Posts Tagged “student athletes”



Podcast

We’re here again with The Realities of College Recruiting Podcast Episode 6. This week’s episode is titled, “Don’t play for college coaches.

Our 6th episode once again features Ryan Thompson (former college baseball player and MLB Scout) and Andrew Beinbrink (Former All-American & MLB Player) discussing what happens if you try to play for the college coach who is scouting you and who you really should be playing for.

What are college coaches looking for?
For which reasons should you be playing the game?
How can you perform well while being under pressure?

Find out all of the answers to these questions in this week’s episode!

This podcast episode will also cover:
– How to keep the passion for your sport alive
– The importance of competition
– Find your own best approach to the sport you play

Don’t want to miss an episode?

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About the Realities of College Recruiting Podcast:
The Realities of College Recruiting podcast, brought to you by SportsForce, will tackle some of the toughest college recruiting questions. Our college recruiting experts will share their personal expertise and key insights that will help you maximize your college recruiting efforts. This is a weekly podcast that is hosted by former MLB scout for the Cleveland Indians, 2x coach of the year (Junior College) and current recruiting advisor for SportsForce, Ryan Thompson The Realities of College Recruiting podcast will bring you interviews with some of the top college coaches from around the country in order to help make your college goals a reality! Raise your game with SportsForce!

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Lacrosse scholarship
As I watch the MLL and high-level college lacrosse on TV these days, it occurs to me that every player I’m watching, to the last man, has put in the time, effort, and focus required to be truly good at the highest level of the game.  Many young players I talk to believe that mastery of their chosen sport is predestined, or that some kids just get lucky in the genetic lottery…but I know better.

Raw talent and athleticism can dominate a 7/8th-grade lacrosse game, and we’ve all seen that in action.  When you get to higher levels, however, the players that are putting in the work to improve their game quickly catch and surpass these “naturally good” players who don’t put as much work in to get better.  Players who are building their strength and endurance in the offseason, who never let their stick go untouched in any given week, who show up to practice to train hard, and who take care of their health and nutrition habitually eventually rise to the top.

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard

We’ve all heard the stories about Michael Jordan being cut from his high school basketball program as a freshman, Steph Curry getting very little interest from college coaches, and Tom Brady being drafted in the NFL’s sixth round, 199th overall.  If they simply accepted these circumstances and believed they just “didn’t have it”, where might they be today?  Certainly not among the greatest performers their sports have ever seen.

So here are some things that highly successful athletes do to stay ahead:

1. While the world sleeps, they work

How many times do you catch yourself saying “I just ran out of time today,” making an excuse for why you didn’t go to the gym, or go for a run, or hit the wall for some stick work? I know I have. Well here is your solution… get up early, perhaps 5:00/6:00 am, and get it done first. I promise you all Fortune 500 CEO’s and Olympic athletes don’t sleep in or watch 4+ hours of TV a day, or waste hours on social media.

Think about it, do you want to be someone who reads about other people’s greatness or do you want to be someone that others read about your greatness?  You decide. I think you will find that the morning calm before the world wakes up is a magical and spiritual time, and there is no greater feeling in the world than heading off to school, or your work day, knowing that you have already achieved something great… a long run, gym, or yoga class.

2. Their work creates confidence, so when life presents an opportunity, they seize it without hesitation

Opportunity is defined as “a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.” I am sure you all are recognizing the big opportunities– invitation to a recruiting camp, showcase, etc. But let’s really break it down and focus on the little opportunities that you may be overlooking that have the greatest impact. The opportunity to hit the gym with your parents or friends, the opportunity to play in a box league, the opportunity to reach out to a local collegiate player to train with them, the opportunity to stay late after practice and help a teammate or yourself work on your dodges, or stick handling, or shooting.

It is these little opportunities that will raise your game immensely.  Gen. Colin Powell, former Secretary of State said “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” What he means by this is that if you are going to succeed on the grander scale you need to first succeed on a smaller scale. Start your day with making your bed. It is a little achievement but it is nonetheless an achievement and a start.

3. They create routines and hold themselves accountable

We all know routine is important, but we can all get a calendar and map out our week and think, wow, I am going to get so much done this week. But what I want you to do is get to the END of your week and say, “Wow, I GOT so much done this week!”

