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Tennessee LBs coach: "I've have seven seconds to make an impression on a kid."

Tommy Thigpen


Tennessee linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen recently joined a social media panel with publisher Brent Hubbs and Sports Illustrated writer Zac Ellis as part of the university Social Media Week. As you can certainly gather by now, the subject of the panel was social media.

Thigpen praised his boss Butch Jones' ability to communicate, calling him a relentless communicator and "the best in the business." "I think Butch Jones goes down as probably one of the greatest propaganda guys I’ve ever seen," he said. "Oh my gosh. Every single day, it’s these comments. ‘You guys, thinking is free. What are you putting on Twitter?’ It’s every, single, day. What do we have to do to connect, connect, connect? ... Every day, he’s trying to relate to the kids."

But what caught my eye was Thigpen's comments on appealing to today's no-attention-span youths.

"When I’m meeting an 18-year-old kid, I have seven seconds to make an impression on him," Thigpen said. "I’ve gotta grab that kid’s attention in seven seconds. For me to do that, I have to grab all the information I can. I gotta grab your Twitter, I gotta grab your Instagram, I gotta grab your parents’ Facebook. What I’m trying to do is get all the info I can. What’s your favorite food? What’s your favorite drink? What do you like, what don’t you like. What kind of girls do you like? What kind of music do you listen to? You put it all out there. So when you get there, I’ve got sticking points, things that I can talk to you about to get your attention in seven seconds."

Coaches, do you agree? Do coaches truly have seven seconds to make an impression on a kid, or does that simply just feed the beast? Put it this way, do you think David Shaw tells his Stanford assistants the same thing?

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