Sunday, September 27, 2009


Double-A-Zone is the official blog of the NCAA. The blog covers a wide variety of topics, and there are a wide variety of different blogs inside the site. The site updates on the activity going on in the NCAA, such as the administration and legislative decisions. It also has blogs that update the readers about what is going on at each institution and the individual changes that the colleges and universities are making.

For example, there is a recent blog post about the University of Michigan banning bags in their stadium. No purses, diaper bags, or any type of bag will be allowed inside the stadium due to recent terrorism probes. The university wants to ensure the safety of their fans and athletes.

According to the blog, which was launched in November 2005 and offers daily posts with commentary and all three divisions of the NCAA and other sports news. The blog allows readers to debate over the important issues that surround intercollegiate athletics. The site accepts guest blogs and other user submissions.

There are blogs about football, and all Division I II and III sports. Most of the individual blogs are run through Each institution generally offers a blog for each game or time of competition offering live updates throughout the competition.

Double-A-Zone is a great place to go and start searching for Division I blogs, there is a wide variety of choices and options that you could follow, and the site offers a lot of valuable information.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Getting Drafted

Though it is the goal of many athletes to get drafted and play a professional sport beyond college, there is much more to it than just being the start of the team. A lot has to be done to even be considered by the pro's and the competition to get recruited is very intense. A very small percentage of athletes even consider going pro. Most play for the love of the game, the desire to compete, and the drive to win.

According to the NCAA website, student athletes compete because: "It's not about getting a scholarship, getting drafted, or making SportsCenter. It's a deep need in us that comes from the heart. We need to practice, to play, to lift, to hustle, to sweat. We do it all for our teammates and for the student in our calculus class that we don't even know."

We compete to be the best, and to represent our college or university.

There are many rules that must be followed when entering the draft. Underclassmen who make themselves eligible for professional drafts are now allowed to resume their college careers if they change their minds about becoming professionals, whether or not they have been drafted. They can enter the draft and they then have until a certain date to withdraw from the draft and return to their institution.

The 2 most common drafts are for the National Football League and the National Basketball Association. If they don't make it to the pro's then they can go back and play in school. The technical term for all of this is amateurism. The only sports this effects is football and basketball. In baseball and hockey the players have more manueverability because the player can be drafted out of high school.

Though chances of going pro are very low, it is many athletes dreams and they are willing to do just about anything to extend their careers past the college level.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SB Nation

There are a lot of other blogs regarding sports that are very good places to look for information. My site is specific to Division I sports and being an athlete. Sports Blog Nation is a site made by fans for fans and allows you to browse through 213 different sports blogs.
The site I specifically analyzed is called Big 12 Hardball. The creator of the site does a really good job of keeping its fans updated on what is going on. Even though Big 12 baseball ended in June, there were posts and videos posted throughout the summer to keep the fans updated on what the athletes were doing, and how they were all playing in summer league.
The blog is really easy to navigate through, and provides detailed information. It talked about pre-season predictions, then followed the teams and players throughout the entire season, and ended by following the teams in the post season.
The blog highlights not only teams but also the standout players on each team and who is making a huge impact on the success or failures of each teams season.
The website provides a link to each school inside the Big 12 conference. On each of these pages there is a write up on an overall preview of the season, a depth chart so fans know what and who to be looking for, and statistics from previous seasons. It also leaves a lot of areas where readers can comment on what the writer is saying, and are given an opportunity to voice their opinions on the team as well.
There are numerous posts about schools and teams made by the fans in the FanPosts portion of the webpage. Fans keep the other fans updated about the polls and current situation and status of the league. There are a lot of posts by a lot of different people, which goes to show that this blog has a good following.
There isn't a lot of advertising on this blog. There is some across the top, and there are also links to CBS Sports and Brash Publishers who I would guess are the site sponsors. Overall, very little advertising and promotions.

There are a lot of places to find out information about sports, and SB nation is a great place to start.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Playing a Division I sport can take a toll on your body. You eventually get used to sore and tired muscles, but one thing that can affect a lot of athletes is injury. It doesn't matter what sport you play, everyone in every sport is prone to some kind of injury. Most often you see an injury related to a specific instance in competition or practice where a body part was injured. The other common type of injury is an overuse injury.

Though thinking of injuries is not something that crosses a lot of athletes minds, it is definitely something that should always be kept at the back of you mind. You have to know how to react to it if you get injured, and there is a level of mental toughness that you need to have in order to bounce back from an injury quickly and successfully.

