Coach Pete Carroll’s Keys to Success

I recently had the opportunity to hear Pete Carroll, Super Bowl winning Coach of the Seattle Seahawks speak at USC. Enhanced by an appearance by Will Ferrell, the energy, message and insight offered by Coach Carroll was valuable for coaches, athletes and entrepreneurs alike.

For your benefit, I’ve summarized Coach Carroll’s key points below:

1. Expect something good to happen

2. Learn about your people in order to better communicate 3. You’re either competing or you’re not

4. Be relentless in finding a competitive edge

5. Look for what your personnel/individual can do, not what they can’t 6. Identify the things that you totally believe in – you have the power to control

7. Three team rules:

    • Always protect the team
    • No whining, complaining, excuses
    • Be early – shows someone is organized, planned, respectful, sets priorities

8. Set a vision for your organization and communicate it – (His USC vision – “Own the Rose Bowl”)

9. There is tremendous power in vision: Define and declare it Stay on track with it (including people) Requires discipline and regimen

10. Design the culture of your workplace – think thru, design and create

11. Focus on what you can become, not what you can’t

12. Engage your learners – make it fun, different so they like being there

13. Grit is Key

    • Be passionate, persistent, relentless, and finish
    • Strive for something, not against something
    • Becoming the best that you can be will help your teammates become the best that they can be
    • Control, create, and remain tied to your values

What struck me about Coach Carroll’s presentation was how planned and organized his approach is – unlike the public perception that his success is only attributable to his positive, engaging personality. Valuable insights and thought provoking for us all.

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RSN Launches ‘RecruitU’ College Matching App For Athletes

RecruitU, a new iPhone application designed to assist student athletes in their college decision making and recruiting process, is live in the App Store.

RecruitU provides high school and junior college student athletes with a college selection and matching tool that enables athletes to input relevant information and receive a resulting list of colleges that represent an ideal fit for their profile. The App also provides information on each college, including location, enrollment, conference affiliation, tuition, and more. Finally, the RecruitU App enables students and their parents to connect directly with the coaches at each selected school via their personal email.

George White, developer of RecruitU and former college coach and athlete had this to say about the need this app fulfils in the college recruiting process, “In order to pursue their dreams of playing at the college level, I am constantly approached by athletes and parents with questions about the recruiting process such as, ‘What do I do? Where do I start? Which schools should I target? How do I go about getting a coach’s attention?’

In order to resolve this need, we developed our RecruitU App to be the powerful solution to getting athletes and parents on the fast track in this process.  We structured RecruitU to address this big pain point by eliminating confusion as athletes and parents begin the recruiting process.  RecruitU utilizes a one-of-a kind robust platform to focus them on ideal schools, which match their academic and athletic profile and immediately connect them with coaches at these schools. 

For college coaches, RecruitU provides an expanded pool of student athletes that meet their criteria along with the key info and video access to enable them to evaluate and contact these athletes.

RecruitU is a game changer which ensures the perfect recruiting marriage of athlete, college and coach.

RecruitU’s database includes the contact info for the coaches of every college and sport, allowing student athletes to directly email the coaching staff of matching schools. A personalized email template, that includes the individual student athlete’s key info and video, is created in the App to assist in making a compelling introduction to coaches. The RecruitU iPhone App was designed by college coaching experts to help high school athletes, and their parents, find the right college, get recruited and secure a scholarship.

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RSN launches “The Recruiting Coaches” Weekly Podcast

Recruiting Sports Network is proud to announce the launch of it’s inaugural podcast series “The Recruiting Coaches” with former college coaches Pete Strickland and George White. The weekly podcast will air live on Wednesdays at 5 PM EST on Blog Talk Radio.

Show topics and segments range from insight and advice around the recruiting process, current events and tips in handling the pressures of college athletics, listener Q&A, and interviews with industry leaders.

