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. 

THOUGHTS ON ‘RONA & RECRUITING

Utter disappointment. Really, that’s a tremendous over statement. My heart goes out to the Spring athletes as well as those athletes who were unable to take their college visits. Many 2020’s have had their recruiting and signings delayed, while 2021’s also missed the opportunity to showcase their skills this season.  Many people ask me my thoughts on how ‘Rona (COVID-19) will impact recruiting in the near future, so here’s some of my thoughts.

Let me begin by stating that by nature I am an optimistic person. It’s in DNA to see things the potential in people and circumstances.  I’m holding hope that with cooperation, diligence, and compliance the spread of the virus will be stifled so that soon athletes can take to the field again.  

Without doubt, new recruiting opportunities are sure to surface to make up for lost time. So, even though college recruiting may have been slowed this spring, there will certainly be more recruiting opportunities to come.
Photo by Peter Feghali on Unsplash

Now, in regards to recruiting, it is likely that there will be little to no significant impact on the recruiting process. By that, I mean the recruiting process will continue to move forward in spite of the sequester. I am certain, at this very moment college coaches still recruiting athletes!  They may be doing this from their offices instead of the sidelines, but make no mistake, college coaches are recruiting athletes!

Next, recruiting this summer will certainly ramp up. Ben Franklin was noted to have said, “Out of adversity comes opportunity.” Without doubt, new recruiting opportunities are sure to surface to make up for lost time. So, even though college recruiting may have been slowed this spring, there will certainly be more recruiting opportunities to come. I anticipate an increase of showcases and camps this summer. Two reasons play into this. First, more camps and showcases will help replace some revenue lost as a result of the cancelled spring season. Second, additional camps and showcases will provide coaches the opportunity to have athletes come to them. This will allow coaches to evaluate more players in a short amount of time.  Early exposure to these coaches will be a tremendous help for prospects wanting invitations to these events.

Additionally, athletes who make the most of the self sequester will be those who continue communicating with college coaches, stay in shape, and keep up with their regular routine. When the opportunity returns for student-athletes to take the field once again it will be evident who stayed on course and made the most of the downtime. Consequently, those student-athletes who choose chill-time over training time will surely fall behind. 

Lastly, as of March 30 the NCAA announced that spring college athletes can be awarded an extra year of eligibility. However, the NCAA did not mandate additional scholarship money. The NCAA did loosed the roster limit for the 2021 season. But, scholarship money awarded to student-athletes will be at the desecration of the college athletic program.

This presents an option for the student-athletes who take advantage of this gift. It is likely that that they will have to pay out of pocket for an additional year of college so that then can play one more season of Spring sports. Outside of athletes from prominent Power 5 schools, I suspect that few Spring athletes will take advantage of this benevolent offer. For most college students, the cost of college tuition might just outweigh the benefit of one more year of competition. 

Finally, and most importantly, I want to wish you all wellness, safety and good health during this unprecedented season. 

Recruiting Email Format: essential info to send to college coaches

Communication between athletes and coaches is essential! Absolutely no athletes get recruited without communicating with college coaches. For this reason alone, every athletes should know not only how to communicate but what information needs to be shared with a coach.

coachToday, my goal is provide you some tips on what information needs to be included in an email to a college coach.

To begin, start by emailing a response to the coaches at the colleges you are interested in. Also, when writing the email, keep the email personal, short and sweet.

Next, make sure to always include; First and Last Name, Position, Graduating year, Height (weight optional) and GPA all in the email subject line. Most coaches use email headlines to filter the specific types of athletes they’re looking for.

Use these tips and you will surely get their attention!

Would you like me to send you an email format to use? Leave a note in the comment section or text me at 480-442-6226.

 

 

 

 

Readers are welcome to 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.

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.

 

 

Proof that Stats Matter

Geometry and Sports

Anyone remember learning how to do proofs in Geometry class? For some of us learning proofs may have happened a long time ago. We learned how to write proofs to show the progressional steps of our work and prove how we arrived at the correct answer. In recruiting it is necessary that you have accurate facts if you are an athletes looking to catch the eye of a coach. Accurate statistical information is an invaluable assets to the recruiting process. Game stats, like proofs, are a series of facts that prove the correct solution to the problem a college coach is looking to solve.

 Stats as a Coaching Tool

Unfortunately, too many high-school coaches do a poor job of keeping and posting accurate stats. When scouting prospective college athletes, I see it everyday. One reason I suspect that coaches don’t keep and post accurate stats is simple; stats can highlight a player’s weakness. A lot of coaches are sympathetic to the athlete and don’t want to make them feel bad about their overall performance. But, good coaching is about helping players accentuate their strengths and work on their weaknesses so that they become strengths!

 

Glossary of baseball statistics.
Glossary of baseball statistics.

Overall, I believe good coaching includes keeping accurate stats because these stats help players become better players! Ultimately, a coach that does not post stats doesn’t help his/her players and consequently does a great deal of harm to the athletes’ prospect status.

