Archive for May, 2012

This Summer, Go Check out Some Colleges

By: Natalie Pedersen

The summer is a great time to take unofficial visits to college campuses since student-athletes are out of school and have more free time for travel. The only downfall is that school is out of session for the college as well so you won’t get a true feel for how booming the campus is during the year.

Just remember, if you like one campus a lot, you can always visit it again during the school year and when your sport is in season. Many student-athletes don’t realize they can take unofficial visits to college campuses at any time throughout their high school career, freshman through senior year.  In fact, you should be taking several unofficial visits every year throughout your high school career. Then, as you begin to narrow down your list of choices, you can always visit a campus again if need be, or, you might be offered an official visit.

So, what is an unofficial visit?

An unofficial visit is any visit to a college or university campus that is not funded by the institution. Unofficial visits have no NCAA restrictions on when high school athletes can unofficially visit a college, which is why it’s a great idea to start early.

During an unofficial visit:

  • Take a tour of the college campus

This is important so you get a feel for the campus that you could potentially be calling home for four years during your college life.

  • Meet with the coaching staff

Be ready to ask and answer questions! Come prepared with knowledge about the athletic program and a list of questions you have for the coach. This will show you’re interested in the program and that you are responsible.

  • Try to talk to some of the players

If possible, talk to some of the athletes and find out how they like the college, the coach and each other. Some of these student-athletes could be your future teammates, and you want to get a sense of how they get along with each other and their coaching staff.

  • Attend a game or practice if possible

This may be hard during the summer, but if the team is still on-campus, you could try to attend a team workout. If you take visits during the school year, then use this time to evaluate the coaches and the competition level of that program.

If you have any more questions about visits, check the NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete.

 

 

NFL Star Reminds Athletes What Athleadership is All About

Athleadership; a term invented and embodied by author of Athletes Wanted and founder of NCSA Chris Krause. Athleadership means to empower leaders through sports, Chris Krause is a strong believer in Athleadership, he sees sports as a vehicle to drive you for the rest of your life. The core values behind athleadership being team first, education, all in attitude , all out work ethic, making your mark, and leading by example.

A story that was recently released to the press about Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford reminds us all what the term Athleadership means.

The Detroit quarterback attended the Griese-Hutchinson-Woodson Champions for Children’s Hearts weekend to benefit the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.  Stafford was seated with the family of Faith , a patient at Mott Children’s Hospital. Faith’s brother Will was amazed to be sitting next to the NFL star and continued to chat with him for the remainder of the night. At some point will had let Stafford know how much is family loved the Lions, and visiting Chicago. It just so happened there was a package at the auction for a Monday Night Football game, a trip to Chicago for a Bears-Lions game, including tickets that had been donated by Stafford himself.

To the surprise of everyone in the room when the package came up the Detroit QB began fiercely bidding on the package as to which he partially donated to and for a game he was to be playing in. As the bid ran up Stafford continued to put in his bid as well, finally winning the package at $15,000. After it was announced that Stafford won the package, Stafford turned to Will and his family to let them know the package was all theirs and to enjoy their trip to Chicago. The most amazing thing about this story was that Stafford did not make this jesture for any media attention or a pat on the back. He simply wanted to give a special family something to look forward to.

That is the true definition of Athleadership. Matthew Stafford took some of the fortune he has earned through sports and was able to give back to a family in need.Stafford didn’t expect anything in return for his act, and the only reason it made headline news was due to the attendees discussing it afterward. Not only can aspiring athletes look up to Stafford for his leadership and skill on the field, they can look up to him for his willingness to give back when no one was looking.

Now I understand not all of us have $15,000 to donate to people in need, but Athleadership goes beyond just financial giving. You can be an Athleader in many different ways. For the younger athletes, simply by being a leader on your high school team, helping others who need extra help. Most importantly by setting a good example for your teammates through not only your words, but also through your actions. You could also have your teammates get together to participate in a local community service project that cost no money only your time. A majority of Athletes are born with a special quality of natural born leadership, so as an athlete it is your job to continue to spread your leadership and empower other to give back and lead.

 

 

 

Pursue your dreams before it’s too late!

By:Natalie Pedersen

What are you doing to proactively pursue your dreams?

The phrase “don’t wait until it’s too late” can have many different meanings. Student-athletes might wait too long to reach out to coaches and miss out on scholarships. Some athletes make the mistake of waiting until senior year to start the recruiting process and then find out that all the top schools have made their offers and are finished recruiting their graduation class. And, in one extreme case, a student-athlete was diagnosed with an untreatable disease.

Recently, NCSA learned that one of our student-athletes has been diagnosed with brain cancer and tumors that will ultimately end his life before hi s upcoming high school senior year. Not only is it a tragedy to lose a young life, but this athlete will never be able to achieve his dreams of playing Big Ten football as a Michigan Wolverine.

When I say “don’t wait until it’s too late,” I’m simply implying that you never know what is going to happen tomorrow. And, if you put something off for tomorrow, who’s to say you won’t put it off again once tomorrow is here?

So, what are you doing to pursue your dreams? And, what are you waiting for?

 

To start your recruiting process and get evaluated by a scout, click here or call 866-579-6272.

 

Importance of Academics

Talking to student athletes on a regular basis I often hear that grades do not matter in the recruiting process. This is simply no longer the case. Former Stanford football player and NFL alumni Tunde talks about the importance of academics in the recruiting process.

