April 14, 2024

Football – Senior – January

If you haven’t been offered scholarships before now, you can consider the month of January to be a fast moving crap-shoot as far as your recruiting success is concerned. January is always tricky, stay alert.

This month, you have to move quickly, early in the month to take all remaining official visits and both you and your parents have to be alert as to what is really going on in the minds of most college coaches.

 Why? There are just too many different things that can possibly happen and most of them are based on the college coaches trying to hold out for the best players they can recruit for each position.

NOTE: It is not uncommon for the coaches to lead a potential recruit on as to whether they will actually get a scholarship and also for how much the scholarship is actually worth. When you hear phrases like:

“We love how you play”.

“You are right on the fringe of being offered”.

“We are going to try and get a scholarship for you”.

   “Be patient, you are on the list”.

These and other phrases like them may be delaying tactics the coaches use to keep you hanging on while they wait for players higher on their recruiting boards to commit to their programs.

For the most part, college football coaches are still frantically juggling for the best talent they can get for next year’s recruiting class. They may have four or five athletes on their recruiting boards for each position they are recruiting. For all you know, you may be at the bottom of each board.

They typically tell all the athletes the same promising thing, so each athlete has been led to believe he has a solid shot at a college football scholarship.

You have to hope that all the recruits above you commit to other programs. Waiting like this is risky. You could actually wait yourself out of any scholarship at all.

You and your parents have to be aware of what the true game of recruiting is for these coaches. If one or some of them have ‘said’ they want you to play for their programs, but you have received no official offer, then move on to other and lower level programs.

If you have been recruiting Division 1-A schools, drop to Division 1-AA and Division 2 schools. It is now or never time. Get all your information out to these new schools, do not wait for coaches on your wish list to offer, the offer may not be forthcoming.

Late January Means Fewer Scholarship Dollars

Naturally, as the days tick by in January and it gets closer to signing day, the scholarship dollars available become fewer and fewer. Suppose a coach has ‘told’ you that he wants you to play for his team, but he waits until late January to bring you in for the official visit where he will offer you a scholarship.

But, by that time, because he has already spent most of his scholarship budget, he may only be able to offer a 10% scholarship instead of the 100% contract you imagined you would be getting. Where will you get the other money you need to pay for your education? This could be a good time to drop a Division level in order to get a larger scholarship offer.

A good way to monitor where your competitors are committing is through websites like Scouts and Rivals.

Doing The Right Thing

When you do commit, place a call to the other schools that have been recruiting you and tell them the situation. While it may be a difficult call since you may have developed relationships with some of these coaches, it is the honorable thing to do and they will appreciate the update.

Before Committing To Any School

If you are lucky enough to have offers from more than one school, get out your recruiting notebook or assemble all the notes you have made throughout the recruiting process and go over everything with your parents or whoever has been helping you.

While the final decision should be yours, take your parents and possibly your high school coach’s feedback into mind too.

Base your decision on where you can get the best education for your future and not on where your friends think would be cool.

National Letter Of Intent

The National Letter Of Intent or the NLI program is administered through the NCAA Eligibility Center. Specific questions regarding its application should be directed to the NLI office at 317-223-07006. Additional information, including frequently asked questions, can be obtained through the NLI Program website at http://www.national-letter.org.

What Is The National Letter Of Intent?

It is a legal and binding agreement between a prospective student/athlete and an institution in which the institution agrees to provide the student/athlete who is admitted to the institution and is eligible for financial aid under the NCAA rules athletic aid for a specified period of time in exchange for the prospect’s agreement to attend the institution.

NOTE: You are signing the agreement with the institution and not the coach who recruited you therefore, you should ask yourself if you would still like to attend the school if the coach moved on.

While you may have established a good relationship with the coach during the recruiting process, be sure that you are choosing the school to for other solid reasons like is it the best place to get your education?

While you may change your mind about committing before you sign the NLI, once you sign with an institution, you cannot change your mind without stiff penalties. If you do not attend the institution or you transfer before one year is completed, you will lose a year of playing eligibility. Think long and hard before you sign this document.

