Dan Tudor

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Make Social Media Work For YouMonday, March 6th, 2017

Social MediaNCSA

Communicating electronically seems to be getting more and more complicated.

In addition to the shifting landscape of social media, rules like the NCAA’s “click, don’t type” rule are adding complexity to the way coaches and their prospects interact with each other.

Based on watching the recruiting process unfold between thousands of student-athletes and college coaches, here’s the scoop on the changing social media landscape — with some quick actions you can take to make the most out of every platform as a serious college recruiter.

“Click, Don’t Text” is impacting coaches in every sport

The rule has a trickle down effect to every sport, at every division level. The guideline is meant to reign-in what some would say is a growing avalanche of social media activity among college coaches.

Here’s the legal rule from the NCAA:

“An athletics department staff member may take actions (e.g. “like,” “favorite,” republish, etc.) on social media platforms that indicate approval of content on social media platforms that was generated by users on the platforms other than institutional staff members or representatives of an institution’s athletics interests.”

Takeaway: Liking posts shows players that you’ve seen what he or she is putting out there.

Make social media work for you

When talking to kids via social media, be upfront about your preferred method of communication, and get the prospect’s agreement on how you two should be handling your ongoing conversations.

Takeaway: Kids are on social media all the time. Be casual and prompt in your messages to keep players interested in your program.

Make sure you can commit to social media

It’s a two-way platform. You can look into kids, and they into you. Pay attention to how much you’re publicly interacting with them, as well as other prospective athletes. In addition, scheduling programs like HootSuite and Buffer are great tools to help you manage social media posting, making it more convenient and focused for your recruits.

Takeaway: Can’t monitor your accounts 24/7? Add an email address or other contact message in your bio so there’s no confusion, and give your recruits (or their parents) an alternative way to contact you.

Getting all of your prospect’s contact information in one place is easy, IF you’re searching the Next College Student Athlete database. Find the social media contact info for recruits that you have interest in – for free! Click here to search our database today.

7 Ways For Your Athletes to Talk About Athletic Experience on a Job InterviewMonday, February 20th, 2017

NCSA TeamRecruiting the next wave of student-athletes to your program can be bittersweet. While you secure your commitments and bring in new athletes to further your program, it also signifies a time when you prepare to say goodbye to seniors that have positively impacted your team in recent years.

While there is no doubt that your lessons over the years have set your athletes up for success in the future, have you done enough to prepare them for finding that first job out of college, once the competition at your program ends? For many of your graduating athletes, they will want to transfer that passion they had competing for you on the field, the court, the diamond, etc.. to the next step in their professional career.

We know from experience here at Next College Student Athlete, as our team consists of 500+ former college athletes, many of which were in similar positions to those you currently coach. We know that as their coach, leader, mentor, etc.. you have the opportunity to continue to impact your athletes long after their time in your program ends.

Click here for a quick, five minute read that will provide you with actionable advice to share with your upcoming graduates and future alumni.

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.

Picking Up Positive Habits From Your Coaching PeersMonday, January 9th, 2017

NCSA staffHappy New Year!

We joke about it: the gym membership that will eventually disappear, the dream of eating right, spending less and saving more. There are a lot of lofty expectations around New Year’s resolutions.

And there are, definitely, many times that we fall short in our resolutions.

But as college coaches, setting goals and working against them isn’t just a matter of telling your friends and colleagues your loftiest dreams, and then forgetting about them. You don’t have to fall short this year.

One way to put yourself in a position to exceed your goals is to learn and pick up positive habits from others. As the legendary John Wooden once said, “it’s what you learn after you know it all that counts”. In what areas could you expand your knowledge base and apply new habits to exceed your resolutions, team goals and recruiting goals this year?

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

We recently caught up with Bryan Rourke, an Assistant Softball Coach at Adrian College (MI), to pick his brain and learn more about what makes him tick. What can you learn and take away from the interview?

