Category Archives: Daily News

Free Advice so YOU don’t waste $$$$$ or time

In the past decade there has been a vast many who want to be your friends so they can open your wallet. Yes that advice comes for a price and can even waste your time. Now more than ever it is easier to keep up with the Jonses rather than do your own research. If you are unclear ask a graduating high school Senior or their parents about the past because they have determined their future upon graduation.
Some of the questions that you should already know but need confirmation are:
Was it worth spending money on little league tournaments and travel teams?
Answer probably “NO” as kids need to be kids and from 2nd grade to 8th grade there is no real value as opposed to say enjoying a vacation to the beach or mountains.
How many colleges did you visit?
We visited the locals because we spent a ton of money in grade school and did not save enough for what was most important like road trips or flying to colleges of interests our Sophomore or Junior years.
Did we need to hire a recruiting service?
Well that was a mistake as they mention D1 but really focus on the lower levels which we could have done on our own. So yes it was a waste of time and money we could have used our summer prior to our senior year.
Did the extra curricular activities make a difference?
Again there was monies spent on specialization and trainers we should have saved for summer trips and camps. Yes we got caught up in the hype and bought into the drama to only realize it had little value. We were exploited like many others and by the time we realized it we did not want to burn bridges and continued to pay monthly dues to save face. We now know interactions on campus or with our high school coaches were more important than the guy we paid to promote us and sell us merchandise. The plug was nice and made you feel good but looking back I wish we had that money to use on books or additional college trips.
What was the best advice for college visits?
Many coaches cited not worrying about 7on7 or one sport but to be a multiple sport athlete. We have since seen both Dabo Swinney and David Shaw come out against the football tournaments namely 7 on 7 and wish we had known prior to spending way too much time and money thinking that was a viable option to get recruited. Not only did we spend a ton to be on a team but my son did not participate in a Spring sport but he was away from his team mates in the off season. What is worse is many parents got into credit card debt thinking they would gain a scholarship that did not materialize. We all got duped but we drank the koolaide.
What would you suggest to other parents?
Honestly, hold onto your monies! Every time I turned around the advice I was getting came with a fee. So my FREE ADVICE would be enjoy time with your kids and let them enjoy time with friends rather than travel all over the country to be exhausted every Monday. Also get much needed sleep and avoid 4:30am alarms to train when it can be done at school with team mates and the coaches. Coaches that the colleges go to to seek advice and recommendations and have long standing relationships. The high school coaches are not getting paid to promote kids, instead give advice on their skills or weight room numbers as well as grades in the class room. The reality is everyone can find a place to play after high school but to be told you are D1 and then the reality sets in by April of your senior year it hurts that you sacrificed a lot to just be average. It puts a lot of mental pressure on a kid and a family. So again my advice would be just to enjoy the 4 years of high school and visit camps post sophomore and junior years and let the process take its course. We unfortunately spent a lot of money to realize it was the SAT and GPA that got the doors opened to us and eventually a commitment to attend our school of choice. Obviously an athletic scholarship was our goal but the reality is it is very competitive and no one person can guarantee you a full ride. All they can guarantee is a monthly bank account withdrawal and continue to do it to others that do not share their stories. We have shared and I know there are others that have similar feelings. All I can emphasize is spend money on college trips not the spotlight! We thought short term and not long term and it cost us financially in addition to time we can not get back. I caution all parents to rethink their sons and daughters time away from friends and teammates.

Overrated and over exposed

March for many is about basketball but many will argue ladies volleyball tournaments and ruggers will state its 15s season. Regardless the spring sports are upon us but so are the infamous and outrageous fees associated with exposure. A great deal of families will rack up debit because they were told to join a certain team or attend a certain event and even be told to go to a certain trainer. All of this is fine if you have deep pockets or really are true next level athletes. However, the reality is many people are making a living selling athletes and their families exposure for payment.

