Dan Tudor

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Pink Is The WORST ColorMonday, July 14th, 2014

by Tyler Brandt, National Recruiting Coordinator

Recently a coach whom I have done camps with and known for a long time just got his walking papers. When you look at the success he’s had it doesn’t really make sense – OR DOES IT? This is not an uncommon thing in sports, all of us that have coached at the collegiate level know  it is more of a business than an extracurricular activity. The expectations of our results as coaches are absolutely explicit. Unfortunately, too many coaches feel that because they were great athletes they automatically are great coaches.

The intricacies of being a professional coach (this doesn’t mean a coach in the NFL or NBA, it’s a coach who gets paid to coach for his/her livelihood) are so far beyond the scope of learning a technique or strategy it’s mind boggling. The job description includes, but is not limited to, administrative duties, psychology of sport, mental training, athletic training, strength and conditioning, rules compliance in recruiting, budget management, transportation and logistics, academic monitoring, academic advisement and I am sure I am missing some.

As the National Director of Recruiting for Tudor Collegiate Strategies I have reached out to many colleagues to discuss working with them using our recruiting service. Although many have taken advantage and are seeing phenomenal results in their programs, others have said  they are good to go and know what they’re doing. This marks the THIRD time that a coach has been fired from their job in part because of recruiting issues that said they KNEW WHAT THEY WERE DOING!

What sense does it make to know that you are having challenges,  have an opportunity to make a change to rectify it and you make a conscious decision not to? Sounds a lot like why many of us coaches get frustrated with our athletes! We see a problem with their technique,   try to get them to adjust it and they continuously do the same thing over and over making the same mistakes again and again.

YES – Using TCS costs money, but so does anything of value!

YES – You will get information from someone else on how to change your recruiting practices and NO that doesn’t make you a worse coach (it actually makes you way smarter)

YES – You will start filling your rosters with better athletes

YES – You will have better retention – persistence & completion rates (big issue for the HLC)

YES – You will have better work-life-balance

The list is long regarding the benefits of using TCS in your program but the list is really short for why you don’t:

-    Ego

I know programs have budget challenges, I did, but I made a few changes and made it happen. Don’t lose your job because you think you know everything. You would be surprised at the coaches in your sport using TCS. Using TCS is part of the reason why they are successful and are keeping their jobs!

I know this blog is a little harsh, but you  and I both know that sometimes you have to rub off the skin to clean the wound! Do me a favor – if you haven’t won a conference championship, if you didn’t have a winning season last year, if you got beat IN the championship game, if you just got a new coaching opportunity, shoot me an email – tyler@dantudor.com –  so we can talk about how TCS can help your program.

It’s too late to fix it after the administration has made up their mind that you aren’t the coach that can get the job done! Don’t wait, let’s talk NOW! Don’t be the FOURTH coach in this list!

Why Your Recruiting Message Needs More Verbs, Less AdjectivesMonday, March 12th, 2012

One of the concepts we’ll be talking about at the upcoming National Collegiate Recruiting Conference is the right way, and the wrong way, to communicate with this generation of recruits.

And a lot of what separates a successful message from one that gets ignored revolves around the way you as a college coach construct your recruiting messages.

When it comes to revising the way your current batch of recruiting letters and emails sound, there’s an easy formula that you should follow to ensure they get read by your prospects.

It’s all about what word choices you use to drive the conversation in those messages.  And while many coaches might immediately run to more descriptive adjectives to add to their letter and email copy (“we’ve got a really beautiful new facility!”), I’m going to recommend a different approach:

Verbs.

Verbs are action, while adjectives are descriptive.  Action beats descriptions every time in the mind of your prospects.

You can even look to the hallowed halls of Harvard, where business school applications that contain verbs stand-out compared to those that try to use adjectives to describe the accomplishments of those applying (Dee Leopold is one of the people who judge the incoming essays and applications to the business school at Harvard, and says the best recommendations have lots of verbs, pointing out that reference letters that state “She did this” beat those that try to use adjectives to describe applicants).

