Showcases, Camps and Combines : tips for recruiting

College showcases, camps and combines are a great way to compete against some of the nation’s top high school talent. Additionally, the experience at these events can be very valuable in the development of a young athlete. So, just based on the sheer competitiveness of these types of events, I feel that it is a wise decision to attend camps, combines and showcases. as you can without breaking the bank!

Having said that, however, my experience has found that trying to rely solely on college showcases, camps and combines to get recruited not a very sound strategy by itself. Most college coaches that attend these type of events already have developed recruiting lists of athletes they plan to watch. Also, coaches need to be at the intended event. So, if college coaches wont’ be at the event, then its is impossible for them to see you compete, which means there is a pretty good chance you will go unnoticed by them. At least by the coach you wished to see you.

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If college coaches wont’ be at the event then its is impossible for them to see you compete which means there is a pretty good chance you will go unnoticed by them. (Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Instead, a winning recruiting strategy for using camps, combines and showcase is as follows. First, do some research to make sure college coaches form the schools you like will be attending the showcases, camps and combines that you also plan to compete at. Then, most importantly, athletes should make sure they are prepared for the event.  Next, utilize good communication before the event.  Finally, reach out to coaches  directing them to your recruiting profile along with any video highlights you may have. (PrepStar athletes can do this in a few clicks- message me if you need to know how). 

Have questions? Need help?  Contact me to set up a time to talk (get free advise!) or use the comment section below.

 

 

Coach Mike oversees the recruiting of talented next-level athletes by helping families develop and implement a recruiting strategy for athletes to get exposure, evaluated and recruited. As former college athlete with over 20 years of experience as a coach, Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

Coach Mike – Email: mwoosley@csaprepstar.com   Office: 805-622-STAR

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Academics in the Recipe of Recruiting

Have you ever baked your phone? Yes, baked your phone. A while ago day  I was drawn to a Twitter a post that while baking a cake someone dropped their phone into the pan then, unaware proceeded to bake the cake in the oven!

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I’m sure whoever did this probably planned out the recipe for the cake, prepared all then ingredient, then proceeded to go about the task without any premonition of having their phone becoming part of the ingredients.

Now, its likely that none of us have made this blunder, but I’m sure at even the best of us and overlooked some important detail which then ended up becoming a very costly mistake.

For many athletes academics are one area that are easily overlooked during the excitement of the season. Because overlooking academics can be a very costly mistake it is best to proceed with caution.  Neglecting to focus on academics can effect both recruiting and scholarships opportunities.

So, here’s a few tips to keep your recipe of recruiting on point.

1. Keep up to date with academic assignments.
2. Check your GPA often. Weekly if needed.
3. Plan ahead, work on assignments in advance.

Why do grades matter?
Having up to date grades as well as college prep test scores (ACT/SAT) moves along recruiting. Why? Because early qualifiers are easier to process!

Also, I suggest taking either the ACT or SAT as early as possible. This gives you time to take the test again if necessary. In addition to early qualification you may want to take these test more than once because higher test scores equate to more money in financial aid rewards!

The recipe for success that I suggest is taking the Pre-ACT or Pre-Sat Sophomore year to get a baseline score. Then, take the ACT or SAT your Junior year. And, if necessary, take the ACT or SAT again your Senior year to get the highest score possible.

It’s easy to get caught up in the routine of games and practice portions of recruiting, But don’t get burnt. Stay sharp, make sure to mix in academics in your recipe of success.

Be committed,

Coach Mike

 

 

Coach Mike oversees the recruiting of talented next-level athletes by helping families develop and implement a recruiting strategy for athletes to get exposure, evaluated and recruited. As former college athlete with over 20 years of experience as a coach, Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

Coach Mike – Email: mwoosley@csaprepstar.com   Office: 805-622-STAR

 Five Common ways athletes can pay for college tuition 

Many parents and student athletes will be surprised to know that college tuition can be paid in very creative ways. In fact, with the national average of college tuition hovering around $34,000 per year for private colleges and $25,000 for state schools,  there are a number of ways for families to relieve the burden of tuition expenses. So before going out to sign for a stack of loans take a look at 5 ways student-athletes can pay for college tuition.