Academics are crucial from the time you enter high school until your senior year. As a 9th grader it is crucial to understand the NCAA core course requirements that make student athletes eligible to play at the next level. It is important that student athletes are keeping on track with these requirements through their senior year so they do not get to graduation and realized they missed something that made them ineligible.

As well the NCAA has different minimum grade and test score requirements for athletes to be eligible to play at different division levels. Student athletes need to meet these minimum requirements to be eligible through the NCAA Eligibility center. Furthermore beyond meeting the NCAA requirements, each individual school has its own admissions requirements. While student athletes will receive slightly lower standards from the admissions office than non student athletes but there is still a minimum requirement that is necessary to meet.

Lastly coaches will often look at your academic performance as an indicator of your on the court/field work ethic. How hard you are willing to work in the classroom can show coaches what kind of athlete you are. If you and another ahtlete have similar athletic abilities the scholarship opportunity can often come down to the student athlete with the higher academic performance.

Student athletes make sure to stay on top of your grades!

 

NCAA Eligibility Center 101

What is the NCAA Eligibility Center?

The NCAA Eligibility Center certifies that college-bound athletes who wish to compete in Division I or II athletic programs have met necessary academic credentials and are of amateur status. NCAA colleges and universities set these regulations to ensure all student-athletes meet NCAA standards, including required core courses.

 

Do I really need to sign up with the eligibility center?

  • You cannot attend official visits if you have not registered or qualified with the NCAA Eligibility center
  • You cannot compete in division I or II if you have not been registered and qualified with the NCAA Eligibility center

When and how do I register with the eligibility center?

To qualify for NCAA eligibility and view core course requirements, register with the NCAA Eligibility Center by completing the Student Release Form and amateurism questionnaire during your junior year.

 

 

*** Special notes

Fall 2012 enrolled athletes need to sign final amateur certification on or after April 1, 2012.

Starting August 1, 2013, NCAA Division II student-athletes will be required to take 16 core courses—this applies to any student first entering a college of university on or after August 1. Please note that the 16 core course for DI and DII slightly differ.

The SAT and ACT have changed their writing tests; SAT writing section is mandatory and the ACT writing section is optional.

Official test scores are no longer accepted from high school transcript. Instead, test scores are to be sent directly from the testing agency (use code “9999” to request ACT or SAT test scores).

 

A Common Myth Disproven

A Common Myth Disprove

By: Natalie Pedersen

A common myth that many student-athletes and their families believe is that a high school coach or athletic director is responsible for helping their athletes get recruited to play sports in college. They believe it is part of their job requirements to connect colleges with their kids.

Unfortunately, this just isn’t true.

A few high school coaches do the best they can to help their deserving student-athletes. NCSA Athletic Recruiting even has a new High School Relations department dedicated to helping H.S. coaches find colleges that would be a good fit for their athletes. But, the truth is most high school coaches just don’t have the time or knowledge of recruiting to truly help their athletes with the entire recruiting process, and they don’t utilize the tools and resources available to them.

First of all, many high school coaches have full-time jobs that take up a lot of their time. Also, many of them have families and children of their own.

While high school coaches may know several college coaches in their area, most high school coaches don’t have connections with college coaches across the country. So, unless you want to stay local and have limited options available to you, then you need to take the recruiting process into your own hands and start reaching out to college coaches on your own.

You also should remember that there are many other student-athletes on your team, and your coach cannot possibly dedicate his/her time to everyone. Your coach will not be able to give you as much attention as you deserve, so you need to be proactive. Remember, the recruiting process is like extra time in the weight room. If you put the work in now, it will pay off in the end.

Finally, if you are looking for scholarship money, your high school coach will not be able to help secure scholarship money for you. You need to be reaching out to college coaches on your own, building relationships with them, and then leveraging scholarship money after a coach shows true interest in recruiting you.

It’s great if your coach can help you, but don’t rely on him! Take the recruiting process into your own hands and contact a Scout with the NCSA Athletic Recruiting Network to see how you can start connecting with college coaches.

Do you need more help in the recruiting process?

Call 866-579-6272 or get started at http://bit.ly/GetRecruitedNow

Learn more at http://www.ncsasports.org/

 

Importance of Sportsmanship to College Coaches

By: Natalie Pedersen

Coaches not only look for high level athletes with good athletic skills that will help them win games, but, did you know that coaches also notice your attitude during competitions? Having good sportsmanship and being a team player shows college coaches that you are not only going to perform individually, but you’re also going to help motivate their team, which will also help them win games. If the opportunity presents itself before a game, slap hands with some of the players from the other team and wish them luck. Fire up your own teammates and show leadership before, during and after your games.

During competitions, make sure you aren’t picking fights with your opponents, trash talking during the game or making any kind of inappropriate gestures. College coaches will notice these negative aspects of the game and will make them think you are not the best recruit to bring to their college or university. If you play an aggressive sport, it’s great to be aggressive during a game, but don’t let your temper flare if you make a mistake or if your opponent gets in a good shot at you. Brush it off and move on. The way you react to your competition is something college coaches will notice, and they don’t want someone on their team with a negative attitude or an easily aroused temper. On the other hand, if you make a good block or slam dunk over your opponent, don’t rub it in the other team’s face. Lend a hand and pick the other guy off the floor. This is a small gesture, but it shows coaches that not only are you an amazing player, but are humble with good sportsmanship.

After a competition, win or lose, shake hands with the other players and tell them ‘good game’. Go up to the opposing team’s coach and shake hands with him as well while making eye contact. Even when you’re not playing, keep in mind that coaches keep track of you through social media, so don’t talk smack about your competition (or especially your own teammates) on Facebook or Twitter.