If I Get Injured What Will Happen With College Recruiting?

College Recruiting InjuriesDealing with Injuries

It’s a question every athlete has on his mind, a scenario that ignites fear deep within parents. Hollywood has even created characters to live out this “situation”, perhaps shedding a “real” light on what just might happen. “If I get injured what will happen with college recruiting?” This is a legitimate question and, as a former athlete, something I was well aware of. The most important aspect when answering what will happen is to understand that unpredictable injuries happen all the time. Now that we understand the possibility of this happening we can discuss possible ways to salvage your college recruiting effort.

Don’t Limit Your Options

Just because you’re really interested in a school, were offered a scholarship, or gave a verbal commitment doesn’t mean your recruiting process is over. Nothing is guaranteed until you sign an NLI or its equivalent with that particular school. Up until signing, scholarship offers and commitments can be dropped by both sides for any number of reasons.

Spread Your Risk

There’s an old saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”; limiting yourself to only a small number of school options creates a larger opportunity for disappointment. Look to create interest from as many schools as possible while making sure you share a real interest in every school you contact. As an example if you are thinking about 5 schools try 25 , 25 try 50, and so on and so forth.

Take Care of Your Body

Many athletes become injured because they are not taking proper care of themselves. Make sure to work out and eat right so your body stays in shape, injury free. If injuries should happen get them checked out. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s something small because small injuries become large injuries; you don’t lose scholarship opportunities because of small injuries.

Work Hard in the Classroom

Again with the eggs in one basket, many student-athletes try to place everything they have into being an athlete and forget about being a student. There is far more money in academic scholarships than there ever will be in athletics. If you get good grades and you suffer an injury, you still might qualify for an academic scholarship and could later walk on.

Plan for Your Future and Be Prepared for the Unexpected

Being prepared for a scenario such as the one these young men are living only makes you that much more prepared for recruiting and for college. Start living without fear and start planning for your future no matter the hand you are dealt. If you have questions or comments about injuries and recruiting please use the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

The Big Question: How Do I Contact College Coaches?

Contacting College CoachesDon’t Be Late

Of all the recruiting questions we receive, the most common deal with contacting college coaches. This is a major dilemma for senior high school athletes, many of whom come to realize this too late in the recruiting process.

You Can Initiate Contact with a Coach

Many athletes already in their senior year contact us asking why coaches have not found them or contacted them directly since their season concluded. They often proceed to explain that they were misinformed by a high school coach or administrator who told them that they are not allowed to contact college coaches until their senior year or until they register with the NCAA eligibility center.

This is simply not true. Student-athletes who were misinformed have lost valuable time they should have been using to reach out to college coaches either through email or phone conversations.

If you don’t know the coach then they don’t know you or your athletic

When Can You Begin to Email Coaches?

Student-athletes are allowed to email college coaches whenever they would like. This does not mean that you should send coaches generic emails that explain how you’ve performed in every game you’ve played since you were five. What it does mean is that you have a way to contact college coaches and make a good first impression, even if it is by email or phone. Keep in mind that some NCAA regulations only permit coaches to contact recruits during certain recruiting periods.

How to Email Coaches

Take time to determine what you would say to these coaches and what your intentions are in contacting them. Make sure that you’re serious about wanting to be a part of their program and email each coach directly. Don’t contact college coaches by sending mass emails. Coaches will see this and be less than thrilled, and chances are your email that was supposed to help you get in contact with coaches will only end up being deleted.

It’s Okay to Keep Trying

Making sure that college coaches will respond can prove to be challenging. College coaches are busy individuals because they are preparing for their regular season play or because they are organizing their strategies for the up and coming recruiting class. In either case, student-athletes need to set a good impression and send appealing and relevant material to coaches if they want to hear back from them.

If you have further questions about emailing or contacting college coaches, then please leave a comment below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

NCAA Academic Requirements Infographic

Will You Be Eligible?

