and Good habits can help you create a life that’s full of action and accomplishment.

Habits are all about taking small, smart choices consistently over time to create a radical difference in your life.

To build an effective new habit, you need three essential components: a trigger, a micro-habit, and a reward.

  • A trigger – A behavior trigger is something that cues you to do something, it’s the first falling domino that sets you into motion.  
  • The routine – the actual thing, or sequence of steps, you do when you get triggered.  
  • The reward – the pleasurable thing you get at the end of your habit. Without the reward, your ritual cannot last because it becomes just another “to do” on your already busy schedule.

 

I just created a new Busy Coach 30 Day Habit Challenge for coaches.  I chose drinking water when you first wake up in the morning as the first habit to develop.  

Why water you may ask?  It is pretty simple.  

Research has found that drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning has these 9 potential health benefits:

  1. It immediately helps rehydrate the body.
  2. It can improve your metabolism.
  3. It helps fuel your brain.
  4. It helps to increase your level of alertness.
  5. It can help alleviate heartburn and Indigestion.
  6. It can prevent kidney stones.  
  7. It can stop a headache in its tracks.
  8. It helps regulate digestion.
  9. It can keep you from getting sick by heling to flush toxins from your body.

In my productivity challenge, I teach you 8 habits.  Today I am going to share with you how I get you to establish drinking water first thing in the morning as a habit.  

Trigger #1: Wake up first thing in the morning.

Habit: Drink a 16oz. glass of water.

Reward: Increased energy.

Drinking water is one of the very first things you should do as soon as you wake up. Our bodies need proper hydration to perform at our absolute best. Water is a fundamental aspect of high performance.  Dehydration is the number one performance killer for athletes. 80% of headaches are due to being dehydrated.  More times than not, when you are feeling sluggish or tired, you are dehydrated.  

You want to start hydrating as soon as possible when you wake up. I really suggest within the first 10 minutes or so start drinking water, about half a liter or so, which is about 16 fluid ounces. It really signals to your body and to your organs to wake up, to get going and to get ready to really perform at a high level.

Have a glass sitting on your night stand or have it waiting for you in the kitchen.  Drink water first thing and watch what happens to your energy.

You can increase your production and effectiveness as a coach just by using the trigger of getting out of your bed and getting into the habit of drinking a glass of water in the morning.  It is so simple and such a small thing but it is extremely effective.  If you are interested in checking out my challenge, click here.

If you want other productivity resources, go to www.busy.coach.

Have a great week.

Mandy Green  

Identity Change – Love it or Hate itMonday, February 27th, 2017

nicole1Nicole Sohanic, Front Rush

A college athletic identity is a special thing. When I say athletic identity I am referring to the sport’s logo, colors, fonts, and even their mascot. Change in design, of identities in particular, causes a lot of discomfort! Even if overall it is a change for the better it isn’t what people have grown to love or associate with their beloved team.

Pros

Fresh, clean, and simple can be so refreshing to a dated logo. Does that logo look clunky? Is it hard to read or does it look bad on mobile devices? This does not give a good impression to the fans, new recruits coming to visit the school, or to outsiders looking in. It can be the simplest little thing in a logo that creates a turn-off. Maybe it is off balance, two letters are just too close together, or the colors just don’t ring true to what they used to mean. Good design is something you look upon and don’t really question when it surrounds you. There are subconscious influences in your choices all the time for the products and brands you surround yourself with. a half could flow over into a recruit’s mind for the choice of the very school they decide to attend! Did your athletic program revamp its way of operating? Did you just have an incredible season and now the eyes are all on you? Is the competition increasing more and you need that extra edge? These are just some of the reasons why a college athletic program may choose to change their athletic identity.

Cons

With every significant identity change of something we interact with everyday, there will be push back. The roll-out of the new logo for your college athletic team may receive criticism. People simply do not like change. Will the current athletes and fans miss that old logo and hold onto their rally flags and jerseys? Some will. Will some question the decision why it was ever changed in the first place? Indeed! For someone who has only ever supported one look and feel of the team, this is understandable. For the players who fought their hearts out for their school, this is part of the core and pride of their team. The important thing is to recognize is that this as a natural reaction to change and should not be misinterpreted as a mistake.

Ultimately what heals all identity changing wounds is time. Remember when Google changed their beloved identity in 2015? There was intense push back on social media and many articles written deeply analyzing the foundation of the logo change. Among all the hate there were some that did see it as a nice refresh from what it once was. It is 2017, and we haven’t heard a peep about that logo change in over a year and half. The hate quickly died and turned into a comfort. Changes were applied everywhere! All of their phone applications got a refreshing overhaul and we still religiously use them as we once did. Our love for Google didn’t change, we were just forced out of our comfort zone and needed time to heal. Google is now dressed for the times and ready for future users to embrace its new look and feel.

