Stay informed: Don’t miss out on recruiting opportunities

Because, many athletes and parents lack understanding of the contact rules and regulations many athletes are put at a disadvantage and ultimately miss out on recruiting opportunities. Serious athletes and their parents need to stay informed.

For example, did you know that during the December contact period it is permissible for an authorized athletic department staff member to have in person, off campus contacts with prospective student athletes. Who is included in the scope of authorized athletic department staff member? 

Other misconceptions derive from not knowing what communication is permitted and what is prohibited during the regulated NCAA contact periods. These contacts, along with evaluations, are not only restricted but must also be counted by the coach as a contact, otherwise , it can lead to a recruiting violation.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Here is a quick summary of the recruiting periods.  

A contact occurs any time a college coach says more than hello during a face-to-face contact with a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents off the college’s campus.

During the contact period a college coach may have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, watch student-athletes compete and visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents.

During the evaluation period a college coach may watch college-bound student-athletes compete, visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents. However, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents off the college’s campus during an evaluation period.

During the quiet period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write or telephone college-bound student-athletes or their parents during this time.

During a dead period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period.

So, athletes, what can you do to improve your recruiting situation right now?  

  1. Get your highlight reel looking tight. By now you should have a highlights from previous seasons on your Hudl page, plus some training video available online. 
  2. Broaden your reach with coaches you want to contact. Use more than one medium to contact coaches. Don’t just rely on twitter to blast out your Hudl link. Rely on email and text. And, if you’re brave enough, go old school, actually making a phone call to a college coach.
  3. Stay focused! Lots of recruiting happens at this time of year. Keep in mind that the contact period is only open for 2 weeks, then its back to the quiet period until January. So be patient with the process. 

Is recruiting is going  the way you hoped it would? Have questions about the recruiting process? Comment below or DM me. I’m glad to help. 

Even though NCAA waives ACT / SAT requirement for 2021 student-athletes: still a good idea to take it.

Last week the NCAA announced waivers requiring ACT or SAT test scores for athletic eligibility. While many  student athletes celebrated a sigh of relief, despite the generous exception its time to start studying because it is still a good idea for student-athletes take the ACT or SAT. 

To quickly review the recently exemption, last week the NCAA decided Division I or II athletes will not be required to take a standardized test to meet NCAA initial-eligibility requirements. This decision said is to “help ensure students have a fair opportunity to meet the initial-eligibility standard.”   Why was this decision made?  

Student athletes, stay the course, continue moving forward with the plan to take the ACT or SAT college entry exam.  Photo by Ben Mullins on Unsplash

Again, the NCAA is concerned about “the continued disruption in secondary education due to the pandemic”. So, to meet eligibly requirements for athletic participation as well as to meet the criteria for academically eligibility for receive athletics scholarship, practice and completion in their first year the NCAA has made some concessions. Admission requirements are pretty low, 2.3 grade point average for Division 1 and 2.2 grade point average for Division II provided the NCAA approved 16 core courses are completed. But, lowering the standard and exempting student athletes from the standardized tests requirement leaves a few questions unanswered. 

In total, omitting the ACT or SAT requirement does not specifically address university admissions requirements.  Nor, does the exemption address how financial awards will be provided that usually are distributed as a result of high ACT or SAT scores? 

So, put down the party hat and grab a chair. Its time to start studying because what isn’t addressed by the exemption is exactly why student-athletes should move forward with the plan to take the ACT or SAT. 

First, to get into a college the university admission requirements must be met to get into that college. Undoubtably, student-athletes with a qualifiable ACT or SAT score are sure to have better opportunities for entry. Conversely, student athletes without standardized test scores are more likely not to  meet the requirements for colleges known for higher academic standards  Lets be realistic, schools know for selecting students with higher academics standards will continue to maintain this standards. Furthermore, student-athletes may be put at a disadvantage to gain entry into colleges known for higher academic standards. Consequently, student athletes aspiring to attend such schools will be expected to meet admission requirements or look elsewhere.  