Another Legal Point

In most cases, you will likely play football at the school where you sign the NLI, but signing it does not guarantee you either a spot on the team or playing time. Again, you are signing a contract stating that you will attend the institution.

Things To Do This Month

   Finish taking your five official visits. The coaches and staff will be buttering you up. Sniff out any negatives while on the visits.

   Make your final school decision if at all possible. If you don’t have offers on the table, start calling coaches and sending out all your information to new schools. Keep calling as you may luck out if coaches haven’t gotten commitments from their top pick athletes.

   There will be a lot of recruiting hoopla, make sure that you don’t neglect your grades and GPA.

   Update your athletic website regularly. If you haven’t been offered a scholarship yet, this site will be a quick and easy way for your highlight video to be seen by prospective coaches.

   Lastly, keep your nose clean and stay out of trouble, you’ve come too far to mess up now.

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

Financial Aid Tips:

 Check your Financial Aid Calendar daily to avoid letting important dates slip by you.

 Obtain a Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA), available at high schools, colleges and online. After January 1, complete and submit your FAFSA, along with any other financial aid applications your selected schools may require. You can complete the application online or on paper, but completing it online is faster and easier.

 Don’t wait for acceptance offers from your schools before you submit your FAFSA. Go online to verify when your state deadline is or call 1-800-4-FED-AID for assistance.

 Contact the admissions office at all schools to which you’ve submitted applications and make sure they have everything they need from you.

 Try to have your parents complete their income tax forms so you can begin the process of applying for financial assistance. If your parents have not completed the tax forms, you can provide estimated information but remember that any inaccuracies will need to be corrected later.

  You and your parents should complete and file income tax returns early to complete the FAFSA application.

 Submit all remaining college applications. Remember to have test scores sent to these remaining colleges and obtain all financial aid forms they may be required of these schools.

 Continue filling out and sending in scholarship applications. Many applications have spring deadlines. Check back regularly if you have signed up online for access to The Scholarship and Grant Guide.

Welcome back from winter break.

Plan Plenty Of Time To Keep Your GRADES Up.

 Did you know that as many as half of all college students do not have adequate academic preparation and are required to take remedial courses? OUCH!

 Are you aware that more than one quarter of the freshmen at four-year colleges and nearly half of those at two-year colleges do not even make it to their sophomore year? DOUBLE OUCH!

 Watch out for “Senioritis”. What is it? Simply put, it’s the tendency for seniors to take it easy their senior year. You’ve been working hard for three years, taking tests, completing projects and you just want to relax.

 Taking it easy your senior year may seem like a nice break, but it’s likely that it will end up doing you more harm than good. According to recent reports, incomplete high school preparation can contribute to academic problems in college.



1. Teachers shake their heads and sigh a lot.

2. Students drop their homework that was due in the a.m. off at noon or after school expecting to still get credit.

3. Students start using more profanity.Now that they are 18, they can begin to talk like 13 year-olds.

4. School attendance has started to drop.

5. Seniors start signing out their own absences. Hey, they are 18, right?

6. More suspensions occur senior year. Have you been suspended?

7. Teachers are getting more phone calls/emails from parents over academic concerns.

8. Counselors start getting more requests from parents regarding grades.

9. More students start ditching school after 2nd period.

10. Parents begin complaining that teachers don’t care that their students are failing their classes.

“Ten Signs” was taken from Coach Brown’s blog at Ukiah High School. Coach Brown coaches basketball as well as teaching economics, International Studies, U.S. History and AP Comparative Government.

If you find yourself exhibiting any of these telltale signs of the “Senior Slump”, maybe these Ten Signs will get you back on track.

 The facts are that the last half of your senior academic year is just as important as every other semester. In fact, as far as college admissions are concerned, it may be more important. Colleges like to see an upward trend in grades.

 Allow time for social involvement and extracurricular activities. Try to get deeply involved in at least one or two groups or clubs. Seek a leadership role in activities that really interest you. Add these group involvements to your ongoing resume.

