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Ben Coleman

Ben Coleman

Recruiting Director: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Played college basketball at the University of Minnesota and the University of Maryland. Graduated from the University of Maryland in 1984. I was captain of my teams at University of Maryland, All ACC Honor both years, leading scorer, rebounder, and field goal percentage and led the team in blocked shots.

I have the honor of being one of the fifty greatest players ever to have played at the University of Maryland. I played five years in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Milwaukee Bucks. I also played European basketball in Italy and Spain (led team in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots and was an all star 5 out of 7 years in Europe).

I have coached and trained players on every level for over 25 years. Throughout my career I have played with and been coached by some of the most respected collegiate and professional players and coaches in basketball. Member (NBAPA) of Legends of Basketball.

Rick Thomas

Rick Thomas

Recruiting Director: Norfolk, Virginia

Varsity Softball Coach / personal trainer 1997 – 2010, 2014 – present

Maintain and improve field grounds with given budget. VHSL certified

Promote community involvement through various programs.

Coaches and sports clinics. Guest speaking and presenting at sporting events.

Social media marketing programs. Facilitate, motivate, and monitor college program for athletes based on their colleges of choice (Utilizing personal coaches network with several colleges.)

Preparing statistics, developing and monitoring GPA guidelines while improving physical fitness and athletic skill set.

(Coaching up to 60 + Middle / High School athletes at any given time.)

Granted a mentorship for college graduates to direct Internships.

Developed three complete organizations including scheduling, uniform purchase, and recruiting of players.

Co-founded Virginia Women’s Fast Pitch – A League designed for Adult Fast Pitch players over the age of eighteen to forty. This League was filled by former Division I,II,III and some former professional Fast Pitch players. Development of board, website, social media, and apparel was implemented as well. Games were played at Lake Taylor and involved numerous Alumni.

Held over thirty skills clinics.

Traveled extensively on the east coast ,working with other coaches on development of upcoming athletes.

Volunteered varsity players to instruct clinics for several Little Leagues in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth.

Was asked to demonstrate proper fielding during the City of Norfolk’s first initial RBI opening.

Discussed better field conditions with maintenance crews in several cities, Including Norfolk’s own Harbor Park (AAA division of MLB).

Responsible for over forty college graduates. (Not all played)

Attended ten National Coaches Clinics to stay up with any new learning.

Paul Griffin

Paul Griffin

Recruiting Director: Long Island, New York

I have 35 years working with female athletes playing softball, basketball, and soccer. I’ve run clinics, showcases, and tournaments for the last 20 years.

I have put together two softball organizations called Fire and Ice and The Long Island Eclipse. I have also coached travel teams for the sports mentioned above.

I have been placing high school athletes with colleges for the last 15 years. I am currently working with colleges and universities from the Carolinas to Maine.

I also have scouted for ISP Baseball and worked with independent and international teams and organizations for the last 20 years.

Kelvin Nicks

Kelvin Nicks

Recruiting Director: Hattiesburg, Mississippi

My name is Kelvin Nicks. I was born and raised in a small town where football and basketball are king.

I played varsity basketball from 6th through 12th grade at Mount Olive High School, home of the late legendary Steve “Air” McNair.After high school I served 7 years in the Army Reserve while attending college at William Carey University. My experiences with youth include coaching little league baseball, coaching AAU basketball, Assistant Coach at Oak Grove Middle School, Assistant Coach at North Forrest High School.

I also founded my own boy’s basketball travel team, The Hub City Ballers Association which we compete against teams from Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. During this venture I met several different student athletes.

I also had the honor of coaching one of my boy’s youth baseball teams back in 2008. My reason and purpose for joining Woods Recruiting is to find exposure and college scholarship opportunities for the kids that come to my program and other kids in Mississippi and surrounding states.

College Recruiting Perfection

The recruiting process, if done correctly, is going to be an incredible experience for student athletes and bring great joy to their parents.

The process of going from high school athlete to college athlete is about exposure. From the time the student athlete enters high school one of the major components is getting your name out to college coaches.

It’s critical that you have various methods of reaching college programs. Whatever method you use it’s important that you are consistent.

Outstanding athletic ability, along with outstanding grades, is a perfect match for college acceptance.

Good grades and athletic ability are the positive intangibles that college coaches look for. College coaches are going to ask two questions, what are your grades? And can you play?

