May 21, 2024

Football -Sophomore-December

Recruiting Dream Teams

What does the term ‘Recruiting Dream Team’ refer to and do you need one?

Your recruiting dream team is you and your parents or other interested and involved people that are willing to help you during all phases of your recruiting process. It could be one or both of your parents or even one or more of your other family members. Sometimes grandparents can even serve in this roll.

Absolutely, you do NEED a team of people who are willing to consistently help you manage your recruiting game plan as you move through your high school athletic career.

Getting an athletic scholarship is not an instantaneous one-shot event. There are many steps along the way, and help with school searches, the many letters and emails of introduction, meeting deadlines, creating athletic profiles and highlight videos, making school visits, and even negotiating with coaches will prove invaluable.

While you can keep up with the recruiting process yourself, it is much easier when you enlist the help and support of at least one other person who will be committed to your recruiting game plan efforts. You will be very busy with many activities including practicing and playing football and maybe another sport, your studies, a social life, and your family activities.

Here are just a few of the ways your recruiting dream team can help:

   They can gather college and athletic program information. They can also write letters or emails of introduction, help with your athletic profile, help create or pay for your highlight videos and they can handle countless other details.

   Your dream team can respond to coaches questionnaires, and other requests for information.

   Using a filing and tracking system, they can keep coach communication and your whole recruiting process organized. This is a huge job, and will become even more important as the different coaches express recruiting interest in you.

   Your parents or other members of the team can help you keep your head on straight when the calls and attention from coaches does begin. While it is exciting beyond belief, when all the attention starts, if can be overwhelming.

   Team members can keep track of your high school academic, extracurricular accomplishments, and athletic achievements, and they can give timely stats updates to the various coaches.

Gather together your Recruiting Dream Team now; you will be glad you did. Your parents and other interested family members or even willing friends can be so much more than a handy secretary. You need these people; they can both encourage you and help you keep your feet on the ground when the recruiting process heats up.

Things To Do In December

Research NCAA academic requirements and continue striving for academic success. Take a look at the academic requirements of the schools where you are thinking about attending. Make sure that you are on track for all the core requirements for each of these schools as well as the NCAA.

Check with under the Initial Eligibility link for current requirements. NOTE: If math isn’t your thing, avoid taking two math classes the same semester. Every final grade you get will count in your overall GPA.

Set up a meeting with your high school counselor and make a list of schools that meet your needs athletically, academically, and socially. As you begin to target schools for your wish list, you can send coaches at those schools a letter or email of introduction expressing your interest in his school. You can find a sample in the Members Resource Center. This initial contact from you to the coaches will establish you in the coaches recruiting computer files as a new athlete to track.

Get a recruiting notebook if you don’t already have one or print out copies of the tracking sheet found in the Members Resource Center. Keep track of all communications between you and the schools and coaches. You will be sending updates, follow-up letters and emails, school schedules, and other information to the coaches.


Add this tip to your Financial Aid Tips file.  Remember, there’s plenty of money out there that has to go to someone.  It may as well be you.

Financial Aid Tips:

1. Often your employer or your parents’ employers can be a scholarship source. One student-athlete we know, whose mother worked at Walmart, received a 4 year scholarship. Many large corporations have scholarships for each store or several nationally. You never know until you ask.

2. Lock in Tuition.  Can’t stand the way college tuition keeps shooting up? Consider locking in a single-tuition rate for 4 years.

The tuition rate you pay as a wet-behind-the-ears freshman is guaranteed until you graduate. No more losing sleep over skyrocketing tuition costs.

Colleges with locked-in tuition programs include: Anna Maria College in Paxton, MA; Baylor University in Waco, TX; Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport, LA; Concordia University in River Forest, IL; Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, TX; Huntington College in Huntington, IN; Urbana University in Urbana, OH; University of Charleston in Charleston, WV and New York’s Pace University.

3.  Some schools offer guaranteed tuition programs for free.  Others charge fees.  Be sure to check.



How are the GRADES coming?

 Have you paid a visit to your counselor’s office recently?  Keep dropping by just to let them see your face.  Ask, if my colleges need a recommendation from you, how can I help you know me better so it can be more personal?

 Remember that high schools vary widely in informing students and preparing them for college.  You must be instrumental in making sure that YOU take advantage of every available opportunity.

 As a part of your on-going plan to be admitted into college, whenever you do any volunteer work, try to get a written recommendation and keep these letters in a file along with other important items.  While these aren’t as important as grades and test scores, they will add to your college application.

 Keep essays written in English class and similar classes to draw on for college essays, particularly if they have to do with your personal reflections on life.  We know of at least one college that requested a copy of an English essay, complete with the teacher’s comments, as a condition of admission.


Things To Do This Month

  Start getting ready for the ACT.  Ask your counselor about the PLAN assessment program offered by American College Testing.  This program helps determine your study habits and academic progress and interests; it will also help prepare you for the ACT.

  Get organized.  Start using a planner to keep track of homework assignments, tests and projects.  Write in your planner every single day so that it becomes a habit.  Keep a folder or notebook for each subject and put all your notes and assignments in it.  Keep a “things to do” list.  Decide what needs to be done first and what can wait until later.

  Continue exploring potential careers.  Explore your career options in more detail; research possible careers to learn about the tasks, education and training necessary for each occupation.

  READ, READ, READ.  While you’re out for Winter break, read as many books as you can and read the newspaper to learn about current affairs.  Developing your reading skills will help make you a well-rounded individual and will help prepare you for tests.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Football

There’s a very good chance that what is behind your slumps and blocks is one or more physical or mental injuries or traumas.

Most athletes, parents and coaches don’t realize that PTSD contributes to repetitive poor performance on the football field.

The trauma can be physical like sustaining a broken finger, a torn ACL, a dislocated shoulder or even an unusually painful collision with an opponent.

Or, it can be an entirely mental trauma such as being humiliated or embarrassed in front of your teammates by your coach for choking, dropping the ball, falling or failing in any number of ways.

When in the grips of PTSD, the block or slump will not release its hold no matter what you, your coaches or parents try. It seems like the more you attempt to put it behind you, the worse everything gets. Your self-confidence plummets, there is an increase in frustration and your anxiety level sky rockets.

In simple terms, the trauma embeds itself into your mind and body and it seems that nothing, either externally or internally, in the way of threats, reasoning, bribes, pressure or assurances of safety will make the PTSD release its hold on you.

The PTSD episode is when you re-experience the original event over and over in your mind. You’re no different than a combat veteran who, when he hears a loud noise, finds himself back in the thick of the battle with all of its blood and carnage.

Of course these fear-based blocks make absolutely no sense to your parents or coaches. To them, there seems to be no apparent reason for you to continue to struggle.

You, your parents and your coaches need to understand that no football player in his right mind would consciously choose to be stuck, paralyzed by fear or consistently fall apart under pressure.

Important breakthroughs have been made in treating PTSD in football and other sports.

Dr. David Grand’s Treatment

Dr. David Grand has developed a treatment for PTSD as it relates to sports performance. Dr. Grand’s specialty is using EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for performance enhancement with athletes and other performers outside of sports.

Using Dr. Grand’s system, PTSD can be successfully resolved by application of EMDR in days instead of months or years. Dr. Grand has done some critically important pioneering work in the field of sports psychology using EMDR.

For more detailed information about whether Dr. Grand’s sports EMDR is right for you, call him at (413) 549-1085.


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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