 Proofs that Stats Matter

Here are three reasons why stats matter.

  1. First, stats indicate ability to perform. Some athletes are blessed with size or speed. Other athletes have to rely on stats to prove that they have the ability to compete and excel at a high competitive level.
  2. Second, stats provide proof of progress. When an athlete is working on their game stats tend to improve. College coaches use stats to see how you’ve improved your game from week to week and season to season.
  3. Third, stats show strengths and weaknesses. Athletes need to be driven to improve so stats highlight areas to work on. For example, if a batting average that progressively rises shows that you’ve been working on hitting. Or your goal count increases from one season to the next indicates that you’ve been working in the off-season to be more offensively aggressive.

 Stats Show You are the Solution

All in all, stats leave a trail for college coaches to follow to determine if you are the athlete they are looking for. Like your high school geometry teacher grading the steps to your answer college coaches are looking to find players to be solution to their problems. So without accurate, thorough and up-to-date stats college coach may never be able to determine if you are the solution.

Share the Responsibility of Stats

One final word to parents. Most coaches, high school or club, aren’t lazy they have many other responsibility than recording and posting game stats. Many coaches have a profession, teach classes, grade papers and try to maintain family life on top of all the team responsibilities. So, if your high school coach doesn’t post stats parents please step-up and offer to help! It just may make a difference in a student-athlete being passed over and a student-athlete presented with an opportunity for an athletic scholarship.

 

 

Coach Mike Woosley is a National Scouting Coordinator 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.

Beginners Guide to College Recruiting

Parents of junior high athletes often ask me when they should begin the recruiting process for their son or daughter. Typically, my reply is an emphatic, “Now!”  The most frequent response I get from that parent then is, “well, we have time.” Sorry friend, that’s just not true. Here’s why. According to the NCAA student-athletes become college prospects the first day of their Freshman year. So while the goal is not to get a college scholarship in the 8th grade, instead, the goal should be to use the junior high years to get your student athlete prepared for the recruiting process. This week, I’m going to help you come up with that plan as part of my beginners guide to recruiting series.

Parents of young athletes with big dreams need to start planning now.
Parents of young athletes with big dreams need to start planning now.

It may be true that only a select few athletes get on college recruiting boards the first day of Freshman year, it is equally true that you need to start making plans for your student-athlete if he or she ever expects to get noticed by college coaches.

The Junior high years, 7th and 8th grades, are the formidable years of athletic development. This is the time when athletes start to take an interest in favorite sport. Also, it is during the Junior high years talent begins to either blossom or wither.

Look for the 3 D’s
During the Junior high years parents need to look for the 3 D’s. Junior high is a great time to test for the 3 D’s. As a scout, I measure athletes by the 3D’s because they are found in the DNA of elite athlete, The 3 D’s are desire, determination and drive.

Desire– athletes that have an unyielding passion for the game. They eat, sleep, and breath it!
Determination  – athletes that motivated by the “have to” effect. These athletes have to master there position.
Drive– athletes that thrive on competition and the relentless pursuit to be the best.

The 3 D’s separate good athletes from great athletes. Good athletes get by on talent. Great athletes put in the work to become great. Almost every athlete has some amount of the 3 D’s, but I’m looking for the student- athlete that has noticeably more dedication to the 3 D’s than their peers. So parents, if your student athlete a shows measurable amount of the 3 D’s then its time to devise a plan.

Plan the plan
Usually, we fail when we fail to plan. If your goal is to get a scholarship to play a sport in college now is the time start making a plan. Remember to keep in mind that plans are flexible, not rigid. So my advice is to devise a plan, work towards that plan, and if necessary, adjust accordingly. Advice that I was given when I was young sums it up completely, “Plan the plan.”

Put the plan in motion
Now that a plan is coming together, start putting that plan in motion. Plan to be in the midst of your plan on day 1 of Freshman year. Here are a few suggestions to consider when putting your plan in motion.

  • Practice frequently
  • Get private position coaching
  • Go to sport specific camps.
  • Start playing on a competitive travel ball team
  • Start planning your high school course load.
  • Excel in the classroom and get good grades. (Only eligible players can play. )
  • Learn good study habits
  • Research your local high school, find out how many teams it has (Fr, JV, Var) and get to know the coaches.

All recruiting begins with a plan. These are just some the beginning steps to get you started with college recruiting. Next week’s post of the guide to recruiting with focus on Freshman year. That’s when the real fun begins!

So, if you want to be sure to get all the posts take a moment to click the follow button to make sure you get the entire beginners guide to recruiting sent to your email.

As always, readers are welcome to leave comments to this week’s post or ask questions to be answered in next week’s post. Tweet me around the clock with questions or comments on Twitter @michaelwoosley.

Time Left on the Clock

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Image provide by http://www.pacificlegal.org/page.aspx?pid=4621

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.