Are ratings overrated?

18 06 2009

A topic that keeps coming up from time to time is that of ratings and rankings. We’ve heard you ask, “What does it mean to be a three-star prospect?,” and “How do I get ranked?,” and “If I’m not rated as highly as my teammate, will I get overlooked?” These are all great questions. I came across an article recently that should shed a little bit of light onto the relative absurdity of rankings and I’ll share that with you in a minute. But first, recall a few things we’ve discussed in the past:

  1. Every coaching staff has their own criteria for evaluating players.
  2. What might be important to one staff may not be important to another (rankings included).
  3. Most staffs are trying to answer the same three questions about a prospect: what kind of player, person, and student are they?
  4. Recruiting is an inexact science that – like fashion (not that I know anything about fashion) – changes every year.
  5. Whether or not it’s fair or whether or not you like it, coaches often use rankings as an initial screening when evaluating prospects.
  6. If rankings are coming from a reputable source, like Rivals – who sees lots of quality athletes at their combines – then coaches are more apt to buy into the rankings and thus the hype surrounding the players.

But thankfully, that’s not the end of the story. For every coach that buys into the hype of rankings, there are an equal number of coaches who say, “Rankings are garbage. I want to know if you can play for my team.”

So where am I going with all this rambling?… right here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/10/sports/10recruiting.html.

Earlier this spring the New York Times ran a great article about how first impressions can create unrealistic expectations for recruits. Oh wait, that’s actually the title of the article. Nice. At any rate… it details the prep careers of a few athletes, including Perry Dozier, Jr., the nation’s top rated point guard in his class. By the way, he’s in the sixth grade.

No offense at all to Perry (I’ve seen his film. He’s a great player.), but does anyone else find it absurd that a player in the sixth grade is having the weight of the world placed on his shoulders by grown adults who are placing this ranking on him? The same grown adults that have nothing to lose if poor Perry’s playing career doesn’t pan out as expected? Amazing.

Here’s what one Division I head coach had to say on the matter:

Georgia Tech Coach Paul Hewitt would rather not hear about players like Dozier until they are a few years older.

Each year, Hewitt saves lists of top-ranked high school seniors so he can check how many became stars. He is always struck by how many did not.

Hewitt said that if those projections could be so off-base, projections of elementary and middle school students should never be made. He said young players should develop at their own pace, without expectations.

But he knows his sentiment is not shared by all.

“Ranking these kids has become a sport of its own,” Hewitt said. “And let’s face it, it sells.”

The New York Times article was written in March, just two months after the NCAA lowered the school year a basketball player was considered a prospect from ninth grade to seventh grade. To read the full article (and you should), click here.





Good luck on ACT this weekend!

11 06 2009

sat-testJust a quick “Good Luck” to all of you out there who are taking the ACT this Saturday.

Remember…

  • Report to your assigned test center by the time (8:00 a.m.) listed on your admission ticket. You will not be admitted to test if you are late.
  • Bring acceptable identification. You will not be admitted to test without it.
  • Testing staff will check your ID and admission ticket, admit you to your test room, direct you to a seat, and provide test materials.

Tips for Taking the ACT

  • Carefully read the instructions on the cover of the test booklet.
  • Read the directions for each test carefully.
  • Read each question carefully.
  • Pace yourself—don’t spend too much time on a single passage or question.
  • Pay attention to the announcement of five minutes remaining on each test.
  • Use a soft lead No. 2 pencil with a good eraser; do not use a mechanical pencil or ink pen.
  • Answer the easy questions first, then go back and answer the more difficult ones.
  • On difficult questions, eliminate as many incorrect answers as you can, then make an educated guess among those remaining.
  • Answer every question. Your scores on the multiple-choice tests are based on the number of questions you answer correctly. There is no penalty for guessing.
  • If you complete a test before time is called, recheck your work on that test.
  • Mark your answers neatly. Erase any mark completely and cleanly without smudging.
  • Do not mark or alter any ovals on a test or continue writing the essay after time has been called or you will be dismissed and your answer document will not be scored.
  • If you are taking the ACT Plus Writing, see these Writing Test tips.




Ways to save money on recruiting

8 06 2009

Recruiting-101.comWe’ve talked a great deal with you guys about how to save money during the recruiting process. In today’s economy, that’s become an increasingly valuable thing. Right? We’ve shown you how SportsPage puts the recruiting process into your hands, which allows you to save time, money, and effort when it comes to getting your names out there to college coaches. We can’t stress this point enough.

Recruiting is not rocket science. Coaches want to know a few key things about you in order to best evaluate you. They don’t need a 128-point under-the-hood diagnostic test to determine this. They just need to know what kind of person, player, and student you are. Three things. That’s it. So, the task for you is to figure out how to do that as cheaply and effectively as possible.

Our friends at Recruiting-101.com understand this point as well. They wrote an article recently about the different ways that both athletes and parents can save money. Take a look. The only point that we would like to clarify is the first — taking multiple visits to the same school. Don’t read this as black and white. There is tremendous value in being persistant with your recruiting and making it clear to coaches that you’d like to attend their school. If that means making the effort to take a few trips here and there, do it. However, do this in conjunction with the author’s last point, Be Realisitic. If the writing on the wall says that the school isn’t interested in you, don’t be afraid to move on. It’s likely in your best interest as it allows you to focus you time and effort (and money!) on schools that are interested.

We hope that helps serve as an appropriate introduction to the article. Click here to read the full text.





Putting your recruiting dollars to work

28 05 2009

Once again, our friends from Recruiting-101.com have delivered some good articles to help guide high school student-athletes and their parents through the recruiting process. There are two that stuck our to me in recent weeks and that I’d like to share with all of our loyal readers out there.

