May 31, 2023

Football – Senior – February

Last Ditch Time For Football Recruits Or

Pat Yourself On The Back

Hopefully, you have a college football scholarship offer on the table; if you’re one of the sought-after recruits, you may even have several offers to choose from.  You are definitely one of the lucky ones in the entire US.  If you got the offer you wanted, all the hard work of both you and your parents has finally paid off.

The stress is over now. Congratulations to all of you, you deserve to be commended on a job well done. You’ll be getting to play football the next four years at the collegiate level and you’ll have your college education paid for.

What a memorable, exhilarating experience of a life time. It is something that you will never forget.  Pat yourself on the back, you are home free, you are in the enviable position of sitting down at the signing table.

Signing Your National Letter Of Intent

The first day you can sign the National Letter Of Intent is the first Wednesday in February, which is February 1st this year, but the signing period goes through April 1, 2012. If you have several offers and you are still undecided, be absolutely sure of your choice BEFORE you sign the NLI.

You can change your mind after a verbal commitment to a coach, but football recruits suffer heavy penalties for changing their minds after signing the NLI. Discuss this binding contract carefully with your parents BEFORE you sign it.

What To Do If No Offers Are On The Table

If you didn’t get an offer, it will be a scramble for you. Occasionally during this month, a hot prospect will fall through for a coach and he may want to recruit you as a last minute replacement for his first choice recruit, but don’t count on this happening.  It is a possibility, but it is not a reason to sit back and wait.

This is the time to get off your behind and get busy and do everything you can to get yourself recruited.

 Consider walk-on spots and start calling coaches and keep calling coaches at all levels. Be proactive on a national level in looking for spots that have not been filled.

 Do not rule out the Division 3 schools.  Here is why.  While coaches at D-III schools do not have scholarships to offer, those schools often come up with interesting and creative ways to reduce tuition expenses for players they really want in their football programs.  The D-3 schools should not be omitted as an option at this late date.

 As we’ve just said, coaches may have vacant spots now because athletes they were hoping to sign for certain positions actually signed with other schools.

 If you are talented and have the grades you may still have an excellent chance of signing with a D-II school. The D-II school coaches are waiting to see which athletes signed with D-I schools so they may absolutely have more slots available right now.  Get your information to these schools.

 You should have been recruiting schools from the various levels already; however, if you concentrated only on the big D-I state schools, now is the time to consider some other options.  Just regroup and rinse and repeat and do everything you did for your dream schools again for the D-II, D-III, NAIA and JUCO schools.

 The more coaches you call at all levels, the better your chances of finding a school where you can play football while getting your college education paid for.  More than likely, there is a spot for you somewhere, don’t give up.

The Advantages To No Offers

 This is one of those times in your life when what you thought was a big disappointment may actually turn out to be an enormous benefit.  How can that be?

 Let me explain, most high school athletes dream of playing for a high profile D-I school, what they don’t realize is that there is a good chance that they will be red-shirted the first year (no playing time), and they may not play very much, if at all, the 2nd year.  This means sitting on the bench for most of two years.

 On the other hand if they sign with a Division II,  NAIA, or JUCO school, they will more than likely get to play all four years.  So, if your passion is to play football, one of these other viable options may be a terrific situation for you.  Your primary purpose should be to get a college education and get it paid for.

Division I and II Coaches Love JUCO Transfers

 Junior college graduates who have played football for two years may transfer to a four-year school and begin to play football immediately with no waiting period.  NOTE: Junior colleges do offer football scholarships.

 D-I and other four-year school coaches love junior college transfers because they are generally bigger, stronger, faster athletes, they have proven themselves academically, they have successfully competed at the collegiate level, and also they are more serious well-rounded athletes.

 Junior college gives you an opportunity to mature on several levels and may just be the exceptional opportunity you need right now.  Junior college graduates are a safe bet for Division I and II coaches.  They are literally a goldmine for coaches.

If you haven’t be recruited by the top schools, consider one of these very attractive other options where you may be a terrific fit, but don’t delay, start immediately contacting these other types of schools.


College Application Essay Tips

A big part of your application will be the dreaded essay question. The prompt for this essay will be different from school to school – so unfortunately one essay will not work for all your applications.

Most students dread this task but you should try to use this opportunity to reflect on who you are and what you believe.  You have the best perspective on your own life – you are the only one who can speak (and write) the truth.

Here are some suggestions that may help you with the essay questions you will be writing:

  Let your application speak for itself.  Don’t rehash information that is already part of your college application.  Your grades, test scores and recommendations will stand on their own. Use the essay to reveal other things about yourself.

  It is ALL ABOUT YOU.  Now is the time to make this statement true.  Your essay should provide a window into something interesting or unique about you.  This is what the admission committee wants to know.

  Show me, don’t just tell me.  This is not a lecture. Make your essay more compelling by writing about your actions instead of boring facts.

  Be memorable.  This does not mean write something shocking or reveal all your dirty laundry.  It means making the essay interesting, maybe even surprising the reader.

  Don’t make something seem more important than it really is.  Trivial information about yourself should not be blown out of proportion.