Recruits are coming and may not even hold the same loyalty to the college athletic identity as past athletes or supporters. They may have just heard about your program for the very first time! The future of your college athletic program may call for a revamp of your identity. When approaching an identity shift, colleges should take their time, be considerate about feedback, deeply consider color palettes, and choose a professional designer who will take all that into account. The existing identity of the college is what has brought it to this point. The new identity is what will propel it into the future.

Are You Developing the 5 Traits that Make Athletes the Best Employees?Monday, February 6th, 2017

NCSA, Tudor (1.24)Taylor Fodor, NCSA

Everyone knows that the quality of a company’s employees are directly proportional to its potential for success. The same is true for recruiting and building a successful college program. When you increase the number of talented, high-character individuals on your team, that is when you can see your potential for success skyrocket.

However, we all know that there is often work to be done to develop our recruits into the high-quality, high-functioning individuals that we want them to be. Once complete, that work can be rewarding, and in more ways than one.

Today, many successful companies realize that the skills and personality traits that make employees successful are the things that athletes have worked many hard hours to develop. So, while you’re developing the recruits within your program, you’re also setting your athletes up for future success in the professional workplace.

Click here to learn more about the five traits and characteristics that Lisa Strasman, the President of Next College Student Athlete, looks for in building a winning team.

Are you developing these traits within your program?

What are the Core Values that Drive You?Monday, January 23rd, 2017

NCSA, Tudor (1.24)Taylor Fodor, NCSA 

Earlier this month, the team at Next College Student Athlete caught up with coach Bryn Rourke, a softball coach at Adrian College (MI), to pick his brain and learn more about what drives him to be a successful coach.

During the interview, Bryan talks about how important it is to hold ourselves accountable to the values, standards and core values that we set for our teams. As college coaches, we have control over the types of attitudes and mindsets that our teams exhibit, and the type of recruits that we attract to our programs!

This week, we catch up with Nick Ford, a basketball coach from Trinity International University (IL), to learn more about the values that motivate him to go from starting point guard on a national championship team to successful college coach and recruiter. Click here to continue.

  1. Tell us about your background in coaching. How did you get into coaching? Why do you coach?

I got into coaching right after I finished up my playing career at Cardinal Stritch.  I started as a student assistant and then was the graduate assistant for a year at Stritch.  I coach because I love the game of basketball and to help kids continue to fulfill their dreams.

  1. What’s been your greatest accomplishment so far as a coach? What’s been your biggest disappointment?

My biggest accomplishment as a coach has been going to the NAIA National Tournament in my first two seasons.  My biggest disappointment came at the tournament when we lost in the final 16 after being ranked #1 the majority of the season.

  1. What are your biggest obstacles as a coach, and how do you overcome them?

My biggest obstacles as a coach has been that I am naturally an introvert.  With recruiting, that can put you in some pretty tough situations.  The way I overcome that is just by showing up every day and forcing myself to be uncomfortable.  I’ve gotten a lot better at that part.

  1. Do you have a coaching philosophy, or mantra that you live by?

My coaching philosophy is that’s the toughest teams win.  Mentally and physically.

  1. Describe the idea recruit, from your perspective?

A tough, hard-nosed kid that lives in the gym.  If you love the game and are willing to put in the time, I don’t care how talented you are.  You will find a way to win games.

  1. What advice would you give to new coaches that are just starting their careers in coaching?

Go out and connect with other coaches/players as much as you can.  There isn’t some big secret on how to get connected – it’s all about showing up and being at places.

  1. Describe your “ideal day” as a coach

The ideal day for me is game planning and watching film during the day, executing a practice and then going out and recruiting at night.

  1. What is one thing that you want other coaches to know about you?

I love connecting with people.

  1. Do you have a morning routine or ritual?

I get in the Word every morning, other than that every day brings something new.

  1. Three words that describe your program

Family, Love, Relentless.

At Next College Student Athlete, staff of 500+ former college athletes and coaches take pride in the relationships that we’ve established with you, the college coach. We want to learn from your success and help you be the best recruiter and best coach that you can possibly be.

And speaking of being the best recruiter that you can possibly be, did you know that you have free access to search our database of over 400,000+ athletes? Whether you are looking for new prospects, or simply looking to get access to transcripts, contact info or videos for recruits already on your radar, take advantage of this free recruiting tool today.