Check it out below:

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

I started my softball career at Michigan State University as a student manager with the women’s softball team.  I participated in duties with the coaching staff preparing for practice, travel and video, with much more to do.  Catching bullpens for collegiate players was an awesome experience. In the midst of college, I had the chance to coach a 14u travel team out of the Detroit area.  It was an eye opening experience, but I knew I had a gift to share.  After talking with MSU head coach Jacquie Joseph, she advised me that I was going to be good at coaching and it was something I should pursue.  The reason I coach is to impact the lives of the young women who play the game.  I built great relationships with great players and coaches prior to coaching, but meeting people like Carol Hutchins or Patrick Murphy, and seeing what they do off the field inspired me.  I coach because I want to change the game. My dream is for my players to leave the program better women, and represent me in the best way.  I want them to know I am here for the rest of their life, and that they can accomplish anything.

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

As of now my greatest accomplishment as a coach has been coaching 15 players to a 3.5 GPA or higher in a season.  We led the country in Division III.  My biggest disappointment was when I lost my composure at a workout, and made a fool of myself. It simply was not how I carry myself and my emotions got the best of me.

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

A major obstacle is catering to the needs of all your players to ensure they have the best experience playing collegiate softball.  It is not for everybody, but it is a great time to be alive.  Another major obstacle is keeping everyone happy with playing time.  It is nearly impossible I would say, however celebrating small victories helps keep others invested.  Perhaps the biggest obstacle for college coaches is holding ourselves accountable. The program starts at the top, so any concepts, or standards we implement, we must carry out.  It can be easy to get lost in the shuffle of planning practice, balancing a budget, recruiting, and preparing for games, but we need to find a way to stay focused.

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

If I had to put my philosophy into words, I would say “leave no doubt” and “you get what you give.”  I want good people in our program. When we leave no doubt, win or lose, we can know we gave it our all. Some days its good enough, some days it’s not.  Secondly, if you put no effort in, you will receive nothing in return.

Describe the ideal recruit, from your perspective.

The ideal recruit is an outstanding person and teammate. Outside talent, they need to be able to handle failure, not playing, and success. Being able to perform at the highest-level, be playing well, and then not playing at the snap of a finger happens, because the coach has a plan.  We need players that buy in, and can be able to make decisions on their own, and answer “Why” they did it.

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

Be a sponge.  The best coaches are still learning, because the game is constantly changing. Ask as many coaches as you can about their philosophies, and build relationships with those coaches.  They will be your opponents and colleagues for years to come.  Never take the game for granted.  This is a special sport and many people before us have fought to get the game to where it is today. Give back.

Describe your “ideal day” as a coach?

My ideal day as a coach is one at the end I can say I did something great today, and bettered the team.  We wake up for our jobs every day for different reasons, but I would say wake up have a good breakfast, get a workout in, get work done, have lunch, plan practice, execute the practice plan, and as I eat dinner look back thinking our team got better today.

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

I want other coaches to know that I am passionate about the game and I am a great human being. If my colleagues can look at my name/picture/me and say “that guy loves the game”, I can be happy.  Me impacting the game will be my legacy.

Do you have a morning routine or ritual?

Every day is unique, to the best of my ability I wake up eat, workout, and have a coffee before I get started at my desk.  We occasionally have morning workouts and practice as well that interfere. I would say I have a daily checklist I need to get done, but morning routine is roughly that.

Three words that describe your program.

Passion, Energized, Competitive.

Speaking of expanding your knowledge and applying new habits this year, are you taking advantage of NCSA (Next College Student Athlete) as a free recruiting tool? Login today to search our database of over 400,000+ athletes and gain access to verified information, such as transcripts, contact info and video!

Reaching Out to Your Prospects on Social MediaMonday, October 3rd, 2016

 

Courtesy NCSA Athletic Recruiting

Communicating electronically seems to be getting more and more complicated.

In addition to the shifting landscape of social media, rules like the NCAA’s “Click, Don’t Type” rule are adding complexity to the way coaches and their prospects interact with each other.

Based on watching the recruiting process unfold between thousands of student-athletes and college coaches, here’s the scoop on the changing social media landscape — with some quick actions you can take to make the most out of every platform as a serious college recruiter.

“Click, Don’t Text” is impacting coaches in every sport

The rule has a trickle down effect to every sport, at every division level. The new guideline is meant to reign-in what some would say is a growing avalanche of social media activity among college coaches.

