by Jack Warren, editor and host of Top Coach Podcast
When I’m speaking to teams, organizations, or groups that may include a number of athletes or parents of athletes, I try to point out the significance of the college athletic experience, particularly as it constitutes an added value to that experience. Quite often, the typical college student may look to other organizations, such as fraternities and sororities for that added value or educational enhancement. What I like to point out is that sometimes the desire to participate in a sport at the collegiate level often overshadows the obvious value that one will gain from that experience. Someone with a long term vision will clearly see that for their investment of four years (and little or no additional cost), there can be a significant career return.
Now, I could go on about this particular topic, but I wanted to use it as a launching board to talk about a feature I saw on the Notre Dame website. This feature goes on to describe the annual Lacrosse team networking trip. In a nutshell, it’s a way to expose the sophomores and juniors to potential career opportunities and equally, if not more important, the opportunity to network with Notre Dame grads at various points in their professional careers.
Of course, this is Notre Dame. Of course, they have resources beyond the means of most colleges. However, the simple mention of this idea should spark ideas in your head, as a coach, about how you can enhance the long term development of your student-athletes.
Are you taking advantage of those that have come through your school’s pipeline years before and would love to help current students? Do you look at road trips as necessary evils or do you look to exploit the opportunities that may lie at the other end?
The opportunity that you provide to your athletes is far beyond that of your average fraternity. And your athletes are typically not paying extra for it. Being able to clearly demonstrate this to prospective student-athletes is a huge selling point for those students and parents who understand what the educational process is supposed to embody. Can you paint a picture for them that extends well beyond the painted lines of the field or court?
Pay attention to the examples around you. Stay in contact with team alumni. Think about how you can add value to your team experience.
Read the article and see the video at UND.com.
Jack is available to speak to your team or organization or at your next function. He also provides individual and organizational coaching and consulting. You can get more information on these services at Jack’s professional services site, JackWWarren.com.