The YouCanDoMore YouTube Channel

Featured

There is a very detailed explanation of my new YouTube channel project at a previous post,  Project Launch!, but this will be a little more succinct description with links to the videos that already reside on YouTube.

The channel will have a series of tutorial videos, each 6-8 minutes, that will discuss some aspect of the collegiate recruiting process.  There will eventually be around 25-30 videos on the channel.

Some of the topics will be:

  • Why the playing field is not level
  • How to market yourself
  • Expanding the scholarship pool
  • NCAA Clearinghouse
  • Gauging level of interest

… and many more!

This video is the latest episode, What Are The Odds?

Here is a playlist that includes all of the YouCanDoMore channel videos.  Right now there are 6 videos in the playlist… more will be added at the rate of about 1 per week.  I recommend that you watch in order, as many will build on previous knowledge/ episodes.

In this video I explain the platform, Patreon, and how it works.

The content on my YouCanDoMore channel is and will always be free.  If you choose to become a Patron of team YouCanDoMore you can join here : The YouCanDoMore Patreon Page.  Becoming a Patron will unlock additional content and services that will not be available on my YouTube channel.

A few simple ways to help me with this project:

  • Subscribe to the YouCanDoMore channel…. Just click on the button in the right hand column of this page and you are finished!
  • “Like” (thumbs up) the videos that you watch
  • Leave a comment or ask a question on the videos you watch
  • Share the YouCanDoMore YouTube channel with your cohorts via social media
  • And… the ultimate support, of course, would be visiting my Patreon Page and becoming a Patron!

As always, thanks for your support!

Remember – You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Advertisements

So You Want To Get Recruited?

MillerNLIContrary to popular belief, and the belief of many athletes and parents, your high school coach will not “get you (or anyone) a scholarship”.  It often becomes easy to put the blame on the high school coach for not promoting an athlete enough for them to miraculously become a DI athlete come signing day.  The responsibility to put yourself in a position to earn an athletic scholarship lies squarely on your shoulders.  You will need to display, to your high school coach AND the college coaches evaluating you, that you have the following characteristics:

  1. Coachable – Character
  2. Speed
  3. Explosion
  4. Playing Fast
  5. Athleticism – Quickness
  6. Academics (GPA/Test score)
  7. Size
  8. Effort
  9. Technique

Your high school coach will be your first contact with college recruiters.  Each year he will get literally hundreds of college prospect forms to fill out. These will be asking for 10th, 11th, and 12th grade prospects that have the potential to play college athletics.  Your high school coach can be one of your biggest assets in getting an initial connection to college football programs.

So … to put it simply, and a little corny (but true) you have to show him how remarkable you are!  Here is the question:  Will your coach be able to TRUTHFULLY say to a college recruiting coach that you have done everything in your power to become the best football (and team) player during the last four years?  If not, then you have work to do.  If you expect your coach to be your biggest fan, you must show him that you have character and are coachable…. the first things on the list above.  How do you do that?  Here are some (but not all) examples….

  • If your coach asks you to play scout team your sophomore year to help the varsity team prepare, then be the best scout team player on the field!  Make plays against good varsity competition and follow directions.
  • If your coach expects you to participate in 7-on-7 during the summer, then be at every practice and every game. Be a leader – learn your system – play fast.
  • If your coach you to attend 90% of the workouts during the off-season program, be there 100% of the time and work at a high intensity.  You don’t want to be the guy in this video:
  • If your coach asks you to switch positions your senior year to help the team, then take on the new position with enthusiasm.
  • If your coach expects you to evaluate your opponent’s game film an hour every day during your season, then watch 90 minutes a day.
  • If you coach demands that you are on time to every practice and meeting, then make sure you are on “Lombardi Time” and get there 10 minutes early!
  • When you coach says you should take a “6 inch step” during film evaluation of your blocking, you say “Yes Sir” and learn how to do it consistently rather than asking your teammates “what is the big difference between a 6 inch step and a 7 inch step?

When you do everything in your power to make yourself a better football (and team) player, then you will be able to check off two important qualities college coaches are looking for, being coachable and having great character.

You can read in depth information about the qualities that college coaches will be evaluating, and other recruiting information, at my blog at this link:  You Can Do More – All  Recruiting Posts.

In addition to these written posts, I have recently launched my YouTube Channel that deals specifically with the recruiting process.  The channel can be found here : The YouCanDoMore YouTube Channel, and the complete playlist can be viewed here.

