Having been a slapper for the majority of my softball career, I have a soft spot for slappers. As a college scout I obviously evaluate every position on the field…but when I first approach the field, the game is going, it’s almost autonomic for me to immediately gravitate towards the slender, quick, lefty hitter because it’s almost a guarantee she’s a slapper and if not, I’ll bet I could teach her to be if she’s got the wheels! My life as a player and recruiting was predicated on my speed and ability to place the ball wherever as a slapper. A slapper, similar to most pitchers, have to truly appreciate their art and work on their craft daily, in order to be extremely effective. Even coaching now after my college playing days are over, I have a natural tendency to get the butterflies in my stomach when I see an effective slapper.
Because of my many years practicing this art, I pay special attention to them when scouting games. When recruiting slappers, there are quite a few things that I look for in that athlete. Obviously, how fast are they? Slappers are usually the fastest kids in the lineup. How fast they can run from home to first is important but how fast they can get out of the box is more important to me. Hitters love to watch where the ball went after they make contact, therefore, slowing them down when they are trying to beat out the throw to first base. Taking that extra second to look where your ball went, is giving an extra second to the defense to make the play. Secondly, how well can they read the defense? As a power slapper, I loved when the defense would move in on me assuming I was a weak hitter or I was just going to bunt it. I would wait for my pitch and burn the infield, or make the outfield run! Usually at the slappers next at bat, the defense will go back to playing regular and that’s when you use your speed to drop a quick/surprise bunt. Utilizing the defense and determining where they are playing against you as a slapper is a huge part of the mental aspect of the game. Learning to adjust to different pitchers speeds is extremely challenging for a slapper.
Think about it: slappers are running towards a balls that is coming at them at high speeds. It is not easy! With faster pitchers, our feet have to start earlier and we have to shorten up our swings. Remember, the ball will have some pop off your bat against a fast pitcher. When slapping against a slower pitcher, our feet start moving later and we can have a quick full swing. Learning to adjust to the different speeds is one of the most challenging things for a slapper.
Lastly, when learning how to slap, one of the first things we are taught is to look for the outside pitch. Hitting the ball in the 5-6 gap is ideal for a slappers on most occasions. While this is completely true and accurate, I look for that slapper that can recognize an inside pitch and turn on it. Pitchers know that slappers are looking for an outside pitch, so they will challenge you and see if you attack the inside pitch. There are many things to look for in a slapper but some of the main ones are; how quick they are down the line and out of the box, how well they can read the defense, learning to adjust to different pitching speeds, foot speed, being able to hit for power as well, how many tools as a slapper do they have, and being able to attack any pitch thrown to them.
My many years as a slapper myself in high school, travel, in college, and in coaching and lessons, have essentially caused me to gravitate towards a slapper when scouting. However, it also means I’m going to be even more critical in my evaluations of a slapper because I was there, and I know what’s missing or what they need more work on.
It’s no secret, the direction of the game of softball has been the “short game” for many, many years now. And as hitters become more effective, pitchers become more effective. They feed off each other to challenge and grow. Because of this, college softball recruiting has been this way as well. Truly affective slappers are at the top of the pyramid alongside legit pitchers now. A speedy home to first is similarly attractive to a 65mph fastball (legitimate 65). Because of this, everyone is trying to become a slapper, even those players who shouldn’t be.
I was asked to include just a few tid bits of advice for up and coming slappers hoping to be recruited as such:
1. If you’re running a 2.65 from the right side, absolutely let’s see if you can slap.
a. But if you’re a power hitter, running a 2.9 from the right, know and own your role as a power hitter from the right side and embrace who you are in the lineup.
2. If you’re a slapper, understand the value of all tools: hit away, soft, power, chop, drag, etc.
a. Understand the value, and train them. Be able to utilize each of these depending on what the defense is giving you.
3. Again, BE ABLE TO HIT AWAY FROM THE LEFT SIDE!
4. Start training yourself to be able to perform all methods of slapping WITHOUT starting at the back of the box.
a. Slapping defenses have taken a lot of things away. Because of this, when you start at the back of the box, the defense knows what’s coming and can prepare.
b. Lineup at the plate, and be able to stride correctly in your cross step to effectively utilize all methods.