"We never read recruiting websites or accept emails from these cats. Our admin person filters emails before we read our files. We target guys in camp and will DM, IM or direct text them. So don't pay to get recruited just go to a few college camps in pads." - D1 coach

There are many avenues to success but many try to make short cuts or think that if they are associated with a certain club, school or trainer they will ultimately be noticed. All along it is the athlete that makes his or her own path for success. It is the DNA that no one can determine or the athletic ability displayed on a court, field or track. While coaches or trainers might be able to assist in technique or fundamentals, it is ultimately the athlete that has done the work NOT the trainer or coach. The athlete has to make strides and provide consistent efforts to get better. This is something that can be done for FREE if your youth or high school coaches provide you with that type of culture. In todays world many schools are changing their culture and adapting to keep kids involved in their community or within their 4 walls. Now the IT’S ME, ME, ME! is changing as new coaches take the reigns of their schools programs. More energy and rejuvenation to change the culture to TEAM is happening as both booster clubs and coaches are coming together as one unit.

In Colorado there are very few media outlets that spend time or resources researching youth and high school athletes and many try to tie in advertising revenues to report on that schools or trainers athletes. Yes sometimes you have to pay to get your name in print because the media is not attending games because they have said,

"No one cares about prep sports! In football its about 3-4 programs and basketball is about the same. As for the other sports no one has time to attend 3-4 games a week in winter or spring. We attend the playoff games and that is good enough."

So with this type of attitude it is easy to see why writers from various publications sell advertising in exchange for information. The so called journalists do not want to put in the time but rather grab a cliff notes version and read an online statistics sports website to write stories. However, statistics do not tell the story, people do and why a journalist needs to be present for more than one game a week. Also the trend is to hype an athlete but in order to read the article when you click to read you have to reach for your wallet to pay a monthly fee or subscription. Yet another revenue stream in the world of Overrated and Over exposed that many would say is outrageousshockingshameful or disgraceful but some pull out the credit card to see for themselves and contribute to the money pit, So agreeing to make an advance payment in order to receive or participate in something is probably Overrated. Again it is one writer, one trainer or even a group of subscription based writers trying to sell you something that means relatively nothing to the next level colleges and universities. Affluent people might disagree but many that have travelled the paths before will admit it is unnecessary to get caught up in the hype of being with a certain club or trainer because that have a few past success stories. Meanwhile, credit was never given to the talent but has become a chest thumping look at what I can do for a small fee of $500 a month. Again, do your homework and see if that person is overrated and over exposing your wallet. Chances are the monies would be better spent traveling to areas of concentration for a college degree.

The best thing a family can do is eliminate the HYPE trainers, 7 on 7 tournaments and Junior Day visits and concentrate on being a better teammate or athlete. We recruit 60 to 75% off film. Junior Day visits have become overrated and over valued. If a family shows up to our spring game and summer camp they have a better shot of catching our coaches eyes. We need to know and evaluate them, PERIOD!

So for parents unaware of the process just relax and become informed. There is no magical wand or must attend event to attend to guarantee success. However, the most important factor might be the SAT or ACT in combination with the students GPA and recommendations from a teacher or a school guidance counselor. Just like the film don’t lie, neither do the grades and test scores. If you are a sub 3.5 GPA then take a look at the chart: Notice the dramatic drop off at 3.0 and below. So use your schools online college platform to check out schools minimums and cutoffs for tuition assistance. Some may use a 4.0 or 3.9 as their tier 1 and a tier 2 might be somewhere between a 3.2-3.75. The days of 2.3 are in the rear view mirror as many college and university coaches want to know they will not be worrying about eligibility during the season. So the next time you are talked into attending an event or coerced to train with an athletic or gym guy, just think about spending those monies with an academia guru. Figure out how to master homework and tests in high school. Also train your brain with an ACT or SAT tutor to help you with the process to success in test taking. So the next time you say that player is overrated and over exposed, ask the additional questions of what is their ACT/SAT scores and GPA. Many will be surprised a marginal to above average athlete might be better in the classroom and less of a risk. You can never under estimate the power of academia. Do a lot to build your overall skills. Overrated and over exposed is only an option if you choose it. Not all are created equally so what might work for one might not work for all but the academic portion sure does as a 3.5 GPA makes a profound statement. So do the math and study hard.

If you have been a long time follower you will know to attend all local college events for FREE and put your cleats on college campus events. The only paid ones are listed on the cofridaynightlights.com website and will be updated as information becomes available.

