In early May, I was a guest on theProcess, 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!
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.
Get off your a*s and get to work! There is nothing more to say about that .
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.
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.
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.
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.
With the light at the end of the tunnel starting to come into view, I still think what i wrote in March is relevant. As adults, and especially as adults who have considerable influence on our athletes, it is important to model behaviors that demonstrate responsibility, residence, and respect. “
Athletes and families are looking to us. Lead them.
Yes, thats right. Its almost over. Soon the quarantine will be lifted and in turn athletes can return to competition. So the question for student-athletes will be, what did you do during the quarantine to help move your recruiting forward?
Hopefully, time has been invested in recruiting video. Video is crucial to the recruiting process, because most coaches recruit digitally first before seeing an athlete in person. Right now, with the stay at home policies in place, coaches have relied on video to recruit digitally.
So, what kind of recruiting video is most beneficial? And, what footage should the video feature?
Actually, the answer varies by sport. For example, game video is paramount for high school football prospects. However, sports like baseball, softball, and soccer require that skills video also accompanies game footage. Keep in mind, the purpose of the recruiting video, no matter the sport, is to demonstrate position specific athletic skills.
Though it may be a matter of debate, it makes little difference if the video is professionally recorded or self-recorded. In most situations, quality cellphone video works well. I’ve recored skills video with a video camera, iPad and iPhone with good success. What matters most is the quality of athletic content not necessarily the quality of content. College coaches must be able to clearly identify the player and clearly view all the required skills. Last year, I was talking with several scouts at a major tournament here in Phoenix, when the Oregon scout got up, took out his cell phone, walked over to the fence and began recording a players at-bat. Right there, I thought, ‘well if it’s good enough for Oregon then it’s good enough for others.’
Lastly, it should be obvious that having no video will surely stifle the recruiting process. Athletes trying to get recruited without video will find it almost impossible to gain interest. In fact, limited exposure will surely put the student-athlete at a tremendous recruiting disadvantage.
Always make sure the video is appropriately timed (4-5 minutes)
Next, make sure that your best plays are in the first 30 to 60 seconds.
Then make sure to highlight position specific skills.
Most importantly, highlight videos should feature you, not other players.
Lastly, keep questionable plays out of your video.
Because highlight videos carry a lot of significance in your recruiting I’m glad to review your highlight videos before you send them to a coach or post them online. You want some outside help with your recruiting video. If so, schedule a FREE recruiting video consultation where I will take a look at your highlight or skills video to provide you helpful tips and feedback. Schedule your free recruiting video review here.
Every student athlete is impacted by the Covid-19 virus. Weeks ago the severity of the spread was underestimated, thousands of people took to social media with posts of “Let them play!” Little did we know that a pandemic was encroaching that would dole a knockout blow to all spring sports, at every level throughout our great country.
At least for most.
Recently, on a return visit to the grocery, I drove by a neighborhood baseball part, noticing the movement of colorful little dots scattering the outfield. Not sure what I was observing, I drove into the parking lot astounded to see a little league baseball team practicing. Enamored and disappointed, I shook my head.
Now, I’m all for sports. I love sports, for two decades I’ve coached sports and my children are also athletes. They are involved in team sports and when the sanctions were passed down each one of them lost their season.
But, I also know that sports in not more important than life. As adults, and especially as adults who have considerable influence on our athletes, it is important to model behaviors that demonstrate responsibility, residence, and respect.
Responsibly that models to our athletes that certain risks are not more rewarding than wins.
Resilience that models to our athletes fortitude in face of adversity.
Respect that models to our athletes that right choices always supersede selfish ignorance.
In years to come, athletes of all ages will remember the season that was cut short. They will be pained by the possibility of what could have been. But, they will also remember those responsible for leading them. How they made touch decisions in their best interest, so that in the years to come these same athletes and their children can take the field again.
College camps, showcases, combines and now the ever present “Junior Days” are a necessary part of the recruiting process. Many offer the opportunity to compete against some of the top high school talent. Additionally, the experience at these events can be very valuable in the development of a young athlete. However, choosing the right event to attend can be a challenge.
For starters, relying solely on college showcases, camps and combines as the primary avenue to get recruited not a very sound strategy. Often the enormous number of camp attendees is not favorable for your exposure. In this case, too many athletes equals too few reps. Too few reps means not enough opportunity to showcase your talent. Also, typically college coaches already have developed recruiting lists of athletes they plan to watch at the camp so be cautions of camps expecting several hundred athletes. Additionally, before registering, athletes need to certain that the head coach or position coach will actually be at the event. Simple put, if the college coach wont’ be at the event, then it is impossible for him/her to see you compete, which means, there is a pretty good chance you will go unnoticed. It also means you wasted a lot of money for zero exposure.
