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The Mass-Mailing Dilemma

The Mass-Mailing Dilemma

The Mass-Mailing Dilemma


Like a big bonanza cash sweepstakes, college coaches send out hundreds if not thousands of recruiting letters to unsuspecting student-athletes everywhere. 

These letters mostly contain questionnaires sent directly to the student-athlete’s high school in care of the coach. 

On a particular day, randomly out of nowhere a student-athlete is handed a letter by his/her high school coach that was sent to them by a big-time university. 

The student-athlete is happy and thrilled, but wants to show the letter to their teammates and run home to tell Mom and Dad of their first recruiting letter.

Sometimes the letter is one page or it may have a brochure attached. 

On rare occasions it could even have a questionnaire to be completed and returned immediately.

At that moment, is the student-athlete being recruited by that college program or is it just a mass mailing of junk mail that is sent out to thousands of student-athletes on the same day with the same intention? 

  • What does it really mean?
  • Where’s the value from the letter? 

Does it really contain recruiting information or is it no different than a day old lottery ticket?

Lesser-known college programs have to resort to mass-mailings in an effort to recruit student-athletes. 

The reason behind this strategy is mainly due to budget constraints. 

Not every college program is working with big dollars therefore, mass mailing is there only option to recruit.

Most student-athletes are just names on a college coach’s clipboard. 

You’re being accidentally recruited. 

The college coach does not know who you are. 

They have absolutely no information on you in terms of your grades, videos, maybe even recent test scores. 

You’re a random name on a random list sent randomly. Sorry for the bad news!

The uneducated with no real understanding of recruiting seriously believe the value of a letter from a major college program over someone’s opinion.

That letter has no real value or real meaning.

I would like to know what you think of this topic. Please leave me a comment in the comment section below. Your comments are the oxygen we need to grow. 

The Deadly Struggle Of Recruiting Procrastination

The Deadly Struggle Of Recruiting Procrastination

The Deadly Struggle Of Recruiting Procrastination

In my opinion, recruiting is a six year process. 

It begins in middle school with the stunning conclusion at senior year of high school. 

For some student-athletes the recruiting process ends in complete disaster. 

During those six years, many student-athletes have played on club and travel teams, were coached by their high school coach, their club coach, and maybe some other kind of coach.

They’ve got video, good grades, are good citizens in their communities, and have done everything by the book, yet and still procrastination is slowing them down to a grinding halt.

The big problems I see in the process are parents and some student-athletes waiting on college coaches to contact them first when the initial contact should come from the student-athlete or parents. Waiting is part of the old broken-down strategies of recruiting that no longer work.

Millions of student-athletes each and every year are competing for the attention of college coaches and not everyone is going to win this battle. 

Some parents take a proactive approach towards recruiting, doing their due diligence and reaching out to college programs on their own sometimes with little or no luck.

It is an underground secret that college coaches really do not want to talk to parents, at all. Publicly, college coaches encourage parents to reach out.

Privately, they wouldn’t touch the parents with a ten-foot pole and, if there was a 15-ft pole available, they would use that one reluctantly.

The parent is going to hype their kid to the college coach and rightly so. College coaches don’t want to hear that nonsense a hundred times a week from a hundred different parents. 

The parents are going to say their son or daughter is deserving of a scholarship over everyone else. 

The parents will point out statistics, grades, Boy Scout/Girl Scout achievements, the cookies they sold in the fifth grade, etc. Parents will do whatever they can to gain an edge in recruiting.

The final summer of recruiting heading into a student-athlete’s senior year, is mixed with stress and emotions on how the process will end.

Sitting back and waiting to hear from college programs as the months begin to rapidly slip pass, August, September, heading into October, you’ve heard nothing and you are patiently still waiting.

Stress levels are growing and anxiety is intensifying. Unfortunately, that is the destructive nature of procrastination.

I like to know what you think of this topic. Please leave me a comment in the comment section below. Your comments are the oxygen we need to grow. 

About Al Woods

About Al Woods

About Al Woods

Outside of sports, my passion has always been the recruiting process.

From August 1989 to September 2018 I ran a recruiting service, Woods Recruiting, where I assisted thousands of student-athletes and parents in the day-to-day challenges of the process and placing thousands in college.

In all of those years, it seems like I’ve had conversations with a million and one parents, student-athletes, and coaches from all levels.

I’ve gained a huge amount of knowledge through the years.

My first passion was basketball. I played high school basketball at Bayside High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In my college years, I played at West Virginia State College, and I played professionally in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

I have an amazing and unique insight on the recruiting process and I will share all of this knowledge on my website.

Woods Recruiting is based in Cleveland, Ohio. I’m originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia. I grew up a Washington Redskins fan, but now I follow the Cleveland Browns and all Cleveland sports religiously. 

The first student-athlete I helped get recruited and placed in college gave me an amazing feeling of success.

I was able to change someone’s life for the better, helping them achieve their dreams and reach their goals.

This new chapter is about educating parents and student-athletes on the recruiting process and working with high school and club coaches as well.

My recruiting service days are over, that part is in the past, but it was an amazing experience. This new chapter will be just as fulfilling, rewarding, filled with enthusiasm and excitement. I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge with all of you. 



