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Think About Adding The GoPro To Your Coaching ToolboxMonday, July 21st, 2014

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

We are seeing more and more coaches using a GoPro for their existing team. If you are not familiar with the GoPro, it’s the camera  strapped to an athlete’s arm, head, board, stick, etc. and made famous by extreme sport athletes (surfers, snowboarders, etc) so  you can see the action from their perspective. Just google GoPro videos and you will be blown away. Many savvy coaches are using these low priced cameras to grab footage of their team and  analyze the plays later. We’ve seen coaches put the camera on their player’s helmets (especially goalies) to see what’s going on from the athlete’s view. We’ve seen coaches hang GoPro’s from basketball nets to get a full court view of the action and we’ve see coaches set up stills to look at an athlete’s mechanics (think swings, throws, shots, and dives). The return is limitless and really up to the creativity of the coach.

Here’s what makes this all possible. The GoPro is small, light-weight, resilient, and waterproof. You can truly beat the heck out of them and they will keep on performing. The video quality is extremely high, it can take up to 4k video which is higher than your current tv can handle.  You can also interact with it from your mobile device,  there is an app where you can start and stop recording your GoPro even though it is 30 feet in the air or on a player’s helmet.

The price for a GoPro HERO3+, which is their latest and greatest, is $399.99. However, you still need to purchase memory cards (a 64 GB will be like 50 bucks) and accessories, like mounts, which can be another 30 bucks upward. So to get started, you’ll need a $500 budget, BUT in our opinion and in the opinion of the coaches we have chatted with, it is well worth it. The long term benefits are enormous. We are even playing around with a device that will move the GoPro to follow a particular athlete as they are on the field.

Check out the  HERO3+ GoPro for yourself here and good luck!

 Speaking of time saving tools, Front Rush is the best of the best.  If you’re a serious recruiter, this is one tool you don’t want to be without.  Click here for the low-down on this incredible resource used by thousands of coaches around the country.

 

Make Sure Recruits Are Getting Your EmailsSunday, June 22nd, 2014

by Sean Devlin, FrontRush

When bulk emailing recruits through your recruiting software, bulk email provider, etc. we always recommend using your school email address. Logically it makes sense because if a recruit gets an email from a yahoo, aol, or gmail, address, it loses its pizazz and impact when compared to the sacred .edu or school address assigned to most coaches. Before this was a recommendation, but now it is a requirement. You see…recently yahoo/aol (and others following suit) decided to change their sending policy. If a 3rd party email provider (like your recruiting software) sends email on your behalf using your yahoo/aol account, those emails are automatically blocked/bounced. They won’t even show up in spam. They just don’t make it. They are flat out rejected.

For some this is a real issue. We see many coaches sending bulk emails for summer camps using their non-school address and many non-full-time coaches using non-school addresses (deliberate attempt to use non many times). But if you do that now, there is an excellent chance of failure. So what do we recommend?

Well, if you use godaddy or a similar service…for a couple bucks a month…you can buy a domain like StateUniversitySoccer.com and get the corresponding email account to go with it (coachsmith@StateUniversitySoccer.com). This way, you can send emails safely AND have the brand to go with it AND not break your budget.

Speaking of time saving tools, Front Rush is the best of the best.  If you’re a serious recruiter, this is one tool you don’t want to be without.  Click here for the low-down on this incredible resource used by thousands of coaches around the country.

 

Why Coaches Are Calling This Technology a Recruiting “Game Changer”Saturday, November 30th, 2013

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

Imagine being able to watch any video from any recruiting event.

Or, picture being able to send one coach (instead of two) to the event in order to save budget dollars because you know that all of the video will be available afterwords.

Now imagine being able to confirm the athletes you saw on the field or discover new athletes because you can click on any game and watch it in its entirety or rewind at key points.

We normally don’t push our own stuff when advising coaches on Dan Tudor’s blog, but the ability to watch EVERY game and EVERY athlete from an event is game changing when it comes to recruiting at the college level. We send professional video crews to the events and put a camera on every field. As coaches watch athletes, parents watch their children and recruits participate, every second of the action is being recorded so these athletes will be viewable later on by coaches all around the country.

