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AsburySkinsFan

The College Bound Athlete (share, ask, boast)

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Someone once said that there ought to be a book written on how to navigate the path between high school athletics, travel ball, and college recruiting for up and coming athletes. (That someone was me BTW...last night) I know there are a lot of us out there trying to figure out this crazy world of developmental and college prep sports.

 

This is a place to ask questions, share concerns, share proud parent moments, and vent. All sports are welcome.

 

Do NOT come here to bash the current state of athletic development systems. Take your anti-AAU, anti-travel ball rants somewhere else. 

 

@Kilmer17 @dchogs

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What I have found for baseball is that HS teams are completely meaningless.  

 

Colleges are not looking at those games to find potential recruits.

 

 

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Don't have one of my own yet but I coach a lot of kids going off to play in college.

 

Grades. Grades.Grades. 

 

Unless you're a blue chip in basketball or football Grades matter. Most D1 schools can tack on academic monies for B-average students on top of athletic money.

 

From experience, we make our athletes do the "career-ending injury" analysis: if at any point you suffer a career ending injury is this a school you'd still want to attend? It's not just about the sport. Gotta try to find a good fit.

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I'll go first with an introduction. I feel like a sports manager who is being forced to go through on the job training that you've got to get right the first time...oh it's not just a client, it's your kid. #NoPressure

 

My son at 15 is a freshman soccer player (like most serious athletes today, he's been playing since he was 4 or 5 years old). He started playing goalkeeper at 10 and took to it like a fish to water. That's when we started hearing college talk from others. That talk has only grown and my son has a serious passion for what he does on the field, not unique amongst this breed. Now we're in the midst of a club transition as we look to position him in the best place possible. For high school he started as the varsity keeper last fall and had some amazing games, others were painful but the last game against a refional rival saw him with 18 saves that night. It was then that his coach first uttered D1 to me...that's when it got real.

13 minutes ago, Kilmer17 said:

What I have found for baseball is that HS teams are completely meaningless.  

 

Colleges are not looking at those games to find potential recruits.

 

 

For soccer here, high school is the only way for them to play solid schedules in the Fall. We take winters off, and he's running track this Spring along with club. But yeah, we've heard the same thing. Colleges unless they are local aren't looking at high school anymore. It's about numbers, at a high school game there may be a couple players able to play the next level whereas at clubs and showcase tournaments those numbers are significantly higher.

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7 minutes ago, Elessar78 said:

Don't have one of my own yet but I coach a lot of kids going off to play in college.

 

Grades. Grades.Grades. 

 

Unless you're a blue chip in basketball or football Grades matter. Most D1 schools can tack on academic monies for B-average students on top of athletic money.

 

From experience, we make our athletes do the "career-ending injury" analysis: if at any point you suffer a career ending injury is this a school you'd still want to attend? It's not just about the sport. Gotta try to find a good fit.

That's a good word, his high school coach highly stresses "STUDENT Athlete". I'm thrilled with the school's choice to drop the D grade now anything below a 70 is sn F. That goes along way in motivation. He talks openly about "life after soccer" and making sure his college has a solid business program.

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Slightly unrelated but there's a good TED talk about practice and mastery from the guy who started Khan Academy (online schools). Basically, you can pass with a 75 %and students progress on to the next topic or grade. But that 25% you didn't master is going to catch up with you later when you can't do more complex math because you didn't master fundamentals.

 

so yeah 70 as failing grade is a good thing. Missing 30% of any topic means you're not ready to move on.

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26 minutes ago, Kilmer17 said:

What I have found for baseball is that HS teams are completely meaningless.  

 

Colleges are not looking at those games to find potential recruits.

 

 

 

Agree, not many recruiters were at high school games that I can remember.  I played American Legion ball, there were a lot of recruiters at those games.  Two of my teammates from Wheaton American Legion went on to play D1 baseball.  I was going to play college baseball (D2), until I tore my rotator cuff my senior year in HS :( 

 

I didn't understand until I left the DC metro area that American Legion is (and understandably so) region based.  Major metro areas put out some serious talent and there is some strong, competitive baseball being played by 17-19 y/os in the DMV.  But when I went to some American Legion baseball games while stationed in Fayettevile, NC, they was basically glorified high school games.  Those kids weren't that good LOL.  Same for when I was in Huntsville, AL.  

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If you're a candidate to play college sports and want/need more exposure, consider going the prep-school route and either re-classify or think about doing a PG year. 

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Play multiple sports. Don't overdue it. Be REALLY, REALLY careful about who you listen to.

 

I know you said no bashing but I have to tell you guys... I moved to Dallas-Fort Worth area last October. I'm a pretty big football guy in my old community and you can imagine, everybody is saying things like "Oh Texas! Well that's the place to be for football." It's actually disgusting down there.

