robby

Robby Wilson, National Scouting Report Softball Scout, discussing recruiting with softball athletes.

I was doing an in-home interview with an athlete and her family a week or so ago and they told me something I very regularly hear and while frustrating for them, it was an easy explanation for a change. The parents as well as the athlete began telling me how they’ve been showcasing with their team, going to camps, emailing and calling coaches, for the last couple of years…and all of that with still no result. They began in her 8th grade year, and now being a couple of years later, they were under the impression they were doing everything right. So why had this produced no responses or recruiting interest from the coaches? Numbers. Plain and simple, numbers.

You see, college recruiting is a business, through and through. Not only for the university and the coaches, but for you as well. And anyone in business will tell you, the numbers never lie. In diving into the explanation for this family I decided to elaborate from both a coach’s perspective as well as an athlete’s.

Athlete
Example: Most business men and women will tell you that a 3% conversion rate is good. So when John Doe, the owner of the furniture store down the road begins doing postcard mail outs, he sends out a thousand postcards in his marketing efforts. It cost him $300 to send out those thousand post cards. So if he gets a 3% return on that, it means that 30 different new customers will be coming his way! That is HUGE in the business world. If only one single person of those 30 end up buying furniture from him, he’s already covered his money spent and actually made a little profit.

So now apply this to your college recruiting efforts…if you are attending camps, showcasing, doing mail outs, sending emails, and making phone calls, but you’re only doing this with the average of 2-5 schools. Well if you get a 3% return on your efforts, that means you have a 0.15% chance of getting recruited by one of those five schools. Make sense? If you’re targeting 50-100 different programs initially, your 3% application indicates you will have anywhere from 1-3 schools actively recruiting you. But at least you’re being recruited now, right? Now apply that on a larger scale, and a larger scale, and so forth. There are over 1500 college softball programs out there, if you’re only pursuing 2-5 and those programs either have no need or have no interest in you, your efforts are too little too late.

Extra tip: You’ve heard it a million times, but there are numerous ways to narrow down the programs to target. Major, location, realistic playing ability, and so forth. By the time you apply these things, you’re still likely to have 1,000 plus options.

Coach:
Now looking at college softball recruiting from a coach’s perspective…it’s business. At the end of the day we know this:

1. The coach was hired to coach a team, to win, to produce graduating student-athletes, and again, win.

2. He/she MUST recruit players that bottom line, are going to help them win and get to the top of their conference and beyond.

3. The coach is only given so much money to spend on recruiting as well as athletic scholarships (if level allows). Therefore, he/she must meticulously watch their bottom line in recruiting and make sure their recruiting budget is always in line.

4. Again, coaches are paid to WIN.

In order to stay within budget and WIN, the coach must ensure that each and every player that he/she spends a single dime on recruiting, has the potential to elevate their teams level of play and contribute to their overall goal(s). If you hire a roofing company to put on a new roof, but they never do, would you keep them around? No. Same applies here. A coach is hired to maintain the integrity and reputation of a program, elevate all aspects of play, education, and reputation, and last but certainly not least, WIN. If he/she is not doing these things, their position as the coach isn’t necessarily secure.

So don’t take it personal if a college coach is not recruiting you. It simply means he/she can’t let their emotions dictate their business. Yes, business. Coaching is a job, and running their team and their recruiting is a business. If a college coach is recruiting you, you receive an offer, and you commit to their program, you can guarantee that he/she is comfortable with your talent level, your commitment to education, and your ability to make mature and responsible decisions as a student-athlete/adult. Otherwise, you come to school and fail out or quit the team, his/her INVESTMENT was a bad one and thus, cripples their overall goal in this business venture that is coaching their college softball team and leading them to the top of their conference or more.

Remember the 3%
If you recall the “3% return on investment” discussed for the athlete? The same goes for coaches. If they only seek out a few pitchers for this given graduation year, their chances of finding the caliber and character of player they need is slim because their 3% return will be 1 or less. This is why the recruiting process is just that, a “process”. Where as they begin building their list of potential prospects as well. For every year, every position, there are thousands of athletes just like you looking for a place to compete. The coach’s job from there is to determine which athlete(s) give him/her the best chance to lead their conference. Period.

