June 25, 2022

Football – Junior- April

 Think Like A College Coach

This is very likely your big year, the time for you to really capture the spotlight as far as the recruiting process goes.  If you didn’t get much playing time as a sophomore, as the seniors move on, you will move up to play.

Learning how to think like a college football coach will do more to help you plan a successful recruiting campaign than almost anything else you could do.  Why?  Understanding his motives, his time frames, his enormous pressures will help you plan a recruiting process that can help him choose you as a recruit.

You must develop the ability to get him to notice and want you for his program in an efficient manner that fits into the recruiting practices and patterns that he has already established.  Provided you have above average talent, here are a few pointers that will help establish you as a top contender on the football programs you are shooting for:

    Get On His Radar – If you haven’t already, either you or your parents should send an introductory email to all the coaches where you have an interest in playing.  The purpose of this email is to establish you in the coach’s database of potential recruits.

This email should be brief and should include an attachment of your recruiting profile, link to your highlight video if you have one and also a link to your personal website.  This is not the time for parents to write a sales letter about your wonderful accomplishments.

You will probably hear back from several coaches thanking you for your interest and inviting you to their football camps.  The coaches use these camps to make extra money and they send out thousands of camp invites.  They do use them to help evaluate potential players, but mostly they are money makers for their programs.  As a general rule, don’t put much stock in a camp invite.

     Push For Great Stats – Make yourself aware of the stats the coaches are looking for at your position, and do everything in your power to either meet or exceed those stats.  The coach, depending on his program, receives between 5,000 and 25,000 recruiting packages like yours.

He doesn’t have time to slowly plow through every recruiting profile, so he typically scans the front page of your recruiting profile where your stats should be prominently displayed as an eliminator to help him weed through all those profiles quickly.

While you and you parents may have spent hours creating the profile, you will be lucky if he gives it 30 seconds, and this is why it is so important for you to have minimum stats.  Following are the stats of a perfect D-I Level player:

Quarter Back

  •   Height  – 6’3″
  •   Weight – 200
  •   40 Yard Dash – 4.6
  •   Bench – 260
  •   Squat – 425

Wide Receiver

  •   Height – 6’2″
  •   Weight – 185
  •   40 Yard Dash – 4.5
  •   Bench – 235
  •   Squat – 315

Running Back

  •   Height – 6’0″
  •   Weight – 210
  •   40 Yard Dash – 4.5
  •   Bench – 315
  •   Squat – 415

Tight End

  •  Height – 6.4
  •  Weight – 240
  •  40 Yard Dash 4.7
  •   Bench – 300
  •   Squat – 400

Offensive Line

  •   Height – 6’4″
  •   Weight – 280
  •   40 Yard Dash – 5.1
  •   Bench 320
  •   Squat 450

Linebacker

  •   Height – 6’1″
  •   Weight – 220
  •   40 Yard Dash – 4.6
  •   Bench 315
  •   Squat – 445

Defensive Line

  •   Height – 6’4″
  •   Weight – 250
  •   40 Yard Dash – 4.8
  •   Bench – 315
  •   Squat – 450

Defensive Back

  •   Height – 6’0″
  •   Weight – 185
  •   40 Yard Dash – 4.5
  •   Bench – 260
  •   Squat – 385

Defensive Back (Safety)

  •   Height 6’2″
  •   Weight – 200
  •   40 Yard Dash – 4.6
  •   Bench – 270
  •   Squat – 405

There are exceptions, but if you know what the coaches are looking for, you will be way ahead in your recruiting process.

 

   Maintain Decent GPA and SAT/ACT scores –  Today, academics play a huge role in whether you get recruited or not and they are yet another quick way that coaches eliminate players they are not interested in.  Imagine, the coaching assistants sitting down to evaluate five to twenty-five thousand possible recruits, they absolutely use these quick ways to pick their top potential recruits.

Think about it from the coach’s point of view, if you won’t qualify to be admitted to his institution, why should he bother considering you for his program?  Here are the preferred grades for D-I college football recruits:

  •   3.0 GPA
  •   ACT score of 24 or higher
  •   SAT score of 1000 or higher

 

   Keep Up With All Communication Between You & Coaches –  You should have a recruiting notebook by now where you track everything – notes, phone calls, texts, emails – EVERYTHING.  Doing this will help you and the coach remember what has been said.

Remember, you are one person who is well familiar with your situation, but he has many hopefuls that he is dealing with.  Being able to trigger his memory about you and what has been said or communicated between you will make his job easier.

Expect Visits From College Coaches This Month

April 15 until May 31 is a time when college recruiting staff can legally pay a visit to your high school to either evaluate your football talent, your academics or both.  They will be looking at your transcripts, talking to your coach, and they will also be sizing you up face to face in what is called the ‘eyeball test’.

