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First Weeks for Freshman Scholar-Athletes

fogfogfogfog 3868 replies188 threads Senior Member
edited November 2011 in Athletic Recruits
Well how is it for your newly minted freshman scholar-athlete?

Our student started very fit - having come off a full year of training/competition and a gold medal from an international event this summer...as well as suggested training in prep for arrival at school.
I am talking kiddo went to school super fit, less than 4% body fat (and results from ekg/stress tests show kiddo has super cardio) Not just the mom speaking here

Our kiddo is sore and exhausted,
and kiddo and we are amazed at the intense level of training/cross training the team is doing. Kiddo says is more sore and the workouts more intense than anything done before.
The kids started meeting together even before official practices --to hang out together and work out together--and even those workouts were super intense.

I am wondering if this is for the coaches to see what the new kids are made of?
To shake loose any dead wood or those not willing to earn their positions etc?
No one here is complaining--just wondering how other teams are gearing up.

Are your students experiencing similar/or did they as freshman?
edited November 2011
44 replies
Post edited by fogfog on
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Replies to: First Weeks for Freshman Scholar-Athletes

  • MaryOCMaryOC 514 replies5 threads Member
    My son is a FY football recruit at a DIII school, whose preseason program has been run like a DI program thus far. He has been going non-stop from 6:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. with 2 full contact practices daily, team meetings, positional meetings, lifting sessions and mandatory study halls. He has little room for anything else - other than eating and sleeping. He's exhausted... and has lost 5 pounds since arriving on campus. There are a bunch of injuries on the tem already... and everyone was given a training agenda to follow, beginning in the spring. Players who could, also unofficially met on campus over the summer to work out and have seven-on-seven sessions. They have 87? kids practicing, and need to get down to a roster of 75... so they may be trying to weed out the weak links...see who really wants it.

    We got to see Muh Boy yesterday after an intra-squad scrimmage... took him out to dinner quickly, before he had to be back to check in for study hall. Hubby and I were pretty upset that he had only checked in with us once thus far...didn't acknowledge emails or texts... but he said he has literally had no time. He was relieved that yesterday marked the end of pre-season, and the schedule is going to be scaled back some, starting today. Last night marked the first time he was able to go out socially... and he was looking forward to sleeping in until 8:30 this morning, before a 9:00 a.m. class.

    He thinks he is 2nd on the depth chart for his position - a new one for him. So in addition to the challenge of getting through the physical demands of preseason and acclimating to campus life, he has the added stress of trying to learn a new position. I really hope things start to settle down for him. We are fortunate in that we can see him fairly regularly this fall, after games.
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  • fogfogfogfog 3868 replies188 threads Senior Member
    Interesting MaryOC...

    About more players and cuts coming....funny how the difference between pre season vs season training as well.

    One thing our scholar-athlete mentioned was that so far no talk of gear/swag...kiddo thinks that part of that is to see who "sticks" and who walks away---Not wanting to spend the $ on gear and having kids with gear walking around campus having not earned it...hmmmm
    IDK--I do know that someone will be ordering new shirts and kiddo has put in for 2--and we pay for those.

    Kiddo's team socializes together--like a built in sorority/fraternity thing. After hearing kiddo's voice Saturday I was hoping it would be an early night and more rest--yet evidently the team had plans..and kiddo was out really late.
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  • MaryOCMaryOC 514 replies5 threads Member
    Fog... football always involves a distinct preseason and in-season schedule, gearing up for the once-weekly game cycle, but cutting back once clsases are in full swing and the season begins.

    The 75 man roster limit is agreed to by the NESCAC... with only 60 max players allowed for away games which require an overnight. The coach said attrition usually comes from upperclassmen realizing they are 4th and 5th on depth chart, and will probably never play a down... as well as season ending injuries in pre-season. Players aren't cut... they simply make or don't make the roster, but can still practice and work out with the team.
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  • sandiego4866sandiego4866 146 replies2 threads Junior Member
    D is into her first year of a DI sport. Anxiety over the first day fitness test was a surprise, hadn't expected a tearful phone call the night before. In the end all went well, she passed the first time. Months of following the pre-season training schedule made the difference.