  1. Scholarships – financial aid awards that do not need to be repaid.  Scholarships are awarded for academics and athletics.
  2. Grants – needs based form of financial assistance that students do not repay. Grants are often awarded by information provided in the FASFA application. The Pell Grant is a good example.
  3. Loans – Federal student loans allows students to borrow money that must be repaid with interest. Loans are determined as “needs-based” and fulfilled at subsidized or interest free  while other loans are unsubsidized meaning they accrue interest. Parents of dependent student can also apply for federal loan called the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS).
  4. Campus work study– student employment is a way to earn income and gain work experience. Federal work study is determined by student information and needs determined from the FAFSAapplication.
  5. Military education benefit- commonly referred to as the GI Bill, Military Tuition Assistance is a benefit of up to $45,000 eligible to active members after service members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Congress has given each service the ability to pay up to 100% for the tuition expenses of its members.

Be Committed,

Coach Mike

 

 

Coach Mike oversees the recruiting of talented next-level athletes by helping families develop and implement a recruiting strategy for athletes to get exposure, evaluated and recruited. With over 20 years of experience as a coach and, as former college athlete, Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

Coach Mike – Email: mwoosley@csaprepstar.com   Office: 805-622-STAR

Tips for the Next Signing Day: how to get stay on the recruiting radar.

Now that February Signing Day is behind us we can look forward to the next Signing Day on April 11. Coaches can contact prospective athletes by all forms of communication; phone calls, texts, email, campus visits, letters etc. Typically,  Juniors contacted during this time are considered top-choice prospects.

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Communication like email, text and social media are great ways to let coaches know that you are interested

So, what do you do if you are contacted by a college coach? Here are a few tips to help you connect and remain on the radar. Also, remember I am here to help you so please contact me with any recruiting questions that you have.

Communication like email, text and social media are great ways to let coaches know that you are interested in becoming a part of their program. Surely, when you are contacted by a college coach, you want to make the most of the opportunity as well as give the college coach plenty of reasons to keep you on the their recruiting radar.

Reply promptly to contacts from college coaches by email, phone, online. Communication has to be two-way.  So try your best to reply to emails, calls or messages within 48 hours.

Response communication should to demonstrate your interest in the academics and athletic programs. An email should include contact information, links to video, stats and any other information you feel necessary to help your recruiting.

Keep an informative, but short, email template handy for a quick reply to coaches. Include your name, grad year, position, GPA, test scores, video links, PrepStar profile link, travel team name and high school MaxPreps/Hudl link.

If you send coaches your info then it is important to update your recruiting profile regularly. Treat your PrepStar recruiting profile like your social media. Post current information frequently to your recruiting profile to keep it up to date. This information should include most recent stats, recent video, recent pictures,  current ACT/SAT scores, current GPA. Also include any other pertinent information such accomplishments, honors or clubs that may show coach you are a great student, athlete and person.

Many coaches are not quick to reply and it may seem like a double standard but don’t make a coach wait for you reply. Especially, a coach from a college you really want to attend. Expect to wait. Expect to wait. It is common for communication to be slow during the contact period. However, the worst thing you can do is make coaches wait. Let them know if you are interested in their program and school.

Finally, stay focused on your goal, be patient and keep working hard. NEVER GIVE UP ON SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN’T GO A DAY WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT.

Be committed.

Coach Mike

Shake-ups are common in every collegiate sport…

Shake-ups are common in every collegiate sport but how what are repercussions on recruits?

Recently, a news notification citing a significant change in SEC collegiate softball.  My draw dropped as I read the headline that the head coach of the University of Missouri softball program was relieved of his duties.  Certainly, to the amazement of the entire softball community, the decision was executed with less than two weeks before the season opener on February 8th. 
 
Mizzou is known to recruit players early. In fact, many of their prospects are identified Freshman and Sophomore season.  Truly, the effects of this decision will impact everyone involved in the program including coaches, players and recruits as well as their families.
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As a natural reaction I Immediately passed this information along to the athletes under my care. I wanted them to get an idea of how unstable the recruiting process actually is. The lesson to be learned is to plan ahead, but adjust accordingly. Most importantly, nothing – no promise, no offer- is set in stone until NLI Signing Day. 
Coaches fired. Programs overhauled. Players transfer. Like it or not, these are norms in much of college softball recruiting. Frankly, shake-up like these are not solely regulated to softball. They are common in every collegiate sport.
Arguably,  breaking news like this also serves as a stark reminder of the uncertainty of the recruiting process.  Over the years as National Director of Scouting & Recruiting at Prepstar I’ve helped hundreds of athletes navigate unexpected obstacles in the midst of their recruiting.   If I can be of help feel free to give me a call, text or email. 
 
