How #CoronaRedShirtSeason Affects Juniors Players
On March 30th, the NCAA made its ruling on what to do for the senior class of 2019 regarding eligibility. You see, for these seniors, the Coronavirus cut their senior seasons short. Many tears were shed as the immediate thought was that these seniors had played their last games without even knowing it. They would get no senior send off. They would get no chance to make one last run at the national championship. The thought was, that was it. Within RPM Sand we were really sad for the alumni that were seniors. we had multiple athletes on top ten teams in the country with chances to compete for the championship including one senior who was on the team that was ranked #1 in the nation when it ended. Fortunately for those seniors, the NCAA gave them another chance. You can read the details of their ruling using this link.
Now, how does this affect juniors players? This situation is about to become incredibly unique. There is about to be a bottleneck effect at a result of this.
For committed high school seniors: Let me put your mind at ease. Your signed commitments are safe. How does this affect you then? Well, as you go into college, the number of players you are set to compete against for playing time most likely just increased. Not all seniors will stay, so each situation at each different school will be different. I have already had questions from high school seniors about my thoughts on if they should red-shirt or not. My answer is, I can not tell you that. That is a decision that you have to make for yourself based on your specific situation. I can tell you this though, if you are not currently getting reps during this pandemic while another recruit is, you are not putting yourself in a position to be successful.
For non-committed seniors: This just got really hard for you. I'm not saying it is impossible to get committed at this point, but you had better be putting in a LOT of extra work right now. You had better be all over communicating with coaches and getting video out to them. If you have connections to schools, do not hesitate to use them at this point. It's time to not only pull out all of the stops from the communication standpoint, but also to be working really hard on your own to get recruited. I KNOW that the ones who this is truly important to will find a way, but it needs to start the moment you finish reading this.
For juniors: This was supposed to be your summer. This was supposed to be the summer where you finally got all of the looks. It may still happen, and it may not, but the trickle down affect of having so many players and red-shirts trickling down to the incoming freshmen, the sophomore and junior classes might end up being affected the most. Now is the time to hit your recruiting as quickly and as hard and as focused as possible. Take the time that you have to get your recruiting stuff together. Video, e-mails sent out. Get the attention of the coaches now. You have to make sure that you are on the radar before the coaches fill out their rosters. If you are serious about playing in college, the coaches will have heard from you a LOT before this pandemic is over.
For Sophomores: While your urgency is not quite that of what the juniors is, your class will absolutely be affected by this. Schools will not be recruiting quite as many players in each class in order to try to balance the number of players on their rosters moving forward. If you have the connections to get on the radar with schools now, you absolutely need to take advantage of them. Your job this week needs to be to be compiling video of yourself. Getting the emails written to the coaches, and getting them all sent out before someone else does.
For ALL JUNIORS: Your window to leave an impression just got a lot smaller. If you are serious about going to college to play, you need to be getting the touches that other players are not. If you DO get the opportunity to get out on the beach in front of the college coaches this summer, you need to make sure that they don't look at you and know that you took all of this time off during this pandemic. You may only get one shot. Wouldn't you rather be prepared for your shot, than have to wonder what could have happened if you had been?
Just like with all other aspects of the sport, preparation is key. Prepare yourself to be recruited. The process is not easy. Prepare your mental game. You will need it more than you can imagine. If this is truly your dream, your clock is ticking.
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