Instead, heres a winning recruiting strategy for using camps, combines and showcases. First, do some research to make sure college coaches form the schools you feel are realistically a good fit. Once you decide on a event, make sure you are prepared for the event. Next, utilize good interactive communication before the event. This is a good opportunity to provide coaches with your recruiting profile along with any video highlights you may have. (PrepStar athletes can do this in a few clicks- message me if you need to know how). Finally, before the event, prepare a few questions to ask about the college or the athletic program.
Getting lots of camp invites? Have questions about which are legit? Need help? Contact me to set up a time to talk (get free advise!) or use the comment section below.
At the start of the new year, I began as series focused on 6 major characteristics of high performing athletes. Often, I am asked about the what it takes for an athlete to reach a a high performance level beyond natural ability. So, after making a long list, researching top athletes, and persistent review I came up with 6 common characteristics. Obviously, these six characteristics is not an exhaustive list, however, I am certain that some form of these characteristics are prevalent in the life, mind and practices of anyone that is considered to be a high performing athletes.
The summary of the 6 characteristics are:
High performing athletes are able to clarify the vision and path to reach their goals.
High performance athletes measure results repeatedly. They do this to discover areas of progress as well as weaknesses.
High-performing athletes take full responsibility. They take complete ownership of their actions, their plans, and their purpose.
High performing athletes possess “want to”. They willfully want to practice and put in the extra reps. This characteristic is often partnered with words like passion, desire, drive and determination.
High performing athletes take care of their body, mind and spirit. They plan and execute good self care habits and have the discipline to maintain those habits.
High performing athletes seek out great coaching. They intentionally look for and listen to coaches who can help them break through to the next level.
Now that you are aware of these six characteristics, the next question to consider is what is the common denominator ties them together? In my opinion that denominator is discipline. Any athlete who desires to perform at the highest level must exercise a extra-ordinary amount of disciple. Almost to a level that seems obsessive when compared to those around him/her. High performing athletes know that to make their goals into reality uncompromising discipline is a must.
This week I round out the major characteristics of high performing athletes (HPAs). The characteristic outlined this week is focused on great coaching. All high performing athletes willingly seek great coaching because of the insatiable drive to improve.
In the mind of an elite high performing athlete they must find ways to get better! Inside their mind there is a constant drive to improve. For them, the ceiling is glass, it can be broken. Even if at the top of their game, HPA’s are certain that more coaching will give them what they need to break through another next level. High performing athletes seek out coaches because the drive to improve is great than arrogance that they’re already at the top of their game.
For example, in the book Relentless Tim Grover illuminates the unyielding pursuit of excellence by some of the NBA’s past and present superstars. In other professional sports such as baseball, even the game’s greatest hitters are known to take regular hitting lessons. In fact, if you do some research you will surely find that top athletes of every professional sport seek out great coaches.
Here are three reasons to seek a great coach: 1. Great coaches know first hand what is necessary for an athlete to become great.
2.Great coaches see the things players cannot see. Therefore can help you make positive improvements.
3. Great coaches also understand what it takes for you to achieve at your highest level. So great coaches motivate you to achieve greatness. They comprehend your vision and therefore will push you past the point of self-induced limitations.
Firmly, I believe that great coaches make great players. In contrast, great players don’t make great coaches. Don’t believe me, think about how many coaches fail even though their team is stacked with great players? So if you are willing to get coaching, don’t just go out and find any so-called coach, I encourage you to seek out a great coach.
This week I continue to outline major characteristics of high performing athletes (HPAs). For this week, the characteristics is one of those easily identifiable traits. It’s one that is so obvious that it makes other athletes (and often their parents) envious. I would further go on to say that this characteristic is one that can be learned. Its is like a match struck and put to a fire, smoldering then suddenly bursting into flame.
This week I want to outline a characteristic in high performing athletes that is best described as “want to”. This characteristic is often partnered with words like passion, desire, drive and determination. HPAs with this characteristic understand that “want to” means willing desire. It’s as if the putting in the work is a privilege and the pain of pushing the limits is actually enjoyable. In contrast, to “want to” is “have to”. Athletes who “have to” require an amount of compromise and external motivation to put in the work.
High performing athletes with “want to” are uncompromising. They put in the time for work outs. The do it because they love it, not because coach says to, or because their parents say so. Instead, HPA’s with “want to” put in the work because of the passion for the game. Further, they love to compete against others and against their personal personal records. HPAs with “want to” don’t have to be dragged out of bed. And they don’t have to rely on motivational hype to get started. No, instead they are self-motivated and self-driven.
HPA’s with “want to” passion also realize that the externals of the game matter. The externals of the game make a difference so they put in the work in the gym, in training, in practice, outside of practice and in the film room. In their free time, they study the game to improve their sport IQ. With a critical eye, HPAs study themselves looking to evaluate and critique personal preparation, practice and performance. They also pay attention to what they eat, how they sleep, and who they hang out with. Because HPAs with “want to “ recognizes that all of these things impact passion and performance.
But as mentioned earlier, the “want to” characteristic can be learn. It is not exclusive only for a small group. No, with encouragement, confidence and focus new habits and routines can be develop that change “have to” athletes into “want to” high performing athletes.