5. Do speed training religiously! There’s no such thing as “fast enough”
a. Set a treadmill at your max speed you can run. Straddle the sides. Hold the handle bars. Jump on and sprint it for 3 full seconds. Repeat until you’ve determined your max speed. Then repeat at your max speed for several repetitions.
6. Understand that your patience at the plate is another valuable asset. If you’re a slapper, you’re likely quick. And therefore your on base percentage (OBP) is just as important as your batting average (BA)!
As you can see, my career as a slapper has molded some pretty strong opinions on what to look for as well as what to train for. Because of such a rise in popularity in slapping, I will leave you with this:
Know your role as a hitter. Don’t force yourself to be something you’re not. Slapping may seem cool or fun, but if your role is a power hitter hitting the 4/5 hole, know your identity and own it. If you’re smaller and quick, but haven’t learned to slap, this might be the time to get acquainted with the best slapping instructor in your area. Just keep in mind: if you’re hoping to be recruited as a slapper, college coaches and scouts like myself are very seasoned on this and can tell when someone who lists themselves as a slapper hasn’t the slightest clue about all the tools of an effective slapper and how to utilize each of them.
Good luck in the rest of your season! See you on the diamond!
Nicole Hatley, Houston Area NSR Softball Scout
Go HERE to get scouted by Nicole or another NSR scout in your area!
The first Wednesday of February, 2015 was an unbelievable day for the staff at National Scouting Report: Football. We were on watch duty for our kids that were to sign National Letters of Intent to play college football. The east coast athletes started the festivities and set the tone for the rest of the country. We had athletes signing at some of the most prestigious Division 1 schools, FCS, several Division 2 schools, D3, Juco, and NAIA all across the nation. We were posting and sharing on social media, talking to local media outlets, and working with athletes and coaching staffs to assist in this process. This was just one day out of our year. We do this kind of behind the scenes work everyday for our athletes in all sports, but the sport of football gets to have a nationwide party on the first Wednesday in February every year.
There are several factors that led up to this dramatic day. Our scouts had to find these athletes first. They do this by spending hours in the field at games or practices, or by watching countless hours of film to determine who has the potential to be a college football player. They had to identify kids that have the athletic ability, size, and speed to play at the next level. The scout then had to interview the athlete and the family to determine if the prospect had outstanding grades and, most of all, the desire to do what was necessary to become a collegiate athlete both on the field and off. If the athlete and family meet the criteria that the scout needed, then he would proceed to enroll them in our program. What the public does not realize about National Scouting Report is that we do not enroll every kid we come in contact with. We are very selective in choosing the right kind of student/athlete. This one key factor is why we have a success rate of over 95% placement of the athletes in our program.
What does the NSR athlete look like? First is the athlete needs to have great grades. Grades, often, are the difference between two athletes with similar skills, and grades could make academic money available that could stack with athletic assistance to potentially fill out the total cost of attending college. We also look for athletes that fit in to very specific BOX’s with regard size and speed. These BOX’s will help the scout identify what type of program that the athlete has the best chance of going to. The actual determination of where an NSR athletes goes to college is made by the college coaches, but our scouts need to know, based on data from colleges and previous athletes, where to start the process. Next, the NSR athlete must know about several different topics related to the NCAA. Things such as being registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center, and how to go to NCAA.org to do this. If the athlete is determined to be of NAIA caliber, then they would need to register at PlayNaia.org in order to complete their eligibility for that type of institution. Each athlete must know that they HAVE to be registered with either the NCAA or NAIA eligibility centers before they can play the sport of their choice at the collegiate level. The family must know about contact periods and learn exactly when and where college coaches can actually talk to the athlete. We go in to when and how college staffs can evaluate the athlete, and how important this evaluation is in determining whether or not the athlete will actually be recruited. Our families are educated on college visits and they learn the difference between official and un-official visits. They also will have the knowledge of knowing how may visits they can actually take. We even cover things such as not taking gifts. But the main point we have to make known is that if you are not talking to college coaches, you are not being recruited. It’s that simple.
