April 14, 2024

Football – Sophomore – January

Hit The Weight Room Hard

Developing muscle mass and explosive strength can help make you a desirable football player.

This month, use your weight room sessions to continue building muscle mass and overall strength.  These winter months should be used wisely to lay the foundation for your entire resistance training program.  Work hard at the weights now and reap the benefits throughout the next season.

These cold months allow you the opportunity to transform yourself into the kind of powerhouse football player that is known to leave his competition wondering what happened during the off season.

Your confidence as a player largely comes from knowing that you have given your all in every phase of your training and this includes giving your best to your weight room sessions.  Almost no one enjoys sweating at the weights, but it is necessary to your overall recruiting success.

You don’t have total control over much in your life, but you do have absolute control over the effort you give in the weight room.

Critical Role Of Parents In The Recruiting Process

Last month, we gave you a quick overview of how the people on your dream team can assist you with the overwhelming paperwork involved in the recruiting process.

This month, let’s talk about how your parents or other dedicated adult mentors can help you through the process.

   They can keep the entire recruiting process in perspective.  Parents should keep mind that a football athlete’s career can come to an abrupt end as the result of just one play.  For that reason, academics should be the first consideration for all the schools you have targeted.  Your parents, guardian, or other dedicated adults can help you keep your recruiting process in line with this goal.

   Your parents or other dream team members can help you work with your high school coach during your recruiting process.  All of you should realize that your high school coach will be your primary liaison with all the college coaches.

Besides being any the all important hookup with college coaches, your high school coach can recommend the summer camps that will be a fit for your particular talents.  Exposure in the right camps is an essential part of the recruiting process.

   With your college education in mind, your parents can be very helpful in doing a complete assessment of the colleges on your wish list.  They can evaluate graduation rates, costs, majors, post academic programs campus life, and also athletic programs from a view point that you might not think about.  All of this information can be tracked down via the Internet, through your high school counselor’s office or by contacting the school directly.

   Your parents should be proactive in helping you develop your college wish list and they should go with you on as many preliminary college visits as possible.

   When the time comes, parents should go with you on all official college visits.  Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.  Use the maturity and experience of your parents.  They may think of questions and make observations that you would not think of.

   The recruiting process is full of ups and downs.  Some coaches will think you are terrific but others may totally reject you.   Your parents can act as a steadying influence through both the highs and lows.

   Parents can help you be realistic about your actual football playing abilities.  If you are not D-I material, they can help you go for the programs where you will be a fit.   Getting a college education and having it paid for should be the ultimate goal.

   Your parents an all the other supportive people in your life should display good sportsmanship at all your games.  There is nothing more embarrassing than having a parent who bad mouths you, the other players, or the officiating crew.

Things Parents Should Avoid:

  • They can avoid being an additional stress factor for you. Being supportive without being obnoxious is the idea.
  • Parents should set their egos aside as they help you select schools where you will be a good fit athletically, academically, and socially. The big state university may not suite your athletic talent and other abilities.

Recruiting Things To Do This Month:


    Continue sending either emails or letters of introduction to the coaches at the schools where you would like to play.  A sample can be found in the Members Resource Section.  Doing so will ensure that you are on the radar of these schools.

    Continue to work off the field on your athletic skills, physical fitness, and mental toughness.  Do a mental check of your character traits.  There is still time to improve in every area.

    If you have not already done so, register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.  Do not leave this for others to do, you are the only one that can register.

    Make sure that you are taking the right courses to meet core requirements at the NCAA and also the schools where you are interested in playing.

     Develop a filing system for any and everything that has to do with your recruiting process.  Paperwork comes in, gets misplaced, discarded or lost.  Make a habit of filing all correspondence, catalogs and notes from coaches.  You will eventually need all this material to help you make your final decision.

     Make a point to talk to other football athletes that have already been recruited.  This can prove invaluable in giving you the inside scoop on how the recruiting process actually works.  You also might be able to pick up some uniquely helpful tips on certain schools this way.


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

Financial Aid Tip:

Alumni Scholarships.  Many colleges and universities have scholarships for children and grandchildren of former students.

Types Of Financial Aid:

It is not too early to begin familiarizing yourself with the different form of financial aid available today.  Basically, there are four different types of financial aid as follows:

   Need-based grants and scholarships – These are given to applicants with significant financial need.  These funds are typically dispersed in one lump sum and do not have to be paid back.  The starting place is almost always the FAFSA application  which can be submitted Jan1 of your senior year.

