COACH MIKE PREPSTAR PARENT INTERVIEW: JODY JONES

In mid-June, I recorded an Interview with Jody Jones, retired military (Army air traffic control & air space manager) parent of four student athletes, and just a tremendously supportive parent. He graciously took the time to share with me his perspective.

Admittedly, he was with a competitor before coming to PrepStar team and he shares some of the struggles and lessons learned from that experience.

Intro

3:20 The process- how did you know it was time to get started?
4:08 Not knowing the recruiting process
6:20- Leveraging camps with exposure
6:40 DJ’s offers
7’:10 Using social media
7:30 Narrowing down the offers / making the decisions.
11:10 His experience explained
11:56 Parent involvement
12:36 How he found PrepStar
12:58 Started with a competitor first, lesson learned
13:23 One of million, no, I want to be one of a few
13:51 Different feel when I talked to Coach Mike
14:31 Coach Mike making a call and getting DJ an official visit
17:00 The advantage of starting early
17:38 Early exposure to put your athlete on the radar
17:56 Start as soon as possible
18:37 No criticism for using an outlet like PrepStar, but did with the competitor
19:15 Investing in your kids
19:35 Prepstar is a win-win situation
20:10 Supporting your kids, then the rest is up to them
22:30 Process is overwhelming for athletes…
22:55 The benefit of having supportive people around you
25:40 Verbal commitment is not signing…
26:30 Deciding to graduate early
28:30 Overall experience with PrepStar
29:02 Coach Mike and the PrepStar tam responded…it makes a difference
29:30 The importance of an interactive recruiting program
30:20 It feels like family

Five Reasons To Consider JUCO

A few years ago I wrote a blog outlining four reasons why choosing a Junior College (JUCO) program was worth considering. When I wrote that, no one had any premonition of Covid-19. Nor would anyone be taken seriously if they said entire sports seasons would be shut down. But it did happen. Now, athletes seeking to get recruited have to deal with unprecedented recruiting adversity as a result, and JUCO may be a viable option.  

Probably the most influential reason to consider Junior College is because  junior colleges are very cost effective. In comparison, the average cost of JUCO is considerably less than the tuition at state or private colleges. According to research most Junior college tuition is less than $5,000 per year. Though there is often a stigma connected with junior colleges the financial and athletic awards made possible have started to do away with this notion because many quality student-athletes are choosing JUCO as a reasonable college route. 

Athletes seeking to get recruited now have to deal with unprecedented recruiting adversity as a result, and JUCO may be a viable option.  Photo by Michael Marsh on Unsplash

Next to cost, competition is a reason to mull over, especially for student athletes. For many the opportunity to participate in game competition right away is appealing. Without question actual in-game experience is way more more valuable than practice experience. In many examples, athletes with JUCO experience can offer high level colleges the experience and maturity necessary to step in and compete at a high level. The professional level is littered with student-athletes who found success coming-out of junior colleges including Aaron Rogers, Cam Newton and Warren Moon.

Another plausible reason is that some athletes need time to mature emotionally and physically. In some cases, the transition to college can be a difficult adjustment. Under these circumstances, JUCOs provide the space for an athlete to acclimate to the academic, athletic, and personal demands of the college experience. In some cases, junior colleges provide the  opportunity to improve grades required for entry into 4 year institutions. Furthermore, many athletes are late bloomers and a little more time to develop physically is required. It is common for some incoming JUCO athletes to grow several inches or bulk up after high school graduation. JUCOs then can offer time for physical development that some 4 year schools will permit. 

Finally, there are a number of Junior colleges competing at the DI and DII level that choose to offer athletic scholarships. Athletic scholarships coupled with lower tuition fees becomes a reasonably affordable option. 

The United States there are 525 schools in 24 different regions with athletic programs. Junior College athletics is governed independently by the National Junior College Athletic Association and  in DI, DII and DIII levels providing tremendous opportunities for student athletes. 

NCAA extends recruiting dead period (again)

Last week the NCAA announced another extension to the current recruiting dead period for D1 colleges. The extension is set to expire December 31, 2002. Coaches are profited from in person evaluations as well as off-campus evaluations (watching games).

For D1 colleges, the current dead period has been in effect since March. Colleges at the D2 and lower levels lifted the Dead Period restrictions in September.

At this time, D1 coaches are limited to online evaluations, email, text and social media communication.

See the full NCAA announcement here.