Becoming identified and recognized is the first step that has to happen in order for a college to put you on their recruiting board. Once the athlete is identified and recognized by a college staff and the coaches reach out to them, then they are in the recruiting process. The next phase is the evaluation portion of the process. Coaches have to actually determine if this athlete is indeed a college caliber kid. Then the comparison comes versus other kids that play the same position. If the athlete survives the gauntlet he will move to the offer phase of the process. Here is where the school offers a non-binding pledge to provide financial assistance to an athlete. They key to this is that offers are non-binding and can be pulled at the discretion of the institution, and that not all offers are full rides. FBS schools have 85 head count scholarship versus FCS with 63 scholarships to fill an 85 man roster. Division 2 schools only have 36 scholarships that can be divided throughout the roster and NAIA schools have 24 scholarships that they spread out over their team. Not until the athlete signs a National Letter of Intent are the school and the athlete bound to any agreement. Families must understand that the majority of what they read on social media regarding offers is HYPE. National Signing Day and/or the signing period will determine who actually gets the scholarship to attend the institution and play football.
So as you can see, there is a significant amount of effort and communication that is required to get to the point where a student/athlete gets to sign an NLI. The old statement, “If I am good enough, they will find me”, will have you behind with regard to the recruiting process, and could, potentially, leave you out of it entirely.”
Do yourself a favor. Take control of your dream. Get identified and recognized. Get scouted and evaluated by professional scouts that understand the football recruiting process. If you feel you have the ability, grades, and are willing to put in the effort to master your game contact National Scouting Report at www.nsr-inc.com/football
April 3, 2015
Pocket Radar, Inc. is proud to announce an exclusive partnership with the National Scouting Report for the Ball Coach radar to become the “Official Radar Gun” for scouting and prospect evaluations. Together, Pocket Radar and NSR will continue to help players and scouts evaluate different areas of performance and abilities across all sports.
NSR is the most revered high school scouting and college recruiting organization in the world. Since 1980, college coaches have depended on NSR to present quality prospects for recognition, evaluation and recruitment. As an NSR prospect, you can rely on our company of professionals to effectively promote you, and to make your profile and videos available to every college coach in America in your sport.
“As the trusted source for college coaches looking to recruit athletes since 1980, the validity of our (NSR’s) scouting evaluations on potential prospects is essential. That’s why we’ve chosen for years to use the Pocket Radar’s Ball Coach, for truth, accuracy, and validity in our metrics and evaluations. This partnership is something that has been in front of our eyes for years without us knowing it, and we are excited to formally let everyone know.”
-Robby Wilson, National Director of Softball Scouting, NSR
The Ball Coach radar is a pro-level radar gun and speed-training tool for player development through one-on-one coaching or self-guided drills, with hands-free operation keeping it simple. By making crucial results like hitting power, pitching speeds and throwing speeds instantly visible, training with the Ball Coach radar helps athletes get better, faster.
“We are very excited to be partnering with a company that has the pedigree of respect that NSR commands,” said Steve Goody, CEO and co-founder of Pocket Radar. “They are a worldwide organization that has excelled in sending over 90% of their prospects to the college level. Our Ball Coach radar is a perfect fit to help not only their scouts, but also the athletes themselves assess and evaluate their performance with objective data and numbers.”
About National Scouting Report
The recruiting process for athletes becomes more competitive every day, and the recruiting process starts earlier and earlier every day. There is much more to the process then showing up at a camp or playing in a showcase. The old saying “if you’re good enough, they will find you”, wasn’t true then and isn’t true now.
The scouting staff of NSR is dedicated to finding scholarship opportunities for athletes that possess the talent, desire, and motivation to compete at the collegiate level. They provide athletic evaluations, academic guidance, and an in depth education on the recruiting process. Upon successful evaluation and qualification into our program, National Scouting Report will provide the appropriate link between the student athlete and the colleges and universities across the country.
College coaches have depended on NSR to present them with quality prospects to evaluate and recruit that can legitimately play, study and compete for their program. Over 90% of NSR prospects receive college offers from NCAA DI, DII, DIII, NAIA and NJCAA institutions.
