June 25, 2022

Senior – Football – April

 What Division Are You Recruiting?

By April of your senior year, if you haven’t been offered a scholarship, barring a miracle, you will have to look at lower level Divisions, and at this late date, you will be lucky to obtain a scholarship anywhere.  That seems brutal, but it is the plain truth.

If you have had only Division I-A eyes and have not changed your focus to Division I-AA, Division II, Division III, NAIA, and JUCO schools, you must act NOW, NOW, NOW.

 You will have to start calling the recruiting coaches at every level to see if anyone has an open spot.  This last ditch effort to get a coach interested in you will be somewhat like finding a needle in a haystack, but you could be lucky.  Make sure that you have the following before you start your calling campaign:

  • Highlight Video – This should be of excellent quality made from good quality film.  See the resource section for tips on how to make one.  Post your video everywhere you can.  YouTube, Scouts, Rivals, Gobig Recruiting and your own personal webpage if you have one.
  • Recruiting Profile – Again, this should be well done with all your stats and academic information on the first page.  See the resource section for examples and tips.  Post your profile online at places  like Rivals.com and post it on your own personal webpage.

If you find the needle, the coach that is interested in seeing your highlight video at this late date, you can give him the links to both your video and your profile.

Ask Yourself What Is Really Important

It is unfortunate, but many high school seniors do end up empty handed because they have waited and hoped for a certain big state program to recruit them.  Many of you may have even waited for a walk-on position at one of these big programs, which also failed to come through.

At this point, it is good to assess why you want a college athletic scholarship.  If it is to have your college education paid for, they by all means look at lower level programs.

Yes, it is true that most of the lower level programs do not have the fan base that a big state program has, but, again, examine what your long range goals are.  Is it essential for you to play in a packed out stadium, or can you live with playing to a smaller crowd while reaching your goal of getting a college education at the same time?  With college expenses going up and up, it is worth considering.

Division III Schools

While D-I schools cannot offer athletic scholarships, they can offer you other types of grants and financial aid that in the end may end up being just as lucrative as a full ride athletic scholarship.  Do not count them out.  They could still be a way for you to play football and get your college education paid for.

 

 

What To Do About Excessive Procrastination?

Last month we discussed how to tell if you’re a procrastinator.  Now you know if this is an issue for you.  If it is, there are tips below that can help you control it.  Above all, stay positive and get going.

 

“Beat Procrastination Now…”

1. Motivate yourself. There is no time like the present.

2. Prioritize tasks in terms of difficulty and deadlines.

3. Commit yourself to finishing a task once you start it.

4. Reward yourself when you finish a task.

5. Work on tasks at times you work best. You know if morning or evening is your best time.

6. Break large tasks into small parts. Finishing a small part will help you feel successful.

7. Work as part of a study group. Someone in the group will keep the others going.

8. Get help from teachers or other students if you get stuck.

9. Make a schedule of tasks to be done and stick to the schedule.

10. Eliminate distractions. You know what they are.

11. Set reasonable standards for completing a task.

12. Take breaks so you don’t burn out.

13. Work on hardest tasks first.

14. Work on an easier task after completing a hard one.

15. Find a good place to work

 

What To Do (And Not To Do) While Waiting On College Acceptance Letters

Time can move quickly or crawl by – think about how long it takes for spring break to roll around.  Time also moves slowly when you are waiting to hear from colleges regarding your acceptance.  Did they accept you or not?   Why haven’t you heard from them?  It can be frustrating.   Below are some things you should DO while you wait and also some things you should NOT DO.

DO

  • Double and triple check your application.  Look for any errors and if you find any let the college know.
  • Be sure that all your financial aid papers are filed and correct.
  • Investigate possible scholarships and their deadlines.  Some deadlines are early so make sure you get things in on time.
  • Let colleges know of anything that has changed. Maybe you got a new award or letter of recommendation.
  • Prepare for what may come.   How will you handle rejection letters?  How will you handle multiple acceptances?

NOT DO

  • Don’t contact the admissions office about anything else.  Don’t bug them.
  • Don’t compare notes with other students.  You can drive yourself crazy if they’ve heard and you haven’t.
  • Don’t obsessively rank your schools.  Wait until you know about acceptances and also about financial aid offers.