Stay informed: Don’t miss out on recruiting opportunities

Because, many athletes and parents lack understanding of the contact rules and regulations many athletes are put at a disadvantage and ultimately miss out on recruiting opportunities. Serious athletes and their parents need to stay informed.

For example, did you know that during the December contact period it is permissible for an authorized athletic department staff member to have in person, off campus contacts with prospective student athletes. Who is included in the scope of authorized athletic department staff member? 

Other misconceptions derive from not knowing what communication is permitted and what is prohibited during the regulated NCAA contact periods. These contacts, along with evaluations, are not only restricted but must also be counted by the coach as a contact, otherwise , it can lead to a recruiting violation.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Here is a quick summary of the recruiting periods.  

A contact occurs any time a college coach says more than hello during a face-to-face contact with a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents off the college’s campus.

During the contact period a college coach may have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, watch student-athletes compete and visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents.

During the evaluation period a college coach may watch college-bound student-athletes compete, visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents. However, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents off the college’s campus during an evaluation period.

During the quiet period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write or telephone college-bound student-athletes or their parents during this time.

During a dead period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period.

So, athletes, what can you do to improve your recruiting situation right now?  

  1. Get your highlight reel looking tight. By now you should have a highlights from previous seasons on your Hudl page, plus some training video available online. 
  2. Broaden your reach with coaches you want to contact. Use more than one medium to contact coaches. Don’t just rely on twitter to blast out your Hudl link. Rely on email and text. And, if you’re brave enough, go old school, actually making a phone call to a college coach.
  3. Stay focused! Lots of recruiting happens at this time of year. Keep in mind that the contact period is only open for 2 weeks, then its back to the quiet period until January. So be patient with the process. 

Is recruiting is going  the way you hoped it would? Have questions about the recruiting process? Comment below or DM me. I’m glad to help. 

Even though NCAA waives ACT / SAT requirement for 2021 student-athletes: still a good idea to take it.

Last week the NCAA announced waivers requiring ACT or SAT test scores for athletic eligibility. While many  student athletes celebrated a sigh of relief, despite the generous exception its time to start studying because it is still a good idea for student-athletes take the ACT or SAT. 

To quickly review the recently exemption, last week the NCAA decided Division I or II athletes will not be required to take a standardized test to meet NCAA initial-eligibility requirements. This decision said is to “help ensure students have a fair opportunity to meet the initial-eligibility standard.”   Why was this decision made?  

Student athletes, stay the course, continue moving forward with the plan to take the ACT or SAT college entry exam.  Photo by Ben Mullins on Unsplash

Again, the NCAA is concerned about “the continued disruption in secondary education due to the pandemic”. So, to meet eligibly requirements for athletic participation as well as to meet the criteria for academically eligibility for receive athletics scholarship, practice and completion in their first year the NCAA has made some concessions. Admission requirements are pretty low, 2.3 grade point average for Division 1 and 2.2 grade point average for Division II provided the NCAA approved 16 core courses are completed. But, lowering the standard and exempting student athletes from the standardized tests requirement leaves a few questions unanswered. 

In total, omitting the ACT or SAT requirement does not specifically address university admissions requirements.  Nor, does the exemption address how financial awards will be provided that usually are distributed as a result of high ACT or SAT scores? 

So, put down the party hat and grab a chair. Its time to start studying because what isn’t addressed by the exemption is exactly why student-athletes should move forward with the plan to take the ACT or SAT. 

First, to get into a college the university admission requirements must be met to get into that college. Undoubtably, student-athletes with a qualifiable ACT or SAT score are sure to have better opportunities for entry. Conversely, student athletes without standardized test scores are more likely not to  meet the requirements for colleges known for higher academic standards  Lets be realistic, schools know for selecting students with higher academics standards will continue to maintain this standards. Furthermore, student-athletes may be put at a disadvantage to gain entry into colleges known for higher academic standards. Consequently, student athletes aspiring to attend such schools will be expected to meet admission requirements or look elsewhere.  

Next, it is no secret that a college education is expensive. So, even without ACT or SAT scores, college tuition will still need to be paid.  What the NCAA generous waiver does not explain how to fill the financial void that is usually filled by financial awards provided by high standardized test scores?  Keep in mind, outside of D1 football, which is a full athletic and academic scholarship sport, schools in DIAA, DII, NAIA and DIII typically stack athletic scholarship with academic awards towards the cost of tuition. Somebody will have to pay and I don’t see colleges reducing the price of admission any time soon. 

