Great discussions on Linkedin about football recruiting. Decided to answer two Linkedin group discussion questions on my blog because I have more space. The two questions are connected so I decided to comment on both questions:

1.      Who is obligated to help football players get recruited – coaches or parents?

2.      Relevance of 40-times in recruiting.

#1. I coach second-chance and last-chance players. I’ve been head coach at three levels – high school, collegiate, semi-pro. During my 40-year coaching career, I paid for all recruiting expenses. 100%. Game film, mailing, long distance calls. The results have been amazing. I’ve been blessed to have coached 1000s of players. 212 have been recruited by a “next-level.” Incredibly rewarding but incredibly costly. In 1997, my wife and I started a non-profit collegiate- level football team. We paid for it with no taxpayer money. More incredible results. But gas prices and passport requirements at the American border forced us to suspend our team last year temporarily.

Parents never paid us a dime for recruiting services. We’ve even hosted combines for players to supplement their game film and athletic resume. Would I do it again? Absolutely not. I have 3 daughters that I have never done this for. I have spent more on other peoples’ kids than my own. I built a home gym for my players when our school didn’t have one. Turned it into a business. We lost a ton on money of helping kids reach the next level. Now I’m writing books to make up for the losses. The reward of helping players reach the next-level is incomparable but in retrospect, family comes first. So, who is responsible for player recruitment? Parents have to foot the bill – time and money. Coaches can act as consultants but I would never again take on the whole responsibility again. I hear about how times are tough but I see players with every electronic toy, taking vacations that I can’t take, and parking lots full of new cars. This isn’t about resentment, its about my own family. Your own children will be young only once. They deserve your time. I would still have coached and helped kids get recruited but not to the ridiculous extent that I did.

#2. Regarding 40-times: I agree that 40-times are significant for NFL combines. I was referring to my 40-year research that I conducted about the recruiting process of 212 players of my players who were recruited by next-level teams and thousands more who did not. The research applies to our own reality. The majority of our players have been recruited by D2, D3, Canadian university, CFL, Arena/Indoor, European semi-pro paying leagues. Only three players I’ve coached were recruited by NFL scouts, as free agents. My findings are lengthy and I intend on publishing them but the most compelling factors that led to university and professional recruiting have been: (i) game film…game performance. What a player does on the field is the top factor. The majority of recruiters time speed on film. I’ve been told repeatedly that most 40-times sent to them are bullshit. Additionally, we run a warp-speed no-huddle. Recruiters have timed our players on film to find fourth-quarter speed. We strive for over 80 plays a game. Speed under fatigue is more important than rested speed (ii) filmed weight room performance. 225 bench and squats have been major factors in my players (iii) live combine/scrimmages. We have organized our own combines with live scrimmages. Recruiters love to evaluate live scrimmage in-person to evaluate the intangible ie: work ethic, attitude, heart, soul, balls. Forty-times are a factor but in my personal research, conventional rested 40-times haven’t cracked the top three. Game-performance speed matters more.

Additionally, the reasons I never time players: (i) I’m usually a one-man staff – time constraints (ii) in our system, endurance matters more. As mentioned, I use one of the fastest no-huddles humanly possible and I need two-way depth…players have to practice multiple positions. Rested 40-times have no relevance in our system. What matters is fatigued 40-times – fourth quarter speed. Our no-huddle weakens every team we play – their 40-times slow down while ours don’t. The only thing that matters to us is being faster than the other team as the game progresses.

Great discussion. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me at:

ginoarcaro@telus.blackberry.net

Or contact me on Facebook at Gino Arcaro or X Fitness Welland

Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc.

Owner – X Fitness Inc.

Head coach – Niagara X-Men football

Author- (i) Soul of a Lifter (ii) SWAT limitless no-playbook no-huddle (iii) SWAT limitless no-playbook defense (iv) Explode – X Fitness Strength training and Conditioning system