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Understanding Your Personal KryptoniteMonday, May 1st, 2017

Michael Cross, Athlete Viewpoint

Superman is faster than a speeding bullet, able to fly, and possesses superhuman strength.  Many successful coaches adopt a superman (or woman) mentality.  They have to do it all, be able to carry the heaviest burdens, and do it faster than everyone else.

Even Superman had weakness – in his case, Kryptonite – a substance that made him completely non-functional.  Just like Superman, we have our own personal Kryptonite.  Maybe you know what your Kryptonite is, or maybe you just think you do.  Wouldn’t it be helpful to know what your weaknesses are – especially from your student athletes through actual data and analytics?    

One of the most important areas for student athletes and a frequent area of criticism is communication. Some coaches are great in this area, some aren’t.  And most of us want to be better at it. Student athletes want genuine, honest, sincere relationships and that starts with how you communicate and engage with them.

In the following real-data example you can see that Coach #1’s athletes gave an average communication rating of 3.79 on a 5 point scale.  The coach’s students consider him a better than average communicator.  But notice this coach’s communication is below the national average in their sport (4.27).  The green colors indicate “excellent” and “very good” student ratings with yellow indicating students rating “average” and red indicating “poor.”

 

Compare this to Coach #2 at a another school in the same sport. Student athletes rate the communication skills of this coach as nearly excellent with a 4.46 average rating compared to the national average (4.18).  (The national averages change between the two examples since each individual head coach’s ratings are not included in the national averages when they are the comparison example.)

 

What may initially seem like a minor difference is clearly a strength for Coach #2 and an opportunity for Coach #1 to improve.  Unfortunately, it’s not possible to know this information without utilizing comparative data.  Coach #2 should feel great about their skills in this area and see the associated confidence boost that comes with positive student athlete feedback.  And this likely translates to good recruiting as well.  Coach #1 now has a chance to learn about how they can be a more effective communicator to successfully communicate with their current team and prospective student athletes.  
If you are interested in learning more about how you can be a coaching Superman (or woman) while knowing your personal Kryptonite through high level data and analytics, check out our website at AthleteViewpoint.com or contact me at michael@athleteviewpoint.com to arrange a demonstration for your institution.

Fancy FootwearMonday, April 17th, 2017

Chris Mateer, Front Rush

Athletics have always been rooted in testing the limits of human capabilities. As much as head-to-head competition provides excitement and entertainment, it’s the records and milestones that are remembered. Whether it’s Wilt Chamberlin’s 100-point game, the home run world record and its ensuing steroid controversy, or the 4-minute mile, the world of athletics has always been fascinated by exactly what is humanly possible. The advancement of these milestones has always stemmed out of continual developments in training, conditioning, and strategy, but an undeniable aspect has also been the role of constantly advancing technology and equipment. Nowhere is this intersection of conditioning and technology more clear than in Nike’s coming assault on the 2-hour marathon.

Despite continuous comparisons by both Nike and track fans alike, attacking the sub 2-hour marathon is a feat that exists on a different plane than that of the 4-minute mile. When Roger Bannister broke the world record by 2 seconds in 1954, he lowered the world record by less than 1% (0.8%, specifically). Meanwhile, the goal Nike has set of under 2 hours will lower the existing world record by 3%. Both of those fractions are small on paper, but they become enormous leaps when dealing with the world of human limitations. For reference, the last improvement of the world record for the marathon was only about 0.5% when it was improved from 2:03:23 to 2:02:57. To break 2 hours requires a drop of almost 3 minutes: 6 times greater than that of the last improvement.

This, of course, begs the question of how Nike plans to accomplish a feat of such magnitude. Their first goal was to ensure they have the best athletes, in their possible condition. Per their website, Nike started with a pool of 60 of the best athletes in the world and whittled that group down to 3 individuals. Although none of these individuals currently are in possession of the world record, they contain an Olympic Gold Medalist, the Half Marathon World Record holder, and a Boston Marathon Champion. These athletes have been training together under Nike’s supervision for months.

