Welcome to our Blog: It’s Trickey, Let’s Get It Wright. The staff at Trickey-Wright QBR understands the path to success in football can be very TRICKY, so we’re working to provide you with as many tools as we can to help you get it RIGHT. Our blog is designed to give you an insider’s perspective for the edge you need on and off the field. Join our newest contributor, camp alum and coach, Joel Nellis, as he taps into his sports knowledge and diverse football experiences which includes playing D-1 college football (UW Badgers), high school coaching and teaching at the elementary and high school levels.

Posted in Uncategorized

Part III – Making The Decision


If you’re lucky enough to be recruited to play college football, you will face a tough challenge when it comes to deciding where to attend college. It was hard to define which of the following categories I would deem as most important, because each player’s situation is unique. However, with additional wisdom from our TWQBR coaching staff, we hope to provide some important insights to help make your decision more clear.


Although most athletes are drawn to staying closer to home, there are opportunities that often present themselves at a greater distance. While it certainly is worth taking into consideration whether your family can come to watch you play regularly, it is worth noting that unlike most college students who will only know a handful of people, you will have the benefit of inheriting a 100+ teammates along with a full coaching and support staff to help ease the transition. They will have gone through the same situation and be able to provide tremendous support.

Financial Aid

The short term and long term cost of going to college can be substantial. With very few players getting full-ride scholarships, players need to take into consideration any partial aid they may receive. At the D2 and FCS levels, that may be a percentage of the tuition. At the D3 and NAIA levels, there may be a variety of financial aide surrounding academic performance and other factors. Regardless, when comparing your options, take into account all financial considerations from travel home, to the cost of student loan interest in the long term.

Degree Program & Ongoing Opportunities

While your academic interests may change, do not forgo your initial passion if a college does not provide it. For example, engineering is a popular field of study. However, many schools do not offer it as one of their programs. They may offer complimentary programs in math or science and try to spin that to add appeal. . Remember that your academics need to take priority in your decision to set you up for your career after football. Additionally, if multiple schools offer your program, inquire about internships, alumni networking and job placement after graduation. Those extra opportunities may be extremely valuable.

Coaching Staff

This may be one of the most unpredictable aspects of your decision. In addition to the tremendous pressure to have a winning program, many coaches are looking to advance their career which may mean they are only at one program for a couple of years. Another thing that will take some further inquiry is how the coach is when he is not recruiting. You may need to connect with players on the roster and inquire about the coach’s demeanor in the film room, at practice and on gameday’s.

Playing Potential

Every player wants to be on the field as much as possible.  A coach can provide insights into when they see you playing, but you’ll need to decide how well your strengths will fit on the team. As much as you want to have confidence in what you can accomplish, it is important to recognize that you’re going into a program of players that all felt the same way when they were recruited. Regardless of the division, the players had successful high school careers and have now been part of year round strength and conditioning program and higher level coaching. The point being, you’ll need to be ready to compete for playing time. Playing your first season should not be an immediate concern, but figuring out how you can be a part of the long term success will be critical.


We’re fortunate to have a staff that features current college players and coaches. I asked them for their insights and here is what they had to say:

“Narrow your search based on your heavy interests: football, major, size, location. Then visit those schools, feel them out. Gut feeling is big. Choose a school that if football was taken away from you, you’d still be able to stay there for all of your years.”

Chase Vogler – Offensive Coordinator, UW Stout & D2 National Championship QB, UM-Duluth

“Make sure to talk with people, coaches, players and students alike. Ask the hard questions, how many do you have on your roster, how many do you plan on bringing in, what do you see as my role in your program, how do you help your players develop on and off the field. Everyone’s brochure looks good, everyone has great social media, everyone has their “pitch”- gotta dig deeper.”

Eric Treske – Offensive Coordinator, Lakeland University

“Getting in front of people and visiting schools is the best tool. Nothing is going to give you a more accurate representation of what a school will be like from a football, academic and social aspect than actually going to that school and seeing it for yourself.”