Until the season starts best wishes to all in the off season and we will see you on the field or on Twitter As always we will post #BreakingNews on @303Gonzo twitter and facebook.A few dates to circle on the calendar:
February 7, 2018 1st official day to sign NLI until April 1st
May 1, 2018 access to 8th graders into OTAs
August 6, 2018 Start to 2018 Colorado football day 1 practice (No Contact or Pads)
August 23-25, 2018 Week 1 start to 2018 Colorado football season formerly zero week now called week one.

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2 way play reality!

Years ago when coaches mentioned two way play it was generally associated with top tier athletes. Nowadays it is just a function of reality to compete in the modern world of sports. Many suburbs experienced growth and new schools were built for anticipated growth that eventually slowed. So today coaches are now faced with declining participation and schools far below anticipated enrollments. In addition to private schools in targeted areas the numbers just do not add up to success. School programs have to be more active in the community and more competitive to hold onto their attendance area children. At minimum attend some of the middle school or club sport team games to identify with prospective students. The next five years will be crucial to many coaches whom do not change and develop like the current coaches fielding two way players.  Many 6-man, 8-man, 1A and 2A coaches are accustomed to teaching two way play. They have established numbers are thin and in order to compete the players need to be athletes. So summer conditioning is about stamina and the ability to play both sides of the ball. Yes quarterbacks you might have to play defense or at minimum be a punter or kicker. Ironman football is back. In 5A we have seen Valor play sophomores two ways and Pomona play many players two ways and both were state finalist the past two seasons and may likely repeat. As a matter of fact many high seeded teams in all classifications had two way players. In 4A Windsor actually pays tribute to the original 14 players who fielded a team during their inaugural season. So the choice remains to do it the way we have done it for years or adapt to the new changing world of athletics. Small schools have the ability to have three sport athletes and monitor them. Meanwhile the bigger schools battle other sports coaches for time in the gym, weight room or speed and agility training during the calendar year. Therefore, until change happens and coaches collaborate we might see many players become two way players in football because numbers are low and competition high. If the eye is on the prize of a state title the path of easy must be terminated. The initial hard way is more time developing athletes. So break out the ladders, hit the weight room and run the track to get players in shape. Reality is coaches will be developing athletes not just two way players. For now it’s ready, set, Go!

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Your Source for HS FB

If you ain’t cheating…

The first time I heard the saying, “If youre not cheatingyoure not trying hard enough” was nearly 2 decades ago when I became involved in coaching Club Hockey. I chuckled at first but soon realized it was NOT about teaching the fundamentals of the game but trying to secure what was perceived as the best talents. Hockey is an expensive sport that includes lots of travel to play top tier teams in the region and nationally if you are good. However, at some point playing little league sport has to be FUN not work. After a few seasons it became apparent the sport was about whose parents could bank roll the team.

As time went on it was the parents that ruined the FUN as they wanted their way and would make sure management knew it was all about their kid(s). Today we call it entitlement by helicopter parents.  I call it sour grapes because the truths are exposed about the level of play, especially if its all about winning and not about having FUN. As time passed I picked up the whistle to coach Baseball and Football and soon learned it was not about a competitive balance but who could recruit better or sell traveling to beat the best. The problem is it was NOT the best,  just the families that could pay to play in different cities and make playing one sport about as boring as serving pizza, chicken fingers or juice boxes to youngsters. Oh and don’t forget participation medals for all to attend some lame tournament usually played on a holiday weekend.

Many of you may be wondering why this is relevant and the answer is simple, it continues in high school. The fact athletic directors, principals and coaches allow sports to dictate their culture is alarming. Yes many districts are not well funded but at what point do you do the right thing? We are still awaiting that answer as for decades coaches have bought into the statement“If youre not cheatingyoure not trying hard enough”. Basketball has been the subject of debate for years as inner city athletes were brought to the suburbs and eventually became more relevant in football. Now schools are legitimately turning their heads to closed attendance areas to allow talented little leaguers to attend their school. Perhaps it is about winning but maybe it is more about who will donate much needed monies to hang a banner in centerfield or in the rafters of the arena or the end zone of the field. Yes these are the monies needed to  pay for transportation, team meals, equipment and trainers. What is lost is the FUN of the sport. The fact is neighborhood kids want to play with one another and not be recruited and have to travel great lengths to play a sport. Also many loose interest in by the time they are 16 especially if they do not get playing time. The focus should be on obtaining an education and the opportunity to advance to college. However, society has placed too much of an emphasis on sports and we are alarmed when kids quit.

