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If Nothing Else, This Has To Get Done!Thursday, May 15th, 2014

by Mandy Green, Head Women’s Soccer Coach, The University of South Dakota

What is it for you coach?  What is it that no matter what else gets done, as long as these one or two things are finished by the time you leave the office, you are feeling pretty good about your day?

I thought I knew what it was for me.

Being that I read, write, and talk to people about time management regularly, I certainly have a general idea which few activities for me were the ones I knew needed to get done.

Then, about a week ago, I went home feeling uneasy and stressed.  I started to reflect on what happened during the day and what maybe didn’t get done that was causing me to feel this way.

That day I had to readjust my schedule of To-Dos because a few student-athlete meetings lasted longer than planned.  When I got home, I took out my Green Time Management Planner and looked back over my day.  I had finished the majority of things on my To-Do list, but there were still one or two things pushed aside.  Reflecting back on my day helped give me some insight as to what was causing me to be stressed, but I needed to look more into it.

The next day was just as crazy as the day before, but I went home feeling okay with what I accomplished during the day.  Did I get everything done on my To-Do list, no, but I did get a few of the things done that I hadn’t gotten done the day before.  I again sat down and looked at what was finished and what was pushed aside during the day.

I ended up experimenting for a few days, monitoring what I had completed and what I left for the next day to do, while really paying attention to how I felt when I got home that night.

What I found is, for me, I feel good leaving the office as long as I have sent my recruiting emails out and had a chance to plan and prepare practice for the following day.

The development and future success of my program is obviously dependent on my ability to consistently communicate with recruits.  The success of my current team depends on preparing and executing challenging practices so we can keep getting better.  When I make sure to get these two things finished before I leave for the day, I feel assured knowing I still have time to review my practice plan the night before and make adjustments if necessary.  As a result, I walk into practice feeling more prepared.   I also love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I know I have taken another step forward with the recruits we are trying to get.

When these two things don’t get done at work however, I have to do them at home.  These things have to get done.  What causes me the most stress is not only does this take away time with my kids, but I feel they don’t get done as well as I would like them to be.  I feel like my recruiting emails are not as clear and concise and my practice plans aren’t as well thought out as they could and should be since I have a 4 and 1 year old also competing for my attention.

To avoid feeling stressed out, it took three or four days of analyzing what I did and didn’t do, as well as assessing the feelings that followed for it to really hit home with me which tasks absolutely had to be done before I left the office.

I now try to do my most important activities first thing in the morning, when I get done with practice (we practice from 6-8 am).  I found if I put them off until later, I get busy and run out of time to do them.

So coach, what are your most important activities?  What are the one or two tasks that you know if you get done, even if you don’t get everything done, you can leave the office and feel good about what you’ve accomplished for day?

If you are not sure, do what I did.  At the end of the day, review your To-Do list and see what got done and what didn’t get done.  How are you feeling when you get home?  Once you have your data, analyze what could be causing you to feel this way.  Then try to restructure your day to make sure you are getting your most important tasks done.

I would love to hear what they are?  Please email me at mandy@mandygreencps.com and put “My MIT’s” (Most Important Tasks) in the subject line.

Mandy Green has a Coaching Productivity Newsletter that goes out every other Sunday.  This newsletter is for coaches who have an email overload issue.  She shares methods or techniques that she is trying in an effort to process, manage, and keep track of recruiting emails better.  If you are interested in joining in on the conversation or if you have something to share please go to www.mandygreencps.com.  Opt in and she will send you her newsletter every week it goes out and you can get a FREE copy of the chapter in her Green Time Management For Coaches Workbook called Organize Your Recruiting.  

Determining Staff Roles for More Effective RecruitingMonday, June 24th, 2013

There are a few precious times during each year as a coaching staff that you actually have a chance to sit down, take a deep breath, and figure out what you want to do differently the next season from a recruiting standpoint.

I’m not talking about plays you should have called, or strategies you failed to execute during competition.  And, I’m not talking about the way you coach together as a staff.

I’m talking about the way you organize what you do as a staff – especially when it comes to recruiting.

Summer is one of those times of the year that is usually ideal for organizational planning for your staff.

That kind of planning is especially important when it comes to recruiting.

Because “organizing” and “planning” were big topics among the attendees, I wanted to share one key concept we’ve discussed with some clients who have struggled with the organizational approach to the way they plan an execute their recruiting approach .  It’s a concept originally outlined by business author Michael Gerber in his best-selling book, The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What To Do About It.