Steps To Be a More Authentic LeaderMonday, January 9th, 2017

Erika_HeadShotErika Brennan, University of Southern Mississippi

Head Coach Women’s Golf

An eight year coaching veteran, Erika is committed to helping you discover your personal brilliance so that you can lead beyond the realm of sport.  With a no nonsense yet decidedly casual tone to her writing, Erika is helping coaches and student-athletes lead their most authentic life.  Join her at erikabrennan.com then participate in the conversation on social media using #BrilliantBeyondSport

This world of ours is full of noise.  We exist in an almost constant state of overwhelm from the various inputs coming at us – some by choice and others forced upon us – like the 24-hour news cycle of impending doom.  It’s like everybody and everything is pushing in on us – burrowing deep enough – and steering us to act, speak, and conduct ourselves in accordance with what will garner the most “likes” “favorites” “retweets” and “comments.”  I fall prey to this – guilty as charged!  And the more I think about it, it’s a really REALLY sad way to live.  The world will benefit from us being more authentic as leaders. In this article we will explore the incredibly liberating action of being authentic.

When I was in middle school, I was a tom-boy.  Ok, who am I kidding?  I still am.  But back in middle school I tried so hard to be somebody I wasn’t.  I bought and carried a purse (why?  I already had a backpack)!  I tried to wear my hair down and keep it down longer than the closing bell of my first class.  I even went as far as to include “like” “as if” and “whatever” into my vernacular even though I thought it was ridiculous.  Do you think I was being authentic? C’mon – I’m not the only one who has tried and failed miserably to fit in to a stereotype – especially as a teenager – we’ve all been there, right?

It cracks me up looking back on it now, but at the time I so desperately wanted to disappear in to the safe majority.  Now, in to my early thirties, I can proudly proclaim that I’m a “preppy redneck” and that I am completely aware of who I am – and more importantly – who I ain’t.  (Yes, ain’t is a word – see previous “redneck” descriptor).

So how do we close the gap in the journey to authenticity?  It’s easy in theory and difficult in application – but let’s dive in to some ways to move away from the need to please (whatever “pleasing” means) and into a space that feels a bit more like “home” even when we are far from it.

Go Back In Time: 

Think back to your youth – go far enough to the precious time before we were aware of others perceptions of us.  Who were you then?  How did you act?  What excited you as a kid? Were you pragmatic? eccentric? driven? free-spirited?  This will shed incredible insight and point you in the right direction on your journey to becoming more authentic.

Ask “Who Am I?” When I’m At My Most Authentic:

Write down your answers.  In fact, make a long list of answers.  Now, go back and cross through anything that merely describes what you do.  Contrary to the prevailing notion (which is precisely what we’re challenging here) YOU are NOT what you do.  You are the summation of the things that you believe in.  You are the things you think about in those rare quiet moments.

Cultivate Your Inner-Voice:

Armed with your childhood memories and your short-list of answers to the “Who Am I” question – begin to build your inner-voice to align more consistently with the answers you’ve just discovered.  When doubt (read:  The world) creeps in, acknowledge it, and push it away.  You need to become your own biggest advocate in the quest to be your most authentically brilliant self.

Invite Your Tribe In:

Finally, let the folks in your tribe in on the journey.  Ask them to answer this question: “When do you think I’m at my best?”  Follow it up with “How do you view me when I’m in my element?”  Check to see if their answers are consistent with your inner-voice and adjust accordingly!  Disclaimer:  While we’ve heard that “Perception is Reality,” do not allow their thoughts to overshadow the hard work you’ve just done if their opinions are different than yours.  You are the captain of your destiny when it comes to authenticity – and only you can truly know if you’re making progress.  But they are your tribe – so they do know you pretty well.  Use their feedback as a tool.

Step Away From The Noise:

This is the hardest step of all – but they say the greatest growth occurs at the end of our comfort zone.  Get away from all of that noise!  The more time you spend with yourself the more authentic you’ll be.  I’m not talking about physically being alone necessarily, but setting time aside for your own growth is so important. Oh, and do yourself a huge favor – Put. The. Phone. Down. Real-life is not happening on iOS and the authentic moments are passing you by as you stare endlessly at that little screen.  Back away slowly!

Cut Yourself Some Slack:

Know that you are capable of change and that you will evolve and refine your beliefs over time.  This means you get to cut yourself some slack and know that who you were a year ago isn’t who you may be tomorrow.  You’re allowed to be moldable and fluid like that – that’s the fun part!  Allow yourself some grace in the process and enjoy the journey.

So now I gotta know: Who are you when nobody is around or watching?  How would you describe the most authentic version of yourself?

