Recruiting after September 1 : contact rules explained

Recruiting Contact Rules

I wanted to share a quick tip about the recent communication period. It is important to know that as of Sunday, September 1, 2019 the recruiting contact period begins. Once the new contact period begins, Junior and Senior college prospects can start receiving a lot more communication from college coaches. Various forms of communication will take place, however the most common are:

  • Weekly phone calls from college coaches (one per week)
  • Personal correspondence from college coaches via text, phone or email
  • High school campus visit (only one)
  • Verbal Scholarship Offers
  • Invitations for official college campus visits
  • Recruiting materials such as college brochures and letters

Athletes who experience this level of communication can be sure that it is a favorable indicator of interest.

Athletes not getting any communication we should be proactive immediately. Consider contacting a reputable and credible recruiting resource like PrepStar to to learn how to open recruiting communication with college coaches during this contact period.

The NCAA recruiting calendars for DI and DII sports can be accessed here:

http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/resources/recruiting-calendars/division-i-and-ii-recruiting-calendars

Have questions? Need help?  Contact me to set up a time to talk (get free advise!) or use the comment section below.

Coach Mike oversees the recruiting of talented next-level athletes by helping families develop and implement a recruiting strategy for athletes to get exposure, evaluated and recruited. As former college athlete with over 20 years of coaching experience Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

Coach Mike – Email: mwoosley@csaprepstar.com   Office: 805-622-STAR

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Signing Day Is About More Than Signatures

February is a month of important dates. Most dates on the calendar people know; Super Bowl (Feb 1), Valentines’ Day (Feb 14), Presidents Day (Feb 16). But, for most senior student athletes there is one very important day in February … Signing Day!

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Signing Day is also known in the athletic world as the day athletes sign their National Letter of Intent. It is the day when verbal commitments between college coaches and student-athletes become solidified thanks to a well executed recruiting strategy.  (Tip- verbal are not binding until you sign on the dotted lines. College coaches and student-athletes are notorious for verbally committing to more than one college or student-athlete..thus the hats:)

Here’s a quick review of the NLI Signing Day

What is a National Letter of Intent?
A National Letter of Intent is signed by a college-bound student-athlete when the student-athlete agrees to attend a Division I or II college or university for one academic year.  Division 3 and Junior Colleges (JUCO) do not have formal signing days (yet). The NLI is a binding agreement between Participating institutions agree to provide financial aid for one academic year to the student-athlete as long as the student-athlete is enrolled in classes and academically eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules.

Off Limits
When a student athlete signs his or her National Letter of Intent ends the recruiting process and competing schools are prohibited from recruiting that student-athlete.

Change Your Mind

Once a student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent she or he may request a release from his or her contract with the school. If a student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent with one school but enrolls in a different college or university, she or he will lose one full year of eligibility. To be athletically eligible the student-athlete must complete a full academic year at their new school before being allowed to compete.

Different Signing Days for Different Sports

Signing day varies by sport. The reason for this is because some spring sports like baseball, softball and track do not conclude until after February 4. Signing day for different sports is April 15. I posted the chart to reference.

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Chart provided by the National Letter of Intent homepage

Good luck to all the senior student-athletes signing to play college ball next year at the college or university of their choice.

 

 

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.

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.

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

Breakdown of recruiting contact period.

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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.

Crucial Do’s and Don’ts of the Freshman Year Recruiting Strategy

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The Freshman years is the year you need to stay focused on your plan.

Every day I talk to parents and athletes that have no recruiting strategy. Every athlete dreaming to sign a national letter of intent has to have a recruiting plan. I shared last week that the key is for your recruiting plan to be put in motion during junior high years. But what about now that you’re a big shot high-schooler?

If you put your plan in motion in junior high you’ll be ready both as a student and an athlete. This helps high school student-athletes be prepared for more than a new regime of classes.

According to the NCAA, you become a prospective student-athlete (PSA) on the first day of your Freshman year. But, don’t expect to get a scholarship offer your Freshman year because college coaches are limited by NCAA recruiting guidelines for contacting Freshman athletes. In comparison to upperclassmen, coaches can only send PSA’s institutional educational information as well as questionnaires, and camp invites. One note to parents, be aware that at this point camp invites are more about bringing revenue to the sports program than evaluating athletes. The reason for this is because most student-athletes will undergo a significant transformations between Freshman and Senior year. Coaches know this too. That’s why the focus of the Freshman year should be to work on the 3 S’s.

3 S’s
Smarter– athletes that are great students are more desirable to colleges. Most schools won’t risk giving a scholarship to an athlete that may not be eligible to play.

Speedier– focus on running, agility, and conditioning drills will make you faster. When comparing two athletes, most colleges go with the smarter and faster of the two.

Stronger– weight training should be a vital part of your fitness regime at this stage. Your body needs added strength to withstand the long season.

Crucial Do’s and Don’ts
The Freshman year is pivotal to the plan you put in motion in junior high. Here are five Do’s and Don’ts to guide you through Freshman year.

Do
-Make grades a priority!
-Start taking the required courses to meet the NCAA 16 core course requirements.
-Research colleges you’d like to play for.
-Email college coaches to ask what it takes to play for them.
-Keep record of your academic and athletic accomplishments at the competitive level.

Don’t
-Worry if you don’t make the varsity team.
-Worry if you don’t have game film or skills video.
-Worry about attending combines or showcases.
-Worry about taking unofficial college visits.
-Worry that you’re phone’s not ringing. (It’s not supposed to …yet)

Again, as a Freshman, personal contact or phone calls initiated by a college coaches from Division I & II programs are not allowed. But the good news is that they are permitted your Sophomore year. Next week, I’ll keep the guide alive by giving you valuable recruiting tips for your Sophomore year.

Please follow the blog and 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

~Coach Mike