Check it out here - The Recruiting Coaches Show with Pete Stickland and George White, presented by Recruiting Sports Network

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Road to Recovery: Injuries During the College Recruitment Process

Mario Mathis was Thomasville High School’s top linebacker. During his junior year, Mathis was recruited by a handful of prestigious colleges before decidedly signing with Ole Miss in May of 2013. It was also during his junior year that Mathis suffered a serious ACL tear. Though Ole Miss was aware of the injury, they ended up revoking their promised scholarship at the end of July due to concern of Mathis’s recovery (1). Because of his commitment to Ole Miss, he’d stopped all communication with other schools and, in the end, was left to start at square one with the recruiting process.

We hear this story all too often – an all-star high school athlete experiences a career-threatening injury during the college recruitment process and are forced to reevaluate their options. During your time as a high school (and colligate athlete) there are two important steps you should take to help prevent injury in the first place:

Listen to your body. Sore, tight muscles and a stiff, achy body are common for all athletes, especially in the first stages of training and practicing. Ability Rehabilitation Specialist, Wendy Benwell suggests that tightness, soreness, and stiffness should diminish after 10 minutes of warm-up exercises. If sharp pain continues after warming up, you could be experiencing a serious injury and should seek medical attention from a trainer or Doctor immediately (2).  Listening to your body is imperative when it comes to preventing overuse injuries, which leads to the second important tip…

Avoid overuse. Though pushing yourself during exercise is necessary for improvement, make sure you are not over working your body to the point of injury. It’s suggested to use the “10 percent Rule” when working to prevent overuse injuries. To allow your body time (at least 1 day a week) to adjust, respond and recover, do not increase your activity more than 10 percent per week (3). Also, take advantage of breaks during practice and conditioning. Taking sufficient rest periods during exercise reduces the risk of injury and also provides crucial time to stretch, adjust equipment and, most importantly, hydrate.

Unfortunately, injury can still occur even when taking the necessary prevention steps. In the event of an injury during the college recruitment process, refer to this simple checklist of DO’s and DON’T’s to set you up for the best possible outcome:

DON’T assume your career is suddenly over. As you’ll soon read, there are lots of positive steps you can take to stay in the recruitment game.

DO make a full-game video. While many people suggest making a highlight video to send out to coaches, RSN recommends making a video displaying your talents throughout an entire game. Highlight videos make every athlete look like a pro and to be quite honest, coaches don’t recruit based on strictly highlights. Unlike other recruitment networks, RSN has the capability and allows you the ability to upload full game video. Let coaches see your skills HERE.

DON’T slack on academics. Working hard to excel in the classroom not only proves commitment and determination, it reflects well on your ability to succeed and increases your prospective college options. After all, being a student-athlete means academics always come first.

DO know every detail of your injury. Know the projected time it will take for a full recovery as well as the date your doctor believes you to be ready to begin practicing. It’s also helpful to know the extent and type of rehabilitation training you’ll be doing. All of this information will be valuable when talking to prospective coaches.

DO perform your rehab program diligently. Doing so helps ensure your recovery and gives you better odds of getting back to full strength.

DON’T hide your injury or stop communicating with coaches. Be open and honest about your recovery plan and remain a strong, participating member of your team. Use your time off to study your sport- watch practices, be involved and learn everything you can from the sideline.

DO consider other options and backup plans. Sometimes recovery doesn’t go exactly as planned, so it’s a good idea to have multiple options. For example, consider attending a Junior College or Prep School. If your injury hasn’t healed in time to commit to a four-year school, attending either is a great alternative. It provides you the chance to participate in the sport you love while also gaining experience that will be valuable when transferring to another program.

It is essential to keep yourself healthy and make a conscious effort to prevent yourself from injury. If an injury happens to occur, it’s important that follow these important steps while on the road to recovery.  Don’t throw in the towel and give up on your goal of playing at the next level. Go the extra yard and show the coaches what you’re made of – with or without an injury. While your options may be initially limited, other attractive ones may present themselves and enable you to realize your dream.


1 –


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Anti-Bullying Business: Steps to Take During the Recruitment Process

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary states that to bully is “to cause (someone) to do something by using threats or insults or by using force” (1). No one set a better example of this than Miami Dolphins lineman, Richie Incognito. After over a year of allegedly bullying Dolphins starting right tackle, Jonathan Martin, Incognito was finally “suspended for detrimental conduct” and Martin walked away from the team, with no promise of return (2).