Here’s how it works:

First, coaches download our iPad app at coachpacket.com. Then before the event, coaches can set their schedule on the app or on the website so they don’t have to do it the day of. At the event, the app is available offline so coaches can evaluate and rate athletes, create notes, and follow the schedule accordingly. After the event, the video is made available to all coaches so that they can confirm their initial thoughts, find new athletes and coordinate with other members on staff about recruits. Once the athletes are decided, coaches can transfer that data to their Front Rush account or export it into excel if they use a third-party recruiting tool. The loop is closed.

CoachPacket is being used by events across the country, along with thousands of coaches from Lacrosse to Field Hockey to Tennis to Softball to Baseball, and on and on. They are leveraging the technology to push their respective disciplines forward and take recruiting to an entirely new level. Its making recruiting more effective by increasing the number of athletes that can be seen, to decreasing the amount of money that coaches need to spend to recruit, to making the evaluation process more accurate and more efficient.

Its a game changing technology and we hope that you enjoy it – and use it!

To find out more, or to get the free app, visit www.CoachPacket.com

Six Strategies for Constructing Winning Recruiting MessagesMonday, October 21st, 2013

I’ve made the case for years that coaches are actually professional sales people – who also happen to get to coach.

I’m going to add another job responsibility to your title:  Expert recruiting message writer.

It’s not an option any longer.  If you don’t create great messages, you risk not only losing the attention of your recruit…you risk not having the opportunity to start a relationship with them at all.

To help with that, I wanted to outline a couple of the strategies that we use when we’re helping our clients create their campaigns.  Here are six winning message construction strategies that you and your staff can (and should) try the next time you’re struggling to come up with a great recruiting message.  They work for us, and I’m confident they’ll work for you:

 

STRATEGY #1:  Compartmentalization

Writing a fantastic recruiting letter, email – or even a social media message – is a process that consists of many steps, hundreds of actions, and thousands of tiny decisions:

Thinking about who your prospect is and why he needs your product…

Coming up with your attention-getting strategy – your theme, headline, and lead idea…

Researching what your school offers, what your competitors’ strengths are, and their recruiting strategies…

Organizing your attack – determining the order in which you’ll guide your prospect through your reasons why he or she should commit to your program…

Pouring the appropriate research, notes, and ideas into each section of your recruiting plan outline…

Writing your first draft…

Buffing and meticulously detailing each succeeding draft until you know that you couldn’t improve it even if someone held a gun to your head – and that any change you consider at this point will actually weaken the copy…

And, finally, sticking a fork in it, because it’s done.

Now, if you have any shred of common sense, you’re going to feel overwhelmed when you contemplate all the steps you have to complete in order to perfect the project at hand. And that’s okay. It just means you’re in touch with reality.

But you’re going to have to get past “overwhelmed” and on to work. And the only way I know to do that is to mentally chop the job into little, tiny, manageable pieces. So you tell yourself something like this: “I do NOT have to write a recruiting campaign today. All I have to do is the research. Or part of the research.”

Thinking about the work this way does more than just relieve your anxiety about producing recruiting letters and emails. It blows all that procrastination you’re usually guilty of at the beginning of a recruiting project right out of the water, and gets you moving forward towards creating a good recruiting message.

STRATEGY #2:  Getting into a good flow

Ever have a day when you sit down to work and the next thing you know it’s time for dinner… you have to force yourself to stop… and when you reflect on your day as a college coach, you’re amazed by the quantity – and, more important, the quality – of what you accomplished?

That is the “good flow” that I’m talking about.

The fact is, good flow equals better recruits. Because the more flow you experience during planning and writing your recruiting campaign, the faster the project goes and the better your end product is.

But good flow doesn’t “just happen.” Flow is kind of like hummingbirds: They show up naturally if you just create an environment that attracts them. For me, that means a quiet work area and a good night’s sleep. The right background music. No interruptions. No distractions. A trenta Starbucks unsweetened iced tea.  And every tool I need to do that day’s job readily at hand.

That’s just me. You’ll have to figure out what works for you.

STRATEGY #3: Constantly visualizing success

Yes, I know. What could possibly be more cheesy than dusting off the decades-old concept of “positive thinking”?

Thing is, like all laws that survive the test of time, positive thinking works.  Good coaches know this, deep down.

