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.

Want to receive the Elite Athletes blog as your email? Simply click on the follow button above.

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.

Beginners Guide to College Recruiting

Parents of junior high athletes often ask me when they should begin the recruiting process for their son or daughter. Typically, my reply is an emphatic, “Now!”  The most frequent response I get from that parent then is, “well, we have time.” Sorry friend, that’s just not true. Here’s why. According to the NCAA student-athletes become college prospects the first day of their Freshman year. So while the goal is not to get a college scholarship in the 8th grade, instead, the goal should be to use the junior high years to get your student athlete prepared for the recruiting process. This week, I’m going to help you come up with that plan as part of my beginners guide to recruiting series.

Parents of young athletes with big dreams need to start planning now.
Parents of young athletes with big dreams need to start planning now.

It may be true that only a select few athletes get on college recruiting boards the first day of Freshman year, it is equally true that you need to start making plans for your student-athlete if he or she ever expects to get noticed by college coaches.

The Junior high years, 7th and 8th grades, are the formidable years of athletic development. This is the time when athletes start to take an interest in favorite sport. Also, it is during the Junior high years talent begins to either blossom or wither.

Look for the 3 D’s
During the Junior high years parents need to look for the 3 D’s. Junior high is a great time to test for the 3 D’s. As a scout, I measure athletes by the 3D’s because they are found in the DNA of elite athlete, The 3 D’s are desire, determination and drive.

Desire– athletes that have an unyielding passion for the game. They eat, sleep, and breath it!
Determination  – athletes that motivated by the “have to” effect. These athletes have to master there position.
Drive– athletes that thrive on competition and the relentless pursuit to be the best.

The 3 D’s separate good athletes from great athletes. Good athletes get by on talent. Great athletes put in the work to become great. Almost every athlete has some amount of the 3 D’s, but I’m looking for the student- athlete that has noticeably more dedication to the 3 D’s than their peers. So parents, if your student athlete a shows measurable amount of the 3 D’s then its time to devise a plan.

Plan the plan
Usually, we fail when we fail to plan. If your goal is to get a scholarship to play a sport in college now is the time start making a plan. Remember to keep in mind that plans are flexible, not rigid. So my advice is to devise a plan, work towards that plan, and if necessary, adjust accordingly. Advice that I was given when I was young sums it up completely, “Plan the plan.”

Put the plan in motion
Now that a plan is coming together, start putting that plan in motion. Plan to be in the midst of your plan on day 1 of Freshman year. Here are a few suggestions to consider when putting your plan in motion.

  • Practice frequently
  • Get private position coaching
  • Go to sport specific camps.
  • Start playing on a competitive travel ball team
  • Start planning your high school course load.
  • Excel in the classroom and get good grades. (Only eligible players can play. )
  • Learn good study habits
  • Research your local high school, find out how many teams it has (Fr, JV, Var) and get to know the coaches.

All recruiting begins with a plan. These are just some the beginning steps to get you started with college recruiting. Next week’s post of the guide to recruiting with focus on Freshman year. That’s when the real fun begins!

So, if you want to be sure to get all the posts take a moment to click the follow button to make sure you get the entire beginners guide to recruiting sent to your email.

As always, readers are welcome to leave comments to this week’s post or ask questions to be answered in next week’s post. Tweet me around the clock with questions or comments on Twitter @michaelwoosley.