Look back and see how many actions you were able to cross off. This is accountability, and I promise you there is no one in your life that is going to force you to do anything. Your parents are great advocates of yours, along with your friends and teammates, but at the end of the day, the only person that can make you get up and run farther, or faster, or do a third set of squats IS YOU. This is a true testament to how bad do you want to be great?  I guarantee all those lacrosse players you are watching on TV seldom had to be told to run harder, run farther, or lift more.  They do it because they want to be great!

4. They fill their bodies with proper nutrients and a lot of it

Fuel.  Cars need it to run, engines machines need it to run, and we ABSOLUTELY need it to run. But you have to remember that it needs to be the right fuel. If you just went to the gym and worked out hard, then reward yourself with a healthy snack and some hydration. Don’t ruin everything you have achieved in the gym by getting drive through after. That is being counterproductive.

Remember that you are an elite athlete and may look a little different than your non-athlete friends. I am here to tell you that more is OK! You are strong and fit, and your body needs more because you are burning more. So don’t feel bad about finishing your whole sandwich, yogurt, apple and peanut butter, Cliff bar, banana, and huge water. You needed it! Because at the end of the day, if you thrive at the first three–getting up early, seizing the opportunity, and being accountable, then you will never reach your potential if your body cannot keep up. Eat healthy, eat often and hydrate all the time! Be that person in the class that always has a water bottle with them.

 5. They get the most out of every practice, drill, scrimmage, and game

You’ve gone to practice thinking about your upcoming math test, you’re tired from yesterday’s game, you don’t like Monday training sessions, you deserve a day off…

Highly successful athletes have bad days too, but they never give a bad effort or let themselves dog it through a drill or practice feeling sorry for themselves or making excuses.  We’ve already talked about seizing opportunities, but what if your opportunity comes on a less-than-ideal day for you?  Mental fortitude is another trait that is not inborn but learned and trained.  It’s an everyday attitude that is built through a consistent level of effort, regardless of the circumstances.

I went to West Point and played for legendary college coach Jack Emmer.  One of the many lessons I took from him was that you have to deal with what comes up and power through it if you want to win.  He would say, “If we lose, there’s no asterisk next to this game because….” Fill in the blank:

“We had an Army Physical Fitness Test this week” / “It snowed 18 inches on our field” / “The streets outside our facility are flooded” / “You have a 20-page paper due”

I could recite a long list of things I heard from Coach Emmer over my four years at Army, but the lesson it left us with is that you cannot let outside factors affect your mental and physical preparation to meet your opportunities to excel.  Try to use the energy from all the frustration or stress to fuel your focus during your training session or event…every thought you entertain that does not feed your success actually hampers it.

Remember, practice doesn’t make perfect…perfect practice makes perfect.

Whether you fall into the “natural talent” category or not, success at the highest levels of anything in life will require your time, effort, and focus.  Make yourself better at every opportunity, and enjoy the growth you’ll achieve, knowing that you’re ready for your opportunity when it presents itself.  It’s truly just up to you…do you want to think about the excuses you have or the success you want?

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Podcast

We’re here again with The Realities of College Recruiting Podcast Episode 2. This week’s episode is titled, “Times have changed.”

Our 2nd episode features Ryan Thompson (former college baseball player and MLB Scout) and Andrew Beinbrink (Former All-American & MLB Player) discussing just how much the recruiting process has changed in the last 10 years.

What’s the best route to take when considering college?
What are the best strategies to undertake?
Am I doing enough to get noticed by college coaches?

 

This podcast episode will also cover:
– Finding your own path to college
– Prioritizing which methods are the best to gain more exposure
– The amount of competition in today’s recruiting process
– Understanding where you fit on a college coaches recruiting board

Don’t want to miss an episode?

Sunbscribe on iTunes

About the Realities of College Recruiting Podcast:
The Realities of College Recruiting podcast, brought to you by SportsForce, will tackle some of the toughest college recruiting questions. Our college recruiting experts will share their personal expertise and key insights that will help you maximize your college recruiting efforts. This is a weekly podcast that is hosted by former MLB scout for the Cleveland Indians, 2x coach of the year (Junior College) and current recruiting advisor for SportsForce, Ryan Thompson The Realities of College Recruiting podcast will bring you interviews with some of the top college coaches from around the country in order to help make your college goals a reality! Raise your game with SportsForce!

