Archive for August, 2009

My Athletes Wanted Story – Annika Michaels

Once I take a minute to reflect on the impact that athletics has had on my life, I can’t even being to imagine what my life would be without it. I played several sports growing up in a small town in Maine and found that this competition was my ticket to making friends and seeing the world beyond the state lines. I was fortunate enough to play on several travel soccer teams that competed in top-notch tournaments all over the Northeast. These experiences taught me so much about commitment and dedication, as well as the willingness to leave my comfort zone and take risks to achieve my goals. It was scary at times wandering into the unknown of competing at higher level ODP camps, regional tournaments, and summer camps. I learned that my hard work and skill would be my ticket to success in any of these arenas, and that with that success I would begin to earn respect and form friendships. I ultimately made connections with people all over the Northeast, many of whom are some of my closest friends today. This network consists of former teammates, coaches, and competitors who would be there to help at the drop of a hat if I needed anything. They taught me about teamwork, communication, leadership, toughness in the face of adversity, and overall personal character.

I feel so grateful for these connections and for the many experiences, the victories and the losses, that I have shared with all of these people throughout my athletic career. The lessons that you learn and the people that you meet through athletics stay with you for the rest of your life. I know I draw from many of my own experiences every single day. “Athletes Wanted” is an inspirational, educational read for anyone who has shared in these athletic experiences or anyone who hopes to in their future.

The Athletes Wanted Glossary

The below Glossary appears in the full version of Athletes Wanted.  If you are interested in ordering your own copy to share you can buy it here.

Admissions Contact: Postcard, letter, email, package, and/or phone call directly from a college admissions department.
AP: Advanced placement classes offered by a high school. College-level classes. Placement of a college freshman in an advanced class based on work completed in high school. Most often colleges and universities use the College Board’s Advanced Placement Tests for advanced placement. Advanced placement may be given with or without credit hours.
Application Waiver: A coach’s waiver of the fee for applying to an institution

COA: See “Cost of Attendance”

Club Teams: Select teams of advanced high school, middle school, or elementary school players. Club teams are by invitation only and represent the top swimmers, volleyball, soccer, and softball players.

Coach Contact: Questionnaire, camp brochure, letter, email, phone call, or text message directly from a member of the coaching staff

Combine: High-intensity showcases where student-athletes perform a series of grueling tests before coaches, recruiters, and scouts. Combines provide a venue for student athletes to be evaluated individually and in great detail. Attendance is by invitation only, and combines generally consist only of the nation’s top players.

Contact: An exchange of information between a coaching staff or admissions department and a prospective student-athlete, Contacts include camp brochures, letters, questionnaires, emails, phone calls, and tape requests.

Contact Period:The period when a coach may have in person contact with a student or his/her parents on or off college campus. The coach may watch the student compete or visit the high school.

Core Courses: High school classes required by the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse. These include English, Math, Natural/Physical Science, Social Science, Foreign Language, Religion, or Philosophy. Refer to the NCAA Eligibility Center regulations.

Cost of Attendance: The total cost of attending a school, the Cost of Attendance (COA) is an important factor in determining a student’s financial aid needs.

Dead Period: Periods of time during which it is not permissible for a coach to make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluating on-or off-campus or permit official or unofficial visits

EFC: See “Expected Family Contribution”

Early Action: Nonbinding plan that requires an athlete to submit his or her application in early fall (usually by November 1 or 15).The college lets the student know whether he or she is accepted by early January, but the student has the right to wait until May 1 before responding. This gives a student-athlete time to compare colleges, including financial aid offers, before making a decision.

Early Decision: A binding agreement whereby a student-athlete accepts an offer prior to National Letter of Intent Day. A student can apply Early Decision to only one college.

Equivalency Sports: Programs that fall into this category – all sports other than men’s basketball, women’s basketball, football, women’s gymnastics, women’s tennis, and women’s volleyball – can offer full or partial scholarships.