Trevor Tillett – QB, Concordia – St. Paul

“If you know your intended major, make sure to go with a school that has your major. Don’t change it just because you want to go to a particular school that has good athletics.”

Matt Williquette – DB, UW – LaCrosse

“Don’t just make the decision based on football alone. Make sure it’s a good fit socially and academically as well.”

Dez Morse – WR, Lakeland University


As stated in the beginning, each situation is so unique. Much like the evaluation process for coaches can be very tedious and more subjective, deciding on where you want to play can feel the same way. It is important to evaluate a variety of factors and make your decision based on what will be best for you in long run.






Posted in Goals, Leadership, Recruiting

Throwing Thank You’s

During this holiday season, it is time to be thankful for all that we have and reflect on what a wonderful year we’ve had. We at Trickey-Wright QBR have plenty to be thankful for and we’d like to share those thanks with you.


Thank you for supporting your son in his football career. We realize that the game has come under scrutiny lately. We as a coaching community are working diligently to make the game safer and more efficient. The travel, time and financial commitment you make to provide your son the opportunity to come to our camps is truly appreciated. Without your efforts, we would not be able thrive. We are working diligently to provide your son with a camp experience that will multiply your return on investment on and off of the field.

High School Coaches

Thank you for allowing us to work with you to make your team better. Your players come to us on “loan” and we recognize that it takes great trust to have another coach have input in how your player sees and executes the game. We do not take the responsibility lightly. We’re going to make an even bigger push this off-season to connect more with you so that we can give your team the best opportunity to win on Friday nights.

Host Sites and Coordinators

Thank you to the schools that host our camps. It takes a lot of work and coordinating among many people to ensure that the facilities are ready for the start of every camp. Our coordinators work diligently to make sure we walk in with as little setup as possible. Whether it is a high school or college, we feel like we have the best camp setup in the country and it is because of the work that everyone puts in to make that happen.

Coaching Staff

Thank you to our coaches who pour their love and enthusiasm for the game of football and coaching into our athletes. Regardless of the level of football our coaches have played or coached, we believe we have the best camp staff of any position specific football camp available. They are a unified group who carry out the mission of the camp every time. They work on honing their craft so they can give your son the best knowledge possible to win games. Additionally, they are grounded in their priorities and desire to help your son become a better man as a result of attending our camp.


Thank you for trusting us to teaching you the greatest game on earth. We know that you come to us with big goals and dreams. We appreciate your willingness to take coaching, work through the process and improve throughout your camp experience. Our camps have athletes of all ages and ability levels. We take pride in that and want to help all of you take the next step in your football journey. This year we want to make an even bigger push to connect with you at our camps and throughout the rest of your year.

Thank you to everyone who makes Trickey-Wright football continue to be a premiere football camp! We can’t wait for 2017!

Posted in Coaching, Leadership

The Wisdom of Farewell Posts

“Intelligence is the ability to learn from your mistakes. Wisdom is the ability to learn from the mistakes of others.” – Anonymous

High school seniors, upon completing their football (or every other sport) career often use their social media platforms to post a farewell message that reflects on their experiences and memories. While we as coaches feel that students look to us for wisdom and guidance, it is often their peers who have the greatest impact and influence.

Regardless of how many posts there are, I have isolated three important themes (“wisdom”), that if taken seriously, can clarify what really is–and is not–important in your high school career.

  1. They wouldn’t pick other teammates

Every player at one point or another wishes they had “that one guy” in their conference who could put their team over the edge. But at the end of the day, players truly care for their teammates, regardless of their ability. They are thankful for all of the great stories and time spent together.

Wisdom: Embrace, love and lead the teammates you have

  1. Records and Stats are rarely mentioned

I cannot recall a player who discussed his class’ record or his personal statistics. They may have been a selfish player, but when it is all said and done, they turned their attention outward. It is funny how it can take a player so long to realize that their stats will soon be forgotten and the way they treated their teammates is their only true legacy.