  Merit-based grants and scholarships are awarded for academic, athletic or artistic achievement.   While some merit-based grants and scholarships do consider financial need, the main focus for these grants and scholarships is to reward talent.  As with the need-based grants and scholarships, these funds do not have to be repaid.

  Subsidized loans – These funds are actually loans that have to be repaid.  They are where the government pays the interest while the student is in college and for six months after the student leaves school.

   Work study programs –  These are actually part-time jobs that are awarded to students that are financially in need.  The jobs are typically on campus and are many times related to the students major field of study.  The hours are flexible to suite your class schedule.


How were your holidays?  Ready to tackle your classes again?  Review your GRADES and remember to keep them up.

 Have a meeting with your counselor to make sure that you’re staying on track.  While you’re there, discuss your PSAT scores.  Take the most difficult courses you can handle and stay focused on your schoolwork.

 Take interest and skills assessments to help you explore career options.  Talk with friends, teachers, counselors and your parents about college.

 Explore internships and apprenticeships.

 Take on new roles.  Stay involved with your extracurricular activities and work toward leadership positions in the activities you like the best.  Become involved in comunity service and other volunteer activities.

Things to Do This Month Academically:

1. Start preparing for the SAT and ACT.  Go online and look for tutorials that will help you increase your scores.

2. If you have started your foreign language requirements, it is better to stick with one language and gain depth than it is to take introductory courses in two or three different languages.  Colleges will be much more impressed with in depth understanding of one language than a shallow introduction to several.

3. Familiarize yourself with a “common” college application.  Go online and search for “the common application,” check it out so that you know exactly what information you’re going to need when you apply to colleges.  You don’t want to reach your senior year and discover that you have gaping holes in your high school record.

4. Visit colleges and surf the web.  This year is a great time to do some low pressure exploration of the colleges you’re interested in attending.  Make it a point to stop by a campus and take a tour.

“Here Are Some Tips To For Getting The Most Out Of Your College Visits”

  • Visit some campuses where you are interested in attending. Make the most of these visits by talking with athletes, students that are not athletes, and professors in your major field if you already have one.
  • Eat in the campus cafeteria at each school and ask the other students about dorm life.
  • Visit both large and small campuses and ask yourself where you feel more at home.

What Is Mental Toughness?

What does mental toughness mean to a football player?  Usually, it means not letting anyone or anything break you.  But, it really means so much more than that.

One definition of mental toughness is having the natural or acquired psychological advantage that enables you to generally cope better than your opponents with the many demands of training, competition and life.

Mental toughness allows you to be more consistent and better than your opponents in remaining focused, confident, resilient and in control under pressure.

“5 Key Characteristics Of Metal Toughness…”

1.  Self-Belief – You have an unshakable belief in your ability to achieve competition goals and you believe you have unique qualities that make you better than your opponents. – You have an unending thirst and a motivation from within to succeed. You have the ability to bounce back from performance setbacks with an even greater determination to succeed.

3. Focus – You have the ability to remain focused on the task at hand no matter what is going on in the competition. You’re able to switch your focus on and off as required and you demonstrate the ability to stay positive. You are not adversely affected by your own internal pressures like worry and negative mind chatter

4. Composure and the ability to handle pressure – You’re able to regain control after experiencing unexpected distractions or events. You realize that anxiety is a part of every game and you learn how to cope with it. You thrive on the pressure of the game and you actually enjoy stepping up to the challenge of the moment.

5. You’ve conditioned your mind to think confidently so that you can overcome frustration and negative self-talk – You don’t allow frustration to diminish your confidence or focus.


 The minimum GPA required by the NCAA for college football players is now 2.3 up from 2.0.  While this allows you to scrape by with the NCAA,  will it be enough to qualify you for admittance to your dream schools?  Just one or two bad academic semesters can damage your GPA beyond repair.

  Golpashin (Oregon Ducks offensive lineman) started against LSU in the Cowboys Classic, the season opener, but tore his ACL a couple of weeks later in practice.  This scenario is common in college football, and this is one important reason why you should plan to accept an athletic scholarship only at a school where you can get a solid education that will prepare you for a career.

  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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