 

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Recruiting – The National Letter of Intent

level of interestToday is the final installment in the six-part series designed to help student-athletes and their parents know what to expect at the various stages of the recruiting process.  I briefly explained these stages in the post, Recruiting – Gauging Their Level Of Interest; this series goes into greater detail at each step, helping you maximize every opportunity to market yourself.

In addition to these written posts, I have recently launched my YouTube Channel that deals specifically with the recruiting process.  The channel can be found here : The YouCanDoMore YouTube Channel, and the complete playlist can be viewed here.

 

This post will discuss “The National Letter of Intent” (NLI) and detail exactly what signing this document means.

You made it through the recruiting process to this ultimate and important step;  the last step in the recruiting process, but the first in your collegiate playing experience.  This step takes on increased importance, because unlike many of the previous steps (The Offer or your verbal commitment) this step IS binding.  The NLI (National Letter of Intent) used by the majority of NCAA schools, is a legal, binding agreement that ties you to the issuing college and visa-versa.  Non-NLI member colleges are the Ivy League schools, Military Academies, Division III and NAIA institutions, prep schools and junior colleges.

Signing date (the first day of the regular signing period) for football is typically the first Wednesday in February.  The dates for all the sports can be found at this link: NCAA NLI Guide

Here are some things to keep in mind regarding the NLI and signing day:

  • The NLI must be accompanied by an athletics financial aid agreement.  An institution cannot ask a student-athlete to sign a letter of intent to “walk on” or if it is accompanied only by a financial aid agreement from a non-athletic (i.e. academic) source.
  • The NLI may not be signed prior to the signing dates for the applicable sport.  A coach cannot and should not ask a student-athlete to sign the NLI early “just to get a head start on things” unless your sport has an applicable early signing period.
  • A parent or legal guardian must also sign the NLI if the prospective student-athlete is under 21 years old, regardless of marital status.
  • A coach or institutional representative may not hand deliver the NLI off campus or be present off campus at the time of signing.  The NLI will probably be delivered express mail, courier service, or regular mail.  It can also be delivered electronically via email or fax.  In the “old days” coaches, often head coaches, often head coaches competing for the same prospect, would show up at this top recruits high school with the NLI in hand.  The NCAA felt like this was putting too much pressure on the prospective student-athlete and their family on signing day.  It is still possible for a student-athlete to have more than one NLI delivered to them, but they will be able to decide which to sign without the pressure of a coach hovering over them.
  • It will be up to your high school to organize any signing day event.
  • Once you sign the NLI, all other institutions must respect the student-athletes NLI signing by ceasing all recruiting.
  • The student-athlete (and parent/ guardian) will sign two copies of the NLI and athletic scholarship agreement.  They will keep one and return one to the institution.
  • The NLI binds a student-athlete to the institution, not the coach.  If the coach leaves, the student-athlete is still bound by the provisions of the NLI
  • There are various circumstances that could make the NLI declared null and void.  These are detailed at this site: NCAA NLI Guide

On a final note, I think it is important to remember that, although the recruiting process is over, your collegiate experience is just beginning.  In order for you to compete at this next level, it is imperative that you continue ALL the things (or more) that put you in a position to receive an athletic scholarship and sign a NLI.  Continue working to make yourself a remarkable, Purple Cow athlete!  An athlete that was ultimately Wanted… and Rewarded!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Alphabet Soup

ncaa logonaianjcaa

NCAA DI, NCAA DII, NCAA DIII, NCAA FBS, NCAA FCS, NAIA DI, NAIA DII, NJCAA.

Whew!

There is always much confusion and misconceptions regarding all the different collegiate “levels”.  In this post, I will try to clarify and demystify this Alphabet Soup.  Here are my Top 10 Misconceptions regarding the different collegiate playing levels:

Misconception #1 – DI or Bust

Many athletes have the attitude that if they don’t get a NCAA FBS offer that they have failed; that playing at a so-called “lower level” would be beneath them.  Let me assure you that at most of the so-called “lower level” programs, the athletes are very good.  If you think you are just going to waltz in and earn a starting spot just because the football team is not classified as an FBS program, you will be in for a rude awakening.

Misconception #2 – I didn’t get a DI offer – I must not be good enough to play at the next level.

If you want to participate in intercollegiate athletics, there is a level and a program out there for you.  It will be challenging (see above) and rewarding, but if you want to play and are willing to work, there is a program out there with your name on it.

Misconception #3 – DI schools are larger than their counterparts at the other levels.