Here’s the legal rule from the NCAA:

“An athletics department staff member may take actions (e.g. “like,” “favorite,” republish, etc.) on social media platforms that indicate approval of content on social media platforms that was generated by users on the platforms other than institutional staff members or representatives of an institution’s athletics interests.”

Takeaway: Liking posts shows players that you’ve seen what he or she is putting out there.

Make social media work for you

When talking to kids via social media, be upfront about your preferred method of communication, and get the prospect’s agreement on how you two should be handling your ongoing conversations.

Takeaway: Kids are on social media all the time. Be casual and prompt in your messages to keep players interested in your program.

Make sure you can commit to social media

It’s a 2-way platform. You can look into kids, and they into you. Pay attention to how much you’re publicly interacting with him, as well as other prospective athletes. In addition, scheduling programs like HootSuite and Buffer are great tools to help you manage social media posting, making it more convenient and focused for your recruits.

Takeaway: Can’t monitor your accounts 24/7? Add an email address or other contact message in your bio so there’s no confusion, and give your recruits (or their parents) an alternative way to contact you.

Getting all of your prospect’s contact information in one place is easy, IF you have your free NCSA Athletic Recruiting account. Access thousands of new recruits every week, complete with video, transcripts and more. It’s one of the nation’s top recruiting tools for college coaches. Click here to get started.

How to Evaluate NCSA Prospects OnlineMonday, September 19th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-09-19 at 11.39.45 PMWith the Fall recruiting season fully underway, some coaches who are trying to ramp-up their use of technology in recruiting look at their competitors using NCSA and still wonder, “What’s the big deal?”

Simply put, there’s no other technology resource on the planet more complete when it comes to new prospect information for college coaches. That’s why so many coaches login to their free NCSA accounts weekly, because of a consistent flow of new incoming data.

The NCSA staff of former coaches and college athletes have assembled players’ key stats, video, academic and contact information in one place so coaches don’t have to search. That means coaches who use the database skip several steps at the start of the recruiting process, enabling them to get to deeper contact with their top prospects sooner.

The fact is, college recruiters have a lot to do with little time to do it in. NCSA can help keep track of prospective players so you can get back to coaching:

    • Drill into specific search criteria with NCSA’s robust engine. There are more than 40 search filters including geographic location of prospects, their year of graduation, GPA, key measurables, and more.
    • Follow and contact the athletes you want to recruit. As a college coach, you can follow athletes and get notified when they make changes to their profile – and also have their contact info.
    • Connect your NCSA searches to your favorite platforms. When you use the database, you can export player info or in bulk to Excel or platforms like Front Rush. It’s a seamless way to use all the data available while not creating an entirely new level of work.

Whether it’s finding the next prospective recruit or managing all of your recruiting communication in one place, NCSA Athletic Recruiting for coaches can help. 

Login to your free coach account or learn more about how we help coaches.

Part Two: 4 Biggest Mistakes College Coaches MakeMonday, July 25th, 2016

Courtesy NCSA Athletic Recruiting

In part one of this two part series, we talked about two mistakes that the former coaches and college athletes at NCSA Athletic Recruiting end up witnessing year after year:

The mistake of poor time management, and the mistake of leading a prospect to believe that you are really interested in them.

In our experience of communicating and helping coaches for the past two decades, we can tell you that there are two other critical errors that college recruiters make while communicating with their prospects:

  1. Stopping the recruiting process too early with a prospect, and…
  2. Failing to recruit a prospect’s family.

Truthfully, both of these could be tied to poor time management, as well as organizational challenges.

Stopping the recruiting process too early. Many college recruiters – even experienced ones – don’t have a long term plan for communication and “selling” their most valued recruits. They’re great during the first part of getting to know an athlete, but their strategic approach begins to crumble as the process moves forward over an extended period of time. The contact remains, of course; you’re anxious to hear if they’re interested in learning more, or want to come to campus for a visit. But have you continued to give them tangible reasons to continue talking to you, and specific selling points for you and your program? Because if you don’t, it’s going to be hard for them to gain the intellectual leverage to move forward in a serious way with you.

Not recruiting the whole family. In addition, that long term recruiting process doesn’t usually encompass a plan to develop a relationship with, and recruit, a prospect’s family. Central to that is connecting with the parents, of course, but that can also extend to siblings and grandparents. Many college coaches fail to establish an understanding of how a recruit will make their decision, and why (and who is going to be influencing them along the way within their family).

