No Last Minute Miracle Needed- 5 Tips for Athletes Manage College Recruiting

Time Management

Most athletic competitions have time constraints. For example, soccer has two 45 minute halves, basketball four 8 minute quarters, even track and swimming measure placements by time. Baseball and softball limits games by a specified number of innings. Clearly, time management is vital to every game.

Usually the team that did the best job of managing the clock wins the game.  Teams that don’t have to rely on a last minute miracle.  

Last Minute Miracles

Truth is athletes only have one shot at getting recruited.  No one can have a high school do-ver. So athletes in the midst should never rely on a last minute miracle to land a scholarship.

I’m not a miracle worker, but I know how to manage the recruiting clock.  Partnering with me will assure success!

Senior year should be one of recruiting celebration not  recruiting anxiety.

Think of it like this. Would you rather hurry and scurry around as the clock winds down hoping to score at the last second or would you prefer to know that victory is eminent  and relish the moment of celebration?

5 Tips to Enjoy the Recruiting Process (and avoid hoping for a last minute miracle)

Follow these few tips to be certain that you’ve met your goals and victory belongs to you!

  1. Have a solid recruiting plan. Start working the plan early and stay the course. This is where years of recruiting exposure will pay off.
  2. Keep focused in the classroom and on the field. The classroom is not the place to let your performance slip.
  3. Be familiar with the recruiting timeline. Depending on the sport, calls from college coaches for recruiting can begin in June, July and September.
  4. Know communication rules Communicate with as many coaches as possible.
  5. Take official visits to colleges recruiting you. Five official visits are permitted, use them wisely.  Make sure you know the academic and athletic expectations for athletes at each school.

The clock is ticking. Time will eventually run out.  When this happens I want to be sure your family is celebrating!

Be committed, get committed. 

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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.

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.

Early signing day for football could speed up the recruiting process for some and slow it dow for others

Talk of allowing December early signing date for National Letters of Intent for FBS and FCS schools. By the end of the month this matter should be settled following an upcoming vote. ESPN broke the story Monday about the CCA experimenting with new recruiting regulations.

Currently, there no early signing date for collegiate football program. However, most other collegiate sports except soccer and mens’ water polo have early signing date the second week of November. This new regulation can take effect as early as 2016 with a review coming after two year of experimenting with the new rule.

NLI signing dates could undergo a monumental change following an upcoming vote of FBS and FCS representatives.
NLI signing dates could undergo a monumental change following an upcoming vote of FBS and FCS representatives.

So, how will an early signing date affect Senior football players hoping to get to the next level?

First, it means for some players recruiting will speed up while for others it will slow down. Secondly, collegiate hopefuls will have to rethink they way they approach the college recruiting process both athletically and academically.

Here’s a general breakdown of what to anticipate.

Undoubtably, recruiting will speed up for prospects that are high on the recruiting boards. These athletes will be identified much earlier and recruited with more intensity. We can count of this because college coaches will need to be more aggressive with blue-chip players to make sure another school doesn’t steal them away.

As a result, this intense focus will cause recruiting to slow down for prospects that aren’t primary targets for the December declaration day. These prospects will likely experience a lag in communication with college coaches. Make no mistake, college coaches will benefit from the additional time permitted by the early signing date to pick and choose the most ideal player, or players, to fill the remaining roster spots. But for the rest, this process might become tedious and perhaps stressful.

So where do we go from here? Simple. Recruiting exposure needs to start earlier and athletes will have to be on top of their core courses and ACT/SAT tests to make sure they are early academic qualifiers.

Most certainly, athletes must be on the coach’s recruiting radar by the Sophomore year to get a pen and paper placed before them in December. Furthermore, athletes will need more aggressive with their strategy to get seen, scouted and recruited. Clearly, the advantage goes to players able to play at the varsity level as underclassmen, who take the initiative to get quality recruiting exposure and perform well in the classroom.

In the end, while the vote has yet to be cast, it is expected to pass. So athletes better start preparing for it.

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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.

Twitter: @michaelwoosley

New Rule Changes Supports HS Football Players’ Safety

629px-1909_Tyee_-_football_illustration_2Player safety has been a recent hot- button issue at all levels of organized football and the NFHS wasted no time by making some significant rule changes for 2015. A recent study found that high school football players, are twice as likely than college football players to suffer a head trauma (i.e. concussions). Though high-school football is the most popular boys sport, injuries as a whole are a threat to the game and in some locations have led to an exodus where some football programs are now unable to field a team.

This past January the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee modified three previous rules to address player safety. Additionally, two rule changes provide further clarification to already established rules and one new rule in regards to series of down has been added.

Here’s a summary of the six rules modified for the 2015-2016 season.

