September 28, 2023

Football – Senior – October

This is not PANIC time but it definitely is CRUNCH time.  October is the month to seriously assess where you are in your recruiting process. It is crucial that you make a time with your parents or other adults that are helping you and really get a realistic idea about where you are in the recruiting process.

How Is Your Personal Recruiting Game Plan Going Right Now?

 Check your recruiting notebook, if you have one, or if you don’t have one, try to think back and recall any coaches that may have called you in March, April or May. Have they called you back again since school started?   If they called you then, but haven’t called back yet, they may have moved on, which tells you that you need to move on and expand your search.

 As you look at your present recruiting situation this is not the time to flatter yourself, be brutally honest. For example, are you optimistically counting unofficial invites to games and form letters as serious recruiting interest?  They are not, they reflect only mild interest and routine mailings.

 During your senior year coaches can call you once per week except for a few stated off periods.  So, if the coach is really interested in you for his program, there is no legitimate reason why he hasn’t communicated his interest to you.  Do not sit around and wishing and waiting for his call.  It is late, but it is not too late to help yourself.  There are some important recruiting moves (discussed below) that you can make even now to get yourself back in contention.

  A word of caution!  Even if a coach is calling you, it does not mean that you have a scholarship offer locked up, but it does indicate that he is seriously interested.  However, many athletes have been left empty handed by counting on verbal indications from coaches.

 The coach, more than likely, has at least four other people on his recruiting board for your position that he is also showing serious interest in.  It is a numbers game to him, he will only offer a scholarship to one of these players, which is why you should be applying to multiple schools and recruiting multiple different level football programs.

 Satisfied With Your Recruiting Attention?

  • Check your status with the NCAA Eligibility Center.  Be sure to update with any new ACT and SAT test scores.
  • If you are enjoying recruiting success, continue to keep the interested coaches updated with information about how you and your team are doing.  Email the coaches no more than one email per week, and make your emails relevant (recent wins, yds rushed, the coaches recent win) to the coach and his program.  Do not send the same email out to every coach on your list.
  • If you do not already have a D-1 offer on the table, make absolutely sure that you have investigated and applied to other schools at the all the Division levels including even the D-111 schools. Remember, if programs at any level are just telling you that you are in contention for a scholarship, but they haven’t come through with a written offer, it means zero, zip, nothing as far as the end result is concerned.

Unsatisfied With Your Recruiting Attention?

  •  Signing day is the first Wednesday in February, only four months away, and while this is not the time to panic, it is the time to be realistic about your prospects, and it is time to get the lead out. If you are not satisfied with the amount and kind of interest that you have been shown so far, it is time to begin again. Start over in your search for schools and broaden your scope this time.
  • There are over 4000 schools in the country, you will be a fit somewhere.  Obviously, if you haven’t received offers by now, you can assume that you need to expand your search to include lower level programs in and out of state.  Knuckle down and do some real research on the schools where you would be a realistic fit academically and athletically.
  •  Stay focused on winning your high school football games. It is ultra important that your team make it to the playoffs in their division. Think about it, the more games your team wins, the more opportunities you have for more college coaches to see you play. Make no mistake, doors can be opened to you just from leading your team to the state title game. Coaches that may not have even considered you before may suddenly see your talents as a possibility for their upcoming roster.
  •  Make some college visits in October, but don’t make one every weekend. Save time for socializing and family.
  • Don’t depend solely on your busy high school coach for your end of the year highlight video. It is really best to have a quick back-up plan. Schools at the BCS/Division 1-A level try to get recruiting done very early, so don’t delay in getting this video completed and sent.
  • Make sure the video is top quality and do some test runs on your friends computers to make sure the coaches can open it, then put it on YouTube so you can send any interested coaches the YouTube link.  In addition get it added to your profile on online recruiting companies like Rivals and Scouts.  Also remember to add it to you own personal recruiting website and to your Facebook page.
  • Have a full game tape available ahead of time in case some college coach would like to see one.  Do not wait until the last minute to get these videos.  Having them on hand could mean the difference between your getting an offer or not.


In this section, we’ll not only be guiding you through the main stream and traditional time-lines and methods of paying your college expenses, but we’ll also be researching and including some alternative, unusual, and yes even weird ways to help pay for your college expenses.

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


 Contact the schools that have made your final cut to request information and applications for admissions. Ask about admission requirements, application deadlines, any required fees and financial aid.

 Continue submitting college applications. Make it a habit to regularly work on your college applications. Do not wait until close to the deadlines to start working on the applications.