    Knew she would have to earn her way to significant playing time as a Freshman, though she (and I) were blindsided by Coach's first week suggestion to consider red-shirting the first year. Didn't seem to mesh with the recruitment pitch that "maybe" she could earn a starting position as a Freshman.

    On a positive note, she really likes her teammates and coaches, and it appears mutual. So thankfully no drama or personality conflicts.

    Discussed red-shirting with D and told her I was going to write an email to coach about the disconnect between that suggestion and both the recruitment pitch and my D's skill level. D had played with USA Senior National Team members and Olympic coach the prior six months, the only player on her college team with that experience.

    Email was appreciative, it's a great university, yet I was pointed in wondering
    if maybe we missed something in choosing a team where significant playing time might
    not be an option till Junior year. Even suggested a possible move to another university/team next year might be requested.

    You can imagine how well that email went over.

    Two days later D called and said coach had asked her about the email and because of it, at the end of practice that day, had her run a couple extra laps.

    I laughed about that, but D wasn't happy at all and made me promise not to send another email like that again. Which I agreed.

    Next day an email from coach came saying she had spoke to D and that there didn't seem to be a problem.

    Still felt it was the right thing to do. Coach is young and after discussing this with other college coaches we know, was told she did err in her recruiting and in other ways.
    Initially Coach has played same players from last season with no real changes.

    D was one of two Freshman who saw some action the first game of season, all the others freshman are red-shirting. D wasn't invited on first road trip, which took a smaller than planned roster because of Hurricane affected changes in schedule.

    Poor game results on that trip finally led the Coach to shake things up.
    D will be given her shot and will be on this week's four game road trip .

    Still feel my 'use her or lose her' email' was justified, given the situation.
    Though told other parents at first home game they might not want to sit near
    me, so not be tarnished by association with a sinner who complained about
    child's playing time.

    All in all, have to say, I don't know what parts are responsible; teammates,
    coaches, endorphin's from workouts or freedom(mostly) from meddling parents,
    have never seen my D happier.
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  • Classof2015Classof2015 4214 replies191 threads Senior Member
    D did the workout with the XC team; didn't do so well because of her anemia. Went straight to the 3 day XC camp. She asked me to send her and her coach the results of her bloodwork, which I did. She ran for the first time (missed one because she was sick) and did ok but not her best time. My sense is that the team hangs out together somewhat; she said the girls are all really nice. They have some intense practices (2x/day) and she can't do homework at night because she's so tired...

    She did cut back to 3 classes (instead of 4) and she hasn't done anything about a Work study job (even though it's part of her aid package). I'm going to do a wait-and-see approach -- as long as she is enjoying it, she should keep doing it. But since she's a year-round athlete, this better not get in the way of doing well in school.

    Any one else's child participate year round?
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  • MaryOCMaryOC 514 replies5 threads Member
    Wow, SD. That's ballsy. I have never...nor would I ever, discuss playing time with one of my child's coashes!?! I hope your DD is able to positively impact the team this week. Best of luck to her.

    Class2015... I hope your DD gets her anemia under control and can find a healthy balance which will allow for much success and happiness this year.

    My boy will train year round for football, but also intends to play rugby in the spring.
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  • fogfogfogfog 3868 replies188 threads Senior Member
    SanDiego--Gutsy move for sure!


    Our student is a yr round athlete too.. no "off seasons"..
    also offered a work-study as part of fin-aid.
    With on-your-own practices daily, classes and then very intense team pratices, Kiddo is very tired. The only "social" time is at meals and then Sat evenings.
    Sundays are when kiddo gets weekend P sets done an would be the only time for "work-study".
    We could use the $ yet I am taking a wait and see as well.
    DH would appreciate the $ from a work study yet I have insisted we see how this rolls out --given how intense and tiring the practices are, and the labs etc that kiddo has to do.
    Engineering and a yr round varsity sport make for a busy kid!

    I wanted to book the Christmas tickets and kiddo tells me has to check w team--The dorms open the 4th yet classes dont start til the following Monday. I had planned to fly kiddo up Sunday...yet kiddo doesn't want to miss anything if the team captain calls for on-your-owns during those days....sheeesh....

    MaryOC, your student sounds very happy!
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  • fenwaysouthfenwaysouth 976 replies12 threads Member
    Thanks for sharing your experiences. These are great stories. I'm grinning ear to ear.