Furthermore, Nike is precisely engineering every aspect of the record attempt. Nike has chosen a perfectly flat, tree-lined course for the record attempt to reduce any environmental factors and have even left the race date ambiguous. This allows the coordinators to pick the date where the weather will be ideal. The window has been set for early May when temperatures will be cool and prime for fast times. Finally and perhaps unsurprisingly, Nike has made it clear that their shoes will be a part of this record attempt. Since launching the record attempt, Nike has released a new shoe called the Nike Vaporfly 4%. The 4% is included in the name since the shoe has been built and tested to improve running economy by 4% and this number should jump immediately off the page, given the current gap between the existing world record and sub 2 hours. Nike has designed a shoe that, per their claims, should be able to bridge the gap in human capability from where it currently stands to traverse what has now become a near mythical feat in the world of the marathon.  

Sometime in early May, the world will see if Nike’s attempt will be successful. If they fall short, the myth of the sub-2-hour marathon may only grow, and Nike’s attempt will be remembered as nothing more than an overly ambitious PR stunt. But, what if they succeed? One of the three athletes will go down in the history books as the first sub-2-hour marathoner, but how much credit goes to Nike? And what will be remembered, the shoe or the athlete?  

 

Everyday is Student Athlete DayMonday, April 10th, 2017

Michael Cross, Athlete Viewpoint

April 6 was National Student Athlete Day.  Social Media was lighting up with each athletic department supporting, thanking, encouraging, promoting and generally singing the praises of their student athletes.  But there is a big question – did the student athlete’s support, thank, promote and sing the praises about their experience at their college or university?  Does the staff even know the views of their athletes?

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is an easy way to know.  It’s a popular measure of satisfaction that gives a quick picture of the likelihood someone would recommend a product or company to someone else based on their experience.  We’ve applied this to student athlete surveys.  The NPS values range from -100 (worst possible) to +100 (best possible). Any NPS score above 30 is typically considered “good,” and anything below 0 is considered “bad.” Answers are based on a 0-10 scale and are categorized as follows: Detractor (6 or less), Passive (7 or 8), Promoter (9 or 10).  To get the final NPS score we subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters, then multiply by 100. This yields possible values between -100 and +100. For example, if all responses were either promoter or passive, that would equate to an NPS score of +100 (no detractors).

Here are two examples of NPS from teams using Athlete Viewpoint.  

The student athletes on team #1 are having a great experience and are very likely to actively recommend their team and school to other students, including prospective student athletes.  Moving left to right – dark grey represents detractors of the program, lighter grey are passive in their approach, and the lightest shade are your promoters.  The green bars indicate a very positive experience with the top number representing the team’s score (27.27) and the bottom number the national average (35.86) from all teams in this sport in Athlete Viewpoint.  The view of the university is even better (45.45) and significantly higher than the national institutional rating (25.32).  

Team #1

Team #2’s athletes have a much different view of their experience.  

The darkest grey section is the majority, with a few passive student athletes and almost no promoters of the program (indicated with the lightest shade of grey on the right.)  The red bar shows a very strong negative number for this team (-63.64), which interestingly is also negative in that sport in our national data set (-26.83).  Institutionally, the numbers are better, but still negative (-13.64) with a significant gap from the national score (+21.95), which is significantly above 0 and positive.  

Team #2

We’ve incorporated metrics like this into Athlete Viewpoint to give you fast, reliable and meaningful graphic information about the experience your student athletes are having, even when it’s not National Student Athlete Day.  If you’re interested in learning more go to www.AthleteViewpoint.com.  We would be happy to work with you to develop customized, cutting edge analytics for your athletic program.  

WBCA 2017 Recruiting Session NotesMonday, April 3rd, 2017

If you’re a coach who attended one of my 2017 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association recruiting talks, thank you! I really appreciate you devoting time to what I came to teach at the 2017 Final Four.

Because both sessions were standing (and sitting) room only, and because we had so many requests for notes from those who attended, I wanted to put all of the notes and extra resources I promised in one place below.

Here’s what I’m including:

  • The full powerpoint presentation notes for both sessions, “7 Ways to Make Better Recruiting Phone Calls” and “Becoming the Best Assistant Coach Recruiter in the Country”
  • Additional reference articles, research and other resources to make you an expert at what you do.