Do you have what it takes to compete in college? Want to know if you’re good enough to be recruited? Complete the ScoutMe request here and a college scout in your area will contact you: http://nsr-inc.com/athletes/
About Pocket Radar
From the world’s smallest certified accurate speed radar, to the only radar gun specifically designed for coaching and training, Pocket Radar has engineered a revolutionary product line to fit your speed measurement needs. Each Pocket Radar design includes exceptional performance and technology that fits in the palm of your hand. Pocket Radar products are convenient and rugged enough for everyday use by everyone from pro to amateur, to National Championship winning coaches and anyone interested in speed. For more information about Pocket Radar, visit www.PocketRadar.com
Don’t forget to be a kid! I have been involved in sports for the majority of my life first as an athlete, then as a coach, and now as a scout. I have seen the landscape of athletics change since I was a kid. When I was a young athlete you played your sport locally for your town and if you were good you made the all star team. You played a few games and then eventually you lost and enjoyed summer. You went on vacations with your family, went to parks, swam, etc. Now I see kids playing year round without a break. They play in local leagues, travel ball, go to camps, tournaments, you name it. I understand, especially as a scout, the need for some of this. Coaches are tough to get in front of, but at what cost? No not money but health, mentally and physically. Kids can get burnt out due to playing too much. I see summer schedules where the kid doesn’t have one weekend where they aren’t playing in a tournament or going to a prospect camp. This seems like what most people would call a job. We played because we loved the sport, but it wasn’t a job that I did every day. I would play baseball then turn around and play whiffle ball or basketball, maybe a great game of kickball. I was able to see my friends, go places with my family, or sometimes just relax. I see kids having to stop playing nowadays because of injuries or who have just lost the desire to play the sport they loved. So how can this be prevented? Let your kid be a kid. Don’t start too young in these travel leagues that want all of your time. If you must or want to play, look for teams or organizations that will allow you to play in a few tournaments over the summer. That only practice a few times a week. Why would you need to play travel ball every weekend at age 8? Tell me what coaches or scouts are there to watch your kid? I have read study after study and not one shows evidence that your sons or daughters are more likely to play in college due to playing travel ball at a young age. My daughter didn’t start playing lacrosse until her eighth grade summer. She made varsity her freshman year and was named all state by senior year. She went on to play in college and is currently a four year starter for her school. She played travel her freshman through junior year not before. She has had her injuries but still is able to play and I’m sure will continue to play as long as she can. The point is that you can still play at a high level starting later on. You only get to be a kid once. Remember what is what like back when most of us were growing up? Yes, I know that some kids just want to play as much as they can but please don’t forget to let them be a kid also!
National Director of Lacrosse
Area Director New England
Brendan Kennedy is a National Scouting Report Scout with an emphasis on Lacrosse. Brendan lives in Maine and helps athletes in that area as well as Lacrosse athletes all over the United States. If you would like to be evaluated or have your child evaluated, go HERE. NSR helps athletes in ALL sanctioned NCAA sports get the college opportunities they deserve.
- Your profile sheet or web
- Video or clips (if you have them)
- Contact info for mom/dad
Good luck this Spring! Send us your schedule as well as the stuff above ASAP!
