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        Beyond The Ball — high school

        5 WORST Recruiting tips of ALL time

        5 WORST Recruiting tips of ALL time

        Original Article by  

        USA TODAY High School Sports has a weekly column on the recruiting process. This isn’t about where just the top five-star athletes are headed but rather a guide to the process and the pitfalls for student-athletes nationwide from Fred Bastie, the owner and founder of Playced.com. Playced.com identifies appropriate colleges for potential recruits anddeliversan online DIY college planning experience for student athletes of all talent levels and ages.

        Once the word gets out that you want to in play your sport in college, the “experts” will come out of the woodwork.  Everyone has advice on what will help you achieve your dream.  For that reason, if you are looking for recruiting advice, make sure you are listening to the right people.  Your Uncle Billy who knew someone, who had a cousin, who was second string at XYZ State University is probably not who you should listen to.  Go to your current high school or summer coach and ask for his or her advice.

        Over the years I have heard many stories from many players about how to approach college recruiting.  Much of the advice is good, but some isn’t.  Here are the 5 worst pieces of recruiting advice I have ever heard.  There is a lesson to be learned from each one.

        “Don’t worry, the college coaches will find you”

        If you ask for advice and this is the response, whoever gave the advice just doesn’t have time to help.  If college coaches haven’t already identified you as a potential recruit, then sitting on your couch eating pizza, watching Sports Center and waiting for the phone to ring probably isn’t going to get you to the next level.  If you have the desire and believe you have the talent to play in college, then you need to do something about it.

        It’s a given that college coaches know the 5 star athletes, but that leaves plenty of roster spots available for the rest of high school athletes.  Coaches fill the large majority of their rosters with talented, coachable, hard-working student-athletes who are identified and evaluated by their coaching staff.  Your objective should be to get noticed by those coaching staffs to get recruited. Help them find you.  If you provide a college coach with your contact information, highlight video, game schedule and a way to contact your current coach, you’ve at least given them a roadmap to find you.

        “If you’re good enough, grades don’t matter”

        If someone tells you this and you believe it, your recruiting journey won’t have a happy ending. Listen, you are looking for an athletic scholarship to go to COLLEGE and get an EDUCATION.  In order to play, you have to meet the NCAA and/or NAIA academic eligibility requirements and you have to meet the entrance requirements at any school you plan to attend.

        Most high school students and their parents don’t understand the importance of academics in college recruiting and the emphasis that college athletic programs place on grades.  Quite frankly, that is somewhat surprising.  On almost every television broadcast of a college sporting event the announcers talk about “scholar athletes”, team GPA’s and team graduation rates.  College coaches want athletes in their program that will represent themselves and their university in a positive light and good grades are a good start.  College coaches are actually encouraged by their university to field a team of true “student athletes”.

        For the above reasons, a good athlete with good grades and high standardized test scores is much more attractive to a college coach than a good athlete with marginal grades and a below average ACT or SAT score.  That is a fact.  When trying to decide between two players of similar abilities, coaches will go with the better student every time.

        “Recruiting doesn’t really start until you are a junior”

        If you don’t start the recruiting process until you are a junior, it’s not too late, but it is much more difficult than if you had started as a freshman.  The earlier you start, the more options you will have.  Potential recruits are being identified earlier and earlier every year.  As crazy as it sounds, in some sports college coaches are identifying prospects as early as the 7th or 8th grade.

        I’m not suggesting that elementary students start sending emails to coaches, but as a freshman you should at least start learning about the process and identifying colleges you might be interested in.  As a sophomore, you can start the process by getting on the radar of coaches at colleges in which you have an interest.  If you do the groundwork early, your junior year will be much more productive.

        “You need an online profile if you want to be recruited”

        While an organized profile can be helpful in recruiting, that alone will not lead to a college scholarship.  In fact, if you prepare an athletic resume, it will serve the same purpose as anything you might see online.  Don’t fool yourself, the vast majority of college coaches don’t come home after practice, eat dinner, watch “The Voice” and then log onto recruiting sites to search for potential recruits.  That just doesn’t happen, and even if it did, why would your profile stand out among the thousands of other profiles?

        If you will take the time to send your relevant information to coaches at colleges that are a match for your abilities, you will be ahead of the competition.  At least this way your resume is presented to coaches that might actually be interested.


        “Your recruiting video needs to be done by a professional”

        While a professional video set to inspirational music might make your grandparent’s happy, it is certainly not necessary.  Your skills should be the focus, not how entertaining the video is.  Here are some simple tips on how to create an effective highlight video: 

        • Keep it Short – A two or three minute video is long enough. A coach will decide if he or she is interested in the first 45 seconds.
        • Put your Best Highlights First – You only get one chance at a first impression.
        • Post Your Video online – Post your video online (YouTube or Vimeo) and include the link in your first correspondence to a college coach.
        • Know What Coaches look for – Different sports require different approaches. If you are unsure about this, ask your current coach for some help.
        • Show all Your Skills – Use clips that show you’re a well-rounded athlete.
        • Video Quality is Important – Use a high definition camera or your team’s game film.

