College Preparation Advice From Our Very Own Academic Camp Director, Daniel Riseman

 

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In an interview with MomZette, Daniel Riseman, founder of Riseman Educational Consulting in Irvington, New York, has been counseling students and working with families for 15 years on every aspect of the college admissions process, including tutoring students for SAT and ACT tests, selecting schools and majors, and writing essays. He offers the following insights for students immersed in the interviewing process.

Do not come in with a script.

“No one is interested in hearing a well-prepared monologue,” said Riseman. “While careful preparation is essential, do not force statistics or facts into the conversation at every opportunity. Interviewers remember organic discussions. Serving as your own PR agent can backfire.”

Be an active listener

“Interviewers tend to enjoy talking about their time in college, so let them. Ask about their favorite professor or memory from college. Active listeners make interviewers feel good about themselves, which usually results in a positive review. By focusing more on what the interviewer says, you will calm your nerves. Connect and enjoy the experience.”

Be present

“Some of my students take improv classes months prior to their college interviews,” said Riseman. “This is not intended to make them funnier. Rather, such training allows them to learn to be in the moment more effectively. Interviewers can sense preoccupation. Instead, embrace the moment.”

Keep expectations realistic

“Interviewers have minimal power. Even the perfect interview does not guarantee an acceptance letter. Conversely, a bad interview does not mean an automatic rejection. Most colleges actually put little weight on the interview. A student’s GPA and test scores are much more important.”

Allow the interviewer to picture you at the university

“Use details from campus visits or your knowledge of the school to place yourself at the university during the conversation. Include courses you plan on taking and activities you would love to take part in. Try to connect such imagery to the interviewer’s flashbacks of his or her time at the college.”

Do not be afraid of silence

“You do not have to fill in pauses with prattle. Comfortable silence can build intimacy.”

Be yourself

“You’re the one the interviewer wants to learn about. Do not try to be a character from your favorite film or TV show. Allow yourself to be ‘you.’ This will calm your nerves.”

For the full article visit:  Surprising Advice for a Successful College Interview

 

 

In Pursuit of the ‘Coveted’ Athletic Scholarship

Synopsis: Blame it on the fact the cost of a college education has obtained a permanent place on the escalator to infinity. Blame it on the fact the plethora of sports-related cable/satellite channels are so hungry to fill vacant viewing hours athletic participants of every intercollegiate sport offered are capturing their version of Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame. Whatever the reason, there continues to be an upsurge in the efforts put forth by high school student-athletes (and parents) to reach the promised land of a secure college athletic scholarship. IMG_3601

Reality is the best starting point when discussing athletic scholarships. A University of Washington study found 59 percent of high school varsity football players believe they will receive an athletic scholarship upon graduation. In reality, only two percent of all high school athletes will participate collegiately in any sport. A snapshot of NCAA Division I and Division II sports offerings put the number of athletic scholarships in the vicinity of 138,000. Break that down further by looking at the number of high school girls track athletes (over 600,000) and the number of collegiate track scholarships in those two NCAA divisions (4,500), and the sting of reality is even greater.  Only four NCAA sports offer complete scholarships, also referred to as ‘full rides,’ a fact which also needs to be understood.

Those realities aside, there are still opportunities for those student-athletes not considered among the elite in their respective sports. Regardless of whether the student is an elite athlete, academics cannot be discounted. Intercollegiate athletic recruiters want to see how successful student-athletes are in the classroom, as well as ACT and SAT scores. A gymnast with a 3.4 GPA is likely to get the nod over a recruit of similar athletic ability who carries a 2.7 GPA. Recruiters will also ask classroom-related questions such as:

·      How much does the student-athlete participate in class discussion?

·      Do teachers consider the student-athlete responsible and committed?

·      Are homework assignments turned in on time?

·      Is the student-athlete self motivated?

College recruiters want to fill rosters with student-athletes who have the focus and motivation to earn a degree. They want athletes who will commit to athletic and academic disciplines.

Student-athletes need to be involved with other extracurricular activities –besides sports. Leadership is also a big part of being a team member. Holding a position in student government or being a part of a thespian group may show the initiative a college coach seeks in a player.

Student-athletes need to inform their high school coaches early on about their desire to play collegiately. It is common for high school coaches to ask players after their freshman year of their intent on playing an intercollegiate sport. If a coach does not do this, the student-athlete must take the initiative and initiate the conversation about playing the sport at the college level.

It is important for the student-athlete to research the universities that interest him or her. At this step, parents and student-athletes must become realistic. Look at schools that will fit the athletic and academic level of the student-athlete. Ask the high school coach for input. Good high school head coaches will assist players in initial contacts and introduction packets to be sent via email. Recruiting visits are not limited to the major universities. After narrowing down the potential colleges to attend, schedule a visit during the student-athlete’s junior year. Interested college recruiters may also make such invitations if there is mutual interest.

Even if the student-athlete is not expecting to be recruited at a Division I or II university, do not forget to register with the NCAA Clearinghouse. A college recruiter may see something in a student-athlete that a parent or the player may not recognize. Not being registered with the clearinghouse process could result in a lost opportunity for the student-athlete.

 

 

 

 

 

March Madness Tidbits

For those that cannot get enough of the NCAA basketball tournament, we have compiled a few “interesting” tidbits for you this week.

