Professional Development #4: Mandy Green, Head Coach of South Dakota Women’s Soccer and Founder of Busy Coach

Coach Mandy Green is about to begin her 8th season at the lead of the Coyote Women’s soccer team at the University of South Dakota. She has the second most wins by a coach in program history and helped the team make the move to the Division I level over her tenure.  Her career involves stops at Xavier, Minnesota State Mankato, the University of Utah as well as various experiences with the Olympic Development Program. In addition to her full time coaching role with the Coyotes she created and runs Busy Coach, a professional development platform to help coaches improve their time management and organizational practices to help them manage their team and life with optimal efficiency and outcomes. 

Excellence is a Habit

Coach Green’s college coaching career start is one of the best “how I got into coaching” stories we have heard to date. As a former player who didn’t have any intent on coaching she found herself coaching club soccer and was surprised how much she loved being back in the game from a new perspective. After a chance run in with one of her former college coaches she took a huge leap of faith and decided to move out to Utah to be a volunteer assistant at the University of Utah with her car packed to the brim and $1,000 to her name. Every coach will tell you that sacrifice is necessary to get into and succeed in the coaching world and Coach Green has done it first hand and worked her way up the ranks!

From her beginning days as a club coach to now leading the Division I University of South Dakota Coyotes, Coach Green has immensely focused on improving her habits for optimal team and self performance. The importance of creating the best habits that you can are just as important for you as a coach as they are for your players. For Coach Green her habits begin with her consistent morning routine and daily planning of the next days events every night. This helps her to walk into the office every morning with a proactive approach.

Prior to using this organizational strategy she felt that most of her day was filled up with constant interruptions and putting out of fires. As a more seasoned coach these days she game plans for each day in a detailed manner including what she eats, when she drinks water and stretches. These details may seem as non-essentials to outsiders but she has learned what she needs in order to be at her best and she prioritizes it! Many coaches are bogged down and overwhelmed by all on their to do list that organization doesn’t happen. Coach Green and her company, Busy Coach, are focused on helping coaches to build efficient habits and organizational tools that allow them not only to improve their team but their entire lives. Below are her must follow tips (categorized and bulleted) that are sure to help any coach optimize their team and individual performance. For more information on Coach Green and her Busy Coach strategies you can find her website here.

Office Hacks: “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” 

  • Have a plan for every day in the office and stick to it as much as possible
  • If you don’t have an hour a day to work out take 8-10 minute breaks from work to hop on the elliptical, run the stairs or get moving in a way that works for you!
  • Keep a snack drawer of healthy eats that is constantly stocked
  • Streamline and create processes for all that your staff does. If the person that runs official visits is gone for an official visit or gets a new job, how does everyone else know what to do? Have your staff create written down processes on paper for how to run every component of your program
  • Find ways to NOT multi task! This is a rare quality these days to be able to only focus on one thing at a time
  • Video practices and notice how long coaches spend talking with players, try to be as efficient as possible
  • Create a practice plan and stick to that plan! Record what you measure in practice and track it over time

Recruiting Hacks: 

  • Track and measure what you can. They track “open rates” of the emails that get sent out to recruits. What subject lines are recruits opening the most?
    • As well have a “call to action” at the bottom of emails and see if those that opened the email follow through with the call to action
  • Tracking encounters and replies with recruits is important (i.e. texted on this date and responded next day, etc). Keep a record to show how interested they are as well go back over time and look at when they are loosing recruits interests and sealing the deal with those that commit

Life Hacks: “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.”

  • Go to bed when the kids go to bed so you can get up early and get things done!
  • DO NOT sleep with your phone by your bed. Turn it off at a certain time. Set a bed time and a wake up time that is consistent almost everyday
  • Schedule out time that you will not work at night (at least an hour, hopefully more!) and stick to it!
  • Find time and routines that help your mind to wander and have space to think without constant interruption
  • Don’t check your phone for the first 30-60 minutes of your day, take that time to relax and not stress over emails or texts

Coach Green’s Suggested Resources for Learning:

  • Busy Coach 
  • Steven Covey – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People 
  • Darren Hardy – Insane Productivity 
  • Tim Ferris – Four Hour Work Week (Tim Ferris Podcast Show)
  • Brian Travey – Lots of Good Choices!
  • Anything by John Maxwell

You can follow Coach Mandy Green on Twitter @MandyGreenCPS

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