December 9, 2023

Football – Sophomore – May

 Football Combines

Last month we talked about summer camps and how it would be a good idea to attend one or two this summer, but what about the football combines?  If you were a standout athlete as a Sophomore, you might have received invites to one or more combines.  Should you attend or not?

  It is important that you and your parents realize that receiving an invite to a camp/combine does not mean that you are going to get recruited to play football for any school.

The next consideration is price, and price has a lot to do with whether you should attend or not.

Types Of Combines

   First, there are free football combines.  If you live close to one of these free events like an Under Armour Combine or a Nike Combine, then, by all means, you should attend. Combines are a terrific opportunity for you to pit your skills against other athletes at the event, showcase your talents, and possibly also get some coaching from someone besides your high school coach.

  Then there are the National Underclassmen Combines, which cost $89.99 if you pre register and $120.00 if you wait to walk up.  If your parents can afford it and you can catch one close to you, then this is also one you could attend.  However, keep in mind that attending one of these will not get you recruited, but it will give you the same benefits as the free camps above.

 Lastly, there are the prestigious combines like the US Army All American Combine that cost a significant amount of money to attend.  These combines have no value above the free ones or the National Underclassmen Football Combine discussed above.

Besides costing a lot of money, the worst thing is they do NOTHING  to help you get recruited. College coaches pay no attention to the results of these expensive combines.

Some of the costly combines brag that the top recruits in the country will be in attendance, but while many top athletes will be there, the fact is that any athlete that can cough up the money will be welcomed to the combine.  They are money makers for the people that run them and not much more.

So if you can find a free one close to home or you have the $89.99 for a National Underclassmen Combine, then attend with the idea of gaining experience and maybe an opportunity to get coached by someone different, but do not pay any significant amount of money to attend a combine, and do not attend thinking that it is of any importance as far is getting a scholarship to play football is concerned.


Remembering What You’ve Studied

Many bright students get to high school (or even college) without learning HOW to study.  They breeze through school getting good grades and find it pretty easy.  But sooner or later students run into a class or as assignment that’s not so easy. Now what do they do. How do they remember this more difficult material?

The answer is to use some of the study skills they have learned and practiced over the years.  What study skills?  So if you didn’t need them before you need them now.  We will be reviewing several in the upcoming months.  You will need them in the same way you need basic skills in football.

Tips for Remembering

Remembering is not just something you need for school, it is something you need for life.  Some things are easy to remember, others are not. This is not just memorizing but recalling information.  Below are some tips that can help you remember.


“Simple & Fast Ways To Remember…”

1. Understand the information. If you can connect it to what you already know, the task becomes much easier.

2. Try to form an association between what you need to remember and a person, place or emotion.

3. Frequently recite out loud or silently what you need to remember or write it down.

4. Break down large blocks of information into smaller parts.

5. Make a graphic organizer. This allows you to show how the bits of information relate to each other. Like a play chart.

6. Bring a personal touch to the task by relating the information to something in your own life.

7. Form a picture of the information in your mind. Visualizing is a great tool.

8. Apply what you need to remember by thinking about how it could be used.

9. Test yourself. You can make study cards or have someone else ask you questions.

10. Make it more fun. Make a game of it or try putting it to music.

Financial Aid Facts That Can Save You Thousands

1. Some Colleges Give More Than Others

Most schools use the same financial aid formulas but there are huge differences in how much they award in grants, scholarships and other financial aid.

The older prestigious colleges and many other private universities offer higher financial aid amounts because they have large endowment funding.

Endowments come from donations and over the years can become enormous.  Public colleges and universities, on the other hand, rarely have significant endowment funds.

2. Look Beyond the Amount for Tuition Published for Colleges

A year at a state college or university may cost $20,00 – $35,000 (tuition, fees, room and board, etc.). A private school may be more than $55,000.  So the state school will be cheaper to attend, right?  Not so fast.  Private schools use their endowments to meet 90-95% of their financial aid.  State colleges meet about 50-65%. You may end up paying less at the big private school.