P.S. If you missed it Rusty Rigney (CEO of NSR) and myself were featured on BlogTalkRadio last Sunday talking about softball recruiting, what college coaches are looking for, and more. You can listen in via: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/nationalscoutingreport/2015/03/15/national-scouting-report-talks-softball-recruiting-with-rusty-and-robby
Recruiting. One of the scariest words I ever heard as a softball player wanting to play at the next level. I had no idea where or even how to start and neither did my parents or my coaches. High school coaches always said, “If they are good enough, people will come.” As a high school senior entering my last season with no offers, it hit me a few times maybe I wasn’t good enough. But then, I got lucky. After countless homemade videos sent and contacting schools I was interested in, a local junior college in Tennessee saw me play and offered me. It felt like a dream come true. Getting to that dream was extremely hard and heartbreaking at times. Not knowing how to get recruited myself or even get myself in front of those colleges discouraged me but I pushed forward and ended up playing at a top academic school due to sheer luck and being blessed. Fast-forward 5 years and now my sister is facing the same problems. No idea where to start or what to do. She went to camps after camps and exposure tournaments and nothing from any college coaches. I wasn’t much help because I wasn’t even sure how people got recruited from a small school. It seemed like only girls from huge schools were even considered. Then a door opened at a Jerrad Hardin camp. My sister was introduced to Robby Wilson and shown that recruiting can be easy and simple. Within in weeks, my sister had emails, texts and phone calls flooding her daily from coaches wanting her and wanting to talk to her. Seeing that in my sister, people and schools wanting her, did a lot for me as a big sister. My heart instantly swelled with pride and just being proud of all the work and time she dedicated to playing the game she loved as a kid finally getting her to her dream. The look in her eye changed. She became more confident, and let’s face it as a pitcher you have to be confident and cocky to be successful. Even now, she talks about how she cant believe it was that easy to find the school she was meant for without much trouble. She went through a trying time having to have surgery right after her recruiting process began but through the help of NSR and Robby, she was still able to find the school that matched her and a coach and team who will challenge and push her to be her best.
My entire life, I knew I wanted a career where I could give back and help others. God blessed me with so much talent and a caring heart; I wanted to use it to make a difference in the world. For a long time, my heart was set on becoming a physical therapist. Then life happens and school seemed meaningless and time consuming when all I wanted to do was get started with my career. I understood there were sacrifices that needed to be made but coming up on my 6th year of school I was tired and burnt out. About this time is when my sister got involved with NSR. I did a lot of research on my own about it and even sat with my sister when she emailed coaches and met them. It hit me that my dream of helping people and making a difference in the world was right in front of me. I never wanted to be a coach for softball, it just never interested me but assessing it and scouting it was something that I did my entire life. After reading the testimonials and talking to Robby and Larry Perrin, I was more than pumped. My dream was coming true, I am helping kids like my sister and myself see all their hard work and social lives given up finally make sense and get them to their dream we all had as a kid.
Being an athlete, NSR is something that I wished I was involved with when I was younger. Now that I have had my experiences and experienced it with my sister, not only am I making a difference, I AM the difference. My career as an NSR scout pushes me to be creative and also show parents, coaches, and kids it is possible to recruit and it be easy. Seeing relief and happiness rush over their faces is what fuels my fire. NSR has given me my career life and goals. My goal everyday is to make a difference in someone’s life. Working with the sport I grew up loving and meeting coaches all over the nation, I couldn’t have asked for a better job. But, helping a kid finally reach that goal of playing at the next level and making their dreams come true, that is a career path I will be able to look back on and be proud of. NSR gave my life purpose and a chance to give back.
My name is Amanda McCauley and I am 23 years old. I graduated from Lyon College with a BA in Biology and a minor in Psychology. I have played softball since I was 10 years old and played 4 years at the collegiate level at Dyersburg Community College and Lyon College. I am currently living in Arkansas. If you have aspirations of playing in college, go to www.nsr-inc.com/athletes.
We’ve all seen Raven Chavanne, Caitlin Lowe, and Natasha Watley make defenses look silly for years. No matter how the defense sets up, slappers are able to adjust their plan of attack to get on base.
What is a Slapper?
There is not a template of what makes a player a possible slapper. Typically, college coaches want to see slapper get Home to 1st in less than 2.9 seconds. The elite slappers are going to be under 2.7 seconds. The truly great ones get there in the 2.5s.
You don’t have to be a natural lefty to be a slapper. In fact, most successful slappers are converted righties. If a young player is fast and has good plate discipline and bat control but does not have home run power, they might be a great candidate to try on the left side.
There are many types of slappers, but the truly great ones are what we call “triple threats.” These players are the ones that can drag bunt, slap (soft and power slap), and swing away with power. Being able to read a defense and attack their setup weaknesses is a must for any slapper. Being able to bunt when the defense is back, being able to slap when the infield is in, and swing away when the outfield is in are all crucial components to the success of slappers.
There is not a part of slapping that is more important than the other, but in order to be affective, they must be good bunters. Drag bunting is vital to the success of any slapper. If the defense does not respect your ability to get the ball on the ground and your speed, they will not play as far up and give slappers the opportunity to get a ball through the infield.