Expected Family Contribution: The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount a family can be expected to contribute toward a student’s college costs. Financial aid administrators determine need for federal student aid by subtracting the EPC from the student’s cost of attendance (COA). The EFC formula is used to determine the EFC and ultimately determine the need for aid from the following types of federal student financial assistance: Federal Pell Grants, subsidized Stafford Loans and assistance from the “campus based” programs – Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Federal Perkins Loans, and Federal Work-Study (FWS)

Evaluation: A coach’s review of a student’s athletic or academic ability. A coach typically evaluates a student either at his or her high school or during a showcase, practice, competition, club practice, or camp.

Evaluation Period: The period of time during which a college coach may watch students compete or visit the high school. There is no in-person contact away from the college campus allowed during this time. The coach may call and write during this time.

FAFSA: See “Free Application for Financial Student Aid”

Free Application for Financial Student Aid: The Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form required by the government for application to any federal education aid program. The FAFSA is used to determine the expected family contribution (EFC) based on family financial information. A FAFSA is used to determine the specific Federal Student Aid programs that can contribute to a student’s total financial aid package and in what proportions. The Web site is www.fafsa.org.

Federal Perkins Loan Program: Low-interest (5 percent) loans that must be repaid. The maximum annual loan amount is $4,000 for undergraduate students and $6,000 for graduate students

Federal PLUS Loans: Unsubsidized loans made to parents. If you are independent or your parents cannot get a PLUS loan, you are eligible to borrow additional Stafford Loan funds. The interest rate is variable, but never exceeds 9 percent.

Federal Stafford Loans: Student loans that must be repaid and are available to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants: Grants available for undergraduates only and awards range from $100-$4,000

Fee Waiver Request Form/Financial Hardship Waiver: Used to request a waiver for the NCAA Eligibility Center fee. Visit www.naoc.com/feewaiver.html

Financial Aid/Scholarship: Money received from a college or another source, such as outside loans or grants. This may be athletic, academic, merit or need-based aid.

FWS/Work Study: Provides jobs to undergraduate and graduate students, allowing them to earn money to pay education expenses.

Game Day Visit: An opportunity for a student to visit a campus to watch a college team play a game.

Game Tape: Footage of actual competition, usually unedited

GATE: Guaranteed Access to Education (GATE) is a nonprofit private loan program offered through participating institutions in conjunction with Bank of America, Bank of Boston and the National Collegiate Trust (NCT). There is a minimal credit check and colleges can recommend whatever loan amount they’d like the student to receive. The interest rate is also rather low. Students and parents should call 1-617-639-2000 for more information about the program (in New York, 1-212-551-3650). See also their entry in the lenders area of the Financial Aid Information Page.

GPA: Grade-point average. The NCAA Eligibility Center only uses core courses to calculate this number. This should be cumulative over the entire high school academic career.

Gray Shirt: Student is recruited out of high school but delays full-time enrollment

Head Count Sports: Programs that fall into this category – men’s basketball, women’s basketball, football, women’s gymnastics, women’s tennis, and women’s volleyball – offer full scholarships only

Highlight Video: Three to five minutes of footage taken from game tape or skills tape
Name Game: Term used to describe a student-athlete or his/her family choosing college based on the name rather than actual facts

National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics: The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is a separate association of colleges who compete in intercollegiate athletics. The NAIA launched the champions of character program in 2000 which is an educational outreach initiative which emphasizes the tenets of character and integrity, not only for NAIA college students, but for younger students, coaches and parents in out communities.

National Collegiate Athletic Association: National Collegiate Athletic Association is the athletics governing body for more than 1,280 colleges, universities, conferences and organizations. Their goal is to govern competition in a fair, safe, inclusive and sportsmanlike manner. The official Web site is www.ncaa.org

NCAA Eligibility Center: The organization responsible for certifying the academic eligibility for practice, competition, and financial aid of all prospective student-athletes for Division I and Division II.

NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete: An important reference book created by the NCAA for student-athletes interested in competing on college sports. This guide leads the student-athlete through eligibility, amateurism, registration with the NCAA Eligibility Center, financial aid, and recruiting rules. It is available at the NCAA Web site www.ncaa.org.