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Podcast

We’ve launched a brand new podcast to help parents and student-athletes understand the challenges, strategies, and tactics required in order to navigate the recruiting process with confidence.

Introducing The Realties of College Recruiting Podcast. Each week we will tackle some of the most important questions about the college recruiting process. Hosted by former collegiate athletes, The Realities of College Recruiting Podcast will give you expert advice and insights into the world of college recruiting.

In our first episode, Ryan Thompson (former college baseball player and MLB Scout) discusses when the best time to get started in the recruiting process is…

How early is too early?
When do colleges begin the recruiting process?
How do you get noticed in the first place?

Find out all of the answers to these questions and much more in this week’s episode!

This podcast episode will also cover:
– How athletic and academic ability factor into the recruiting process
– The differences between NCAA division levels
– Finding the best college fit for you
– Getting an unbiased evaluation is key

Don’t want to miss an episode?

Sunbscribe on iTunes

About the Realities of College Recruiting Podcast:
The Realities of College Recruiting podcast, brought to you by SportsForce, will tackle some of the toughest college recruiting questions. Our college recruiting experts will share their personal expertise and key insights that will help you maximize your college recruiting efforts. This is a weekly podcast that is hosted by former MLB scout for the Cleveland Indians, 2x coach of the year (Junior College) and current recruiting advisor for SportsForce, Ryan Thompson The Realities of College Recruiting podcast will bring you interviews with some of the top college coaches from around the country in order to help make your college goals a reality! Raise your game with SportsForce!

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Lacrosse off-season

In the last decade or so, a number of camps, showcases, tournaments and club teams have grown exponentially. Year-round lacrosse has become the norm, even in colder weather states. This includes play for both high school programs and club teams. With this trend of the ever-expanding season, there has been an increase in a number of players either getting injured or burning out at a young age. In this regard, the volume and accessibility of events, teams, and programs aimed at aiding with development and providing exposure to college coaches has been both a blessing and a curse.

With this newfound accessibility and today’s technology, more players are getting opportunities to be recruited by schools they would have previously never considered, even 10 years ago. Players can be recruited on a national level more easily, which gives student-athletes a better chance to find their best-fit college program. Players are getting more informed on the recruiting process and exposed to the different levels and divisions of college lacrosse. In general, it is easier to find a good athletic/academic/financial match than in previous years.

Our “regular season” is typically where we want to be at our best, as we have a daily practice and can play a brand of lacrosse more like the college game.  The challenge that we all face, as both players and coaches, revolves around the schedule. The LEAST convenient and LEAST realistic time for colleges to see you play is during your high school season. Coaches may occasionally be able to make it to a local game or to a game while on a road trip, but they are consumed with their own seasons, which puts a live evaluation on the back burner. So naturally, coaches are most actively recruiting and evaluating from late May-January. As it happens, the bulk of quality recruiting showcases and tournaments are scheduled during that period as well.

The most elite professional athletes in the world have a schedule that includes stretches of time devoted to rest (not complete inactivity, but a break from the repetitive motions required to compete).  It’s literally scheduled into their training plans by most professional sports teams’ training staffs.  So why do so many high school lacrosse players think it’s ok to have a longer season and less rest than professionals?  High school athletes are not done growing and developing. They have likely not prepared themselves physically to handle the strain they are putting on their bodies. They haven’t given their bodies any sufficient, extended period of time to heal, recover, and grow.

It’s a good idea that physical and mental rest be factored into every family’s plan for their growing student-athlete. Whether it be private lessons, camps, showcases, tournaments, club teams, training programs, or other specialty events, sometimes the correct answer is no. Families are dedicating increasing amounts of time and money every year hoping to find that golden ticket at the next event that gives their son a lacrosse scholarship. It is not uncommon to see high school players who never take a break from playing tournaments, high intensity camps, or other showcases for longer than a few weeks.

So what is the solution? These events/teams are not going away anytime soon, and likely they will only continue to increase in number and frequency. The burden of this responsibility really lies on players and their families to make smart, responsible decisions. Each player’s calendar will likely be unique to his situation.

