3 Tips for Injured Athletes in the Recruiting Process

Deal With Injuries Being a student-athlete is hard work. It takes a lot of dedication, organization, physical and mental strength. Athletes identify themselves with this passion for their sport and how they perform. Their lives revolve around their sport and for many, their happiness rests in their ability to play.

So what happens when an athlete gets injured? Depending on the severity of the injury, it can be pretty devastating. Some injuries are minor, taking them out of play for a couple of weeks. Others can be career-ending which is something that an athlete never wants to hear.

While dealing with an injury can be frustrating and disappointing, athletes still have a chance to come back and play their sport again; even athletes in the middle of the recruiting process.

If you get injured while you are in the process of being recruited, the most important thing for you to remember is to stay calm. Receiving bad news like that can easily freak out any athlete looking to compete in college. You will start to worry that coaches will no longer be interested in you, but all is not lost.

Here are 3 tips to help ensure a less stressful recovery:

Get all the information first

Before you start telling the coaches that you are injured, make sure you have the relevant information first. You will want to get the specific evaluation from the doctor, the severity of the injury, and possible recovery time. If it’s going to take some time before you can get the full story, you can mention to the coach that you have been injured and that you will keep him updated on the final diagnosis. Most college coaches understand that injuries are a part of being an athlete, but be prepared for any kind of response from the coach, especially if it’s a serious injury.

Take Care of Yourself

It is incredibly frustrating being an athlete who is injured and can’t participate in your sport while you recover. But you need to remember to be patient; the best thing you can do for yourself is not push your injury too soon. Make sure you do what you need to get better, and to maintain your eligibility. Just because you can’t play your sport, doesn’t mean you can slack off in school too. You may also experience some mental and emotional stress. If you find yourself becoming distracted, frustrated, or angry, make sure you find someone you can talk to about it.

Keep a Positive Attitude

The hardest thing about being injured will be remaining patient and positive about the process. Not only are you (probably) in physical pain, but you will also experience some mental and emotional stress. You have to remember that injuries are common and need their time to heal. If you have a chance to recover well enough to make it back to your sport, remember how lucky you are and that not all athletes get that chance.

There is a chance that your injury could setback your recruitment. There will still be options for you, even if that means attending a JC while you recover, and then transferring to a 4-year school. Whatever the road may be, just remember that your injury may not be the end of your recruiting process.

If you have more questions about being injured during the recruiting process, leave your questions in the comments below or ask them on our Facebook or Twitter.

Women Can Play College Football Too?

Women Playing College FootballWe recently had an athlete phone in with an interesting question: why can’t girls earn football scholarships?

The truth is female football players can earn a scholarship to play in college. However, it is rare.

You won’t find many female football athletes at the college level. While there has been a rise in female participation in both high school and college level football, it is still not very common. There are several reasons for that. Mostly, there are just a lot of girls who don’t want to play and have no interest in playing football. Some girls might be scared or intimidated by the idea of having to try and play against bigger and stronger guys. Whatever the reason may be, football is certainly a male-dominated sport.

Many people assume that the limited presence of females in football is linked to the Title IX amendment that was put in place in 1972. Title IX was established to prevent gender discrimination in programs that receive federal funding, and this extends into collegiate sports. While Title IX does affect the number of scholarships available for different sports programs, it doesn’t weigh heavily in this case.

So what about those girls who do play football and want to compete at the college level? Well, there are opportunities out there for you… but they are few and far between. The simple truth is that most girls can’t match the physical strength of male football players. That is why the few females who have played collegiate football play positions like kicker; they have the skills and talent for the position but not the size or strength needed to tackle other players to the ground.

NCAA Division I football is considered a head count sport, which means that any scholarships available are full scholarships. This means that any female vying for a DI scholarship is battling against the other thousands of high school football players, most of whom are stronger and faster than her. Naturally a college coach is going to recruit the better player.

