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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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

Tips on how to communicate with college coaches 

“Who dis?”

That’s an actual text response I recently received from a high school athlete.  Immediately, I knew that this young man was going to have issues communicating with college coaches. And in recruiting how you communicate is just as important as how you perform on the field.

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When you talk with a coach your resume is your athletic and academic accomplishments, but what’s going to put you at the top of the list is how sell yourself during the interview.

Most athletes don’t understand that meeting a college coach is much like a job interview. To state it simply, the coach has a open position in his organization and he’s looking for the best candidate to fill that position. 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 sell yourself during the interview.

You want to leave a positive impression. So here are four tips that you need to know. 

1) Use proper English. 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 works mean get a thesaurus!)

2) Dress for success. Leave the warm-ups at home. Dress nicely and wear a tie. Don’t worry about standing out. After all, that’s what you are there for.

3) 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!

4) Be confident when you respond to questions. Rehearse your responses to questions that a coach may ask. Teams practice so that they are prepared for whatever may come during game-time.  Anticipate questions that revolve around your strengths, weaknesses, concept of team, individual goals, work ethic, and responsibility.

Remember, the objective is to leave the interview confident that you left a good impression.  Certainly, don’t put yourself in a position where you walk away wishing you would have said or did something differently.

Good luck on your upcoming interview.

Coach Mike

Coach Mike Woosley is a National Scouting Director at CSA-PrepStar.  As a professional collegiatecropped-main_logo-12.jpg 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

Proof that Stats Matter

Geometry and Sports

Anyone remember learning how to do proofs in Geometry class? For some of us learning proofs may have happened a long time ago. We learned how to write proofs to show the progressional steps of our work and prove how we arrived at the correct answer. In recruiting it is necessary that you have accurate facts if you are an athletes looking to catch the eye of a coach. Accurate statistical information is an invaluable assets to the recruiting process. Game stats, like proofs, are a series of facts that prove the correct solution to the problem a college coach is looking to solve.

 Stats as a Coaching Tool

Unfortunately, too many high-school coaches do a poor job of keeping and posting accurate stats. When scouting prospective college athletes, I see it everyday. One reason I suspect that coaches don’t keep and post accurate stats is simple; stats can highlight a player’s weakness. A lot of coaches are sympathetic to the athlete and don’t want to make them feel bad about their overall performance. But, good coaching is about helping players accentuate their strengths and work on their weaknesses so that they become strengths!

 

Glossary of baseball statistics.
Glossary of baseball statistics.

Overall, I believe good coaching includes keeping accurate stats because these stats help players become better players! Ultimately, a coach that does not post stats doesn’t help his/her players and consequently does a great deal of harm to the athletes’ prospect status.

 Proofs that Stats Matter

Here are three reasons why stats matter.

  1. First, stats indicate ability to perform. Some athletes are blessed with size or speed. Other athletes have to rely on stats to prove that they have the ability to compete and excel at a high competitive level.
  2. Second, stats provide proof of progress. When an athlete is working on their game stats tend to improve. College coaches use stats to see how you’ve improved your game from week to week and season to season.
  3. Third, stats show strengths and weaknesses. Athletes need to be driven to improve so stats highlight areas to work on. For example, if a batting average that progressively rises shows that you’ve been working on hitting. Or your goal count increases from one season to the next indicates that you’ve been working in the off-season to be more offensively aggressive.

 Stats Show You are the Solution

All in all, stats leave a trail for college coaches to follow to determine if you are the athlete they are looking for. Like your high school geometry teacher grading the steps to your answer college coaches are looking to find players to be solution to their problems. So without accurate, thorough and up-to-date stats college coach may never be able to determine if you are the solution.

Share the Responsibility of Stats

One final word to parents. Most coaches, high school or club, aren’t lazy they have many other responsibility than recording and posting game stats. Many coaches have a profession, teach classes, grade papers and try to maintain family life on top of all the team responsibilities. So, if your high school coach doesn’t post stats parents please step-up and offer to help! It just may make a difference in a student-athlete being passed over and a student-athlete presented with an opportunity for an athletic scholarship.

 

 

Coach Mike Woosley is a National Scouting Coordinator at CSA-PrepStar. As a professional collegiate cropped-main_logo-12.jpgsports scout Mike works with qualified next level student-athletes to  find the right college athletic and academic fit.