The question remains, in the coming months, will athletes be presented other opportunities be made available to fill this void and to gain financial awards? Or will the burden be placed on solely on the athlete and their family? Without the funding provided by the SAT or ACT score how can student-athletes earn the extra financial awards that decrease tuition costs?

Bottom line for student athletes, stay the course, continue moving forward with the plan to take the ACT or SAT college entry exam.  

Source: NCAA Eligibility Center announces flexibility in initial eligibility for 2021-22 Changes address uncertainty caused by COVID-19 August 17, 2020 11:00amMichelle Brutlag Hosick

Digital recruiting: why video is important to impress

Short after the covid-19 lockdowns  I met with an athlete to record a covert recruiting skills video at a local school.  Finally, after an hour of shooting video,  a school representative wheeled over to us in in a golf cart requesting that we leave.  What a joke!  Eventually we left after I negotiated more film time. But despite all the hassle we got some good recruiting video that day. 

Video is crucial to the recruiting process because most coaches look at video of athletes first before seeing an athlete in person. Yes, recruiting is digital. Right now, with the limited completion and exposure opportunities recruiting video is even more  necessary. 

With the limited completion and exposure opportunities recruiting video is even more  necessary.  Photo by Chris Chow on Unsplash

So, what kind of recruiting video is most beneficial? And, what footage should the video feature?

Actually, the answer varies by sport. For example, for high school football prospects game video is paramount . However, sports like baseball, softball, and soccer requires skills video and game footage.

So, here are four quick tips for assembling an impressive recruiting video.

Always make sure the video is appropriately timed. Typically, a good video is between 4 and 5 minutes long. Even though you may have 20 minutes of season highlights take the time to sort through to pick the best plays. Why? Because college coaches have limited time to view video so impress them with the best plays you have.

Next, make sure that your best plays are in the first 30 to 60 seconds. Think about it like a movie trailer. How often have you watched a movie trailer then immediately thought to yourself that you are going to go see that movie!  Coaches like to be impressed at the beginning. If the video doesn’t hold their attention then they move on to the next athlete.

Then make sure to highlight position specific skills and be sure that a majority of highlights at your primary position. For example, in football, running backs are supposed to score touchdowns and out-run defenders. Running backs then should highlight touchdown runs and showcase speed separation. The guys in the trenches, like defensive lineman, are supposed to wreak havoc up and down the line of scrimmage as well as in the opponents backfield. So show sacks, tackles and quarterback hurries.

Most importantly, highlight videos should feature you, not other players. I’ve heard stories of coaches discovering a recruit while viewing the footage of their teammate. 

How athletes can use Reevuu technology to get great coaching

In the mind of an high performing athlete finding ways to get better is top priority. Even when they are at the top of their game, high performing athletes look for ways to improve. The seek to find an edges and are certain that coaching can give them what is needed to break through to the next level.  Today, technology allows for athletes to get great coaching from experts in the sport.

But sadly, many of athletes think they know it all and don’t need any help. Ego is like a little voice whispering lies and fills them with false confidence that no one else is good enough to help. But to get to the next level, everyone needs help.  Even the greatest of athletes of all time have relied on coaches to get them to the next level.

Here are three reasons to seek a coach: 
1. Coaches know first hand what is necessary to become great. 

2.  Coaches see the things athletes cannot see. 

3. Coaches comprehend the vision so they push past the limits and on towards new levels of achievement. 

Firmly, I believe that great coaches make great players. In contrast, great players don’t make great coaches. If you are willing to get coaching, don’t just go out and find any so-called coach. I encourage you to seek out a great coach. 

So, I wanted to invite you to check out Reevuu, a new online coaching platform for student athletes.
 
Reevuu is a platform that allows players to upload a video of their practice, drills, game or highlights to the app for a certified coach to critique for a small fee. Free reviews are also available!

What’s cool about it is that the coach will review the video and provide athletes with a detailed breakdown, instruction and specific training / drills the athlete should work on based on the video they submitted.

Student athletes interested in checking out Reevuu can click here.

Coaches interested in checking out Reevuu can click here.

FREE copy of my ultimate guide to writing recruiting emails that get student athletes noticed! FREE!

Today is Opening Day! Baseball is back!!! I’m so excited to see sports that today, and today only, I will be giving away a copy of my ultimate guide to writing recruiting emails that get student athletes noticed! FREE!

Every athlete needs to know how to properly communicate the information that college coaches really want to know about recruits.