In the other divisions, football is an equivalency sport, so scholarships can be divided between multiple players. That means there are more partial scholarships available, including those for female football players. But, again, in order to earn one of those scholarships, you have to prove to the coach that you are worth their scholarship and that you can make a difference on their team.

So if you are a female football player looking for a collegiate opportunity, here are some tips:

  • There will be more opportunities in lower the lower Divisions (II, III), NAIA, and NJCAA. Keep your options open when searching for schools.
  • Have your football resume and highlight video ready to go before you contact college coaches. They will want to see that you can put up the stats and that you have the technique they are looking for.
  • If you are truly serious about playing football in college, make sure the coach knows this. Besides having the skills needed to play in college, you will also need the determination to work beyond the obstacles in finding a position and demonstrate your passion to the coach.

Leave your questions in the comments below or ask them on our Facebook or Twitter.

College Recruiting Mistakes #1: NCAA Core Courses

College Recruiting Story MistakesSometimes the best way to learn about mistakes you could be making in your own recruiting is by realizing the mistakes of others. I know from personal experience I learned more from my time as a recruit than I ever will from reading a book or blog, listening to stories or speeches, etc. It takes a real intuitive person to look deep inside themselves, recognize their mistakes, and work to correct them.

I find it rather easy yet sickening to look back 10 years and play the “What if” game. I know today that I could have and should have done MANY things differently; if I had I would likely be in a completely different place than I am now. On the flip side, the choices I did make led me to you and to this very blog.

The Timmy Experience

Through the next series of paragraphs and ensuing blogs you are going to meet Timmy and follow Timmy’s journey as a high school student-athlete and recruit. For learning purposes Timmy’s journey is going to be riddled with errors, errors I would like you as the reader to recognize and fix in the comment section of this blog. Please fill me in on what you would do if placed in Timmy’s situation.

Meet Timmy

Timmy is the very athletic son of Rita and Joe Sims. He grew up playing all sorts of sports- football, basketball, baseball, and hockey to name a few. He was the son that Joe Sims always wanted to have. Timmy was the kid in the neighborhood everyone wanted to be friends with, the kid never picked last for anything, he was his friend’s “Benny Rodriguez” (Sandlot reference). Timmy wasn’t a straight “A” student but he did well in school. He studied when he needed to and passed his classes comfortably with “B’s.” If Timmy tried just a bit harder he would achieve those coveted “A’s” but instead was comfortable with where he was scholastically.

Timmy’s Dream

Like what most athletes want at a young age, Timmy wanted more than anything to become a professional athlete. He wasn’t sure in what sport but he knew he wanted money and fame! Although it was against his parents ideals, they let him revel in fantasy because he was doing so well in everything else.

Freshman Year

At this point in time Timmy is getting ready enter his freshman year of high school still with pro-dreams on his mind. Timmy has decided to take random classes and, like his youth, attempt to play every sport imaginable offered at his high school. He signs up for the football team first, tries out, and makes the junior varsity squad! He played the entire season on JV, had a good year with good statistics but no one would know because he didn’t track them. He had good film too but you couldn’t watch it because the coach eventually taped over it.

Timmy’s Mistakes

I have purposely written 6 mistakes in this story committed by Timmy and his family. Can you find and correct them? How would you do things differently? As mentioned in the directions, use the comment section of the blog to fill me in on your corrections of Timmy’s first semester freshman year.

Do you have questions about what you should be doing as a Freshman to get recruited? Leave them in the comments below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Your NAIA Scholarship Options

NAIA College Recruiting OpportunitiesNot many high school student-athletes are aware of the athletic scholarship opportunities at NAIA colleges. The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics has been assisting student-athletes since 1937 and serves close to 300 colleges and universities throughout the country. NAIA, like the more notable NCAA, focuses on the tradition that student-athletes are first a student studying to earn a degree and secondly a dedicated athlete who will be passionate about being part of a collegiate team.