    If there is one thing I took away from these experiences last year it was how "elastic" the lineup was, how much the away travel teams changed for the freshmen as they earned their stripes during the season.

    These are some hard charging kids for sure.
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  • imafanimafan 231 replies21 threads Junior Member
    Text from D1 baseball Freshman: "So much running."

    We could say "I told you so" but I think until they're really there, they just don't know.
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  • momof2010momof2010 398 replies9 threads Member
    I have 2 kids a boy at a D1 program and a girl at an NAIA (different sports).. son is a sophomore and his sport is year round (including summer) and basically it is his job. There is NO time for anything else between am conditioning/running/lifting before school.. school (9-1) and practice everyday including saturdays. I am thankful he loves it because its pretty much all he does.. Daughter is freshman and they are currently undergoing "Hell week" for 3 weeks of gnarly hard conditioning.. She is in shape and she said these are the hardest workouts she has ever experienced.. after conditioning, is lifting etc.. Only twice have they picked up basketballs so far.. I guess this is week 3 of the 3 and finally next week there will be regular practice. She said it is very hard but she likes it. The team is bonding suffering together.

    San Diego- wow, I am surprised, that was ballsy to say the least.. You are probably lucky your daughter affected more by what you did.. Best recommendation I can give you is DONT... They are young adults and need to deal with these things on their own. I understand it is very hard but she will be much better off in the long run.
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  • OldbatesieDocOldbatesieDoc 2020 replies39 threads Senior Member
    ^^^^totally agree. Does more harm than good, really.

    S last year was amazed at his D3 school about the "preseason optional" practices. And all those ab workouts! He put on 15# of pure muscle by Thanksgiving, and he was so built we couldn't put a dent in him. Pretty funny, really.
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  • sandiego4866sandiego4866 146 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Thanks to those offering feedback. You are right. I did consider this a one time event, and have no plans to do it again. Was a first for me.

    As background, during recruitment at this school and others, my daughter handled all communication with coaches and visited campuses by herself. She even negotiated
    the amount of athletic scholarship. Of course we talked about choices during
    the process, but it was her show. My first contact with the coach was a couple weeks before preseason.

    By the end of season she will be in the best physical shape she has ever been, be a better player than before, will have made some new friends, and started classes at a great university. Lots to be thankful for.

    On the other hand, if this team/coach were a poor match for her, I'll encourage her to seek out options for next year that don't jeopardize her standing with the current team.
    It could involve a sophomore year abroad for school and her sport, which may be the best choice. After that she can return to her original school or possibly go elsewhere.
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  • tallgirltallgirl 153 replies17 threads Junior Member
    What exactly is "red-shirting"? I ask as my freshman cousin, who rows, said his coach just talked to him about it. I didn't want to ask any questions as he seemed upset, but does that mean he still practices with the crew team year round and just doesn't compete or is he 100% off the team freshman year so he can have 4 more starting sophomore year? I didn't have the heart to ask details as he was changing the subject fast.

    And my other cousin now thinks she wants to do a gap year before starting college, how would that effect the fact that she will likely be recruited this fall for next year (she is about to go on OVs)? Should she tell the coaches or would that totally kill her recruitability ... which would be sad as she is not sure if she will gap or not.

    thank you!
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  • fishymomfishymom 1707 replies142 threads Senior Member
    My understanding of redshirting is the athlete is a part of team, practices with team, etc. The only difference is the athlete does not compete for that season, extending his/her eligibility for an additional season.