As exemplified by these professional athletes, a bullying culture can be inherent in certain sports, programs, and teams as well as in college athletics. The fine line between hazing and bullying is dangerously thin, often resulting in confusion and unfortunate repercussions for all athletes involved. Although the NCAA released a hazing handbook, “Building New Traditions: Hazing Prevention in College Athletics,” the grim truth is that this problem of bullying isn’t going to fix itself overnight. The good news, however, is that there are steps you can take during your athletic recruiting process that will enable you to assess whether a program’s people and its culture will create a comfortable, positive environment-one that’s free from any bullying or harassment. Below is a list of tips that will help you evaluate each program in this key area:

  • Do your research! It’s important to identify any past or present bullying issues. This may include something as simple as searching the web for any “red flag” incidents at the school or it may require a little more digging, like contacting alumni or athletes who quit or left the team. They may help provide a more balanced perspective of the school and program on several key levels about any issues related to the team.

Consider also researching the following:

  • Search the school’s website for harassment, bullying or nondiscrimination policies.
  • Inquire about clubs or committees for student-athletes that deal with athlete welfare, like the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee or SAAC and their policies and reporting process.


  • Talk to your club team and high school coaches and Athletic Director. They may have some insight into the colleges that are recruiting you. Ask them about any past harassment or hazing problems the school may have had. Might they think it still exists? Do they have recommendations on ways to learn more about underlying issues?


  • Talk with the head and assistant coaches of the programs recruiting you. Discussing issues such as bullying can often be uncomfortable, but it’s a good idea to ask them about any issues the team has had with bullying, either in the past or present. If they offer up some examples, inquire about how these problems were addressed and handled. It’s also critical to obtain the coaches’ stance on the issue and their policies related to it as well as the rules and regulations the team is required to follow.


  • Visit the school. Being on campus and interacting with athletes, coaches, students, faculty, and administrators will provide you with the opportunity to ask questions and get a feel for the school and program. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the team member who hosted you on a recruiting trip.  You can ask them questions about team dynamics, what rules they have to follow and/or what the general attitude is on bullying. By opening up to them with questions, they will be more likely to open up to you with answers.   Be mindful of body language, eye contact, and ease of response which will provide a level of truthfulness to the answers of those responding to your inquiries (whether they be a coach, athlete or other student).


  • Talk to the schools’ AD or an Athletic Administrator. Attain department philosophy, policies, reporting procedures, and process related to bullying, harassment, and hazing. Inquire about incident reporting and the school’s investigative process. Is the athlete respected and protected should an incident arise?

Dealing with the reality of bullying is not something that should be ignored and in the end, you’ll be glad you handled it upfront. By taking proactive measures like those listed above, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable athletic environment on your potential college team. After all, to be a “team” is to work together to achieve a common goal. By having bullying thrown into the mix, nothing but negative tension, division and unfavorable outcomes will result in your athletic and overall college experience. So do your self a favor- ask the right questions, do thorough research and talk to the right people. With just the right amount of effort you will set your self up for the best possible experience in college athletics.





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NCAA’s Lack of Athletic Health Care Standards Puts Ownership on Recruits

Student-athlete unrest reached unprecedented levels recently culminating in the practice and game boycott by the Grambling State football team which made national headlines.  Unfortunately, these protests failed to point out what may be the most serious NCAA athlete health-related void permeating most levels of intercollegiate athletics – the egregious inadequacy of training and medical staff at most schools.  As a result, the rendering of immediate and ongoing diagnosis, treatment, and care of all levels of injuries and health hazards is often highly inadequate.

Medical staffing and the related level of care shortfall is not only overlooked by college athletes and their advocacy groups, but the lack of attention to it by the NCAA and individual schools’ borders on negligence. High School athletes and their parents need to take into consideration and address these issues during their school evaluations in the recruiting process.  Evaluating the level of each school’s diligence and commitment to medial staff, care, and injury prevention should be as high on your list of priorities as the school’s athletic and academic resources, success, and support.