The concept is that a small business – similarly to your operation as a college coaching staff – won’t grow and prosper unless it is organized in a very specific way.  Gerber contends that every small business needs a Visionary, Managers and Technicians.  I contend that the same would hold true for college coaches when it comes to their recruiting approach.

Here’s the basic concept and the role of each individual coach in this proven plan for how (and why) you assign roles and responsibilities to members of your coaching staff:


The Visionary’s role is fairly obvious: He or she needs to set the direction of the program, develop the core recruiting philosophy, determine the goals that need to be met, and help pin-point who in their organization is right for the other two roles of Managers and Visionaries.

When we work with our clients, this is one of the areas that we try to determine early on in our work with them.  Here are some quick observations after seeing different staffs change their organizational philosophy and adapt this format:

  • Sometimes, the head coach is not the best person to be the Visionary.  Most of the time, yes.  Not all the time, though.
  • Visionaries need to be able to make the tough calls, put their name on a plan, and be confident in their vision for the program.
  • Can there be more than one Visionary?  No.  However, the Visionary can get input from other people on their staff.  But there needs to be one person that is in the role of the Visionary.
  • If at all possible, the Visionary should not also be a Manager.  And, they should almost never be a Technician.

Visionaries on a college coaching staff should constantly be assessing where they are with regards to their recruiting class, and figuring out if the vision that has been outlined is being realized.  It’s ongoing, active work.  Visionaries are accountable to the whole organization for the overall success of the year’s recruiting.


The next role(s) that need to be assigned would be that of Manager.

The Manager’s role is singular in focus: To make sure that the vision your staff has established is realized through daily management and measurement.  The Manager needs to make sure that the individual assignments tied to the vision are being completed exactly as planned.

Good Managers need to:

  • fully buy-in to the vision that’s been established when it comes to the staff’s recruiting goals.
  • be loyal to the Visionary.
  • be looking for more efficient and better ways to achieve the vision sooner and more effectively.
  • be able to keep the Technicians on task and accountable.
  • be able to measure what is being done on a regular basis to achieve the vision.

Can there be more than one Manager?  Sure.  But each Manager needs to have their own separate areas of responsiblities whenever possible.  Don’t bog down this emerging organizational system with double coverage.

And last, but absolutely NOT least…


Just because I’m listing this last, don’t think that it is the least important.  Especially when it comes to recruiting.

The Technician(s) is responsible for making sure the Vision happens.  Without great Technicians, its all just a bunch of good ideas that never actually happen.

It’s natural to assume that assistant coaches and grad assistants, who perform the role of technicians when it comes to game planning and scouting, would be the likely choice of the Visionary to carry-out Technician duties when it comes to recruiting.  Here are the hallmarks of really good Technicians:

  • They’re able to focus in on the assignments established by the Manager.
  • They’re able to provide great communication on the progress or hurdles that transpire along the way.
  • They understand that they have an equally important role in the organization.  In other words, not Manager or Visionary envy (in many ways, Technicians have the best role of the three).

Why is recruiting organization like this so important?  Because without it you feel burned-out.  A coach that is the Visionary, but also takes on the role of Manager and Technician is going to be the coach that starts feeling trapped.  Bitter.  Frustrated.  They won’t quite reach their goals, and they’ll always feel three steps behind every one of their competitors.

Even if you have a small staff, try to farm out roles to those in the athletic department when possible.

What if you’re the only coach on a staff?  You already know you have it tough, so you don’t need me to tell you that.  In that case, you’ll want to try to organize your week into Visionary, Manager and Technician time blocks.  Separate your duties, and try not to mix roles in the same day.  You’ll feel a lot less exhausted and frustrated if you can do it.

That’s an overview of the concept, and it’s going to look different from college to college, and staff to staff.  However, it’s important: Think about how much time you put in to determining how to split up scouting and recruiting area coverage, but don’t put much time into detailing organizational assignments once those scouting details are back in the office.

Once you separate and organize roles in your recruiting plan, you’ll probably want to do the same thing with the rest of your duties as a coaching staff.  And why not…it works!

Need help in determining how best to use your staff for more effective recruiting?  You can bring Dan to campus to work with your staff or your athletic department this coming recruiting year.  If you have questions, email Dan Tudor directly at dan@dantudor.com.  

Finally! A College Coach Specific Time Management SystemMonday, August 20th, 2012

by Mandy Green, University of South Dakota

I’ve taken all of the best time-management systems and tips on the market, and have synthesized them all into the Green Time Management System for College Coaches.

