If I’m just now getting playing time as a senior, is it too late to get recruited?


Not necessarily, since it’s this late in the game you’ll likely have to do a lot of the footwork on your own! Yes, coaching staffs are offering students earlier and earlier, but signing classes aren’t always finalized until Signing Day, or even later. Coaches may have solid commitments from enough players at your position, so it’s best to focus your attention on schools that are still in need of your position. Pay attention to schools that are graduating several players at your position! Rosters are fluid, especially leading up to the start of pre-season practice, so work to find that ONE coaching staff who is looking for a player like you!

#1-  The #1 rule to recruiting is that for a coach to be interested in offering you a scholarship, they must see you play in person first, either in-person or on film. Once you have a few good games under your belt (with good film to back it up), send it to coaches at schools that you may be a fit for, along with your Student-Athlete Resume.

#2- NAIA also offers athletic scholarships, similar to the NCAA. Check out PlayNAIA.org for a list of member schools, eligibility information and recruiting direction.

#3- Lastly, consider going to Junior College for a season or two. Many players choose the JuCo route and transfer as a sophomore or junior to a four-year institution. By going to Junior College, you have the opportunity to earn athletic scholarships (including full rides) and some time to basically re-do the recruiting process.

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If I’m a freshman on varsity, should I send college coaches my film?


It’s not necessary, as a freshman it’s best to focus your time on developing your position-skills, speed, size and academics. Instead of spending hours reaching out to coaches, put that time into your improvements and give yourself another year to become even better. The recruiting process can be quite time consuming, time that is better invested in the weightroom as a freshman.

Making varsity as a freshman is a great first step, but depending on the strength of competition within your school and district, it may not necessarily stand out to coaches quite yet. What they do look for: great position skills, speed, strength, size and the intangibles, including leadership, toughness, work ethic and a great IQ for the game!

Believe me, if you’re creating buzz and hype in the area as a freshman, college coaches will find out about it! Even though they can’ contact you yet—they’ll be gathering info on you!

And most importantly, make sure your freshman year grades are off to a great start. You don’t want your GPA to be a reason why coaches rule you out as a sophomore, junior or senior. Get off to a great start in the classroom and develop good study habits!

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What if I get suspended, will that effect my recruitment?


One of a coach’s toughest jobs during the recruiting process is to evaluate the risk vs. reward with players.

All coaches in America ask themselves: “Will I sign a more talented player with off-the-field issues or mistakes in their past… or will I sign a less talented player who has no off-the-field issues?”

Every situation is different and every coaching staff is different – ultimately it’s up to the head coach if they want to take a chance on a player with legal or attitude issues. I’ve worked with coaches who will take anyone, coaches who want nothing to do with a player with a past and then some in-between.

Head coaches evaluate these situations on a case-by-case basis. Was it an isolated issue? Did you have family issues going on? Have you gotten away from bad influences? Have you learned, changed, matured? Can you be trusted? Many coaches don’t want to bring in a bad apple to their lockerroom if they trust their team, they don’t want to disrupt the chemistry in the lockerroom.

In many, not all cases, a players past is a prediction of the issues they will bring with them to college. If you have a particular attitude or issues within your circle, you will likely bring those issues and negative influences with you to college. Some coaches think you’ll never change and other coaches will give you the opportunity to grow up.

If you are talented enough athletically, coaches will look into your issues/mistakes and evaluate. In some cases, they must get approval from the Athletic Director of University President if there is a legal record. Coaches won’t just want your side of the story, they will ask as many people with direct knowledge as possible to get a clearer view of the situation and you as a person.

To many coaches, they would rather take a player with no off-field issues because at the end of the day, winning is based on trust. If your coaches can’t trust you, you won’t win together. And if you are a great athletic talent who keeps finding yourself in trouble, coaches know that if they begin to let you get away with more than the other players on the team, and that is the beginning of the end for a head coach. When players aren’t accountable, it’s only a matter of time before the coaches are fired.

Honestly, I’ve seen players with negative pasts change. They normally have detours and a couple years of earning trust back, but it is possible. Your attitude is one of the few things you’ll ever be able to control.