Here are some tips to help set you up for success and health…

  1. Plan your calendar in advance for the entire year. Start with the active playing seasons (high school/club) and carefully select additional events and training as they fit in your schedule.
  2. Do not enter an event where you are expected to perform at max speed/intensity without preparing physically.  Getting ready to play requires at least a week or two of cardio, agility, and flexibility workouts.
  3. Plan a few periods of consecutive (2-3 minimum) weeks of rest throughout the year.
  4. Use your down time for strength/conditioning training, stick skills, and light lacrosse activity. Get back to fundamentals and lower intensity drills aimed to maintain and develop skills/mechanics.
  5. It’s ok to say no. It is flattering to be invited or chosen to play or participate in many events. Sometimes, however, it is not necessary. Plan in advance and try to avoid spur of the moment decisions on events you are not ready for physically, mentally, or financially.
  6. PLAY MULTIPLE SPORTS! It creates a natural off-season. Even if it is recreational or you will never play in college, it gives your mind and body a break. In most cases, the skills and coordination learned in other sports translates to you being a better athlete and lacrosse player.

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Divion III payoff

In our work with families, it’s common for student-athletes to be drawn to the NCAA Division I experience.  It makes sense.  Whether they are true DI level student-athletes or not, that’s typically the only form of collegiate competition they see or hear about on TV or in the media.

NCAA DI and DII sports programs offer the most competitive landscape for securing roster spots and athletic scholarships.  Only about 2 percent of players are offered DI or DII scholarships, and many of these are relatively small amounts. It is extremely rare for DI or DII student-athletes to secure full ride scholarships.

Due to this intense competition, it’s normal for many players at these collegiate levels to ultimately land at DIII schools. According to the NCAA, Division III is the largest division in terms of a number of schools and number of participants and is comprised of more than 190,000 student-athletes and represents 450 colleges and universities throughout the country. Division III is also the only division that does not award athletic scholarships; however, more than 75 percent of Division III student-athletes receive financial aid or have earned a merit scholarship for academic talent and accomplishment.

Although there are many, the three most often repeated benefits our families mention when attending and competing for DIII programs is that it allows the student-athlete:

  1. To maintain a well-rounded collegiate experience. Although the sports programs are very competitive and place a strong emphasis on winning, there is an opportunity for the student-athlete to participate in extra-curricular activities like semesters studying abroad, student government and Greek life.
  2. To attend strong academic institutions with advanced and well-positioned internships for future careers.
  3. To secure significant merit-based scholarships for academics or other special talents they may possess.

Many Division III institutions have extraordinary supplies of money to attract high-performing student-athletes and can offer exceptional value to families. Listed below is a recent email from a DIII soccer family to share as an example:

“Actually, we did quite well with her grants, scholarships, and loans… 

 She received the following package:

 GRANTS/ SCHOLARSHIPS (four-year grants, spread equally over the four years):

  • The University Scholar Award – $72,000
  • Board of Directors Grant – $33,716
  • Residency Grant – $8000

Total Grants:  $113,716

PRE-APPROVED GUARANTEED UNIVERSITY STUDENT LOANS:

  • $14,000 subsidized (no interest)
  • $8000 unsubsidized (very low interest)

Total Loans:  $22,000 (to be repaid after graduation and full-time employment)

 WORK STUDY:

$6000 – guaranteed position in the federal work study program all four years

 So they delivered a total of $141,716, which represents approximately 75% of her entire undergraduate education ($191,064), including tuition, books, room & board.

 Another great bonus, based on her major (International Business), is that they will send her abroad her sophomore year… at their cost.

 Finally, they guarantee graduation in four years. 

As it turns, she was their top female soccer recruit, but we did not know that until after she committed (her new teammates let the cat out of the bag).

 Note:  She improved her GPA and her SAT scores during the application process, and she promptly notified the University, and they increased her financial package accordingly, which I also liked.

 In fact, there is now one other scholarship that she is academically eligible to apply for, but she missed the February deadline (because she hadn’t even visited the school yet then, and they really weren’t even on her radar), so they sent her a letter, and they want her to apply next year (the Provost Scholarship), and if she gets it, she will get another $6000 in scholarship money ($2k per year for the last three years), and they will adjust my payments.

She is very excited for the opportunity, and I hope that it all works out for her. I will keep in touch to let you all know how she does.   

Thank you for your assistance.” 