Roger Dooley, a marketing expert that specializes in how the brain receives sales messages, explains why verbs are so effective this way:

“There are multiple reasons to choose verbs over adjectives.  First, adjectives on their own don’t say all that much and are easy to throw in without real justification.  Describing someone as “dedicated, focused, and creative” is a quick way to satisfy the need for a favorable comment and get the recommendation on its way.

Similarly, a product could be, “economical, long-lasting, and easy to use.”  In both cases, though, the reader has nothing to go on other than the word of the writer, who is almost certainly biased in favor of creating a good impression.  Vague positive characteristics will get filtered out as puffery.

Action verbs force the writer to get specific – “created a series of ads,” “led a team of engineers,” “worked through a holiday,” and so on require actual examples of the behaviors or characteristics in question.  A product might “outlast other brands by 10,000 hours,” or “cut maintenance costs by 25%.”  These specifics will increase the credibility of the copy, in addition to providing more information that when the adjective-driven shortcut is taken.

The take-away from all of this is pretty straight forward when it comes to crafting better recruiting messages for your prospects:

  • Focus on present day action within your program.
  • Create a feeling of present-tense action in your letters and emails, and try to include the idea that your prospect can (and should) be a part of that action that is happening.
  • If you use adjectives, use them sparingly.
  • Dooley points out the verbs force you, the writer, to get specific.  What should you be specific about?  I’d suggest focusing on the personality of your team, the vision for your program, why they’ll love your team once they get to know them, and – most importantly – your plan for the prospect if they choose your program.

The best place to start?  Well, you can have us help create that message, of course.  But if you want to tackle that project yourself, I’d recommend taking your current letters and emails and looking to eliminate most of the adjectives, while adding action-oriented verbs to your copy.  Convert the context of whatever you happen to be talking about in those messages to present-tense verbs that denote energy, movement and momentum.

Verbs give your prospects the feeling of positive energy within your program, and do a much better job of selling your program to your recruits while giving them clear ideas as to why they should want to be a part of your program.

Getting ready to revamp your recruiting attack for this new class?  Let the experts at Tudor Collegiate Strategies help!  We work with programs at all levels around the country, giving them research-based strategies and custom designed recruiting communication that gets results.  Click here for more information to see if our one-on-one help would make a difference for your program.  And if you want to attend the upcoming National Collegiate Recruiting Conference, get all the information about this amazing weekend of learning and networking here.

Do You Use Excel? This Recruiting Tool is Built for YOU!Monday, December 12th, 2011

Whether you chalk it up to old habits dying hard, or no budget to upgrade to a fancy new web-based recruiting management program, coaches all over the country still use Excel spreadsheets to track prospects.

The good news?  You can still easily integrate your use of Excel with some of the newer technology tools out there!

“We received over 1000 survey results from college coaches, and a large majority of them wanted the ability to integrate NCSA Athletic Recruiting with either Excel, or whatever their contact management system was”, said Ryan Newman, College Relations Coordinator.

“Little did they know, they already have this ability, and we’ve now made the integration better than ever—anything bit of information on a recruit you would need can instantaneously be transferred from NCSA right to Excel.”

Not only is NCSA Athletic Recruiting compatible with commonly used programs like Excel, but fully integrated with Front Rush, which the majority of coaches seem to now use to manage their recruiting databases.  If you have a Front Rush account you can simply click the “Add to Front Rush Button” after evaluating any NCSA prospect online through your free coach account most programs have set-up.

“We find a lot of coaches have utilized Front Rush for their contact management”, said Newman.  “The way I see it, NCSA is the best way to search, evaluate, and find potential recruits.  At that point it is up to college coaches to actually contact with the kid, get him on campus, and so on.  That’s where Front Rush comes in, and having the ability to mesh both resources, has really streamlined the process for college coaches.”

Learn how to export data from NCSA to Excel, AND learn how to import excel data into your NCSA Recruiting Board in this short video clip: How to Export and Import to Excel

Recruiting Service Setting a New Standard in Helping College CoachesMonday, March 31st, 2008

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