The level that a college or university operates on has nothing to do with the size of their campus or student population.  SMU (an FBS school) has an enrollment of 7,000 undergraduate students…. Washington University in St. Louis (an NCAA DIII school) has an enrollment of 7,300 undergrad students.   NCAA DI basketball powerhouse Butler has fewer than 4,000 undergrad students… The 2013 NCAA DII Basketball National Champions, Drury University in Springfield, MO has a student population of over 4,500.  I think this misconception has something to do with the way high school activity associations label and group their schools, which is completely based on student population.

So what does determine the collegiate level?  There are 340 NCAA DI institutions.  The FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision – formerly NCAA I-A) has 120 schools, FCS (Football Championship Subdivision – formerly NCAA I-AA) has 122 schools, and NFS (Non Football Subdivision) has 98 schools. All D-I schools must field teams in at least seven sports for men and seven for women or six for men and eight for women, with at least two team sports for each gender.   There are several other NCAA sanctioned minimums and differences that distinguish Division I from Divisions II and III, such as average attendance and facility size.

Misconception #4 – NCAA FBS schools offer more scholarships.

This is partly true, although it comes with a caveat.  NCAA FBS schools have 85 full scholarships in their program, while FCS schools have 63 and NCAA DII have 36.  But, (the caveat) in all divisions except FBS, the scholarships can be divided up into partial awards.  So, although FBS has more full scholarships to offer, the total number of scholarship athletes in the program is about the same.

Misconception #5 – The atmosphere at the “lower level” programs is lacking.

While not the same as an SEC game day experience I am sure, the atmosphere at many DII schools such as Northwest Missouri State University or the University of Central Missouri can rival the experiences at many “larger” universities.

Misconception #6 – Class sizes at NCAA DI schools are going to be much larger than at an NCAA DIII or NAIA school.

While this is often the case, again there are other factors, such as student population, faculty size and course offerings that will ultimately determine this number.

Misconception #7 – The NAIA is like the NCAA DIII.

The NAIA and NCAA are two different governing bodies of collegiate athletics.  NCAA DIII schools cannot offer any athletic scholarship aid.  NAIA schools CAN offer athletic aid (football 24, soccer 12, etc)

Misconception #8 – NCAA DIII does not offer scholarship aid.

While NCAA DIII schools cannot offer athletic scholarship aid, then can and do offer need based and academic aid to students… including student-athletes.

Misconception #9 – You have to go to a FBS school to have a chance at playing in the NFL

See #1 again… there are very good players at every level.  In 2012  22 players were drafted from non-FBS teams, and over 220 non-FBS players were on NFL rosters.

Misconception #10 – The DI mascots are way cooler.

OK – tie – St. Louis University Billikens (NCAA DI) vs Washburn University Ichabods (NCAA DII)

billiken06_2001ichabod

I hope this helped in digesting at least a portion of your Alphabet Soup.

In addition to these written posts, I have recently launched my YouTube Channel that deals specifically with the recruiting process.  The channel can be found here : The YouCanDoMore YouTube Channel, and the complete playlist can be viewed here.

 

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Recruiting – The Offer

offer pyramidToday is the fifth of a six-part series designed to help student-athletes and their parents know what to expect at the various stages of the recruiting process.  I briefly explained these stages in the post, Recruiting – Gauging Their Level Of Interest; this series goes into greater detail at each step, helping you maximize every opportunity to market yourself.

In addition to these written posts, I have recently launched my YouTube Channel that deals specifically with the recruiting process.  The channel can be found here : The YouCanDoMore YouTube Channel, and the complete playlist can be viewed here.

The previous post in this series can be found on my blog at the following link: Recruiting – The Level of Interest Pyramid.  This post will discuss “The Offer” and detail exactly what the verbal offer of scholarship aid means.

At some point during the recruiting process, the school (or schools) that has been recruiting you will make a decision.  They will either decide that you do not fit the current needs of their program, or that you are the type of student athlete that will be successful in their program.

If their decision is that you do not meet their current needs, understand their decision does not necessarily mean you cannot be a collegiate football player.  It only means that you do not meet the needs of that specific program, at that specific time.