Whether your son or daughter has the desire to compete in their sport at NCAA Division I, II or III college levels, Division III institutions may present significant academic and athletic opportunities that you did not know existed.

For a personal college recruiting evaluation and honest estimate of your potential to compete at the next level, contact us at:

Phone: 1.888.9787084
Email: scouting@sportsforceonline.com

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!

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Summer Recruiting

It’s that time again…summer club season.

By this point in the year, most high school lacrosse players have sifted through the multiple club teams, showcases, prospect days, and tournaments to which they have been invited, and tough decisions are being made.  Likewise, college coaches are finalizing their plans, allocating precious recruiting resources to various tournaments and events throughout the country.

In this installment of our College Game Plan Education series, we’ll provide a basic overview to get the most out of your summer investment.

So let’s stay at a high level and get started with a few questions:

Have you narrowed the list of schools that you’re interested in?

There are over 350 colleges with NCAA Men’s Lacrosse programs, but only a few schools that align with your academic, athletic, social, geographical, and financial goals.  Taking the time up front to focus only on best-fit schools will save you and your family tremendous amounts of time, money, and frustration.  We call this developing a “target list” of schools.  Factors such as what academic programs are offered (and their rating), school size, location, social aspects, level and culture of the lacrosse program, and the coaching staff must be considered to make an informed final decision and should be part of developing your target list.

What coaches from your target list committed to attend your events?

The questions I most hear from families in late spring revolve around one topic: the BEST teams/camps/showcases to attend this summer to be seen by college coaches.  The answer to “which is best?” comes down to how many of your targeted schools will be at an event and whether you can interest them enough to come see you play.  For example, a showcase heavily attended by Ivy League schools would likely not be the best use of resources for a player with a 2.5 GPA.  If you have the grades, the desire, and the talent to attend Harvard or Princeton, however, it would likely be a great event to attend.

Have you contacted any coaches to let them know where you’ll be playing?

Many players believe that if they’re on the right team or at the biggest showcase, they’ll simply get noticed.  NCAA rules limit the amount and type of contact a coach can have with an underclassman (currently 2018 and below), so you can’t expect to have meaningful conversations with them when you see them or meet them in person at events.  While accolades like all-star teams and all-tournament teams on your resume can certainly have an impact, a college coach usually arrives at an event with a list of names they’ll be evaluating and those players’ schedules, so it’s important to make personal contact and begin to establish relationships with coaches in the weeks leading up to your events.

Do you have an effective online presence?

Lacrosse is quickly growing into a nation-wide sport, with more and more new players picking up a stick each year.  College coaches are flooded with emails and phone calls from high school players that desperately want to attend their school and be a contributor in their program.  It’s wise to make it as easy as possible for a coach to evaluate your potential as a recruited player rather quickly.  In today’s recruiting landscape, a highlight video, your academic information, and your measurable statistics (height, weight, speed, etc.) are a bare minimum.  It is a good idea to also include references and their contact information, your upcoming schedule, a copy of your transcript, and even a personal statement or a list of college goals you’re looking to achieve.  Your goal is to establish a relationship with these coaches, so the more you set yourself apart during the initial evaluation phase, the more likely you’ll be recruited by multiple coaches and programs.

      Steps to Maximize Your Summer Game Plan

  1. Develop a target list of potentially best-fit schools and lacrosse programs
  2. Create/Update/Maintain online presence that markets YOU
  3. Establish contact with college coaches, interest them in your information
  4. Be yourself, ask questions, and learn all you can from the coaches you meet
  5. Have fun playing lacrosse
  6. Conduct follow-up with interested coaches after each event

      Other tips for success:

  1. Stay hydrated and have a nutritional plan at summer events
  2. Play hard all the time, you never know who may be watching
  3. Play smart- it’s still a team game in the summer
  4. Always display sportsmanlike conduct
  5. How you look & act between games matters

The common thread in everything we do in the recruiting space is that it’s all about relationships.  Choosing a college is an extremely personal and emotional decision for every family, and the investment is likely the largest any parent makes in their child’s future.  As such, every player and parent feel the need to be personally comfortable with the school, the campus, and the lacrosse program before committing to attend.  Likewise, college coaches earn their living based on how their team performs on and off the field, and the stakes are high, so they have to truly get to know the young men they invite to play for their program.  Developing relationships with college coaches should be one of the main goals of your summer, and will require you to formulate a plan to make the best use of your summer lacrosse schedule and the opportunities you will have to be seen and evaluated by your best-fit programs.

