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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The Courtship of College Recruiting

 

This summer my wife and I will mark our 18th year of beginning together (married for 16 years).  Believe it or not, however, when I first met my wife she did not immediately start dating me. It’s hard to imagine, I know, but we went through several months of courtship before we committed to dating exclusively. Dating and recruiting are a lot alike. There is always a period of time that it takes for a coach and player to get to know one another before making a formal commitment to spend the next 4 years together.

 

During the recruiting process the relationship developed between a player and coach leads to great commitment.
During the recruiting process the relationship developed between a player and coach leads to great commitment.

 

So, how does dating relate to recruiting?  I’ve outline three steps to communication to grow a solid player/coach recruiting relationship. During that time lots of communication should happen to grow the relationship. Take note, because there are several similarities in process of getting to know the person you’re going to be committed to for the next 4 years.

 

The first step is to get to know one another. Whether its text, email, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or SnapChat athletes and coaches need to communicate with one another. Don’t be timid! Healthy relationships grow out of quality conversations. Its okay to be forward, often a coach expresses his/her interests first starting the recruiting communication process by contacting an athlete, viewing their profile or sending an athlete (or family) written correspondence.

 

The second step is to ask questions. You should ask questions to get the information you are looking for. Keep in mind that you are interviewing a coach, just as much as the coach is interviewing you. Your decision to accept a scholarship offer is contingent on the answers to your questions. Also, keep in mind, coaches solidify relationships by making scholarship offers to players they are comfortable with and confident in.

 

The third step is to schedule a meeting. Eventually the time will come to decide whether or not to take the relationship to the next level. Real dates happen face to face, not via technology, so its necessary that a time to meet is scheduled. This can be a campus visit, camp, or meeting at your school/home. Point is the communication you’ve had with the coach will determine the chemistry (or lack of) at the face to face meeting.

 

Lastly, always keep in mind that every relationship takes time. So my advice to you is to give yourself plenty of time to start and grow that relationship. This is a vital because we are well aware that relationships that happen in a hurry often end in a hurry. If you want the relationship between you and your coach to last, you need to invest the time necessary to assure that it will last.

 

Coach Mike Woosley is a National Scouting Director at CSA-PrepStar.  As a professional collegiatecropped-main_logo-12.jpg 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.

 

 

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

Top 10 Recruiting Myths & Mistakes

Collegiate sports recruiting has changed significantly over the years. Things are done differently than they used to be…don’t believe me? If you have a parent who was lucky enough to play college sports, ask them how they got recruited. I’m certain that every one of them will admit that the way they were recruited then was much different than how recruiting is done now.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of out- dated ideas about recruiting. They may have worked 20 or more years ago, but they are not as effective today. Here are 10 of the most common recruiting myths and mistakes. Consequently, placing all your hope in these myths and making mistakes can be the difference between earning a scholarship and paying for your scholar-ship.

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1. I am being recruited because I am receiving letters from colleges

Hate to break it to you but thousands of other kids are getting the same exact letter as you are. You are in their database which is cool, but that does not qualify as being recruited. When you get a real recruiting letter (not just an invite to their camp) you will know the difference.

 

2. I am the best player on my team so coaches will find me

As recruiting budgets continually get cut, college coaches have fewer staff and financial resources to find you, even more so if you are a little off of the beaten path.  You need a way to stand out among the hundreds of thousands of best players!

 

3. I have got until my senior year to get the recruiting process started

False! Recruiting needs to start early! Colleges can start making offers day 1 of your Freshman year.

Wake up, look around!  How many kids on your team the past three seasons that did not start the recruiting process early in their Freshman, Sophomoric, or early in their Junior year are now playing at the next level?

 

4. If I am not a top player, I can not get recruited

Not true. Lots of great players are affected by parent politics and pressure put on coaches to play upperclassman.

The key to getting recruited is setting realistic expectations on what level you can actually compete at athletically and academically then getting and staying on the staff radar by consistently providing them relevant information like highlights, grades, test scores and stats so they can keep evaluating your progress.

 

5. My coach has a bunch of connections so I am all set

That is great. You should leverage every opportunity you can to get additional exposure. That said, it would not be wise to put all of your eggs in this basket, or any basket for that matter. Ultimately, coaches are charged by schools and organizations to win ballgames and keep the program running smoothly. Truth is, your recruiting future is not necessarily one of their top priorities.

 

6. I am an awesome player so my bad grades are no big deal

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!  The first thing any college coach at any level looks at is your grades to see if you qualify academically before they invest time any amount of time evaluating your athletic ability. You would never invest in a car that couldn’t get you from point A to point B. It would only be a waste of money! Simply put, schools want to invest in students who will finish their degrees, not finish games.

 

7. I do not need a highlight video, my stats are enough

After coaches look at your grades and test scores to see if you qualify academically, your highlight video is the single most important thing a coach needs to see in order to evaluate whether or not you are a potential fit for their program – and the highlight film needs to be short and sweet and create instant WOWs – or they are off to the next kid.

8. Coaches look at the highlight CDs my dad mails out

Back in the pre-Internet days this was absolutely true because there was no other way, besides going to a game, to get a look at an athlete. Sorry dad but time and convenience are the niche now. The Internet has changed the recruiting playing field forever and technology has made it so simple (a click of a mouse) to evaluate 10 times the number of kids in the same amount of time it took to view one.

9. I am doing combines, camps and showcases which is getting me plenty of exposure

This is in fact true if you are placing in the 95th percentile. You will absolutely get additional exposure which will help you get on the radar of more schools. These special opportunities also cost lots of cash $.

That said, the truth is that the majority of student athletes competing at these types of events gain little to no benefit in the recruiting process, in fact, if you do poorly, your times and performance are non-erasable from the Internet.

10. My team plays in a tough division so scouts will discover me

This does not exactly sound like a recruiting plan. Yes, you may in fact get lucky, but the law of averages is not on your side. Too many athletes from top teams in their STATE fall under the radar so why would you wait and hope to happen to be the lucky one who gets discovered and lands the scholarship?

 

If you’re serious about playing the sport you love in college you will need a recruiting strategy with a number of ways to maximize exposure and get you noticed by colleges.  I can help you put together that strategy! Contact me to get started!

Finally, let’s help one another out by keeping  the conversation going. Use the comments section to share other recruiting myths or mistakes.

5 Key Stats that first generation student athletes must know

Nearly one out of five college athletes taking the field, court, pool, or pitch are the first from their family to attend college. According to a recent study published by the NCAA

1. 18% of NCAA student- athletes are first in their family to go to college
2.  Over 80% of students whose parents attended college receive financial help from their family to pay for college tuition.
3. Needs based aids and government loans are required for 64% of first generation students to fund college tuition.
4.  Of first generation college student athletes 53% would not have attended college if it weren’t for athletic scholarships.
5. 55% of first generation students are concerned that high tuition cost will keep them from completing their bachelor’s degree.

 
Athletics are an excellent way to supplement college tuition. That is, if an athlete is good enough to compete at the next level.

  • Every year more than 7,000,000 young men and women compete in high school and club team sports.
  • Less than 6% of high school athletes will ever compete in sports on the collegiate level.

Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, many good athletes go unnoticed. And each year hundreds of college scholarships go unfilled. Recruiting assistance is available for high school student- athletes dreaming of playing the sport they love at the next level. Find out how PrepStar can help student athletes get both athletic and academic scholarship money for college.

Chart provided by NCAA (Sept. 2014)

Contact Coach Mike with recruiting questions at mwoosley@csaprepstar.com

 

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