Three other things before you go:

  • If we don’t work with you on a client basis, and we’ve never talked to you about what we do before, click here. We are good at what we do, and work with other D1, D2, D3 and NAIA basketball programs. If you’d like to have a conversation about what that would look like with your specific coaching staff, email me at dan@dantudor.com.
  • Next time you see your athletic director, suggest that he or she brings me in to work on your campus for two days and teach the department the latest techniques and strategies, click here for an overview that outlines this comprehensive, customized training.
  • Join fellow coaches from all over the country this June at the upcoming National Collegiate Recruiting Conference. It’s an unbelievable weekend. Watch this, and then save your seat.
  • Finally, if you liked what you heard in our sessions, become a student at Tudor University. It’s a comprehensive recruiting training and certification program for college coaches. It’s advanced online learning, and lots of coaches say it’s the best training they’ve received when it comes to recruiting. Click here for the details.

O.K., here are the notes:

 

7 Ways to Make Better Recruiting Phone Calls

 

WBCA 2017 – 7 Ways to Make Recruiting Phone Calls NOTES

Why do your prospects dislike phone calls so much? Click here for some interesting insights we didn’t have time to get to during our WBCA sessions.

There are a lot of reasons we find today’s recruits prefer text messages over phone calls. Click here for the research and reasons (you’ll be glad you did).

We have a fantastic recruiting strategy podcast, College Recruiting Weekly, and you should subscribe to it (available on iTunes, Google and Stitcher). Here’s an episode that you can listen to right now that talks about how you can get your prospect to reveal the truth to you by pushing their “psychological pause” button. You haven’t heard this information before, so take the time to listen to it, Coach. Click here and be amazed.

 

Becoming the Best Assistant Coach Recruiter in the Country

WBCA 2017 – Best Assistant Coach Recruiter NOTES

If I could have every assistant coach in the country to read one thing that would help them understand what most smart head coaches want, and the attitude you should take into your job every day, it would be this one. Please, please read it. I think it’s the only thing from 1899 you’ll ever read that will change the way you do your job.

Looking for something that you and your staff can watch, discuss, and help change the way you all recruit for the better? Here’s a short video I did for staffs that want to understand how to recruit more effectively as a group. Click here to watch it.

Many of you have asked about the two authors I mentioned: They are Seth Godin and Jeffrey Gitomer. I suggest starting with Purple Cow by Seth Godin, and The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer. They will become two of your favorites in your coaching library.

Thank you again for making me a part of the WBCA in 2017, Coach! If I can answer any other question, or if you just want to schedule a call to talk recruiting at your school, email me at dan@dantudor.com.

New Research Means Good Things for Our ClientsSaturday, July 23rd, 2016

We’re sorry, but this message is reserved for our Clients and Tudor University coaches only. We’d love to have you be part of this group! Contact Dan Tudor directly at dan@dantudor.com to see how we can work with you, and give you access to all of our premium content on our website.

They Decide With Their Heart, Justify With Their HeadMonday, June 13th, 2016

I’m talking about your recruits, Coach.

In over a decade of research, focus groups, and personal recruiting stories, that’s the conclusion I’ve come to. Your prospects aren’t making logical decisions; they’re making illogical, emotional decisions, and then justifying that decision with just enough facts to justify their choice.

Understanding this simple fact will make recruiting a whole lot easier.

And yet, college coaches make it more complicated:

  • The messages coaches sometimes send their teenage recruits goes heavy on the facts and logic, and less on the relational aspect of the decision making process.
  • Coaches focus on the process of recruiting, rather than the emotional connections, that a teenager is looking for from a coach.
  • The parents are looking for a coach to lead them through the process, and yet most coaches don’t make a connection with the parents of their recruits. Not doing so is one of the prime ways families decide who to visit, and who to cross off their list.

Fixing this is simple, and reformulating your core approach before it’s time to recruit your next class of prospect. But first, you need to define a few things:

What is the big thing that you and your program can offer as something for a recruit to fall in love with? You need something to give a recruit to become emotionally attached to: Your team, your plan for them, what their role on your team will be, joining the fight to win back-to-back championships, or signing-on to help rebuild the program, for a few examples. You need to connect with the heart of your recruit. What are you leading with?

What is the big objection you see as something you’re going to have to overcome? My suggestion is to address it right away as part of what they should love about you. We worked with a football coach several years ago who used to apologize for, and avoid, their old outdated locker room. Then, we came up with research on why his players loved the place, and how they viewed it with a lot of positive emotion. Now, that coach makes his old locker room a center-piece of the story they tell a recruit.