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I have two nephews that played D1 college sports.  One in a sport where going pro in general is a realistic option.  The other, in the US at least, the best top out as Olympians.  I think at one point, they both had hopes of playing beyond college (and one realistically still might as he's still in college, but the odds have to be way down). Both picked schools based on scholarships/playing the sport, and it didn't work out for either one of them.  Both ended up transferring to other schools.

 

As a college professor that sees the demand that playing D1 sports puts on students and somebody that has seen it as a relative, unless the sport allows you go to a school that you couldn't otherwise go to (you can't afford it or you wouldn't get into without the sport), it doesn't make sense to me.  You are working on playing your sport on the summer, while every other motivated student is doing something that is going to benefit their long term career goals.  

 

My oldest nephew is now out of college and trying to get a leg up in a competitive industry.  Instead of spending the summer of sophomore year training for his sport (which was necessary to keep his scholarship and spot on the team realistically), he would have been better of getting a job/internship in the industry he's interested in.  He's a driven person, but now he's so far behind people that are less driven him, and he can't easily catch up that it frustrates him, which just compounds things (I don't know, but I wonder if this is common for high level athletes that don't quite make it to the top. They talk about the issues professional have when they retire, but I wonder if you don't see that all the way through.  Even okay D1 athletes have an excellent track record of success in their sport, but when that goes away and they are trying to transfer into something else, in most case, they are just an ordinary Joe when they transfer into their next endeavor.  I've seen very few students that could play a D1 college sport, succeed academically at a high level, and do the professional development work that really needs to be done to come out of college as an attractive candidate in real competitive fields.  Plus, something that I have some experience with, is your cheese has moved issue where you had one motivation for years, and then that's gone and remotivating in another direction isn't trivial.)

 

If you have a real shot at going pro, I guess that changes things, but parents and kids seem to be awful judges of how likely that it is and the trainers always seem to be happy to tell you your kid is really good, and you should keep putting more money into their development (and this seems to happen at every and any age).

 

(It is funny.  I have a daughter that is 11, has been playing soccer forever, and plays goalie.  She's starting to get a reputation in the area of being pretty good to the point there is interest in her from multiple teams, and this week we've really started what now seems to be the annual experience of thinking about where she's going to play next fall.  And my wife and I were talking this morning about are we putting too much on her with the tryouts this week vs. her getting rest, having free time, doing the other things she needs to be doing vs. how much she likes to play soccer.)

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5 minutes ago, Sacks 'n' Stuff said:

Play multiple sports. Don't overdue it. Be REALLY, REALLY careful about who you listen to.

 

I know you said no bashing but I have to tell you guys... I moved to Dallas-Fort Worth area last October. I'm a pretty big football guy in my old community and you can imagine, everybody is saying things like "Oh Texas! Well that's the place to be for football." It's actually disgusting down there.

I agree, "be careful who you listen to". The most important thing in determining that is finding out who shares your same goals rather than seeing the athlete as a means to their own ends.

 

As for your take on Texas, I don't see that as the type of bashing I'm talking about. 

 

As for multi-sporting, in soccer that only works til a certain point. After 11 years of watching youth sports I can see who's playing "year round ball" and who isn't. 6 months off makes a HUGE difference in development. Right now my son runs track and we've seen a nice improvement in his speed.

 

Also, a definition "year round" around here means Fall and Spring ball with summer camps and preseason high school. We don't play futsal because the game bears little to no resemblance to the real game. But, that just means he goes stir crazy for about 4 months!

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6 minutes ago, PeterMP said:

 

 

  And my wife and I were talking this morning about are we putting too much on her with the tryouts this week vs. her getting rest, having free time, doing the other things she needs to be doing vs. how much she likes to play soccer.)

See if she can instead just do a quick workout for a GK coach instead of sitting through tryouts. Goalkeepers, good/decent ones, are in-demand. Say something like you can't make the regular tryout. I bet even if you go to them over the summer or next fall and say you have a GK that wants a tryout—I think they'll accomodate you. 

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Working on lining up some schools to come take a look at my son. He's one of those rare ambidextrous pitchers. Thinking that should draw some interest. Any idea how to get some folks out to see him in our small rural area? 

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15 minutes ago, AsburySkinsFan said:

As for multi-sporting, in soccer that only works til a certain point. After 11 years of watching youth sports I can see who's playing "year round ball" and who isn't. 6 months off makes a HUGE difference in development. Right now my son runs track and we've seen a nice improvement in his speed.

My reason for saying play multiple sports is more to do with injury prevention than development. Repetitive use injuries are a big problem for kids who play one sport non-stop. I've been heavily involved in the youth sports scene in Loudoun for the past decade. There are some amazing athletes coming out of that area but I am concerned that many of them will have shortened careers and a lot of physical problems when they get older.