Bottom Line
The “take home message” here is that college softball recruiting, and every sport for that matter, should be looked at as a business both from the coach’s perspective as well as the athlete’s. If your college recruiting is a business, and you’re only “marketing” yourself to 2-5 programs, and getting a 3% return is considered good, that’s not a very good outcome is it? By the time most softball athletes realize that they haven’t been marketing themselves to enough programs, they’re in their sophomore or even junior year, which we all know is not ideal to say the least. Everything is college recruiting is a business, it’s about numbers. There are a bunch of variables that are involved and in the end if you leave it to chance, your end result will be nothing even close to what you were hoping for. It doesn’t mean you weren’t talented enough or worthy, it simply means you weren’t marketing yourself to enough schools and weren’t marketing yourself to the right schools.

 

Robby Wilson is the National Scouting Report Softball Vertical.  Robby lives in Arkansas, but he works with scouts and athletes all over the country.  Robby has a wealth of information when it comes to recruiting and especially softball recruiting.  Contact Robby Wilson if you have an athlete you would like to be EVALUATED.  Robby and his scouts look forward to assisting you with your future athletic endeavors!

“Winning isn’t the most important thing, it is the only thing!” At first glance,
we join together and exchange “high 5′s” and it sounds good! Words of a motivational
speech delivered by a great motivator. But, is it really true? Is true success
for our young athletes and even adults really measured by wins and losses? The
question must be asked because that is the message I hear being delivered to so many
young athletes and adults in search of success. National Scouting Report and I
both measure success on a much more accurate scale when it comes to scouting and
recruiting.

So, what really defines “success” for a young athlete? What really determines
success for an adult seeking it? Over the years, Susan and I have been involved in
hundreds, if not, thousands of people’s lives in sports and in the work place. The
roles we have played include coach, teacher, mentor, minister, friend, counselor and
more. So here are the thoughts on success from my many years of experience and
multiple perspectives.

Success is…………not measured by wins or losses! True Success is not
measured by measurements created by someone or a group that has “defined” it!
Success isn’t based on a single moment in time that captures a small segment of
performance or achievement. TRUE Success isn’t determined by others or awards
or financial gains! Are you ready?

True, real success is measured by and against a person’s own abilities! What does
that mean? Well, it means that a person must realize their strengths, weaknesses
and abilities. They must be realistic about those things. They must first
recognize them and learn how to improve the strengths in order to maximize the
result. They must learn how to overcome their weaknesses and convert them to their
favor. A young athlete must be coached to reach his or her potential. Success is
best defined by the amount of true effort that a person is willing to put into
something. Success is best measured by the attitude of a person. As a coach, I
love to see a young athlete give me great effort and do it with a humble, yet
confident attitude. An attitude of team first and self – last is the attitude I am
referring to. It was once said, “ATTITUDE DETERMINES ALTITUDE!” The better the
person’s attitude the better results they can expect. NCAA and NAIA college
coaches are always asking me about kids they are considering for scholarship
offers. The first two things they want to know are about academics and attitude.
Success is best measured by the way a young athlete can recover from a loss or
failure. In other words, a player is often defined by how they pick themselves
up after a mistake. It was once said “A man’s real success is really determined by
how he responds to his failures, than how he celebrates has victories.” I believe
this to be true.

National Scouting Report scouts wear many hats. We are coaches, teachers,
instructors, mentors, counselors, ministers, friends and much more. We are
connected to college coaches and to high school athletes. We remind kids and
families each day how important it is to win the day! We want our kids to be
successful and seen as being the very best they can be in their sport and in the
classroom. Let us all always remember that these young people need to learn how to
measure success in ways other than “wins and losses.” We must help them, coach
them and encourage them to measure their own success against their own abilities and
strengths. Not those of others.

Success is a personal thing! At National Scouting Report, we help young athletes
succeed in the recruiting process 1 athlete at a time! For us recruiting is
personal! Athletes, go win the day with a great effort, wonderful attitude and
a willingness to jump up and do it again if you fail! It is personal!