What personally drives me is the phone call I’ll get from a wowed coach client when he sees our recruiting plan we’ve created for them for the first time… the call telling us he had too many recruits reply back to their recruiting email campaign…and, of course, the high fives we do here at Tudor Collegiate Strategies when a coach gets the athlete they really, really want.

Whatever your motivation, try keeping it in mind as you write.  Make that the thing that drives you and commits you to doing your best.

STRATEGY #4:  “Know thyself”

Feelings are more intense than thoughts.

So, they can have a way of blanking your mind and freezing you like a biker who just spotted a grizzly in his headlights. That’s why you have to understand how negative emotions affect your work as a college recruiter.

For example, you may feel overwhelmed at the beginning of a project to come up with new recruiting messages. Discouraged when a solution doesn’t come fast enough. And then your inferiority complex kicks into overdrive when you see how you think your competition is doing it a lot better than you and your coaching staff is.

It helped me when I realized that 99.9 percent of all negative emotions are probably not caused by objective truth. And, therefore, the vast majority of all bad feelings don’t deserve my attention.

So when I experience a negative emotion while I’m working, I pause for a moment and ask myself, “What thought zipped through my mind just before I got bummed out?” After recognizing how ridiculously wrong that thought was, I can almost instantly dismiss the negative emotion and dive back into the work.

Try it. It works, Coach.

STRATEGY #5:  Forget about the rules!

Not the NCAA’s rules.  Writing rules.

You’ve learned too many letter-writing rules. And, frankly, they’re getting in the way. If you’ve had us to your college for one of our On-Campus Workshops, you know what I think of many of the letters that go out to your recruits (they need major re-working, in many cases).

So instead of worrying about the rules you learned in high school and college, focus on your prospect and be a sales professional in print. Think, “If I were in a room with my best prospect and needed to get his attention, engage him, present the reasons why he should come to play for me and my program – what would I say to him?” Then let the conversation flow naturally out of your fingers to the keyboard and into your document, as if you were talking to them one-on-one.  Less formal, more conversational.  That’s the key.

There’ll be plenty of time in later drafts to think about which rules you broke or didn’t follow. The first draft is about speed.

STRATEGY #6:  Do some bedtime reading

Let your last action each day at the office – or even literally before you fall asleep – be to read what you wrote to a recruit that day. File it away in your subconscious mind. And go to work the minute you wake up in the morning so the connections your brain made overnight find their way onto the page.  Try it once…you’ll see how well it works.

One, or all, of these strategies will help you spark a creative approach.  It’s absolutely necessary with this generation of prospects…and for the success of your next recruiting campaign.

Making The Most Of Your Google SearchesMonday, June 17th, 2013

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

Most answers are a Google search a way. Sounds obvious and ridiculous, but it’s true. Well, it’s true to the extent that you are proficient in Google searching. Just like having the fundamentals in your respective sport, we feel like it is important to know the fundamentals when doing a Google search. The fundamentals will help you get better results quicker. Here are a couple of tricks and tips…

Exact Phrase Search

Search using the quote (“”) marks. This allows you to search by exact phrases so that you only will be returned results that match this exactly. For example, searching by “Dan Tudor” will return better results than searching for Dan Tudor. This is because it will look for the exact phrase Dan Tudor as opposed to Dan and Tudor.

Math Caluculations

Do the math right in google. If you don’t have a calculator on hand, you can type directly in Google things like 87 + 10 – 2 + 4 and you will get back 99. You can do 10 * 2 and get back 20. It supports all kinds of calculations.

Weather Reports

Just type the word weather and then your zip code. For example: weather 08530 and you will get the weather report back immediately without searching on a weather site.

Time Zone Information

Type in the text current time: and include the state or zip code and you will figure out the whole time zone thing. Like current time Indiana.

Image or Picture Search

Type the word image before your search term to get back pictures. For example: image princeton logo will get you back initial results with the Princeton University logo.

These are a few ways to make your Google search much more efficient and resourceful for college coaches. And, they can save you time along the way.

Front Rush should be one of the tech tools you and your fellow coaches go into this upcoming recruiting season with.  There’s a reason they have become the #1 choice for recruiting management software among college coaches: They’ve created a system that’s the best in the business, with personalized support to match.  If you aren’t a Front Rush user, consider becoming one soon!