Why are Slappers so dangerous?
Slappers are a special breed of player. They are, typically, the leadoff hitter. Not everyone can handle the pressure of being a leadoff hitter. They have to have the mentality of getting on base, no matter what. For slappers, On-Base Percentage is much more important than Batting Average! The slapper has a tremendous advantage over “conventional” leadoff hitters, because they are able to get on base using drag bunts, slaps, full swings, and are typically more patient with pitch selection and able to draw more walks.
Once they are on base, they continue to cause problems for the defense. Slappers are usually among the fastest players on the team, and are very likely looking to steal a base or two to get into scoring position. This, obviously, leads them to being amongst the team leaders in runs scored, because they are going to put their teammates in better RBI situations to score more runs.
Slappers at the next level
Great slappers are a hot commodity to college coaches. You can teach a player a lot of things, but you cannot teach speed and you cannot teach the ability to control the bat and ball to be a great slapper. Many coaches have already fallen in love with slappers, and many more are starting to realize their importance to a team and to the game.
If you think you are a candidate to become a slapper, don’t assume that you are guaranteed to be great at it or that you will automatically play in college. It takes a tremendous amount of work and determination to become an elite slapper. But, if you feel that you can be a weapon on the field by transitioning to become a slapper, then you will have a chance to bring something to the table that will set you apart from the others.
How can NSR help?
National Scouting Report Scouts, continuously, receive College Coach Requests from schools looking for slappers. The two hottest commodities, recently, have been pitchers and great slappers. Slapping is becoming a new craze in the softball world, but not everyone will get a chance to be evaluated and recruited. NSR has the great pleasure of having relationships with coaches all across America that are looking. If you are a slapper and feel you have what it takes to play in college, make sure you get in touch with your local NSR scout for an evaluation. Also, visit www.nsr-inc.com/softball and fill out a “ Evaluation” form. Don’t get stranded on base because you didn’t have the power hitter, like NSR, behind you.
I get calls, all the time, from high school golfers and their families asking if they have what it takes to play college golf. The problem is that there is no way to answer that question without digging deeper. There are over 1100 schools in America that play Men’s Golf and over 600 schools that offer Women’s Golf. That sounds like a large number, considering most schools like to have at least 7 or 8 players on their roster. Numbers can be deceiving, unfortunately. Junior golfers that want to play in college have many variables to think about besides the scores they are putting up.
Every junior golfer that is playing tournament golf dreams of playing college golf and then playing professional golf. There are roughly 2 million junior golfers in America. The pure math shows that less than 1% of those golfers will play college golf. What will it take for them to get the chance to play college golf?
I have asked many college coaches about what attributes they are looking for in recruiting. Below are some of the things that they are looking for in athletes:
Obviously, each Division of college golf has its range of scores that coaches are looking for. Also, coaches want to see scores played at a certain length of golf course.
Academics are a huge factor for recruiting for several reasons including:
1) Making sure an athlete can maintain their grades and handle course loads with staying academically eligible.
2) Academics can help the athlete get more scholarships to offset tuition costs that athletics can’t cover.
Character is extremely important to coaches. Every coach I talk to about a prospect, one of the first questions asked is, “What kind of kid are they?” Character and work ethic means a lot because the coaches do not have time for trouble-makers and athletes that cause drama.
Athleticism is not always something that is associated with golf. But, golfers who are athletic can stay healthy and can maintain their play even if their swing is in need of adjusting. Making adjustments in the middle of the round is one of the most important attributes of any top golfer.
However, when it comes down to starting the recruiting process, the most important quality a coach looks for are the scores that the golfers are shooting. Unfortunately, golf is a game that you cannot fake your ability. You can either shoot the numbers, or you can’t. Below is a breakdown of what coaches are looking for when recruiting golfers. Obviously, the higher the program’s status is in their Division, these numbers get more important. A top level Division II will probably have the same standards as a lower Division I program, etc….