According to NCAA rules, the recruiting coaches are not supposed to do more than say hello to you if they should run into you in the halls, but the main thing is they want to see if you measure up in person to the weight and height you have on your profile.  This entire ‘hello’ meeting makes up the ‘eyeball test’.  Make sure that you have been honest about what is on your recruiting profile.

Here are some tips to help you measure up during the eyeball test:

  • Wear your BIG shoes – Wear the shoes that make you look the tallest.  Ask your parents or your girlfriend which shoes make you look the tallest.  This may sound comical, but if you have put down that you are 6’3″ and wear flip flops, you may appear shorter than your stated height.
  • Straighten Up During The Eyeball – Obviously, slouching makes you appear shorter.  You want them to be aware of your full height.
  • Wear The Right Clothes – If you have been hitting the weight room, you will want to wear a tight tee-shirt to show off your bulked up muscles.  If you have lost weight since your season ended, wear loose clothing to hide that you’ve lost the weight.
  • Appear Confident –  The best way to appear that you have self-confidence is to look the recruiting coaches in the eye when you are saying hello.

Coaches Can Call You Now

During spring evaluation period (April 15 until May 15), coaches can make one call per athlete.  You may receive one or several of these calls from various coaches.  Be prepared for to receive these calls as they are a clear indication that the coach is interested in recruiting you.

NOTE:  The coach can make one call to you where he actually either talks to you or leaves a message.  If he doesn’t get you and doesn’t choose to leave a message, it doesn’t count as his one call.  If you see on your display, that he has called you without leaving a message, you can call him back and that also does not count toward his one call.  You can call him as many times as you wish.

Here are some tips to make the most of your call from the coaches:

  •  Turn off all distractions including video games, TV, and anything else that could take your attention away from the call.
  • Ask the coach questions – Doing so will show him that you know something about his program and you are really interested in the possibility of playing for him.  Print out  list of questions beforehand that you can have ready.  You could ask things like: where do you see your program going in the next few years?, do you think you and your staff will be there for the next few years?, what is the training staff like there?, are tutors available?, what did you think of my highlight video?, and who is in front of me at my position?  There are many more, and this is the time to ask the questions that concern you.

During April, you could make some visits to colleges to watch spring practices and games.  Observe the team, but especially watch the athlete  playing your position, and also watch the coaches and their style.  Is it all something you live with?

 

 

Remembering What You’ve Studied

Many bright students get to high school (or even college) without learning HOW to study.  They breeze through school getting good grades and find it pretty easy.  But sooner or later students run into a class or as assignment that’s not so easy.  Now what do they do. How do they remember this more difficult material?

The answer is to use some of the study skills they have learned and practiced over the years.  What study skills?  So if you didn’t need them before you need them now.  We will be reviewing several in the upcoming months.  You will need them in the same way you need basic skills in football.

Tips for Remembering

Remembering is not just something you need for school, it is something you need for life.  Some things are easy to remember, others are not. This is not just memorizing but recalling information.  Below are some tips that can help you remember.

 

“Simple and Fast Ways To Remember…”

1. Understand the information. If you can connect it to what you already know, the task becomes much easier.

2. Try to form an association between what you need to remember and a person, place or emotion.

3. Frequently recite out loud or silently what you need to remember or write it down.

4. Break down large blocks of information into smaller parts.

5. Make a graphic organizer. This allows you to show how the bits of information relate to each other. Like a play chart.

6. Bring a personal touch to the task by relating the information to something in your own life.

7. Form a picture of the information in your mind. Visualizing is a great tool.

8. Apply what you need to remember by thinking about how it could be used.

9. Test yourself. You can make study cards or have someone else ask you questions.

10. Make it more fun. Make a game of it or try putting it to music.

 

Using Technology For Your College Search

Back in the not so good old days, technology was not second nature to students searching for just the right college.  Students plowed through thick college guidebooks they got through the mail or borrowed from the counselor’s office.

If you wanted to see the college, you went there.  This seriously limited many students to schools in their own area.  The perfect school might be one a student had never heard of before.  All that’s changed now.

Technology allows today’s student to find schools and financial aid possibilities with ease.  If you know a few simple strategies.  Below are five strategies that you should pay attention to in your search for the right school and the right financial aid package.

Five Strategies For Using The Net To Find Colleges

 Just because it’s on the net doesn’t make it true.  You probably already know this but keep it in mind.  If you encounter a site for a school that asks for money up front, run.  Also keep in mind that all of the information may not be up to date.  Also, many college search sites only list schools that have paid to have their school listed.  You will find different schools on different search sites.

