Play ball! (soon)

Photo by Pierre-Etienne Vachon on Unsplash

Now that the powers that be are deciding to loosen the stay-at-home restrictions soon practices and games will resume. This is very exciting news. Recently, many of my conversations with coaches and athletes suggest that teams are starting to come together at the end of June and first week of July.  However, there will definitely be some modifications.

Here’s what we know. 

Sport will look like sport but it will be different 

  • there will be weird restrictions and over cautious regulations (no spiting in baseball????) 
  • there will be fewer fans in the stands

What we can be sure of 

  • sports are back
  • athletes will compete
  • recruting will continue to move forward

What will soon be known 

  • those that put in the work will succeed
  • those that didn’t will fail
  • those that stopped their recruiting will surely be behind.

As I have written before, high performing athletes have no off season. Their goals won’t allow them to take time off. Instead, those goals are like a magnet drawing them in. 

But for those who decided to slack off, or who were convinced that recruiting wasn’t happing during the Dead Period, here are a few things to do immediately. 

  1. Get off your a*s and get to work! There is nothing more to say about that . 
  2. Get some help, right away. Find someone who has the contacts necessary to get your name out there.  Exposure is key to the recruiting game. Get it right away.
  3. Invest in yourself. It will cost you time, sweat, and money to get recruited. Nothing worthwhile is free but things that are worthwhile come at a cost.  Truthfully, it will cost you now or cost you in the future, so you can invest in yourself now or pay the price in the future.

Extending the Recruiting Dead Period; what it means for student-athletes

Last week, the NCAA extended the recruiting Dead period to June 30 as a result of covid-19  concerns. While the Dead Period may have mild repercussions,  it does not mean is that all recruiting has stopped. 

Many student athletes and parents should be aware what the extension means  and how it impacts recruiting. for their student athlete.  The goal of this blog is to answer those questions. 

To begin, the Dead Period extension means that college coaches and recruits are not permitted to have 

  • in person evaluations
  • official campus visits
  • in person contacts 

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

Even during the extended Dead Period college coaches are still recruiting. Homepage screenshot: ESPN football recruiting May 19, 2020

So, let’s break down the Dead Period. At the core, the Dead Period is designed to give college coaches opportunity to digitally scout, research, and yes, recruit student athletes!  It’s somewhat of a respite for college coaches. The Dead Period provides coaches the time and space to recruit players without interruptions. 

The NCAA defines the Dead Period as, “a 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.”

Again, coaches may not have in person contact, campus visits or personal evaluations. They can, however, communicate with student-athletes and their parents. 

Clearly, the extension of the Dead Period does modify the typical recruiting process. However, it does not stop it altogether. 

So, my tip to the Class of 2021 recruits and beyond is to be more active and aggressive with their recruiting than ever before. Don’t get suckered into thinking that your recruiting is dead . Make sure it stays alive!

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Tips to choose the right Camps, Showcases, and Combines

College camps, showcases, combines and now the ever present “Junior Days” are a necessary part of the recruiting process. Many offer the opportunity to compete against some of the top high school talent. Additionally, the experience at these events can be very valuable in the development of a young athlete. However, choosing the right event to attend can be a challenge.

For starters, relying solely on college showcases, camps and combines as the primary avenue to get recruited not a very sound strategy. Often the enormous number of camp attendees is not favorable for your exposure. In this case, too many athletes equals too few reps. Too few reps means not enough opportunity to showcase your talent. Also, typically college coaches already have developed recruiting lists of athletes they plan to watch at the camp so be cautions of camps expecting several hundred athletes. Additionally, before registering, athletes need to certain that the head coach or position coach will actually be at the event. Simple put, if the college coach wont’ be at the event, then it is impossible for him/her to see you compete, which means, there is a pretty good chance you will go unnoticed. It also means you wasted a lot of money for zero exposure.

If the college coach wont’ be at the event, then it is impossible for him/her to see you compete, which means, there is a pretty good chance you will go unnoticed. Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

Instead, heres a winning recruiting strategy for using camps, combines and showcases. First, do some research to make sure college coaches form the schools you feel are realistically a good fit. Once you decide on a event, make sure you are prepared for the event. Next, utilize good interactive communication before the event. This is a good opportunity to provide coaches with 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). Finally, before the event, prepare a few questions to ask about the college or the athletic program.

Getting lots of camp invites? Have questions about which are legit? Need help?  Contact me to set up a time to talk (get free advise!) or use the comment section below.