Class of 2020 Final Year of Recruiting Underway August 2nd

Congratulations Class of 2020! Its is officially your year. Soon classes will begin but before the first bell rings your final year for college recruiting will start winding down. All that you have been working for as student- athlete has reached it pinnacle.

According to the NCAA, August 2nd marks the beginning of the final recruiting year for 2020 seniors. The recruiting period, as noted by the chart below, begins the day after the  final day for class of 2019. 

What should 2020 prospective student athletes anticipate? During this final year of recruiting seniors can take official visits, recieve scholarship offers and sign their official national letter of intent. For many scholarship seeking student-athletes, these benchmarks are the culmination of dedication and determination. 

August 2nd marks the beginning of the final recruiting year for 2020 seniors
Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

When can seniors begin official visits? According to the NCAA, official visits can begin opening day of classes for Seniors. The NCAA allows prospective student athletes one official visit per college and up to a maximum of five official visits to Division I colleges. In contrast, prospective student athletes official visits to DII colleges are unlimited. 

So, now that the final year has arrived, Seniors should remain diligent with their recruiting. Continued communication with college coaches by checking in by phone at least once a month. Also, it is vital that seniors maintain, and if possible seek to improve their cumulative GPA.  It is also recommended that early Senior year prospective student athletes retake college entry exams (ACT or SAT) in order to improve on previous scores that meet or surpass college admission requirements.  

Finally, if your recruiting isn’t going according to plan and you feel the pressure of the recruiting clock ticking down, you may want to get some outside help. Comment below or contact me via twitter (@michaelwoosley) or text “GAMEPLAN” to 480-605-4050 a free recruiting consultation where I help you create a gameplan toward success in your final year of recruiting.

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3 Tips To Get Noticed at Camps, Combines and Showcases

Are you exhausted from all the camps, combines, showcases and other “recruiting events”? Have you become frustrated by the promise of exposure only for to get minimal reps and very little exposure?

Collegiate recruiting events can be a great way to showcase skill in competition against some of the nation’s top high school talent. But they can also become burdensome and ill-effective.

Trying to rely solely on college showcases, camps and combines to get recruited and receive an athletic scholarship is not a very sound strategy by itself.

Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

However, I have learned from past experience that trying to rely solely on college showcases, camps and combines to get recruited and receive an athletic scholarship is not a very sound strategy by itself. Most college coaches that attend these type of events developed recruiting lists of athletes they plan to watch well before they arrive.

So, if college coaches at the showcase are there to watch some other athlete how do you get their attention? What do you need to do to get noticed while hundreds of other athletes are at the same event trying to do the same thing at the same time as you?

The goal is to get on their recruiting list before the event. So, how do you do this?

So, here are 3 tips you can use to help assure you get some attention at the next camp, combine or showcase.

  1. Email college coaches scheduled to attend the event.
  2. Create a student athlete profile including academic information as well as athletic metrics that you can send to colleges coaches. (A free one is available at bit.ly/2vqZjH9)
  3. Connect with college coaches through social media outlets like Twitter or Instagram.

Again, the goal is to be seen by coaches who want to see you. Following this 3 tips before attending the next camp, combine or showcase are you are sure to get some attention.

Five ways student-athletes can pay college tuition

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 signing a stack of loans take a look at five ways student-athletes can pay for college tuition.

The average college student graduates nearly $40,000 in student loan debt.
Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash
  1. Scholarships – financial awards that do not need to be repaid.  Scholarships are awarded for academics and athletics to aid in offsetting the cost of total tuition.  Most collegiate sports, except for D1 football, commonly offer only partial scholarships. However, outstanding academics, including high gpa and college entry exam scores, coupled with exceptional athletic ability significantly impact the overall cost of college tuition. 
  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. Investing a little time researching online students can uncover a number of grants available ranging from a few hundred dollars to a several thousand. 
  3. Loans – Federal student loans allow students to borrow money towards tuition. However, strings are attached, in that borrowed money must be repaid with interest. Federal student loans are determined as “needs-based” and fulfilled at subsidized or in some special circumstances interest free. In contrast, other loans are unsubsidized meaning they accrue interest. Parents of a dependent student can also apply for federal loan called the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). According to the US Student Loan Debt Statistics graduating college students leave with just under $40,000 in student loan debt. 
  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 FAFSA application. Campus work study is great way for the college student to earn spending cash or to use to offset a student loan. 
  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 for members. 