 

My Dad, His Outdated Computer, and the Lesson for College CoachesMonday, April 22nd, 2013

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

This past weekend, I updated my fathers operating system on his computer.

It was a real pain because I couldn’t just install the operating system, I had to install a previous version of the operating system, update that version, and then install a new version after downloading it, and then update that…woah!

Do you know what my father learned from the experience? Absolutely nothing! Do you know what I learned from the experience? Absolutely nothing (I do this stuff all the time!)

So now the next time my father needs his computer fixed, he is going to call me and he is going to be inconvenienced because he has to wait for me and no comment on my my side because its never an inconvenience to do anything for my father…but you get the point.

So what can we all extract from this…?

Well let’s take the classic example of the older non-tech savvy coach and their younger more technically sophisticated assistant. How often is it that the assistant is doing all of the technical stuff and the head coach just looks on like either (a) it’s magic or (b) its beneath them or (c) too time consuming to learn. Well here is my request to you…

Assistant Coach: Make an attempt to teach whatever technical stuff you are doing. Make an attempt. You are use to teaching and coaching (you do this for a living) so try teaching and coaching your head coach. There might be resistance and awkwardness but if you teach them to fish, you can concentrate on bigger fish instead of spending time going after the little fish like “click on the icon with the big e on it”. Teach them to google. If there is an answer to any question, there is a good chance it exists in google. “How do I save a document”, “Where do I find the file I downloaded”, etc. Start off small and expand just like you would with anything.

Head Coach: Take the humble approach and ask questions, be open to learning new things. This ‘magic’ stuff is really impressive until you pull away the curtain and realize that all that it takes is to type in a search phrase into google to get an answer. Think about the productivity improvement that will occur on all ends when you free-up the reliance on your assistant. Think about the fear that you have now that your assistant will leave and in turn leave you with a wonderful system that you have no idea how to use. Think about the independence that you will have not to mention you might even wow them with a thing or two that you learn.

In high school, I spent many hot summer days swinging off a rope swing into the Delaware River. I was quite impressed with my ability to fly through the air and splash effortlessly into the river 30 feet beneath me. Then one day my 60 year old father shows up, without hesitation grabs the rope, does a perfect swan higher than any of us had reached prior, and leaves almost no splash beneath him. He got out of the water, strolled to his car and never said a word.*

*Note: He happened to be an all-america in the pool at Villanova and set several national records in High School…but the point still remains.

Front Rush is the #1 choice among college coaches who want to take an organized, intelligent approach to tracking and communicating with their recruits.  They are the go-to tech experts for the staff at Tudor Collegiate Strategies and coaches around the country.  What???  You aren’t one of them?  Find out what all the buzz is about…CLICK HERE

Review Of Windows 8: What You Need To KnowMonday, February 4th, 2013

By Justin Chud, Front Rush

With the release of Windows 8 last month, many consumers’ curiosity has piqued as to whether we can expect another Vista blunder by Microsoft or something spectacular. Microsoft’s new advertising campaign seems to suggest the latter, however, the reality falls somewhere in-between. All comparisons to previous versions of Windows will be made against the Windows 7 OS. I will attempt to break down the ins and outs of this new operating system as your average consumer would use it.

Disclaimer: I have been using Windows 8 for about 2 months now. This review is based on all updates released by Microsoft as of 1/20/2013. It is very possible that any function, performance, or usability that I discuss in the review will be altered, even drastically, in the future by Microsoft.

Installation/Update

Updating from Windows 7 did take quite some time. From the moment the update button was pushed until the system was fully functional again lasted about 3 hours. Beware however, as many applications you have may not be supported in Windows 8, so they will have to be reinstalled once the update is complete. To Window’s credit though, it did a very nice job of clearly and appropriately laying out which programs would need to be reinstalled and how to reinstall them once Windows 8 is live.

First Impression, Functionality, and Performance

Windows 8 does a great job with one of the first things any computer user will take note of: startup time. The startup time generally does not take more than a minute, which includes the standard “lag” time. Computers usually take a while to boot up, display the desktop, and get the system loaded and functional.