I don’t know about you coach, but I have tried a lot of different planners and time management techniques over the years. The biggest issue I have found is that there are no coaching specific planners out there. Nothing where I could keep track of all I needed to do: my recruiting and practice plans, to-do lists, phone calls, recruiting opportunities, meeting plans, and official visits—all in one place.

Finally, I stopped looking and decided to create my own calendar.

The calendar system that I have created and am about to share with you has evolved over my 14-year coaching career. I’ve created a goal-based, time-management system that has allowed me to be more effective with all of my recruiting tasks, my team, and my administrative responsibilities.  Because I am so much more efficient in the office since putting these techniques into practice, I now have more quality time and energy to go home and be a wife and mother.

2012 Green Time Management Planner for College Coaches

This is a college coach specific day planner that allows you to streamline and keep track of all you need to do for the year, month, week, and each day. This planner will help you organize and prioritize your projects and tasks, plan your week so you get your most important work done first, and help you keep track of your recruiting and practice plans, to-do lists, phone calls, recruiting opportunities, meeting plans and official visits—all in one place.

Inside the Green Time Management Planner for College Coaches you’ll find forms, checklists, logs and information sheets for:

  • Yearly Goal Setting Form
  • 2012, 2013, 2014 Yearly Calendars
  • Airline, Car, and Hotel Toll-Free Numbers
  • 2012 Expense Forms
  • Car Mileage Forms
  • Monthly Goal Setting Page
  • Monthly Goal Setting Tracking Forms
  • Monthly Master To-Do List
  • Monthly Recruiting Tracking Forms
  • Monthly Progress and Reflection Pages

On the Daily Pages you will be able to:

  • Schedule your appointments and track your time
  • Keep track of your daily To-Do List
  • Write out your Practice Plan
  • Make meeting and additional notes
  • Keep track of your recruiting calls
  • Keep track of your official or unofficial visits for the day

2012 Green Time Management Workbook for College Coaches

Being more productive in the office often comes down to having a good, clear system. You need to be able to capture, organize, prioritize, plan and take action on all of your projects, tasks and activities each day. The Green Time Management Workbook for College Coaches is a combination of the best and most useful time management techniques out there and is made specifically for college coaches. This system that I have created will help you execute and get things done more consistently. It will lead to predictable results and valuable feedback that you can use to make improvements. The action exercises in the workbook will help you develop your own personalized coaching productivity system. It will help you understand the principles that make it work, and find the right tools to help you implement it. This book will show you practical strategies, techniques, and tools that can help you do your work more quickly, effectively, and efficiently. Therefore, helping you make your vision and goals a reality.

In the Green Time Management Workbook for College Coaches you will:

  • Learn about the time management mistakes you may be making now
  • Through action exercises, you will develop a clear picture of your vision and goals
  • You will learn how to map out your coaching, team, and recruiting plans for the year
  • You will learn how to schedule your day so that you have the time you need to work on your top priorities

Once you are clear about what you want and your plan is in place, you will be in control of your time. This will help you be less stressed and a little more sane. Organizing your schedule and recruiting smarter isn’t rocket science. You can do some real simple things to start off the new school year more organized and effective. Are you ready to make some simple – and smart – changes to the way you manage your time and recruiting this year?

For more information, email Mandy Green at mandy@mandygreencps.com or to purchase the Green Time Management Workbook and Planner go to www.mandygreencps.com.


The “SW-9 Formula” for Recruiting Success – Part TwoMonday, August 20th, 2012

by John Brubaker, Author and Performance Consultant

Two weeks ago we published the first part of this article. Here is a quick look at Part 1 and the first 4 steps of implementing the SW-9 Formula for selling yourself to your recruits:

Whether you realize or not, as a recruiter you are in sales and the number one thing you are selling is yourself. A prospect needs to be sold on you before they are ever going to be sold on your program or university. Your sales are lost or gained long before you ever meet with the prospect to “close” them. The sale is first made to yourself.

Click here to read all of Part 1 and the first 4 steps to using the SW-9 Formula. The final 5 steps are detailed below.

