The importance of finding the best college fit

In the midst of the summer offer season social media is inundated with pictures and posts pronouncing the latest offers. Undoubtably, these announcements are great! Great for the student-athlete, great for the parents, great for the college and great for the sport. But, after reading these announcements do you ever wonder about the story behind why a student athlete chooses a particular school?  

Finding the best fit in collegiate sports combines quality academics with quality athletics.
Photo by Jose Morales on Unsplash

So, what is the primary reason an athlete chooses a college? As a parent and coach, my hope is for the student-athlete has found the best possible college fit. Finding the best fit in collegiate sports combines both quality academics with quality athletics.  This becomes an ideal scenario where the student-athlete has the opportunity to excel at the next level in both academics and athletics. 

In addition to choosing a school based on the outstanding academic programs often, recruits will choose a college because they feel that the coach, or coaching staff, will help them become a better player. Great players always want to improve. In turn, great coaches will help motivated players achieve more than what the athlete is capable of achieving on his/her own.

In regards to making athletes better in the classroom and within the game, the wise and well admired Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz once said, “I won’t accept anything less than the best a player’s capable of doing… and he has the right to expect the best that I can do for him and the team!”

The key to finding the best fit then is to look for an opportunity to excel academically and athletically. A good fit should not only be comfortable, but should offer enough challenges that will create lasting positive change throughout the life of the student when they are no longer an athlete. 

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Tips for the campus recruiting visit

Most athletes don’t understand that a campus visit meeting is much like a job interview.  So treat your visit like you would a job interview. Your resume is your athletic and academic accomplishments but what’s going to put you at the top of the list is how you represent yourself during the time on campus.  So here are 5 tips to help you have a successful campus visit. 

Always use proper English when talking to coaches. Avoid slang and short talk. Coaches take their job seriously, they also look for serious players. Demonstrate that you are articulate and intelligent (if you don’t know what those words mean get a thesaurus!)

Next, dress for success. Leave the warm-ups at home. Dress nicely and comfortably. Don’t worry about whether or not your’e going to stand out because that’s what you are there for!


Your objective of the campus visit is to leave the visit with assurance and confidence that you did your very best to leave a lasting impression.
Photo by Paolo Nicolello on Unsplash

While your on the visit, separate yourself from the pack. Sheep run in a flock so they don’t get eaten, lions roam alone to hunt down their prey! When everyone else is goofing off, keep in mind that your there for one reason; to get noticed and get a scholarship!  Take time to talk with current players and mingle with the new guys also. Essentially, be a leader, not a follower. 

Always, be confident when you respond to questions. The best preparation is practice so rehearse your responses to questions that you think the coach might ask.  Questions you can anticipate will revolve around you strengths, weaknesses, idea of team, individual goals, work ethic, responsibility, accountability, etc. 

Lastly, your objective is to leave the camp visit with assurance and confidence that you did your very best to leave a lasting impression. 

At Prepstar, our 360 team members are mentored throughout the recruiting process by their personal Scouting Director. Preparation for campus visits is just one of the many recruiting experiences that athletes receive direction.  Want to know more about the Prepstar 360 team? Leave a comment below or send an email to Coach Mike at Mwoosley@csaprepstar.com

When is the right time to start the recruiting process?

One of the most common questions parents ask me is, “When is the right time to start the recruiting process?” So, I want to share three tips to know when is the right time to start the recruiting process and improve the chance of playing at the next level.

1. Start early

The earlier athletes begin planning the recruiting process the better. Most D1 prospects athletes are identified by the end of their sophomore year! Also, recruiting boards of D2 and D3 colleges start to fill up early. So Athletes that are serious about recruiting should start early.  

Don’t be afraid to take control of the recruiting process…
too many athletes (and parents) wait, and later wished they hadn’t.

Photo by John Torcasio on Unsplash

2. Be proactive

Don’t be afraid to take control of the recruiting process. For one reason or another, too many athletes (and parents) wait, only later to wish that they had started the process earlier.  Proactive people make something happen by taking control.

3. Get help

College recruiting can be confusing so you’ll want help to navigate the process. Since 1981, PrepStar has been a reliable recruiting resource helping both families and college coaches.

Not sure if now right time to start the recruiting process? Please contact me by Twitter (@michaelwoosley) or phone (805-622-7827) to set up a time a free recruiting evaluation (get free advice!) I’m glad to help!

Be committed, get committed.


Helpful tips about recruiting video

Video is crucial to the recruiting process. But, what kind of recruiting video is most beneficial? And, what footage should the video feature? Actually, the answer varies by sport. For example, game video is paramount for high school football prospects.  However, sports like baseball, softball and soccer requires that skills video accompanied by game footage. But, no matter the sport, the purpose of the recruiting video is to demonstrate position specific athletic skills and capability.  

No matter the sport, the purpose of the recruiting video is to demonstrate position specific athletic skills and capability.  
(Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash)

Though it may be a matter of debate, it makes little difference if the video is professionally recorded or self-recorded. What matters is that the coaches must be able to clearly identify the player and clearly view all the required skills. 

Lastly, it should be obvious that having no video will hurt the overall recruiting process. Athletes trying to get recruited with no video will find it very challenging. In fact, limited exposure will surely put the student-athlete at a tremendous recruiting disadvantage.
Not sure if your video is on point? Contact me on twitter and I’ll send you my top 5 tips for creating a solid recruiting video.
Email or tweet me at (mwoosley@csaprepstar.com) or on Twitter (@michaelwoosley).

