No protective equipment, except shoes, jerseys & helmets
Full protective equipment and uniform permitted; no player-player contact
First SCRIMMAGE or a zero week football game
First CONTEST Week 1
Number of CONTESTS
3A, 4A, 5A-Nov. 4
DISTRICT OR STATE FIRST ROUND
8man, 1A, 2A Prelims-
3A, 4A, 5A –
8man, 1A, 2A-Nov 25
Early Signing Day
February 7, 2018
National NLI often referred to as Signing Day
In today’s world there are many parents that think they need to attend every camp under the sun. The fact is many people are being exposed by for profit entities that only want to get into parents wallets and not help kids. Many hustlers are promoting activities targeting the 3rd grade through 9th grade sports enthusiasts. A travesty because these events have no value and are revenue generators. These monies you are spending should be saved for college visits during the athletes sophomore to junior transition and/or most definitely the spring and summer of the athletes junior to senior year. The media often sensationalizes stories like youngsters being offered a scholarship as early as six grade and put on some arbitrary recruiting website. Even a younger golfer that can swing a club. All great achievements but rare instances that marketing companies thrive on to sell you their products after focusing on some rare talents that will of course turn your athlete from good to better. The fact of the matter is no college really is actively recruiting at such a young age. Especially since the body develops well past the teen years. However, It is different for the female athletes because they tend to develop quicker than their male counterparts. That is why you see soccer, volleyball and lacrosse players gain more attention and receive committable offers at ages 15, 16 and 17. The common practice is for a rising junior in high school to be evaluated when headed into his or her senior year. However, now everyone is trying to fast-track their college programs into a winning program. So we are seeing many schools jump the gun prior to the national letter of intent day often called signing day to secure athletes.
In past years we always saw closers, these were normally the head coach that came to visit you at your home in order to sell you their college or university. Now the trend seems to be graduate assistants and player development departments that will identify you after obtaining varsity film on your athlete. Depending on the high school it could be a freshman or it could be a rising senior that is what leads to a lot of confusion. Many people feel they have to be on the radar at such an early age and the mere fact is many universities or colleges want to get to know you not only as an athlete but as a person. So it probably in your best interest if you research and attend three or four schools you really want to attend before you decide to go to 40 different camps over the course of two or three years. Attending multiple events shows most coaches interested in an athlete that you may not be interested in them and they will move off of you during the evaluation process because you are not committed to one program.
Many college coaches have stated probably the most important persons responsible for a student athletes success is the head coach and councilor. These names or persons are always requested on college questionnaires and they are part of the process of 4 years of high school.
The jury is still out about supplementing your progress with specialized training. Many question if athletes are starting too young and risk future injury. Also being away from your teammates and coaches who are trying to bond and form a cohesive unit. Often the agenda of a college coach is to seek quality athletes that buy into team work and have good character.
One college football coach said, ” specializing is not a requirement. We like multiple sport athletes. Also I never had to spend money on sit ups and push ups and had a hell of a core body. I get it but wouldn’t suggest spending large amounts of money outside the four walls of your high school. In recent years high school programs have upgraded facilities and have fine strength and conditioning staffs. Recreation centers are also a great source for FREE. But I get it, people need to be motivated and congratulated on a daily basis so that’s what you pay them for, motivation, I guess. Different from my day when it was about sweating your ass off with your brothers. Yes sir the dynamics are changing and I am not sure if it’s healthy in this me, me, me climate.”
Another confusing subject was moving away from traditional high school sports. While some coaches agree you are seeing better competition, many are saying otherwise. “Club sports, well it’s not fool proof. Often it’s the parents with the financial means that position themselves to gain notoriety. We might attend a couple heavily populated events to identify athletes. However, we use this information for our reporting to give to our staff members recruiting that area or state. We still believe in the high school model but will attend showcase events if we have some prospects that reach out to us, but we heavily rely on high school coaches for information.”
Another coach said, “Yes it is fine if you have a club sport reference or a personal trainer but sometimes that shows you are the ‘all about me’ recruit and function independently and not as a team player. Of course they will state how great you are, as that’s what you are paying them for unlike the high school coaches that are brutally honest.”
All in all the biggest reason many college coaches visit high schools is to determine how self-motivated athletes are and to strengthen relationships to evaluate the future athletes over time. The visits often include interviewing coaches and obtaining transcripts. In addition to invite athletes to their campus.This is part of the process to see how much you are dedicated to their schools and see if it’s a good fit. Many-times the process is a year long engagement with the intent of making a Committable offer!
There is a reason for 5 official visits and not 40. It only takes one coach to believe in you, So be patient and prepare for your future. Come up with a plan and remember one thing is for sure, hard work pays off and if you Ball they will Call!If the goal is to obtain an education then spend some time in the books by preparing for the college board exams. Those are the scores that matter for the 55-60 years after post secondary education and sports activities. Its about your future so start now!
The first time I heard the saying, “If you‘re not cheating, you‘re not trying hard enough” was nearly 2 decades ago when I became involved in coaching Club Hockey. I chuckled at first but soon realized it was NOT about teaching the fundamentals of the game but trying to secure what was perceived as the best talents. Hockey is an expensive sport that includes lots of travel to play top tier teams in the region and nationally if you are good. However, at some point playing little league sport has to be FUN not work. After a few seasons it became apparent the sport was about whose parents could bank roll the team.