 

Do You Have Wild Confidence Swings?

Most athletes that have not reached the ‘best of the best’ ranks experience the entire gauntlet of confidence possibilities.  They can go all the way from being a  mental marshmallow to being a confident tiger from game to game.  Or we often see the evidence of lack of self-confidence  exhibited from quarter to quarter within a single game.

How do the sports superstars overcome this problem so common to all athletes?  How do elite level stars like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Sydney Crosby continue to display awesome mental toughness game after game and do it seemingly with no effort?

Most great athletes, regardless of the sport they participate in, know the importance of mental toughness.  During interviews, they talk about how important this component is to their game, but, if you think about it, how they actually accomplish their calm under fire is not a secret they usually reveal publicly.

So how do today’s ‘mega stars’ achieve the ability to hang tough when the going gets rough?  The truth is they have internalized a simple, automatic formula for maintaining extraordinary mental toughness when they are under the gun. This means that the formula is easily available to them, it is really a part of their total game skill set, they do not even have to think about it to bring it in to play.  With this formula, their ability to kill fear is silent but deadly.

To see an athlete crumble under pressure is a sad thing to see.  The stadium may be filled to capacity with tens of thousands of spectators watching intently as a quarterback folds under pressure.  It is so compelling that even the fans get a knot in the pit of their stomachs?  Typically, when this happens, the game goes south quickly and the outcome is a loss.

How can you as a athlete hoping to land a college football scholarship master the ability to have amazing confidence when the pressure is on?  How do you develop the ability to consistently feel unstoppable instead of being gripped with paralyzing fear?

Change Your Thinking – Begin to be aware of how you are thinking.  Your doubtful thinking leads directly to a self-confidence slide, and a lack of self-confidence leads directly to poor performance.

Examples of fearful thoughts are: “What if I screw up?”; “Super, I am up against their best lineman”; What if I get hurt?”; What if I fumble?  These are all the kinds of thoughts that put your play in the toilet.

Have Six Positive Affirmations Ready – Create meaningful positive affirmations for immediately turning fear into massive self-confidence.  These simple phrases should be written down, and verbally practiced until they are easily available to you at anytime things start getting stressful during the game or at practice.

Examples of positive affirmations that will do a U-turn on paralyzing self-confidence are:  “I have trained for this moment”; “I can do this and more”;  I am ready, bring it on”; I love taking the ball when the game is on the line”;  “I run the plays and focus only on my job on the team”; “Give me the ball, I can run it in”; “I play my best under pressure”.

Having six positive thoughts readily available in your head allows you to fight negative thoughts.  It puts you in the driver’s seat.  It stops fear in its tracks, but the key to success is you must first be aware of your negative, doubtful thoughts, and then you must quickly toss them out of your mind by replacing them with one or several of your prepared positive affirmations.

These affirmations should be ones that you know to be true about your play or that could reasonably be true.   Putting this formula to use is a very simple, quick and effective way to get control over your doubtful, confidence robbing thoughts.

 

The Importance Of Looking Good On Paper

If you a shooting for one of the top twenty five football programs in the country, you should be aware that these top programs receive around 25,000 athletic profiles and DVD’s from aspiring football recruits every year, and the lesser programs receive about 5,000.  Common sense should tell you that the coach does not have the time to either read these profiles thoroughly or view all these videos.

So how does the coach narrow down his recruiting list to the top 25 or so recruits that he may be interested in signing?  He evaluates them first on paper in about 30 seconds to quickly see if he even wants to look at their highlight video.

  • This means that your athletic profile must show that you are recruitment material and should include easy-to-see information about your statistics including position you play, weight, height, bench press, 40 yd time, vertical, and squats.
  • You must also show your academic information including your GPA  and SAT/SAT scores.  The coach does not want to recruit someone that won’t even be admitted to the university.

Coaches use the top page of your athletic profile to see if you meet their minimum recruiting cutoffs.  If you don’t, your recruiting information packet gets thrown in the trash.  Knowing this ahead of time should let you know that if you want to be considered at all, you need to make sure that your stats and academics are up to snuff and that your profile can be easily read.

 

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