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. 

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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

Recruiting contact periods during the high school football season

Many high school football teams will take the field towards the latter part of this week to compete in their season opener. Along with the excitement of the lights, crowds and cheers comes the hopes of college recruting. In the previous two article  we looked at the three contact periods that take place within the football season. This article is to outline the dead period and provide some useful tips improving recruiting opportunities throughout the season. 

By definition 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.

Not to be mistaken for the quiet period, the dead period does leave open the doors for communication. However, there is no room for coaches to evaluate players by watching games in person or visiting high school campuses. 

Not to be mistaken for the quiet period, the dead period does leave open the doors for communication.

This rule seems to handcuff athlete exposure. So how can athletes get exposure during the quiet period?  First, athletes should rely of video. They can improve exposure opportunities by keeping game video resources up to date with recent game film. Additionally, athletes can contact coaches by email and social media but should do so not expecting a return reply.  Athletes can also use a credible, reputable recruiting resource to keep them on the radar.  These groups, like PrepStar, act as a go between. For instance, PrepStar provides college coaches with your updated athletic, academic and video highlights throughout your high school career, ensuring you that college coaches always have access to your latest and most updated information.

To conclude this outline of the three contact periods that take place during the high school season I want to wish a success season to all high school football players. Hopefully, the details provided have been helpful and created some new ideas for communicating with college coaches during the season. If you need help, I’m glad to share tips or advice to help you along in the process. Simply, text the word GAMEPLAN to 480-605-4050.  I’m glad to talk with you about your recruiting concerns and give you some helpful suggestions. 

Three tips to record a baseball or softball recruiting video

This week is a short video blog for Recruiting video tips. Weekly, I field a lot of questions about how to make a recruiting video so today I want to share a quick video with 3 good tips for recording a recruiting video.

A well-made recruiting video is one of the most important tools for high school baseball and softball players trying to earn college baseball scholarships. Coaches don’t have the time to see every baseball prospect in person. That’s why a skills video is an essential part of your athletic profile. It takes just a few minutes for a skill video to show coaches what a high school prospect has to offer. For your skills video to be effective, you need to know specifically what coaches are looking for. If you have video but not sure if it is good enough for a coach, I offer a free recruiting video review. Simply book an appointment at the link below then send your video. I’ll check it out and give you some feedback during the short 30 minute call.

Book your appointment here. Video review

A well-made recruiting video is one of the most important tools for high school baseball and softball players trying to earn college baseball scholarships.

https://mlwoosley.wixsite.com/website/book-online/recruiting-video-review

3 Tips To Get Noticed at Camps, Combines and Showcases

Are you exhausted from all the camps, combines, showcases and other “recruiting events”? Have you become frustrated by the promise of exposure only for to get minimal reps and very little exposure?

Collegiate recruiting events can be a great way to showcase skill in competition against some of the nation’s top high school talent. But they can also become burdensome and ill-effective.

Trying to rely solely on college showcases, camps and combines to get recruited and receive an athletic scholarship is not a very sound strategy by itself.

Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

However, I have learned from past experience that trying to rely solely on college showcases, camps and combines to get recruited and receive an athletic scholarship is not a very sound strategy by itself. Most college coaches that attend these type of events developed recruiting lists of athletes they plan to watch well before they arrive.

So, if college coaches at the showcase are there to watch some other athlete how do you get their attention? What do you need to do to get noticed while hundreds of other athletes are at the same event trying to do the same thing at the same time as you?

The goal is to get on their recruiting list before the event. So, how do you do this?

So, here are 3 tips you can use to help assure you get some attention at the next camp, combine or showcase.

  1. Email college coaches scheduled to attend the event.
  2. Create a student athlete profile including academic information as well as athletic metrics that you can send to colleges coaches. (A free one is available at bit.ly/2vqZjH9)
  3. Connect with college coaches through social media outlets like Twitter or Instagram.

Again, the goal is to be seen by coaches who want to see you. Following this 3 tips before attending the next camp, combine or showcase are you are sure to get some attention.

No Last Minute Miracle Needed- 5 Tips for Athletes Manage College Recruiting

Time Management

Most athletic competitions have time constraints. For example, soccer has two 45 minute halves, basketball four 8 minute quarters, even track and swimming measure placements by time. Baseball and softball limits games by a specified number of innings. Clearly, time management is vital to every game.

Usually the team that did the best job of managing the clock wins the game.  Teams that don’t have to rely on a last minute miracle.  

Last Minute Miracles

Truth is athletes only have one shot at getting recruited.  No one can have a high school do-ver. So athletes in the midst should never rely on a last minute miracle to land a scholarship.

I’m not a miracle worker, but I know how to manage the recruiting clock.  Partnering with me will assure success!

Senior year should be one of recruiting celebration not  recruiting anxiety.

Think of it like this. Would you rather hurry and scurry around as the clock winds down hoping to score at the last second or would you prefer to know that victory is eminent  and relish the moment of celebration?

5 Tips to Enjoy the Recruiting Process (and avoid hoping for a last minute miracle)

Follow these few tips to be certain that you’ve met your goals and victory belongs to you!

  1. Have a solid recruiting plan. Start working the plan early and stay the course. This is where years of recruiting exposure will pay off.
  2. Keep focused in the classroom and on the field. The classroom is not the place to let your performance slip.
  3. Be familiar with the recruiting timeline. Depending on the sport, calls from college coaches for recruiting can begin in June, July and September.
  4. Know communication rules Communicate with as many coaches as possible.
  5. Take official visits to colleges recruiting you. Five official visits are permitted, use them wisely.  Make sure you know the academic and athletic expectations for athletes at each school.

The clock is ticking. Time will eventually run out.  When this happens I want to be sure your family is celebrating!

Be committed, get committed. 

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Coach Mike Woosley is a National Scouting Director 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. Comments and questions are always welcome.

Reputation Ruined by a Press of a Button

This week’s tip about social media is very important. So, here’s the tip: coaches pay attention to how athletes present themselves on social media. 

Recently, All-Pro NFL superstar J.J. Watt lectured students on this very topic.  Watts’ wisdom was this, “A reputation takes years and year and years to build, and one press of a button to ruin.” You can find the article here.

Here’s an example of the harm that can’t be undone. Recently, I spoke with an athlete that was kicked off his team because someone in a picture with him was holding an illegal drug. One stupid mistake has sidelined this stellar senior athlete and jeopardized his future. Please, don’t let this happen to you.

Make wise choices to avoid costly decisions.
Make wise choices to avoid costly decisions.

Social media is a tremendous way to interact with people all over the world and express ourselves in any way we choose. But with great opportunity comes great responsibility.  Here are some important things to keep in mind before you send your message into the great global conversation.

  1. Anyone, anywhere can see your post
  2. Your post speaks for your personality and character
  3. Pictures can speak for the company you keep.
  4. Posts are nearly impossible to erase once its out in cyber-space

To close, I’m not saying don’t use social media. I’m only suggesting that you use it to your advantage. Used properly social media really can make a difference with your recruiting.  So before you press ‘send’ think about the consequences. If you have any reservations for what your about to send, by all means don’t send it!

Be smart with social media.

Coach Mike Woosley

Coach Mike Woosley is a National Scouting Director 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. Comments and questions are always welcome.

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