Wisdom: If it didn’t matter in the end, don’t make it important from the beginning

  1. They’d do it all again

Football is not for everyone. It is a demanding sport that requires a multitude of abilities and complete trust in the other 10 players who are on the field with you. More players end their careers with losing records, than winning records. Few have phenomenal high school coaches and just about everyone who plays wishes they could have had the ball in their hands more (including the OL). However, when it is all said and done, they would return and do it all over again if they could.

Wisdom: The PROCESS is what makes it special, not the outcome.

Regardless of what year, or even which sport, you’ll be in following this season, please take take these three pieces of wisdom from your peers seriously and apply them. You’ll be glad you  did!

Posted in Goals, Leadership

How to Lead Your Team, Regardless of Your Record

For as much time as we spend preparing for the season, it is often over before you know it. All of us have different records and different potential outcomes for post-season play. However, all of can be leaders and are expected to be leaders through the season and beyond. Here are just a few thoughts for you in each of the following scenarios.

The end of the season is near…

If you are reading this and it is no longer possible for your team to make the playoffs, the opportunity to lead may be greater than you can imagine. Often times leadership is forged in difficult times, not when things are going well.

If you’re  a sophomore or junior there may be opportunities to step into a leadership role if the seniors have stopped taking that role seriously. What impact will you have that your teammates can hold on to for hope in the off-season. You can be the person who begins the transformation of your team for the final few games.

If you’re a senior, this is part of your legacy. Will your teammates remember you as someone who fought through the end or gave up easily? For many of you, it may be your last snaps of organized tackle football. Why not give it your all? You have a great opportunity to play with your teammates for a few more weeks. Don’t let that go lightly. I know I wish I could go back to those days and play with my fellow seniors. Additionally, if you are hoping to play in college, coaches take notice of how you play under adversity. They don’t have time to spend on guys who quit. Show your true character and ability in these moments and you will be grateful for it!

It Could go either way…

The fate of your season has come down to the final weeks. Some teams have their playoff hopes in their control, “win and you’re in.” Others need to win and to get some help from other teams losing. Regardless, you should leave no stone un-turned. It doesn’t mean that you abandon your family or school priorities. It means that the other outside distractions need to get put even further on the back burner. You should be encouraging and helping your team to do the little extras. Find ways to meet with your teammates to watch film. Leverage before and after practice sessions to get more throws and catches. Listen and apply every ounce of coaching you can to be more prepared to win on Friday night.

More importantly, on game nights, no setback should be too great to overcome. You can have a multi-touchdown deficit and still be speaking victory to your teammates. They need to believe as a group that winning is possible and worth the effort to fight all the way til the end. While it is not a promise for all of you, good things tend to happen to good people who stay the course. Be the leader who gives hope and who also produces the plays to get the win!

All the way up…

The post-season is locked up and you are focused on making a run at a championship. As the playoffs approach, you need to be the person who keeps your team focused. While an initial goal may be achieved, the ultimate goal is  taking it to another level of play.

For your team to have a chance to make a run at a state championship, you need to still be improving every week. All of the little things that have happened, dropped balls, false starts, poor reads will all get magnified in games against high quality opponents. You must work to address those issues with your team. It may be hard for guys to want to accept if they are still winning games. Work with your coach to help you get the message across.

Additionally, you’ll also want to make sure the back-ups are ready to step into bigger roles due to injury. This can be particularly challenging if the coaches are only giving reps to the first group. You may need to spend extra film time or stay after practice. While the player themselves may not feel they’ll have any chance to play or contribute, there are endless stories about back-ups making a name for themselves by playing well in big games late in the season.

Regardless of where you stand at this current moment, we’re proud of you. We would love to hear about your experiences this season and how we may better prepare you and future campers next spring and summer. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Posted in Goals, Leadership, Practice

Being an Effective STUDENT-Athlete: Time Management During the Football Season

Being a high school student-athlete can be very challenging because of the enormous time demands of both academics and athletics. The pressure is compounded when the expectations are high for you to perform well in both areas. In addition, your peers expect you to still be a part of everything happening on the social front.

