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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Starting the recruiting process

Is your inbox full of invites to camps, showcases, combines and other “recruiting events”? Have you become frustrated by the promise of exposure only to pay a bunch of money then see your kid get minimal reps and very little exposure? 


Frustrating isn’t it? Most athletes and parents are. 


So, when is the best time to start the recruiting process? Thats the topic for today. 


Did you know that most prospects are identified before end of the sophomore year? (Thats the current class of 2022!)   However,  many parents are told by high school and club to wait. That’s not good advice. Here’s why.

 1. Waiting significantly reduces the amount of time for college coaches can properly evaluate players. 


2. College coaches can only recruit players they know about. (So if they don’t know about a you they can’t recruit you!)

3. For many sports, student-athletes can take official visits, recieve phone calls and even get offers starting September 1 Junior year. 


Bottomline, there isn’t as much recruiting time as you think. Thats why its best to start as early as possible.  Read my article, Checkpoints along the recruiting journey for year by year outline. 


It is certain, families that start the process early always have better recruiting results!  Why? Staring early allows time to work through the process. Plus, the extra time allows your family to be more strategic about recruiting events and will save thousands of dollars along the way!

If you want to know how to get started, text “Gameplan” to (480) 605-4050 free recruiting assessment to outline the recruiting process for you.  

Recruiting after September 1 : contact rules explained

Recruiting Contact Rules

I wanted to share a quick tip about the recent communication period. It is important to know that as of Sunday, September 1, 2019 the recruiting contact period begins. Once the new contact period begins, Junior and Senior college prospects can start receiving a lot more communication from college coaches. Various forms of communication will take place, however the most common are:

  • Weekly phone calls from college coaches (one per week)
  • Personal correspondence from college coaches via text, phone or email
  • High school campus visit (only one)
  • Verbal Scholarship Offers
  • Invitations for official college campus visits
  • Recruiting materials such as college brochures and letters

Athletes who experience this level of communication can be sure that it is a favorable indicator of interest.

Athletes not getting any communication we should be proactive immediately. Consider contacting a reputable and credible recruiting resource like PrepStar to to learn how to open recruiting communication with college coaches during this contact period.

The NCAA recruiting calendars for DI and DII sports can be accessed here:

http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/resources/recruiting-calendars/division-i-and-ii-recruiting-calendars

Have questions? Need help?  Contact me to set up a time to talk (get free advise!) or use the comment section below.

Coach Mike oversees the recruiting of talented next-level athletes by helping families develop and implement a recruiting strategy for athletes to get exposure, evaluated and recruited. As former college athlete with over 20 years of coaching experience Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

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

Contact periods for football college coaches and prospective student athletes.

To pick up where we left off last week lets pick up where we left off. During the football season, the NCAA mandates 3 different contact periods for college coaches and prospective student athletes. The first of the two periods work in tandem. Beginning August 1, the Dead Period/ Quite Period is underway. At this time, college coaches may not have face to face contact with athletes or their parents. It also means that college coaches cannot watch players compete UNLESS that student athlete is actually on the college campus for a camp or college visit.

During the high school season, there is another contact period squeezed in September 1 through November 30, 2019

Now, during the season, there is another contact period squeezed in. The exception arrives between the days of September 1 through November 30, 2019. This is the evaluation period. By definition the evaluation period permits college coaches to watch college-bound student-athletes compete, visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents. However, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents off the college’s campus during an evaluation period. 

So, even though coaches can see athletes compete the coaches is not permitted to communicate with the student athlete or their parents. Additionally, coaches are permitted a certain number of evaluation dates depending on the sport.  For example, football coaches are allotted 42 evaluation dates. During those dates, coaches can visit a player once at his or her high school. 

What does this mean for student-athlete seeking to get recruited? First, the primary focus for the athlete should be playing ball. It should go without saying that athletes who are distracted and don’t perform on the field won’t get recruited so limit the distractions and just go play ball.  Second, its important to be patient with the process. The contact periods are designed to slow down the process so that coaches have adequate time to scout prospects. Thirdly, players can, and should, continue reading out to coaches during all contact periods so that they stay on the radar.

Lastly, if your not sure about the ins and outs of the contact period I’m glad to send you free contact period outlines for your sport.. Simply, text “GAMEPLAN” to 480-605-4050 and I’ll send you the sport specific contact period outlines.

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

Poise over Panic: Prepare for the Unexpected in Recruiting

I’m a big Ohio State fan. No matter where I’ve lived across the country my Buckeye allegiance has always run true. So, obviously winning the National Championship this season is a great accomplishment, especially considering the tremendous amount of unexpected events that this team had to overcome to achieve their goal; injuries, expulsions, even death to name a few!
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I see a lot of similarities between the recruiting process and the recent Ohio State season. There are lots of unexpected events that can happen to throw you off track. But with the right preparation, teamwork, and a little luck, the unexpected can be overcome to reach your ultimate goal of playing sports at the collegiate level.

 

Anticipate the unexpected

Let me give you an example of what’s happening now for seniors who didn’t anticipate the unexpected. Right now, many senior athletes are scrambling to sign with a college. Many of them didn’t have a recruiting strategy going to start the process so now they are panicking to find an available roster spot. Last minute panic for athletes is never good. Here are a few reasons why.

  1.  Last minute panic doesn’t always assure the right fit.
    • Many athletes settle for a college because they need both athletic and academic scholarships to afford colleges. As a result, a student -athlete signs with a college without doing adequate research on the available positions he/she can compete for or looking into the quality of academic programs offered. (Athletes- never compromise and sign with a college that doesn’t have the major you want to study! Always seek academics first and athletics second!)
  2. Last minute panic doesn’t always get you adequate scholarship money.
    • Be aware colleges will take advantages of desperate athletes. There’s only so many scholarships and only so much scholarship money to go around, so schools will do what they to get the best deal possible.
  3. Last minute panic may result in not getting a scholarship.
    • Athletes know that every play ends, every game times out, and every season concludes. The same is true with every recruiting period. Time will eventually run out.

 

Poise, not panic

We all know that its nearly impossible to avoid the unexpected, it is possible however to avoid panic. In fact, the opposite of panic is poise. Athletes that have poise are able to perform under pressure and adversity.

So, how can you avoid the last minute panic? Simple. Be prepared, work with a team, and hope for a little luck. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be poised for success.

  1. Be prepared for recruiting by designing a game plan.
    • Like all good coaches, develop a winning strategy before the game begins and make adjustments accordingly.
  2. Teamwork is necessary for recruiting.
    • Games are not won by individuals; teamwork in games! This team may include parents, coaches, school administrators, counselors and recruiting coaches. Please, don’t fool yourself by thinking that you can get a scholarship all by yourself. Every one of your recruiting teammates will have a crucial role in helping you get to the next level.
  3. Luck is defined as success or failure brought on by chance rather than one’s actions.
    • Like unexpected events, luck sometimes luck brings you unexpected opportunities.  From time to time athletes need a little luck.

 

A Great Plan Makes for a Great Celebration  

29906170001_3968751245001_Screen-Shot-2015-01-02-at-8-12-13-AM To wrap up, look at recruiting like this. Ohio State didn’t win the championship because they had a great player.  No, they won because they had a great plan, great team of players and a little luck to help them along the way.

Finally, the recruiting process is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. It isn’t supposed to be stress-filled panic. And most definitely the final months of recruiting shouldn’t be a scramble, but a celebration.

 

Coach Mike Woosley is a National Scouting Director at CSA-PrepStar. As a professional collegiate cropped-main_logo-12.jpgsports scout Mike works with qualified next level student-athletes to  find the right college athletic and academic fit.

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