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Finding right college for you

Posted Thursday, October 26, 2006 by The pit Reporter


Good web site to find /coaches & schools

His advice: evaluate your abilities, be realistic, and search out schools that will be a good fit for you, and sell yourself. Go after the /coaches, the colleges and the programs you want to be a part.

How do you do that? Mazzoni advises you to find first the kind of college you want for your aca in the location you desire. How do you do that? He suggests using the website http://www.college/coachesonline.com the parent and their athlete can locate 20,000 /coaches from NCAA Division I,II, and III teams to isolate your sport and the colleges in the regions you want to go. Then Mazzoni says, it is up to the athlete and the parent to find from that list of some 20 to 50 schools 2 the handful of schools you want to target.

What is the right fit? Mazzoni says it's at a school that has the academic disciplines you're interested in, and where you will play, where the coach and his philosophy are right. He says with the right amount of pre-research you can control the recruiting process. Mazzoni made the point last night that the college /coaches are not going to be knock-knock-knocking on your door 2 you as the student athelete and the parent have to knock on theirs.

To evaluate your own talent, you have to talk to college /coaches, go to camps and get straightforward appraisals of whether you are Division III, II or I material and concentrate your efforts on the level that you can play. Start with your high school coach, he says. Once you deterimine the level of play you can collect a series of colleges where you can help their program and their program fits your expectations of college play.

The ideal time to start making your "playlist" is at the beginning of your Junior year.

Next, Mazzoni says you have to make a play on the coachof the sport at the schools you like. You can write them. (The NCAA rule is /coaches cannot contact you 2 but you can contact the coach all you want.) You can send them videos. You can visit a campus on your own to see them play, and talk to the coach. Mazzoni says do not be afraid to follow up and ask those "/coaches of opportunity" what they think about how you can help their program. Remember, it is all about you. You have to be happy, because as Coach Mazzoni says transferring if you have misevaluated a program is a "hassle."

The coach remarks that you learn something by proselytizing yourself. Some /coaches will tell you you are not good enough, and that is helpful. Others will express and interest and you are on your way. Then you take those schools (which presumably you have already determined you like academically) where /coaches like you as a player and athlete and concentrate on them.

Mazzoni cautions against attending showcase camps unless you can be specifically assured that certain /coaches you want to see you play are going to be present. He is more positive about personal communication with the coach on your development and achievements. If the coach likes what you say you offer, he or she will make an effort to watch you hit, run, catch, pass, tackle or skate. Another tactic is to call the coach or /coaches you want to see you play and find what tournaments they regularly attend and play in those tournaments.

At the end of the Junior year, Mazzoni says you must register with the NCAA Clearinghouse with the guidance department or at NCAA.org. The site provides the grade requirements for you to participate in NCAA sports as a freshman. The

Mazzoni encourages you to make campus visits. He notes you may make one campus visit paid for by the college, but subsequent visits you pay for. He encourages you to interview the coach, players, players paents. Find out how the team travels (bus or van, Mazzoni prefers bus for safety). Ascertain the mix between academics and sports, what your academic requirements will be and how much the team will respect them.

Do not hesitate, if the coach is interested in you, to ask the coach to make his appreciation of you known to the Admissions Office. He encourages you to be proactive in asking if there is any aid available. However, he warns against being an over proactive parent.

Mazzoni advises against recruiting services, because he feels "they are a waste of time and money."

In deciding where you will go should you be offered a scholarship or merely accepted, Mazzoni notes you have to consider the academics, the Coaching, the Recruiting (how many you will be competing against), the Philosophy (why you are wanted, your responsibilities), how the team is managed.

In closing, what I took from Mazzoni's talk was that you have to treat acquiring a scholarship for athletics as competitively as you do an athletic contest. You have to prepare. You have to scout. You have to hone your skills (academics and athletic). And you have to be better prepared. If you approach a coach knowing about his program, showing by doing so natural leadership qualities, you stand a much better chance with that coach 2 any coach 2 than the passive prospect. You will stand out, and be better informed in choosing which school to play at 2 scholarship or not.

Note: Coach Wayne Mazzoni has a website on which he discusses scholarshipping at www.showcaseathlete.com.

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