Though it can be frustrating, getting back as soon as possible from an injury is not always the best decision. The athlete will always think otherwise, but rushing back into something can be detrimental to the future health of the athlete.

Most colleges and universities have a team/program doctor. Someone who all the athletes are referred to for surgeries, injections, x-rays, MRI's, anything you can think of. This doctor gives priority to these athletes and will typically bend over backwards to do everything they can to get the athlete back to 100% as soon as they possibly can.

Though it is in no ones plan to get to college and get hurt, you are offered a lot of options if you are put into that situation. There are a number of surgeries and injections now that can make the injury go away, or at least mask the injury, for an extended period of time. The more medically advanced our society gets, the more options there are for athletes to compete.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Pre-Game Rituals

Superstitions are a huge part of sports. Not just college sports, but professional sports, high school sports, little league. You name it, athletes build superstitions. What an athlete does before a game is a lot of personal preference, along with some input from the coaching staff. It could be something as little as listening to your ipod on the way to competition to something as major as wearing the same socks every game. Each individual is different, but I can guarantee you that all athletes have some pre-game rituals.

After talking to some of my fellow athletes, I came up with a list of common, along with some unusual superstitions that we use.

- A football player listens to the same playlist on his ipod before every game.
- A cross country runner wears the same sports bra for every race.
- A soccer player always ties his right cleat first on game day.
- A volleyball player always wears a pink hair-tie.
- A softball player has to eat Cheerios for breakfast on days of competition.
- A football player has to have steak the night before a game. And a Snickers on game day.
- A baseball player has to take 50 practice swings before the first pitch.

Some of these things may seem like silly ideas, but it gives the athlete confidence and makes them feel more comfortable before competition. These techniques are used to relax the athlete, and take their mind off the big game for a little bit. These rituals don't necessarily mean that the athlete is going to go out and have the game of their lives, they are just little things that can be done to ease the mind.
Every coach I have ever had has talked about how important it is to get into a routine. It is especially important on game days, and breaking the routine can throw off your whole day.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Choosing a college

Choosing a college can be one of the hardest decision of your life. When you throw collegiate athletics into the mix, the decision process can be a very stressful time for student athletes and their families. There are some things that an athlete should do before considering schools. It will help if the athlete sits down and makes a list of criteria that they would like their selected college to meet.
There are so many things to think about when selecting a college, and there are a lot of factors that should to into your decision. Think about everything that will make you happy, and make your college experience exactly what you want it to be. Don't think that any criteria are crazy to hope for when selecting a school.
In the end, the college choice has to be made by the student athlete. Ultimately they are the ones that will play for that team, go to that school, and be a part of that institution. It has to be a decision they are comfortable with and that will satisfy them. Also, when making the final decision, stick with your gut. Choose a school and be confident about your choice. Don't go back and second guess yourself. Follow your gut and go where you feel like you fit in the best, and where you will have the most enjoyable college experience. In the end, it has to be a decision that is made by YOU. Mom and dad can't decide what coaches you get along with best, and no coach can decide what university you feel you will fit in the best at. It has to be a decision made by you, for you.

Read the full article with all helpful hints on my website at:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

10 personality traits that will help you become a D-I athlete

1. Be committed. Choose the sport you want to focus on and be 100% committed to it. That doesn't mean that you can't play other sports, but be committed at excelling in your favorite sport and pour your heart into it. Be committed to yourself and be committed to your team (in a team sport.)

2. Time Management. Being able to balance school, sports, and a social life is an important part of college. You have to plan in advance, and keep your practice and travel schedules in mind at all times.

3. Prioritize. It is hard to balance a sport and school on top of the college social life. You need to have your priorities set, school, your sport, and then your social life. There will be times that you will have to pass on a big party because you have a hard practice the next day or a test you need to prepare for the next week. Keeping your priorities straight will help you do this.

4. Be independent. Being able to make your own decisions, and do things on your own is critical in the success of an athlete. Always relying on other people to get things done for you will not get you very far.

5. Be reliable. You don't want to be known as the person who is always late, or the person who you can't count on. Reliability is a personality trait that is important not only in sports, but in your professional and social life as well.

6. Lead. If you are a good athlete, you will try to lead the people you are with. It doesn't matter if you lead vocally, or if you lead by example on the field/court. It is important that when times get tough, you can step up and take charge of the situation.