Next, it is no secret that a college education is expensive. So, even without ACT or SAT scores, college tuition will still need to be paid.  What the NCAA generous waiver does not explain how to fill the financial void that is usually filled by financial awards provided by high standardized test scores?  Keep in mind, outside of D1 football, which is a full athletic and academic scholarship sport, schools in DIAA, DII, NAIA and DIII typically stack athletic scholarship with academic awards towards the cost of tuition. Somebody will have to pay and I don’t see colleges reducing the price of admission any time soon. 

The question remains, in the coming months, will athletes be presented other opportunities be made available to fill this void and to gain financial awards? Or will the burden be placed on solely on the athlete and their family? Without the funding provided by the SAT or ACT score how can student-athletes earn the extra financial awards that decrease tuition costs?

Bottom line for student athletes, stay the course, continue moving forward with the plan to take the ACT or SAT college entry exam.  

Source: NCAA Eligibility Center announces flexibility in initial eligibility for 2021-22 Changes address uncertainty caused by COVID-19 August 17, 2020 11:00amMichelle Brutlag Hosick

NCAA EXTENDS RECRUITING DEAD PERIOD THROUGH AUG. 31

By now, it is likely that you are aware that the NCAA has once again extended the recruiting Dead Period. While the dead period does limit in person evaluation there are plenty of ways you can use the dead period to your advantage to get looks from coaches. 

To quickly review from the newsletter last month the Dead Period extension means that college coaches and recruits are not permitted to have 

  • in person evaluations
  • official campus visits
  • in person contact

So, even though coaches may not have in person contact, campus visits or personal evaluations college coaches can communicate with student-athletes and their parents.

Again, these are typical Dead Period restrictions. However, like any other Dead Period the recruiting calendar, the extension does not stop the recruiting process.

Generally, the purpose of the Dead Period is to give college coaches opportunity to digitally scout, research, and yes, recruit student athletes!  However, relating to this extension the talk is that the reason for the recent extension is to allow coaches to focus on transitioning athletes back to camps and to allow time to acclimated. While, this reason may be more applicable to winter and spring sports more than fall, since many college fall sports programs began the transition process in June.

So, if anything this a promising sign that the college season is about to be underway. In turn, if the college season is underway, then the Dead Period will most surely be lifted.

Now here are some ideas that you can use to take advantage of the things athletes and coaches are allowed to do during the dead period.Ideas:

  • Make more game footage highlights
  • Make game recaps
  • Film hitting and fielding video
  • Film workouts video
  • Film training sessions (workouts, agility work, etc)
  • Film agility workouts
  • Attend online prospect days / virtual visits
  • Tag me on your post for social media (@michaelwoosley)

The goal here is to keep you recruiting moving forward by providing content for coaches to review. To do this, you have to be creative, stay focused and use the resources that you have available.

A really great interview and article about ways to use the Dead Period to your advantages is  to take from Sports Illustrated from June 25, 2020 

Watch the interview and read the article here. 

Talking High School Recruiting- podcast interview with Breakdown Sports

Process, Preparation & Performance podcast– these guys do a great job covering a wide array of topics related to high school football and high school recruiting.

In early May, I was a guest on the Process, Preparation & Performance podcast, part of the Breakdown Sports network of coaches in the state of Missouri. Coach Duke and Coach JR are consummate professionals with a passion impact high school athletes. It was a blast talking football and high school recruiting. We talked a lot about the many kinds of recruiting programs, the recruiting process and even shared some fun stories along the way. I can’t wait to be on again!

Through the Process, Preparation & Performance podcast, both athletes and parents will discover how these guys do a great job covering a wide array of topics related to high school football and high school recruiting. On the podcast page you can find interesting interviews of high school administrators, high school referees, high school coaches, college coaches and pretty much everyone in between! 

I encourage you to make time to check out this quality podcast!

The podcast episode can be streamed to at https://soundcloud.com/breakdownsports/p3-episode-7-mike-woosley-prepstar

Learn more about Breakdown Sports at  https://breakdownsports.com

Athletes can start a recruiting profile using this link bit.ly/2vqZjH9

Prepstar Animated video  bit.ly/2j09MlU

Coach Mike website: coachmikewoosley.com

Coach Mike’s Youtube channel http://ow.ly/qG3150zBAuC

Play ball! (soon)

Photo by Pierre-Etienne Vachon on Unsplash

Now that the powers that be are deciding to loosen the stay-at-home restrictions soon practices and games will resume. This is very exciting news. Recently, many of my conversations with coaches and athletes suggest that teams are starting to come together at the end of June and first week of July.  However, there will definitely be some modifications.