4 Biggest Mistakes College Coaches MakeMonday, July 18th, 2016

Courtesy NCSA Athletic Recruiting

Part 1 of 2

Nobody’s perfect, but if you’ve been around college coaching long enough you’ve probably seen your fair share of college coaching mistakes that have ended – or at least hampered – an otherwise bright future in collegiate athletics.

We’re not talking about strategy mistakes, or not knowing the X’s and O’s as well as their opponent. No, most “coaching” mistakes actually have very little to do with recruiting, and everything to do with the behind-the-scenes aspects of a college coaching career.

Over the years, our staff at NCSA Athletic Recruiting – comprised of 400+ former college athletes and coaches – have seen more than a few good men and women struggle to achieve coaching success. In a two part series designed to help you avoid the mistakes that have plagued so many others, we outline the four most damaging mistakes college coaches should avoid at all costs:

Bad time management. As a group, college coaches tend to me poor time managers. We complain about the lack of time we have to do our jobs as college coaches and recruiters, yet we waste time daily as a result of poor time management and not accessing free technology to that will speed up many of the non-coaching aspects of our daily lives. The result? The important stuff – like strategic recruiting communication and new prospect information gathering – gets pushed to the back-burner in favor of watching opponent video that you didn’t get to the day before, or another urgent duty that wasn’t scheduled. If that’s happening to you, make a plan to change it.

Leading on a prospect. One of the coaching cancers that can fester and grow over time is leading a prospect to believe that you are interested them, when in reality you aren’t. We realize, of course, that sometimes you need to recruit more athletes than you likely need. But there is no better way to earn a bad reputation as a recruiter among parents, club and high school coaches, and your recruits than coming on too strong and then dropping them later without explanation. It happens more than you think, and if you’re guilty of doing that, change your ways quickly. There are better ways to recruit effectively, and save your reputation at the same time. This is a long term attitude commitment that can pay big dividends over a career.

Back to time management and smarter recruiting, Coach: Want a more seamless way to recruit online and gather prospect information more efficiently? We’ve got a free technology tool that thousands of college coaches use daily to scout, track and communicate with their recruits. Click here to view the latest prospects just added to the database.

Reflect in Order to ImproveMonday, June 20th, 2016

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

One strategy that I use in my time management routine I feel has been extremely effective is Reflection.

Reflection can be a valuable tool as you are searching to learn what should be eliminated or what you should continue to do as you are building your program. It’s how you acquire knowledge about yourself as a coach and about the work you are doing for your program. And the more knowledge you have, the more likely you are to get to where you want to go. This knowledge will allow you to stop the cycle of working harder and harder until you collapse, you can then begin to work smarter.

There are 3 times when I think you should reflect…

Create time for reflection at the end of each day, week, and month– a time to go back over, to study again the things you’ve learned and the things you’ve done each day. Reflect on what you did, what worked, what obstacles you encountered, what you can do better next month, etc.  

At the end of the day.  Review the day so that it locks firmly in your memory so that it serves as a tool.

Did you accomplish your goals?

How was your focus?

When were your high- and low- energy times?

Was there a time where you were interrupted a lot?

How were you with only checking your email one or two times a day?

Finally, did you get your high-priority tasks done?

At the end of the week.  Take at least 30 minutes at the end of the week to reflect on the week’s activities – I would suggest at least one half-hour. Also during that weekly time, take a few minutes to reflect on how this material should be applied to your life and circumstances.

At the end of the month.  Take a half-day at the end of the month and a weekend at the end of the year so that you’ve got what works and that you continue to make these things habits, and part of your routine.  This will ensure that the past is even more valuable and will serve your future well.

By taking 5 minutes at the end of each day to reflect on your performance as coach, it can provide you with some very valuable information that you can use to make further improvements to how you are working or what you are working on.

Reflect, Analyze, Improve!Monday, May 30th, 2016

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

No matter how good or bad your recruiting or performance results were during this past school year, you can always do better as a coach. Yet the single biggest key to improving both performance and results is ignored by almost everybody. If you want to be at the top of your game, you absolutely must learn from what has already happened.

Now that graduation is over and our student athletes have headed home for the summer, I spend a lot of time having fun with my family, I try to rest and recover, and I try to get caught up on things that had to get pushed off during the busy spring. But I also use this time review the progress I’ve made on my goals during the year. I do that by:

  1. Reviewing my tracking journal entries — a full year’s worth of recruiting, energy, and communication entries from the tracking journal I created.
  2. Reviewing my yearly, monthly, and weekly schedules to get a better understanding of how productively I was working throughout the year.
  3. Reviewing my business card file to remind myself of all the new contacts I’ve made.
    “Evaluated reflection turns experience into insight.”
    -John Maxwell

    The routine of reviewing the past year and preparing to set my goals for the coming year gives me a great deal of knowledge. I see what I have accomplished, I see where I fell short, and what I love the most about reviewing the previous year is that I get to see how much progress I have made.