        Creating a highlight video is not hard. If you are a parent and uncomfortable working on it yourself, ask your kid! I bet they know how to do it.

        A word of warning

        The college recruiting process is not as complicated as many would have you believe.  If the above is the kind of advice you are getting, you need to ask someone else!  And the best place to start is with your current coach.

        8 Recruiting Strategies

        8 Recruiting Strategies

        Original Article By Will Heckman-Mark via blogs.usafootball.com 

        The second semester of a high school athlete’s junior year can be an extremely stressful time. The combination of social life, school, sports, extracurricular activities and the college application process all pull on a teenager’s life and can weigh down even the most determined students.

        Becky Sharpe works with thousands of high school student-athletes each year. As CEO of International Scholarship and Tuition Services, she helps manage more than 500 scholarship programs across the country, resulting in more than 1 million applications and $30 million in scholarships annually.

        Sharpe offered eight strategies to help high school juniors manage these next two years in a way that maximizes their potential to play football in college and graduate with a degree.

        1. Stay on top of academics. Colleges place great importance on grades earned during the high school junior year and continue to monitor academic progress even after a student is admitted. GPA can be weighted or unweighted depending on the school and a student’s coursework. It is important for students to make sure that their GPA is accurately represented on transcripts that are sent to colleges.
        2. Identify realistic colleges of interest. In addition to financial, geographic and athletic factors, “Look at admission standards for schools of interest,” Sharpe said. “Athletes need to understand what is required of them to be an athlete at School X and make sure it matches their ability levels. It varies by school, but all that info can be found on the school’s website.”
        3. Find football camps that will maximize exposure. “Camps are a great way to get exposed, but an invitation needs to be perceived as exactly what it is,” Sharpe said. High school coaches can be resources for an honest evaluation of an athlete’s talent level and skill set. Using that information, players can find the camps and schools that best align with their abilities and give them the chance to stand out.
        4. Research available scholarships. “There are a plethora of free scholarship sites out there,” Sharpe said. “The key to navigating the scholarship world is if it’s fee-based, you should probably question it. All legitimate sites are free such as fastweb.com, chegg.com and scholarshipmonkey.com that list free scholarships. If you are applying for financial aid, make sure you fill out a FAFSA form and share it with schools you are interested in applying to.” Many companies and colleges have their own scholarship programs. Students can ask their parents and family friends about any connection to these opportunities, research them online and contact the financial aid office at their prospective schools with questions. Most scholarships will become available in the fall of senior year, with most financial deadlines occurring the following spring.
        5. Continue offseason training programs. Augment regular physical conditioning with advice from coaches and trainers at camps. Playing other sports helps to develop overall athleticism.
        6. Keep a Hudl highlight video up-to-date. Hudl is a useful tool for showing what a player can do on the field. Make sure the video is up-to-date with the most recent game footage. “In addition to a highlight video, we suggest an introductory video, maybe 30 seconds, one minute at most, to post on social media,” Sharpe said. “Show you are well-spoken, introduce yourself to recruiters and give them a sense of why you want to play at the next level or attend their school or just why you love the game, anything to set you apart.”
        7. Maintain a positive, tasteful presence on social media. “Represent what you want a coach to see about you,” Sharpe said. “When in doubt, don’t post. Avoid instant posting. Take the time to think about it first.” Social media posts should be positive and upbeat. Sharing goals and plans to achieve them reflects positive attitude and ambition, whereas complaining and offensive material reveals immaturity. While every recruiter is different, many will only skim or glance at these accounts, so avoiding any obvious red flags is paramount.
        8. Stay organized. Staying on top of these seven goals is daunting and can overwhelm student-athletes without a proper plan. There are apps and online tools designed to assist organization. These can help to arrange priorities and meet deadlines. “In order to achieve a goal, there has to be accountability,” Sharpe said. "Find a partner or a peer group and say, ‘This is my goal and this is when I’ll reach it.' Write it down, tell someone and get them to help you – a parent, coach, friend or mentor who will push you to achieve that goal.”

        What College Coaches Are Really Looking for in a Highlight Video

        What College Coaches Are Really Looking for in a Highlight Video

        Nebraska Director of Player Personnel Ryan Gunderson breaks down how to craft the best highlight videos - and some snags to avoid.

        Between managing his team, scouting opponents, performing video analysis and recruiting, a college coach’s schedule is generally jam-packed. With so little free time, something needs to be pretty special to catch his attention.

        This is why it’s critical for athletes to create quick, effective highlight videos. Make one or two mistakes and the coach is moving on.

        Hudl enlisted the help of Ryan Gunderson, the Director of Player Personnel at Nebraska, to learn how coaches watch highlight videos and what to avoid in the video-making process. The former Oregon State quarterback shed some light on things that coaches look for - and what they don’t want to see.

        Keep It Brief but Impactful

        Gunderson emphasized the importance of brevity. Time is one of a coach’s most valuable assets, and a coaching staff doesn’t have the patience to view 10 minutes worth of highlights for every player. A recruit has precious seconds to snare a coach’s attention before he moves on.