    As far as a gap year is concerned, your cousin, or any student-athlete who is involved in the recruiting process, owes it to the coach to be honest and forthright about any plans for a gap year. Will it affect an athlete's recruitability, maybe. Coaches are trying to build their team for the next year. But if the athlete is a top recruit, coaches may be willing to work with them on a gap year.
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  • OldbatesieDocOldbatesieDoc 2020 replies39 threads Senior Member
    I'm ready to have people slam me, but I don't agree about the gap year thing.
    "owes it to the coaches to be honest", true in the ideal world, in the real world I think you should be as honest with the coaches as they are with you. This involves considerable room for hedging.
    Don't tell them you are even THINKING about it, esp if not sure.It absolutely will affect recruiting.
    Besides, if the student is not sure, and the coach/team is a good fit, there is less likelihood of taking that time.
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  • TheGFGTheGFG 6075 replies213 threads Senior Member
    Parent of a sophomore athlete here. Just want to comment that if your freshman is happy at training camp and beyond, that is likely an indication of a whole lot of positive things about your child--things over which a parent can jump for joy. It probably means your son or daughter is well-adjusted and can make new friends without undue trouble. It probably means s/he is mature enough to manage his/her life and personal affairs without you. It means s/he is humble enough to accept that there are teammates whose ability is superior to his/her own, and can accept all the consequences of that fact. It means s/he likely appreciates the value in being part of a team and pursuing a sport, and thus is willing to keep plugging away, regardless of how s/he sees playing time and position assignments settling out for this year. Lastly, it probably means you and s/he did a great job picking his/her college, team, and coaches. Congratulations to all of you for a job well done!
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  • tallgirltallgirl 153 replies17 threads Junior Member
    thank you!

    So then red shirt = go to that college for 5 years for your degree, practice all 5, play only last 4? Wow, that's tough financially to swing another year so no wonder he was so quiet about its details/impact.

    I do think my female senior-now cousin should currently hold back on chatting about this new idea of hers of POSSIBLY taking a gap year to do religious mission service as she has only contemplated this fleetingly/recently and I agree it could screw up her OVs if she got into it and it's minor potential. Given she still only thinks it's a 20% likihood, I think unless it's the flip -- 80% certain -- she need not share it, but she is a very open/honest religious(mission) sort of sweet person.

    Thank you all for walys being so helpful. I am still 2 years away from college, so I keep telling her she should check out CC herself, it's great!
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  • momof2010momof2010 398 replies9 threads Member
    Redshirting is exactly what is stated above. A player is still "on the team" and practices etc but may not compete at all. This is often done when a coach does not think a player will be utilized at all or even very much but wants them to develop. It is not all bad as the student does not use up a year of eligibility competing in just one or 2 events. An athlete has 5 years to be a student athlete with 4 of those being able to compete. A redshirt year is the 5th. It can be disappointing to a student athlete who came in with high hopes of being in the line up right away. Understand the disappointment.
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  • ihs76ihs76 1769 replies97 threads Senior Member
    Not to hijack but...

    How does financial aid work if one redshirts and ends up taking 5 years to graduate. Or even if its not athletic and it takes 5 years. Do 'Meet full need' schools keep meeting need regardless of how many years it takes one to graduate or is there a limit? If one is full pay and redshirts, do the parents pay full for all 5 yrs? Not relevant to us but just curious.

    What happens if you've fulfilled all the courses to graduate in 4 years, just take whatever courses the 5th year?
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  • TheGFGTheGFG 6075 replies213 threads Senior Member
    First of all, the Ivies do not red-shirt for developmental reasons--only for medical reasons, ie. injury that precludes participation. I know of 2 athletes who for their 5th year of eligibility transferred from an Ivy to another university to compete. From what I understand, this is permissible under NCAA regulations if their original school does not offer that program of study. For example, an athlete could transfer from Princeton to Georgetown for law school since Princeton doesn't have a law school. Or one could stay and begin graduate work at the same school.

    At my D's university, many athletes begin a master's program for their 5th year, or finish a master's program that they began during the latter undergraduate years (called co-terming). Some athletes, particularly football players and those training for the Olympics or other high level competitions, will spread out their undergraduate work over 5 years. This lightens their course load to allow for more training time, and increases the likelihood of graduation for the less academically able.

    As for funding, this will vary by individual situation. If the athlete is a key player or star, then the school will likely offer a substantial scholarship for the 5th year to entice them to stay. If not, I suppose the parent pays for the athlete to compete another year. I discussed redshirting at length with the non-Ivy schools D looked at. One coach was clear that if he decided to redshirt my D for developmental reasons (and he probably would), he fully expected her to stay for that 5th year. The implication was that she'd be cheating him if she didn't. Since we have neither the ability nor the inclination to pay for an extra year, we eliminated that school. D's current school told her she was under no obligation to stay. However, they do encourage athletes to co-term.
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