 Pay close attention to early admission deadlines. You should have all applications in for early decision/early action programs no later than next month. Prepare applications for your back-up choices.

 Give yourself plenty of time to write essays and have them proof read by at least two people. Pay particular attention to spelling and grammar.

 Create a schedule of financial aid and college admission deadlines. Write important deadlines and dates on a calendar, notebook or anything that you will look at each day. It’s easy to overlook an important deadline if you just try to keep it in your mind.

 Search online this month and every month for scholarship opportunities. Start with the free Internet services. If you don’t find what you are looking for, consider a premier paid online service like The Scholarship & Grant Guide. Remember to check back frequently as new scholarships opportunities are likely to show up.

 Continue applying for scholarships and grants. Of course, you can apply for these throughout the year, but it is wise to get an early start on this very time consuming process.


GRADES, Need we say more?

We have lots to do this year, grades to make, tests to take, deadlines to meet, essays to write, and applications to complete and send it. It will be a very busy year, remember to take care of yourself. The last thing you need is to get sick.

If you haven’t already done so, make a MASTER calendar to keep track of:

 Test dates, fees, and deadlines

 College application due dates

 Required financial aid applications and their deadlines

 Recommendations, transcripts, and other necessary materials

 Your high school’s deadlines for application requests, such as your transcript.


  • Now is the time to select 5-10 colleges that interest you the most. Include in your selections at least one college that you’re pretty sure you have a good chance of being admitted. Don’t delay, request information and applications immediately. Also check their websites for information you can obtain online.
  • Get started on your college applications right away. Delays may cost you the school of your choice.
  • Keep in mind that most applications are due between January 1st and February 15th. Keep copies of everything you send to colleges. Have your high school send your transcript to colleges.
  • If you haven’t already done so, sign up to take the SAT or ACT. Use online study resources and practice tests to help you in your preparation. Believe it or not, you CAN improve your test scores by taking them a second time and, of course, better scores will help you when applying for scholarships.  There are many colleges that are test optional – meaning they will take SAT or ACT.  Go to for a list of over 800 test optional colleges.
  • If at all possible, pay a visit to a college and sign up to “shadow” a college freshman.
  • Again, pay attention to any early admission deadlines. By this month or next, submit applications for early decision programs.

Things To Do This Month

 Register to take three SAT II subject tests. These should be completed by November to December. NOTE: December is the last month the SAT I and II will be offered for students interested in enrolling in college for fall of the following year. Talk with your counselor about getting fee waivers for these tests.   Also, when taking the ACT or SAT, request that your test scores are sent to the NCAA eligibility center. The code is “9999”.

 Ask for letters of recommendations. Give each person a copy of your resume, a stamped addressed envelope, and any required forms. Be sure to give them plenty of time to comply with your request.

 Update your resumes, this is your list of accomplishments, involvements, and work experiences and includes your senior year activities. Your resume will be used to help you complete your applications and essays.

 Ask your counselor to send your transcript to the colleges to which you are applying and also ask that he or she fill out a Secondary School Report.

 Begin writing your college application essay.  This is so important to your college application, we will break it into three parts.

  • Part 1 is brainstorming the topic of the essay.
  • Part 2 is selecting the topic.
  • Part 3 is writing and editing the essay.

Below are some excellent tips on Part 1 Brainstorming the Topic. Part 2 will be covered in the November module and Part 3 in the December module.

Plan to spend one to two weeks on brainstorming the topic. Don’t worry about exact wording at this point just get ideas flowing.

When brainstorming, the goal is to get all ideas recorded. Don’t toss any idea out at this stage. Ask friends and family for ideas.

Some questions to help you get started:

What makes you unique? What are your accomplishments? What person (event, book, etc.) has influenced you the most? What struggles have you faced and overcome? What do you want to do in the future?


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 8 cool techniques for staying relaxed and calm in the heat of the competition:”

1. 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.

2. 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.

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

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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, and then release them. Repeat this exercise. The procedure of tightening already tight muscles, holding the tension for ten seconds and then releasing it, will diminish your nervousness.

7. 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.

8. 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 it’s nasty little head.

Net Cost Calculator

According to the Federal Government, as of October 29th,2011  all colleges and universities must have installed on their websites a NET COST CALCULATOR for determining the real out of pocket expenses that families will have to pay for college expenses after all financial aid including athletic scholarships have been figured in.

This handy and much needed website tool will enable families to accurately predict ahead of time how much families will have to add to any financial aid.

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