Talk about one-stop shopping. Our latest and–dare we say–greatest infographic outlines the NCAA Academic Requirements. Who needs to visit the NCAA Eligibility Center when this infographic can help you understand virtually all NCAA Clearinghouse issues?

Let’s Review

If you’ve made it this far you are no doubt an expert on all NCAA Eligibility Center issues. You now have a deep knowledge of the NCAA Clearinghouse, including fees, required tests and core course requirements. Just in case you need to review some of these NCAA Eligibility Center facts we’ll walk you through it here.

Not only do you need to graduate from high school with the required grades and test scores, you need to be taking the right core courses. The classes you need and the sliding scale for grades and test scores are provided above.

Control Your Own Destiny

High school student-athletes need to be aware of all the requirements necessary to compete in intercollegiate athletics. It takes planning and, unless you want to spend a lot of time on the phone with the NCAA Eligibility Center, studying this handy infographic should do the trick.

Another area of emphasis for us here at collegesportsscholarships.com is educating high school athletes and their parents about the different division levels in the NCAA. Academic requirements are not universal across the division levels. For instance, Division 1 requires a minimum GPA in 16 approved core courses while Division 2 requires just 14 approved core courses.

What Does it All Mean?

The infographic is a great visual representation of the facts college-bound athletes need to understand. It’s not enough to run fast, score touchdowns, or make baskets. The sooner student-athletes and their parents understand and accept this fact, the easier it is to prepare and be ready for the next step.

When you can only compete for four years at the college level, being ineligible for even one year can sting. Get a jump on the competition and take care of your business!

If you have questions or comments about NCAA eligibility issues please use the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Are Division 2 And Division 3 College Athletics Really That Different From Division 1?

NCAA D2 NCAA D3Division II and Division III

Student-athletes get confused about what it means for a school to be a Division 2 or Division 3 school. Many people believe that the level of competition is not as high. In some sports this may be the case, but it really depends on the individual conferences and school to determine the athleticism of a team.

Defining Division II

There are currently 281 Division 2 schools, with 21 schools currently in the membership process of joining the ranks of NCAA Division 2. 52% of the schools are smaller public institutions while 48% of the schools are private schools.

Division 2 sports can offer athletic scholarships. Student-athletes are able to combine athletic scholarships, academic scholarships, student loans and grant money to help pay their way through school.

Division 2 schools must offer at least 10 sports teams–women’s and men’s team of the same sport are considered two teams. If a school is co-ed they have to offer at least 4 different team sports for each gender.

Teams Compete Within Their Regions

Every sports championship must involve a school/team from each region. This helps encourage teams to compete within their region to gain a bid into a National Championship contest instead of scheduling games/tournaments/meets against schools across the nation. This encourages the schools to have smaller travel budgets.

Defining Division II

There are 442 institutions that compete as an NCAA Division 3 school. 19% of these schools are public schools while 81% are private.

Division 3 athletes don’t have to register or qualify with the NCAA eligibility center because their academic eligibility is determined on the admissions qualifications of the school.

Division 3 schools can’t offer athletic scholarships.

Timeline Link

It’s important to understand what it means to be an athlete of a Division 1, 2 or 3 school.

If you have questions or comments about competing in intercollegiate athletics at a Division 2 or Division 3 please use the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Quick Tips For Getting Started In Your Recruiting Process

Quick Tips College RecruitingYou Have to Start Somewhere

Thinking about playing sports in college? If you love playing and think you have what it
takes to play at the college level then here are quick tips for getting started in your recruiting

Know the Level of Competition That is the Best Fit

The NCAA is the organization that oversees collegiate sports in three different divisions, DI,
DII and DIII. Universities that are part of the NCAA decide which of the three divisions they’ll join, according to school enrollment, finances, fan support and other factors.

DI and DII are considered the top levels of college competition. DIII differs from DI and DII in its eligibility process, and in not being able to offer athletic scholarships (DIII schools are able to help finance student-athletes by using non-athletic forms of financial aid).

What About the NAIA?