  1. Rule 9-4-3g. No player or non-player shall make any contact with an opponent, including a defenseless player who is not in the vicinity of the ball, which is deemed unnecessary or excessive and which incites roughness.
  2. Rule 2-20. Spearing is now defined as “an act by any player who initiates contact against an opponent at the shoulders or below with the crown (top portion) of his helmet.
  3. Rule 6-1-4 is a new rule. It was added to state that the timing of the foul for not having at least four players on each side of the kicker on a free kick now occurs when the ball is kicked.
  4. Rule 9-4. Beginning next season, an automatic first down will not be awarded for a 5-yard incidental face-mask penalty against the passer.
  5. Rule 10-2-5. New language clarifies that the distance penalty for unsportsmanlike, non-player or dead-ball personal fouls committed by teams can offset. Equal numbers of 15-yard penalties by both teams will cancel and remaining penalties may be enforced.
  6. Rule 5-1-1b is also a new rule. It states that the referee shall have authority to correct the number of the next down prior to a new series of downs being awarded.

Last year 1,093,234 student-athletes participated in 11-man football at the high school level. Hopefully, these new rules will assure the safety of current players and fill more football rosters for the future.

Find the full article here .

Athletic scholarship offer…what you can do to create that contact moment

Every athlete aspiring to play at the college level dreams of the moment they meet the head coach and get offered an athletic scholarship. But when can this moment happen? The NCAA has specific guidelines regarding recruiting. We’ve all heard of recruiting violations occurring resulting in sanctions on both the athlete and college program. To answer the question, this moment most often happens during the recruiting contact period.

College recruiting regulations can be hard to figure out without someone to help direct you through the process. That’s a big part of my responsibility to you. Sometimes it helps to define and break down these rules so they are easier to understand. One rule is the contact period rule.

By definition provided by the NCAA Guide for College-Bound Student Athletes, a for prospective collegiate student-athletes contact period is the time frame where, “a college coach may have in-person contact with an prospective student-athletes and/or his or her parents on or off the college’s campus. The coach may also watch prospective student-athletes play or visit their high school. Athletes and parents may visit a college campus and the coach may write and telephone prospective student athletes during this period.”*

Breakdown of the rule

So what does that mean? Here’s the breakdown in simple terms.

  • Basically, the contact period is the only recruiting period where a college coach can both evaluate and communicate with a player.
    • This is important to know because other recruiting periods have greater contact restrictions.
  • Prospective Student Athletes (PSA’s) and college coaches can talk to one another on or off campus.
    • Specifically Junior and Seniors
  • Coaches can evaluate players by watching games or practices.
    • This includes underclassmen as well. Its a great opportunity to catch a coaches eye!
  • Contact with PSA can be made through phone, letter, email, text, and social media.
    • Underclassmen will only receive school info as noted in my previous blog.
  • PSA’s can take unofficial and official college visits during the contact period
    • Mostly, upperclassmen take advantage of the allotted visits.

A few other important notes. Contact periods are the least restricted of of the four recruiting periods. For many juniors and senior athletes this is also time where scholarship are offered, agreements are drawn up and athletes make commitments to colleges. So, this goes to show how important it is to start the recruiting process no later than Sophomore year!

Here are a sports in the midst of, or upcoming, contact periods.

  • Softball – January 2 through July 31, 2015
  • Baseball– March 1 through July 31, 2015
  • Football – November 30, 2014, through March 9, 2015
  • Basketball– November 14, 2014 through March 31, 2015

Finally, student-athletes and parents do your part to create that contact moment happen by making sure your Prepstar profile is up to date. Be sure that all contact numbers, email addresses and home addresses are current. Highlight film or skills videos should also be loaded on the site…remember multiple films can be uploaded on the Prepstar profile page. Finally, do not neglect academic information. Be sure that your most recent GPA, test scores (ACT, SAT) recorded and PDF copies of important documents are included in your academic section. Contact me immediately if you need help!

All this is to insure that the coaches evaluating your son/daughter have all the necessary information to make that contact moment a reality.

Some Instruction Required. Making sense of the contact period for hopeful college softball players

Breakdown of recruiting contact period.

takaratomy-qsteer-2
College recruiting regulations can be hard to figure out without someone to help direct you through the process. Sometimes rules need to be defined and broken down so they are easier to understand. One rule is the contact period rule.

Have you ever tried to figure out how to put together something without instructions? This Christmas my son got a remote control car from Santa (;0 ) but it didn’t work right out of the box. Some assembly was required. Disappointed, I looked in the box no instructions were to be found. To say the least, it was a bit frustrating. Where do the batteries go? What were the extra wheels for? And why weren’t the remote commands and combinations noted? Without the instructions to direct us my son and I had to figure it out on our own.