Here’s what we know. 

Sport will look like sport but it will be different 

  • there will be weird restrictions and over cautious regulations (no spiting in baseball????) 
  • there will be fewer fans in the stands

What we can be sure of 

  • sports are back
  • athletes will compete
  • recruting will continue to move forward

What will soon be known 

  • those that put in the work will succeed
  • those that didn’t will fail
  • those that stopped their recruiting will surely be behind.

As I have written before, high performing athletes have no off season. Their goals won’t allow them to take time off. Instead, those goals are like a magnet drawing them in. 

But for those who decided to slack off, or who were convinced that recruiting wasn’t happing during the Dead Period, here are a few things to do immediately. 

  1. Get off your a*s and get to work! There is nothing more to say about that . 
  2. Get some help, right away. Find someone who has the contacts necessary to get your name out there.  Exposure is key to the recruiting game. Get it right away.
  3. Invest in yourself. It will cost you time, sweat, and money to get recruited. Nothing worthwhile is free but things that are worthwhile come at a cost.  Truthfully, it will cost you now or cost you in the future, so you can invest in yourself now or pay the price in the future.

Extending the Recruiting Dead Period; what it means for student-athletes

Last week, the NCAA extended the recruiting Dead period to June 30 as a result of covid-19  concerns. While the Dead Period may have mild repercussions,  it does not mean is that all recruiting has stopped. 

Many student athletes and parents should be aware what the extension means  and how it impacts recruiting. for their student athlete.  The goal of this blog is to answer those questions. 

To begin, the Dead Period extension means that college coaches and recruits are not permitted to have 

  • in person evaluations
  • official campus visits
  • in person contacts 

These are typical Dead Period restrictions.   However, like any other Dead Period throughout the recruiting calendar, the extension does not stop the recruiting process. 

Even during the extended Dead Period college coaches are still recruiting. Homepage screenshot: ESPN football recruiting May 19, 2020

So, let’s break down the Dead Period. At the core, the Dead Period is designed to give college coaches opportunity to digitally scout, research, and yes, recruit student athletes!  It’s somewhat of a respite for college coaches. The Dead Period provides coaches the time and space to recruit players without interruptions. 

The NCAA defines the Dead Period as, “a period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period.”

Again, coaches may not have in person contact, campus visits or personal evaluations. They can, however, communicate with student-athletes and their parents. 

Clearly, the extension of the Dead Period does modify the typical recruiting process. However, it does not stop it altogether. 

So, my tip to the Class of 2021 recruits and beyond is to be more active and aggressive with their recruiting than ever before. Don’t get suckered into thinking that your recruiting is dead . Make sure it stays alive!

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What to know about official and unofficial college recruiting visits

Since this is the time of year for athletes to visit college campuses I thought it good to share a few helpful tips about official visits and unofficial visit. In most recruiting situations the official visit often follow one or more unofficial visits. Frequently, college coaches reserve official visits to make offers, but it is not uncommon to get a verbal offer outside of an official visit. 

By definition, an official visit is any visit to a college campus by a college-bound prospective student-athlete and his or her parents that is paid for by the college. This includes transportation, lodging, entertainment, food and as many as 3 tickets to a game. Conversely, campus visits paid for by the parents of the student-athlete is deemed and unofficial visit.

In total, student-athletes are permitted up to 5 official visits for D1 and D2 schools. However, only 1 official visit per school is allowed.
Photo by Travis Essinger on Unsplash

Traditionally, official visits have been reserved for Seniors only. However, since April 2018 new recruiting regulations have been implemented for sports such as baseball and softball, allowing  Junior and Senior student-athletes to take official visits after September 1st. In contrast, in many other sports, such as footballonly Senior student-athletes are permitted to take official visits.

In total, student-athletes are permitted up to 5 official visits for D1 and D2 schools. However, only 1 official visit per school is allowed. Parents and athletes should know that D3 and NAIA schools have no limit on official visits a student-athlete can take. Additionally, D3 and NAIA regulations are similar to those outlining the recruiting process of D1 and D2 schools where the prospective student-athlete is allowed 1 official visit per school.

