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.
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.
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: email@example.com Office: 805-622-STAR
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 sports scout Mike works with qualified next level student-athletes to find the right college athletic and academic fit.
As a young boy I was a big fan of the A-Team. Regardless of the challenge that faced them, the A-Team always overcame the odds finding success in the plan. I will forever be reminded of that show when I hear the famous line, “I love it when a plan comes together!” Any good plan will come together with the right execution.
In the sports world coaches talk a lot about execution. Good execution requires that you step up to your responsibility and deliver results. In the timeline of recruiting, the Junior year is when the execution of your recruiting plan should begin to come together.
The challenge to execute the recruiting plan for every hopeful college athlete can be daunting. Similar to the pressure of hitting that last second shot, driving in the game winning run, or rushing against the clock to score the game winning touchdown. But, a well prepared athlete, isn’t flustered. They know that hard work, preparation and planning has prepared them to accomplish any objective. So when you’re number is called, you relish the pressure to score one for your team!
These tips are sure to help you SCORE that scholarship.
Stay focused on academics by scheduling to take the ACT and SAT test no later than the spring.
Create your junior season highlight video that should include your updated skills video along with quality live game footage
Only send your profile and recruiting video to colleges that match your competitive, geographical and academic interests.
Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center and complete the amateurism certification questionnaire (www.eligibiltycenter.org).
Engage interested coaches by planning to attend sport specific camps and combines.
Bring about Victory
You’re number has been called to execute the plan and bring about victory. The Junior year is when coaches can start to talk scholarship opportunities with prospective athletes. Off campus contact and official visits are permitted for many sports.
Finally, a good plan needs good people to see it through. Don’t hesitate. Contact me to get the help needed to execute your customized recruiting plan. I can be reached around the clock on twitter @michaelwoosley.
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.
-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.
-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
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.
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.
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.
People often ask me what they get if they unlock their PrepStar profile. My response, when you unlock your profile you get amazing tools to help you take control of the recruiting process. Tools make thing easier today. The tools you get by unlocking your PrepStar profile take away the guesswork and help you monitor progress, interest and offers.
Plus, with the PrepStar profile, the headache of keeping track of all paperwork is gone. Say goodbye to trying to stacks of folders and pages of notes to try to track your recruiting contacts. Prepstar makes it simple to keep track of all your college contact in one place. The instructional video below shows you how to use your Prepstar profile to its fullest potential.
Helpful tips this video covers:
1. Building your profile – update your profile in real time.
2. Editing your profile – catch the attention of coaches by adding new information, videos, accomplishments, and transcripts
3. College view– see coaches that are looking at your profile
4. Contacting college coaches– emails of every college coach is preloaded for you! Plus you can email them directly from your profile!
5. Recruiting calendars– contact periods, non-contact periods, signing dates.
Why wait until the last minute to start getting nationwide recruiting exposure? Get started by unlocking your profile today! Don’t know how? Message me so I can tell you how.
PrepStar is an exclusive collegiate sports recruiting organization that qualifies student athletes for college athletic and academic scholarships.