Part 2 of 2

  • Stick With It: When faced with rejection remind yourself that a bend in the road is not the end of the road. Did you know that half of all sales people give up on a prospect after the first time they are told no? And another 30 percent give up after the second no. Interestingly enough, research indicates it takes five no’s by a single prospect to get them to say yes. By simply sticking with it you will outperform a majority of your competitors. Make it a game and think of the first several no’s a prospect tells you as being early in the game. Remember games are won in the fourth quarter; you just have to get to the fourth quarter to be in a position to win. Those fourth and fifth no’s take place in the fourth quarter so stick with it.
  • Stop Worrying:I encourage my clients to take up yoga or meditation as a way of eliminating worry and managing stress. They tell me “No way John, I can’t meditate”. In reality, they already are, as are most of us. Worrying is really meditating and focusing on the things we don’t want.  As a society we’ve gotten pretty good at focusing on what we don’t want, worrying about problems instead forming of solutions. Once you realize sales is all a numbers game you can let go of your worries and focus on solutions. Often times in our professional lives when we are experiencing what feels like the worst thing possible at that moment in time, it turns out to be the best thing that could happen to us. Remember it’s a bend not an end.
  • Someone’s Watching: Coaches want to see how resilient a player is after experiencing adversity, how much class or sportsmanship they demonstrate after a loss and how much humility they have when they are blessed with success, fame and fortune.  The same can be said for people watching you do your job. Observation does wonders for our self-awareness and behaviors. Take the approach of an athlete, they know recruiters, opposing coaches and agents are all watching to see how they respond to situations.  That someone watching might be your protégé, a potential prospect, your next potential employer, another recruiter or even your son or daughter. In this day and age of camera phones and social media it is not unrealistic to take the approach that you are always on camera. What do you look like on camera? Humble and hungry or like you are resting on your laurels.
  • Stay Well: You are not useful to your team or institution if you are not taking care of your physical and mental health. As physical educators you should have a keen awareness of mind, body and spirit. You are your own most important recruit and if you don’t take care of yourself you are limiting your effectiveness as a recruiter. This is particularly important in terms of your mindset. Keeping a positive mindset in the recruiting process is the ultimate competitive advantage for you and your program. Two great reasons to stay well:
    • Dr. Martin Seligman’s research on sales professionals found that positive, optimistic sales people outperformed pessimistic ones.
    • The Heart Math Institute discovered that positive emotions like appreciation and gratitude facilitate greater performance in athletes.
  • Swing Wisely: Working harder isn’t always the answer. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it is but more often than not working smarter is the better approach. To win the recruiting battle you don’t have to be a lot better than your competition, you just have to be a little bit better. Using the analogy of baseball, what is the difference between a baseball player with a .250 batting average and a player with a .350 batting average? It’s more than 100 points.

It’s the difference between a Hall of Famer and an average player. It’s the difference between millions of dollars of salary and the league minimum. It’s the difference between endorsements & fame vs. obscurity. If you look at a 162 game season, where a player gets four or five at bats each game, the difference between .250 & .350 is only 1.7 hits a week.

It’s the little things that make a big difference on the field and in recruiting. Working hard and doing the little things right every day add up. Little things win big games, so swing wisely.

About the author:

John Brubaker is a nationally renowned performance consultant, speaker and author. Using a multidisciplinary approach, Brubaker helps organizations and individuals develop their competitive edge. Brubaker is the author of The Coach Approach: Success Strategies Out Of The Locker Room Into The Board Room and co-author of the book Leadership: Helping Others To Succeed.

The “SW-9 Formula” for Recruiting SuccessMonday, August 6th, 2012

by John Brubaker, Author and Performance Consultant

Part 1 of 2

Whether you realize or not, as a recruiter you are in sales and the number one thing you are selling is yourself. A prospect needs to be sold on you before they are ever going to be sold on your program or university. Your sales are lost or gained long before you ever meet with the prospect to “close” them. The sale is first made to yourself.

Prospecting, qualifying, rapport building, presenting and closing are all skills that take time to develop. No one is born to sell nor can you become an overnight success after simply taking a one day sales training seminar. What you can do to become a better recruiter immediately is to apply the SW-9 formula for recruiting success. It will help you make that first sale to yourself.

Management consulting guru Peter Drucker once said “If you can’t explain what you’re doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”  There is some real wisdom in this quote for performers in any profession whether you are a college coach, an NFL quarterback, or a financial advisor. There is a tremendous amount of research which indicates that sales professionals who utilize a sales process consistently outperform their counterparts who do not. (This is regardless of the specific type of process and regardless of industry.)

I strongly believe that any good sales process begins with an understanding of the nine S.W.’s of sales.

  • Some Will: No matter how poor a sales person you are someone will buy from you. Perhaps you have a unique opportunity they see as a tremendous value or your product (institution/program) offers the best fit. Regardless of how you feel you may have botched the presentation, call or visit; there is someone who will buy what you are selling.