High schools softball players, do you know that today, January 2 begins the college recruiting contact period? Are you aware of the guidelines that college coaches must follow as they try to recruit you?  If you’re as confused about recruiting as I was trying to put that child’s toy together, then this blog is for you! Here’s a breakdown of what the contact period is, what coaches can do and who can be evaluated during this time.

College Recruiting Contact Period

By definition provided by the NCAA Guide for College-Bound Student Athlete, a for D1 prospective student-athletes contact period is the time frame where, a college coach may have in-person contact with an prospective student-athletes and/or his or her parents on or off the college’s campus. The coach may also watch prospective student-athletes play or visit their high school. Athletes and parents may visit a college campus and the coach may write and telephone prospective student athletes during this period.*

College recruiting regulations can be hard to figure out without someone to help direct you through the process. Sometimes rules need to be defined and broken down so they are easier to understand. One rule is the contact period rule.

Breakdown of the rule

So what does that mean? Here’s the breakdown in simple terms.

  • Basically, the contact period is the only recruiting period where a college coach can both evaluate and communicate with a player.
    • This is important to know because other recruiting periods have greater contact restrictions.
  • PSA’s and coaches can talk to one another on or off campus.
    • Specifically Junior and Seniors
  • Coaches can evaluate players by watching games or practices.
    • This includes underclassmen as well. Its a great opportunity to catch a coaches eye!
  • Contact with PSA can be made through phone, letter, email, text, and social media.
    • Underclassmen will only receive school info as noted in my previous blog.
  • PSA’s can take unofficial and official college visits during the contact period
    • Mostly, upperclassmen take advantage of the allotted visits.

A few other important notes. Contact periods are the least restricted of of the four recruiting periods. For many juniors and senior athletes this is also time where scholarship are offered, agreements are drawn up and athletes make commitments to colleges.

Lastly, if all of this is as confusing to you as instructions printed in Korean feel free to reach out to me by leaving a question in the comment section or finding me on twitter @michaelwoosley.

cropped-main_logo-1.jpgCoach Mike Woosley is a National Scouting Coordinator 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.

How to Enjoy the Recruiting Experience Your Senior Year

Almost every athletic competition has time constraints. For example, soccer has two 45 minute halves, basketball four 8 minute quarters, even track and swimming measure placements by time. Baseball and softball limits games by a specified number of innings. Clearly, time management is vital to every game. Usually, the winning team at the end of the game is the team that managed the clock best. In contrast, the team that does not always relies on last second miracles to pull out the victory.

Last Minute Miracles

Athletes in the midst of their senior year should not rely on last minute miracles to land a scholarship. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe that miracles happen, but I’d much rather be confident that everything has been done to assure that victory is certain. Think of it like this. Would you rather hurry and scurry around as the clock winds down hoping to score at the last second or would you prefer to know that victory is eminent as you take a knee allowing time expire and relish the moment of celebration?

Senior year should be one of recruiting celebration not  recruiting anxiety.
Senior year should be one of recruiting celebration not recruiting anxiety.

Often, I speak with parents and athletes who didn’t take the time earlier in high school to design a recruiting plan. For many reasons these folks are in a panic. Each day anxiety builds up more and more because they are aware that the clock is winding down; the phone’s not ringing, no letters are in the mailbox, and no coach’s emails in the inbox. Truly, I feel for these folks because a miracle is the only hope they have for a scholarship offer.

Tips to Enjoy the Recruiting Process Senior Year.

Senior year is supposed to be an enjoyable year, not one of anxiety.  Follow these few tips to be certain that you’ve met your goals and victory belongs to you!

  1. Stay true to your recruiting plan. Start working the plan early and stay the course. This is where years of recruiting exposure will pay off.
  2. Keep focused in the classroom and on the field. This is not the time to let your performance slip.
  3. Be familiar with the recruiting timeline. Depending on the sport, calls from college coaches for recruiting can begin in June, July and September.
  4. Know that you can contact college coaches. If they haven’t called you, then you call them. Communicate with as many coaches as possible. Show them that you are interested.
  5. Take official visits to colleges recruiting you. Five official visits are permitted, use them wisely.  Make sure you know the academic and athletic expectations for athletes at each school.

NIL Signing Day

When its all over, the goal is to sign your letter of intent in February. Circle this date on your calendar. National Letter of Intent signing day is always the first Wednesday in February. Also note that the NCAA has 346 D1 member schools, 291 D2 and 439 D3 schools all with athletic programs! Many of these programs will not complete recruiting athletes until well into the Spring.  Some Spring sports however have extensions, such as softball and baseball. Due to later season play, regular signing period for these sports are typically April 16 through May 21 for Division I athletes. For Division II athletes the regular signing period is April 16 through August 1st.

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Readers are welcome to leave comments to this week’s post or ask questions to be answered in next week’s post.  As always, I can be reached around the clock on twitter @michaelwoosley.