Communicating with Coaches during the Fall

Often I compare the recruiting process to a roller-coaster. The speed of the cart is determined by the track. How the track is designed involves many twists and turns as well as places where the pace becomes so slow that it seems to stop. Like a roller-coaster, and depending on the sport, recruiting in the Fall can simultaneously cause both excitement and anxiety so here a few tips to as you buckle-in for the ride.
During the Fall, and after the window of the contact period closes, it is very important to know what contact period of your sport and the communication regulations that accompany them. This information is easy to locate within the NCAA and NAIA regulations on their respective websites. This information can also be accessed  in your Prepstar profile.
Now, be aware that all divisions (D1, D2, D3, etc) have similar, but different, communication rules. For example, D2 coaches have much more leniency  with communications in comparison to D1 coaches.  Additionally, in football, FBS schools (those that go to bowl games) have similar contact periods but different number of evaluation opportunities.

The key to communicating in the Fall is to be proactive! Throughout the year, and at any time, athletes are permitted to contact coaches. This means that to communicate with college coach outside of designated contact periods, student-athletes have to be the one to initiate contact. Additionally, this rule also applies to underclassmen (Freshman and Sophomores). Again, no matter what time of year and no matter the contact period, college coaches are permitted to talk with prospects as long as the prospect makes the first move to contact them.

So, I highly recommend that student-athletes take the initiative to reach out to coaches with emails, texts and voicemails.  Don’t ever wait for them to call you, instead you call them.

To wrap up, it is an understatement to say that recruiting is a year round process. There is no downtime because college coaches are always recruiting. So use the latter part of year to your advantage. For Fall sports this is a great time of year to get aquatinted with coaches, take visits and build that ever important recruiting relationship. Likewise, student-athletes that play winter or spring sports can use the Fall to as a great opportunity to get on the radar and generate interest from coaches for the upcoming seasons.

Good luck!

Coach Mike oversees the the recruiting of talented next-level athletes to develop a recruiting strategy to get seen, scouted and recruited.  As a coach with over 20 years of experience, and a 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

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Signing the National Letter of Intent: What it means

Each year I have athletes that commit and sign during the early signing period so I want to make sure to pass along some important information about the meaning of signing the National Letter of Intent (NLI). To review, early signing dates for 2019 student-athletes are November 14-21 for all sports except football and December 19-21 for football only.

Once a student signs the NLI that student is bound to a one year committment to that college. Take note, the committment is to the college, not to the coach. So keep this in mind when making your final decision.

To make this concept concrete, the NCAA uses this language within the NLI to assure the binding agreement is to the college not the coach.

“I understand I have signed this NLI with the institution and not for a particular sport or coach. If a coach leaves the institution or the sports program (e.g., not retained, resigns), I remain bound by the provisions of this NLI. I understand it is not uncommon for a coach to leave his or her coaching position.” (http://www.nationalletter.org/nliProvisions/coachingChange.html
Now, should a coaching change occur, or if the student-athlete has a change of heart, it will be a very difficult to get out of a binding NLI agreement. However, in very few cases the NCAA does allow students to be let out of their NLI. But the process is long and has to be reviewed by the NCAA on a case by case basis by the NLI AppealsCommittee. (http://www.nationalletter.org/nliProvisions/releaseRequest.html)

So, before committing research the coaching history and tenure of the coach. Does he/she have a history of staying with programs long term? Also, when you interviewing with a prospective coach ask about how long he/she intends to stay at the school.

Lastly, if you are uncertain, ask if its okay that you commit to the college but not sign the NLI.  Finally, don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. After-all, the next 4 years of your life are potentially tied to the college but not necessarily the coach.

Signing the National Letter of Intent:  What it means

Each year I have athletes that commit and sign during the early signing period so I want to make sure to pass along some important information about the meaning of signing the National Letter of Intent (NLI). To review, early signing dates for 2019 student-athletes are November 14-21 for all sports except football and December 19-21 for football only.

Once a student signs the NLI that student is bound to a one year committment to that college. Take note, the committment is to the college, not to the coach. So keep this in mind when making your final decision.

To make this concept concrete, the NCAA uses this language within the NLI to assure the binding agreement is to the college not the coach.

“I understand I have signed this NLI with the institution and not for a particular sport or coach. If a coach leaves the institution or the sports program (e.g., not retained, resigns), I remain bound by the provisions of this NLI. I understand it is not uncommon for a coach to leave his or her coaching position.” (http://www.nationalletter.org/nliProvisions/coachingChange.html

Now, should a coaching change occur, or if the student-athlete has a change of heart, it will be a very difficult to get out of a binding NLI agreement. However, in very few cases the NCAA does allow students to be let out of their NLI. But the process is long and has to be reviewed by the NCAA on a case by case basis by the NLI AppealsCommittee. (http://www.nationalletter.org/nliProvisions/releaseRequest.html)

So, before committing research the coaching history and tenure of the coach. Does he/she have a history of staying with programs long term? Also, when you interviewing with a prospective coach ask about how long he/she intends to stay at the school. Lastly, if you are uncertain, ask if its okay that you commit to the college but not sign the NLI.  Finally, don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. After-all, the next 4 years of your life are potentially tied to the college but not necessarily the coach.

What is an official visit?

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Since many athletes are being offered opportunities to visit college campuses I thought it good to share a few helpful tips about official visits. In most recruiting situations official visit often follow one or more unofficial visits. Frequently, college  coaches reserve official visits to make offers, but it is not uncommon to get a verbal offer outside of an official visit.