The first deals with the costs involved with the recruiting process. It’s more of a bulleted list as opposed to an in-depth analysis, but I think it gives you a quick glimpse of how much things costs these days and just how quickly those costs can add up. When you look at this article, ask yourself three questions:

  1. How am I spending my recruiting dollars?
  2. What kind of returns am I getting on those investments?
  3. Where could I afford to cut back?

Because everyone’s situation is different, it’s difficult for us to tell you exactly what’s worth spending your hard earned nickels on and what’s a complete ripoff. If people have the funds and want to spend them, we can’t stop them. However… hopefully you’ve realized by now that SportsPage encourages athletes and parents to take the recruiting process into their own hands. We’ll say it until we’re blue in the face. Our goals are to Educate you (which is what you’re getting by reading this post), and then Empower you by giving you FREE online tools to turn that knowledge into action.

So, take a quick look at this article and then examine your current situation. In the end, we think you’ll be able to find ways to spend less money on recruiting, and, to make sure that the money you are spending is being put to good use.

Click here for the first article, and we’ll cover the second one next time. Thanks for reading.





Recruiting defined: “quiet period”

22 05 2009

A quiet period is that period of time when it is permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts only on the member institution’s campus.  No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts or evaluations may be made during the quiet period.

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As a prospective student-athlete you are allowed to visit a school just about anytime you’d like (except for during Dead Periods, which we’ll discuss next time). You can visit a school for a number of reasons. While you’re on campus you can talk to a coach, sit in on a class, tour the campus and athletic facilities, attend a game, hang out with current players, or just stop in on your way through town.

These types of visits allow you to gather information on a potential school and speak face-to-face with any member of the coaching staff. You and can talk about the program, the academic requirements, life as a student-athletes, and any number of other topics. This is your opportunity to size up a school and program. It also serves as a chance for the coaches and players in a particular program to do the same to you.

A Quiet Period means that these types of visits, conversations, and two-sided evaluations are allowed to occur, but only on an institution’s campus. You are allowed to visit coaches in their “home” (campus), but they are not allowed to visit you in yours (home, school, athletic event, or any other off-campus venue).

Got any recruiting questions or other things you’d like to know about and discuss? Send them our way. You input is important because remember, this site it for YOU!





The story of Milo of Croton

13 05 2009

In my last post, I explained the definition of “functional training.”  It’s important to understand that as an athlete, your workouts must be focused and defined in order to reach a particular goal.  Today I am going to tell you the story of Milo of Croton, an ancient Greek wrestler, and how his story can relate to your training.
Milo of Croton was a wrestler with several ancient Olympic titles under his belt.  He is most widely known for his incredible feats of strength.  Milo once carried a 4-year-old bull around the Greek Coliseum and then later slaughtered, roasted and devoured it in one day.  While this sounds like complete mythological mumbo jumbo, Milo began to carry this bull when it was just a calf.  This is where the story relates to you, the athlete.  Everyone has to start somewhere and they must continue to work hard to progress.  Milo had to start somewhere small and he continually worked every day, walking around with a calf on his shoulders, until one day he’s carrying a large bull on his shoulders in the Olympics (just to show off his strength).

Another lesson can be taken from this as well.  I’m sure that the bull did not grow by several pounds a day, so as the bull grew, Milo’s strength grew slowly and progressively.  I’m sure the bull looked the same to him every day, but he consistently put it on his shoulders and walked into town with it.  There were probably days were the bull felt heavy, or when Milo didn’t really want to do it, but he stayed consistent and continued to work at it and now he’s embedded in Greek Mythology.  How’s that for a payoff?

Here’s the moral of the story…  First, you’re not going to walk into a weightroom and come out strong in a day, a week or really even a month.  You need to be consistent and smart with your training, and you need to have patience.  I cannot tell you how many athletes I see who want to lift the gym their first month into a workout.  Your workouts should be progressive, meaning, you get stronger with each workout and change your workout around your weakest points in order to continually get stronger.  A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link.  Second, plan correctly to peak at the right time.  Notice that Milo carried a 4-yr-old bull around the Coliseum.  He picked a bull that would coincide with the Olympics.  No human can stay in peak condition all year, so you need to plan your training towards a certain date, whether it is the beginning of your season, the playoffs or the biggest meet of the year.

As always, please feel free to email me with any questions you have, and if you’d like to know what workouts we’re doing at Total Performance visit ironkult.wordpress.com.  Take care!

Robert

Total Performance Sports & Fitness
Robert@tpathlete.com
434.220.0185
www.tpathlete.com





Recruiting defined: “evaluation period”

11 05 2009

An evaluation period is that period of time when it is permissible for authorized athletics department staff members to be involved in off-campus activities designed to assess the academic qualifications and playing ability of prospective student-athletes. No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts shall be made with the prospective student-athlete during an evaluation period.

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If you see a coach in your school this week, this is why. We are in a Spring Evaluation Period for the next few weeks for most sports. When coaches come to your school during this type of period they are allowed to do a few things, but talk to you face-to-face is not one of them. Coaches will use this as an opportunity to speak to coaches, teachers, and counselors to get an idea of the type of student-athlete you are. Remember, they want to see the complete picture of who you actually are. So, they’ll stop by the guidance office and pickup a copy of your transcript and test scores, maybe ask a random passerby in the hallway about you, and then head out to your practice or game to actually watch you compete and show off your skills.

Next time, we’ll show you a clear example of this from last year’s NFL Draft. It’s the same in college as it is in the pros – teams want someone to be the “total package” and fit in with their system. Just being a good player isn’t enough. You have to give more. Being a good citizen, teammate, and student are just three additional qualities coaches are looking for during this Spring Evaluation Period. They don’t overlook those things. Trust us!

Again, to check out the various recruiting calendars by sport and division, click here.








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