Posts Tagged “advice”



We would like to congratulate Matt Stearns on his commitment to California State University, Dominguez Hills! Here are Matt’s recruiting story and interview after his commitment. Good luck as a Toro!

Matt Stearns commitment

1. Share your recruiting story and status

A few weeks ago. The process was exciting. I had the opportunity to choose from three schools.

2. What school are you going to, and why did you choose them?

I chose Cal State Dominguez Hills. The fit was the best for me and my family. The coaching staff is really great there and I get to stay in SoCal playing baseball.

3. How did SportsForce help in the process?

Ryan and Darrell were super helpful and the insight they gave us was invaluable. Sportsforce helped us get noticed by a lot of schools. Ryan advised us on which showcases and tournaments I should attend to maximize being seen by the schools I was interested in.

4. What advice would you give to other players and parents with the recruiting process?

Start early, find the schools that will be the best fit for you and your family.

5. How excited are you for your future in college?

I am super excited about taking my game to the next level and playing College Baseball.

6. How much money do you anticipate your family saving in college expenses because of you being recruited?

I believe it will be close to $50,000

7. Would you recommend SportsForce to any other student-athletes? Why?

I would recommend Sportsforce to help others with the recruiting process. I learned a lot from Sportsforce on how to communicate with coaches and find the best fit for me.

Over the last five years, SportsForce has helped over 1,000 student-athletes and families successfully navigate the college recruiting and athletic scholarship process while saving families on average $50,000 in college expenses.

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What most student-athletes, parents and coaches don’t realize is that DI offers less than 20% of the college sports opportunities for most sponsored college sports. The reality is most DII, DIII and NAIA recruiting budgets are small and thus the student-athletes and parents have been even more proactive in the process of getting evaluated and recruited.

3 Quick Tips to handling the DII, DIII and NAIA recruiting process:

  1. RESEARCH: Research which schools offer the academic and athletic fit you are looking for at the DII, DIII and NAIA. There are plenty of great college programs at these levels. Use these two websites to help:
    1. College Coaches Online – www.collegecoachesonline.com (Contact us about a discount to their membership)
    2. College Board – www.collegeboard.com
    3. NCAA Rules & Regulations – Click HERE
  2. KNOW THEIR LIMITATIONS: Since smaller programs don’t have a large recruiting budget you have to make sure you provide them an opportunity to evaluate you. A highlight video is critical for them to evaluate you as well as potentially attending one of their camps. Also DIII does not offer any athletic scholarship money. However they can put together a great financial package using financial aid and academic scholarship money.
  3. BE PROACTIVE: Create a list of target schools and market yourself to those schools. Be pleasantly persistent and make sure you provide them a completed resume and highlight video so the coaches can easily evaluate your skills. Your goal is to get evaluated and know where you stand with each school you are interested in.

To accelerate your education on the college sports preparation and recruiting process I recommend signing up for our FREE SportsForce College Sports Recruiting Guide.

* FREE Sign up click HERE

SportsForce premium members have an over 80% college sports success rate with an average of more than $50,000 in college scholarship & financial savings per family.

Click HERE to learn more about our programs.

Article courtesy of SportsForce, Home for professional and affordable College Sports Recruiting Tools, Tips, Online Profiles, Highlight Videos and Premium Services.

www.sportsforceonline.com

info@sportsforceonline.com

858.350.5889

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Over the summer we shared some tips on how to prevent athlete burn out. These tips may not have rung too true at the time, as many student-athletes do get a break over the summer. Now that you’re deep in the school year and the season, it’s time to check out those old tips and see below for few more.

1. LEARN TO RELAX: Life as an athlete is extremely busy and stressful. Slow down and take at least 15 minutes a day to relax; read a book, listen to some music, or write in a journal. You’ll find that taking a few minutes everyday to recharge your batteries will give you more energy to perform well on a daily basis.

2. FIND A BALANCE: Sports are time consuming and can easily become the single focus in your life. Force yourself to find a balance between sports, school, extracurricular activities, and a social life. This will help prevent you from getting both physically and mentally exhausted.

3. MORAL SUPPORT: You need support and encouragement to succeed in athletics. Make sure you have a parent, coach, or teammate who acknowledges your achievements and dedication to the sport, and who will encourage you to continually improve your game.