 If you have a paying job, it should take up no more than 10-15 hours per week to allow plenty of time for study and other activities.

 Reflect on your time management. How much time are you spending in front of the TV or the computer? Are you reading other materials other than was is assigned at school? Are you up on current events? College interviews are coming up and you want to know more about life than how great it is to play football.

Things to Do This Month:

   If you haven’t done so already, finish submitting your college applications. Many keep their deadlines open until mid-February, some until March and a few until April 15. You are running out of time, though; so get all college applications in this month.

   Be sure to make and keep a copy of everything you send to the colleges. Make a file folder for each college and keep everything together in case you need to locate it.

   Have your SAT and ACT scores sent to each college and provide required letters of recommendation, school reports and transcripts. Also have these scores sent to the NCAA eligibility center (code 9999).

   Some colleges require your grades from the first semester of your senior year as part of the application folder. This is called your mid-year grade report. Have your counselor send the report to colleges that require it.

Early Decision and Early Application responses arrive this month. If you’re lucky, your college admittance worries could be over as early as this month.

How Can Visualization Help Your Football Performance?

Many athletes, when playing under intense pressure during critical crunch times, lack true belief in their ability and themselves.  These players may even outwardly display extreme self-confidence, yet their self-doubt can cause them to spiral downward into negative thoughts, fear and poor play.

Mental training can give you the competitive edge you are looking for.  It allows you to bring out your best skills and strongest game when it counts most, under pressure in the big games.

The most important point to remember in all of this is that the mind controls the body, not the other way around.

Visualization can be used either positively or negatively.  Used positively, it is one of the most powerful tools that you can use to program your future successful football performance.

When you habitually dwell on your mistakes and poor past performances, you are using visualization in a negative way.  That is, what you consistently hold in your mind is what will appear in your world.  That should be an enormous motivator to keep your thoughts positive.

Visualization techniques to give you peak performance in your next game:

1. If you’ve even tried or you’re having difficulty visualizing, try this.  Pick up a photo, a button or really anything and study it closely; then close your eyes and describe what you see.  If you see anything resembling the picture, you are visualizing.

If this doesn’t work, or if you want to improve your visualization skills, take the same picture and while looking at it, close your eyes and open your eyes and close your eyes again.  Do this for a few minutes and you won’t know whether your eyes are open or closed and you’ll be visualizing like a pro.

2.  Now that you can visualize, close your eyes and see each play in your mind as if it is occurring right now.  Feel the play, hear the noise, smell the field and make it entirely real.

3.  Whatever your position, envision completing your specific plays perfectly.  Why do this?  Because by doing this positive visualization technique, your subconscious mind recognizes each successful play or catch or touchdown as a reality.

Make this a regular pregame practice and on the day of the big game, you will be mentally prepared to perform your best.  Your game will have a natural familiar flow to it and this positive visualization technique will overwhelmingly help you to improve during times of stress or nervousness.

January 1, 2012 is the first date that your Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA can be submitted.

 The deadline for filing this form is June 1 for federal student aid, however both the individual states and each college may have a different deadline.

For those of you that don’t know what this form is, it is a form that evaluates and qualifies you for financial aid to attend college.  Regardless of where your student aid comes from, you will be required to fill out the FAFSA.   Submitting this form may be crucial to your obtaining a college education.

Billions of dollars are given out annually through the many colleges throughout the country, however the funds are given on a first come first served basis.  If you submit your application after the funds are depleted, you are simply out of luck.

Give yourself plenty of time to fill out this application.  The best way is to start with a work sheet and than transfer the information you’ve gathered to the form.  All kinds of information about you and your family’s financial situation are asked.  You cannot be too prepared when filling out the FAFSA.


  The NCAA’s newly passed plans to allow schools to give athletes a $2,000 stipend for living costs that are not covered by their athletic scholarships has been suspended with at least 125 of its member schools objecting to the new change.

Additionally, the new plans to allow schools to offer multi-year athletic scholarships has also been challenged by 75 member schools.

Both of these new changes will be addressed this month at the NCAA’s annual convention in  Indianapolis.

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