Is NAIA the right thing for you?

If you are an athlete looking to participate in college sports, but aren’t sure if you have what it takes to make it at top level NCAA division I or division II, than NAIA may be the right choice for you. NAIA colleges market the fact that their member institutions are smaller in student-body population; mostly under 10,000 students and have a more personal feel to them.

NAIA schools offer its students a number of sponsored teams, if you participate in any of these sports than an NAIA University could be what you are looking for.

Men’s NAIA Sports

Cross Country
Indoor Track & Field
Outdoor Track & Field

Women’s NAIA Sports

Cross Country
Indoor Track & Field
Outdoor Track & Field

Emerging NAIA Sports

Men’s & Women’s Competitive Cheer & Dance
Men’s & Women’s Bowling
Men’s Volleyball

Advantages Recruits can take when searching for an NAIA school

Recruits who are proactive in their recruiting by activity researching college programs and creating a sports resume will be happy to know that the NAIA recruiting process is less restrictive than those of the NCAA. The NAIA makes it easy for potential recruits to contact college coaches; it even allows student-athletes to send their sports resumes to NAIA coaches while signing up on their online eligibility center. This will open up many opportunities for student-athletes since they will be better able to build relationships with coaches early on in their recruiting process and learn about possible opportunities without having to wait for designated contact periods.

Getting there

The NAIA helps NAIA colleges make sure recruits meet minimum academic standards as well as amateur status. Student-athletes who are sure that they will be attending an NAIA college to play sports will need to register with the NAIA eligibility center. The eligibility center is where the NAIA will compile all of the students’ academic records, ACT or SAT test scores and sports team information in order to endorse the athletes’ eligibility to participate on an NAIA sponsored sport. Meeting NAIA eligibility standards means that athletes will be cleared to participate at the NAIA level; they will still have to meet individual University standards of the college they plan to attend if the school has different minimum requirements.

If you have more questions about NAIA colleges and Universities than leave your comment below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

4 Critical Questions to Answer Before Choosing a College

Questions About Choosing a CollegeDeciding where you go to college is one of the biggest choices you will make in your life. College is where you will spend the next few years studying, experiencing new things, and growing as a person. That is why it is very important not to take this decision lightly.

There are dozens of reasons why you should choose a particular school. As a student-athlete, there are a ton of things to consider when choosing not only where you will study, but also where you will train and compete in your sport.

Here are 4 questions you should ask yourself when considering a college or university:

Do they have your major?

As a student-athlete, you will always be a student first, then an athlete. That means you are attending college with the main goal to earn a degree, while being able to participate in athletics while you are there. Make sure that any colleges you are looking at have the subject and/or major that you are interested in pursuing a degree in. It is important to find a school that will have a degree you want because you never know what might happen in your athletics career. Earning a degree is vital to developing your career and establishing a foundation for the rest of your life.

Where is the school located?

The location of the college or university can have a major effect on whether or not you enjoy the school. You should take into consideration whether you want a rural or urban school, a large or small city, and what the climate is like year-round. For example, if you hate cold weather and snow, then avoid schools in geographic locations that will experience this during the school year. Another important thing to remember is how far from home the school is, and where your family and friends are in relation to the school. Being able to travel home easily for holidays and summer is important especially when you consider the extra cost involved.

Do you see yourself there if you couldn’t be on the team?

This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself about any school you might want to attend. Even if you get recruited, it’s not always guaranteed that you will be competing throughout your college career. If you are injured or the team gets cut from the department, you will still be a student at that university. You have to make sure that you can see yourself at that school even if you can be on the sports team you want to compete for. If the team or sports program is the only reason you want to attend that school, you will not be happy just as a student.

What can you afford?

This is the most crucial thing you need to consider when looking at colleges. Tuition for school is not cheap. Even if you earn a scholarship, there are extra costs to consider that may not be covered by your scholarship. Scholarships and loans are options to help pay for the cost of attending college, but you should be prepared to cover anything else that won’t get covered. Make sure to spend some time as a family and determine what you can afford with or without a scholarship.