Eliminating these four mistakes as you head into the next recruiting cycle is vital. Establishing a plan within your office to get it done is the key to whether or not it will actually come to fruition.

NCSA Athletic Recruiting is a recommended resource for college coaches, and has been a trusted source for verified athlete data for over two decades. Coaches can access their free account here.

3 Ways a Losing Season Can Be an Advantage For Your RecruitingTuesday, July 5th, 2016

Courtesy NCSA Athletic Recruiting

For many coaches, a season of struggle in the standings is a recipe for disaster on the recruiting trail. After all, what kind of ‘story’ can you give recruits this Summer if your past season’s results aren’t much to brag about?

There are three main areas any coach in this position should want to focus on, based on our research with student-athletes who have been certified in our free recruiting database for college coaches:

1. Potential for improvement

Based on direct feedback from recruits, we’ve found that they don’t care what a program’s record was last year – or the past 3 years for that matter. As a coach, you place a huge value on your program’s record. But what many coaches don’t realize is that recruits see a losing record and tend to think ‘Well I wasn’t on the team yet, and when I am we’ll be really good’. A key to successfully recruiting with a poor record is to build on that mentality by communicating that message throughout the entire recruiting process.

2. Playing time

A poor record also gives coaches the opportunity to recruit players that can have an immediate impact. Recruits often contemplate walking-on to a reach school where they might ride the bench for 2 years. But in many cases, prospects want to be able to prove themselves and get their hands dirty right away. Why should they wait a couple years for a chance at becoming a starter when they can join a team where they know they can be a team leader from day one?

3. Exposure

In addition to playing time, recruits may also be presented with the opportunity to become a leader or stand out performer. Getting special recognition and playing a key role in the development of a program can be very appealing to a recruit, especially for talented recruits with their eyes set on a larger program. In fact, current recruits said that the featured athlete section was one of the top reasons they visit your athletic website (based on a recent survey).

One last thing:

You may have used these reasons with recruits in the past. However, the important thing to give your prospect is an understanding why these three main points should be motivators for wanting to come to your program; not just ‘justifying’ why choosing you is o.k., but making it the primary reason they should see you as the smart, logical choice.

Need a fresh group of high-quality prospects to tell your story to? NCSA Athletic Recruiting has the nation’s largest free database of student-athletes for college coaches to review and contact immediately. Get started here.

Connecting with Prospects on This Popular Recruiting ToolMonday, March 7th, 2016

For college coaches recruiting on social media, it’s all about getting a prospect’s attention.

And, keeping it.

Getting them to follow you on the right platforms is critical if you want to build long term value with them, and also show them who you are, what you have to offer them as a rising student-athlete, and why they should ultimately choose you.

Many college coaches are discovering that this core principle works the same with this generation of recruited student-athlete who uses NCSA Athletic Recruiting as one of their college search tools. This popular network, which most college programs utilize to track athletes they are recruiting as well as find new prospects on the horizon, also offers some of the same critical “follow” features that today’s athletes are used to seeing on social media.

And, it helps increase the level of engagement between that athlete and the coach that is recruiting them.

“The follow is a great way for coaches to connect with athletes and express interest in them as a prospect,” says Taylor Fodor, Director of Coach Relations for the growing Chicago based company. “When a coach follows an athlete it will do three really important things that can really deepen the whole recruiting process”.

  • NCSA Athletic Recruiting will notify the college coach any time an athlete that they are following commits to another program, adds video, adds a new transcript or updates stats on their profile. The free tools they offer to coaches are state-of-the-art.
  • The athlete that you follow will see that you are following them and will be encouraged to research your program & connect with you to find out if they’d be interested in hearing more.
  • Any athlete that you follow will automatically be added to your NCSA Recruiting Board, where you can keep notes and organize them – a feature that is customizable.

So, just like social media follows are important in building an audience, using the right recruiting tools are important in tracking, updating and pursuing the best prospects on your list – most of whom are using this popular recruiting technology platform.

Login or create your free account by clicking here

  • Not a member? Click here to signup.

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