Guidelines For The "Ask Al" Podcast

Guidelines For The “Ask Al” Podcast 

This podcast is specifically designed for those who have questions about the college recruiting process.

Recruiting represents extreme challenges that are often confusing, frustrating, and impossible to understand. 

To comprehend the entire recruiting process will take a lifetime. 

My goal is to help you navigate through the challenges of recruiting so, please feel free to ask a question.

I do have some guidelines that I want you to be aware of to ensure everyone who participates can benefit. 

For inclusion to the podcast you must complete a brief questionnaire. (Questionnaire) Call: (216) 245-3170

When submitting your question to the podcast please be sure to use your first name. 

Your questions will be answered on our podcast.

To ask a question all you have to do is call the number. You have exactly one minute to ask your question. Please keep it related to recruiting.

Please, no disrespectful questions. No spammy questions. No extremely private questions. Only serious questions about recruiting. Please keep it polite and focused on recruiting. I greatly appreciate it.

Final Thoughts

My involvement in the recruiting process began in August, 1989. I ran my own recruiting service until September, 2018. In all of those years, I have had, what seems like, a million and one conversations with parents, student-athletes, college coaches, high school coaches, and club coaches.

The amount of knowledge I’ve gained over those years is amazing. I have heard every scenario imaginable in the recruiting process, from all respected individuals.

My ultimate goal is to bring as much value as possible. 

Don’t Throw Away Recruiting Opportunities!

Don’t Throw Away Recruiting Opportunities!

Don’t Throw Away Recruiting Opportunities!

Say Yes To Woods Recruiting

Surprisingly, but true there are various scenarios where student-athletes have turned their backs on a college scholarship offer, holding out for something better.

The student-athlete’s thought process is this: “If I can’t play at the division one level I won’t play at all.”

Where did this misguided confusion come from? How was it even developed in the first place? You have to go back to when the student-athletes began their love of sports which turned into their ultimate passion. 

They are trained and conditioned to achieve greatness, push through the pain, be the best leader, and make the game-winning shot day in and day out. It’s only natural to assume anything less is a slap in the face.

The philosophy of excellence is drilled into student-athletes’ heads the moment they step on the athletic battlefield of play. Every practice, every game is consumed with dominance.

The mindset crafted by the well-intended coach with the effort to win games boosts profile development of players and it’s all good!

There’s an incalculable percentage of student-athletes that are not division one caliber when approached by lower-level division programs.

The mindset of these unrealistic expectations is shocking. Student-athletes will hold out hope that another offer unexpectedly will come their way. 

They’re willing to be a walk-on, a practice dummy for major college programs for the glory of TV exposure. Is it really worth it to sit the bench?

We are bombarded with bad TV commercials or junk mail on a daily basis. All the student-athletes ever hear about is division one athletics. It’s seen on TV and played in large stadiums.

The pomp and circumstance associated with big-time athletics is everywhere.

On a Saturday afternoon, on cable TV, network TV, all you hear and read about is division one players, division one coaches, games, and tournaments. The exposure is overwhelmingly popular.

Packaged as a shiny brand new toy or the hot video game that you just gotta have. Anything less is junk and not worth the money. Wrapped up in a beautiful bow for the world to see, that’s division one.

The average fan, as the casual observer, has heard of the brand-named school, it doesn’t take brain power to figure out who they are. 

Lower-level division schools mentioned in a conversation is confusing to them: “I don’t know who you’re talking about. “

The expressionless face when a student-athlete is contacted by a lower-level division program would be like that ugly boy or a girl asking you for a date.

Instead of saying no thank you, the student-athlete doesn’t even respond at all. The college program is pushed to the side like a pile of dirty laundry. Get it out of here! I don’t want to look at it, is their thought process.

Unaffected by their rejection, the lower-level coach simply crosses off that name and moves down the list to the next available and interested student-athlete.

The carousel of confusion and the musical chairs of recruiting begins with a backward strategy to circumvent the recruiting process by attending a prep school or maybe a junior college in an effort to gain division one recognition, but all they’re doing is killing time. 

The reckless recipe for disaster has been conjured up, but the ingredients don’t add up. They are salty or sour in taste. Who has advised or instructed the student-athlete to walk down this uncharted dark path into a brick wall?

The message goes out to deaf ears. It’s so hard to get through because the cement is in their ears. The thought is to go somewhere to get an opportunity to play, but they’re not looking at that. They’re only interested in TV.

Sometimes there is no second or third chances in recruiting or having a college coach re-enter a student-athletes life once rejected. 

Chasing the division one prize is a dream for many, but that dream has turned into a nightmare and they’re athletic future is in jeopardy.

The cliches are ringing off the hook like a  broken alarm clock: Go somewhere where you’re going to play. Go get an education. Go somewhere where they want you. 

You will avoid student loan debt.

Just like that alarm clock, you turn it off and ignore it hoping to get an extra five minutes of sleep when all you’re doing is wasting extra time, throwing away valuable opportunities, while holding out hope for something that’s not there.

I would like to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please leave me a comment in the comment section below. Your comments are the oxygen that we need to continue to grow.

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