So how do you make it all work? When thinking about time and how to maximize it, I rely on this quote from Stephen Covey, The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

While I don’t know the order of your priorities, I’m going to go in what I believe to be a logical order and provide some tips about how to simplify your schedule so you can be focused in the classroom and on the field.


At this point in your career, your family knows how important football is to you and has probably avoided major trips in the fall. However, if there are plans that conflict with your weekend football obligations, those need to be communicated to your coach. How your coach handles that conflict is up to him. However, if he knows about it sooner, the better chance you have to not miss any game time if that is a consequence within your program.

Additionally, if a family emergency comes up, please be the one to communicate it to your coach. Telling a friend to tell your coach rarely works out. Your coach can help you if needed, but wants to be “in the know.”


Never forget you are a STUDENT-athlete. Your long term future in football is always one play away from changing drastically. While it may not be “fun” to deal with school, it does need to take priority with your time.

Decide each night how much time you need to study. That amount of time will be dependent on your post practice travel home and dinner. Be honest about how long those things take. Next, block off the greatest amount of time for the class you need the most help with. The tendency is for kids to avoid the tough stuff and hope it goes away. That rarely works. Devote time early and often to making sure the tough classes don’t become a distraction.

It is important to remember that while cramming is a strategy, it isn’t a very good one. Studies show that getting more sleep before tests is more effective than cramming. If you study daily for short increments of time and allow time to get to bed early, your scores should not be an issue.

While this is not a “scheduling” recommendation, consider sitting in the front of class and turning your phone off. You’ll be amazed by the results.


If you’re lucky enough to be in the recruiting process, notify your coach if you are taking any visits. Again, different programs have different weekend obligations. Work with your coach and don’t assume that you are free to leave just because you have a visit.

Film time should come AFTER study time. But when you think about your normal day, with school, practice, dinner and studying, there may not be a lot of time left. The longer I’ve been coaching, I’ve seen that more film watching doesn’t mean you’ll play better. It is about what you watch and how deliberate you are with interpreting what the film is showing you.

Rather than watching whole games, plan on watching different situations for 3-4 minutes at a time (1st down, 2nd and long, 3rd and short, goal line, red zone are just a few examples). Those are typically what you need to be prepared for the next day in practice and on Friday nights. If you can narrow down what you’re looking for in those situations, you’ll be able to play faster without a ton of time invested each night.


The distractions of social life do not stop during the season. In fact, they typically increase because the Friday night football game becomes the major social event of the weekend. The reason it is (or should be) the focus is because you are expected to win. If you’re worried about the social side and not what you need to do to help your team, everyone will be disappointed.

While you may find it hard to block off friend time, my recommendation would be to devote time to blocking OUT your friends. When you’re in class, be focused on learning. When its time to be studying, turn your phone or notifications off. When you’re studying film, same story.

I realize there is this perpetual “fear of missing out”, but as a leader your vision has to be long term, not short term. When you look back on your career, student or athlete side, do you think you’re going to regret the snapchats you didn’t see or the opportunities to get a higher GPA or win on Friday night?

In reply to “what will my friends say?”, I would tell you they don’t understand because they didn’t commit to football and all the sacrifice that goes with it. Don’t expect them to feel the same way you do, just ask them to respect your choices.

I hope these tips will help you improve your success in the classroom and on the field. The “risk of leadership” is not easy, but the reward for doing things the right way is well worth it!

Posted in Academic, Goals, Leadership

Navigating The Season

It is finally here! Every high school player in the country has been waiting for this moment since their season came to an end in 2015.That being the case,  I’d like to give you some thoughts on how to navigate the season to help you have the best results.


Hopefully, your level of training this off-season has you ready for your best year of football. Because you are a leader, I have no doubt that you have put in countless hours in the weight room with your teammates. That should not only give you confidence to start the season but also to finish the season. You’ve done the work to be in better physical shape to give yourself an advantage over the competition. Additionally, you’ve leveraged our camps to improve your physical skill and knowledge of the game. You’ve been challenged by our coaches to be your best and proven that you are capable of taking coaching and applying it to see results. Your preparation should give you confidence that this football season will be a successful one on many fronts.