        “Always put your best stuff first,” Gunderson said. “Don’t save your best stuff for last. Put it up front. You may only get 30 seconds or a minute of somebody’s time and if that doesn’t impress them right away, they’re not going to turn your film back on.”

        Coaches rarely make it to the end of even the most impressive highlight videos. Gunderson said coaches will typically watch a good video for two to three minutes, then turn to game tape to see if the athlete is consistently dominant or just has a few explosive plays.

        Gunderson recommended keeping a highlight video to five minutes, adding that elite prospects need little time to prove their worth.

        “Depending on who the kid is, he may need to show only ten plays,” Gunderson said. “Some guys just need a ten-clipper or a five-clipper. It’s five plays and it’s not even hard to tell the kid is a stud. If you can get 25-30 plays on a tape, that’s probably plenty.”

        Take Derrion Grim’s video for example. The video is very long, but Grim starts his video with six straight touchdowns, all of which show off different strengths. A coach doesn’t need to wade through Grim’s entire video to see what he has to offer. It quickly becomes apparent why Rivals ranked him as the nation’s No. 37 athlete in the 2016 class.

        Add Variety to Your Highlight

        Athletes should use a host of different types of plays to put their full array of skills on video. It’s a mistake to include only plays that highlight one part of a player’s game.

        For instance, showing a series of 50-yard runs when a running back bounced to the perimeter shows off his speed. But to give a coach a full understanding of his skills, the back would be advised to include plays that show him breaking tackles, juking safeties and catching passes.

        “It’s good to showcase your speed, your variety, your change of direction, all that type of stuff,” Gunderson said. “You need to find the plays that highlight those things.”

        Josh Rosen provided a good sample of this in his senior video. He starts by displaying his arm strength with a couple of deep throws, but also proves he can execute seam, fade, corner and slant routes, and he has ability to move in the pocket and make tough throws under pressure.

        And show plays that conclude in the end zone, especially early in the highlight. Getting tackled isn’t a way to impress prospective recruiters.

        “Our wide receivers coach (Keith Williams) always says, ‘I don’t want to see you getting tackled at the beginning of your highlight film,’” Gunderson said. “‘I’m not impressed by you getting tackled.’”

        Consider the Music Selection

        Many athletes use background music to enhance their video or ramp up the excitement. For the most part, Gunderson said, that’s fine. Hudl allows users to create a unique highlight experience designed to wow friends and family.

        Just don’t expect it to get coaches too hyped up.

        Gunderson typically watches highlight videos on mute, so music doesn’t affect him one way or the other. But he has seen instances where a recruit includes a track with vulgar lyrics, a move that causes coaches to question his judgment.

        “You just think about it and you’re like, ‘You know you’re sending this out to college coaches and they’re going to watch it,’” Gunderson said. “‘Are you dumb? Why would you do that?’’”

        Quick Hitters

        Here are a few last tips Gunderson offered:

        ***Don’t interrupt a play to spotlight yourself. If you do use a spotlight, do it before the play begins. Pausing mid-play chops up the video and makes it tough to judge fluidity and athleticism.

        ***If you play both sides of the ball, feel free to share clips from multiple positions. For example, if a linebacker prospect also plays running back, Gunderson recommended including some highlights on offense. Those clips can showcase athleticism and catch a coach’s eye.

        ***Have a highlight video constructed before your senior season. But if you aren’t getting the offers you want, Gunderson recommended making another video from the first three or four games of your final year to try and generate new interest.

        Your highlight is often a coach’s first exposure to you as an athlete and can play a critical role in the recruiting process. Now that you know what coaches are looking for, it’s time to get started on your video. Any additional questions can be answered here.

        Original Article by: Dan Hoppen via Hudl.com

        What does filling out an online questionnaire do?

        What does filling out an online questionnaire do?

        #RecruitTips: What does filling out an online questionnaire do?

        Depending on if a coach sent you the link or not, filling out an online questionnaire is just an early step in the process.

        LINK: Before the Offer – 20 Signs a College Coach is Interested

        If a coach sent you the link and asked you to fill it out… that’s a good, early sign. It likely shows they’ve heard or seen something good about you from prep coaches or scouting services. By sending out the link, they are looking to gather more information on you to help them with their research. Primarily, they’re collecting your contact info so they can send you mail, emails or call you – either now or possibly down the road. They’re also collecting info on your HS/AAU/Club teams and coaches, info about your parents, HT/WT/Stats (unverified), etc. Online questionnaires are usually compatible and are able to be downloaded into massive databases that coaching staffs use throughout the process.

        If a coach didn’t send you the link and you fill it out on your own… it’s hard to say. At some schools the information is looked over and at some schools it’s not closely monitored. That’s not to say you will never begin to be recruited from them – but normally only if you are able to send film as well or have one of your prep coaches speak with the college coaches.

        Some schools have the budget to mail and email numerous amounts of kids and others only mail potential recruits that they have heard something about from trusted sources. Each staff and budget varies.

        Questionnaires – online or on paper – are just a first, early step in the recruiting process.

        Original Article from 1001Recruittips.com