Tis the season as coaches head for break and the dead period continues at the American Football Coaches Association to discuss sports, learn new tactics, take a break, trade stories and locate new job opportunities. In the meantime. Meanwhile back in the living room, sports families either celebrate or wait on eggs as years of work come to the end and hopefully the beginning of the next chapter. Second thoughts haunt the minds of many wondering if they did everything they could to get to the dream, while others exhale on the latest success for getting a scholarship after years of hard work, tears, injuries, sleepless nights, exams, tryouts and celebrations. Here are a few tips for both groups as you move on.
Those of you still waiting on commitments
- Congratulations on a great season and career thus far, and becoming a student-athlete that’s considered in the top 10% by colleges ! That’s why the colleges are considering you.
- Most colleges have a wish list board with an A list, B list and a C list, and preferred walk on list where the A list consist of the 1st set of targeted players and the Preferred walk-on list is the Free Agent list similar to drafting players in professional sports.
- Don’t give up and don’t panic because the phone is silent and you have a visit scheduled, it may indicate you are not the A lister and coach is waiting on a decision from another prospect. It’s the dead period as coaches attend clinics, meet with admins about prospect grades and getting into the school and briefly rest.
- Be prepared to Walk-on but do your research first to see if Walk-ons get treated the same as the recruited prospects and select the best school with best academic/professional business reputation. One of my closest friends and roommates was a walk-on and he blossomed into All-Big Ten, was drafted by the Falcons and played in the NFL. Go where you are CELEBRATED not where you are TOLERATED.
- Don’t hide from your friends, community, the coaches, and your support team. You didn’t do anything wrong neither did they. It’s a rough art it’s not a science. Remember WHO and WHAT got you there! Take the time to thank them and keep them in the loop to keep you grounded and help you get to the next level.
Those that have received commitments
- Congratulations! Go celebrate, reflect and enjoy your Senior year but don’t tank everything!
- Be careful, don’t take chances academically, socially or athletically to risk what you captured . Some may disagree but do what you can live with. For example, I’ve seen athletes tear ACLs playing off season soccer with basketball scholarships in hand. Tearing ACLs during extra curricula basketball games during spirit week. Getting caught with a drinking, bullying, and pranking a couple weeks before school ends jeopardizing scholarships. Trust me. Its real! How do I know? As I faced myself committing to Wisconsin years ago and my big sister encountered an abusive tyrant boy friend. The family was not pleased. Let’s just put it this way — Things got interesting for me and the family.
- Get in the weight room and put on your BIG BOY and BIG GIRL PANTS.You are going to school with GROWN FOLKS!
- Remember WHO and WHAT got you there! Take the time to thank them and keep them in the loop to keep you grounded.
- Seriously, try to remember the FUN that got you there. If the school is serious about the sport, you will live in that world a lot of your freshmen and sophomore years. Do your best to network and meet others related to your major and other interest to avoid isolation.
NLI Signing Dates for Prospective Student-Athletes Signing 2014-15 and Enrolling 2015-16
|Sport (s)||Initial Signing Date||Final Signing Date|
|Basketball (Early Period)||November 12, 2014||November 19, 2014|
|Basketball (Regular Period)||April 15, 2015||Division I: May 20, 2015
Division II: August 1, 2015
|Football (Midyear JC Transfer)||December 17, 2014||January 15, 2015|
|Football (Regular Period)||February 4, 2015||April 1, 2015|
|Soccer and Men’s Water Polo||February 4, 2015||August 1, 2015|
|All Other Sports (Early Period)||November 12, 2014||November 19, 2014|
|All Other Sports (Regular Period)||April 15, 2015||August 1, 2015|