  The bottom line is the admissions committee wants to hear who you are through this essay.  By all means, have other people read your essay and get their feedback.  Just don’t lose yourself in the process.


Is It Too Late To Apply To A New College Or University And Get Financial Aid?

OK so you’ve applied to several schools on your list.  Then for some wild reason you find a school that you really like and haven’t applied to at all.   Is there still time?  Should you just forget it and not even try?  It depends.  Here are some ideas from college admissions staff:

  Contact the school immediately.  Go in person with a parent if at all possible.  Find out what the school’s deadlines are.  Go online to find as much information as possible.

  If you have talked to someone on the coaching staff, ask the coach for advice on how to proceed.

  Complete admission application immediately.  Hopefully you have been doing all the things we suggested so it’s just a matter of getting test scores sent, sending Common Application, sending a previously written and edited version of your essay and sending FAFSA information to the new school.

Relaxation Is Key to Mental Toughness

 To begin with, if you desire to take your game into the elite levels, there is absolutely no substitute for hard work in your physical training. There is just no way around it, to be a champion, you have to pay your physical dues.

Since most football training programs concentrate on conditioning and the physical skills of the game, you will probably be fine in this department.

 Considerably less attention is placed on the mental side of your training.  While you may be one of the rare mentally gifted athletes who is laid back, keeps his head under pressure, doesn’t let mistakes faze him and can keep his confidence level constant; the vast majority of athletes struggle with one or more of the mental skills of their game.

 A part of your training program should include training your mental side so that you can develop the winning mind of a champion.  It doesn’t matter if you are the highest skilled and best conditioned football player on your team, if you can’t keep your head when the pressure is on, your play will fall apart.

 Mentally challenged athletes get overly nervous before the game, they get overwhelmed and worry too much about their performance.  They tend to hang on to their mistakes and when they fail they use it as evidence that they just aren’t good enough.  They’re easily intimidated by their opponents skills, size, record and strengths.

 A key element in developing mental toughness is learning to stay relaxed and calm under pressure.

Here are eight cool techniques for staying relaxed and calm in the heat of the competition:

  Get your mind off the upcoming game.  Distract yourself by talking with friends, watching a movie or reading a book.  Do something that has nothing to do with the football game.  Fill all empty time so that you don’t spend it working yourself into a stressed-out heap of nerves.

 Listen to music.  Many athletes like to use music before the game to both distract and calm themselves down.  If music tends to work for you, use it regularly as part of your pregame routine.

  Get and use a pregame ritual.  This can be anything from stretching a certain way to listening to music, to sitting by yourself, whatever.  Rituals are relaxing and calming because they are familiar.

  Breathe from your diaphragm.  By deliberately slowing and deepening your breathing you will calm yourself down.  Before you go to bed at night, practice breathing these slow, deep breaths.

  Stretch correctly with awareness.  Concentrate on your stretching while you are doing it. Focus on the feeling of the particular muscle group you are stretching and not on the upcoming competition.  It might help to close your eyes while you are stretching to help block out any distractions.

  Tighten and relax specific muscles that feel tight.  Isolate them and deliberately tighten them.  Hold the tension in them for a slow count of ten, then release them.  Repeat this exercise.  The procedure of tightening already tight muscles, holding the tension for ten seconds and then relaxing it will diminish your nervousness.

  Rather than fighting with your nervousness, accept it.  Make friends with it.  Avoid wishing it away or labeling it as bad.  Usually if you can accept that you are nervous, that acceptance itself will calm you down.

  Develop a mental “safe place” to go to prior to the game.  Mentally leave the pregame stressful environment.  Visualize yourself at the beach, fishing, relaxing with your girlfriend, listening to your favorite music at home, or any place that is calm and soothing.  For this technique to be successful, you should mentally develop your safe place at home and then practice going there regularly so that you’ll have the technique in place when the pressure of the upcoming game is rearing its nasty little head.


New Legislation Just Approved For Division II

 Advanced communication technology like e-mails and texting have forced member schools to drastically relax recruiting restrictions in several areas.

  • D-II Athletic programs will be allowed to visit potential recruits on an unlimited basis beginning June 15 before the student athlete’s junior year in high school.
  • D-II Programs can now contact student athletes via fax, e-mail, phone, instant message and text starting June 15 before the students junior year.
  • Additionally, D-II programs can use social media like Facebook and Twitter to contact recruits as long as it is private.  For example, coaches and recruiters could send a message on Facebook, but would not be allowed to write on his wall.

Twitter And Facebook Beware

 Now that college monitor Twitter and Facebook as a routine part of the evaluation process, potential athletic recruits  have to be EXTREMELY CAREFUL about the content of Tweets, Facebook and other social media.

Recently, the Michigan Wolverines stopped recruiting, Yuri Wright a nationally ranked hot cornerback prospect, as a result of a series of sexual and racially derogatory Tweets.  His fate also hangs in the balance with Rutgers.  Additionally, he was expelled from his prep high school.

This young athlete has possibly ruined his chances to play college ball.  The fact is, although most college athletic scholarship hopefuls have been warned about the possible negative consequences of using social media, now we have concrete  proof of how damaging their careless use can be.



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