Be sure to visit our Education Page for more resources for student-athletes and parents.

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As I stated in the first leadership skills blog, leadership is an important skill all student-athletes should possess. You should be working on improving your leadership skills regularly, which is why I have included even more great tips on leadership below.

1. Learn from all of your experiences

An important asset many leaders have is the ability to learn from all experiences, good or bad. Think about certain situations in your life, whether a practice, game, or something else, and recall what happened. Did everything go as perfect as you had hoped? What improvements would you like in order to make the experience more enjoyable or rewarding? Aside from taking learning value from your own point of view, also get feedback from teammates and coaches. No one may like hearing criticism, but a vital skill leaders possess is the ability to take feedback and use it positively to improve the next experiences.

2. Work on your communication skills

One of the most difficult skills for a leader to perfect is the ability to communicate well and effectively. Many aspects can get in the way of good communication, so it is important to keep a few things in mind when trying to communicate effectively. Always know what the purpose of what you are trying to communicate is. If you are not completely sure what you want to convey, how will anyone else? Also, be proactive and make sure that your peers and coaches understand what you are trying to communicate. By practicing two-way communication, you leave little room for discrepancy and will have an easier time achieving your goals.

3. Listen, listen, listen

The biggest mistake a leader can make is not showing well enough that they are listening. If you do not show that you are actively listening to peers and coaches, your credibility as a leader is diminished. When listening to others, make sure you are engaged in what they are saying. Body language is key; establish eye contact and make sure you are not doing other things. Also, make sure you are using two-way communication. Actively listen to what your peer or coach is saying show that you were listening by providing some sort of feedback, whether it be your own opinion on the topic or asking for clarification or more information. When others actually feel like they are being listened to, they tend to respect you more and feel more respected.

4. Be Assertive

One of the more obvious qualities people look for in a leader is assertiveness. Leaders need to be assertive in order to accomplish what they want. If a leader doesn’t speak up, then who will? However, it is important to make sure you don’t abuse this skill. A leader who is overly assertive is often times unpleasant to work with. So, make sure that you are being assertive, but not to the point that your teammates and coaches do not like working with you.

5. Manage your stress

Stress is an aspect that, if not managed well, can greatly affect others. Teammates look to a leader for help and guidance, so if a leader cannot manage their own personal stress, it will spill over negatively to peers. Some ways to cope with stress are to talk it out with loved ones, not procrastinate, and to be realistic with what all you can handle. By managing your own stress, you will have a more positive demeanor and you teammates will enjoy working with you more.

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Most student athletes have the dream of successfully being recruited and getting to play for their favorite Division I school. However, it’s a hard fact that this isn’t going to happen for everyone. Courtney shared last week about the benefits of DII, DIII and NAIA schools, but there was another great option we didn’t get a chance to learn about: junior college. Junior college does not have to be looked at as a last resort. In fact junior college can be a great time to knock out some core classes while developing your game to play at that DI school or wherever the next level might be for you. Below you will find some reasons junior college might be the right fit, and why not to rule it out.

Develop Yourself Academically

Like a four year school, you have to remember that your junior college experience isn’t just about sports. Junior colleges (JUCOs) offer an amazing opportunity for smaller class sizes and more professor interaction. The jump from high school to college can definitely be challenging academically, but junior college acts as a great bridge between the two. You’ll get used to the college workload, but your chances of being lost among hundreds of other students in a lecture hall are a lot slimmer.

Develop Yourself Physically

Sure, there are cases like LeBron James, who stood 6’7” weighed 225lbs as a 17 year old, but for many of us, we’re not so lucky (or such freaks of nature). Junior college is a great time to develop yourself physically and develop your game.  The junior college sports scene will give you a chance to play against some top athletes and develop a skillset to handle them. Staying engaged in your sport in the two years following high school will help you to increase your abilities and give you a chance to get your body in top performing shape as you continue to grow into it. Maybe it will even help you become the next Aaron Rodgers.

Show the Four Year Schools Your Commitment to Your Sport

Playing at a JUCO will show colleges how committed you are to your sport. The willingness to continue to train and compete show cases determination. JUCO gives you a chance to up your game, and in turn show college coaches how much you have improved and how dedicated you are.

