Wayne Mazzoni, a current NCAA Division I college coach (baseball), is the author of the widely-respected book: "Get Recruited: The Definitive Guide to Playing College Sports." In this interview, Mazzoni graciously shares his expertise for parents and their kids who are looking to improve their odds in this fiercely competitive arena.
A. Mostly what inspired me was a lot of time sitting on buses while my players were studying. When I first wrote it, there were no cell phones, iPads, etc. so I had to entertain myself. Lol.
The idea was that I saw recruiting from all sides as a high school athlete, college athlete, and college coach. So I realized that I could piece it all together and help others navigate the process.
Q2. Does your book cover recruiting for all sports?
A. Yes, the book is for all sports. I have a "baseball specific" book as well since that is what I coach, but "Get Recruited" covers it all.
Q3. What are some common misconceptions as it relates to being recruited by colleges and how should parents and their kids prepare?
A. Many kids and parents think that since their kid loves the sport and is talented, college coaches should easily be able to find them. But for many reasons, unless kids understand what to do, it's sort of the "needle in the haystack" idea. Kids will be "one of the masses" and likely end up in the 95% that don't make a college roster.
Q4. How should student-athletes evaluate potential "playing time" vs. their choice oc a college based on their selected major?
A. With the amount of colleges out there it should not be that hard to find one that's an ideal fit academically AND athletically. Given an extreme choice between a school where you love the athletic aspect but not the academic and a school where the opposite is the case parents and athletes must use their gut to decide the best fit.
Q5. What makes a student-athlete a "good catch" for a college, be it Division I, Division II or Division III?
A. In this order: 1) Athletic Talent; 2) Serious Student; 3) Good body for the sport; 4) Work ethic, leadership, character.
A. The "real" difference in all of these events in terms of being an athlete or parent is "are coaches going to be there?" At a tournament, there could be 15 teams and not one college coach. At camps and showcases, generally coaches are hired to be there.
Q7. How should student/athletes evaluate themselves from a recruiting point-of-view as it relates to their level of talent?
A. Lots of ways. Ideally, one should have a sit down conversation with their coaches. Ask what level they feel is right for them. Go and watch local colleges (in their sport) practice or play, to see the talent at the next level. Individual sport athletes can work more off their sport-specific numbers since you compete against yourself, not another team.
Q8. What trends do you foresee as it relates to college recruiting and the NCAA?
A. I see way too much sport specialization at younger and younger ages. Kids should play them all AND enjoy them all. They will narrow it down later.
NCAA-wise, I see major rule changes coming as there is no way to "police" all the activity going on.
Q9. Do you have any other future projects in the works?
A. Mostly I write articles and blogs on recruiting for my site and others. Also have book ideas about sports as I can think of no other thing in this world that more people do.
Q10. Is there anything else that you would like to share?
A. Regardless of what you do, enjoy the moment. Have a long range plan, but everyone in sport needs to chill out a bit. Many parents are going a little overboard in "Keeping Up with The Jones."
Instead of schlepping all over the country for another game, tournament, and event, take a week vacation and enjoy the family. Life is moving a bit too fast for us all. On our death beds, we'd like to look back and see that we spent quality time with those we love rather than making every team, game, event known to man.
Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat.
To order your copy of "Get Recruited: The Definitive Guide to Playing College Sports," visit Wayne Mazzoni's website at: www.waynemazzoni.com.
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