May 21, 2024

Football – Junior – December

Questions For College Coaches

December sees most football coaches concluding their regular seasons with time now to hit the phones.  Hopefully, you will start receiving calls from the schools on your wish list (your dream schools) and from some of the coaches at your backup schools too.

It is important that you think ahead about what you are going to talk about with the coaches when they call.  This will give them them a certain idea that you are aware of the recruiting process and that you thought about what you hope to gain from your college experience.

A good way to do this is to formulate a list of questions that you will ask each coach when he calls.  Keep the list of questions with you either on paper or on your phone.  Be sure to jot down notes about the answers and enter them in your recruiting notebook.

Here are a few questions to choose from.  You may use all or just part of them as they apply to you:

How would you describe you coaching style?   Coaching styles do vary and you want to find out if you can learn and play under his motivation and discipline style.

Describe how you see my roll on the team.   By the time the coach calls you, he probably already has a pretty good idea about how you will fit into his overall strategy.

  W hat are your realistic expectations for the team this coming year?  Of course, he will say he wants to win, but realistically what is he hoping for.

  What kind of time and physical expectations are involved for team members?   College academics are more difficult, you will need to know how much time you will have to complete your studies.

  What is your position on academics?    Coaches vary on their philosophy on academics.  You need to know what his position is.  In fact, this is so important, that you need to find out from his current players.

  What percentage of your players actually graduate in four years?  The NCAA has recently increased its cutline from 900 to 930, which means a higher percentage of athletes must graduate.  Remember, while it is exciting to get coach calls, your main objective should be to get your college education.

  Describe your scholarship program and tell me how your walk-on system works.  Both will vary from school to school.

  Will my major allow  plenty of time for practice and playing football?   Many majors have labs and additional outside class hours.  Make sure that you will have time to complete your class work.

  What is typical day like for a new recruit?  He should give you a typical schedule including practice and game times, study, meals, and academics.  This information can help you decide if his program will allow you to complete your major.

  What is the average class size at your school? Some schools use teaching assistants for large classes.  His answer will tell you how much attention you will be getting from professors.

  Are there tutors for team members?   This  information will let you know what help you can expect from the school.

  Tell me about the dorm or housing situation at your school and is housing included in the scholarship?   This is key information that could determine whether you commit to his school or not.

  Is the scholarship you are offering me a full-ride or just a partial? Get him to tell you exactly what his scholarship offer covers.

  If his scholarship offer doesn’t cover all expenses, is there other financial aid available from his school?   It is important that you know how much out of pocket money, if any, your family will have to come up with.

  Does my scholarship offer cover summer expenses?   Many football players take only a minimum number of credits during the school year and must take some classes during the summer.

  What happens to my scholarship if I get injured and can’t play?   The NCAA has just voted  to allow schools to offer four year scholarships.  Previously, scholarships were extended one year at a time.  Each conference has to vote on the proposal, so make sure that your offer is for four years.

  Can I work while receiving a scholarship? What is the policy for athletes working during the football season and during summer vacations?

Things To Do This Month

   Make sure that your dream team (you, your parents and or other  persons that have committed to help you with your recruiting process) have done the things to market you to all the schools on your wish list, which should include schools from every division level.

By now, the schools should have received letters or emails of introduction with your athletic profile  attached and you should have your personal website up.  Develop templates for the profile and letter or email of introduction and fit it to each new school.  See your Membership Resource Section for samples.

  If you haven’t already, finalize your highlight video from this season making sure to start with only quality videos.  See the Membership Resource Section for video dos and don’ts.

   After your season is finished, update your recruiting profile to include stats from this season.  Be sure to update your personal website and also your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

  After your final game, follow up with an email to the coaches you have already contacted  to make sure they got your marketing information, to forward your updated recruiting profile, to alert them to any outstanding accomplishments, and to tell them you have a  highlight tape available for them to see.

   When thinking about the top four or five schools on your target list, make sure that your GPA and test scores are on target to meet the minimum requirements for admission.  If not, there is still time to buckle down raise them.

Weird Ways To Pay For College

In this section, we will not only be guiding you through the main stream and traditional timelines and methods for pay your college expenses, but we will also be researching and including some alternative, unusual, and yes eve weird ways to pay for college that you may never have considered.

Add the following tips to your Financial Aid Tips file.  Remember, there is plenty of money out there that has to go to someone.  Let’s make sure some of it goes to you.


  Continue refining your college search.  Attend college fairs and campus open houses.  Also continue researching online for additional information about college programs.  Request college catalogs and view books.  Most colleges now offer virtual tours online.

  Gather information on your career interests.  Generate a list of 8-15 possible schools where you might like to attend.

  Create general criteria for admission to these schools and develop your personal plan to meet those criteria.

  Realize that there is a great deal of financial aid available every year with a great deal of it coming from the federal government.  To access this money, certain steps have to be taken.

  Getting your share depends on you and your parents understanding the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), which everyone mus complete as soon as possible after Jan 1st of your Senior year. The FAFSA must be completed in order to be considered for government subsidized loans.