Yes they Quit sports, Quit life or Quit giving a darn because they have been told “If youre not cheatingyoure not trying hard enough”. So this attitude probably leads to them living in your basement because the etiquette and fundamentals were not taught by coaches to do their best and academia was not a focal point to have them advance as student athletes. Look at the colleges that have others take athletes tests or homework or even involve others in drug testing. Those same practices trickle down to high school. So being a model citizen might not be taught at a young age as many learn from examples. Anyone remember Barry Bonds?(*)by the HR title for PEDs. Now those designer drugs are readily available in high school. Perhaps he lived by the statement “If youre not cheatingyoure not trying hard enough”.

So the next time a parent or player tells you, hey lets go play at XYZ school, you shoud ask yourself, Am I cheating my family? Will my athlete advance past high school and is it worth lying and cheating for an address all because we want to wear a winning jersey. There are no guarantees in life, but if you are living by the statement “If youre not cheatingyoure not trying hard enough” you are the culture that has placed too much of an emphasis on sports, not academia or what is the best interests of the child.

Choose #Academia1st as it will get you further in life. It is the 60 years of post secondary education that will matter most long term.

D1 or Bust!

Rocky Mountains – Denver, Colorado
Every year many athletes hit the roads to fulfill their dreams of playing next level football. The common error some families make is only attending Division I camps or schools. The Rocky Mountain region has been favorable to Colorado athletes. However, the fact is there are 50 states that get recruited plus Canada and a handful outside of North America. So the competition is rigid and the recruiting goes beyond the X’s and O’s during a year long evaluation period in many instances for many college coaches.

@303Gonzo

Traditionally July has been a dead month as many Division I coaches take vacation time as August starts the year long grind. However, recent activity within the NCAA has an early signing period to coincide with the 3 day JUCO signing of December 20-22, 2017 aimed at the graduating class of 2018. So this means the traditional teams that sandbag until the 3rd week of January may have to really recruit in November and December. A spike in Division II camps has arisen in June that normally happen in late July and compete with IVY league camps. Traditionally IVY, D2, D3 coaches focus on academic driven individuals that play the sport of football. Meanwhile the NAIA has 3 showcase events and like the Division III schools they just try to identify athletes and direct target them to attend their campus. In essence many families need to spread the wealth when attending camps and visiting colleges and universities. The best advice is to target 5-8 D1, D2, D3, JUCO or NAIA schools. Usually your high school has a system in place, naviance, to identify these schools. Both athletes and parents are provided with valuable information and what it takes to qualify to the school you are interested in attending. The savvy families will try to identify 3-6 schools and attend their campus post sophomore year and again post junior year. Therefore when September of the senior year the high school will be able to assist families seeking guidance and councilor support. Remember the journey includes your high school councilor, head coach, teachers, parents and of course the student athlete.  In addition to these individuals it is helpful to update your sports video profile, availability of school transcripts and college board exams namely SAT and ACT scoring. So the goal is to obtain an education. However, often the athlete is NOT a Division I athlete and dreams are shattered when August rolls around and schools have moved on to the next recruiting class. So if you have a mantra of “Division I or Bust” you might want to rethink and retool you travel plans for July and August.

In Colorado nearly 300 football players attend colleges to play next level. Usually 5-6% will obtain and maintain a Division I scholarship. So if you are not one of the Top 15 or 20 athletes post junior season it is time to shine in your final season of play. There are a few schools that only play athletes their senior year so film is limited. However, waiting until your senior season to be recruited probably means you are behind in the process unless you hit a tremendous growth spurt or are dominating the playing field each and every week. So athletes make the time to get your cleats on their turf as its NOT “D1 or Bust!” if you follow the process for success.

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