If their decision is that you DO meet their needs, their next step will be determining what type offer they will be making.  Here are some important things to remember regarding the verbal offer:

  • At all levels below FBS football, the scholarships can be broken up into partial awards, ranging anywhere from a small dollar amount to a full ride.  At the NCAA FBS level, the scholarships are all full awards.  A full scholarship can include tuition, fees, room, board and books.  If you qualify for any need based aid, such as a PELL grant, you can accept that amount on top of your scholarship award.
  • At all levels below the NCAA DI level, the scholarship awards are 1-year contracts, with the option for annual renewal.  A 2011 rule change allowed NCAA DI schools to offer multi-year awards, but even then, those are rare.  A recent study by the Pittsburg Post-Gazette found the following:

“But nearly two years after that legislation, multiyear scholarships are rare, not publicized by universities and largely unknown by the athletes. According to data of 82 universities at the Division I-A level obtained by the Post-Gazette through open records requests, only 16 have offered more than 10 multiyear scholarships. Thirty-two of the universities have offered between one and 10, and thirty-four have not offered any.”

  • If a DII school tells you that they are offering you a 4-year scholarship, they are not being completely honest.
  • The verbal scholarship offer is non-binding; it can be rescinded.  Nothing is binding until the National Letter of Intent is signed.
  • College programs will offer more scholarships than they have available, knowing that they will not “win” every recruiting battle.  Because of this, they will want to know ASAP if you intend to accept the offer… and will ask that you give a verbal commitment to them.  If you are not going to accept their offer, they know they can make an offer to the next person on their list.  Just because the college will want to know ASAP, does not mean you should feel, or be, pressured to make a decision.
  • Your verbal commitment is non-binding as well; it can be rescinded.  Nothing is binding until the National Letter of Intent is signed.

You should feel free to ask questions related to the scholarship offer:

  • Can the offer be increased from year to year?
  • How often does that happen?
  • What about my red-shirt year… will the scholarship cover a 5th year?
  • What happens to the amount of aid if I get injured and cannot play any longer?  What if I graduate in 4 years, and still have a year of eligibility… will the scholarship cover grad school?

You are getting to the final, home stretch, of the recruiting process.  You now are fairly confident in their level of interest.  It is now up to you to continue your evaluation and make your decision based on the important factors to you and your family.  You want to be confident in your decision before the next and final phase of the process, signing the National Letter of Intent.

Questions and Comments are always welcome!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Recruiting – The Home Visit

home visitToday is the fourth of a six-part series designed to help student-athletes and their parents know what to expect at the various stages of the recruiting process.  I briefly explained these stages in the post, Recruiting – Gauging Their Level Of Interest; I will be going into greater detail at each step to help you maximize every opportunity to market yourself.

In addition to these written posts, I have recently launched my YouTube Channel that deals specifically with the recruiting process.  The channel can be found here : The YouCanDoMore YouTube Channel, and the complete playlist can be viewed here.

Today I am going to discuss “The Home Visit” and what to expect when college coaches come to your home.

When a college coach, either a recruiting coach, head coach, or both, expends the time and effort to spend an evening visiting with you and your family, it indicates an extremely high level of interest.  The “Home Visit” and “Official Visit” go hand-in-hand.

When I was a coach at the University of Central Missouri, we always tried to schedule the home visit prior to the athletes “official visit”  (see post Recruiting – the Official Visit) to campus.  We seldom, if ever, did a home visit with an athlete that either was not scheduled, or at least offered, an official visit to our campus.  Typically, if we offered an official visit to an athlete, we were anticipating making some scholarship offer to them.    So athletes that we visited in person, at their home, were

  • Scheduled for an official visit, and
  • Probably getting a scholarship offer.

Why is it so important for the recruiting coach, and possibly the head coach, to come into your home to meet your family?

Your Evaluation of Them

The home visit should be important to you and your family in the evaluation process.  It may be the first (and one of the few) times that your family (parents, guardians, etc) will have individual, personal, unlimited access to the coach.  It gives you and your family another time to ask very specific questions to the coaches regarding you, your athletic and academic career, and how their college could fit with you.  Now is the time to ask the “difficult” questions:

  • What happens if I get injured?
  • What are the time requirements of the football program?
  • What kind of academic help is available?
  • What is the graduation rate of the football student-athletes?
  • How good is the degree program in my field of interest?
  • What is the placement rate in my field of study post-graduation?
  • How good is the student support of the football program?
  • What type of offer, and when can I expect the offer to me made?
  • How quick will you want a commitment?
  • How many other athletes are you recruiting at my position?
  • What is your redshirt policy?
  • Is it possible to increase the scholarship amount while in your program?
  • Will I be able to keep my Pell Grant? (if you qualify for the grant)
  • Are you planning on staying at the college during my son’s entire career?