Get a handle on your courses

Take advantage of the smaller class sizes and close knit environment by taking core classes to help you be prepared when you make the jump to a four year school. It’s important not to look at junior college as a lost opportunity and spend your time taking pottery classes (though one might be fun!) and find out core requirements or Gen Eds for you major and take those classes.  Many classes transfer over, but be sure to do your research about which credits will transfer to a four year school, so you don’t find yourself taking Writing 101 twice, because your first attempt didn’t transfer.

Lastly, Save Some Cash in the Process

Junior Colleges offer cheaper tuition than four year schools. As you play your sport for two years and knock out some core classes, you’re saving big bucks. Some state schools even offer programs for reduced tuition if you have completed your associate degree at an area junior or community college.

JUCOs are a great choice to ready yourself academically and physically for four year programs, they aren’t just a last chance option, they are a great option for many athletes. Don’t forget about Aaron Rodgers, either, he’s just one of many JUCO success stories.

Visit the below links for more information on Junior and Community Colleges

National Junior College Athletic  Association (NJCAA) : http://www.njcaa.org/

Junior College Football rankings, programs and more: http://jcfootball.scout.com/

Search for Two year programs at College Board: http://collegesearch.collegeboard.com/search/adv_typeofschool.jsp

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We here at SportsForce stress the importance of starting the recruiting process as early as possible. However, we know that sometimes you can lose track of time and enter your senior year with no options or offers. If you find yourself in this predicament, don’t worry, you still have a chance to be recruited. Below are some tips on how to get your recruiting process underway in a limited amount of time.

Have Realistic Expectations

Your chances of getting into a Division I school have diminished drastically by your senior year. There most likely are still some options, but you shouldn’t put all your hopes and efforts into that one DI school. Don’t worry though; there are still plenty of opportunities to play your sport at the college level. Most of these opportunities will be in the form of NAIA schools, NCAA Division II and III schools, and junior colleges. These options will still give you the experience of playing a college sport and will be sure to give you an enjoyable time.

Be Proactive

College coaches may not necessarily have their radars on high school seniors. This is because they figure all the good ones have already been recruited. That is why it is crucial for you to be the proactive one in the recruiting process. Be the one to make initial contact with the coaches, send your highlight videos out, and express your desire to play at that college. Using a tool like SportsForce to actively market yourself is the best way of doing all of these things.

Don’t Get Discouraged

Because of how late you are starting the recruiting process, you are more than likely to hear your fair share of “no’s.” Don’t let this discourage you. If you really want to play at the college level, keep contacting coaches and expressing just how much you want to play. You are bound to find the right fit for you if you stay positive and don’t give up.

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Stress is a part of life that everyone has to deal with, including student athletes. We all get to a point where we feel we have too much on our plate and don’t know what to do. The important thing is to not let it overcome you.Read on for a few tips to help you when your life feels stressful.

1. Do stress relieving activities

When you feel stressed, it can be very helpful to just take a few minutes time out to do an activity that calms you. Some ideas for stress relieving activities include taking slow, deep breaths, thinking calm thoughts, repeatedly tensing up and releasing your muscles, and exercising. Such activities help take your mind off of your situation for a few moments and will let you recollect your thoughts.

2. Talk it out with friends or family

Bottling up your stress and emotions can be very detrimental. Talking out problems with a close friend or family member is very helpful when coping with stress. You should always have at least a few trusted loved ones that you can talk to for support and help during stressful times.

3. Make time to have fun and relax

Sometimes it is very easy to get caught up in all the different aspects of your life. While it is important to stay on top of your game in academics, sports, etc., it is equally important to take some time out to do things you love to do. This can include socializing with friends and family, playing sports and games for recreation, reading, music, art, and whatever else you can think of that you enjoy doing.

4. Don’t procrastinate

This is one of the easiest ways to become stressed. When you wait until the last minute to complete a project or activity, the time crunch you face causes a great amount of stress. It will be so much easier and stress-relieving if you complete assignments in small doses over an extended period of time.

5. Be realistic with how much you can handle

Sometimes we take on too much of a workload to prove to ourselves and others what we are capable of. By taking on too many projects, not only do you become overly-stressed, but each project will not be as thorough because you have to concentrate on so many other things. You should pick and choose projects that you want to do the most. It is okay to say no sometimes.