    It is also very practical. It gives me a general feeling for how I’ve been spending my time (relative to my priorities). It helps me note any bad habits I might have fallen into. And I am reminded of all sorts of ideas I had, projects with my team or staff that I initiated, and relationships I started that need follow up.

    So now that 2nd semester has wrapped up for most of us, no matter what else you have planned for the next couple of days, set aside a little time to revisit the past year. I think you’ll come up with all sorts of good ideas about things you can do next year… along with the inspiration to get you going on them.

Cowardly Coaching, A DecisionMonday, May 23rd, 2016

by Mike Davenport, CoachingSportsToday.com

A superhero movie is always playing in our local theater. I grab the kids and go because those movies are fun and exciting. But they’re fiction.

I’d like to be a superhero-coach. That coach who is always doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason. Being brave all the time.

Well, that’s fiction too. Because there’s times I’ve been a coward as a coach. When I wasn’t brave.

Not easy to admit.

The Truth Hurts But … It’s The Truth

Here’s an important truth of coaching which won’t make the job postings … there will be times when its wicked tempting to be a coward. For me, it was times like:

  • when I had to cut that kid who gave her all
  • when I was so exhausted/sick/burned-out my world was spinning
  • when my real-world crashed full force into my coaching-world (like when my own child was home sick right before practice)
  • when I learned my best athlete was injured and shouldn’t play, but the BIG race/game was in 3 hours
  • when an athlete does something dumb, on purpose, that puts a team mate at risk
  • when my oldest son was graduating high school the same day my team was competing at the national championships

I can’t tell you what a superhero coach does in those situations. You’ll have to see the movie. I can tell you I’ve had to face them all. I’d like to say I always made a Captain American decision, took Ironman action, did what Thor world do. I’d be lying.

Your Coaching Movie

If the movie cameras are suddenly turned on you, how will you act? When faced with a superhero-coaching decision, what will you do?

  1. Will you scream at the athlete who “isn’t getting it?”
  2. When faced with a difficult decision will your decision be “non-decision”?
  3. Will you break a rule today, instead of changing the rule for tomorrow?
  4. Will you be the coach who didn’t say what needed to be said when it needed to be said?
  5. Will you work harder when things get rocky, instead of smarter?

It’s not easy, this coach thing.

Understanding that “right action” is as important as “right knowledge” can make it a wee bit little easier.

Stop Being a Multitasking ManiacMonday, May 23rd, 2016

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

Happy start of the summer to all of you!  With this being a crazy time of year with wrapping up the spring season, graduation, getting summer off to a good start, etc., I wanted to send you a quick reminder on how you should NOT be working in the office.

Maximum performance in the office for us coaches is possible only when you concentrate single-mindedly on the task—the most important task, and you stay at it until it is 100 percent complete.

Remember, multi-tasking is the antithesis of productivity.  Multitasking is actually a myth. It is impossible. You actually cannot mentally and effectively multitask. We only have 1 brain and it does not function like a computer.  The brain has only one channel for language.

Here are 2 ideas for how you can avoid multitasking during the day.

1.      I believe that our need to multitask is significantly reduced when we do a better job of saying No and Yes.  We need to stop scattering our energy, focus, and wasting our time on trivial things that have nothing to do with our vision and goals and start saying “yes” to our priorities and to what truly matters.  Each day there is more to do than can get done.  So we must make choices, and those choices include saying “no” to some people and opportunities so that we can say “yes” to the greater work we are meant to do.

2.      List two or three multitasking activities you commonly engage in at work or at home.  The next time you catch yourselfmultitasking, STOP! Take a moment to think about what you’re doing, and quickly choose one of those tasks to focus on first. Complete that task before you switch to the other one.

When we immerse in a single task, we can access phenomenal FLOW; that is when we can get into a really creative and productive place.  It is the mental state where we are so focused and engaged with what we are doing, we produce our greatest results and where peak performance happens.

Keep it simple.  Focus on 1 task at a time until it is finished.  Don’t start a new task until the first one is finished.  Your focus muscles may be weak if you are guilty of multitasking a lot.  Something I have found super helpful to keep my focused while I am working is to set a Pomodoro timer for 25 minutes.  Go to www.marinaratimer.com.  When you get distracted, look at the clock and see how much more time you need to stay focused.  Keep telling yourself to stay focused, stay focused, stay focused.  It does get easier the more you do it.  You just need to build your focus muscles up again.
 

Have a great productive week!

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