  • Some Won’t: You can be a world-class sales professional (recruiter) and some won’t buy from you. What matters more than the fact that some won’t is how do you respond to rejection. Is it the end of the road or a bend in the road? Do you perceive a “no” as meaning never or as meaning next?  An answer of no is not the prospect rejecting you personally, it often simply means you have not given them a compelling enough reason to “buy”. Think of no not as a word rather think of it as an acronym. No really means N.O. or next opportunity. Be willing to move on to the next opportunity, embrace the next recruiting call, the next home visit, the next meeting with a high school coach, etc. The next opportunity may be the next call with that same recruit or it may mean moving on to another on your list. These are the bends in the recruiting trail that make the job exciting. After making a bad play, don’t you counsel your athletes to focus on the next play not that last one? Take your own advice, it is the next opportunity you have control over not the last one.  Focus on the things you can control. How do the best recruiters deal with the many S.W. #2’s they face? The unreturned phone calls, the unopened emails, the unresponsive high school coach, the blue chip prospects who say no to your offer. The best of the best take an S.W. #3 approach to rejection.
  • So What: The best approach to rejection is to have what my colleague, sports psychologist Dr. Adam Naylor calls “intentional amnesia”. Great athletes have long term memories for success and very short term memories for failure. Great salespeople do the same. They don’t personalize rejection or objections. Instead they view them as feedback and an opportunity to improve.  In my role as a performance consultant, several years ago I determined that many of the best sales professionals I’ve worked with were competitive baseball players either back in high school or college. It makes perfect sense. Sales, like baseball or softball, is a game of failure and a game of averages. In baseball you will strike out way more times than you get a hit. A successful hitter will average three hits out of every ten at bats. Success is not measured by the individual at-bat, baseball is a long season and success is measured by the overall body of work or your batting average. Sales is the same way, it’s a game of failure where you are destined to face more rejection than acceptance.  You have to get a certain number of “no’s” in order to get to a yes. So why not embrace receiving a no with a so what mentality because it will move you closer to your next yes.  When asked what about what impact striking out had on him Babe Ruth responded “Every strike out brings me closer to my next home run.” You can take the same mentality in your recruiting. How? By realizing S.W. #4.

  • Someone’s Waiting: No matter what just happened, there is always another opportunity, another prospect, another appointment, another referral, another coach. When you leave the meeting, vent for a moment by letting ‘er rip with a nice big, loud four letter word….. N-E-X-T! Remember no is really an acronym for next opportunity; next prospect, next appointment, the meeting with the next coach. Psychologists have studied the power of both the primacy effect and the recency effect. It has been proven that primacy or being the first impression made, has a stronger effect than recency. Food for thought:  Are you the first coach to call that blue chip prospect on July 1st? Are you the first coach at their front doorstep to make the home visit?

Next week:  The final five  SW’s every coach needs to know when building a great recruiting approach.

John Brubaker is a nationally renowned performance consultant, speaker and author. Using a multidisciplinary approach, Brubaker helps organizations and individuals develop their competitive edge. Brubaker is the author of The Coach Approach: Success Strategies Out Of The Locker Room Into The Board Room and co-author of the book Leadership: Helping Others To Succeed.  He is also a featured speaker and consultant for Tudor Collegiate Strategies.

He is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and he also earned a master’s degree in personnel psychology from FDU. Brubaker has completed his doctoral coursework in Sport Psychology at Temple University.  www.coachbru.com


Speed Up the Recruiting Process with This One QuestionMonday, July 30th, 2012

by Mandy Green, University of South Dakota

If you have read any of my articles, you know by now that I am all about finding new and better ways to do things that will give me a better return on my time and energy.

About a year ago now, I was listening to a High Performance Academy coaching call being led by Brendan Burchard, author of The Charge.  He was talking about productivity and how he starts his day out by asking the question “who do I need to reach out to today that will help me progress forward?”

He applies this question to all of his businesses; I now apply this question to my program and with recruiting.  For example, what club coach can I reach out to today and develop a better relationship with that could potentially help me with recruiting quality student-athletes to my program?  Or, what person on campus could I reach out to today to introduce myself or to thank them for helping me with something?

Answering and acting on this one question has single-handedly changed the pace and quality of recruits that we are now able to get to look at and commit to my program.

Here is how I do it.  On my way into work I think about who I can reach out to whether it be a coach of a team I saw over the weekend, a parent of one of my top recruits, a local business owner, a faculty member on campus, etc.  As soon as I get into the office, I turn on my computer and crank out a quick email to them.  I usually only write to one person a day and only give myself 10 minutes to try to connect and build a relationship with whatever person I am writing to.  I also do it first thing in the morning before I do anything else because I found that if I leave it until later in the day, there is a good chance that it won’t get done.