Many of your teammates are just excited to be playing football. They hope to “do well” and “win games.” But in order to have a more productive and purposeful season, your team needs to work towards a goal. Goals provide direction and motivation for everyone involved. It also can be used to improve decision making. If people realize what is at stake, they are less inclined to make decisions that could put the goal in jeopardy. It is important to note that while winning a state championship should be a goal to strive towards, that might not be realistic for your team. If a goal does not appear attainable, no one will buy into it. Try having an honest conversation with your coach to see where he thinks the team can go. From there you and he may be able to reach a common mission that will motivate and inspire your teammates.


Each day you get the opportunity to play football, you need to give it everything you have. It can be easy to say, but much harder to live, especially as the days of camp drag on. What are you going to do every day to ensure that it is your best day of football? It may mean challenging your teammates to a competition. It may be stepping up as a vocal leader and calling out the person who isn’t holding up to the standards that your program has set. Each day will require something different. But your commitment to improvement and excellence cannot be different. You must be the model of consistency. That doesn’t mean being perfect. It means that you never settle for a poor performance. You expect to make the right read or catch every time. When you make a mistake, you don’t flinch. If things are going great, you don’t get complacent. You give every day your best shot and hope that your example inspires your teammates to do the same.


For any season to be successful, the team must tackle each week with proper preparation and focus, regardless of the outcome of the previous week and your compounding record. Clear up any issues from the previous week so that they do not hang over the team in a negative way. Ignore the record of the team you’re facing. The only resume you should care about is what they show on film, because the film never lies. Additionally, be someone who has a pulse of the team. Communicate with your head coach about how the team is handling the season and what they might need to make this next week successful. Your preparation should give you confidence that each week can end with a victory on Friday night.

I purposefully left out talking about your personal success. You play the most team driven sport there is. The team will always come first. If you are the guy who values the team the most, the personal success will follow. Remember, “A rising tide raises all ships.”

Posted in Goals, Practice

The Recruiting Process: Staying on the List (Part II of III)

In our May Blog, we discussed suggestions to get onto a coach’s list: play on the field, highlight tapes, measurables and taking visits / attending camp. While the time, effort and related costs may seem like the hard part, surprisingly, staying on the list in today’s world of football recruitment, can prove to be even more challenging.

Part Two: Staying on the List

  1. Show understanding & appreciation for the coach recruiting you

I feel it is critical for every player who has dreams of playing college football to truly understand the other person(s) involved in the recruiting process, the coach(es). The coach who is recruiting you earns a living based on your on and off the field performance that is reflective of an entire university or college’s athletic program. Again, their livelihood is dependent upon the decisions and play of 18-24 year old men. They are going to gather every piece of information they can find to determine if you will not only be an excellent football player, but also a great teammate, student and positive representative of the team and school.

  1.  Maintain good/improved academic standing

The schools that you are hoping to attend may have a wide variety of academic requirements. When a school identifies you as someone they want to pursue, the first thing they do is get an academic transcript on you. They want to see your GPA, ACT/SAT, class rank, performance over time and attendance. From that one document, coaches can make very quick decisions on whether you will stay on their list.

If you’re not a high-flyer academically, when coaches see your transcript they will look to see improvement over the years. That shows a willingness to improve. Additionally, if you are someone who has a lot of tardies or absences in high school, do you think a coach will be able to count on you going to class when you don’t have mom or dad there to help you out??? Keep in mind you are STUDENT-athletes, not the other way around.

  1. Show high character & integrity in relationships

A college coach looks to use multiple references to measure your character and how you interact with others. When he comes to visit you, he will look to speak with your principal, classroom teachers, guidance counselors and others to gauge just what kind of person you really are. They want to know how you treat your fellow classmates, your respect for authority in the school and your work habits in the classroom. While coaches want to be fair, sometimes even one questionable review can get you off the list. That may be as simple as a teacher saying that you don’t work to your potential in the classroom. You may think that your teachers would give you the benefit of the doubt, but keep in mind, they take their job very seriously. They have a mutual respect for other professionals. They’re not going to lie for you or cover up stories. They will share their honest evaluations about you.