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Guest post by John Matich – Director – www.kickingsystem.com

Specialists often have the hardest times getting noticed by college recruiters and coaches.You often hear about kickers from a small school in Nebraska or Idaho that hit a 65-yard field goal and are listed as the number one kicker in their class on Rivals.com because of that kick. Kickers are also often the last position to get recruited and there are thousands of good kickers across the country. So,what can set you apart?

Here are three easy and simple things you can do to separate yourself from the rest:

Build it and they will call. If you can build a high-end highlight film or DVD, coaches will notice. All you need is a 3-5 minute DVD of your best kicks in games and practice that is easy to see and professionally done. Visit as an example: http://www.sportsforceonline.com/athletes/nsloan

Make sure your game film looks professional and that is not low-end film. Add your personal information such as SAT score, grades, phone number and school information at the beginning or on the DVD itself. Highlight your strengths, such as hang time on kickoffs or long field goals. Put your best stuff in the beginning.

Once you have your DVD, send it to at least 20 schools that interest you. Find out the name of the special teams coach or recruiting coordinator and include the DVD with your football resume. You have only one chance to make your first impression!

If you’re a rising senior or JUCO player, I recommend attending the college camps. Each Top 25 college football program will either have a  “football camp” or a kicking camp in June or July. Sometimes you’ll be invited to attend by the coaches on staff; as an alternative, you can sign up online, as most schools list their camps on their athletic websites. There are numerous kicking events and combines out there, but the new rule that college coaches cannot attend them places even more emphasis on the summer camps.

I can tell you from experience, by running the San Diego State University Football Kicking Camp last summer, the entire staff was in attendance, with the head coach holding for placements. You’re guaranteed exposure at these camps. Sometimes colleges will just have you come in for a day and kick for a couple of hours. Others, like Cal, have full-fledged kicking camp; it has a three-day kicking camp that includes instruction and lectures.

Study! I can’t tell you how many more doors you can open for yourself if you can raise your GPA or SAT scores. Making sure you are on pace for the NCAA clearinghouse and have all the requirements to graduate are easy steps to solidify your eligibility, but I cannot overemphasize the important role grades play in your acceptance to certain universities. Sometimes kickers and punters have to “walk-on” their first year and earn a scholarship. Getting into the school academically is a great way to help you get on the football team.

Lastly,if you’re an upcoming junior, senior or JUCO player, let your performance speak for itself. Acquiring great stats, kicking long field goals and setting records will only help you get noticed. Your high school coach will believe that your college material and recommend you more to college coaches when they visit your school.

John Matich, is a former NFL and NCAA kicker and now owner and director of The Kicking System, which offers Camps & Private Kicking Lessons in San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

Visit www.kickingsystem.com for top level football kicking videos, recruiting tips, tools and upcoming kicking events.

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The GAME has changed! The fact is, the college recruiting process has changed dramatically over the last 10 years and understanding how to play the game is important.

The college recruiting process is often misunderstood by many parents, student-athletes, coaches and fans. Are you a sports parent or a high school student-athlete who is asking yourself “How do I maximize my recruiting exposure to college coaches?” If so, you are not alone. This is a very common issue across the country that we often help student-athletes and families proactively address at SportsForce.

In this article you will learn more on how to introduce yourself to a college coach, what type of recruiting events to consider and gain an understanding of how video and the Internet are radically changing the recruiting process. At the end of this article you will have an opportunity to sign up for our complimentary SportsForce College Recruiting Guide to learn more keys to college recruiting success. See link at the end of the article.

Step 4: Get Evaluation in person: Target Key Recruiting Events

  • Identify key recruiting tournaments that some of your target colleges will attend
  • Email coaches your online profile link, team name, schedule and jersey # before the showcase to make sure you  are evaluated
  • Potentially attend a few college camps for specific exposure to that program

Step 5: Get quality video, online profile & share

  • Video is key, college coaches don’t have the time to see every player
  • Create a custom highlight video to showcase your skills (3 – 5 min. long)
  • Create an online profile to add your athletic, academic and recruiting information

Some example SportsForce profiles below:

Here is an example profile and highlight video of one of our senior clients Nick Melka that recently committed to Columbia University to play football.  Nick and his family were proactive in the process and were able to maximize his exposure and generate significant interest from many of his top college choices.