Choosing where you go to college is very important and will have an impact on the rest of your life. Make sure that when you do make your final decision, it’s for the right reasons!

Need more help choosing a school? Ask us your questions on Facebook and Twitter!

What a College Coach Needs to Know About You

Contacting College CoachesWe all know that the secret of recruiting is being proactive and letting the coaches know about yourself….but when you are making that initial contact what should you tell them? Think about it like a job interview, you are applying for a “job” on their team. You have to be clear with your talents, the reasons you want to go to their school and why you would be an asset to their team.

Your first contact should be made by e-mail, you can find the coaches email addresses on each school’s athletic websites. When you send your email you will want to include several pieces of information.

Cover letter: Explain why you are interested in their school and program; make sure to include your talents as a student and a athlete. This should be written as a letter to the coach to get them to let them get to know you better.

Resume: You will want to include things like; name, contact info, parents contact info, date of birth and graduation Year and physical attributes.If you have a game or skills tape attach a link to the video in the resume again. Include your High School & Club Team Recognitions as well as future events, games or competitions. You will need to also let the coach know about your academic goals and standings. Start with information like High school and contact info, GPA, class rank, SAT/ACT scores and AP/Honors classes. Make sure you include your NCAA eligibility center number if you have registered already. Coaches will also want the contact information for your club and high school coaches so they can speak to them about your character and work ethic. Make sure to also include your best times/stats that are relevant to your sport.

Once you make the initial contact with the coaches you will want to make sure to follow up with them and keep them up to date with any improvements or with upcoming camps and events you have so they have the opportunity to watch you compete in person. Recruiting is a gentle balance of being informative and proactive but don’t become a pain or overbearing. Treat it like applying for a job; be professional, respectful and positive.

If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

3 Reasons To Attend College Rowing Camps

College Rowing CampsCollegiate rowing was one of the best experiences I have had in my life. As a freshman at UC Davis, I walked onto the novice team after completing the rigorous week of tryouts. The unique thing about rowing in college is that you don’t actually need any experience to join the team; you won’t see that in any other college sport.

While there were a few girls at Davis who had rowed in high school, I was the only one who had attended a summer rowing camp. While I still didn’t have any competitive experience in a shell, I had learned a lot of the basics and techniques of rowing. Having that minimal experience and the physical strength helped me eventually earn a scholarship to row for the team.

The rowing camp I attended was a technique camp at Cal Berkeley, a top U.S. collegiate rowing program. Their experienced coaching staff instructors led our group of girls through dry-land training, conditioning work, challenging erg workouts, and team building, as well as time spent in between the gunnels, learning basic technique and the movements of the oar. This camp showed me just how challenging the sport of rowing was and I loved that aspect of it. So when I decided not to pursue volleyball (the sport I played all my life), this seemed like the next best choice.

Attending a rowing camp can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Here are the top three reasons to consider a rowing camp while you are in high school:

Introduce and Improve Technique

To succeed in rowing, you must have sound technique and the ability to match the techniques of the other rowers in the boat. At a basic rowing camp, novice rowers can learn the basic techniques and improve upon those they already know. Being able to master the techniques of rowing will help improve your overall stroke and speed.

Maintain Fitness and Conditioning

For many high school rowers, it is important to keep in shape all year-round, especially during the summer when teams may not have as many scheduled practices. Rowing camps allow these athletes to not only practice their technique but also help maintain their fitness and keep up their endurance. Many rowing camps offer fun competition as well, so there is good race practice too.