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Old Team Picture

In the 1990’s, the surge of competitive youth sports and club teams exploded in the United States. Since that time, joining a competitive club team and attending showcase tournaments or camps have become the dominant choice of more serious middle school and high school student-athletes. The driving motivation is typically to improve their skill sets, compete year round and ultimately enhance their college recruiting opportunities.

Due to NCAA recruiting restrictions and minimal recruiting budgets, college coaches have relied heavily on the ability to evaluate student-athletes at large tournaments, showcases, camps and combines. For the past 20 years, most families of high school student-athletes, have (knowingly or unknowingly) aligned their approach to college recruiting with the club team and tournament experience to look like the model listed below:

College Recruiting Outdated Approach

Freshman Year: The student-athlete has a high level of passion and desire to excel in their chosen sport. They commit to spending additional hours on personal training and skill work, or hire a sport specific specialist to help. At this point, they have most likely already joined a club or travel team to compete outside of the high school season and are often attending numerous tournaments, camps, combines or showcases annually. As the year progresses, the student-athlete goes on to play for their high school team. The hope is that their improved skills and abilities catch the eyes of college coaches in attendance at one of their competitive events.

Sophomore Year: Repeat the process/cycle

Junior Year: Repeat the process/cycle

Senior Year: Repeat the process/cycle

The tragedy taking place today, is that most student-athletes and families are still following this outdated 1990’s approach to college recruiting, or what we call the “hope” strategy.

Why can this recruiting approach be so limiting and usually ineffective for the more than 8 million high school student-athletes in the U.S.?

The importance of joining a competitive club team or playing in appropriate tournaments is not in question here. They can greatly help to advance your son or daughter’s skills in the off-season, or possibly assist in being evaluated by a college coach at a large showcase event. The club team coach may even know a few college coaches they can call on behalf of your son or daughter to provide additional feedback.

However, the approach families take to college recruiting is being challenged in three key areas.

1.) First, most club teams simply do not possess all of the necessary tools, time or resources needed to personally mentor and guide each of its players over a two, three or even four year period, let alone helping them to secure and manage multiple offers.

2.) Second, the majority of parents do not understand how to effectively promote their son or daughter to right-fit college coaches and programs.

3.) Last, families are spending thousands and thousands of dollars each year to attend multiple ID camps, tournaments, showcases, or combines in the hopes of generating interest or “looks” from college coaches for their son or daughter with too often, little or no results.

Unfortunately, most parents don’t fully understand how coaches evaluate and recruit at these events. There are normally several hundred, or maybe over a thousand players in attendance at a showcase tournament and college coaches do not have the ability to scout every player.

The Pyramid of College Recruiting Success

John Wooden, former UCLA basketball coach and the creator of the Pyramid of Success is a huge inspiration to many coaches, players and parents across the world. Thinking about the college planning and recruiting process, it struck me to create a “Pyramid of College Recruiting Success” diagram. The purpose is to help make crystal clear what the different stages of the climb up the pyramid are, and the keys to its success.

This pyramid presents families and their student-athletes with the opportunity to begin taking more control over their college recruiting options and choices. The biggest difference between this approach and the one started in the 1990’s is the importance of creating a comprehensive college recruiting game plan. It should include specific goals and strategies that may ultimately help to generate multiple offers from best-fit schools. The initial target list schools should at least match your son or daughter’s athletic skills, academic abilities, potential playing time opportunities, academic goals/majors, school location/size, and financial budget (note: most scholarships are not full-rides).

The other major focus point is centered on the importance of the student-athlete taking the time to begin building and sustaining relationships with college coaches as early as possible. A student-athlete should be developing an ongoing and “personal” dialogue with 10-12 college coaches, or maybe more. As college coaches and student-athletes advance through the recruiting process together, it is only natural that some coaches will be more interested in certain players over others. The opposite also takes place as student-athletes begin to narrow their choices of schools/sports programs that best fits their needs. Too often, student-athletes make the fatal mistake of placing all of their recruiting focus and energy on one or two colleges, only to be left out entirely when offers are made because the coach recruited and offered a roster spot or scholarship to a different player.