1. NCAA Division I
a. Men’s Scoring Average: Under Par to Low 70s
b. Women’s Scoring Average: Under Par to Mid 70s
2. NCAA Division II
a. Men’s Scoring Average: Par to High 70s
b. Women’s Scoring Average: Mid 70s to Low 80s
3. NCAA Division III (No Athletic Scholarships Available)
a. Men - Golfers must be able to shoot in the Low 80s but also have good academics.
b. Women - DIII schools usually have a very difficult time finding enough golfers to fill their roster. If a female golfer can shoot in the 90s and have good academics, they will have a chance to play in college.
As you can see, there are fewer and fewer players that can actually shoot these scores for DI. Fortunately, there is an amazing number of opportunities for golfers to play DII and DIII. We have not even mentioned NAIA or JuCo programs. NAIA and JuCo programs, typically, have similar requirements as DIII programs.
Getting recruited in golf may sound like a difficult task, but it is NOT if you have the right people helping you through the process. If you can shoot the scores that have been talked about or are on a path to reach those scores by your senior year, you could be a collegiate prospect. Don’t let your lack of knowledge and exposure be the reason that you did NOT get the opportunity to play in college.
Trey Miller is the National Scouting Report Golf, Social Media Director and Scout. For a free assessment of your skills or further recruiting information, please visit us at NSR-inc.com. Also, we invite you to visit and “LIKE” our FACEBOOK page.
A few years ago, an 8th grade football athlete I was coaching, approached me and said, “I want to play in college! What do I need to do?”
The answer to the question, “What do I need to do?” is one that is not only applicable to this football athlete but applicable to any athlete, any employee, any business owner and anyone that is a part of a team. So here is the answer.
In order to be the best at anything, it requires that you become a “master” or “expert” of that sport, job, activity or career. That young man wanted to go get his pads and helmet on and go straight out to the field and start playing. He had the desire and the skills to go get started and possibly have some success. But, he lacked the mastery of the fundamentals . He had not perfected the basics of his position or his role. You see, this young man had to first learn how to master the techniques and fundamentals in the weight room. He had to learn how to harness his power and use his skills to develop in that weightroom. Without this baseline mastery, he would never reach his potential. Next, the young man had to master the conditioning aspect of his position and learn that his body is able to master and conquer the pain he endures during condtioning. It is this physical and mental conditioning that starts an an athlete to build real, personal self confidence. It’s the mastering of this conditioning that allows the young man to know he can go longer, farther and harder than his mind thinks. Next, the young man must STEP before he walks or even runs. He must master the footwork and the handwork needed to perform his role. He must learn and master the fundamental steps that he must perform on EVERY SINGLE play that puts him in a position to be successful. He must learn how to use those steps, that he has done thousands of times in an effort to perfect and master, to position himself in a way to win. He can’t run at full speed until he has mastered those steps. After that he can begin to take repetitions at half speed while learning how to maintain that perfect step, that mastery of the fundamentals. Once that athlete has mastered the steps and hand placement during half speed reps,he can then rep it full speed learning to maintain the mastery of the technical aspects. It is then and not until then, can this athlete put on the pads and begin to learn how to master his technical craft live and in person against another moving, active person. Even then, the athlete must complete rep after rep at full speed against competition while maintaining mastery of the techniques in order to succeed!
For 4 years, this young man worked at his craft! He mastered the basic fundamental technical aspects of his role on the team. He never worried about the other positions on the field and what his team mates did or didn’t do. The young man mastered his role and became a leader and dominant force that was elevated by his peers and awarded great honors for his simple accomplishment. He simply mastered his role! He mastered the fundamentals of his part of the team. He succeeded and today plays his sport at the D1 level, where the honors and accolades continue because………..well,he has mastered his techniques and understands his role!
Folks, why the story? If you are an athlete, well, become the MASTER of your position by understanding that you MUST master the basics. If you never master the basics, you will never reach the highest level possible. To my fellow coaches, NSR scouts and friends in the work place, what does this story say to you? Understand your role inside your organization. If you don’t understand your role, you can never become a master. Next, you MUST MASTER the very basic fundamental roles of your position if you ever want to succeed to the fullest of your ability. Know your role! Focus on mastering it! Become the MASTER! It’s your decision. Stay focused.