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What constitutes an Official Visit?


A: Official visits are a school’s chance to show you what they have to offer you as far as academics, campus life, city life, facilities, team/coach personalities and a chance to bring you inside their program to feel what it might be like to be a player and student there.

Any visit to a college campus by a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents paid for by the college is an Official Visit. Visits to the college campus that are paid for by college-bound student-athletes or their parents are Unofficial Visits. During an Official Visit the college can pay for transportation to and from the college for the prospect, lodging and three meals per day for both the prospect and (for Division I: the parent or guardian and spouse), as well as reasonable entertainment expenses including three tickets to a home sports event. The only expenses a college-bound student-athlete may receive from a college during an Unofficial Visit are three tickets to a home sports event.

As a prospect, you are limited to taking only five visits to Division I institutions, one visit per school. There is no NCAA limit on the number of Division II Official Visits that you may take. Schools are also limited (by sport) to a certain number of official visits.

Visits are limited to just 48 hours, normally beginning when the prospect arrives on campus. Rules vary depending on transportation and division, but that is the normal timeframe to plan for.

Coaches and players vary on when to take visits. Some players like to visit during their playing season while others prefer to wait until the offseason or summer, it varies depending on when you plan on making your decision and when Official Visits are allowed for your sport. Coaches may invite you to come around a big gameday so you can experience the environment and spirit (and hopefully, WIN) while others may want you to come on an off weekend so they can spend much more time with you, outside of game preparations and practice. Everyone varies.

If invited on an Official Visit, the most important takeaway is getting a feel for what it’ll feel like to eat, live, breath, study and play there. Does it feel like it “fits?” Are you too far away from home or in a city you don’t feel much connection to? Do you feel like you would mesh with the type of personalities on the team and with your coaches (they vary greatly school-to-school.)

Only a handful of prospects at each position are normally offered Official Visits once coaches have narrowed down their top choices, and have evaluated if the prospect has a legitimate, sincere interest in the program.

Initially, you will likely be invited to make an Unofficial Visit (expenses paid by prospect/family other than up to three complimentary home game tickets.)

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Custom Mini Helmets – Phoenix, AZ


Check out these custom mini helmets for schools in Phoenix, AZ!!!

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Custom Mini Helmets – Charlotte, NC


Check out these custom mini helmets for schools in Charlotte, NC!!!

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The Timeline


Over the last several days, I have had a few conversations from parents seeking this particular subject information. So I decided to post to you all this very important information.. Time is wasting. Please review and let me know if you have any further questions.

Parent & Athlete Timeline

This is a time line and checklist that a high school athlete can use during the college recruiting process.

Junior Year (11th grade)

SEPTEMBER 1 – Written contact by college coaches is permitted.

During your Junior year:

Meet with your high school guidance counselor and notify them of your intentions to play college sports. It is important that you meet the requirements for core academic courses. If you are lacking in any courses, be sure to schedule them during your junior or senior year.

Request a copy of the NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete from your guidance counselor or view a copy at www.ncaa.org.

Familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations governing recruiting, eligibility and financial aid. It is important to consider the differences between NCAA Division I, NCAA Division IAA, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, and NAIA schools.

Register for the ACT / SAT standardized tests. Request that your ACT/SAT test scores be sent to the NCAA Clearinghouse–when registering for the test, students should select the NCAA Clearinghouse (code 9999) as a score recipient. It is very important to take the ACT or SAT at least once before your senior year. Also, you should take these tests as many times as possible since most colleges rely heavily on test scores when determining financial aid packages.

Prepare for the ACT/SAT to improve your test scores. Methods include prep courses, practice tests, or computer programs.

Prepare a videotape of game highlights or your athletic skills to be sent out when requested by college coaches. This service we (nfinia) can provide for you.

Develop a sports resume` of athletic and academic achievements and honors. Keep an accurate record of extracurricular activities and community service.

Develop a list of prospective schools with the help of guidance counselors, coaches, and your athletic director. Consideration should be given to academic achievement and athletic ability. Request literature and applications for the colleges you are interested in attending.

Attend financial aid seminars and request financial aid information from each of the colleges that yopu are interested in.