 

Information about picking your brackets that will not help you

  • According to DePaul University math professor Jeff Bergen, your chances of getting every single pick correct are roughly one in 9.2 quintillion.
  • Put another way, your chances of getting every game right is 1 in 9,223,322,036,854,775,808.
  • Only once have all #1 seeds made the final four (2008)
  • Only once in the past 16 years have all 4 of the #2 seeds survived the first weekend  (2009)
  • At least one #4 seed has lost a first round game each of the last 5 years
  • While #6 and #8 seeds have won the title in the 1980s, a #5 seed has never won the title. The #7 seeds have never reached the finals, reaching the final four only once
  • A #16 seed has NEVER upset a #1 seed
  • Only once have the numbers 13, 14, and 15 seeds won a round of 64 games in the same tournament, which was in 1991, according to ESPN
  • According to ESPN, 27.3 percent of tournament games have been decided by three points or fewer (or went to OT), in the past three years.

Does DNA Help?

  • Shane Larkin, Miami’s leading scorer and a John Wooden Award candidate for national player of the year, is the son of 1995 NL MVP and baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin.
  • Gonzaga Junior guard David Stockton  is the son of Gonzaga’s most famous basketball alum, John Stockton — but John never reached the NCAA postseason.
  • Southern Senior 6-9 center Madut Bol, son of the late Manute Bol is a role player for the Jaguars.
  • Notre Dame Junior G Jerian Grant is the older brother of Syracuse freshman Jerami. The two are sons of former NBAer Harvey Grant.
  • Michigan junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr and freshman forward Glenn Robinson III’s are sons of former NBA All-Stars with same names. And sophomore forward Jon Horford is son of former NBAer Tito Horford and brother of Atlanta Hawk Al.

NCAA Student-Athletes

Kansas State’s media notes call it “a tremendous semester in the classroom” — the Wildcats’ cumulative 2.839 GPA during the 2012 fall semester was the team’s highest in 12 years.

Harvard’s trip to the NCAAs may be more gratifying to Amaker and the Crimson after a major academic scandal involving cheating forced this season’s senior co-captains to withdraw from the school.

Foreshadowing?

Wichita State nickname – Shockers

Feel free to post any of your own useful or useless facts about the tournament.

College Recruiting – how do I get a college coach to notice me?

Many times parents and players are seeking information on the recruiting process and how to go about being noticed by a college coach. There are so many questions to ask and so much information to process. When do I need to apply? How important are test scores and grades? How do I contact a coach? Do I need a video? What is the eligibility center?

Even though each school and each coach deals with recruiting differently I think that there are a couple of general statements that are true for everyone:

–      Do well in school

–      Do well on the SAT’s or ACT’s.

–      Look for a school that has your major

–      Try to be realistic when it comes to soccer

When it comes to the soccer team – DO YOUR RESEARCH!!

Educate yourself about the team and the conference. Go and watch a game or two so you know the level, the team’s style of play and see for yourself how the coach is interacting with the players and what type of coach he or she is. I personally think that this is very important and something that many players and parents forget during the process.

LIU Post Men's SoccerECC Champs 2012

LIU Post Men’s Soccer
ECC Champs 2012

Communication – How To Stand Out In a Positive Way

According to NCAA less than 6% of boys high school soccer players will go on and play soccer at a NCAA institution. That means that out of 100 graduating seniors only 6 of them will have a chance to play soccer in college, at the NCAA level. Figuring that each high school soccer team has about 8 graduating seniors it would have to take two highschools to find one college soccer player.

(The percentage is slightly higher for women soccer players and the percentage is less than 4% for both men and women basketball, statistics for more sports can be found at the link below)

http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/eligibility_center/Athletics_Information/Probability_of_Competing_Past_High_School.pdf

I receive over 50 emails per week from players, parents and recruiting agencies with player resumes, videos or general emails. Most of these emails I directly delete and the biggest reason for this is that the email isn’t customized for me specifically. It is obvious to me when the email is sent out as a mass email. My name is not included, it simply states: “Dear Coach” and the name of my school is not included, it says “Your School”.

If the interested student athlete doesn’t have the time to customize their email, I simply feel that I don’t have the time to send them a reply email either. It doesn’t take much to stand out. I strongly suggest the student take the time to customize the email. Address the email to the coach with the coach’s last name (make sure you spell it correctly!) and mention that you have looked at the school’s and the team’s website.

Maybe a line about a recent game or an upcoming game?

Example:  “Coach Lindberg – Congratulations on a great result vs ABC University…” or I saw on your website that you have a big conference game coming up, I will try to make the game”

This goes a long way and it shows the coach that you have a real interest of the school and the team. If I receive an email like that, I will make sure that I reply to that potential student athlete.

I also think that it is important that the student and not the parent(s) are the driving force when communicating with the coach. Obviously the parents have a major role in the process, and especially the finances involved, but I look for players that are mature and independent, and can keep a conversation via the phone or in person without Mom answering the questions every time. Start with creating an email account in your own name.  Your parents can certainly help you drafting the email and help you out, but when I get an email from MarySmith@emails.com from a player named Justin Smith it is pretty obvious to me that I am in fact communicating with the Mom and not with Justin.

Once you have sent an email, wait a few days and then follow up with a phone call to the coach. It is amazing to me how few times this happens. A simple call to the coach — introducing yourself, checking to see if the coach has received your email and once again expressing your interest of the school and the team — would go a long way and make a very good impression on me. It tells me you are serious about your interest and that you are a mature and responsible young man. Once you have the coach (or the assistant coach) on the phone ask the coach if you can set up a visit to the school and come and meet with the coach.

Once you have a meeting set up, you need to prepare for the meeting. In my next entry I will discuss what you need to do to prepare yourself for such a meeting and how you can increase your chances of making a great impression.

Yours in Soccer!

Andreas Lindberg

Andreas Lindberg is the site director for Future Stars at Farmingdale State College.

Lindberg is also the current Head Coach for Nationally ranked LIU Post Men’s Soccer Team. Under his guidance the Pioneers won the East Coast Conference Championship in 2009 and 2012. Lindberg was chosen to the East Coast Conference Coach of the Year in 2009, 2011 and 2012.