When it comes to speaking with your coach, the recruiter is looking for details about how you prepare for games, the relationships you have with your teammates, your attitude in practice and how you react when the game isn’t going the way you’d hoped. All those factors are critical measures of what kind of teammate and player they can count on you to be. Most of the time, what you demonstrated in high school is exactly who they perceive you to be at the college level.

  1.  Social Media Awareness

There have been countless posts from college coaches over the last year about how they dropped a player they were recruiting because of the content on their social media. For a coach, there is no easier access into your character than scrolling through your social media profiles. We got into social media in March, but one thing that is important to bring up again: ANY favorite, retweet/repost is treated exactly the same as if you produced it yourself. To a coach, that is your “voice” and values coming through.

TWQBR staffer, Eric Treske (Receiver and Strength & Conditioning Coach (D-3, Lakeland University, WI)) had a great visual reference for how you can filter what you post, favorite or retweet on social media. “Take the biggest Division 1 college you’d dream of going to. Now imagine that the stadium is sold out and you are on the 50 yard line with a microphone. The post that you made, favorited or retweeted comes up on the jumbotron and you must read it aloud in front of the entire stadium.” If you don’t think you’d want to do that based on the content of the post, don’t put your stamp on it.

Conclusion: It’s an ongoing process
The points discussed above, as well as your play on the field, are always under evaluation. Who’s recruiting list you make it onto and who begins to evaluate you on this deeper level can change at any time. If you know that there are some things discussed in this blog that need to be improved, make those changes now. It is never too late to repair relationships, turn your grades around and clean up your social media. Lastly, regardless of what school begins communicating with you, treat them all as viable options and continually work to stay on everyone’s list. You want as many options as you can when decision time comes around.

Posted in Academic, Leadership, Recruiting

Working Effectively with Your Coach

Regardless of the current relationship you have with your head coach and/or position coach, if you hope to have a successful season, your ability to work well together is critical.  Based on my experience and perspective as a current HS coach and former  Big 10 athlete, the following  tips on how you can improve your relationship with your coach and leverage him to help you and your team have greater success  are worth considering and putting into action.


First and foremost, respect your coach. Respect that he has taken on the daunting task of being a coach. He has chosen to spend time away from his family to work with you and your teammates. That in itself makes him admirable. Respect his knowledge. Coaches are always improving. They’re watching film all year round, visiting with college coaches, attending clinics and meeting as a staff to hone the best plan for the upcoming season. He has not made any decision lightly. If he is going to invest an abundant amount time and energy into you and your team, he’s done more work than you probably know or understand.


The first step in effectively communicating with your coach is to LISTEN. Your coach can tell how well you listen by how well you attempt or perform the concept he is teaching. Once you’ve earned the trust of your coach by listening, then you can work on approaching him towards a successful discussion. I see many players who are afraid to talk to their coach about what they see on the field or describing their rationale for what they did on a play. That information is critical to helping your coach make adjustments and call the right plays. Being silent doesn’t help. You need to cultivate your communication in practice and in the film room before you can hope to be confident about it in the heat of the game, under the lights.


Develop a strong player-coach relationship. Notice I didn’t say “friendship.” Your coach wants you to know that he cares about you, but also wants to be able to correct and teach you without you taking it personally. There are a lot of players who think their coach is like a friend. Then, when he gets on them for a mistake, they take it as a personal attack and they shut down. Your coach is attempting to raise your level of play to a level you may not think is possible. In fact, you might fight the corrections he is suggesting. But give him permission to tell you the truth. Then trust him enough to do what he’s coaching you to do. The quote I love to tell kids is, “What incentive does your coach have to teach you the wrong thing?” The answer is of course, “NONE!”  When you put your ego aside and allow yourself to be coached, great things are going to happen.