Here’s a link to Nick’s profile –http:/www.sportsforceonlone.com/nmelka

To get more advanced recruiting tips, strategies and advice visit our website and sign up for our complimentary SportsForce College Recruiting Guide and updates below.

FREE sign up for SportsForce College Recruiting Guide:

http://www.sportsforceonline.com/resources/resources_recruiting_recruiting_guide.html

Article courtesy of SportsForce, Home for professional College Sports Recruiting Profiles, Highlight Videos, Tips and Tools – www.sportsforceonline.com

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The college recruiting process is often misunderstood by many parents, student-athletes, coaches and fans.  The fact is, the college  recruiting process has changed dramatically over the last 10 years and understanding how to play the game is important.

Are you a sports parent or a high school student-athlete who is asking yourself “How do I maximize my recruiting exposure to college coaches?” If so, you are not alone. This is a very common issue across the country that we often help student-athletes and families proactively address at SportsForce.

In this article you will begin to learn the basics of maximizing your college recruiting exposure and some key facts to understand about the recruiting process.

At the end of this article you will have an opportunity to sign up for our complimentary SportsForce College Recruiting Guide and get access to recruiting tips, advices and insight to learn more keys to college recruiting success. Click Here for the full recruiting guide.

First, a few key facts to keep in mind before we talk about maximizing exposure:

–          College coaches are recruiting earlier and earlier (often evaluating freshmen & sophomores)

–          Colleges often don’t have the budget to recruit many players in person and are relying more and more on video to help make better recruiting decisions

–          80% of college sports opportunities exist outside of DI level teams

–          Over $1 Billion dollars in athletic scholarship money is awarded to student-athletes each year

–          A recruited student-athlete has a significantly better chance of getting accepted to a college over a non student-athlete with similar grades

–          College coaches are using all sorts of technology including: email, smart phones (Blackberrys, Iphones, etc.), online recruiting databases, social media (YouTube, Facebook) and more to find and evaluate players.

If your son or daughter is seriously looking to play college sports, your goal as a parent should be to support them and provide them an opportunity to best position themselves to reach their goal and find the right college fit.

You might be asking yourself what is the RIGHT FIT?

The right college fit means understanding what type of college experience your child is looking for and what’s best for the family. When creating a list of potential colleges focus on the most critical decision factors and criteria including: academics, athletics, location, cost, level of competition, coaching staff, social environment, potential playing time and scholarship opportunity.

Now that we have some more information on the table lets discuss “How to Maximize College Exposure.”

Step 1: Determine what College Programs are right for the Student-Athlete

–          Conduct a realistic student-athlete assessment (stats, skills and grades)

–          Ask for a coach’s evaluation (HS & Club team)

–          Research & create a target list of schools based on critical decision factors and college criteria (10 – 30+ colleges)

Step 2: Express Interest / Build Support

–          Meet with high school / club team coach regarding your college goals and commitment and make sure everyone is on the same page

–          Network with other trainers, coaches and parents to seek potential qualified college coach introductions

Step 3: Introduce and Market Yourself

–          Start early (Ideally Freshman and Sophomore years)

–          Introduce yourself to college coaches and express your interest (use email, phone or an in person meeting to make an introduction)

–          Remember you can call a college coach even though they might not be able to call you based on NCAA regulations

–          Provide complete resume / profile and highlight video for a college coaches evaluation

Some example SportsForce profiles below:

–          Follow up is KEY (email, phone and unofficial trips)

We will include more in Part II on “How to Maximize Your College Recruiting Exposure” Click Here to read Part II now.

To get more advanced recruiting tips, strategies and advice visit our website and sign up for our complimentary SportsForce College Recruiting Guide and updates below.

FREE sign up for SportsForce College Recruiting Guide:

http://www.sportsforceonline.com/resources/resources_recruiting_recruiting_guide.html

Article courtesy of SportsForce, Home for professional College Sports Recruiting Profiles, Highlight Videos, Tips and Tools – www.sportsforceonline.com

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