The following questionnaire/checklist would be a good starting point in your evaluation:

  • Have the college provide a list of certified training and medical staff and physicians as well as their level of presence and coverage per sport and season.
  • Does the school implement an injury prevention component through its strength and conditioning, and preventative care programs?
  • What level of coverage will be provided by the school’s health insurance for athletes’ injuries and will you be responsible for bearing any financial burden or medical choices for certain injuries?
  • Does the school have plans and protocols to treat, assess, and prevent common serious issues such as concussion and sudden cardiac arrest (a leading cause of death for young athletes)?
  • What emergency equipment (such as an automatic defibrillator) is available at each venue? Is there am EMT staff present at all of your sport’s contests? Where is the nearest hospital located, and how will an ambulance get to an injured student-athlete as fast as possible, if necessary?

It is imperative to have this base information in order to assess each school’s capability and commitment to adequate medical and training staffing and care. Remember, they are asking you to commit your best efforts to developing and contributing to their school and program as a student-athlete. Schools should likewise be committed to providing the medical resources to reciprocate your level of commitment and protect your athletic career and future quality of life.

Do you have specific recruiting questions? Post them in the comment section below and we’ll be sure to provide answers. Also check out our FAQ‘s for more content!

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Four Easy Steps to Recruiting Success!

Recruiting Sports Network’s main focus is to help you get recruited! Our team works on both sides of the recruiting process, with athletes and coaches, in order to identify scholarship opportunities. Recently we were able to help a high school senior secure a baseball scholarship at Cornell University!

The collegiate recruiting process can be a difficult and confusing time, however, the following four, easy steps will help you manage your time and expectations along the way:

College Baseball Scholarships

RSN helps HS ball player land roster spot with Cornell.

1. Create a free profile at
2. Select your list of preferred schools and add them to your profile
3. Upload unlimited full game video for coaches to view
4. Market yourself using your profile link to send to coaches

The more time and effort you put into the process, the more successful you’ll be.
Have questions? Comment below…

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Grambling Protests Expose Lack of NCAAcare

College Football Scholarships

The rank and file uprising by intercollegiate athletes rose to an unprecedented level over the weekend when the Grambling football team boycotted its game against Jackson State. This occurred on the heels of football players from Georgia, Georgia Tech and Northwestern displaying the acronym APU (All Players United) on their wristbands and equipment during games.

While Grambling’s players are pushing for health related upgrades to unsafe and unsanitary athletic facilities and equipment, other athlete-oriented support groups are pushing for concussion reform and financial support for injured athletes.  All of these protests ignore, however, a significant void permeating most levels of intercollegiate athletics – the egregious inadequacy of training and medical staff to render immediate and ongoing diagnosis, treatment and care of all levels of injuries and health hazards (i.e. – outbreaks of staph infections suffered by Grambling players).

For example, the Grambling website lists just two training staff members to cover upwards of 275 athletes (let alone the numerous teams and their practices and games). Believe it or not, this ratio is more the norm than the exception at most collegiate programs below BCS level schools.

This need is not only overlooked by athletes and their advocacy groups but the lack of attention by the NCAA and individual schools borders on negligence. As a former college coach, I have experienced first-hand the frustration and worry associated with conducting practices and games with little or no medical support immediately available.

The real problem at hand is that the majority of collegiate athletes are lucky to even cross paths with a trainer on a daily basis.  Anyone who has played, coached or has been associated with a college sport team understands that certified athletic trainers are a scarce commodity, particularly at the DII and DIII levels. What’s worse is that there are no overarching guidelines for universities nor are their athletic interests prescient or sufficiently funded to do so. Schools may have their own checks, balances, and or requirements, but nothing is universal.

Accordingly, I found the debate surrounding whether a primary care physician or an orthopedic surgeons is adequate coverage at Penn State football practices to be almost laughable if this overall state of affairs weren’t so alarming. A much more relevant representation of the state of affairs in college athletics outside of the “one-percenters” is contained in email evidence related to a federal lawsuit seeking class-action status on behalf of four former college athletes claiming that the NCAA doesn’t do enough to protect athletes from head injuries.