As time went on it was the parents that ruined the FUN as they wanted their way and would make sure management knew it was all about their kid(s). Today we call it entitlement by helicopter parents. I call it sour grapes because the truths are exposed about the level of play, especially if its all about winning and not about having FUN. As time passed I picked up the whistle to coach Baseball and Football and soon learned it was not about a competitive balance but who could recruit better or sell traveling to beat the best. The problem is it was NOT the best, just the families that could pay to play in different cities and make playing one sport about as boring as serving pizza, chicken fingers or juice boxes to youngsters. Oh and don’t forget participation medals for all to attend some lame tournament usually played on a holiday weekend.
Many of you may be wondering why this is relevant and the answer is simple, it continues in high school. The fact athletic directors, principals and coaches allow sports to dictate their culture is alarming. Yes many districts are not well funded but at what point do you do the right thing? We are still awaiting that answer as for decades coaches have bought into the statement“If you‘re not cheating, you‘re not trying hard enough”. Basketball has been the subject of debate for years as inner city athletes were brought to the suburbs and eventually became more relevant in football. Now schools are legitimately turning their heads to closed attendance areas to allow talented little leaguers to attend their school. Perhaps it is about winning but maybe it is more about who will donate much needed monies to hang a banner in centerfield or in the rafters of the arena or the end zone of the field. Yes these are the monies needed to pay for transportation, team meals, equipment and trainers. What is lost is the FUN of the sport. The fact is neighborhood kids want to play with one another and not be recruited and have to travel great lengths to play a sport. Also many loose interest in by the time they are 16 especially if they do not get playing time. The focus should be on obtaining an education and the opportunity to advance to college. However, society has placed too much of an emphasis on sports and we are alarmed when kids quit.
Yes they Quit sports, Quit life or Quit giving a darn because they have been told “If you‘re not cheating, you‘re not trying hard enough”. So this attitude probably leads to them living in your basement because the etiquette and fundamentals were not taught by coaches to do their best and academia was not a focal point to have them advance as student athletes. Look at the colleges that have others take athletes tests or homework or even involve others in drug testing. Those same practices trickle down to high school. So being a model citizen might not be taught at a young age as many learn from examples. Anyone remember Barry Bonds?(*)by the HR title for PEDs. Now those designer drugs are readily available in high school. Perhaps he lived by the statement “If you‘re not cheating, you‘re not trying hard enough”.
So the next time a parent or player tells you, hey lets go play at XYZ school, you shoud ask yourself, Am I cheating my family? Will my athlete advance past high school and is it worth lying and cheating for an address all because we want to wear a winning jersey. There are no guarantees in life, but if you are living by the statement “If you‘re not cheating, you‘re not trying hard enough” you are the culture that has placed too much of an emphasis on sports, not academia or what is the best interests of the child.
Choose #Academia1st as it will get you further in life. It is the 60 years of post secondary education that will matter most long term.
We know athletes these days are getting bigger, faster and stronger. Unfortunately so do all the for profit companies ready to take your hard earned monies. Yes the pay to play all star games that are meaningless as it is not the best available athletes that play in these games. Just families that can afford to pay to attend. In addition to these marketing companies telling you how great you are they also sell your information to other companies like trainers, recruiting services, combine companies and subscription based entities. The common denominator is like the internet phishing, yes fishing to take monies out of your account on a monthly basis and offer little to no impact on your athlete. Many of these companies will tell you it is about exposure or that numerous college coaches that will be on hand to evaluate your athlete. The fact is many college coaches want athletes to attend their own camps and if you put the effort into them, they will evaluate you. So attending 40 camps and everything under the sun is really about being a “Selfie” and no one really cares if you attend 40 camps. Yes you can post it on social media but does anyone really care and does it scare off potential suitors? Imagine if coach ABC likes the athletes film and wants you at his college then sees multiple social media posts from a plethora of other universities. It could impact coach ABC because he figures coach XYZ might trump his efforts in the long evaluation process. Figuring out the evaluation process is fairly easy. The Varsity film, transcripts and attending the school of interests event like a junior day or camp is probably a path to success. Attending multiple events because you have the financial resources is like that little league coach that pumps his chest about his kids and has no regard for the other team members or their families success’. Too much individualism has occurred over the past 6-7 years and the team aspect has dwindled. So the rich mans gain has become his game of getting hustled on a daily basis. Yes eventually if you attend 40 events someone will notice you. However, for the vast majority it will be the student athlete that has a high score on the college board tests of ACT or ACT, a higher than average GPA and yes the varsity film that shows athleticism. So when you receive that email, social media tag or someone reaches out to you that is NOT a college coach just think about it and ask, is this in my best interest or are they hustling me? If you are a rich man and want to plan the game just remember do not wear an article of clothing from another camp or trainer to a college campus, rather wear your high school gear so the coaches can identify you and associate you with a high school. Most likely the college coaches know your head coach and can gain the necessary information to move forward of extending an offer. It is NOT a Rich mans gain/game unless you make it one. Trust the process!
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