Plan visits to as many schools as possible during the spring and summer. All of these visits are “unofficial”–this means that the college can not pay for any part of the visit.

** Note – if you are a spring sport athlete, your junior year may be the only opportunity for a college coach to evaluate you. Invite them to your games, or make a video of your performances. Again, we can help you here.

Summer after your Junior Year:

After completing grade 11, students who plan to participate in college sports at a NCAA Division I or II college should register with the NCAA Clearinghouse. Your high school guidance counselor should have these forms or the clearinghouse registration form is available online at www.ncaaclearinghouse.net. The student should not register before the end of their junior year, because the clearinghouse cannot process a student’s certification until it has received a transcript that shows at least six semesters. Be sure to have your guidance counselor send transcripts.

Send out letters of introduction along with your resume` to the coaches of the schools you are interested in attending. Provide them with information about your season, including stats.

You can contact college coaches by phone at any time, but, prior to June 15th after your Junior year they cannot call you.

AFTER July 15th – Phone contact from college coaches is now permitted.

Senior Year (12th grade)

PLEASE NOTE: Most schools will try to sign their top recruits during the November early signing period or they will have them sign an institutional letter of intent, which is basically a verbal comittment. They will NOT wait to get committments from kids during the April signing period. If you are waiting till January to start the recruiting process, you are putting yourself at a severe disadvantage.

August

Review core academic requirements & your class schedule with your guidance counselor.

After the student registers for the NCAA Clearinghouse, have the guidance counselor send the student’s transcript to the clearinghouse. The transcript may be sent by regular mail or overnight delivery. The clearinghouse will not accept faxed transcripts or transcripts sent by the athlete.

Update your athletic and academic resume`.

Send out your resume’, video, and fall softball schedule to the college coaches and encourage them to come and watch you play.

Meet with your coaches and athletic director about their involvement in the recruiting process. Talk about opportunities to increase your exposure. Also, ask them to write letters of recommendation.

Begin a file on each school that shows an interest in you.

Register to re-take the ACT/SAT as needed. This is an opportunity to increase your test scores and improve your chances for financial aid.

September – October

Narrow the list of schools to which you will apply (3 to 5 schools).

Develop a personal statement to be sent with your applications. Schools usually want to know about your goals and ambitions.

Send completed applications and fees to the schools you have chosen. Pay close attention to deadlines.

Plan campus visits at the schools you have chosen. Be sure to make appointments with the coaches, the admissions office, and the financial aid office. Prepare for your visit with a list of prepared questions. Be prepared for any questions the college may have for you.

November

Early signing period — dates vary slightly from year to year — Check on the NCAA website.

January

Complete and send Financial Aid Forms and Family Financial Statements (FAFSA) as early as possible after January 1st. Many schools offer financial aid on a first-come, first-served basis, and since it normally takes 4-6 weeks to process forms, it is important to apply as early in January as possible. Many schools have an early estimator that can speed up the process–be sure to ask about this.

February – May

Compare the financial aid packages from the schools you have applied to and begin to make your final decision.

Plan a second visit to the potential schools of your choice to help you make your final decision. An overnight visit with potential teammates may assist you in your decision.

The signing period for the National Letter of Intent typically occurs during the first week of April. Check the NCAA website for more information if you plan to attend and receive athletic scholarships from an NCAA Division I or II school.

May – June

After graduation, have your guidance counselor send your final transcript to the NCAA Clearinghouse and your final college of choice.

Base your college decision on the following:

The area you want to study (major)

How far away from home are you willing to go?

The coaching staff

Financial aid package

The athletic program and where you fit in

Take care of these items:

Send a letter to the coach expressing your interest and requesting info.

If you haven’t taken the ACT or SAT, get signed up ASAP, and study for it! Take it as many times as possible!

In your letter to the coach:

Introduce yourself

Where you go to school, your grade

What positions you play

Stats

Academics – SAT/ACT score, GPA

Any athletic/academic honors

Phone numbers of coaches/references

Ask them to send information on their school and their program

Invite them to come see you play if possible.

There you go. Again, time is wasting if you have not started this process. This is serious and you must take it serious.

 

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