NCSA Power Rankings:NCSA’s Collegiate Power Rankings are calculated for each college at the NCAA Division I, II, and III levels by averaging the U.S. News & World Report ranking, the U.S. Sports Academy Directors’ Cup ranking and the NCAA student-athlete graduation rate of each institution. The NCSA Collegiate Power Rankings provide data that allows prospective student-athletes and parents to evaluate the particular strengths of universities based on academic and athletic factors, as well as student-athlete graduation rates.

National Letter of Intent (NLI): A legal, binding contract in which a student agrees to attend a college for one academic year. In return, a college agrees to provide the student with athletics related financial aid for one year

Non-Revenue Sports: College sports that do not bring revenue to the school. These sports are often funded, at least in part, by revenue sports such as football or basketball.

Official Visit: Visit to a college campus by a student and/or parent paid for by the college.

Quiet Period: A period of time during which a coach cannot have in-person contact with a student or his/her parents off of the college campus. The coach cannot evaluate a student during this time, but can write or telephone during quiet periods.

Recruit Match: Collegiate coach database that matches qualified student-athletes with college athletic programs. The Recruit Match system houses more than 35,000 registered head coaches, assistant coaches and college administrative at more than 1,700 colleges. Recruit Match delivers student-athlete data through permission-based email. Profiles or student-athletes are distributed based on coaches’ wants and need discovered through phone conversations, surveys and emails with college coaches at every level.

Recruiting Contact: Face to face interaction between a coach and a student-athlete or his/her parents away from the college campus, including high school competitions.

Recruiting Guidelines: Restrictions set by the NCAA and NAIA about when and how a college coach can communicate with a student-athlete

Recruit List: Athletes the coaches at an institution are actively recruiting. Typically, a student-athlete is not added to this list until the athlete has been evaluated.

Recruiting Materials: Information sent by a member of a coaching staff to a student-athlete. These include camp brochures, questionnaires and letters.

Red Shirt: A student who does not compete in any competition during a full academic year.

Regular Admissions: The process in which a student applies to a college by a midwinter deadline, receives word from the college in early April, and makes a decision and notifies colleges by May 1.

Revenue Sports: College sports that bring revenue to the school. These most often include men’s football and basketball, and women’s basketball, tennis, gymnastics, and volleyball.

Rolling Admissions: The process in which a student applies and receives an admission decision within two to six weeks. Applications are accepted until the incoming freshman class is filled. Most public universities and many private colleges use this timeline.

SAR: See “Student Aid Report”

SAT II: Standardized subject test required by some of the most selective colleges.

Scout: An individual who is certified to evaluate, educate and empower student-athletes on the collegiate recruiting process.

Skills Tape: A fifteen to twenty minute tape of staged footage.

Student Aid Report (SAR): The document received after the FAFSA is processed listing all of the answers to the FAFSA. A parent should review these answers carefully to make sure they are correct.
Student-athlete: A high school student who is recruited to attend a particular college to play on one of its athletic teams or a student who reports for practice at a college. Your child becomes a college bound student-athlete the day he or she enters high school, is not sooner. Men’s basketball recruiting begins a student’s seventh-grade year.

Title IX: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 specifying that, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be exalted from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Unofficial Visit: Any visit to a college campus paid for by a student and/or parents. The only expense a student may receive is three complementary admissions to a home contest.

Verbal Commitment: A student verbally indicating that he/she plans to attend a college of university and play college sports. A verbal commitment is not binding, although it is a generally accepted form of commitment.

Video Guidelines: Specific outlines for video footage to each sport.

Walk-on: A student who does not receive an athletic scholarship, but who is a member of the team.

My Athletes Wanted Story – Ryan Newman

Athletics in general has made a major impact on my life-football in particular. When I was in Pee-Wee football my coach gave us a speech I will never forget. It was about what being a part of a team really means. Because a lot of times when you hear people talk about it, they explain the others around them, how you have to be looking out for this guy or that guy. But coach Murray took a different perspective-do your 1/11th. If you concentrate on your responsibility and no one else does we will be 1/11th effective, but if everyone comes together and does what they are supposed to do eleven 1/11ths equals one, and you have a team. And I take this same concept into every facet of life, especially my professional one here at NCSA.