 

By: Robert Cagle

 

National Scouting Report is recognizing a Volleyball Player of the Week each week in Lee and Collier Counties in South Florida.  Go HERE to see the News Press Media Group article.

Caroline Flaharty is the NSR Volleyball Player of the Week for week 3 for Lee County. She is from Canterbury
High School.  Caroline had 41 kills and 6 blocks for Canterbury High School. Great job Caroline to you, your team and coaches!

Go HERE to see Caroline receive her award from NSR Scout Scott Hills.

Kenzie Ackerman is the NSR Volleyball Player of the Week for week 3 for Collier County.   Kenzie Ackerman plays for Gulf Coast High School.  She had 65 assists, 6 blocks and 14 digs and Gulf Coast is still undefeated. Congrats to her team and coaches!

Go HERE to see Kenzie receive her award from NSR Scout Scott Hills.

 

National Scouting Report and The News-Press Media Group have teamed to name Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week for the 2014 high school football season for Lee and Collier counties in South Florida.

For week 3 the winners are Terrence Moore from Fort Myers High School and Jeremy Anderson from South Fort Myers High School.

Week 3 Offensive Player of the Week is Terrence Moore . Terrence Moore, ran for 116 yards in the first half of the game and broke a 95 year old record for running 8 consecutive 100 yd games.  Way to go Terrence!
Go HERE to see Terrence receive his award from NSR’s Scott Hills.

Week 3 Defensive Player of the Week is Jeremy Anderson from South Fort Myers High School.  Jeremy lead his team with 2 Interceptions and 5 solo tackles and there team won 31-0.  Keep working hard Jeremy!
Go HERE to see Jeremy receive his award from NSR’s Scott Hills.

 

National Scouting Report is recognizing a Volleyball Player of the Week each week in Lee and Collier Counties in South Florida.

Abbie Quarles of Gulf Coast High School is the Week 2 National Scouting Report Volleyball Player of the Week for Collier County.  Abbie had a total of 26 kills, 6 blocks and 38 digs.  She had a phenomenal performance against some of the best teams in the area.  Way to go Abbie!
Go HERE to see Abbie receive her award from NSR Scout Scott Hills.

 

Brianna Correa of Fort Myers High School is the Week 2 National Scouting Report Volleyball Player of the Week for Lee County. Brianna is an Outside Hitter who had 45 kills, 11 aces, 54 digs and 7 blocks.  She has committed to Tulane to play her collegiate volleyball.  Way to go Brianna!
Go HERE to see Brianna receive her award from NSR Scout Scott Hills.

 

National Scouting Report and The News-Press Media Group have teamed to name Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week for the 2014 high school football season for Lee and Collier counties in South Florida.

For week 2 the winners are Chris Ceaser from Evangelical Christian School and Tanner Thomas from Fort Myers High School.

Week 2 Offensive Player of the Week is Chris Ceaser.  Chris Ceaser, Running Back from Evangelical Christian School, is a sophomore who ran for 272 yards on 33 carries and had 4 TD’s.  Way to go Chris!
Go HERE to see Chris receive his award from NSR’s Scott Hills.

Week 2 Defensive Player of the Week is Tanner Thomas.  Tanner Thomas, Defensive back from Fort Myers High School, was on top of his game against North Fort Myers last week.  He recovered 1 fumble which led to a score and intercepted another for a touchdown.  Way to go Tanner!
Go HERE to see Tanner receive his award from NSR’s Scott Hills.

 

Robby Wilson, NSR of Arkansas will be directing NSR's part in the Gulf Coast Exposure Camp.

Robby Wilson, NSR of Arkansas, is the Softball Vertical for National Scouting Report.