One of the least efficient and most costly ways to being recruited is by attending all of the tournaments, camps and showcase events you hear about. That can be a very expensive and time consuming endeavor for your entire family. The goal, rather is to pinpoint those competitive events where your potential best-fit college coaches will be in attendance and to build a relationship with them prior to the event. Again it’s important to outline what a best-fit school and sports program looks like for your son or daughter. As previously mentioned above, these priorities should include things like: athletic and academic abilities, potential playing time, opportunity to turn professional in their sport (if desired or realistic), available majors, future career networking opportunities, location, size and potential financial obligations or savings.

It’s very important to ask yourself what your family’s college recruiting game plan is, and if it is clearly defined. Everything starts with an honest evaluation with where you and your child are in the process.

If done properly, this new approach could exponentially increase your son or daughter’s chances of being recruited and may ultimately help in securing multiple offers from their best-fit schools.

SportsForce is a College Recruiting Advisory Group based in San Diego, CA.  Our entire team of college recruiting advisors dedicate their passion, time and attention to evaluating, educating and guiding qualified student-athletes and families through the college planning and recruiting process.

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SAYZ: chalk talk with the SKLZ team

In an article written by Doug Hix of Youth Fitness Magazine, we come to see that being a successful athlete doesn’t mean making it big time. In all reality being a successful athlete is setting personal goals and pushing yourself to your full ability to reach them. Read on to find out more about this:

Football Team

In my opinion, John Wooden is the most successful basketball coach to ever step on the hard wood. In 2009 the sporting news agreed with me by naming Coach Wooden as the “Greatest Coach of All Time”. His accomplishments are so many that I don’t even want to try to list them all. Of all his great accomplishments and words of wisdom there is something that Coach Wooden said that really inspired me. It’s a quote of his that states, “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”


I think this speaks so strongly to what success really should look like. So many of you think success is starting on Varsity, getting a college scholarship, or making it to the pros. Those are successful attainments, however, that’s not the measurement of success in your own life. Success is measured against the ability you have been given and how much you have done with it. Everyone is given a different measurement of ability and your success is dependent upon what you do with your measure (share).


Let me share an example of this for you. During training one day I paired a really fast guy up against an athlete that was a little slower. I said the “loser has to do an extra rep… one, two, three, GO”! They were off racing around cones and the fast guy began to pull away. After about 20 yards of running he had a 3-yard lead, he slowed down as he crossed the finish line and thought he was the winner. The athlete that was a little behind ran all the way through the line and finished strong but frustrated because he thought he had lost. However, I declared the faster athlete the loser and the other athlete the winner. The faster athlete said “what, your kidding right?” I explained to him being a faster athlete does not make you a winner. A winner is someone giving everything they have all the time, not just part time.


Crossing the finish line

I think success first should start with the basic premise that winning or losing is not a measurement of success. A common term used in track and field is PR (personal record). After every track meet in college our coach would announce when someone set a PR and everyone would clap. We knew that person competed at their best and was successful. Every workout and every game focus on setting a PR, then you will always be a winner and possibly achieve more than those with greater ability than yourself.


Coach Wooden was quoted as saying “never mistake activity for achievement”. If you are NOT giving your all every day in every way, then you are not maximizing your ability.

Youth Fitness Magazine

Youth Fitness Magazine was created by SKLZ Team Member Doug Hix, with one mission in mind: to educate parents with knowledge and training tools that will help them make the best decisions for their children’s sporting/fitness routine. To get the latest tips in training and nutrition, information on sports injuries and sports specific techniques, sign up at www.youthfitnessmag.com.

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Sport: Water Polo Position: Goalie Class: 2012 School: The Bishop’s School La Jolla, CA

Junior goalie, Gabby Stone, helped her team to a championship win along with a 5-0 record in the TYR Cup at El Dorado High School. Stone allowed just 10 goals in the 5 games of the tournament and was named Goalie of the Tournament.
To view Gabby’s complete SportsForce profile click here – http://www.sportsforceonline.com/athletes/gabby-stone-waterpolo-2012

Scouting report courtesy of SportsForce – Home for College Sports Recruiting Videos, Tips, Tools and Premium Services – www.sportsforceonline.com

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