If the coach (or coaches) do not seem clear or straight forward in answering any of your questions… if they seem like they are dodging… that should throw up a red flag.  Make note of the questions, and follow up with another coach, or follow up with current players in the program during your official visit.

Their Evaluation of You

Just as you are evaluating them, the coach(es) are continuously evaluating you, and the home visit is part of that process.  They will be observing how you interact with your family during the evening… are you respectful, considerate, courteous? You and your family can expect similar questions that you were asked at the initial school visit (see Recruiting – First Impressions).  One question that I always asked the family –

“When it comes time to make this very important decision as to where your son is going to go and spend the next 4-5 years studying, and playing football, what are the difference makers for you; what factors will separate one university and football program from the rest?”

Their Sales Pitch

The coach(es) will be operating under the assumption that your family will be helping you in the decision making process.  They will want to make sure that all of the information they have given you (the athlete), through text message, mail, email, phone and personal visit, is conveyed to your family.  The recruiting coach, and possibly the head coach, will want to “put a face” on the football program that you are considering.  Often the home visit will happen before the official visit, so the coach will want to confirm specifics regarding your (and their if they come too) visit to campus.  The main function of the home visit is to personalize and humanize the recruiting process, and demonstrate that you will be taken care of in their program.

We are getting down to the final stages of the recruiting process; the penultimate step of “The Offer” and finally signing the “Letter of Intent”.  Details of these steps will come in the next couple of weeks.

The way to get to this point… keep working hard … and remember,

You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you… Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Recruiting – The Official Visit

Today is the third of a six-part series designed to help student-athletes and their parents know what to expect at the various stages of the recruiting process.  I briefly explained these stages in the post, Recruiting – Gauging Their Level Of Interest; I will be going into greater detail at each step to help you maximize every opportunity to market yourself.

In addition to these written posts, I have recently launched my YouTube Channel that deals specifically with the recruiting process.  The channel can be found here : The YouCanDoMore YouTube Channel, and the complete playlist can be viewed here.

Today I am going to discuss the level regarding the “Official Visit” and what to expect during your time on an NCAA campus.

offer visit pyramidWhen an NCAA school offers you an “Official Visit”, this indicates a very high level of interest.  An “Official Visit” is one where the college or university is paying for you (and your parents) to travel and visit their campus.  Colleges normally will have you (and your parents) spend the night, feed you, pay travel expenses, give you tickets to games, etc.  All this is legal (to a point) and what most colleges will do regarding Official Visits.

A typical itinerary for an Official Visit is highly choreographed and will  probably look something like this:

Day 1

  • 8:00 AM – Arrive on Campus, met by Recruiting Coach
  • 8:30 AM – Greeting and introduction of Staff by Head Coach
  • 9:00 AM – Tour of Campus – Led by Football Hostess
  • 10:15 AM – Tour of Athletic Facilities – Led by Coach
  • 11:30 AM – Lunch at Student Union with Coaching Staff
  • 1:00 PM – Meeting with Professor in you area of Academic Interest
  • 2:00 PM – Meeting and Presentation by Strength Coach
  • 3:30 PM – Change clothes for Testing
  • 4:00 PM – Physical Testing (225 lb bench rep test, Vertical Leap, 40 yard dash, Pro Agility Shuttle, possibly position specific drills -Division I football cannot test or tryout )
  • 5:30 PM – Change for Dinner
  • 6:00 PM – Transported to Dinner with Coaching Staff at a local restaurant.
  • 7:00 PM – Back to Football Complex – introduction of player hosts
  • 7:30 PM – Attend Basketball Game on Campus
  • 10:00 PM – Free Time with player hosts

Day 2

  • 7:30 AM – Breakfast at Student Union
  • 8:30 AM – Meet with position Coach
  • 9:00 AM – Meet with Coordinator
  • 9:30 AM – Meet with Head Coach
  • 10:00 AM – Depart Campus

Keep these two things in mind.

  1. The official visit is highly choreographed by the university and the coaching staff to put their institution and football program in the best possible light.
  2. You are being evaluated the whole time you are on campus.  You not only will be evaluated on your physical testing results, but also on how you handle yourself during the entire visit.  The head coach will get feedback from every coach you meet with, and also from the professor you met with, the football hostesses that gave your campus tour, and your player host.  They will want to know how you conducted yourself, the type of questions you asked, and your responses to questions.  They will want to know if you are the type of student-athlete that will fit in and be successful academically in school and in their football program.