(If you choose to use this approach, defining both the attractions – and the negatives – of your program is essential. It’s one of the most least defined aspects of most coaches’ programs, and it ends up hurting them terribly.)

So, what aspects of their decision making revolve around their “hearts”?…What aspects of their decision to come to a program usually center around the emotional part of the equation? Here’s a Top 5 checklist of what we’ve found to be the most impactful:

  • Their emotional connection to your team.
  • Their trust in you as their potential future coach.
  • The comments and feelings they get around your campus when they visit.
  • How you treat their parents during the recruiting process.
  • What they hear others (your team, other coaches, students not related to athletics) say about you during their campus visit.

On the other side of the coin, when it comes to the logical side of their decision, here’s what our research shows them relying upon:

  • By far, the most important thing for most student-athletes is your plan for them once (if) they come to compete for you.
  • In a close second, the scholarship or financial package you and your school are offering.
  • The plan for them on your team that you outline for them.
  • How well your college lines-up with their pre-defined vision of what college is supposed to be like (things like location, size, type of area, etc). Note: You might observe that this category is really more of a ‘feeling’, but we’ve observed that the majority of your prospects – and their parents –  see this as something that’s logical.
  • What your college can give them academically, specifically centered around their major (and proving that you’re better than their alternatives).

Now the important part (the thing that most coaches miss):

You have to do both.

You see, with this generation of recruits, we find that they will first “fall in love” with a team, a coach and a school. There’s an emotional connection that needs to happen first in their hearts. Once that happens, however, we find that there’s a definitive point where they lurch back in the other direction…almost realizing that it’s not smart to make a final decision based solely on how they feel about things. They will then search for the logical reasons why they should trust their heart; they’ll look to justify their emotional connection with a coach/team/school by coming up with solid, logical reasons why it’s a smart choice, validating why their emotional reasoning. They decide with their heart, and then justify with their head.

Most coaches do one, but not the other. They assume that by being more logical, and providing more “stuff” than other colleges, they’ll get the prospect. Or, others will assume that by stealing their recruits’ hearts and creating only an emotional appeal, they will win the competition for their talents.

The truth is, if the goal is consistent, high-impact recruiting, both categories have to be addressed. The more consistently you do it, and the earlier in the recruiting process that you start, the better chance you have of establishing yourself as one of the top choices in the mind of your recruit.

Start here: Define each of those points within both categories for your program, and then prove to yourself that you are showing your prospects how you address each point. For any program, that should be a priority within the overall task of creating your program’s story.

They decide with their heart, and then justify with their head. That’s the case with virtually all of your prospects, so make it a priority for you and your program.

These are the same kind of advanced skills that we teach coaches who go through our popular Tudor University online recruiting training and certification. If you’re a client, the course is free. If you aren’t, click here to start the training process today.

2014 College Football Recruiting Rankings ReportTuesday, January 27th, 2015

One of the great things about college football at the start of a new year is that right after bowl season, we immediately prepare for national letter of intent day.  Unlike the regular season, we don’t have to wait for months to see who will be a future star of our favorite team, it comes just a few weeks after the National Championship.  It’s a time when fans get an idea of what their favorite team is going to look like in the future.

For college football fans, and the media that follows them, it’s an exciting time of year.

  • Fans get confirmation as to which of the most talented recruits actually choose a particular college, and why they make that decision.
  • We get to see how one team compares with another team.
  • Coaching staffs are credited with the tags of “great recruiters”, while others are questioned for their ability to reel-in high profile future stars.

But all of this hype begs the obvious question: Does a Division I football team’s recruiting class really determine their actual on-the-field success?

Download our fascinating new research study, which compares a college program’s recruiting rankings with their actual on-field performance in 2014.

2014 College Football Recruiting Rankings Report

Dan Tudor, founder of Tudor Collegiate Strategies, released this statement regarding this year’s findings:

“This research study is fascinating, as it really accentuates which college coaching staffs are doing the most with the talent they recruit”, said Tudor.  “Matt Boyles, Director of Research for Tudor Collegiate Strategies, has put together a very measurable look at the recruiting results of Division I college football programs over an extended four year period, accounting for he impact on the field of different classes.”

The 2014 Incoming Freshman Recruiting SurveyThursday, January 8th, 2015

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