By definition, an official visit is any visit to a college campus by a college-bound prospective student-athlete and his or her parents that is paid for by the college. This includes transportation, lodging, entertainment, food and as many as 3 tickets to a game.. Conversely, campus visits paid for by the parents of the student-athlete is deemed and unofficial visit.

Traditionally, official visits have been reserved for Seniors only. However, since April 2018 new recruiting regulations have been implemented for sports such as baseball and softball, permitting  Junior and Senior student-athletes to take official visits. In contrast, in most other sports, such as footballonly Senior student-athletes are permitted to take official visits. 

In total, student-athletes are permitted up to 5 official visits for D1 and D2 schools. However, only 1 official visit per school is allowed. You should also be aware that D3 and NAIA schools have no limit on official visits a student-athlete can take. Additionally, D3 and NAIA regulations are similar those governing the recruiting process of D1 and D2 schools where the prospective student-athlete is allowed 1 official visit per school.

Lastly, recruiting is a process. Always keep this in mind. Many student-athletes and parents let their minds run wild with negative assumptions especially when an official visit is not offered right away.  To reiterate, recruiting is a process and every coach has his or her method of recruiting. So, with this in mind  I recommend to keep a clear head and a positive attitude. Relax, stay calm, and enjoy the process.

Finally, I would love to hear from athletes attending official or unofficial visits. Also, if you need help preparing I’m glad to schedule some time to help prepare for your official visit. Just send me a text or email at mwoosley@csaprepstar.com.

Tips for making an impressive highlight videos

Highlight videos are an essential part of the recruiting process. Now, with the help of the Internet, the massive amount of video available has made it convenient for college coaches to recruiting players on a national level from the comfort of their offices. Personally, I have watched thousands of recruiting videos. Some are so impressive that I actually take the time to watch it again. Others, well, lets just say that they have been so mediocre I am left shaking my head in disbelief. Simply put, a well made highlight video will prove beneficial towards positively advancing the recruiting process. So here are a few quick tips on making highlight videos.

First, know that coaches want to be impressed right from the start. So give the coach a reason to keep watching. Start your highlight reel with scoring plays. Then follow up with big plays by order of impressiveness.

A common mistakes is that many athletes create highlights by the game clock timeline. This is not helpful. Instead, put big plays at the front of the highlight reel even if they occurred late in the game.

Most importantly, when making highlight video, keep in mind that the goal is not to make ESPN highlight segment for Sports Center. The purpose is not to show  the top plays as the game unfolded. Instead, the goals show be to have a video tell the story of why you are a legit prospect. This is done putting in center-focus the highlight plays showcasing best position specific skills and athleticism.

So here are 5 tips for assembling a solid recruiting video.

  1. 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, pick the best footage. College coaches have limited time to view video so impress them with the best.
  2. Next, make sure that your best plays are in the first 60 seconds. Think about it like how social media is viewed. If a picture or post catches your attention then your more likely to click to find out more. The opposite is also true. If the post doesn’t hold your attention then you move on to the next.
  3. Then make sure to highlight position specific skills. For example, in football,  running backs are designed to get in the end zone and out-run defenders. Running backs then should highlight touchdown runs and speed separation. Defensive lineman, are supposed to wreak havoc at the up and down the line of scrimmage as well as in the opponents backfield so show sacks and quarterback hurries.
  4. Most importantly, highlight videos need to feature you, not other players. I’ve heard stories of coaches finding an recruit while viewing the footage of a teammate. This happens frequently.
  5. Lastly, know the difference between a clean hit and a cheap shot. Coaches want aggressive players not dirty players.  Because cheap shots cause penalties, penalties cost yardage, and lost yards can ultimately be the difference in winning or losing a game.

Because highlight videos carry a lot of significance in your recruiting I’m glad to review your highlight videos before you send them to a coach or post them online. Just email or text them over to me at mwoosley@csaprepstar.com.

 

 

Coach Mike oversees the the recruiting of talented next-level athletes to develop a recruiting strategy to get seen, scouted and recruited.  As a coach with over 20 years of experience, and a 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

The first of September….

Recruiting Contact Rules

I wanted to share a quick tip about the recent communication period. It is important to know that as of September 1, 2018 the recruiting contact period began which means Junior and Senior college prospects can start receiving:

  • Weekly phone calls from college coaches
  • Personal correspondence from college coaches via text or email
  • Verbal Scholarship Offers
  • Invitations for official college campus visits

Experiencing this level of communication is an indicator of interest.

If not, we should connect soon to discuss how to open recruiting communication with college coaches during this contact period.

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 coaching experience Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

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

New Recruiting Timeline for 2019’s

August 1st marks the beginning of the final recruiting year for 2019 seniors. The recruiting period, as noted by the chart below, lasts until July 31st, 2019.

During this final year of recruiting seniors can take official visits, recieve scholarship offers and sign their official national letter of intent.

Seniors should remain diligent with their recruiting. I suggest continuing to communicate with coaches by checking in with them by phone at least once a month.  Also, it is vital that seniors maintain, or improve, their cumulative gpa.  So, study hard to get the extra points needed to increase the gpa. Also, I advise that students retake the college entry exams (ACT or SAT) in order to get a higher score, to meet or surpass college admission requirements.  Additionally, higher gpa and college entry exams will equate to more scholarship funding opportunities.

 

 

Get Committed!

 

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

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