7 minutes ago, skinsfan_1215 said:

Working on lining up some schools to come take a look at my son. He's one of those rare ambidextrous pitchers. Thinking that should draw some interest. Any idea how to get some folks out to see him in our small rural area? 

How old is he? If he's good, they'll find him.

 

But a more helpful answer to your question would be to harness the power of the Internet.

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6 minutes ago, skinsfan_1215 said:

Working on lining up some schools to come take a look at my son. He's one of those rare ambidextrous pitchers. Thinking that should draw some interest. Any idea how to get some folks out to see him in our small rural area? 

Video. Throwing with each arm. Include a radar gun in the shot. Get angles from behind "pitcher view" and "catcher view" so they can see the action on his pitches. 

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Just now, Elessar78 said:

Video. Throwing with each arm. Include a radar gun in the shot. Get angles from behind "pitcher view" and "catcher view" so they can see the action on his pitches. 

 

Awesome. Got some videos I can share already. He's 15 months old and cute as hell, got a nice little arm on him and doesn't favor either left or right yet. Figure he's bound to draw some early interest.

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25 minutes ago, Elessar78 said:

See if she can instead just do a quick workout for a GK coach instead of sitting through tryouts. Goalkeepers, good/decent ones, are in-demand. Say something like you can't make the regular tryout. I bet even if you go to them over the summer or next fall and say you have a GK that wants a tryout—I think they'll accomodate you. 

That's EXACTLY what we are doing with this new club. The official try-outs are close to one of his summer camps, so the club director has us setting up a two day evaluation with the keeper coach, who is the keeper coach for the USL team Louisville City FC.

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13 minutes ago, skinsfan_1215 said:

 

Awesome. Got some videos I can share already. He's 15 months old and cute as hell, got a nice little arm on him and doesn't favor either left or right yet. Figure he's bound to draw some early interest.

you got any video editing software? keep 'em short and minimize the time that nothing is happening in the videos. No one wants to sit through even 10 seconds of dead air, so cut all that out. 

 

Make a few versions: A one to 3 minute video to send out/post on YouTube. A longer one if they show interested.

3 minutes ago, AsburySkinsFan said:

That's EXACTLY what we are doing with this new club. The official try-outs are close to one of his summer camps, so the club director has us setting up a two day evaluation with the keeper coach, who is the keeper coach for the USL team Louisville City FC.

Nice. Yeah. GK's can sometimes go long stretches with nothing happening then have the bad luck to face and absolute killer shot. 

 

This way, even if you have a couple other GKs trying out, you can be done in 15-20 minutes. 

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@PeterMPI recently read a very good article on college selection for student athletes, it covers a lot of what you've mentioned. 

 

I think the most frustrating thing for me is the comments I hear from other parents regarding student athletes, "living through their kids" "pushing too hard" "everyone thinks little Johnny's gonna go pro" etc etc. And yeah there's truth to that, spend enough time on the sidelines and you'll see it. But, it ignores the reality that some kids just want to play, and for whatever reason they hit a genetic code that matches perfectly with what they have a pasdion for. I'm not saying I think my son will ever hit the MLS, but I'm going to keep putting quarters in that ride until he wants to get off. He has an opportunity to do something a lot of others don't. Just like the kid who nails a 36 on his ACT, do other parents make comments about the amount of hours spent in advanced math textbooks? Hardly, but the giftedness and passion combination is no different. Should the engineering student conform to the expectations of others? 

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15 minutes ago, Elessar78 said:

you got any video editing software? keep 'em short and minimize the time that nothing is happening in the videos. No one wants to sit through even 10 seconds of dead air, so cut all that out. 

 

Make a few versions: A one to 3 minute video to send out/post on YouTube. A longer one if they show interested.

Nice. Yeah. GK's can sometimes go long stretches with nothing happening then have the bad luck to face and absolute killer shot. 

 

This way, even if you have a couple other GKs trying out, you can be done in 15-20 minutes. 

Exactly, we were talking about the same thing with our local D3 coach, it's why with GKs the showcase camps and videos are as important as the tournaments. For them it's about the whole body of work, not just 45 minutes of play where there offense dominates another team and the GK never touches the ball.

 

I'm still working on his game film from the fall. There were some games where he got lit up, and even in those games he has some amazing saves. It is truly frustrating as a parent of a GK because a 6 on the guest side looks awful. But like Sunday, they lost 2-1, doesn't sound lime a great outting. But in the second half THEIR kepper was loudly complaining that they had 20 shots on goal. Now, I don't think that number was totally accurate, but it wasn't far off either. Box scores in soccer look horrible on GKs, the only thing that helps is seeing SOG stats.