Lastly, always keep this in mind that recruiting is a process. Many student-athletes and parents let their minds run wild with negative assumptions, especially when an official visit is not offered right away.  To reiterate, recruiting is a process and every coach has his or her method, budget and preference for recruiting. So, with this in mind I recommend to keep a clear head and a positive attitude. Try to relax, stay calm, and enjoy the process.

Finally, I would love to hear from athletes attending official or unofficial visits. Athletes can also tag me on twitter when posting about visits (@michaelwoosley). Also, if you need help preparing for a visit, I’m glad to schedule some time to help with preparations. Just send me an email at mwoosley@csaprepstar.com. 

Starting the recruiting process

Is your inbox full of invites to camps, showcases, combines and other “recruiting events”? Have you become frustrated by the promise of exposure only to pay a bunch of money then see your kid get minimal reps and very little exposure? 


Frustrating isn’t it? Most athletes and parents are. 


So, when is the best time to start the recruiting process? Thats the topic for today. 


Did you know that most prospects are identified before end of the sophomore year? (Thats the current class of 2022!)   However,  many parents are told by high school and club to wait. That’s not good advice. Here’s why.

 1. Waiting significantly reduces the amount of time for college coaches can properly evaluate players. 


2. College coaches can only recruit players they know about. (So if they don’t know about a you they can’t recruit you!)

3. For many sports, student-athletes can take official visits, recieve phone calls and even get offers starting September 1 Junior year. 


Bottomline, there isn’t as much recruiting time as you think. Thats why its best to start as early as possible.  Read my article, Checkpoints along the recruiting journey for year by year outline. 


It is certain, families that start the process early always have better recruiting results!  Why? Staring early allows time to work through the process. Plus, the extra time allows your family to be more strategic about recruiting events and will save thousands of dollars along the way!

If you want to know how to get started, text “Gameplan” to (480) 605-4050 free recruiting assessment to outline the recruiting process for you.  

COMMUNICATING WITH COACHES DURING THE FALL SEASON

Often, I compare the recruiting process to a roller-coaster. The speed of the cart is determined by the track. How the track is designed involves many twists and turns as well as places where the pace becomes so slow that it seems to stop. Like a roller-coaster, and depending on the sport, recruiting in the Fall can simultaneously cause both excitement and anxiety so here a few tips to as you buckle-in for the ride.

During the Fall, and after the window of the contact period closes, it is very important to know what contact period of your sport and the communication regulations that accompany them. This information is easy to locate within the NCAA and NAIA regulations on their respective websites. This information can also be accessed  in your Prepstar profile.Now, be aware that all divisions (D1, D2, D3, etc) have similar, but different, communication rules. For example, D2 coaches have much more leniency  with communications in comparison to D1 coaches.  Additionally, in football, FBS schools (those that go to bowl games) have similar contact periods but different number of evaluation opportunities.

The key to communicating in the Fall is to be proactive! Throughout the year, and at any time, athletes are permitted to contact coaches. This means that to communicate with college coach outside of designated contact periods, student-athletes have to be the one to initiate contact. Additionally, this rule also applies to underclassmen (Freshman and Sophomores). Again, no matter what time of year and no matter the contact period, college coaches are permitted to talk with prospects as long as the prospect makes the first move to contact them.

So, I highly recommend that student-athletes take the initiative to reach out to coaches with emails, texts and voicemails.  Don’t ever wait for them to call, instead call them.

To wrap up, it is an understatement to say that recruiting is a year round process. There is no downtime because college coaches are always recruiting. So use the latter part of year to your advantage. For Fall sports this is a great time of year to get aquatinted with coaches, take visits and build that ever important recruiting relationship. Likewise, student-athletes that play winter or spring sports can use the Fall to as a great opportunity to get on the radar and generate interest from coaches for the upcoming seasons. Good luck!

Coach Mike oversees the the recruiting of talented next-level athletes to develop a recruiting strategy to get seen, scouted and recruited.  As a coach with over 20 years of experience, and a as former college athlete, Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

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

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.