The amazing start up time gives the user a flavor of greatness, only to leave a sour taste when you really begin to use the operating system. The biggest gripe I have with Windows 8 is that many programs, including Microsoft’s in-house programs (Office), have a noticeable lag time when using them for even routine tasks. Many programs seem to run more smoothly and efficiently in Windows 7. At times Windows will freeze when doing the most basic tasks (i.e. opening the notepad) and will manually quit the program. These issues, however, should (and I can’t stress “should” enough) be addressed with updates in the future when Microsoft analyzes system reports from their users.

Another issue with Windows 8 is accessibility to the hard drive. Deciding to remove the start button, Microsoft has created an entire start screen with the purpose of taking over all functions previously accessed through the start button. The screen is set up “grid style” with different sized (and colored) boxes representing apps, programs, and folders. All the way to the right (and when you hover your mouse in the upper right hand corner of the screen) you can find the search and settings features. The search function is clunky and has a difficult time running searches across multiple areas of the computer. The settings section is set up very “idiot proof” with highly visible menus that have basic English names. This is an attempt to create a balance between ease of use and in-depth functionality.

Microsoft has swayed too far towards ease of use with the menus in this section only covering basic functionality and features. This may be ok for someone with very basic knowledge of computers but for anyone looking to customize or alter meaningful settings in Windows 8 you must take the back end route. This entails going to the desktop where you can right-click in the bottom left of the screen to bring up a menu with selections very similar to the Window’s 7 start menu (including the classic control panel and file explorer). One annoying morsel of this feature is that your mouse must be located in just the right spot when right-clicking to bring up the menu (as there is no longer a button there), otherwise you will get quickly switched over the start screen. This is a trivial issue, but nonetheless annoying when it happens (which can be quite often).

The Verdict

Overall it is obvious that Microsoft is trying to slow down consumers who are jumping ship from PC’s and joining the legions of Mac users. With Windows 8, Microsoft has tried to create an OS that maintains the strengths of PCs while mimicking the highly aesthetic features of OS X. This causes two issues right off the bat. First, this leads Microsoft to stray from their strengths in order to accommodate the characteristics of OS X. Second, both OSs are written mainly in different programming languages, with each one having inherent advantages and differences. Windows has always been very structured with a highly linear feel. This is great for things like word processing, working with spreadsheets and databases (which can be very beneficial to enterprises), and being more customized at the hardware level. OS X has always been far superior when dealing with tasks that require creativity, such as photo/video/music editing, having a very aesthetically pleasing layout, and greater customization at the consumer/software level. In order to keep up with Apple OS X, Microsoft needs to focus on their strengths and build wonderful features on top of them. Instead, they are trying to incorporate features and strengths from an OS that is built upon foundations inherently different from their own.

Grade (1-10): 6.0, not as good as Windows 7, but exponentially better than Windows Vista.

 

 

Google’s Nexus 7: A Good Tablet Choice for College Coaches?Monday, July 23rd, 2012

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What Looks Like a Square Hockey Puck and Helps You Present Ideas to Recruits?Monday, May 21st, 2012

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The Newest Cool Tool for Advanced College RecruitersMonday, April 23rd, 2012

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  • Tudor University

    LEVEL 1 - Recruiting Foundations
    Through Level 1, you will learn some of the foundational skills and knowledge necessary to become a successful college athletic recruiter. At the end of each module there will be a quiz that must be passed with 85% or higher. In addition to the quiz, you must complete the Module Competency outlined at the end of each module. Both the quiz and module must be completed in order to move on to the next module.
    Module 1 Recruiting Letter Format-
    Unit 1 Recruiting Letter Format
    Module 2 How To Find Out What Your Prospect Isn't Telling You-
    Unit 1 How To Find Out What Your Prospect Isn't Telling You
    Module 3 Utilizing Social Media-
    Unit 1 Utilizing Social Media
    Module 4 Involving A Prospect's Parents-
    Unit 1 Involving A Prospect's Parents
    Module 5 Setting Fair And Firm Deadlines-
    Unit 1 Setting Fair And Firm Deadlines
    Module 6 Revising Your On-Campus Visits-
    Unit 1 Revising Your On-Campus Visits
    Module 7 Your First Contact-
    Unit 1 Your First Contact

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