Archive for December, 2014



Athletics:  Strength, Speed, and Health

Staying in top physical shape is critical to always performing your best on the field and gaining attention from college scouts.  Today’s top college athletes have a combination of speed, strength, and knowledge of the best methods to stay healthy, so developing these attributes early will result in higher levels of success.

Strength training is not just lifting weights for hours in the gym attempting to max out, but improving both explosiveness and muscular endurance.  Muscular power or “explosiveness” is a product of both strength and speed of movement.

The most effective way to increase strength without hurting your speed or flexibility is to complete plyometric exercises, these would include:

  • Lower Body: Squats, Jump Squats, Lunges
  • Upper Body: Push Ups, Medicine Ball Chest Pass

Speed is a crucial component to almost every sport, and getting faster is possible with hard work and discipline.  Flexibility training and regular sprint workouts will help make you quicker as well.  Sprinting during training sessions creates muscle memory which will be activated in game time situations.

A few exercises to increase your speed on the field are:

  • Uphill Sprints the steeper the better!
  • Calf raises try using weights to increase difficulty
  • Running Stairs

It may also be helpful to have a coach look at your form – sometimes even simple changes in your technique can help you get faster.

Health is important to maintain because it will allow for you to perform at your best on the field by taking care of yourself off of the field.  Eating healthy will provide your body with the proper nutrients to perform at the highest level.  Preventing injury is another major factor of health, because if you can’t train or play it is much harder to improve.

Putting the right “fuel” into your body is the foundation of performing on the field, some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • STAY HYDRATED especially while performing strenuous activity
  • Vitamin consumption in the form of fruits and vegetables
  • Protein and Carbohydrate intake to build and fuel muscles

Taking the correct steps to reduce the risk of injury would include:

  • Always wear the appropriate protective equipment (helmet, pads, cleats)
  • Stretching before and after physical activity, as well as on off days
  •  Knowing your body’s limits and how hard to push

 

Have a question or are looking for some potential help?

It all starts with an honest NCAA evaluation by an expert who knows what college recruiters are looking for and where you stand, an evaluation of what level of college is right for you.

Click here to learn about scheduling your NCAA evaluation & consultation

 

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Emailing College Coaches & Sending Your Highlight Footage

Emailing your target list of college coaches is critical in attempting to establish your interest in becoming a part of their program.  Including a highlight video in your email is a great way for you to allow coaches to quickly familiarize themselves with you and your athletic skills…

So how do you get started and stand out?   

Personalization

You want to begin by personalizing the emails you send to coaches by including the coach’s name in your introduction.  Don’t send out a mass email to all of your coaches just saying “Dear Coach”.  You want to take the little extra time to show the extra effort.

This personalization will help build a relationship with the coaches as well as generate a conversation.  It is important that you send the email from your personal college recruiting email address (*see an example below)

For each email that you send to a college coach, you want to make sure to include the key facts that these coaches are looking for in your first email such as:

  • Why you are specifically interested in joining their program

  • Where they can find your statistics and achievements both individually and as a team

  • Camps, Clinics, or Tournaments you will be attending in the near future

Do you have an email that has been designated for recruiting?

Your email should include your name (ex. johnsmith@gmail.com)

Keep it professional!

We recommended both student-athletes and parents have the user name and password to make sure emails are being read and responded to as promptly as possible.  However, parents should not be the ones sending the emails.  Parents should be involved to provide support and assistance and to help proofreading for spelling, punctuation, and content appropriateness.

Keep in mind: Not all coaches are going to immediately respond to your emails, and this is OK.

Coaches receive hundreds of emails from prospective athletes and do not always have the time to respond personally to each.  If there is no reply from the coach, it is acceptable to send a follow up email 7-10 days later.

Sending Highlight Videos to Coaches

Highlight videos are important to give coaches an opportunity to see an athlete’s skills and abilities without having to watch them in person.  Other benefits to a highlight video are that it allows the entire coaching staff to see you play as opposed to just one scout reporting back to the head coach.

Here are some steps to create a highlight tape of your own:

  • Get game footage of yourself from coaches, parents, or film it yourself

  • Pick out your best plays and make sure to have the very best plays at the beginning

  • Edit your video and use your top clips using programs such as iMovie or YouTube

What separates a good from a great highlight video?

There are a few collective characteristics which are prevalent among the best student athlete highlight videos, these include:

  • Video is five minutes or less

  • Showcase your best skills and plays first

  • Showcase all skills of the game

  • The athlete is easily identifiable (arrow or circle highlight)

  • Include basic introduction information such as the athlete’s Name, Graduation Year, Vitals, and Contact Information

Common mistakes can be made while creating a highlight tape and these mistakes can really hinder how a coach perceives your ability.  Here are a few ways to make sure your video does not commit any of the dreaded “Don’ts” that hurt so many highlight tapes:

  • Do not use shaky or blurry video shot from an iPhone or cell phone

  • Do not randomly order the plays being shown, instead show off your best plays in the beginning of the video

  • Do not have the video be longer than 10 minutes, ideally keeping it under 5 minutes in length

  • NO MUSIC in the background of your highlight tapes

  • Do not use the first 30-40 seconds giving statistics or video information, this should be included in the first 10 seconds

Click here to view “How to Make College Coaches Love Your Highlight Video”

Continuing the Conversation

Once you have started a conversation with a college coach, it is important to keep these coaches updated on your athletic achievements.

When updating coaches, be sure to include both individual and team accomplishments, anything from winning a league championship to improvements in personal stats.  Updated highlight videos should also be included in order to show your progress throughout the season.

Not only should coaches be updated on your athletic achievements, but they should be updated on your academic progress as well. Notifying coaches of updated SAT and ACT test scores expresses that you are working hard both on and off the field.  Coaches really do care about how you will fit in academically into their program, not only athletically.

Finally, inform coaches of the other schools who have shown interest and are actively recruiting you. Ask coaches where they are in their recruiting process.  Questions that you should be asking after the first few emails should be:

  • Are you recruiting athletes in my grad year and position?

    • This is beneficial in eliminating college options who would not be recruiting you.

  • Have you been able to watch me play live or have watched my video?

    • Lack of time makes it hard for a coach to see every athlete play, so checking in will give you a better opportunity for your skills to be noticed.

  • Do I fit in to your recruiting plan, or where do I rank on your recruiting board?

    • This is a very important question, because the answer will dictate if you want to continue to pursue that school.

Remember, when contacting college coaches, to be upfront and honest with them in order to have the most successful interactions and decide if they will be the best fit for your future.  Always try to be direct, clear, and build a relationship just as you would when talking with a parent or friend. Get to know the coaches more personally by asking:

  • What is your coaching philosophy on developing players inside of your program?

  • What is a typical day in both the in season and off season? (This question should typically be asked after there is shared interest between athlete and coach)

 

Do you have a solid game plan in place when it comes to contacting college coaches?

Talk with one of our college planning and recruiting advisors to see where you stand in the recruiting process and what the next steps should be in your college gameplan.

Click here to schedule your College Game Plan Q&A Call

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