I didn’t notice much of a difference at first but over the course of the last year, spending the first 10 minutes reaching out to one person a day has really started to pay off for us.  These coaches are helping us get in contact with recruits faster, are now talking to recruits on our behalf which is helping to get them serious about us sooner, and it has helped us narrow down our recruiting pool because of the insights they are now giving us.

All of this and more is the result of developing the habit of consistently reaching out to one person a day first thing when I get to the office in the morning.  Coach, there is always somebody who you can reach out to.  Be thoughtful and strategic about it.  Like I said earlier, just this one question has helped to speed up our recruiting process and I know it can do the same for you.

Mandy Green is a frequent contributor to College Recruiting Weekly, and is a Division I head soccer coach.  Coaches around the country know her as a premier expert on organization and coaching, and is the developer of a soon to be released organizational system and calendar for college recruiters.


Looking to be a High Performance Coach? Take a Time Out!Monday, July 2nd, 2012

by Mandy Green, University of South Dakota

Too many coaches these days have to retire early for health-related issues because they don’t take enough time off to be able to sit and enjoy life outside of their sport. Coaches are increasingly working longer hours, over the weekends, and skipping breaks in an effort to cram more work in.

Working hard is important, but you also need to take time to step back, evaluate, and re-energize yourself in order to be effective during the day and also so you can have sustained energy over the course of your career. Without enough time-off or time-for-yourself, you will eventually experience mental and physical fatigue, which will lead to a decrease in your quality of work, a lack of focus, and possible burnout.

More than that, your health may suffer and eventually you’ll reach a crisis point where you’re forced to take time off simply to regain your health, let alone enjoy life.

No matter how busy you may be Coach, taking breaks where you completely separate yourself from your work during the day will help to your clear head and will rejuvenate your mind – usually resulting in increased productivity.

Many studies have revealed that workers who take breaks are dramatically more productive during the day as opposed to those who do not. After a break these studies show that your performance levels increase dramatically so that you can tackle tasks again with renewed vigor and finish them accurately. Mistakes are also made more when you do not refresh your mind and body.

Stephen Covey, the best selling author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1989), has dedicated the final segment of his book to the subject of rest and rejuvenation. In his last chapter, titled “Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal,” Covey illustrates the importance of regular regeneration with the story of a man who exhausts himself trying to cut down a tree with a dull saw. “Taking time to sharpen the saw” he calls the seventh habit, which “surrounds the other habits [...] because it is the habit that makes all others possible.” Taking enough time to renew our strengths and resources is necessary to preserve and enhance the greatest asset we have, ourselves, Covey says.  This does not only include our physical health, but also our emotional, mental, social and spiritual well-being. Obviously, they are all intertwined and dependent on each other.

There are two break times that I am going to encourage you to take: Daily and every 90 days.

Schedule regular breaks into your busy day
In the morning when you are planning your day, schedule a 15 minute break time every 45-60 minutes to get up and move around.  It doesn’t have to be much, but you have to break your attention to keep your attention.  It is like refreshing your browser every 45 minutes.  These mental and physical breaks are appointments you make and keep with yourself that will allow you to perform consistently at higher levels throughout the course of the day
I would highly encourage some moving and stretching exercises to get your blood flowing. If you work mostly inside with no windows to open like I do, you should go outside for a little sun and fresh air. Go get some water, eat a healthy snack, go to the bathroom, etc.  Whatever you decide to do during this time, the point is to completely break away from what you were working on for a few minutes to clear your mind and rejuvenate your body.

Every 90 days, take a vacation
Every three months, go completely off the grid and take a break from your email, your phone, and from social media.  You can go somewhere different or just stay home but the point is to get away from work for a few days to physically and mentally rest and rejuvenate.  To confess something to you: As I am writing this article, I have been at my parent’s home in MN for the last 2 days.  I have been swimming in the neighbors pool with my 2 year-old, taking long walks, gone to a few garage sales, watched a  movie, but mostly we have sat out on the deck and relaxed watching the ducks in the pond behind my parents house.  I am very aware that I have a lot of unanswered emails, and some work is piling up, but I wouldn’t give away these rest days for the world.  After a couple of days resting, I am always amazed at how much more motivated I am to get back to work.  My focus is better, my energy is renewed, and I get 10 times more work done in the office right after I have come back from one of my mini vacations.

Coach, taking extra time off renews your energy and gives your body and mind much needed rest. When you do take this time off, you will find that you use your time more wisely when you are at work.

