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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Return to Competition (Soon)

“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. “ Shortly after the quarantine I wrote a blog on Elite Athletes Recruiting as a reminder to coaches and people of influence about the example to set for the athletes entrusted to them. 

Now, restrictions are starting to loosen and in matter of time athletes will return to competition. 


Soon, the time coming for athletes to return to the field of competition.  Certainly, for some states it will happen sooner than others.
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Major sports organizations are posting planned start dates along with guidelines required for player participation such as waivers, safety regulations, phases, stages and guidelines

Certainly, the time coming for athletes to return to the field of competition.  For some states it will happen sooner than others. As an example, in my home state of Arizona, plans are in process for competition to begin be the end of May.  Many other states have yet to be so bold, but surely completion will return.  I’m confident of that. 

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. 

Breaking down recruiting video.

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.  

It may be a matter of debate, it makes little difference if the video is professionally recorded or self-recorded.

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.

Here are 5 quick tips from a previous article I wrote about recruiting video

  1. Always make sure the video is appropriately timed (4-5 minutes)
  2. Next, make sure that your best plays are in the first 30 to 60 seconds.
  3. Then make sure to highlight position specific skills.
  4. Most importantly, highlight videos should feature you, not other players.
  5. 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.

Let them play?

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. 

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.
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. 

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. 

Tips to choose the right Camps, Showcases, and Combines

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.

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. Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

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.