The purpose of a college education is to help prepare students for successful careers. Hopefully, these five tips will help students afford a great education and save them a ton of money along the way. 

Be Committed,Coach Mike

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.  

Six Details to Include in a Short Email to College Coaches

Athletes that get recruited know that at some point it is necessary to email a college coach. This brief communication is crucial to your recruiting because needs to be short but detailed enough to give the coach enough information to put you on the recruiting radar. So, if writing isn’t your strong-suit or your unsure of what to include this blog will help.

For serious recruitings drafting a recruiting email takes serious effort
For serious recruits drafting a recruiting email takes serious effort

The format I’m sharing with you is great for the initial email to college coaches. However, if a coach contacts you this email will work, but you need to add one extra detail.  That detail is to ALWAYS thank the coach for contacting you. Do this in the introduction of the email. Also its a good idea to include how the coach contacted you. For example,  “Thank you for taking the time to contact me… write me…..email me..send me a postcard…”

Now, on to the 6 important details. Here’s what should be included. 

1. Introduce yourself

  • Name, City, State,

2. Give them some specifics about you

  • graduation year, sport, position, academic interest
  • I attended the [camp/combine] on [date]

3. Tell them something about their program and/or college (some brief research will help )

  • Ex. “Your school has both a great [sport] team but also a top-notch [subject] program”

4. Request information about the college’s athletic and academic programs be sent to your home

  • Ex. “I would like to know more about your athletic program and the academic programs offered at [name of the school]”

5. Include address and phone number in your signature.

  • Name, address, phone

6. Help them connect with you on social media

  • hyperlink your Twitter handle or Facebook profile info at the bottom of your signature.

Again, remember to keep this email short. Its not necessary to be long winded. Truthfully, no more than two paragraphs is necessary.

One other tip. As your recruiting gets more serious a longer email will be necessary. I’ll show you what to include for that email in another blog.

Good luck,

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Coach Mike Woosley is a National Scouting Director at CSA-PrepStar.  As a professional collegiate sports scout Mike works with qualified next level student-athletes to find the right college athletic and academic fit. Comments and questions are always welcome.

Reputation Ruined by a Press of a Button

This week’s tip about social media is very important. So, here’s the tip: coaches pay attention to how athletes present themselves on social media. 

Recently, All-Pro NFL superstar J.J. Watt lectured students on this very topic.  Watts’ wisdom was this, “A reputation takes years and year and years to build, and one press of a button to ruin.” You can find the article here.

Here’s an example of the harm that can’t be undone. Recently, I spoke with an athlete that was kicked off his team because someone in a picture with him was holding an illegal drug. One stupid mistake has sidelined this stellar senior athlete and jeopardized his future. Please, don’t let this happen to you.

Make wise choices to avoid costly decisions.
Make wise choices to avoid costly decisions.

Social media is a tremendous way to interact with people all over the world and express ourselves in any way we choose. But with great opportunity comes great responsibility.  Here are some important things to keep in mind before you send your message into the great global conversation.

  1. Anyone, anywhere can see your post
  2. Your post speaks for your personality and character
  3. Pictures can speak for the company you keep.
  4. Posts are nearly impossible to erase once its out in cyber-space

To close, I’m not saying don’t use social media. I’m only suggesting that you use it to your advantage. Used properly social media really can make a difference with your recruiting.  So before you press ‘send’ think about the consequences. If you have any reservations for what your about to send, by all means don’t send it!

Be smart with social media.

Coach Mike Woosley

Coach Mike Woosley is a National Scouting Director at CSA-PrepStar.  As a professional collegiate sports scout Mike works with qualified next level student-athletes to find the right college athletic and academic fit. Comments and questions are always welcome.

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Simple interesting tips to get helpful recruiting attention

Getting attention is necessary for recruiting. The simple reason for this is because coaches can’t recruit players they don’t know about. Here’s a quick tip on how you can use what’s interesting about you to get attention that will help your recruiting.