Two Huge Action Steps Towards Becoming More Productive as a CoachTuesday, June 19th, 2012

by Mandy Green, University of South Dakota

For a coach who is trying to learn ways to become more productive and efficient in the office, I think that the first HUGE step you need to take if you haven’t
done so already is to own your agenda.   No offense, but I think that a lot of coaches have become extremely wimpy in letting other people set the agenda of our day, our life, and our moment to moment experiences.

Unfortunately most coaches are not even aware that it is a problem.

Coach, if you want to spend less time in the office, get more important things done, and have time left over in the day to have a life outside of your sport, you must take back where are you going, what are you doing, how are you managing your day by regaining control over your agenda.

Your agenda is where you are going with your program and on your agenda are the things you need to do to progress your program forward.

By controlling your agenda it means that you are not doing immediately what your inbox is asking you to do, checking your email or Facebook every two minutes to check in on the world, stopping everything to pick up the phone every time it rings, letting a coach who stops by eat up a good chunk of your day with office gossip . . . I could go on, but you get the idea.

Do not let others mess with your agenda, EVER!

Coaches say to me that that is really hard: I have no assistants, I have kids, I am constantly getting interrupted, etc. Trust me, I get that.  I am a Division 1 Head Soccer coach and only have two part-time assistants working with me, I have a young son, and I get interrupted just as much as anybody.  I have made the choice to control my agenda and no matter what your circumstances are, you still have to choose to own your agenda as well.

After you have taken the first huge step in becoming more productive by deciding that you are going to own your agenda from now on, the next big step is to have clarity. Clarity with your vision, coaching, team, and recruiting aspects of your program will give you something to continually focus on during the day.

Vision = Ultimate Destination, Personal Plan = Values, Team Plan = Coaching Philosophy, Recruiting Plan = who you want and how you are going to get them.

By creating a vision you create a destination. Your vision becomes the filter through which you sift every decision, from how to train your team to whom you recruit to how you spend your time in the office despite all of the other stuff going on around you. Once your vision is solid enough, it will dictate every action you make (assuming you are owning your agenda), ensuring that everything you do takes you closer to your goals.

Personal, team, and recruiting plans are there so you know what you must do every day to succeed and they add structure to your vision. It allows you to come up with appropriate development plan for the day, week, season, and year. Planning is the tool that takes you from wherever you are to wherever you want to go.

A good plan identifies the outcomes you want, tells you whether you’re on track, helps you to get a better return on energy, and guides the decisions you’re making, especially regarding how you are managing your time. You will use it and refer to it on a regular, on-going basis.

I had always joked about having a “method to my madness.” I was able to eliminate most of the madness by putting in a lot more method. Once I knew my own “what’s” and “why’s,” I moved onto figuring out the “what’s” and “why’s” of my program. It was a lot of work, but I still believe it is the most valuable and important exercise that I have ever done as a college coach.

Coach, clarity does not come into your life and magically land at your feet, you have to choose or decide what you want. You have to create clarity, not wait for clarity. Lack of clarity is probably more responsible for frustration and underachievement than any other single factor.

Being clear on what your future looks like to choosing to own your agenda will help you make more productive choices and sound decisions in your present.

In my new Green Time Management System For Coaches, which consists of a workbook and daily planner, I teach you how to take back the agenda of your day. My goal with this Green Time Management System is to not just help you get things done, throughout the workbook, I will get you to map out what you really want, why you want it, and become very strategic about how you are going to get it. I show you how to think about your day so you don’t get sucked into all of the other crap coaches typically get sucked into because you may not have been strategically thinking about how to set up your day at all to be
productive and efficient.

Watch for Coach Green’s new workbook and calendar system soon here.

Why Defining a Vision Helps Coaches Save Time in the OfficeMonday, March 5th, 2012

by Mandy Green, University of South Dakota

So you are probably thinking, how the heck can the vision that I have for my career and for my program help me save time in the office?

As you already know, your vision identifies where you want to go (as a program, as a team, with your career, and with your recruiting) in the next 1, 3, or even 5 years from now.

A problem I have found with the coaches that I work with is that a lot of them cannot clearly articulate what their vision is. Because they are not clear on where there program, recruiting and career ultimately will go in the next 1-5 years, they waste A LOT of time being indecisive and inconsistent because they have no foundation to go off of  to guide their decisions.

Ultimately, your vision is the filter through which you sift every decision, from how to train your team to whom you recruit to how you spend your time in the office.  Once your vision is solid enough, it will dictate every action you make, ensuring that everything you do takes you closer to your goals.