Another collegiate athletic association is the NAIA. Most of these institutions have fewer than 10,000 students per campus and over 90% offer athletic scholarships. Lastly, there is the NJCAA, the governing sports entity for two-year Junior Colleges.

Knowing which division is the best fit for you is a great way to start your college recruiting
process. Keep in mind that each governing body along with each division has its own eligibility standards that student-athletes must meet before being able to play at specific colleges and universities.

Start Early

Starting your recruiting process during your freshman year is ideal–it broadens your options versus finding out your senior year that you have not met the eligibility standards for the college you choose.

Next, do some research on the types of colleges you want to attend. Ask yourself where
you would prefer to live, what you want to study, and how far from home you are willing to travel.

All of these questions must be answered by you, the recruit. Be confident in your decision. You are the one who will be attending college while juggling sports, academics, and a life.

Reach Out to College Coaches

Compose a letter of interest and a sports resume. If you don’t know any college coaches then they don’t know you. Send them information about yourself. Tell them why you’re interested in their program, why you will be a good match, what you plan to bring to the team.

Think of finding the right college and connecting with the right coach as a job search. Let them know what you are capable of on and off the field and most importantly see if they are “hiring.” Some coaches won’t be able to contact you directly because of the amount of emails they get from recruits all year long, while others will be willing to discuss college opportunities with you if they think you’re a good match for their program.

Finding the right fit may take longer than you expect. As a recruit you will have to be proactive, organized and persistent.

If you have questions about the recruiting process, feel free to leave your comments below or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Why Communicating With Those Closest To You Is Such An Important Part Of Recruiting Success Stories

recruiting success storiesYou Are Not Alone

What drives the decisions we make in the recruiting process? Are the decisions we make fueled by passion, deep research, or something else? Your life will be a series of decisions you made based on the way you perceived that moment at that specific time.

For many, the decisions regarding college have lifelong impacts on the person you grow to be.

As a recruit you have to decide how you are going to handle the recruiting process, where you are going to attend school, what you are going to study, and if you really want to play or even have the talent to play in college. This can be an overwhelming situation for some and can lead to those recruits making rash decisions.

The Story of Elena Delle Donne

Take into consideration the story of Elena Delle Donne, whose recruiting story was recently featured in Sports Illustrated. She had left high school as the #1 basketball player in the country and could have attended any school she wanted. But Delle Donne also found her recruiting process extremely overwhelming, affecting her decision-making process.

Know What is Really Important to You

My personal recruiting story sticks with me to this day and has become one of my life’s biggest regrets. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t know what I wanted at the time and I didn’t care to share my feelings with those closest to me. It seems that Elena shared a similar series of events.

Be Honest with Yourself

The most important aspect of your recruiting is that you be honest with yourself and share that honesty with those who mean the most to you. Elena found this honesty after she left UConn and moved back home to Delaware. Family was important to her and she wanted to be close to them.

I found that family was a big deciding factor in where I chose to attend college as well. I learned, as did Elena, that we have to be open with our feelings about what we want from college so that the right decisions can be made the first time.

Similar stories have echoed through recruiting news over the past few weeks–the recruitment of Gunner Kiel and Landon Collins immediately come to mind. They too had choices to make about which college to attend and they met some adversity in their decisions.

There is No Perfect Decision

The scariest part about the recruiting process is hoping you made the right decision. It’s because of this fear that those closest to you become of even more importance. Look to gain advice from or just talk to your families, coaches, guidance counselors, or community members on what is happening with your recruitment at any given point. You don’t always have to agree with what they say but it is likely that their perspective or just hearing yourself aloud will offer some clarity, allowing you to make sounder decisions on your future.

If you have questions or comments about the recruiting decision-making process please contact us in the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Why College Football Coaches Love To Recruit Basketball Players

College Football Recruit Basketball Players

What We Know

One thing we know as recruiting experts is that college coaches love athletes who play more than one sport. And if you’re a football player who plays basketball all the better.
But why is this? Surely there are some coaches who want their athletes to dedicate themselves to their sport year round. The simple fact is, however, that if you’re a good enough athlete to excel in one sport in high school you’re likely good enough to play two or three.