You must get it done in the classroom. Failure to maintain grades that makes you eligible for college will make you invisible to college coaches.

You could be the next great athlete, but if your grades are in bad shape you’re going to end up going to junior college or no college at all.

Many student-athletes actually do a fantastic job in the classroom.

My advice would be to seek out extra help. To seek out extra credit work to maintain a powerful grade point average. Study in groups with other student athletes or just students in general.

The standardized tests are required to be an eligible student athlete at the college level.

The library has a lot of books that you can check out to study the SAT or the ACT.

In my opinion, the best time to study is during the summer when you have extra available time. Take an extra hour or two to prepare and study for the standardized tests. I’ll be willing to bet you there’s probably an hour or two during the day that high school student athletes are wasting doing dumb stuff.

You are gifted athletes and you spend a great deal of time developing your athletic ability. I’m sure that many athletes are putting two hours or more a day into developing their athletic talents.

My advice would be for every hour spent developing your athletic skills and talent, student athletes should put an equal amount of time into developing their academic skills and talent.

College coaches are recruiting a lot of student athletes. Just don’t think you’re the only one they’re interested in.

If a college program offers you an opportunity to come out to their school for a visit you should take them up on this incredible opportunity.

A lot of times student athletes pass on college visits because they’re not totally familiar with the college, the coach, or the program and I think that’s a mistake!

It’s important to take advantage of all recruiting visits and all recruiting opportunities.

Video is a powerful tool in recruiting. Unfortunately, many student athletes do not have video or enough video to impress college coaches.

Keep in mind that college coaches cannot be everywhere to see every student athlete. Because there are huge numbers of student athletes, college coaches rely heavily on video.

What are college coaches going to see on your recruiting video?

Have you ever heard the term “first impressions”?

What is the first impression a college coach is going to get when they see you on video?

Your video may be the first time they get to see you play and you need to be able to show them something. You need to show them your athletic ability.

If I were you, I would be giving everything I’ve got to go as hard as I can athletically to gain the attention of college coaches. You may only have one chance to impress a college coach on video. If the coach likes what they see on video I guarantee you they will follow-up with you for additional information.

Recruiting and video is a delicate process. If they like what they see on video they’re going to ask you to come to their school for visit or to their camp.

The parents play a critical and vital role in the overall recruiting process. The college program may be recruiting your son or daughter, but they’re also watching what the parents do as well. There have been parents who have crossed the line with college coaches, asking and begging for stuff, making demands on college coaches and their programs that these programs cannot keep.

Sometimes parents have knuckle-headed behavior at high school games and that could be a huge turn off in the recruiting process.

The last thing a college coach wants is some knuckle-head parent who can’t keep their mouth shut,control their behavior and act like an adult.

In my overall honest opinion, any high school student athlete who possesses good grades along with athletic ability can get to the college level.

This doesn’t mean you’re going to be a division one player, but anything is possible. There have been student athletes who had the right attitude, work ethic along with good grades who were able to make it to the major college level and work their way into getting a scholarship and become a player in that program.

The dream of playing at the college level is what many student athletes set out to do once they have proven they have the athletic and academic ability.

The dream of taking your talents to the college level can be a reality if you work hard. Hard work athletically and academically will get you the attention from college coaches and you will make it to the next level.

There are a lot of student athletes out there who play the same sport you play. All of them are also looking to take their talents to the college scholarship level. There’s always going to be something that separates these athletes from each other. They’re going to be athletes who get a scholarship who are just as good as you and maybe you get overlooked or passed on by college coaches.

The recruiting process plays no favorites; it doesn’t care if you’re black or white, rich or poor or that you live in the ‘hood or the suburbs. The recruiting process only cares about outstanding athletes who have good grades. The dream can be a reality, but don’t do anything stupid to turn it into a nightmare.

Joel BlodGett

Joel BlodGett

Recruiting Director, Elkhart, Indiana

Before a career ending back injury, I formerly played college football and baseball. Since my playing days have ended, I have enjoyed both training and coaching the youth in a variety of sports.

Previously, going through the recruiting process has given me a great insight. My goal is to take the knowledge I have from my playing days and  incorporate it into my life as a trainer and a coach. My goal and passion are to develop young athletes, pushing them to their fullest potential.

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