For example, let’s say your vision is to be considered a top coach in your conference, sign all of your top recruits, and be so organized that you get your work done during office hours so you have more time to spend with your family. If that is your vision, then how do you think that will dictate your actions?   Will you get into the office late, spend the first two hours in pointless conversations, and then stay late to finish all of the work you have to do?  Of course not!

So how do you create your vision?

  • First, decide on your time frame. Do you want to focus on 1 year, 3 years, or 5 years from now?
  • Second, write out where you want your program, team, career, and recruiting to be in the next 1, 3, or 5 years from now.  Be specific and know where do you want to go?
  • What does my program look like 1, 3, or 5 years from now?
  • Where am I with my career 1, 3, or 5 years from now?
  • What kind of recruits am I going after 1, 3, or 5 years from now?
  • What is your ideal day in the office 1, 3, or 5 years from now?

Being clear on what your future looks like will help you make more productive choices and sound decisions in your present.  Next week, we’ll talk about how all of this applies to your life as a recruiter.

If you are looking for more help in this area, keep an eye out for my new Coaching Productivity Planner Workbook coming out soon.  I’ve taken all of the best time-management systems and tips out there on the market and synthesized them all into one Time Management System for College Coaches.  Look for it shortly here on dantudor.com!

Scheduling Your High Priority Activities as a College CoachMonday, February 13th, 2012

by Mandy Green, University of South Dakota

How long do you and your staff spend each day on unimportant things?  Things that don’t really contribute to the success of your program.

Do you know how much time you’ve spent reading junk mail, talking to colleagues, getting interrupted by somebody walking into your office, or getting phone calls everyday? And how often have you thought, “I could achieve so much more if I just had another half hour each day.”

In working closely with the team at Tudor Collegiate Strategies, I know we continually hear from coaches who struggle with their day.  They lament how often time seems to get away from them.  Even when they plan their upcoming calendar as a coaching staff, it seems to never quite unfold the way coaches hope.

First thing I want you to do: Identify the high-payoff activities within your program.

High-payoff activities are the things you do that bring the greatest value to your program, team, or staff.  They are the three to five activities that lie in your “sweet spot.”  You do them with excellence.  These activities could be building relationships with recruits, making phone calls to parents, sending emails to recruits, managing your current team, etc.  They are your unique discipline or distinctive skills and abilities that distinguish you from other staff members.

Knowing what your high-payoff activities are and actually doing them, however, are two very different things.  Many surveys that I have read over the past several years have shown that the average American worker spends only 50-60 percent of the workday on activities specified in her or her job description.  That means that workers waste 40-50 percent of their time on low-payoff activities, tackling things that others with less skill or training should be doing.

Are you in this category coach?

The more time you spend doing the high-payoff activities, the more value you will bring to your team, program, and staff.  By disciplining yourself to clearly identify your high-payoff activities, and then by filling your calendar with those things and appropriately delegating, delaying, or dropping the low-payoff activities, you can and will get more high-payoff activities done everyday, reduce your stress, and increase your happiness.

Homework-Time tracking in an Activity Log

Activity logs help you to analyze how you actually spend your time, and when you perform at your best. The first time you use an activity log the results may shock you! I know that I was shocked the first time I did one.

Do this activity for a week. Write down everything you do, from the time you start working until the time you go home. Without modifying your behavior any further than you have to, note down the things you do as you do them.  I created a sample template below.  You will need to cut and paste and make the template the size you need it to be depending on the amount of things you do everyday.

Every time you change activities, whether opening mail, working, making coffee, gossiping with colleagues or whatever, note down the time of the change.
As well as recording activities, note how you feel, whether alert, flat, tired, energetic, etc. Do this periodically throughout the day.

At the end of every time-tracked day, tally the total hours you spent in high- vs low-payoff activities.  Although this may seem like a hassle, it’s vitally important for you to become very clear on how you actually spend your time over the course of the week.  You may be alarmed to see the amount of time you spend doing low value jobs!

Activity logs are useful tools for auditing the way that you use your time. They can also help you to track changes in your energy, alertness and effectiveness throughout the day.

By analyzing your activity log you will be able to identify and eliminate time-wasting or low-value jobs. You will also know the times of day at which you are most effective, so that you can carry out your most important tasks during these times.

Soon you’ll gain a clear picture of how you’re actually spending your time and whether you have room to fill your calendar with the activities that will truly add the most value to you and your program.

Mandy Green, a frequent contributor to College Recruiting Weekly, is a Division I head soccer coach and the author of an upcoming time-management guide for college coaches, as well as a corresponding calendar organizer.  In addition, she will be a featured speaker at the upcoming National Collegiate Recruiting Conference this Summer.