  One of the major problems is the confusion over deadlines.  While the deadline on the form is June 30th, many of the individual schools have deadlines as early as February.  So be sure that you know when the deadlines are for the schools where you will be applying.

Here’s An Unusual Scholarship Opportunity

Here is one of the more unusual scholarship opportunities especially if you are good at animal communication.  The Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest gives out a $1,500 scholarship (and several runner-up prizes) to any high school senior who can call a duck.

Specifically, winners must be proficient in four calls: hailing, feeding, comeback and mating calls.  For more information, contact the Stuttgart, Ark., Chamber of Commerce at


It is essential that you keep your GRADES up.  Remember that college admissions officers look at your entire high school academic record when making admissions decisions.  What you do in the 9th through 11th grade is every bit as important as what you do in your senior year.

Things To Do This Month

 Drop by your counselor’s office yet again.  Your counselor can play an important role when it comes to college admissions.  Ask, can I see my transcript now, to see if everything is as I think it should be?  Don’t make a nuisance of yourself but do keep in touch with your counselor.  They should know who you are when it comes time to write letters of recommendation.

 Continue your college search.  If possible, visit colleges near by: large, small, public and private.  Get a feel for what works for you.  You may feel more at home attending a small private school than a large public university.  Also, think about location, curriculum, size, and social life.  And, of course, check out the athletic programs.

 Look in the local papers and on community bulletin boards for college nights and open houses.  Visiting with representatives at college fairs is a great way to find out about the colleges you are considering.

 Evaluate your note taking skills.  Don’t try to write down everything the instructor says, just focus on the main ideas.  When you’re taking notes, use your own words.  Keep your notes well organized.  They will be just as important as your textbook.  Each night, review the notes that you took that day.  This will make everything easier to remember when it is time to study for the test.

 Continue gathering your college information and systematically organize the incoming information.  Set up a filing system with individual folders for each colleges correspondence and printed materials.  The filing system will make it much easier to find the specific information you’re looking for.

 Stay involved with your extracurricular activities.  Why is this important?  Colleges look for consistency and depth in the non-academic activities you take part in.  It is more important to make a commitment and take leadership roles in a few groups than it is to join many new groups each year.

Pregame Jitters or Performance Anxiety?

Pregame jitters are a natural part of football; they are characterized by feelings of excitement and anticipation before a game.  These jitters are actually beneficial as they produce good level of mental stimulation which helps you stay focused on the game.

Performance anxiety is a much more severe form of pregame jitters.  Sometimes it is characterized by the inability to eat the day of the game, a knot in your gut, an inability to sleep the night before the game. Performance anxiety can even make you want to throw up.

Performance anxiety usually causes you to tense up and hurts your  game.  If you can develop the ability to handle pregame jitters, you will play more consistent football.  The best time to bring your thoughts and emotions about the upcoming game under control is during your pregame mental preparation period.

Here’s an excellent mental preparation routine, which when followed properly, will cause you to feel more relaxed, confident and less nervous when the time to play football comes.

  Try to actually see the field before you play. Familiarize yourself with the playing surface.

  Find yourself a quiet place and relax, relax, relax. Take a few deep breaths until you sense your heart rate slowing down. Pretend that you are floating above the playing field in a hot air balloon and notice and get comfortable with the field.

  Picture yourself at the kickoff of the big football game. Visualize yourself actually playing the game. If you have difficulty performing a certain task, imagine that you are executing the task perfectly over and over until you can see yourself consistently performing the task correctly.

Imagine yourself in the heat of the game with game-winning decisions to make. Use your mind’s instant replay to go over a play with different approaches every time. Visualize any difficulties you might come up against in a real game.

  Allow your mind to think about any playing mistakes you could make. Even think about the worst thing that could happen. When you make a serious mistake, you usually try hard not to make it again. Instead of making mistakes during the game, make and correct them during your mental preparation routine. You will be more prepared and less likely to make mistakes during the actual game.

   Positively prepare your mind. Imagine good things happening to you and your team. When negative thoughts come into your mind, replace them immediately with winning thoughts.

 Repeat positive statements to yourself like:

a. I have more energy than I know what to do with.

b. I have trained my mind and body. I’m ready.

c. I am totally confident in my abilities.

d. I can and I will succeed.

e. No matter what happens, I will be a better and stronger athlete.

NCAA Passes Sweeping Reforms

The NCAA is attempting to show the world that it really cares about academics and the futures of college athletes.  It has recently passed several meaningful measures to that end.

 To be eligible for college play, high school football players must have a 2.3 GPA in their 16 core courses.  This is up from 2.0.  JUCO athletes must have a GPA of 2.5.

 New rules allow schools to offer multi-year athletic scholarships.  This will be a big chip in the recruiting process.  Previously, schools were only allowed to handout scholarships one year at a time.  This left many athletes without a means of finishing their education if they were injured during the season.

 The different NCAA conferences may elect to allow adding $2,000 awards to the athletic scholarships.

 Previously the cutline for the academic progress rate was 900.  It has been raised to 930.  This means that now approximately 50% of the athletes playing on college athletic teams must graduate.  As this trickles down, it means that college football coaches will be even more careful about recruiting risky or questionable academic recruits.

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