College sports.

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Arnold, Mar 4, 2021.

  1. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    This is an entirely new area to me but fortunately this is a diverse and generous community.

    My question is: when should a player start talking to college coaches? He has rejected the idea of attending ID Camps this year as a freshman. I have put his name and stats on some of the recruiting web sites. They have of course tried to get us to pay much money to "advance his college prospects" which I have of course ignored.

    What is the value of so called "ID" camps? When should he be contacting college coaches?

    No.2 son is an accomplished soccer player. He is on a club team that plays at the highest level of club sports (not academy) and plays a couple of different positions well to exceptionally well. He is unlikely to have substantial size so he is moving from center back to wing position in the back field and mid-field.

    My analysis of sport teaches me that there are 4 "S's" for success, Size, Speed, Skills and Smarts. I've told him he needs 3 of the 4 for success. He will never have size, I'm 66" and his mom is 60" so while at age 15 he is now my height and will probably add a few inches. That is probably about it.

    Speed: at age 13 yrs 9 mos. he was gps clocked at 18.6 mph in a sprint.
    Skills: his ball handling skills are very good and improving, passing is very good and improving.
    Smarts: his coaches know that he understands the game and plays well. Proper positioning, etc.

    I've heard other team's coaches tell their players to keep the ball away from him or they double team him. In the past he could consistently beat the double team but now at the higher level against bigger, faster players he is learning to drop the ball off to a teammate rather than try to beat the press.

    I think he is a good college prospect, but I'm a very biased parent. He is a B+/A- student at a "Lake Woebegone*" type school.

    Any and all thoughts and input appreciated.

    For you young guys - having children at age 48 is very different from having children at 28, I've done both.

    * Lake Woebegone - Where all the women are strong, the men are good looking and the children are above average.
     
  2. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Most college scouting won't really start until their sophomore year. The scouts will attend games/tournaments and take note of some of the standout players as sophomores. Junior year is when the stats really start to matter and when you'd want to prep to get the best results. Senior year is a confirmation year for recruiting in some sports like football, but remember that in sports like soccer (Spring sport) they have likely already signed their letter of intent before the Senior season starts so any scouting/decision on which college to attend have been made by that point. It's amazing how early some of these kids get seen and kept on a list by scouts over the years.

    My sister was D2 collegiate soccer and softball, father coached national champion softball teams and played D2 baseball, close cousin of mine is a HC for a D1 soccer club. I hung up my cleats too soon for baseball, football, and soccer since I gave it up my sophomore year because I hadn't hit my growth spurt and was shorter/slower than many of my peers. Lo and behold my senior year/freshman college I gained over 3" and picked up a bunch of muscle mass/speed. I still play adult baseball (1B/RF/catcher) and soccer (sweeper/center-back).
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
  3. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thank you very much.
     
  4. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    I will also add that my cousin the D1 women's soccer coach has mentioned that this past year has been really tough for recruiting with the pandemic. He was offering some players that he hadn't seen them play any "live ball" in 8-9 months depending on where the player was located. They are relying on the highlight videos from their Junior year to try and identify good players, which obviously has it's difficulty when the highlight reel intentionally cherry-picks the best plays. I have a niece who was lined up for a scholarship for D2 softball and was essentially told that due to the NCAA giving all of the existing players an extra year of eligibility, they didn't have a spot because many of the seniors have decided to stay an extra year. She's going to a JUCO instead for a year and will transfer over to the D2 as a sophomore. Her story is very common this year as a lot of high school athletes got squeezed by the NCAA decision.
     
  5. CJones

    CJones Final Approach

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    It's been a little over 20 years since I went through the gamut of college recruiting, so some (most?) stuff has likely shifted since then. Back then, the concept of national recruiting rankings was just starting to come into view.

    I played basketball and was recruited by a few D-II / D-III / JUCO programs starting about my junior year. I hit a little growth spurt between my soph/junior years and was a 6'5" junior (which wasn't as common 20+ years ago as it is today). In my junior year, my parents signed up for a college recruiting support service of some sort - total garbage. Their sales pitch was that they would get my info in front of more coaches and help draw attention. It was totally bogus. I would get info questionnaires that were from random colleges and had instructions to mail them back to the college, but the envelope they came in had a return service of the recruit support guy. He likely had a stack of the forms that he would blast out to his 'clients' randomly.