Rev’up Recruiting in Summer

For most student-athlete the school year is finally over. The first thing most students want to do is to relax and take a break. But if you’re an athlete with the goal of playing at the next level coasting is not the best thing to do. So instead of taking your foot off the gas and coasting down the recruiting highway, rev up the engine and cover some serious ground! 

Instead of taking your foot off the gas and coasting down the recruiting highway, rev up the engine and cover some serious ground!
Photo by Evgeni Tcherkasski on Unsplash

Taking time off can put you behind in recruiting. Plus, athletes can get in a funk where one day off turns into to two, then four, then a week or even a month. Be cautious not to fall behind. Remember, you only have a small window of opportunity to get seen, scouted, and recruited.  
Next, how do you know that your recruiting is on course? Follow these tips as a guideline to gauge where you are with your recruiting. College coaches start recruiting athletes early, so this outline will help reach your destination.

Freshmen- Day 1 of Freshman year, the very first day you step on high school campus, college coaches can begin to communicate with athletes. Get any early start before the school year begins because recruiting really starts the day you graduate 8th grade.

Sophomores that are starting to show up on the recruiting radar of college coaches should be getting letters, emails and camp invites. This is a pivotal year for most prospective athletes and the best time to get noticed. Most D1 college identify prospects by the end of sophomore year. 

Juniors can tell that they are on pace recruiting by receiving  emails, texts, prospect camp invites. Actual conversations with college coaches is a very good sign. Additionally, Junior year is a great time to take the ACT and SAT tests.

Seniors, by now, should have regular communication with college coaches the summer before their senior year. Ideally, seniors want to be in a position to narrow down college choices instead of hoping that a college coach will show interest.  


Follow these tips and you’ll be heading towards the home stretch.

One other piece of advice. If you find that your recruiting isn’t going according to plan, you should get some help to get you up to speed.  I’m willing to help. Just contact me via twitter (@michaelwoosley) or the email below for a free recruiting evaluation.
Good luck!
Coach Mike

Recruiting video; A few reasons why is important

Every student- athlete serious about recruiting needs to have one, or even multiple, recruiting videos.  This blog will outline a few reasons why recruiting video is important as well as how a good video can help make the recruiting experience a highlight. 

No matter the sport, the purpose of the video is to demonstrate position specific athletic skills and capability.

Recruiting video is most often used as the initial evaluation entry point for many coaches. Back in my playing days, my head-ached always preached that the “big eye in the sky, don’t lie.” Meaning, video catches everything. Game video records great plays as well as grand mistakes. It also shows how players handle the emotions of the game. 

So what kind of video is most beneficial? Actually, the answer varies by sport. For example, in high school football game video is paramount. In contrast, sports such as baseball, softball and soccer requires skills video should be accompanied by supplemental game footage. No matter the sport, the purpose of the video is to demonstrate position specific athletic skills and capability.  Though it may be a matter of debate, it makes little difference if the video is professionally recorded or self-recorded. What matters is that the coaches must be able to clearly identify the player and clearly view all the required skills. 

Lastly, it is clear that not having video can hurt the overall recruiting process. Overall, having no video will certainly limit exposure and put the student-athlete at a tremendous recruiting disadvantage. So, if a student- athlete does not have a video created for recruiting purposes I highly recommned to start working on it today. There are a number of resources available to assist in the process.  Good places to start are with a quick online search or with the team head coach. 

For my blog  readers, send me an email at  mwoosley@csaprepstar.com with your name, grade and sport and in return I email you a free guide to recording a recruiting video

Seven details you should include in a short email to college coaches

Keep in mind any email to a college coach should be fairly short, but detailed enough to give the coach enough information to put you on the recruiting radar.

Recently, I’ve had athletes request requesting help with emails to college coaches. So what information should be included in an email to college coaches? Today, I want to share a useful outline and examples of seven details that should be included in a short initial email to college coaches.

  1. First, break the ice with a note of thanks,
    • in the introduction of the email always thank the coach for contacting you
    • for example, “Thank you for taking the time to contact me… write me…..email me..send me a postcard….
  2. Next, introduce yourself and, if applicable, remind them where/how you met
    • Include name, from High School or City, State
    • We met at the (camp, combine, event, location)
  3. Then give them some specifics about you
    • for example graduation year, sport, position, height, weight, academic interest
    • I attended the (camp/combine) on (date)
  4. To impress them, tell them something about their program and/or college (doing some quick research will help)
    • Ex. “Your school has both a great (sport) team but also a top-notch (subject) program”
  5. Now, request information about the athletic and academic programs be sent to your home
    • Ex. “I would like to know more about….
  6. As you wrap up, make sure to include your contact information (i.e. address and phone number) in your signature after the salutation.
    • “Sincerely”, “thanks”, or  “Best regards”
    • Address, phone number
  7. Finally, in your signature include how they can connect with you on social media
    1. hyperlink your Twitter handle or Instagram profile info at the bottom of your signature.

Keep in mind any email to a college coach should be fairly short, but detailed enough to give the coach enough information to put you on the recruiting radar.

In addition to an email it is extremely helpful to have a player profile to share with coaches so they can see your accomplishments and monitor your future progress. I would love to offer you a free player profile to help you with this. You can get started here: www.csaprepstar.com/coachmike