My Athletes Wanted Story – Amanda Rawson

Every decision you make in your recruiting process is extremely important. You want to choose the right school & find the best fit for you and in order to do so, you need to understand how recruiting works. The book Athletes Wanted is a must read and a tool that would have helped me in my recruiting decisions.

The problem for me, was that no one ever told me any of the rules or the processes involved in recruiting. No one imposed on me the importance of academics. I never followed up with coaches the way I know now, that you have to. I didn’t play the recruiting game. I lived by the infamous line, if you’re good enough they will find you.

Parents you need to read this book and help guide your children. I had an older brother who went through the recruiting process and played DI football and I still didn’t understand everything and neither did my parents.
The most important thing is to remember that this process is a lot of work and as the book shows you, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. The one thing I know is that I gave it my all, I left it all on the court; I have no regrets–I want other student-athletes to be able to say the same.

My Athletes Wanted Story – Marko Markovic

After reading the Athletes Wanted novel, I had come to a realization that I really missed an opportunity to be part of the recruiting process. Throughout my whole life I was involved with sports. I played all types, but I concentrated mostly on basketball and soccer. I played club soccer most of my life, but after 8th grade I stopped. It wasn’t so much that I was lazy, but that I started to lose the love of being part of a team. During high school all of my former teammates urge me on to continue playing with them during that time. I just didn’t want to devote myself to that. I really just wanted to be a regular teenager with a social life. As the years went on I started to miss being part of something special. Being part of a team. I no longer had that, and to this day I miss it.

I know that during the recruiting process it can be long and stressful. For most student athletes that go through the process, they know that they have to put a lot of work into it. I would have been that student athlete. I wouldn’t say I was a below average athlete but average enough to be able to play somewhere and be part of a team. Be part of something special. There I go again. How great would it have been to be in contact with college coaches who are just eager to have you on their team. Or, how cool it would have been to go across the country and visit schools officially and unofficially. Get a chance to meet the players and get know more about the tradition that is with every single university. I can’t believe that I missed out on such a great opportunity! An opportunity that could have given my family a chance to pay for some of my education, or maybe even go to a higher academic institution.

If I had the same passion back than as I do now about recruiting, and playing sports, than I would have still been part of a team. I recommend this book to anyone who has the love and passion for sports. If you’re extremely dedicated and want to continue pursing your sport onto the next level, than this is the exact novel you would want to get your hands onto. This novel is not only dedicated to student athletes, but also to parents as well. It’s a must read for anyone who loves the recruiting process and sports in general.

My Athletes Wanted Story – James Lutz

Athletics has helped my life from the time I was young. From an early age my life has revolved around sports. They have helped me during my youth, in college, and in my profession.

When I was young I played as many sports as I could. I loved everything about them. They taught me so much, and helped me shape my life. Sports taught me the value of hard work, and how if your work hard enough you will usually achieve your goals. They taught me how effective working with a team can be. How if you trust your teammates you will be able to achieve most things. Lastly sports helped me see the usefulness of setting and achieving goals. Few things in life are as satisfying as achieving one of your goals.

Athletics played a crucial role during my college life. When I as choosing college I knew I wanted to be a sports management major. Knowing this I was able to make the correct choice in choosing Ohio University as my college. They had the better department and thought it was the better fit for me because of this. The result was that I had a wonderful college experience at what I believe was the right school for me. Also while at school I was able to get an internship working for the Ohio University Football Film Staff. That internship gave me valuable experience that I would use as soon as I graduated.
Now working at the National Collegiate Scouting Association sports are a regular part of my life. The experiences and values I got from sports throughout my life have directly translated to my ability to do my job as a video coordinator. Be it the lessons about hard work, the value of setting and achieving goals, or the actual experience filming games for Ohio University. Sports have helped me achieve my goals and shape the person I have become.