Connections with College Coaches

Many of the college rowing programs across the country offer summer rowing camps at their boathouses and campuses. By attending a rowing camp at a college you are interested in, you are given a better perspective of what it would be like to row at that school. You’ll get to see the boathouse, the training facilities, and a good part of campus. You will also get to interact with coaches and other team members and get familiar with them as possible options when you get ready to apply to schools. A rowing camp is a great opportunity to build a relationship with a college coach before you even apply to their school. It is important to build these relationships as your search for rowing scholarship opportunities.

I highly recommend trying a rowing camp for novice, other limited-experience rowers, and varsity-level rowers. I found the instruction and training that they offer can be a great and fun experience for athletes of all types. Rowing camps are a fun way to experience a unique sport and can give you a great advantage if you consider rowing in college!

If you have more questions about being a collegiate rower, we would love to help you; just leave a comment below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

How Some Parents Cost Their Athletes Scholarships

Parents Doing Recruiting Work For AthletesContacting Us Is Encouraged

This past week I fielded a phone call from a concerned parent trying to become educated on the recruiting process. More importantly he was looking for exactly how he can help his son have the best opportunity possible to earn a college scholarship. These types of calls excite me and my fellow teammates here at College Sports Scholarships, WE LOVE TO SEE THOSE IN NEED OF HELP CONTACTING US! It is important that you, as a student-athlete or parent, understand that you too can call upon us for advice and help in the recruiting process.

The father I spoke with was looking for some very specific advice, I am glad I was able to help point him the right direction with a few different options and ideas. I was also able to educate him on some topics regarding recruiting he was very unfamiliar with. Although this parent had his son’s best intentions at heart, he didn’t realize the massive mistake he was making; a mistake many parents and student-athletes make during recruiting.

A Costly Mistake

Throughout our phone call this father kept referring to his contacting the coaching staff, his researching options for his son, his getting educated so he knew what the two should do next, and his frustration that coaches would not pay attention to him. While admirable that this father has decided to take time from his busy schedule to do his son’s bidding THIS IS A HUGE MISTAKE. It is likely the entire time this father has been following this plan he has been more of a hindrance than a help.

New Policy, New Way of Thinking

I informed him the best policy to follow from this period on is his son, not him, needs to be the one taking the lead on all scholarship related inquires. As mentioned, this is a mistake that many families fall victim too because student-athletes might be lazy, confused and not willing to learn, or unmotivated. Today’s generation seems to rely on Mom, Dad, or Coach to do their dirty work. While this may work behind the scenes with you, the student-athlete, receiving a silver platter of scholarship goodness, it doesn’t reflect well on the type of person you are or want to be.

A Coach’s Thoughts

You need to know that coaches are constantly judging the type of person you are, your work ethic, your commitment, your maturity; overall your ability to succeed as a collegiate athlete. How does it look to a coach when the only contact they receive about you is from your parents or from your coach? I promise you it doesn’t speak well and causes most coaches to move onto the next potential recruit without hesitation.

Parents, Guardians, & Coaches

I encourage you to work closely with your student-athlete helping them in the areas they may fall short but please understand helping is not doing. By doing your athletes bidding you are teaching them nothing about the real world except to be irresponsible and that it’s ok to not work hard for what you want in life because someone will do it for you. You will be just as big a help standing in the background with a watchful eye as you are dialing a phone and writing emails. I always encourage student-athletes to use their parents, guardians, and coaches as people to bounce ideas off of, someone to talk things out with, someone to proofread potential writings, etc. but the generator of all ideas and material should still be the athlete themselves.

Tale of Two Sides

I understand this because I have seen both sides. I have witnessed the triumph and satisfaction of self-motivation and the disappointment and frustration of those who allowed others to handle their cause. I promise you, get all the advice, help, and guidance you can throughout the recruiting process but when it comes time to sit, research, write, and contact, it better be the student-athlete in the driver’s seat and everyone else along for the ride.

Do you have questions you would like us to answer? Leave questions in comment below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Key to Recruiting: Understanding the NCAA Core Course

NCAA Core CoursesIt’s important to know what you are getting yourself into before jumping head first into something as big and at times complicated as the recruiting process. That is why we are here, to help guide the way.