The Center of Attention

And if you’re a 6’6, 250 pound athlete who can run and jump you’ll probably draw the attention of all the coaches at your school. Okay, maybe not the gymnastics coach.

Maxpreps did a story about the top 100 football recruits who also play basketball.  We think it’s worth checking out.

Will I Lose Out if I Don’t Narrow my Focus?

There are other sides to this issue, of course.  The overwhelmingly majority of coaches who want what’s best for their high school athletes will encourage those athletes to participate in a variety of sports.  But when is it better to focus on just one sport?  Is there a time or a situation that demands the high school athlete focus on just one sport, especially if the student-athlete can get a scholarship in that one sport?

Underclassmen rarely have to concern themselves with this type of narrow focus.  While we believe student-athletes need to be proactive in their recruiting process, we also believe they should enjoy sports and not be so concerned with a scholarship that they sacrifice other pursuits.

You Can Make it Happen

When an athlete gets to be a junior it may be time to think about playing just one sport if it is necessary to get out and be seen.  But remember, if you follow the advice in the posts found on this site–and you are good enough to play at the college level–you can get a scholarship whether you play one sport or three sports.

If you have questions or comments about playing multiple sports in high school please use the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Pay Attention To NCAA Rules And Regulations Or Suffer The Consequences

NCAA Rules RegulationsNCAA Rules and Regulations

High school student-athletes planning to enter an NCAA college or university must be aware of NCAA recruiting rules. The NCAA is divided into three separate divisions, and each division has its own set of eligibility rules. Once high school student-athletes are clear on what division they want to compete in, reading up on the rules and regulations will help them understand what to expect during the recruiting process.

Your Job as a Student

It seems that all too often the media hit us with news stories that display the tragic side of
the recruiting process. As a student-athlete it’s your job to be aware of the
eligibility rules that you must adhere to in order to compete in sports at the college level. The last thing you want is to lose valuable years of eligibility for not knowing the recruiting rules.

One way high school athletes are becoming prepared in their sports recruitment is by being proactive.

Knowing Where to Search

Student-athletes who are dedicated to making it to the NCAA level of play will know where to search for advice that will assist them in their recruiting process. Dedicated student-athletes should be able to research and locate recruiting information, including rules and regulations about eligibility that will help them with their recruiting process.

Because of the many negative headlines regarding student-athletes and college recruiters getting caught not following NCAA rules and regulations some high schools are now stepping up to help young athletes with their recruiting process.

Take Advantage of Your Recruiting Resources

Athletic departments are beginning to see the need to make room for a higher education “compliance officer” by either appointing a high school coach or school administrator. The compliance officer will be in charge of communicating NCAA recruiting guidelines and regulations to coaches and student-athletes in order for the school as a whole to have a greater understanding of the recruiting process.

As a recruiting resource we understand how important it is to be knowledgeable
of the NCAA eligibility rules–this is why we post all of our information online and are able
to answer questions quickly on our social media sites. It’s important to note that the more
information student-athletes are able to acquire the better suited they will be to get recruited to play college sports.

If you have questions or comments about NCAA rules and regulations please use the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

A Cautionary Tale: Why You Need To Start The Recruiting Process As Early As Possible

Start Recruiting EarlyWhat Could Have Been

Dean Hutchison doesn’t waste too much time thinking about what could have been. He just grabs another ball and kicks it into the sky. Is it really possible the ball is only up there a mere five seconds?

Over two decades ago Hutchison was a former high school tight end from rural Alabama doing a stint in the army. One day he went out to the local college near where he was stationed in California.

“I was bored so I just went out and started kicking. Turns out I was pretty good.”
Some of the football players at the college took notice of Hutchison and his kicking. Eventually a coach came over and asked him if he thought he could kick like that in a game.
“I think so,” said Hutchison.