Be committed,
Coach Mike

Coach Mike oversees the recruiting of talented next-level athletes by helping families develop and implement a recruiting strategy for athletes to get exposure, evaluated and recruited. With over 20 years of experience as a coach and, as former college athlete, Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

Coach Mike – Email: mwoosley@csaprepstar.com   Office: 805-622-STAR

DTRR: Defining the Recruiting Relationship

Recently,  I have spoken with several athletes coaching them in preparation for college visits.  Surely, invitations for college visits are a positive signal that you are being recruited. And its also a good thing that the coach wants to have you on campus to get to know you more. But, what kind of visit is it? Why is it so important.
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Often I describe the recruiting process like a dating relationship.  Think about all the things that happen before the first date. Back in my day, a lot of time was spent getting to know one another often talking on the phone or exchanging notes at school. Now  Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and text has replaced that kind of bonding. Eventually, the time would come when the couple actually actually went on a first date.

First dates are alway interesting because of the great opportunity to make a first impression. And if things went well, there is a pretty good chance to have a second date.

Recruiting is a lot like a that. Recruits and coaches get to know one another with some initial communication, then if both like one another the time arrives to take the relationship to the next level.

Typically, college coaches reserve official visits to make offers, especially during senior year. Furthermore, the official visits often follows one or more unofficial visits. Clearly, those are signs of a budding relationship.
The best way to tell if the visit is official or unofficial is determined by who pays the bill. If the college pays the bill then there are some strong feelings. However, if the bill is split or the athlete is paying most rest assured that interest exists but how much is difficult to tell.   Most importantly, on official visits the college pays for lodging, transportation and meals for the prospect and parents. Lastly, the official visit cannot exceed 48 hours from the time the athlete arrives on campus.

In comparison, transportation and lodging for unofficial visits are paid for by the prospect or prospect family. Some swag from the college is permissible, such  up to three free game tickets and meals while on campus, but most of the check is taken care of by the recruit.

So why is it important to know the difference between an official and unofficial visit?
The reason you should to know is because the NCAA allots a certain number of official and unofficial visits for prospects. My job is to make sure the athletes I manage stay NCAA eligible. So, if you have too many official visits then you are in violation of NCAA recruiting guidelines! Which can jeopardize both the recruit as well as the college.

Now that the relationship has been defined, suitable prospects should put effort to make  a good impression while in the presence of the coach.  Lastly, no matter if its an unofficial or official visit its good form to let the coach know that you appreciate the free tickets, food, and the opportunity to see the campus. So, send a note, text, email, tweet or post. It just might lead to a second date!

NLI Signing Ceremony Solidifies Scholarships

National Letter of Intent

Signing Ceremony Solidifies Scholarships

 

February 7th is almost here. Soon, verbal commitments will be solidified once an athlete signs her/his National Letter of Intent. Did you know that over 45,000 prospective student-athletes sign NLIs to attend NCAA Division I or II institutions? Additionally, thousands of Division III student-athletes will make good on commitments in signing ceremonies even if not formally recognized by the NCAA.

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When presented an NLI must be accompanied by an athletics aid agreement to explain scholarship award money. These terms are binding once the NLI is signed.  A prospective student-athlete not receiving athletics aid does not have to sign an NLI but still have a signing ceremony. Regardless, all athletics aid agreements are must comply with NCAA rules.

Lastly, keep in mind what I shared previously about fulfilling the obligations of the NLI even if a coach leaves or gets fired.  When a prospective student-athlete signs with an institution or the coach leaves, the NLI signee is still bound by the provisions of the NLI. Completing a playing season does not fulfill the NLI obligation. Instead it is required that the student-athlete complete the entire academic year at the signing institution must be completed.

Finally, seniors, as you prepare for signing day please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions. I also added some links for quick research convenience.
National Letter of Intent Website
National Letter of Intent Guide

Be committed,

Coach Mike

 

 

Coach Mike oversees the recruiting of talented next-level athletes by helping families develop and implement a recruiting strategy for athletes to get seen, scouted and recruited. With over 20 years of experience as a coach and, as former college athlete, Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

Coach Mike – Email: mwoosley@csaprepstar.com   Office: 805-622-STAR