How to Lose a College Scholarship

It’s recruiting season, and even though this year Ordell isn’t the one sorting through game film and evaluating future players he is still interacting with coaches who are on the hunt for the class of 2018 and 2019 in some cases.

Recruiting is a never-ending process for college coaches, which means it’s always a topic of conversation. As we’ve settled into our roles here in the Midwest, several coaches have asked me key questions about our team. When it comes to recruiting, everything is intentional. It’s important to remember that less than 2% of high school football players will be awarded scholarships at any level of college football.

Coaches have massive pools of candidates to choose from, which means they can wait for the cream of the crop. The best candidates will receive the earliest offers and the best offers.

Here are the Quickest Ways to Lose Out on a College Scholarship:

  • Don’t take the ACT/SAT your Junior Year
  • Don’t lift weights
  • Don’t fill out the FAFSA
  • Skip School or classes
  • Don’t take AP or Dual Credit courses
  • Disrespect your high school teachers
  • Disrespect your high school coaches
  • Don’t return phone calls or texts from recruiting coaches
  • Don’t participate in extracurricular activities
  • Don’t be a good teammate
  • Don’t be a team leader
  • Lie to coaches about stats, grades, behavior, or anything they can verify
  • Talk poorly about your current coaches
  • Be stupid on social media
  • Get suspended

This list isn’t exhaustive, every year I encounter a student who has lost out on an opportunity in a new and unique way. 😉 The good thing is that every one of the items on this list is fixable.

Want to earn that top scholarship at your preferred school? Start in the weight room today.

Parents: Is Your Athlete’s Team Deadlocked?

One of the consistent things about coaching transitions is the shift of team dynamics. The timeline length may shift, but the phases are always the same.

Players and Coaches Transition Through:

  • Honeymoon Phase
  • Reality Check
  • Come to Jesus (Buy-In or Quit)
  • Leaders Stepping Up
  • Moving Forward

This process is one that needs to happen in order for each new head coach to develop the team culture to fit the philosophy they were hired to implement. And the reality is, the quicker a team moves through the first three phases the better off it is for the whole program.

At the high school level, a lot of this process is influenced by an athlete’s parents. It’s become very apparent that a parent has the power to encourage a team to a deadlock if they choose to allow their past experiences influence their child’s present opportunities. So it’s time for a gut check. It’s time to figure out if your team is in a deadlock.

How to Know Your Team is Deadlocked:

  • Do your conversations begin with “We’ve always done it this way”?
  • Do you bring up what the previous coach said/did as a rationale for why your child shouldn’t have to comply with the new coach’s requests?
  • Do you think or say “we will see” when someone says something positive about the new coaches?
  • Do you discuss the reasons why quitting is ok and include it’s new, it’s hard, or it’s different in the list?
  • Do you openly discuss the ways you think the new coach is handling things poorly?
  • Are you frustrated because you assumed things would change to look a certain way and it’s not happening?

If you can answer yes to one of these questions then parents, you need you understand you are contributing to a team deadlock. Further, you are hindering your child’s opportunities for future recruitment every time you keep your child living in the past instead of embracing the present. The best thing you can do for your child is to do your part to help break the deadlock.

How do you Break a Deadlock?

  • Understand someone has to make the first move.
  • Give the coaching staff a chance.
  • Buy in 100% and leave judgment behind.
  • Leave the past in the past.
  • Stop your child’s negative talk and help them see the bigger picture.

Change is rarely something that people embrace. Especially in situations where a coach leaves that parents and athletes loved it can be hard to move forward. But life is constantly changing and a sign of an excellent athlete includes the ability to excel under any coach.

You Need to Make the First Move

If you are waiting for your new coach to prove they want to coach your child’s team you’ve missed the point. When your coach accepted the job they committed to their livelihood being determined in part by your child’s athletic performance. They are already committed.

Now it’s your turn.

Break the Deadlock

  • Join the booster club
  • Bite your tongue when negative words bubble to the surface
  • Above all, encourage your child to embrace the change and buy in.


Camp Is Coming

Untitled design (10)

We are a few days away from camp starting here. Illinois has a mandatory off week that lifts on August 7th. I’ve watched my coaching friends rejoice as players return to campus for a few days now and I find myself smiling. I’m smiling because this year is different. We aren’t welcoming players this year, they already live here. 🙂

That isn’t the only thing that we aren’t doing:

  • We aren’t squeezing in the last quality family time for months
  • We aren’t stocking the office with food to ensure our favorite coach eats
  • We aren’t saying no to hanging out with people
  • We aren’t prepping the boys for all of the hellos and time focused on everyone but them (in their eyes)
  • We aren’t filling the calendar with activities in the hopes of distracting the kids from the increased stress level.

Distance has revealed that our family was living life on a hamster wheel fogged over with stress. For me in particular, some of this stress could have been released, but the vast majority of it came from a lifestyle that had an unbalanced scale. 90% of the time, energy, and effort was expelled outward with about 10% reserved inward. This might seem reasonable to those of you running the rat race that is college athletics, but I promise you it is a recipe for exhaustion both physically and mentally.

Self-care is not just a buzz word, it is a vital part of living a healthy life. It isn’t something that can be taught in a “do as I say, not as I do” format. Self-care is understood when modeled.

Camp is coming just as it does each fall. This year we are celebrating:

  • Camp is no longer all consuming.
  • Gratitude is present
  • Dinners at home
  • A present Dad
  • Friday nights under the lights

Good luck to my favorites around the country! I’m cheering you on at Olivet (IL and MI), Greenville, Graceland, YSU, others I can’t think of right now. Do yourselves a favor and say no the next 3 things you are asked to do… and think of me and smile when you do so.