  Don’t judge a college solely by its web site.  You can learn a great deal from a college’s web site.  Some schools have wonderful information and outstanding web sites.  But don’t let a so-so site turn you off to that school.  The web site may give you insight into the school’s technology programs however.

  Look beyond the college home page.  Check out student sites such as the school newspaper and links to students’ web pages.  You may find you can email current students and get inside info.  Also check out student organizations to see what interests you.

  An application is just an application, right?  Most colleges accept paper or electronic applications.  Tech savvy students may find electronic applications are easier and more efficient.  However, you must watch out for spelling and grammar errors on electronic applications.  This is not email.

  Sometimes old ways are best.  One of the best resources for your college search is still your high school counselor.  They know more firsthand information than any web site offers.

 

Do You Have Wild Confidence Swings?

Most athletes that have not reached the ‘best of the best’ ranks experience the entire gauntlet of confidence possibilities.  They can go all the way from being a  mental marshmallow to being a confident tiger from game to game.  Or we often see the evidence of lack of self-confidence  exhibited from quarter to quarter within a single game.

How do the sports superstars overcome this problem so common to all athletes?  How do elite level stars like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Sydney Crosby continue to display awesome mental toughness game after game and do it seemingly with no effort?

Most great athletes, regardless of the sport they participate in, know the importance of mental toughness.  During interviews, they talk about how important this component is to their game, but, if you think about it, how they actually accomplish their calm under fire is not a secret they usually reveal publicly.

So how do today’s ‘mega stars’ achieve the ability to hang tough when the going gets rough?  The truth is they have internalized a simple, automatic formula for maintaining extraordinary mental toughness when they are under the gun. This means that the formula is easily available to them, it is really a part of their total game skill set, they do not even have to think about it to bring it in to play.  With this formula, their ability to kill fear is silent but deadly.

To see an athlete crumble under pressure is a sad thing to see.  The stadium may be filled to capacity with tens of thousands of spectators watching intently as a quarterback folds under pressure.  It is so compelling that even the fans get a knot in the pit of their stomachs?  Typically, when this happens, the game goes south quickly and the outcome is a loss.

How can you as a athlete hoping to land a college football scholarship master the ability to have amazing confidence when the pressure is on?  How do you develop the ability to consistently feel unstoppable instead of being gripped with paralyzing fear?

Change Your Thinking – Begin to be aware of how you are thinking.  Your doubtful thinking leads directly to a self-confidence slide, and a lack of self-confidence leads directly to poor performance.

Examples of fearful thoughts are: “What if I screw up?”; “Super, I am up against their best lineman”; What if I get hurt?”; What if I fumble?  These are all the kinds of thoughts that put your play in the toilet.

Have Six Positive Affirmations Ready – Create meaningful positive affirmations for immediately turning fear into massive self-confidence.  These simple phrases should be written down, and verbally practiced until they are easily available to you at anytime things start getting stressful during the game or at practice.

Examples of positive affirmations that will do a U-turn on paralyzing self-confidence are:  “I have trained for this moment”; “I can do this and more”;  I am ready, bring it on”; I love taking the ball when the game is on the line”;  “I run the plays and focus only on my job on the team”; “Give me the ball, I can run it in”; “I play my best under pressure”.

Having six positive thoughts readily available in your head allows you to fight negative thoughts.  It puts you in the driver’s seat.  It stops fear in its tracks, but the key to success is you must first be aware of your negative, doubtful thoughts, and then you must quickly toss them out of your mind by replacing them with one or several of your prepared positive affirmations.

These affirmations should be ones that you know to be true about your play or that could reasonably be true.   Putting this formula to use is a very simple, quick and effective way to get control over your doubtful, confidence robbing thoughts.

 

The Importance Of Looking Good On Paper

If you a shooting for one of the top twenty five football programs in the country, you should be aware that these top programs receive around 25,000 athletic profiles and DVD’s from aspiring football recruits every year, and the lesser programs receive about 5,000.  Common sense should tell you that the coach does not have the time to either read these profiles thoroughly or view all these videos.

So how does the coach narrow down his recruiting list to the top 25 or so recruits that he may be interested in signing?  He evaluates them first on paper in about 30 seconds to quickly see if he even wants to look at their highlight video.

  • This means that your athletic profile must show that you are recruitment material and should include easy-to-see information about your statistics including position you play, weight, height, bench press, 40 yd time, vertical, and squats.
  • You must also show your academic information including your GPA  and SAT/SAT scores.  The coach does not want to recruit someone that won’t even be admitted to the university.

Coaches use the top page of your athletic profile to see if you meet their minimum recruiting cutoffs.  If you don’t, your recruiting information packet gets thrown in the trash.  Knowing this ahead of time should let you know that if you want to be considered at all, you need to make sure that your stats and academics are up to snuff and that your profile can be easily read.

 

 

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