Author, Speaker, Trainer, & Consultant
Head Soccer Coach at The University of South Dakota

Although I began my coaching career in Utah, I began my journey as an author, speaker, and consultant when I met Dan Tudor. Dan is the President of Tudor Collegiate Strategies who helps develop recruiting strategies for college coaches. Attending his recruiting seminar changed the course of my career, and eventually my life. It’s only in hindsight that we can recognize those pivotal characters who influenced us and moments that made a definitive difference. I’m very glad and fortunate to have met Dan when I did.

Dan gave me my first opportunity to start writing about my ideas and putting articles into his weekly newsletter when I was the Associate Head Coach in Minnesota, I started teaching on-campus seminars, and was doing individual consulting on how to become a better college recruiter.

After a kid and a few moves, including a stop in LA and Kentucky, my family and I settled in South Dakota. After 2 years of volunteering in various Division 1 programs and consulting with Dan, I decided to get back in the hot seat, but this time as a Division 1 head coach.

As a coach, I have always been goal-driven and focused. I would say that my intensity drives my husband crazy! In fact, we are a family of coaches and have two adorable kids, Jack (6) and Ashleigh (3), and we did just add a new 3 year old Australian Shepard named Blu to the family.

I refuse to let my kids or my family be the reason why I can’t achieve excellence as a coach; rather they are the reason why I must. My need to manage my time between family and work, and become more efficient doing it, forced me to start looking at all that has been written about time, energy, and email management.

Coaching Division 1 is no mere upgrade; it’s a completely different animal. It was here that Dan’s lessons about how to effectively recruit student athletes truly took root and began to impact and shape my life. However, there was a slight problem: all the recruiting advice worked so well that I ended completely overwhelmed with the increased work load! Don’t get me wrong, having a huge influx of emails from recruits and players now interested in what we’re doing here is fantastic, but the problem was managing how and when to get all this new found work done and done right with all of the other stuff we have to do in the office.

My need to manage my time between family and work, and become more efficient doing it, forced me to start looking at all that has been written about time, energy, and email management and might be applied to what we do as college coaches.

As I was scouring book stores and the Internet, I found that time management resources for coaches clearly did not exist. Furthermore, there wasn’t even any time management programs written from the perspective of a veteran coach, specifically about college coaching for college coaches. If there had been any, I would have scooped them up in a heartbeat.

I took the basic tools that I had and began skewing them toward coaches and coaching. How could I apply this or that to what I did? After working as a consultant for so many coaches through Dan, I knew there was a need. Yet, it was my own need that really drew the wisdom from within.

The biggest lesson I learned was that I would not have survived as a College coach for over 18 years now if I had not learned to put more structure into my day and to measure and monitor my efforts. As coaches, we have a lot of plates spinning and it is impossible to manage them all at one time. Fitting it all in is a function of priority management. If you think about it, priority management is less about managing your calendar than it is about managing your decisions. By learning to prioritize and manage your decisions based on your team, recruiting, and personal vision and goals, you will have a leg up on most of your competitors because the only things making onto your calendar and your schedule will be the things that actually matter.

It is very easy to feel busy; and when we feel busy, we feel productive. That actually may not be the case and that could be dangerous thinking. At times when we feel the busiest, we are sometimes actually less productive.

If you are not effectively and continuously measuring your productivity or structuring your time, you could be wasting a lot of time and energy doing things that will not lead you toward the results that you want for your program. I want you to think bigger than just managing fires in the office. Fires will happen no matter what. I want you to structure your day based on the goals and vision you have for your program so you are taking daily action to make your goals a reality.

… Structure your day based on the goals and vision you have for your program so you are taking daily action to make your goals a reality

Having a predetermined protocol for categories that fires normally fall into is a critical first step. How do you handle the 100’s of emails that end up in your inbox everyday? How do you keep track of and consistently communicate with all of your top recruits? How do you manage interruptions? How do you identify and eliminate what is not working and identify and improve what is?

Do you sometimes feel like you have too much to do and not enough time to do it all?

Do you waste too much time each day getting distracted with low priority busywork, getting interrupted, or on multitasking?

Are you putting important things, like family and personal pursuits, on hold because there’s too much work to be done?

Have you ever gotten to the end of a busy day and realized that you weren’t very productive and only accomplished a fraction of what you had hoped to do?

Ihave experienced all of these things and more. My job was a nightmare my first few years here at South Dakota. I have survived building a program with limited staff to assist me, low budgets, bad facilities, and no winning traditions. I rebuilt recruiting databases that had been wiped clean and managed abysmal team logistics. I had to recruit 21 new freshman for my 2nd season because 15 of the 20 I inherited my first year were not returning for various reasons. Those first few years were extremely hard because we were going through the painful process of rebuilding a program that was in pretty poor shape. And I needed to get home to my new baby and husband. This was not a sustainable work schedule.
Binder-BusyCoachGuide-folder
BUSYCOACH GUIDE
LEARN MORE
Binder-BusyCoachGamePlan
BUSYCOACH PLANNER
LEARN MORE

The very program I used to get back home to my husband and child is the same one that I have crafted into these two guides. If you are a coach who’s struggling with the “work/life balance”, there is no better way to calm the chaos, get back to a sane workday, and still hit your goals. There is a better way as you will find between the pages of these two guides.

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It was very nice meeting you this past weekend in Boston.  Organization is defiantly something that I can improve on. I think you had a lot of great tips and rules that can help my office be more productive. Thanks again.

HHead Women’s Lacrosse Coach; SUNY New Paltz

Liz Student
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I first, wanted to thank you for the great presentation at Dan’s Tudor recruiting conference, I thought it was excellent. I have already made changes to my email and some daily office habits which has already shown to be more productive and time saving! I feel refreshed after the conference and feel these changes have already helped my work and personal life in just the few days I have implemented change. Thank you and I hope to hear back from you again soon.

Head Coach Women’s Soccer; King’s College

Frank Carrozza M.S.
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Like many others I too was most impressed with the presentation and it was one we all needed to hear.  Nothing to come in a find 200 emails waiting to be opened and I feel like I am supposed to.  Great info and anything you can send would be helpful as I address our staff with my notes.   Best of luck and always stay in touch.

Director of High School Relations; East Carolina University

Harold Robinson