    I felt the first 'wave' of attention after attending an All-Star type camp down in Jackson, MS the summer between my soph and junior years. It wasn't 100% invite-only, but it wasn't quite open invitation either.. Not sure how that worked out but my high school coach brought me a form and said "You should fill this out and go to it." So I did. After that weekend of basically playing pickup games with folks from across the southeast in front of sidelines filled with college coaches, I started getting letters from colleges saying that they had seen me playing at the All-Star camp. I went to a few other camps the next two summers as well. Some of them were focused on skills and some were purely dog-and-pony camps for college recruiters. I also played on an AAU team that got exposure through a couple of local tournaments.

    I guess my shortened response is:
    1. Stay away from the 'college recruiting service'. Based on my limited experience, it was totally bogus and a waste of money. Not to mention who knows what kind of sketchy stuff it might open you up to via NCAA regulations.
    2. Go to camps - both skills camps and demo type camps.
    3. Play in tournaments. Coaches know where the talent will be and will show up accordingly.
    4. If you are trying to target a few schools specifically, it's OK to blindly send them some info. I actually made a (VHS) video of me introducing myself and telling some stats, then it had some highlights from a few games, and then it showed an entire game when I was 1 blocked shot away from a triple-double. Make sure to mention that you will be playing at XYZ camp so if they want to find you, they can do so in that controlled environment.
    5. Biggest one of all -- ENJOY IT! I'm not talking about hookers and blow on college visits, but do make sure enjoy the opportunity to see different campuses and programs and talking to different coaches. Looking back, I don't think I did that part well. I was so focused on making the "correct" choice, that I didn't really focus on enjoying the ride.
     
    Justin M, ETres and SoonerAviator like this.
  6. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    All excellent advice.
     
  7. Jumpmaster

    Jumpmaster Line Up and Wait

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    I lived through this with my oldest son who ended up playing DI football. I agree with @Sooner Aviator, skills camps and special invite camps are a good way to get exposure. For example, my son attended higher end lineman camps. College line coaches and scouts often attend these camps and you can get a lot of feedback about where you are and what you need to improve on. Same with team camps. My son got a lot of attention at team camps held on college campuses from the coaches of those colleges. In fact, I was with my younger son at a team camp when I watched his best friend being offered a full ride to a PAC-12 school and his parents turned it down flat saying they were looking for a better school. That kid ended up at Nebraska and a first round draft pick in the NFL so maybe the parents knew something. Soccer is easier in some ways than football because there are lots of tournaments that also great for exposure. Do stay away from the clowns that want to make a digital file of your kid’s highlights and “market to coaches” since unless they are unusually well connected, those get a very short look and usually go in the round/delete file. Do ask his/her high school /AAU/Club coach to network. Many college or scouts call these coaches (especially smaller schools that don’t have big staffs) looking for leads on kids. That sometimes can be more helpful than anything else.

    Depending on the level of the competition (e.g., DI, DIAA, DII, DIII or NAIA), the sport, and your child’s talent, college sports may be a real struggle. Everybody that plays at any level of competition in college is an All something - All State, All City, whatever. Everybody is talented and the difference between a 1 and a 2 may be minuscule but the result for the 2 can be little or no playing time. And there are no minimum playing time rules and if you think as a parent you are going to have a word with a college coach about playing time, forget that thought. And seniority on the team counts for nothing, particularly at the more competitive levels. They (coaches) are always looking for someone bigger, better and faster than your child and when they find them, they bring them in. Talent plays. And never loose site of the fact, it’s a business. We’ve had lots of friend’s kids play at the DIII level (non athletic scholarship) and even there, the coaches pressure the student/athletes because their jobs are on the line.

    I’ve had the opportunity to talk with my oldest son about his college experiences and despite the ups and downs, injuries, disappointments, etc., he would do it again in a heartbeat. As he often says, playing college football was the only place a freshman could make 104 friends immediately. And some have stayed in touch over the years . So go into it eyes wide open - learn as much as you can about how your child’s sport works at the college level. And make it a fun experience.
     
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  8. CJones

    CJones Final Approach

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    Last summer we had a 20-year reunion of my college team that won our region and played in the National Tournament. We were a rag-tag group of guys but man did we have fun. Delivered a few upsets at tournament time that punched our ticket to the National tournament. As I was sitting around my buddy's living room reminiscing with everyone I thought "Man... I hope my sons are able to have a group of guys like this in their life some day." Even 20 years later, we picked up right where we left off and it felt like we were right back where it all began - hating life together doing conditioning in Alabama in August. That kind of misery builds bonds that last a lifetime.
     
  9. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    Somehow I lost track of this thread. Thank you for your insights and advice.
     
  10. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thank you, much appreciated.