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!

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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.

Your Future Isn’t Just in Your Hands….

The average debt of 2013 college graduates was over $35000. Its essential that whoever helps you get recruiting exposure helps you find the right college fit, otherwise you'll be paying to play.
The average debt of 2013 college graduates was over $35000. Its essential that whoever helps you get recruiting exposure helps you find the right college fit, otherwise you’ll be paying to play.

Fact is, who you choose to help you get to the next level can make a substantial difference. Please don’t take this consideration lightly.  Afterall,  its your future that you place in the hands of whomever you choose to help you get noticed by college coaches.

Let’s be honest, there are only a select few athletes who don’t need help to get to the next level. Truth is most athletes rely on help from an outside source such as a coach, family friend, or recruiting organization to help them get noticed by college coaches.

Not to sound too overly dramatic, but you must choose carefully because your future depends on it!  Take some time to ask yourself two simple questions. ‘Does this person has your best interest in mind?’ “Do they want to see me succeed not just in sports but in life?”

Again, the person or organization you choose to guide you through the recruiting process will make a world of difference. Here are three reasons why you need to put some thought as you to choose the right person to help you get to the next level. The right person handling your recruiting can help you get maximum exposure, financial assistance and the right fit. Here’s a brief explanation of each.

Exposure– who you choose to help you needs to have reach. What I mean by reach is relationships and connections with colleges nationwide to help you get the exposure you need to get noticed. A person with reach should know coaches from coast to coast. More reach equals more exposure and more exposure equals more opportunity for collegiate athletic scholarships.

Financial assistance– who you choose to help you will impact the amount of scholarship money offered to you. There is a huge difference between playing for a school and getting a scholarship to play for a college. The difference is not just the financial assistance you will receive, it also means the amount of money you will have to finance to pay back after you graduate.

Fit– who you to help you will have an affect on fit. By this I mean whether or not you fit in athletically and academically at your new college. Fit is more than going to a school you “like”.  Fit is knowing the answers to questions like these. Does the college you want to play at have a the major you want to study? Is that program top notch? What are the values of the college? Do you like the community where the college is located? Will going to that college prepare you for a career after you graduate? What kind of athletic program are you going to be a part of? Do you have a good repore with the coaches? Do you like the offensive or defensive schemes? Is your position already filled or will you have a fair shot a earning a spot on the depth chart and seeing playing time as an underclassman?

So, what’s your recruiting strategy? Who are you relying on to get you noticed by college coaches?

Need help? Want some advice? Use the comment section to ask me questions.

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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