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43 minutes ago, Sacks 'n' Stuff said:

My reason for saying play multiple sports is more to do with injury prevention than development. Repetitive use injuries are a big problem for kids who play one sport non-stop. I've been heavily involved in the youth sports scene in Loudoun for the past decade. There are some amazing athletes coming out of that area but I am concerned that many of them will have shortened careers and a lot of physical problems when they get older.

How old is he? If he's good, they'll find him.

 

But a more helpful answer to your question would be to harness the power of the Internet.

I'll add, if he has a few schools he is REALLY interested in attending, then think about having him attend one of their coaches camps over a summer.  An ambidextrous pitcher will certainly be remembered down the line and will at least get him a second look. 

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so our story:  my daughter is a sophomore at a private boarding and day school and is a 3.9 GPA three sport athlete-- two of which she's really good at (soccer and basketball), the other she does to contribute to the school/softball team.  she doesn't have a clear favorite between soccer and basketball and would be happy to play either or both (or none, if she falls in love with a college where she can't play) at college.  she has been playing mid-level AAU for the last two years and decided to try out for an elite team. 

 

this past weekend was her school's spring long weekend, and i had planned a 10 college campus tour/visit circuit to start exposing her (and some friends to make it more fun) to the variety of schools out there.  AAU schedule comes out, and the first tourney is the same weekend.  coach says that it's the most important one, as it's the open period and coaches will see kids and then follow them for the rest of the summer/year.  so we cancel the college tour, and head to the tournament.  4 days, and my daughter gets 15 minutes of playing time... total.  no major mistakes (nothing different than other similarly skilled players made without getting yanked), good hustle/effort, positive attitude on the bench, etc. 

 

she's really bummed and feels a little betrayed/mislead; i think she's also a little embarrassed since she emailed a lot of college coaches that she's interested in playing for, only to have them see her sit the bench (theoretically-- if they were even there to see her at all).  my wife and i are alternating between being pissed off (expensive team, expensive weekend, missed opportunity to see colleges), being the angry mama/papa bear that wants our kid to be happy and to get a "fair" shake, and coming from a coaching mindset that she'll need to get pissed off, focused, and work harder to prove herself.

 

we've reached out to college coaches that we know for advice, and they have said that AAU is a scam and promotes bad basketball, that my daughter would be better off paying a trainer/private coach (we'd just have her work with our coaches here at school-- they're really good) to get her game better. 

 

just a caveat or two:  my wife and i don't give a rip if she plays at college, or which sport she plays.  we're not pushing this on her; she's leading the way.  we're not falling into the "hoop dream" trap where we think our baby is going to play in the ACC.  second caveat:  grades definitely come first, but she's a really smart girl and a hard worker.  third caveat:  we don't think she should be a starter and never come out of the game, but there isn't much drop off from player to player on the team.

 

i wish there was a manual. right now, we just telling her to work harder and talk to the coach about what he wants.  we want her to grind through this and earn her playing time, but we're honestly not sure if the coach will give her time even if she's doing all the right things.  i'm not psyched about the 3 hour round trip commutes twice a week for practice or long, expensive tournament weekends to see her hopelessly on the bench.  

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Ok, thank you @dchogsI think you echo a lot of parents. I just wish there was a manual for this thing. It's trial by fire, pass-fail, and learn as you go, but no do-overs. You get on a team and you're locked in for the year, in high school athletics that's near an eternity. Most will say that it's 25%, but that ignores a couple factors, Freshmen are usually not looked at by coaches unless they are 1% athletes, and Seniors have usually already signed by Spring. So that leaves two years to be in the right place.

 

For two years my son has been "playing up" but this will be his last season for that, since when he is a Junior his club team will most likely disentegrate because Seniors will have already signed and the rest won't be playing. So we are dropping him back down to his 2001 class. But, the two years playing up have been a big help because he's faced advanced shooters routinely. LOL I still remember his first game starting on varsity, during the introduction line-up he was as nervous as anyone I've ever seen. He said later that he didn't settle down until into the second half...45 minutes later! As a then 14 year old facing 18 year old seniors I'd say he did a damn fine job, came out of with a draw but we still laugh about how fidgety he was in that line-up.

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yeah, in a sense it's pretty high stakes gambling.  you just have to do your best and hope it's the right thing.  the good news is that even if it is the wrong thing, it isn't the end of the world. 

 

we've talked with my daughter's hs coach, who is going to reach out to the AAU coach to see what's up (he knows him well, and there are two other of my daughter's hs teammates on the AAU team).  we're going to cut together some highlights from last hs season, and have her send an email to the college coaches that she's reached out to already to say "i'm on a new team and still fighting for minutes.  i'm grinding this out and working hard.  in the meantime, here are some hs highlights when i was playing 30 out of 32 minutes in important games."

 

we'll see.

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