Former Division III football player Rickey Hamilton emailed the NCAA directly stating, “There are multiple players on my team who have suffered injuries and have not had the correct treatment for them. We are trying to see what we can do about this because this is not fair to the student athletes who put their all into something and can’t even get the proper treatment needed.”
The NCAA has typically responded to these notices and allegations by taking the position that each school is responsible for the welfare of athletes and that risk can’t be completely removed from athletics. Thus, while abdicating responsibility, the NCAA is pointing the finger at its member institutions (while also throwing them under the bus overflowing with lawyers about to file impending lawsuits).

Instead of passing blame, the NCAA should be instituting athletic health care standards across ALL collegiate sports and dedicate a portion of the billions of dollars that flow to both the organization and the BCS to underwriting adequate medical staffing across all levels of intercollegiate athletics.


Dave Epstein, Sports Illustrated –

Nathan Fenno, The Washington Times


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Recruiting Sports Network Competing for Prime Time Debut!

George White, Founder - Recruiting Sports Network

George White, Founder – Recruiting Sports Network

Recruiting Sports Network is in the running for a prime time appearance during pro football’s Big Game! After Round 2 of the Intuit Small Business Big Game Contest, RSN is vying for 1 of 20 coveted Round 3 spots to be determined by Intuit employee voting. Many thanks to the voters who have helped us advance this far! The excitement around the potential of our very own TV commercial airing during the Big Game (XLVIII on 2/2/14) has our team imagining the possibilities…

Every year, thousands of young athletes struggle to make connections with college coaches, missing the chance to get recruited and play at the next level. As a small, Denver based start-up, our mission is to help athletes through this challenging process. The chance to spread our message worldwide, during the Big Game, would help drive athletes to our website and open doors for kids otherwise not aware of our platform and or how RSN can help them find the right program.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as voting wraps up. If RSN gets the nod, we’ll need your help to spread our message and garner more votes. Thanks for your support and check out the short video we compiled for the contest, which provides some insight into our model and mission to help young athletes achieve their dreams. RSN Video - We Love What We Do

Learn more about the Intuit Small Business Big Game Contest here –

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NBA Finals Best of Five Primer: No Hype Required

Spurs vs. Heat?  Big 3 vs. Big 3?  Drafted and developed talent vs. acquired, free agent talent? A Virgin Islander, Frenchman and Argentinian vs an Akronite, a Chicagoan, and a Canadian (damn, Bosh being from Albany or Gary woulda’ helped this paragraph immmmmensely!).

Story lines ABOUND.  No pun intended.

AND, it IS living up to the hype.  How about THAT in this modern world: something that lives up to all the words and spewed verbiage by the 78 TV analysts weighing in on our flat screens about this series.

(I can’t be the only one that thinks Van Gundy – with any straight man off the assembly line – is just enough, thank you).

Where was I?

Yes, this Finals is the ‘real deal’.  Before the anxious last five minutes of Game 1 – with its accompanying, expected stuttering – those first 43 minutes were basketball at its highest level. Wow.  I loved every living second of it. Wow, again.

AND, even Sunday night’s eventual blowout was preceded by 34 minutes of more of the same excellence.  Damn! if it wasn’t even more fun to watch.  Big shot after big shot.  Difficult shot after difficult shot.  5th option after 5th option (as, often, the first 4 were thwarted).

Then, Miami goes on that 33-5 run against a Great Spurs team.  THAT was special, too.

So, can’t wait for Tuesday!!!  Just wish the NBA would give us some Friday night games, some Saturday night games or even throw us a bone with a Sunday afternoon game that I could ACTUALLY WATCH WITH MY FRIENDS when I don’t have to wake up early for work the next day.

Can’t quite figure out why the NBA does that.  Probably, it is money (I am really quick), but, nobody tell either of the Big 3′s and their shooting sidekicks. (Aside: recipe for a championship team:  Get 3 Stars. Add as many shooters as you can find.  Stir ’til compatible). BECAUSE, so far, the Heat and Spurs are delivering on the promise of this unique clash of styles, TITANS and teams.  Teams ‘done’ two – and, who have won two – different ways.

Can’t wait to hear “Play Ball” 5 more times!  Even if I am watching alone in my condo with the alarm clock set for 6.

Can’t you?!

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