At NSR, for 34 years, our scouts have MASTERED the scouting and recruiting of high school kids wanting to play in college. Do you have a child or know a young person that wants to play in college? Contact National Scouting Report (NSR) and let the RECRUITING and SCOUTING MASTERS see if that young person qualifies! Go HERE to request a FREE evaluation.
Coach Robert Cagle
Most things in life come down to timing. A student athlete wanting to get recruited to play in college is no different. Timing for recruiting is essential. Almost daily, I am asked about timing. Concerned parents and dedicated athletes alike are trying to determine the best time to jump into the recruiting world. What is the best time to start thinking about getting recruited? When is too early to get my athlete noticed by college coaches? When is too late to get into the recruiting cycle?
All of these questions are common concerns in my world. But, the answers to these questions are not as simple as one might think. When parents or athletes ask me about timing, I need to know several pieces of information to give them a knowledgeable answer. First, I need to know the gender of the athlete. Why the gender? Simply put, females mature faster than males. A female athlete may be nearing her adult height and fine tuning her skills at the close of middle school. On the flip side, boys may not have hit their growth spurt yet and may still be really lanky and not developed at the end of middle school. Due to these facts, female recruiting often begins earlier than male recruiting. Along that same line, recruiting is also very sport specific. Some sports start recruiting much earlier than other sports. Softball and Volleyball are known for early recruiting. Baseball and Football often run a later recruiting cycle. But once again, the individual sport recruiting is not as cut and dried as one might hope. In addition to looking at an individual sport’s recruiting, we must now look at the level of play of the individual athlete. The potential level of play of an athlete is vital in determining the right time to begin the recognition process. Obviously, the higher level of play of the athlete the earlier the athlete needs to be in the recruiting cycle. Why? Because these higher division coaches are looking at the athletes earlier and earlier. Not because they like recruiting this way, but more because they have to, to get the athletes before other schools start offering. We are seeing more and more big schools verbally offering to 8th and 9th graders and even younger on rare occasions. But keep in mind, these 8th graders getting offers did not just pop up on the college coaches radar a week before. These athletes had been being followed and observed by the college coaches for a significant amount of time before these offers started falling.
As if the previous variables are not enough, now I need to know the size of the athlete, the tangibles of the athlete and the position of the athlete. Knowing the sport is simply not enough to determine the recruiting cycle. Knowing the level of play is simply not enough to determine the recruiting cycle. I need to know the athlete’s size, tangibles and position. These additional three variables go into the equation. Different colleges have different size expectations for certain positions. Based on these size “boxes” an athlete may or may not be a potential fit for a program – this effects the recruiting timeline. Certain tangibles such as speeds, jump heights, mph, etc. put athletes in certain abilities “boxes”, this also effects the recruiting timelines. Finally, certain positions are recruited earlier than other positions. For example, skilled positions are recruited earlier in Football than the other positions. Hitters and blockers are recruited earlier than defensive players in Volleyball. Pitchers and the middle of the field are recruited earlier than the corners in Softball and Baseball. The list goes on and on.
All of this information to say what? Recruiting is VERY individual. Your athlete needs to be evaluated based on her/his skills alone. The athlete’s gender, sport, ability, size, tangibles, and position all help determine the best individual recruiting cycle. Recruiting is NOT a One Size Fits All kind of thing. Recruiting is NOT even a One Size Fits Most kind of thing. Your recruiting or your child’s recruiting, needs to be personally designed for them as an athlete. What is the BEST way to know when your recruiting should begin? Get evaluated. This FREE evaluation by an NSR qualified scout can help you determine the best route for your recruiting. When is too late? There does become a time when your recruiting window has passed and that opportunity is gone – forever. You have one opportunity to get recruited, don’t miss it!
National Scouting Report believes in evaluating athletes. We evaluate ALL athletes before we advocate for them to the college coaches. It all begins with a proper evaluation. If you are out of season, you can still contact your local scout and run through a workout with him/her or provide the scout with substantial video. If you are in season, one of our scouts can come watch you at a game or tournament or even at a practice. Get evaluated, now.
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010