During the visit there will be times that you are with your parents, times that you are alone, and times when you will be with other players.  This is done intentionally.  The coaching staff will want to see how you will act without parental guidance in these situations.  Your parents will not be there to watch over and answer questions for you while you are in school.   Typically, you will not be staying in the same hotel or campus room as your parents.   A hotel room will be provided for your parents, and you will be rooming with another prospective student athlete.

The Official Visit is also a great opportunity for you to continue evaluating their university and football program.  It is an excellent time to find out what the coaching staff and football program is REALLY like.  You will have time to spend with current student-athletes without coaches around.  During the recruiting process, it is easy for a coach to “sell” themselves and their football program.  They will tell you the good stuff.

Make sure to have questions ready for your academic advisor.

  • What types of jobs are available in my major field?
  • What is the placement rate for jobs in my field after graduation?
  • What kind of extra help is available in I need it?
  • What is the graduation rate of student-athletes at this university?

Make sure to have questions ready for the coaching staff.

  • How many players are currently at my position group?
  • How do I compare athletically to the current players in my position group?
  • How many people are you currently recruiting in my position group?
  • How many JC athletes do you recruit and sign each year?
  • What is your philosophy regarding redshirting?
  • Do you have required study time for athletes?

Make sure to have questions ready for the current players.

  • How is the head coach?
  • What kind of coach is my position coach?
  • How do they treat the players?
  • Are they interested in me academically?
  • What will a typical day look like in season?
  • What is the off-season program like?
  • How do they treat injured players?
  • How is the food on campus?

college recruiting ebookThe Official Visit is one of the last, and most important pieces of the recruiting process.  Things are getting very serious regarding the school’s interest in you as a prospective student-athlete. Normally colleges will not spend the time, money, or energy bringing a prospect on campus for an Official Visit if they are not planning to invest some scholarship aid in that athlete.  Make sure you maximize this time you spend on campus, both in marketing yourself, and evaluating the interested school.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Recruiting – First Impressions

Today is the first of a six part series designed to help student-athletes and their parents know what to expect at the various stages of the recruiting process. I briefly explained these stages in the post, Recruiting – Gauging Their Level Of Interest; I will be going into greater detail at each step to help you maximize each of these opportunities to market yourself.

In addition to these written posts, I have recently launched my YouTube Channel that deals specifically with the recruiting process.  The channel can be found here : The YouCanDoMore YouTube Channel, and the complete playlist can be viewed here.

 

pyramidToday’s post will detail the first in person contact the recruiting coach will make with you at school. This is the third of nine levels on the “Interest Pyramid”. To get to this level, your coach will have already recommended you as a player that he feels has the potential to play college football. You are on the college’s list as a potential player, and have probably already begun receiving information from them and filled out a questionnaire. The coaching staff at the college has probably already requested video tape, and this has been evaluated by at least the recruiting coach, and possibly by the position coach and head coach at the college as well.

During the Fall, after this initial evaluation has been completed, college coaches will start making the rounds and begin their in person visits with the prospective student athletes at their school. Typically, coaches will only do a face to face visit with players they believe have a chance of being a scholarship athlete in their program. It is an indication of a higher level of interest, but still not a true indication of their final intent.

Normally, college coaches will schedule this meeting through your high school coach, but may also email or phone you to set up the time. Often, the coaches will come unannounced, so being prepared for this initial “job interview” is important.

Approach this meeting as a job interview… a very important job interview. As the saying goes, “you only have one chance to make a first impression” – consider what you want this first impression to be. Make no mistake about this; the college recruiting coach will be continually evaluating you during this meeting, and through all of the remaining recruiting process. They are making a decision on whom to invest a significant amount of time and money into, and they want to be correct.

meyer-ohioWhen this meeting takes place there should be two simultaneous “sells” taking place. The recruiting coach (if he is good) will for sure begin the process of selling his university and football program to you. At the same time, you should begin selling yourself as the best possible investment their football program could make in a student-athlete. Here are some suggestions on how to successfully do that.

If the meeting has been arranged with your knowledge, and it is not unannounced, there are a couple of things you can do to prepare:

  • Dress nice – you don’t have to wear a suit and tie, but dress to impress. I was once told by a head college coach that he “always wanted to hear if any of the prospective student athletes were wearing any f**k you kind of T-shirts.”
  • Do some research on the school so you will be prepared to ask intelligent questions. Be familiar with the schools location, conference, record, etc.

Even if the meeting is unannounced, here are some things you can work on now to begin preparing yourself for any meeting, with any coach at any time.