Support your coach publicly, disagree with him privately. This last step will only happen if you’ve figured out the previous three steps. If you learn to respect him, know how to communicate with him and have a solid relationship, you’ll appreciate even more how important he is to the team. Your coach can have as much impact on the team as you, the leader, allows him to have. People will look to you and how you interact with and talk about the coach when he is not around. If you’re a guy who bashes your coach or worse yet, doesn’t defend him when others criticize him, your coach’s ability to influence and impact the team will diminish because trust is eroded. If there are criticisms or complaints, and the relationship is right, you can speak directly to him face to face. The potential for others’  intervention may complicate the situation or cause more harm.  Minimizing the conflict so you and your team can move forward is the wise choice that leaders take advantage of.

While hard work, proper training, a good attitude and performance are vital to a successful season, remember to include the key elements needed in working effectively with your coach.  Adding and applying it to your life and in your future workplace will serve you and others well.


Posted in Coaching, Leadership

The Recruiting Process: Making the List (Part I of III)

I had the opportunity to listen to a college coach speak to a group of aspiring high school football players about the recruiting process. He answered some basic questions and then said something quite profound that I wish more high school players could hear, “If I’m recruiting a position, I may begin with 100 names on my list. But because time and resources are limited, I’m looking for ways to cross you off that list, not keep you on it.”

This month’s blog will be part one of a three part series that focuses on the recruiting process of a high school football player and includes insights from coaches at the NFL level, D1, 2 & 3 colleges and our Trickey-Wright QBR staff.

Part One: Making the List

  1. Your play on the field:

Making the recruiting list of any college football program will be dictated first and foremost by your play on the field. Coaches are looking for players who they feel can benefit their program to help them win games. Stats and end of season recognition (All-Conference, All-Area, etc…) will help you catch the attention of certain schools. However, when it comes down to evaluation, the film never lies! The coaches I spoke to listed a couple specific things they need to see from QB’s and Receivers.


  • (#1 by far) Being able to make all the throws on the field (Short, Medium, Long)
  • Pocket Presence / Mobility
  • Athleticism
  • Play Making Ability
  • Accuracy
  • Toughness / Leadership

Receivers (could include TEs/RBs and how they look catching the ball):

  • (#1) Catching the ball away from your body (Hands)
  • Making plays with the ball when you get it
  • Change of direction
  • Route running
  • Speed
  • Explosiveness
  • Versatility (Returning kicks, making tackles on special teams etc.)
  1. Create a highlight Video

As you look at those things that coaches say they are looking for, it is important that you set-up your highlight film with those in mind. Making touchdowns against bad teams are definitely ok to show, but that doesn’t demonstrate much to a college coach. With all of the film a coach has to watch, the first 3-5 plays should “jump out” to a coach. From there, you build a collection of clips that solidify what the coach saw from those first clips.

  1.  Your measurables:

Whose list you make it on after they view your film, or sometimes even before the film, will come down to your measurables. Height, weight, 40 yard dash or official track time. Typically for these position’s weight room numbers don’t need to be included at first, but will become important down the road. If you do not have official numbers on those, you can download the Hudl Combine App and record yourself running your 40 and other tests. They will be verified and you can share them with coaches.

While the tendency on high school rosters can be to add an inch or two, plus 10 pounds, this is an area that will go along way towards earning the trust of a coach: REPORT ACCURATE NUMBERS! The coach is going to find out eventually when they stop at your school or see you in camp. Don’t waste their time and get your hopes up by embellishing your numbers. Believe it or not, even an inch can make a difference.

  1.  Preparing for recruiting visits:

One really important thing to keep in mind is the timing of recruiting for different divisions. As a general process, coaches will come through the high schools in the spring once spring ball is done and “bump” into a player and communicate with your high school coach. However, their interest at that time does not mean you’re getting a scholarship or that you are high on their list. They want to get eyes on you and hopefully shake your hand and see how you can communicate. Remember, coaches don’t coach you over text messages. They use that first meeting to make a judgement about what kind of man you are. If you can’t look them in the eye and hold a conversation, there is little chance you’re making any list.

