If you have ever heard me talk about recruiting or read an article by me about college football recruiting then you’ve likely heard me talk about how competitive it is. When something is competitive the basic understanding is that only the strong will succeed and survive.
One of the hardest things for young college football prospects to understand is just how competitive the game of recruiting is is. Many feel that since they are the best at their school or in their district or their city they are automatically a prime prospect. Depending on where you are, this is not necessarily the case. College football recruiting, since the advent of the Internet and with the acceleration of social media, has become a nationwide operation for every college football team.
Once upon a time, only the big schools had the budgets to fly into all of the areas and scour around for the prospects. Now, scouring around for prospects begins at the finger tips on a keyboard. Schools can look up information on 1,000’s of prospects on websites and apps like GridironStuds and locate players in every corner of the country. That means that when it comes to getting a scholarship, it is you vs. everyone else playing ball in all 50 states and then some.
So what does all of this competition mean? It means that for you to get your hands on the limited number of scholarships, you have to be willing to do things that many others are not willing to do. This is at the heart of what the word discipline truly means. Not everyone wants to do all the running it takes to be in the proper shape and have the amount of speed that’s required to become a legitimate college football prospect. Not everyone wants to do all the weightlifting that it takes to become a guy that college coaches will think can help their program win games. Not everyone wants to give up a night of Fortnite to study for entrance exams like the SAT and ACT. Few guys think it wise to get off of social media and study more film so they can make more plays on game day.
To do all these things that are required to become a legitimate college football prospect you are required to have discipline. When it comes to discipline there are three groups: Those who have it, congratulations! There are those who think they have it but really don’t and there are those who flat out just don’t have it.
Here’s what I have keenly observed over the years about disciplined people. Very simply, disciplined people in sports or in business or in anything else that is foremost in their lives are also well disciplined in almost everything else in their lives. So disciplined business men are typical very disciplined in how they conduct their personal lives and approach their health as well many other things they engage in. Disciplined athletes on game day are usually very disciplined at practice and in the weight room and how they eat.
So how do you become more disciplined in these key areas of recruiting? You start by being disciplined with all the little things. Practice being disciplined in all of the things you do. The best place to start is with your education. You may not be the smartest guy in the school or in your class but you can achieve some of the same grades as the others by being disciplined. That means do your homework, turn in assignments and study for tests. Make it a habit and turn it into a lifestyle. We know all the excuses like the work is too boring, I don’t have the time or it’s too hard. You know what else is hard? Gassers but somehow you do them.
Try being disciplined on cleaning up your room, when and how you eat and how much time you spend on the social media. Once you have conquered those things, being disciplined will easily bleed over into your athletic life. Soon you will find it easier to do the running and weightlifting. You will find easy to skip a party when you know you have to get up early for a track meet or a camp the next day. You will find it much easier to watch extra film of an opponent so that you can make those one or two extra plays in the game that the other guy your favorite school is recruiting won’t make.
Make discipline a lifestyle. It will all add up and soon it will result in you tallying up offers from colleges looking for an athlete that can get the job done. Success avoids the undisciplined athlete like a shifty punt returner. If you want to have a smile on your face come February of your senior year, start wearing discipline like a tattoo on your chest.
Chad Wilson is a college football recruiting expert and creator of the GridironStudsApp which allows high school football players to gain exposure to college football coaches and fans. Wilson is a former college football player for the University of Miami (92-94) and Long Beach St. (’90-’91) and played briefly for the Seattle Seahawks (’95). He is also a former youth and high school football coach for over 15 years most recently for 5-A State of Florida Champs American Heritage. He runs All Eyes DB Camp a defensive back training company located in South Florida IG: @alleyesdbcamp. Wilson’s oldest son Quincy plays in the NFL for the New York Giants and his younger son plays cornerback for the Arizona Cardinals.