7. Be relaxed. This is really important when you are in the recruitment process. It is important that you can keep your cool when you know your every move is being watched on the court/field. You have to keep your composure and continue to play your game. The more tense you are, the more likely you are to make a mistake which will lead to more stress. Take a deep breath and relax your mind and body before stepping foot on the floor for competition.

8. Self-discipline. At times, you have to be hard on yourself. Set goals for yourself and don't quit until you accomplish them. Don't ever take the easy way out of situations. Push yourself to be the best you can.

9. Be open-minded. You have to be willing to change if you want to be a successful athlete. Your way might not always be the best way. Different coaches will have different strategies on how to play the game, and you have to be able to adapt to these theories and make the adjustments that will make you successful.

10. Be competitive. Strive to be the best, do the little things that will push you past the competition. Don't settle for second best. Be at the top of your game, and help bring your team to the top of their game. Strive to win.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rankings Update

With the first week of football competition over, the rankings have changed around a little bit. Oklahoma was upset by Brigham Young University, and dropped down to number 13. The top ranked Florida Gators stayed atop the competition by slaughtering Charleston Southern 62-3. Number 2 Texas also opened their season with a big win, defeating Louisiana Monroe 59-20.
As the season progresses, the heavily favored Gators will have their work cut out for them. With the SEC becoming more and more competitive, the Gators will have to defeat the number 21 Georgia Bulldogs, and number 11 LSU.

With all three Heisman Trophy candidates back playing this year, competition will be intense. Just one loss for any of the top teams would put their opportunity to play for the national championship at stake. Heisman trophy winner Sam Bradford, from Oklahoma will spend the next 4-6 weeks on the sidelines with a third degree shoulder separation. Speaking from experience, a separated shoulder is not something that you can just bounce back from right away. It is not an injury that can be pushed and rushed back into action. It needs the proper time to heal, or the injury will continue to occur. After dropping their season opener and losing their star quarterback, the Sooners are going to have to make some changes and find a way to win if they want to stay in contention for a national championship.

Week 2 of competition starts in 2 days, and we can only imagine what the weekend action will bring. Will there be more upsets or will the big dogs stay atop the charts. Teams will be challenged, pushed, and battle to earn the respect that they deserve, or think they deserve. Half the teams in the country started with a win last week. Who will be tough enough to continue what they started?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Tailgating is an important part of collegiate athletics. Sweeping over the country, tailgating has now become almost as popular as the actual competition being held. The most popular time to tailgate is during football season. Many companies are following this new trend and creating the products that the tailgate fanatics want. Budweiser recently started their "tailgate approved" campaign.

At this website, you can purchase Bud Light cans in your schools colors, you can purchase a giant foam finger that can also hold a beer, and you can purchase the Grooler. A combination of a grill, and a cooler.

To successfully tailgate, you also have to be decked out in the college or university of your choices fan gear.

This website offers t-shirts, jerseys, hats, blankets, and anything else you might need to successfully tailgate. You can never have too much school spirit.

The most important part of tailgating is the food. Good or bad food will make or break a tailgate. Tyson has started the "anytizers" line of food. This is all pre-prepared food that just needs to be heated up. Buffalo wings, chicken strips, anything you could want. They are quick, and they are easy.

Check them out at

Sunday, September 6, 2009


All athletes are given an opportunity to take what is called a redshirt. There are two kinds of redshirting.

The first kind of redshirting is used most often with the freshmen class. Typically male athletes chose to take the redshirt to spend an entire year in the gym lifting and getting stronger. To take this kind of redshirt the athlete declares before the season, and they do not compete in games. The athlete continues to practice and workout with the team, but typically does not travel to out of town games, and does not dress for competition.

The second kind of redshirting is not technically a redshirt. The official terminology for this is a "hardship waiver," This refers to a student-athlete who is seeking to gain an extra year of eligibility because of an injury suffered. At the Division I level, the student can apply for the waiver if the season-ending injury occurs in the first half of the season. The student-athlete must not have participated in more than 20% of the school's schedules contests.
To be granted this waiver takes a lot of work. It requires documentation from all doctor's visits, surgery reports, x-rays, MRI's, and check ups. It is then submitted to the NCAA and a committee goes over all the paperwork to be approved.

If the waiver is granted, the athlete is given an extra year of eligibility.

Taking a redshirt is not an easy way out of a season. I was granted a hardship waiver for the 2008-2009 season. Between the surgery, rehab, and extra workouts I put more time into the season than the people who were actually playing.

Taking a redshirt can also be a struggle mentally for a lot of athletes. They are plagued with the feeling that they are putting all the time into their sport and getting nothing in return.