You hear it all the time. From your neighbor, from a teammate, from a cousin’s friend that heard it from a college player they once knew. It seems these days that since the college softball recruiting process is getting earlier and earlier as well as getting more competitive by the day, everyone continuously seeks out the answers and direction, but they’re often looking in the wrong places. Like with anything else, there is no shortage of people who will volunteer what they know about a topic. It’s human nature, we automatically interpret our “opinion” as a “fact,” but in choosing which information to follow which will determine your child’s collegiate and even athletic future, don’t leave it to opinions, get the facts. If your child had a life-threatening illness, would you trust the remedy that your neighbor told you they heard worked for someone you don’t even know? No. You would go to a doctor, be referred to a specialist if necessary, and make sure that your baby girl (no longer a baby of course) had the best care. Leaving your child’s collegiate and athletic future to chance is no different. Get the facts and know for sure.

Parents, athletes and travel/HS coaches ask all the time “what is a college coach looking for?” The truth is, there is no set standard of what “they are looking for.” The first thing one has to realize is that college coaches are human. Regardless of division, regardless of sport, they are human. Which means they have individual beliefs, individual pet peeves, individual factors that are non-negotiable, and an individual type of player that the coach typically recruits, regardless of position. What does that mean? That means that what does a college coach look for in a player? Bottom line is they look for a good “fit” for their program, their university, and their personality. Period. They look for “that kid” that is going to help propel them to the top of their conference and more. And players/parents hoping for their kiddo to play in college should be no different, you should look for the best “fit” for your athlete. How do you find the best fit? There are a number of things that you should keep in mind:

1. Talent level

2. Academics necessary to attend

3. Academics offered and do they offer your major

4. Where does the coach place his/her emphasis position-wise

5. Communication between the coaches and yourself during approved communication time periods and/or prospect camps, etc.

6. How well you “mesh” with the current athletes already committed to the team

7. What was your impression of the University when you toured the school? (Make sure to tour the school either via admissions or by simply going yourself)

8. What graduation rate does the softball program have for their athletes?

9. What % of athletes in your major are accepted into graduate school? (If you’re considering a post-graduate study)

10. How is the University ranked Nationally in the major you intend on studying?
There are various other things as well that can help you determine if a program is a good “fit” for your needs academically and athletically. Often times a softball athlete has a top dream school, then 2-3 others in mind simply because they know the name of the school. However, they have trouble listing 50 other schools out of the 1,458 there are across the nation. I see it all the time that as soon as the athlete begins paying attention to “finding the right fit,” their priorities change and they begin listing other schools at the top of their list that originally weren’t there. Why? The academics, the coach(es), the current players, the campus, the atmosphere, the location, and so forth. Bottom line is that the first step in answering “what is a college coach looking for,” leads to the fact that the college coach is looking for the right fit in an athlete, as the athlete should be doing as well.

One of the things I tell all of the college prospects I work with is to consider the simple statement: “Who is recruiting who?” We will dive into that in a separate post next time, but essentially, that is the next step. Once the coach has begun his/her process in determining if you’re the right “fit” at his/her program, and you’ve begun doing the same, as he/she begins taking a closer look at you, if you’re genuinely serious about playing at his program, you should be taking a closer look at him/them as well. If you and the coach both continue recruiting each other, then the coach gets a player that he/she knows is dedicated to playing for them and attending their university as well as the player gets to play for a coach that has put in the time and effort to in their due diligence and determined that they want you to be a part of their softball family.

Take home message? It’s simple:

1. Keep your grades up

2. ACT/SAT brings added value in dollars and demonstration of work ethic

3. Talent is king, but is nothing if standing alone

4. Don’t take advice from everyone else. Seek the college coaches themselves and/or a resource that works in college recruiting daily.

5. Do your research on the school, the coaches, their recent signees, and post-grad opportunities

6. Taking the next steps instructed by the coach if he/she so chooses to begin recruiting you.

7. Reciprocate by recruiting that program and the coach as well.

8. Do not be afraid to walk away if the interest is not mutual.

9. Be realistic about your talent level and where you should be playing. By targeting the right schools within your talent range you ensure higher levels of interest from programs that are a better “fit” for you anyway.

10. Stay dedicated. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Fully understand what it takes to be a college athlete and do a self-evaluation on whether or not you’re willing to sacrifice as much to achieve such.