My goal in this ebook is to guide student-athletes with valuable tips and easy to fill in templates they can use to write recruiting emails that get them noticed. 

What is the key to writing recruiting emails that actually catch the attention of a college coaches? How do other athletes do it? And what information should be included when writing an email to a college coach?

Recruiting emails are most effective when a properly written to peak the curiosity of college coaches and get noticed. 

To get your FREE copy of my ultimate guide to writing recruiting emails that get student athletes noticed text the word FREE to 480-605-4050. 

Extended Dead Period (Again!), Delayed Season, What’s Next?

Clearly, recruiting for the class of 2021 has taken on a much different timeline than years past.  As most student athletes are aware, the NCAA has extended the Dead Period to September 31st.  So what’s next? Lately, I’ve been getting questions about this so here are a few helpful pieces of information. 

While it is true that summer evaluations have been hamstrung, comparatively, this isn’t much different than in years past because as of August 1, the Dead Period/ Quiet Period starts. At this time, college coaches may not have face to face contact with athletes or their parents. It also means that college coaches cannot watch players compete UNLESS that student athlete is actually on the college campus for a camp or college visit.

Now, following the Dead Period is the Evaluation period from September 1- November 30. By definition the evaluation period permits college coaches to watch college-bound student-athletes compete. Ideally, this will allow for student-athletes to be evaluated during Fall season sports.  

Next comes early singing period staring in November 13 for sports other than football and December 18-20 for football. Keep in mind that around 5% of athletes from the 2021 recruiting class sign early. Typically, the majority of the recruiting class sign in the Spring. Further, recruits can sign until the August 1 cut off date. 

What does the extensions and delays mean for student-athlete seeking to get recruited? Student-athletes should focus on the things that they can control. Photo by Fitsum Admasu on Unsplash

Give the delays as a result of covid-19 for ACT and SAT tests coupled with cancellations of evaluation related camps it is likely for a significant number of the 2021 recruiting class to sign late.  

What does this mean for student-athlete seeking to get recruited? Student-athletes should focus on the things that they can control. First, the primary focus at this time is to keep preparing for the season. Stay in shape, keep up the workouts and stay hungry. Second, when school begins concentrate on getting the best grades possible. Don’t slack off or miss assignments. Take care of your academics and when the time comes your academics will take care of you. Third, it is important to be patient with the process. These contact periods are designed to slow down the process so that coaches have adequate time to scout prospects. Now that covid-19 has impacted the process it is even more important to be patine. Last, and perhaps most important during the delay, players can, and should, continue reaching out to coaches during all contact periods so that they stay on the radar. 

NCAA EXTENDS RECRUITING DEAD PERIOD THROUGH AUG. 31

By now, it is likely that you are aware that the NCAA has once again extended the recruiting Dead Period. While the dead period does limit in person evaluation there are plenty of ways you can use the dead period to your advantage to get looks from coaches. 

To quickly review from the newsletter last month the Dead Period extension means that college coaches and recruits are not permitted to have 

  • in person evaluations
  • official campus visits
  • in person contact

So, even though coaches may not have in person contact, campus visits or personal evaluations college coaches can communicate with student-athletes and their parents.

Again, these are typical Dead Period restrictions. However, like any other Dead Period the recruiting calendar, the extension does not stop the recruiting process.

Generally, the purpose of the Dead Period is to give college coaches opportunity to digitally scout, research, and yes, recruit student athletes!  However, relating to this extension the talk is that the reason for the recent extension is to allow coaches to focus on transitioning athletes back to camps and to allow time to acclimated. While, this reason may be more applicable to winter and spring sports more than fall, since many college fall sports programs began the transition process in June.

So, if anything this a promising sign that the college season is about to be underway. In turn, if the college season is underway, then the Dead Period will most surely be lifted.

Now here are some ideas that you can use to take advantage of the things athletes and coaches are allowed to do during the dead period.Ideas:

  • Make more game footage highlights
  • Make game recaps
  • Film hitting and fielding video
  • Film workouts video
  • Film training sessions (workouts, agility work, etc)
  • Film agility workouts
  • Attend online prospect days / virtual visits
  • Tag me on your post for social media (@michaelwoosley)

The goal here is to keep you recruiting moving forward by providing content for coaches to review. To do this, you have to be creative, stay focused and use the resources that you have available.

A really great interview and article about ways to use the Dead Period to your advantages is  to take from Sports Illustrated from June 25, 2020 

Watch the interview and read the article here.