3. Middle Class Families Can Get Generous Grants, Scholarships and other Financial Aid

Recently, colleges and universities have sought to help upper middle class families far more than in the past.  But you can’t get financial aid if you don’t apply. A recent study showed over 50%  of eligible families did not apply – leaving millions on the table.

4. Grades Have Little To Do with Financial Aid Awards

In the current economy, all families need help paying for college expenses.  There are two types of scholarships, those based on financial need (how much money you make) and those based on merit (GPA, test scores, etc.).   About 98% of the financial aid funds available are NEED based.  More families qualify than in the past so make sure you apply.

5. It May Matter WHERE You Save for College

The financial aid formulas count college “savings” differently.  Generally money saved in the student’s name will hurt you more than money saved in the parent’s name.  Check carefully to make sure your assets give you the best chance.

6. Graduation Rates Are Not All the Same

Most people think of graduating from college in four years.  That amount of time used to be pretty standard.  But only 50% of students from state schools finish in four years now.

There are many reasons.  Private colleges have about an 85% four-year graduation rate.  Keep that in mind in thinking about how much college is going to cost.


Developing The Will To Win

Everyone acknowledges the importance of being a team player, but we all also know there are times when you must decide to step up and be singularly demonstrate the unstoppable urge to win?

While there is no “I” in “Team”, there is a definite “I” in “Win“, and in the game of football, it takes a team of individual players; all of them having the will to “Win”, the will to out score opponents game after game.

We have all seen games where an athlete hangs back hoping that a teammate will step up and make the play.  This usually does nothing to  win the game and typically contributes to a loss.

Do you have the will to win?  What are some of the things you can to summon the courage to display the will to win?

   Give yourself permission to win, to excel, to demonstrate your talents even if it does make those around you envious.  Did you know that when you show your will to win you encourage those around you to behave like winners also.  You actually give them courage to win.  The will to win is contagious!

   Use  rejection, judgment and jealousy to help you aspire to greatness.  Regardless of how uncomfortable you make your teammates, you will never be happy or enjoy real success downplaying your skills, talents, and accomplishments in an effort to make others feel more comfortable.

   When people put you down and say you can’t do something, channel your frustration and anger and let it spearhead your drive into the elite levels of competition.

   Develop a winning attitude.  It is simple to cultivate a winning mindset, simply determine to complete every task, regardless of what it is, to the very best of your ability.  Deciding to aspire to do your very best, regardless of the nature of the job, will almost automatically give you the inclination to succeed in everything.


Arkansas Football Coach Fired

The recent firing of Bobby Patrino, head football coach for Arkansas, should give all potential football recruits reason to take pause and consider what should be the actual reasons why they want to be recruited by a certain football program.

It is a well-known fact that many recruits are enamored by the idea of playing football for a famous coach, but as is evidenced by the doubt and confusion among the 25 newly signed 2012 Arkansas recruits, the loss of a head football coach for any reason could prove disastrous to the program depending upon several factors including how long it takes to hire a new head coach and who is actually hired.

Many of the 25 recruits were attracted to Arkansas because the football program, coached by Patrino, was said to be in position to win the National Championship next year.  Without a head coach, the Razorbacks may not fair so well.  In addition, if Jeff Long, the AD, doesn’t fill the position soon, 2013 recruiting will also be hurt.

What Can You Learn From This?

   Avoid signing with a school based on a certain coach being there.  Remember, you are accepting an athletic scholarship from the school, not the head coach.  Do not let all your hopes and dreams be smashed with the fate of a coach.

Sign with a school that will give you an education that you can plan a career around besides football.  Overwhelmingly, college football players do not go on to the pros.

Sign with a school where you will feel comfortable attending even if you get injured, the head coach leaves or the football program goes south.

Your top priority should be to use your football scholarship to pay for your college degree.  Regardless of how alluring the limelight is for any college level football player, that should be secondary to your education.  You will be in college for 4 to 5 years, but the preparation you make in those years can prepare you for a life’s career.


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