The coach WILL ask you some questions; be prepared for these. Here are some to expect, some that I asked when I was recruiting:

  • They will check the basic info they have on you, including phone, email, address, parents name, etc.
  • What are you interested in studying?
  • What are you interested in doing as a career?
  • Do you have any hobbies?
  • What position would you prefer playing in college?
  • What other schools have been in to talk to you?
  • Do you have any “official” visits set up? If so, where?
  • When it comes time to make this very important decision as to where you are going to go and spend the next 4-5 years studying, and playing football, whom are you going to be looking towards for guidance and direction? Who will help you make this decision?
  • When it comes time to make this very important decision as to where you are going to go and spend the next 4-5 years studying, and playing football, what are the difference makers for you; what factors will separate one university and football program from the rest?

Make sure to answer the questions honestly, but also know the recruiting coach will be using your answers to these questions (if he is good) to individually tailor his “sell” to your needs and wants.

The coach WILL ask you if you have any questions. Be prepared for this – there is little that is as unimpressive as someone who just sits like a bump on a log, and little as impressive as someone who asks some good, thoughtful questions. Don’t think you have to find out everything at this initial meeting – there is plenty of time. But do have a couple of questions handy that you are ready to ask.

Here are some possible questions to ask at this meeting – add any based on factors important to you:

  • Type of offense (defense)
  • How long has head coach been at school?
  • How long has position coach been at school?
  • Degree programs they are noted for?
  • Graduation Rate?
  • Redshirt philosophy?
  • Ask the number and grade level of players at your position?
  • Where do you see me fitting into your offense (or defense)?
  • How is student support for the program?
  • How is your Strength and Conditioning program? Do you have a full time (or two) Strength and Conditioning coach?

Here are some general “rules” on how to impress at this meeting:

  • Be on time.
  • Begin the meeting with a firm handshake.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Make eye contact, with him and speak clearly and with confidence.
  • Address him as Coach (last name)
  • No food, gum or candy.
  • The coach will probably have some collateral marketing material from university and/or football program. Depending on the level, NCAA FBS, FCS, DII, DIII or NAIA it could be a game day program or a football media guide along with a college view book. Thank him for the material, but put it aside to look at later. Don’t sit and read the game program while the coach is talking to you!
  • Pay attention – lean in and listen intently.

One thing you can do that would be VERY helpful and insure you “hit the ground running” at your first meeting, is to have a “dress rehearsal” by doing some role playing. After you have thought through your answers to the above questions, and thought about the questions you want to ask, see if your high school coach or parent will help. It may sound silly, but it will prove dividends. Like anything else, practicing, from the opening handshake and introduction, to the conclusion of the meeting, will improve your performance. Every time you meet with a college recruiter, your performance will be better than the previous time. You want to make sure you impress every time – first to last.

The last pieces of advice that I gave every prospect I spoke with:

  • Find out everything you can about every college and football program that expresses an interest in you. Ask questions, difficult questions, investigate, and ultimately make a decision based on what you find out and what is important to you and your family.
  • Have Fun! Enjoy the process. You have put yourself in the position where good schools and good football programs are interested in you.

As always, questions and comments are welcome – feel free to join in the discussion!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Recruiting – Make a “WOW” Highlight Video

I have a pretty good perspective on this topic.  As a college coach at the University of Central Missouri and William Jewell College, I was recruiting in the era of VHS tapes.  I had to literally go from school to school and pick up videotapes (game and highlights) of athletes or leave a postage paid packet for them to mail the video to our office.  Players and coaches at that time had to physically sit with two VHS recorders and manually punch a button to record from one to another to make a highlight video.

My son played and was recruited during the era that video was computer based and DVD’s were used to record games and highlights.  Most schools used a system like DSV or other similar editing systems.  To make his highlight video, he had to schedule times to sit with his high school coach at a computer to record highlights from the original computer game files.  Every athlete wanting to make a highlight DVD had to go through this process! This was only slightly better than the VHS to VHS method, but easier to copy and send after an original was made.

hudl-1440x900Now as a high school coach using the web based program Hudl , things have really changed for the better.  It is now easier than ever for an athlete, parent, or coach to make a highlight video from your own computer and send it instantly via email to any recruiting coach or school that requests it.

 

Using improved technology, putting together a great highlight video can help get your foot in the door and your name on the colleges list.  Here are my suggestions for marketing yourself and making your highlight video.