One of the most frequent questions we ask potential recruits is “what division level do you think you are best suited to play in?” an extremely important recruiting question that will set forth the recruits path. The responses we receive are commonly vague being; “I can play in any division level” or “I want to play in the best division.” From here we educate recruits there are different levels and different academic requirements for each of these levels.

Why knowing your division level is beneficial for you

Having a grasp on which division level you are cut out for will help you perform your best athletically. It will also allow you to set your academic standards high in order to meet the eligibility standards for that division.

What you need to know about NCAA division I and division II programs:
The NCAA requires student-athletes who wish to compete at these levels to register with the NCAA eligibility clearinghouse or what is now known as the NCAA eligibility center. This is a way for the governing body of college athletics to ensure fair play between all colleges teams affiliated with the NCAA.

What is required of recruits in order to become eligible?

Recruits need to know that NCAA looks at athletes’ high school transcripts and calculates their GPA according to what they call “core courses.” A student may have a high school GPA of 3.5, but only enrolled in so called “easy” classes that are not recognized in the NCAA core course calculation. NCAA wants to make sure that student-athletes are equipped for college, hence the word STUDENT-athlete.

How to make sure you are on the right core course track

Core courses as listed on the NCAA eligibility center can be unclear to students that have different titles and class names. We encourage recruits to meet with a guidance counselor early preferably during their freshman year in order to go over what is required academically to participate at DI or DII levels.

Knowing what is required of you as a student-athlete early will guarantee success

Understanding NCAA core courses will make your life a lot easier when you are ready to start reaching out and contacting college coaches. You will be able to tell these coaches you are on track to meet all of NCAA eligibility requirements and that you will be taking the SAT or ACT tests which will make your academic eligibility locked and ready once your IRL is requested by a college coach. Coaches will be pleased that a recruit has done their homework and is eager to learn more about their team and possible future opportunities.

If you have more questions about meeting eligibility we would love to help you just leave a comment below or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Is It Too Late to Be Recruited by a College Coach?

Too Late to Get RecruitedDepending on your sport, you may not be too late. Football’s signing date closed on April 1st and basketball’s NLI signing period is finished May 16. If you play any other sport, you have until August 1st to commit to a school. Once again, it is not impossible to get recruited, but with most rosters already full it is going to be very tough to find a spot for yourself. You have to be willing to take any opportunity that becomes available.

Here, are some things you should consider if you are still trying to get recruited.

-Become a walk-on: Walking on to a team is a terrific way to be a part of the team if you have missed the opportunity to get recruited for a scholarship. Call or write the coach, asking if there are any open spots on next year’s team and let them know that you are interested in trying out. You will have to be able to attend school and pay for yourself. If you make the team, you are giving yourself an opportunity to earn a scholarship the following year. Just because, you are planning to attend a school without an athletic scholarship, does not mean that the coach or the athletic department won’t help you find other means of finical aid.

-Unsigned Senior Showcases: These are tournaments / exhibitions where you can go and showcase your talents to coaches who are still looking for senior recruits. This is a perfect opportunity to go into a venue where you know all the spectators are still looking to fill their teams. Many recruits get recruited out of these types of events and are able to show their talents to schools they normally wouldn’t have thought of contacting.

-Playing at the Junior College level: Junior Colleges are an excellent way to earn units toward your degree, develop as a player and continue the recruiting process. Many coaches recruit junior college athletes because they prefer more mature athletes with some college level coaching and competition under their belts. If you need to improve your academics, this is also a perfect venue to be able to do that. This is your best option if you are a football or basketball player since your window for committing to a school has closed.

Once again, if you are a senior and want to play your sport at the collegiate level this is not the time to wait around; you need to be proactive. You do have options, but you need to make sure that you explore all of them and be aggressive.

If you have questions on how to get your recruiting started please ask use in the comments below, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.