But that never happened, despite his ability to boom kicks so high you imagine this is what Paul Bunyan would be like as a punter–knocking birds from the sky and starting rainstorms as footballs pierce the clouds.
Dude can kick.

A Different Kind of Commitment

Remember, though, Hutchison had made a commitment to Uncle Sam. He wanted to punt in college, wanted it so bad he could taste it.

He’d grown up a fan of Bear Bryant and the Alabama Crimson Tide. He dreamed of punting in the SEC in front of 100,000 screaming fans.

Hutchison, hat in hand, approached his army supervisor and asked if he could possibly be released from his military commitment to go be a college punter.

“Sure” the supervisor said, “if you want to punt for Army.”

Hutchison thought about it. He really wanted to kick. Heck, maybe they’d even put in a fake punt and he’d get to run the ball occasionally.

In the end he decided he didn’t want to commit to several more years in the army. He had to pass.

“The price was just too high,” said Hutchison, bending down to pick up another football.

Kicking as Therapy

Catch. Seams up. Step. Plant. Drop. Kick. Follow through. Repeat 100 times. That’s the formula.

It’s over now. Hutchison has three sons playing football. None of them punt.
“I don’t know why–never really thought about it,” he says.

He’s not exactly tilting at windmills, but he continues to punt, every kick screaming louder and louder, “Where did this guy play?”

Hutchison is a happy man, not the type of person to live in the past. He served out his term honorably in the service and lives a quiet life in the suburbs, coaching his sons, living his life and keeping time through his sons’ and daughter’s sports seasons.

The Moral of the Story

If his story is instructive–if there is a lesson to be learned here–it is this: When it comes to sports recruiting the earlier you start, the better.

Football recruiting begins its heavy activity in a player’s junior year. High school players should be scouting out camps they can go to even before that. As Hutchison well knows, if a coach never sees you play in person or on tape he can’t offer you a scholarship.

In a perfect world Hutchison would have attended a camp early in his high school career and had a scholarship offer before he left for home.

Get out early, be seen, close the deal, and get a free education.

If you have questions or comments about the recruiting process please use the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

How Understanding The NCAA Division Levels Can Help You Pick The Right Level Of College Competition For You

NCAA different divisionsWhat it Takes to be a Division I Athlete

Most of the time people are confused about what qualifies different schools to be NCAA Division I, II or III. When making the choice on what is the correct institution for you, you should choose a program that best fits your competition level. You have higher performing schools and conferences at all division levels so make sure you look at schools individually instead of as a division as a whole.

Some Facts

Every Division 1 school has to sponsor at least 7 sports for men and 7 seven sports for women (or 6 men and 8 women). At least 2 of the sports for both men and women need to be team sports. Each sports season–Fall, Winter and Spring–needs to be represented by both men’s and women’s sports.

Scheduling Rules

There are participation criteria per sport and scheduling requirements. Except for football and basketball, 100% of scheduled competition has to be against other Division I schools when scheduling the NCAA mandated number of matches in a season.

After the mandated number of games/meets/tournaments have been scheduled, 50% of the overage competitions can be against non-Division I schools. For men’s and women’s basketball all but two games have to be played against Division I teams and a third of all men’s basketball games must be played at home.

The Big Dog: Football

Football is broken up between 2 subdivisions: Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), formally known as Division 1-A or Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), formally known as Division 1-AA. FBS teams are normally your higher ranked, nationally recognized teams. They have to meet a game attendance minimum of 15,000 attendance at a home game; this has to be met at least once in a two year rolling period. FBS schools do not have an attendance criterion that has to be met.

Division 1 schools must also meet the minimum and cannot exceed the maximum amount of financial aid (athletic scholarships) mandated by the NCAA for each sport.

Your Best Fit

As you can see NCAA Division I status is given based on a set of ground rules mandated by the NCAA, but not by specific athletic standards. This means that you will want to look at schools across all division levels to see where you fit best.

If you have questions or comments about NCAA rules or what Division level might be the best fit for you please use the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.