The recruiting process can be complicated, it can be scary, it can change at the drop of a dime. But although less than 2% of girls get to go on to play college softball, it is however, possible. Like anything in life, it is best to evaluate the situation yourself, and come to your own conclusions. Don’t give up! It will be tough. It will be emotional. It will be a constant grind. But at the end of all of that is that beautiful day sitting at the table, pen in hand, parents sitting beside you and coach behind you, where you finally put the pen to the paper and realize it was all worth it.

 

Robby Wilson is the National Scouting Report Softball Vertical.  Robby lives in Arkansas, but he works with scouts and athletes all over the country.  Robby has a wealth of information when it comes to recruiting and especially softball recruiting.  Contact Robby Wilson if you have an athlete you would like to be EVALUATED.  Robby and his scouts look forward to assisting you with your future athletic endeavors!

National Scouting Report is recognizing a Volleyball Player of the Week each week in Lee and Collier Counties in South Florida.

Savannah Tessier a 2015 graduate was chosen as the Week 1 National Scouting Report Volleyball Player of the Week for Lee County. Savannah plays Outside Hitter for Evangelical Christian School in Fort Myers, Florida in Lee County. In two matches, Savannah had 35 kills, 8 aces and 10 digs. Way to play Savannah!
Go HERE to see Savannah receive her award from NSR Scout Scott Hills.

Gabrielle Moriconi a 2017 graduate was chosen as the Week 1 National Scouting Report Volleyball Player of the Week for Colllier County. Gabrielle plays Outside Hitter for Community School in Naples, Florida in Collier County. Gabrielle had 26 kills and 25 digs. She and her identical twin sister, Camberly, both stand at 6’1″ and excelled on a club team from Tampa and even won National AAU’s and JO’s Championship. Gabrielle has also been named as an Academic All American.
Go HERE to see Gabrielle receive her award from NSR Scout Scott Hills.

 

National Scouting Report and The News-Press Media Group have teamed to name Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week for the 2014 high school football season for Lee and Collier counties in South Florida.

For week 1 the winners are South Fort Myers QB Keith Smith and Naples LB Max Joseph.

Week 1 Offensive Player of the Week is QB Keith Smith of South Fort Myers – Lee County Florida threw for 335 yards with 20 completions of 30 attempts for 3-T.D.’s and ran for 1 TD…Great game Keith!
Go HERE to see Keith receive his award from NSR’s Scott Hills.

Week 1 Defensive Player of the Week is LB Max Joseph of Naples High School – Collier County Florida had 15 tackles (2 for losses) , 2 caused fumbles (with 1 recovered) Defense only allowed 50 yards rushing with 27 attempts. Great game Max!
Go HERE to see Max receive his award from NSR’s Scott Hills.

Continue reading »

Most people, some time over the next week, will be watching some football!  Whether you are catching a college game on Thursday night, a high school game Friday  night or a multiplicity of college games on Saturday followed by a professional game on Sunday – most of us are affected by football on some level if not inundated by the sport.  What is it about “the boys of fall” that has our society captivated?  Truthfully, Football is nothing short of exciting!

Personally, I have been around this game for over 30 years.  My husband played at our high school then went on to play his collegiate football at Ole Miss.  I also decided to attend Ole Miss on academic scholarship where I served on the Rebel Recruiting staff during our time there.  The game has continued in our family’s life over the years as I have been the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of a high school football player and an NSR Scout.  The game continues on for me personally, as I am now the mom to a D1 football athlete, as our son has begun his collegiate football career.

Why the personal history?  Well, to establish to the reader that when I discuss recruiting, it’s not something I read about or learned on the Internet or picked up from some “organization” that has no personal knowledge of the recruiting process. I lived it when, my then, boyfriend was in high school.  I was dating him when he was being recruited in the mid 80′s.  I lived it on the Rebel staff as I talked with, met with and recruited some of the top prospects of the day.  I have seen the recruiting process over the years as an NSR Scout while assisting hundreds of high school athletes get scholarship offers from all the country.  I have lived the recruiting process as a mother to a highly recruited high school offensive lineman.  And finally, I continue to live in the recruiting world in my role with the world’s largest, oldest, and most respected scouting and recruiting organization, National Scouting Report!

