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

Time Left on the Clock

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Social media has been lit up announcing hundreds of high school senior student athletes signing their letter of intent. What you need to know is that there are many more athletic scholarship yet to be filled.  Despite the early signing period arriving today, if you haven’t signed a national letter of intent (NIL) there is still time for you to get a college athletic scholarship.

Don’t be offended, but to be honest, most of the students signing today are the top 5%. These are the athletes that have been heavily recruited since their sophomore year (or earlier). Colleges have spent a lot of time and resources on these athletes. And these athletes and their family have spent a lot of time and resources on getting college exposure.

The good news, however, is that these athletes take up only fill a small percentage of the available scholarships. College coaches now have to focus on filing in the gaps with players they need. So your goal is to be one of these players!

There is still time left to be recruited. The next NIL signing day is in February. So, don’t give up. Don’t sulk because you didn’t sign. Stand up straight and go do something about it!

If want to be signing your NIL in 2016 here’s 4 things you need to do if you want to enjoy that glorious moment next Spring.

1. Increase your exposure to college coaches. Exposure is all about connections.  Use the NCAA regulations to help you know what you can and can’t do.
2. Update your video footage. Use the most recent footage. This highlight video should showcase your athleticism!
3. Start a recruiting campaign. Show coaches why you are the athlete you are looking for. Build a profile with all your stats, metrics, grades, pictures and video footage.
4. Get help. Ask your coach to make some calls. Find a recruiting organization like PrepStar to you get connected with college coaches.
5. Keep working hard! Do not slack off. Work out, get faster, get ripped, stay in shape. Be ready to show the coach who are interested in you why he/she should recruit you.

If you don’t know how to do any of these things, take to your phone and contact me. I’m glad to help you. It’s what I do!

Here’s how you can contact me. Email me at mwoosley@csaprepstar.com, call or text me at 805-622-7827, Tweet me @michaelwoosley on Twitter.