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

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.

Useful tools to simplify the recruiting process

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.

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.

 

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.

3 Tips to Defeat to the Fear of Not Being Recruited

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The scariest thing about recruiting is not being recruited.  Beware, waiting for some coach to come knocking on your door is not the way to get recruited. If this is your plan, then I’m afraid that your chances of signing that letter of intent on National Signing Day are pretty grim!

But you’re not afraid. You’re an elite athlete determined to succeed! You’ve put in the hard work, extra reps, aches and pains…sweat…blood…tears. Now its time to get your reward in full.

Here are three tips to keep away that scary thought of not playing at the next level.

1. Start early
The sooner you begin the recruiting process the better. Most D1 caliper athletes are identified by the end of their sophomore year! That means recruiting starts in 8th or 9th grade. Get noticed by starting early.

2. Be proactive
Don’t be afraid to take control of your recruiting process. Do your homework. Learn the recruiting timelines. Find out about contact dates. Keep good stats and up to date film.  Don’t fret, instead make something happen but taking control.

3. Get help
College recruiting can be confusing so you’ll want help to help you navigate safety through the process. There are a number of different avenues to explore to get assistance, advice and increase exposure. Use coaches, and contacts as well as websites and recruiting organizations to help you get noticed.

So, don’t be scared by the recruiting process. Get in there and get going! Start a plan towards success today!

Have questions? Need help. Contact me to set up a time to talk or use the comment section below.

 

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