  1. Do it yourself, don’t pay a service.  As I said, it is now easier than ever to do this using Hudl.
  2. Use your schools videotape, not a handheld video your mom or dad took of your Pop Warner games.
  3. Your highlight video should be 15-20 plays, not 50-100.  Pick your VERY best plays – what I call WOW Plays; plays that make the coach watching say to himself WOW, I need to see more of this guy”. If they are NOT outstanding, but just average play after average play, he will pass.
  4. Pick plays that highlight your athletic ability  – that exhibit the remarkable (the Purple Cow) qualities that you have. This advice is not just for “skilled” positions.  If you are a lineman, pick some plays that show you running, changing direction, and exhibiting flexibility.
  5. No music or fancy fades between plays.  The coach has a limited amount of time and doesn’t want to be entertained, but wants to evaluate you.  An arrow or circle around you at the beginning of the play is OK – it will help the coach find you quickly.  Hudl has a cool feature that makes it easy to do this and can be seen here:  Hudl Highlight Tutorial
  6. Put one or two complete games on after your highlight.  In addition to your highlight video, a college coach will also want to see a complete game of you.    It should go without saying to select your best, games.  If it is against good competition, then that is even better.  The recruiting coach will be familiar with the better football programs in your area.
  7. Make it easy on yourself and start this at the beginning of the season.  After each game, pick 5-10 of your best plays and mark them.  Hudl makes it very easy to do this.  At the end of the season, you can then go through the 50-100 plays you already have marked and pick your 15-20 best plays of the season.  Figure out what your two best games, against the best competition were, and your recruiting packet will be ready to send to interested coaches.  If you wait until the season is over to begin this process, you may not have these ready when a college coach asks for them.
  8. Make sure you have all the correct information (phone, email, address, academic information) on Hudl.  This helps the college coach who has a limited amount of time and needs to evaluate thousands of prospects.  He will have all of your information AND your video right at his fingertips, and that will increase the likelihood of him following up with you and your family.

Market yourself – Make a WOW highlight video using the tools at your disposal.  Ask your coach if you need help, or drop me an email or leave a comment.

In addition to these written posts, I have recently launched my YouTube Channel that deals specifically with the recruiting process.  The channel can be found here : The YouCanDoMore YouTube Channel, and the complete playlist can be viewed here.

 

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Recruiting – Get a “Great Motor”

This excerpt from my eBook “How to Become….. Wanted… and Rewarded. – Take Control and Market Yourself- The Complete Guide to a Successful Recruiting Experience”, is all about effort.

 “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”   Vince Lombardi

lombardiThe next quality to discuss, the next quality that will set you apart from all the other high school athletes wanting to get a college scholarship, the next quality that will make you a remarkable recruit, a Purple Cow recruit is effort.

As was discussed in earlier recruiting posts, it is very important for you to “show up” on film; show your speed (Purple Cow Quality #2-Speed) , and athletic ability (Be a Quick Purple Cow), and show that you can play fast (Playing Fast!).  In addition, if you really want to stand out, show recruiters that you play with great effort!

During my collegiate coaching and recruiting days (University of Central Missouri and William Jewell College) , one of the biggest compliments that I would give when analyzing film on potential college football players was that they had a “great motor”.  It was a compliment that I did not give often, because it is a quality that unfortunately does not show up that often.  When I saw it on film, it was remarkable, and I took note. It is also why most recruiters (me included) want to see a complete game video along with a highlight film.  Most players can go back through a seasons worth of games and come up with a few good plays to slap together into a “highlight” video; playing consistently with great effort and technique, play after play during the course of a game is not as easy to do.  Often players get exposed.

Many consider it a character issue if players take a play off  – that it displays a lack of character.  Normally I do not think that is the case.  I think it is the norm.  Most high school players do not really understand what it means to go hard EVERY play.

I think the opposite IS true, though.

While effort really has nothing to do with athletic ability, I think it does show that you have good practice habits, have developed good character, and are “in shape“.  I don’t believe that playing with great effort, having a “great motor” is something that a player can just “flip on”.  It is a habit that they have developed over days, months, and years of doing it consistently in practice. If an athlete plays with great effort – has a “great motor” – it exhibits great character.  It is remarkable, and recruiters will notice.  I did.

In addition to these written posts, I have recently launched my YouTube Channel that deals specifically with the recruiting process.  The channel can be found here : The YouCanDoMore YouTube Channel, and the complete playlist can be viewed here.

 

Any Questions? Just leave a comment or email.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com