There is a right way and a wrong way to grab attention.
There is a right way and a wrong way to grab attention.

Simple interesting notice gets attention

Almost immediately, with just a few words and a simple “ding” ESPN managed to get my attention, spike my curiosity and persuade me to watch the video.  And, as any good natured sports fan would do, I picked up my phone to to check it out.

Truthfully, I’m not sure why I watched it. However, those few short sentences caused me to be interested enough to click the play button.  I wasn’t thinking about Colin Cowherd, Jim Harbaugh or M*ch*gan football at the time. (Although, I grew up in Ohio and my allegiance has always been with the Buckeyes so maybe my loathing for that team up north might of had something to do with it.)

Being interesting gets attention

I learned a few things from this experience that I believe can help you with your recruiting. First, its important to be interesting enough to get attention. Second, its important to keep that attention. Third, once you get attention its important that you deliver the goods. Hype is good only if you can back it up.

Try it out, but ask a few questions first

Here’s a good tip. You’ll get the attention you want if what you give interesting information. So when your polishing your Prepstar profile, making a highlight video, sending an email or text, posting on social media or visiting a college campus consider this question ‘What’s interesting about me that makes coaches want to give me their attention?’

To wrap up, everyone has something about them that makes them interesting that makes them worthy of attention. Its a terrible trap to think that you don’t. Try making a list of interesting things about you, or ask a close friend to name some interesting things about you. Then, you’ll be well on your way to sharing interesting information about yourself to help you get the right kind of recruiting attention.

Find these tips helpful? Experience successful result using them? If so, let me know in the comment or message me on Twitter.

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Coach Mike Woosley is a National Scouting Director at CSA-PrepStar.  As a professional collegiate sports scout Mike works with qualified next level student-athletes to find the right college athletic and academic fit. Comments and questions are always welcome.

How social media can help your recruiting

Social media can help with self-promotion

Social media can be a great tool for self promotion for your recruiting. I use it everyday to promote players, share ideas, tips and motivational coaches quotes. On several occasions college coaches have connected with me via social media to ask about my PrepStar athletes.

Social media can also help you connect with coaches, player and key people at prospective colleges. Here’s why.

Many college coaches use social media as another recruiting tool. For them, its a good way to find out what kind of person you are just by viewing your social media pages, posts and interactions.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 12.33.10 PMTwo Reasons to Use Social Media

So, if you don’t have a social media account I recommend that you get one soon. Here are two good reasons a why.

First, social media is a great way to start and keep a recruiting relationship going. But what about the email? Emails definitely have a place in recruiting.  However, connecting with a coach via social media can open the door of opportunity to send the email to tell the coach more about you.  Also, social media is a good way to stay in touch after you’ve gotten to know one another.

Second, NCAA guidelines are a bit vague on the contacting athletes through social media. Texts and emails on the other hand are more regulated and count as a recruiting contact. Use loophole to your advantage advantage.

Lets Review Some Basics

Now, if you want to use social media like Twitter and Facebook to your advantage let’s cover a few basics. Follow these tips and you’re sure to help you use social media to your advantage.

  1. Connect with coaches follow teams to learn about program
  2. Follow college players to collect information, get to know them and learn about the program.
  3. Make your posts interesting. If you put a link, give your follower a reason to want to click the link and find out more about you.
  4. Be wise with the content you post. Don’t post profanity, vulgar or offensive material. And if its on your page delete remove it now!  You want to post content that presents you in a positive way.
  5.  Its not smart to post injuries, failures and absolutely no whining/complaining about a coach or teammates!

    Are you crying? There's no crying in baseball!
    Are you crying? There’s no crying in baseball!

Okay, now that you’ve decided to use social media to your advantage use the social media search menu and started connecting. Also, if you haven’t already, make sure to connect with me on Twitter @michaelwoosley.

Next week, I’ll share some tips on how to get the most out of your social media communications.

Good luck!

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Coach Mike Woosley is a National Scouting Director at CSA-PrepStar.  As a professional collegiate sports scout Mike works with qualified next level student-athletes to find the right college athletic and academic fit. Comments and questions are always welcome.