Creativity breakthroughs....

Sanibel Island swell - photo by Dave Decker

Sanibel Island swell - photo by Dave Decker

I recently watched a TED broadcast of Stefan Sagmeister where he talked about his approach to refreshing his creativity. Every 7 years, he takes a one-year sabbatical to explore new ideas, designs, and projects.  Many people have generated ideas and product designs during these sabbaticals (Post-it notes is one that comes to mind).  Google, IBM and progressive companies offer sabbaticals to their employees for good reason.  Stefan Sagmeister spent his last sabbatical in Bali working on a variety of projects - and I thought that sounded right up my alley (I could also learn to surf!).

The reality of this approach is that it is not realistic for me to spend a year in Bali not working!  But I started thinking that this 50Films project has really offered me some of the same opportunities as a sabbatical might (other than the obvious requirements of actively running a business!).  I have been able to explore new ideas, new editing and shooting techniques, and have the freedom to craft a project as I’d like.

While working on some of these 50Films programs, I have explored some new editing techniques and workflow procedures which will be integrated into my coming work.  I am actively loading up my next program which is already shot to start editing, and am figuring out the scheduling for my next projects.  

So rather than Bali, the rainy season is here in Portland and I continue on my working sabbatical - 50Films.  The surfing will have to wait.



College Baseball Recruiting Videos - 3 Best Practices

2012 CWS bullpen - photo by Dave Decker

2012 CWS bullpen - photo by Dave Decker

(Originally posted February 2013)

How to proactively use your College Baseball Recruiting Video 

I have had the honor of helping many high school baseball players create college baseball recruiting videos.  These videos showcase the skills and talents of a player in 3 to 5 minutes.  The videos usually live on the web (ie: Youtube), where search engines find them and include them in results for searches such as “high school baseball player Class of 2015” and the like.  These videos can also be added to online baseball recruiting services via a link. 

More directly, links to your video can be sent directly to a college coach with an introductory email expressing your interest in a particular baseball program or college/university.  The beauty of this method, is that it allows a player who wants to play college baseball to be proactive in his marketing.  A player can actually approach college coaches and make a connection to get the ball rolling for future conversations.  College programs are always looking for players, and players are looking for a college program - the trick is in making the connection to find the right fit for both parties.  

3 Best Practices for using your College Baseball Recruiting Video

1. Do your homework!  What are your educational goals for college? What sort of baseball program would you like to play with: DI, DII, DIII, NAIA, J.C., in what part of the country, etc.. What schools fit your criteria? Use the web, and your high school counselor.   Create a spreadsheet with the schools, locations, coaches, email addresses and urls, and any additional information pertinent to your search and interest.  Add schools/programs as you come across them.  Use this master spreadsheet to keep track of who you contact by email, if you hear back from them, what you hear back, any notes regarding your correspondence/conversations, and what you need to do next, etc.. This document will help keep you on track and organized.

2. Create an introductory email template which you will use to contact the coaches you have listed in your spreadsheet.  The email should be friendly in nature, concise, and respectful.  Your style, approach and information will be unique to you.   Here is a example of what it might be like:


Dear Coach ________,

My name is Joe Smith, and I am a student at Central High School in Hometown, State.  I am in the class of 2____, and play (position/s) on the _________________ team, and the _______________ team here in Hometown.  


I am very interested in ____________ college/university and the baseball program.  (Tell the coach why you are interested in their program in particular/ what did you learn about their baseball program/academic opportunities from your research that aligns with your interests?)


In my college search  I am looking to find the right fit for my academic and baseball goals and am very interested in learning more about the opportunities at __________ college/university.  I am including my contact information below, along with a link to my short baseball recruiting video.


Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  I appreciate any feedback you have on my recruiting video.  Thank you for your time, and have a great season!





Contact information

(Link to Recruiting Video)


3.  Customize each email you send.  Make sure you have the correct coach (recruiting) and their name is spelled correctly!  Have an understanding of who the college team is and what the college/university offers, and tell the coach what appeals to you about this.  Ask questions if you have them – it starts a conversation!  Respect the coaches’ time - they are very busy people.  Therefore,  you’ll want to get your message across clearly and concisely.  Be prompt to follow up if they reply to you - it’s a great way to make a good impression and shows you are serious and dependable - good recruit potential!

Bonus best practice:  To help get a feel for what kind of college is a good fit, go visit some local colleges.  Take the admissions tour, and see what the local schools are all about.   Visit a variety - big and small.  When you are on the road, take a couple hours to visit campuses in the area.  This really gives you a good feel for what you like and don’t like - helping you narrow down your focus to the type of schools which would fit you best.  You want to make sure that both the academic offerings and athletic opportunities appeal to you.  And enjoy the process - there are many great schools and baseball programs out there!

Photo above:  2012 College World Series Bullpen - UCLA

By Dave Decker ©2012