  1.  Be realistic in your expectations and stay positive:

I’ve seen many high school players get really let down or anxious when they don’t have any offers coming into their senior year. If you’re an elite player with a chance to go to an FBS school, there is a chance you already have some offers entering your senior season; if you’re off the charts, maybe as a sophomore or junior. However, everything trickles down from there. Not all FCS scholarships are given before senior seasons. Division 2 schools may have been communicating with you, but if you’re not super high on their list, you may not get any offer until after the season when they can see your senior film and get you on campus. Finally, D3 and NAIA schools come around after your season AND their season is done. They’re looking to see who fell through the cracks and who would love an opportunity to continue their playing career.

While there is a lot of hype and money surrounding recruiting, the coaches we talked to suggested the importance of slowing down and understanding that very few players are early offer athletes. That doesn’t make you a bad player or someone who is not qualified to play college football. It just means the coaches need more time to evaluate and get to know you before they make a decision.

In the next blog I’ll discuss “How to  stay on this list”, including how to select the right college camps to attend.

Posted in Goals, Recruiting

Will You Accept The Risk???

The phrase “Accept the Risk of Leadership” was adopted by Coach Trickey in 1988 after he read an article about responsibility and risks of putting yourself in front as a leader. He told me that he connected so deeply with the message that he felt compelled to share it at every camp he did.  

That message has resonated with me ever since I attended the Trickey-Wright camp back in 1999 as a high school junior. I wanted so desperately to be a leader, and even though I was named a captain by my teammates in high school, there were some “risks” that I was unwilling to take. All of those risks simply would have involved speaking up to my teammates about making better choices in multiple facets of life.

But why didn’t I do it? Why didn’t I say anything? I didn’t want to “risk” the social criticism from my teammates. I didn’t want to “risk” being laughed at. I didn’t want to “risk” being called a “suck-up” “snitch” or any other derogatory phrase. I didn’t want to “risk” making anyone feel uncomfortable or hurt their feelings in any way. Instead I choose the “lead by example” route. While I consider my senior season a success, I feel like I failed myself and my teammates by not saying more.

Dealing with high school students every day, I can confidently say that risk of leadership for today’s teenagers is purely a social risk.  No one wants to be vocal or extend themselves for fear of being criticized by their teammates. What can make matters worse is how quickly information can travel through text and social media channels. There becomes a perpetuating fear that if you say or do something different it may get around to “everyone you know” and suddenly your image will be ruined.

According to the author of the Team Captain’s Leadership Manual and student-athlete leadership expert, Jeff Janssen, there are five reasons why student-athletes don’t want to take on vocal leadership roles:

  1.       Lack of confidence in their status and legitimacy
  2.       They don’t understand the importance of being vocal
  3.       It’s not in their nature
  4.       They don’t know what to say
  5.       It’s not a habit

But what athletes fail to understand is the risk they pose to themselves and their team by not being a leader. According to Jeff, “Personally, they are missing the chance to become the best version of themselves. They not only shortchange themselves, but the entire team as well. Their team likely won’t achieve its potential because they withheld their leadership.”

Which leads me to ask; if you don’t accept the risk of leadership and speak up, are you willing accept the risk of your team not reaching its full potential? For those of you who invest so much time and money coming to our camps to improve your skills, why would you throw it away by not saying what needs to be said so that everyone can thrive?

I’m not naive to believe that confronting a teammate, group of teammates or entire team will be easy on you. Leadership is never about doing what is easy. It is about doing what is right so that everyone can be better. While I cannot accurately predict how those people will react in the short term, in the long run, I don’t know of a great leader who regrets a decision to say what needed to be said.


If you are interested in learning more about the Team Captain’s Leadership Manual, or other leadership training resources from Jeff Janssen, please visit http://www.janssensportsleadership.com/.

Posted in Leadership, Uncategorized