My Athletes Wanted Story – Alex Horton

It is difficult for me to imagine my life without sports in it. Had it not been for sports, I might never have settled so easily into life in the United States. When I was younger I played a variety of sports including swimming, soccer, rugby, karate, athletics and tennis. Playing these sports taught me many life skills including how to communicate with players in my team. It also gave me determination and self-control and assisted greatly with me settling into High School and college life. Before arriving in Chicago I never had any idea what opportunities sports could provide and how seriously it is taken at the collegiate sports level. The idea that by playing my sport it could help me not only financially to go to school but also to continue living out my dream of taking sport to the next level was one that I was completely unaware of. Playing sports has given me opportunities that I never thought I would ever be able to have and has helped me travel not only around America at college level playing other universities but also around Europe when I lived in the UK. More importantly sports helped me find a good academic school and taught me the tools to be a hard worker and ultimately graduate with a degree. Sport has played a large part in molding me into the man that I am today and continues to play an important part of my life.

A book like ‘Athletes Wanted’ is essential to anyone considering taking their sport to the next level. As someone who moved to America at 16 and knew nothing about collegiate sports, I was lucky to trip and fall into a good program. Had there been a book like this available I could have been a consummate pro on the college recruiting process inside of one simple read! A must for every sports player!

My Athletes Wanted Story – Rachel Hernandez

Growing up sports played a significant role in my life. Since grade school, I was a three sport athlete in cross county, basketball and track & field. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I found myself unsure about my future in sports. I knew that I wanted to run in college but the steps I needed to take to achieve my goal were a mystery. During my senior year of high school I developed a stronger passion for running. I was finally seeing the results of my hard work pay off and I wanted to find a cross country/track program that would help me reach my full potential. At the time I knew very little about recruiting but I did know that I needed to come up with a way to get coaches to notice me. I decided that I couldn’t sit back any longer and wait for coaches to contact me, I needed to be pro-active. I began to develop a list of colleges I was interested in and sent each coach a personalized letter expressing my interest in their program. Due to my efforts I was lucky to have found a college and a cross country/track program that suited my needs. I decided to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I rose from freshman walk-on to scholarship athlete by sophomore year.

My Athletes Wanted Story – Allie Kabat

Growing up, sports were always a large part of my life. My love of athletics comes from my parents and from watching my older sister excel in the sports she played. Wanting to be just like my big sister, I aspired to play soccer and basketball through high school and college like she did. I knew how to accomplish this goal in high school, but making it to the college level was another story.

I stood out in high school on my freshman basketball and soccer teams and was elected captain of my soccer team. I played club soccer since third grade and competed all four years of high school. I missed the first portion of my senior season due to a family illness and I had a difficult time adjusting after.

At that point, I was not being heavily recruited and was unsure if I even wanted to keep playing. My dream was slipping through my fingers and I didn’t know how to turn things around. I had no education on recruiting other than what my parents knew from their experience with my sister. If I had had the help of a book like Athletes Wanted, I would have had a completely different story. I didn’t know how important being pro-active is in the recruiting process and figured that coaches would come to me. Only a few coaches did reach out to me and once they did, I had no idea where to take it from there or what was next.

Athlete’s wanted breaks down recruiting for the athlete and parent. It’s a step-by-step guide on how to be successful in the recruiting process; exactly what a family like mine would have needed when I was in high school. I was lucky and found a great school to continue playing soccer at and received a top notch education, but a lot of high school athletes who are like me, aren’t as lucky. To any athlete who aspires to play collegiate athletics, you should read this book. It will not only help you to be more successful in the recruiting process, but it will help prepare you for life after college and sports. Don’t make the same mistakes I did and if playing your sport in college important enough to you, you should be willing to get any additional education you can to make it happen; reading Athlete’s Wanted is a great place to start.

My Athletes Wanted Story – Ryan Newman

Athletics in general has made a major impact on my life-football in particular. When I was in Pee-Wee football my coach gave us a speech I will never forget. It was about what being a part of a team really means. Because a lot of times when you hear people talk about it, they explain the others around them, how you have to be looking out for this guy or that guy. But coach Murray took a different perspective-do your 1/11th. If you concentrate on your responsibility and no one else does we will be 1/11th effective, but if everyone comes together and does what they are supposed to do eleven 1/11ths equals one, and you have a team. And I take this same concept into every facet of life, especially my professional one here at NCSA.