The football recruiting process is, by far, the most complex, complicated and confusing of all college athletic recruiting processes.  Truthfully, the vast majority of recruiting information provided to parents, athletes and high school coaches by the general media is full of myths.  One might ask, “How so?”  Let me start with this example.  How many football athletes does an NCAA Top 10 football program really need to offer in order to get the 25 National Letter of Intent signees for a recruiting class?  Some media sources and so called recruiting experts provide a list of “offers” and give “star” ratings to athletes.  Some of these sources might show that one of these Top 10 football programs made as many as 100 verbal offers to potential student athletes.  100 offers?  Ask this question, do college football programs like Alabama, Auburn, Texas, USC, Oregon, Ohio State, Texas A&M, Florida State or Notre Dame really make 100 verbal scholarship offers to high school athletes just to sign the yearly NLI signee maximum of 25 athletes?  NO,NO, NO!  The so called recruiting sites, experts and media outlets are providing information concerning recruiting based on what the high school athletes or the high school coaches tell them.  Why?  Why doesn’t the REAL recruiting truth come from the actual college coaches who are supposedly making the offers?  Simply put, the NCAA rules forbid college coaches and their staff members from discussing specific prospects prior to the National Signing Day.  So how do these recruiting sources get “bad” information.  The answer is complicated but here is one major point concerning this that I want to share. “Committable Offers or Non Committable Offers?”  It takes no less than 4 coaches on a D1 football staff to agree to make an official offer to a prospect.  Hours and hours of serious evaluation of that athlete will have taken place before a REAL COMMITTABLE OFFER is made to the prospect.  A position coach or recruiting coordinator may tell a kid, “son, you are an offer type player for us.  We look forward to seeing you at camp and following you this fall.” The athlete hears “offer” and not all the qualification statements attached to what the coach said.  Next thing you know, that young athlete has posted the “offer” all over his social media and called his local media outlet and reported that he was offered.  The truth?  Unfortunately, NO.  A prospect and their family must understand what the truth is about recruiting.  Does the average person know what it means when a college coach asks “does the kid pass the eye test?”  Does the average person know what ” does he play large?” really means.  Does the average person understand the “recruiting box?”  How about the use of the term “war-daddy”?  How about the term “he is long”.  I often wonder just how much a typical parent and student athlete really knows, then I sit down with a family who has a son that wants to play in college and I realize, quickly, they truthfully, are lost because someone has given them so much bad information about recruiting.  Some examples of bad information- A kid needs to attend combines and showcases.
Why? Parents and athletes, college coaches DO NOT care what your results are at a combine!  They don’t recruit “stars”! They recruit football players that really fit into their “recruiting box”.  For example, college coaches tell us all the time, “This is what I am looking for and if the kid don’t fit then I will move on till I find the kid that fits our box.” What does that mean?  It means that a college football staff is looking for a very specific fit to offer their scholarship money to.  So if the coach tells me, “I need tackle bodies, ” I know he will not consider inside guys.  Now, the reality is most people do not understand many of the terms, phrases and lingo I have used in this blog thus far.  Football athletes, parents and high school coaches, recently an SEC coach told us this statement.  He said, “I wish every parent and athlete and high school coach would take the time to sit down with you and get the REAL DEAL education on how football recruiting really works.  We receive thousands of emails, hudl links and phone calls each week from well intended parents, kids and coaches!  We don’t have the time to open or even pretend to evaluate those.  Those really just bog down our process.  Truthfully, we only evaluate the stuff that comes to us from a TRUSTED and PROVEN source!  Thanks for helping us find the kids that can play.”

I can only write so much in a blog!  So, are you really being recruited?  Mom and dad, is your child really being recruited?  Don’t sit there and wonder if you are really being recruited.  Recruiting is not mystical.  You are being recruited or YOU ARE NOT!  Feel free to contact me and I can have one of our scouts talk with you and give you an honest and free evaluation of your athlete.  High school athletes only have ONE opportunity to be recruited.  Don’t let it slip away and one day look back and say, “shoulda, woulda or coulda!”  Get your FREE evaluation.