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Active Team Sports

6 Posts authored by: Michael Husted

I just got off the phone with Tony Dungy.  I had called my old special teams coach Joe Marciano, who is now the special teams coordinator for the Houston Texans.  I left him a message asking for Tony's cell number so that I could contact him.  Joe called me back and told me that he had just got off the phone with Tony and that Tony was looking for my number.  That is a "Goocher" in my book.


Tony has decided that he is ready to move on to the next chapter in his life.  It was great to hear Tony's voice.  It had been some time since I had spoken with him.  Espn wrote some great articles on Tony.  One in particular was about me and how he handled a slump that I went through in 1997 when my mother was dying of cancer: 


Being an athlete and/or a coach is demanding enough.  However, how we handle both victory and defeat provides the opportunity to demonstrate character.  The NFL is a "machine" and I have seen many people change under its grips.  I have heard coaches tell our team one thing, only to have something else happen.  That was never the case with Tony.  With the amount of money and pressure that is found in the NFL, Tony never allowed it to control him.  His faith in man-kind is strong.  His faith in God is stronger.  This man "Walks the Walk."


I will forever be grateful to Tony not only for how he handled my situation, but how fortunate I am to have him as  a friend and the impact that he has had on my life.

7,008 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: sports, football, nfl, coach, leader, man, god

Gene Upshaw passed away yesterday at the age of 63.  Coincidently, that was the number on his uniform during an incredible NFL career that included two Super Bowl wins and seven Pro Bowl appearances. 


However, it will be for his leadership of NFL Players and the Union that he will be most remembered.  For over 20 years, he served as head of the Union and was instrumental in positioning the NFLPA where it is today.  From Free Agency for players to increased salaries and benefits, he battled a Machine, the NFL, that for years, had benefited from athletes on the field without giving much back to them.


Playing nine years in the NFL and having served as union representative for most of those years, I was able to experience first hand the results he had produced.  People always had an issue here or there with what he was doing, but overall, no one could argue with his leadership.  In any type of leadership position, it is difficult to please everyone all of the time.  Being a retired player, there are benefits that I feel could have been addressed more for us.  However, the retirement benefits that I now have are largely due to his ability to surround himself with strong leadership and get results.  For that I am thankful.


His ability to relate to players and stand his ground when dealing with the NFL owners was an attribute to his strength, courage, integrity and most of all his tenacity.  The next Executive Director will have some big shoes to fill, but I am confident that Gene set enough examples to follow.


That things that I love about sports/athletics are discipline, teamwork and leadership qualities.  These are necessary to be successful on the field, court, in the water, on the bike, etc.


There are so many benefits to an Active life style whether competing against others or yourself, whether you are hoisting the championship trophy or handling defeat with dignity.


Thank you, Gene, for being an example to all athletes by realizing that our potential doesn't end when the last whistle blows and we walk off the field for the last time.  Whether that is in high school, college, the Olympics or professional, we have the foundation to be successful in life.


Rest in Peace.

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Michael Husted played professional football for nine years  as a placekicker in the NFL. He is also the co-creator of an innovative online video recruiting tool that connects student

athletes with coaches through the use of interactive video profiles.


Choosing the right college to attend is something that will take some

time. You will want to find a school that fits you both academically

and athletically.


The first step is to make a list of 12-15 schools

that you, initially, would like to attend.


I would categorize them in this way:


  • Dream schools

  • Realistic schools

  • Fall back schools


Of course, there could be some overlap between the Dream and Realistic

schools. Having simple categories will help to organize your choices as

you start this process.


Your Dream schools could be a big time college athletic program, like

UCLA, Notre Dame, Texas or Florida. Maybe you have grown up watching

that program, members of your family have attended that school or you

simply like their mascot and colors. There are many colleges that offer

both big time athletics as well as incredible academics, Virginia, Cal

Berkley, Boston College, etc. Therefore, attending one of these

programs would appear to be ideal.


However, you need to be "realistic" with your athletic abilities and

decide if you would get significant playing time by attending one of

these programs. If so, great. If not, then you will need to decide if

just being on the roster is good enough for you. Otherwise, finding a

program, athletically, that will allow you to get a lot of playing time

might be at a "Realistic" School.


Being a "Big fish in a small pond," is something that will provide for

a great college experience. There are dozens of incredible academic

institutions that play at smaller divisions, Amherst, William and Mary

and all of the Ivy league schools.


You have heard or you will hear that "College is one of the best times

of your life." The great thing is that you can do many things to ensure

that you have an incredible experience.


Finally, have your "Fall Back" Schools. These are schools that you

would still enjoy attending, but they are not necessarily the first ones

that pop up in your head. They still combine the academics and

athletics and offer the expected experience.


Do your initial research on these schools, their location (Do you want to stay close to home or leave the state?), student

size, academic offering, players at your postition (How many? When are

they graduating?),etc. Your list and rankings may move around after

your research. Some schools may drop out and some new ones may be added.


Two sites where you can begin your research are:


You have to work just as hard off the field, to find the right school, as you do on

the field.*  *


One of the most important questions that you should ask

yourself when trying to select the right college is "If something were

to happen that prevented me from playing my sport in college, would

I still want to be at that school?"


Leveraging your sport to go to college is a great way to be a starter, get an education and have an incredible experience that will set the foundation for the rest of your life.


Once you have narrowed down your school options, the next step is letting them know that you are out there.  The most efficient way is to create an online video profile with


Good luck!

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So you want to play sports  in college? Whether you’re an All-American, All-State, All-District or just a starter  because you were left off those lists by mistake, in order to play at the next level there are mandatory procedures.

The NCAA considers a  Prospective Student-Athlete as “someone who  is looking to participate in intercollegiate athletics at an NCAA Division I or  Division II institution in the future.” To play in college  ALL Prospective Student-Athletes must sign up with the NCAA Eligibility Center.

As of August 1, 2008, NCAA Division I will require 16 core courses. Division II requires 14 core courses, but  will increase to 16 core courses beginning August 1, 2013. View the NCAA  Freshman Eligibility Standards Quick Reference Sheet for more information  on these requirements.

This important step allows for college coaches to verify that you are eligible and provides them academic  information on the student-athlete. You  are encouraged to submit transcripts and test scores (SAT/ACT) for their review. You will be assigned a pin number that they can use to confirm this information.

Just like there are rules to  follow in games, the NCAA is all about rules and guidelines to better serve  student-athletes and their parents.

Once you have registered, it is time to let them know that you are out there. The internet is a great way to create  exposure. Creating an online interactive video profile is a solid way to make that all important introduction to college coaches.

If you haven’t registered  with the eligibility center, do so ASAP.

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Through my experience playing in the NFL and being a union

representative for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I saw first-hand what

happens to athletes when their playing days come to an end and they

haven't prepared for their second career. A very small percentage of

athletes make it to the pros. Of those who do, a smaller percentage

play long enough to retire comfortably for the rest of their lives.


In the NFL alone, the average career is only 3.5 years. You don't qualify

to become an unrestricted free agent (where the big contracts are

usually signed) until you have played four years.


There are a lot of sad stories about pro athletes who didn't prepare themselves

enough for life after their sports career is over. Don't let that

happen to you. It is a long shot to play professional sports. However,

going to college, playing the sport you love and getting a great

education will provide you with an incredible experience that will carry

you through the rest of your life.


No matter what sport you play, your coach develops plays that you use to help the team win. Most

teams have a playbook. Being a student-athlete and trying to have a

game plan for college requires its own "playbook." The NCAA has done a

great job trying to take the burden off of athletes and parents by

creating a game plan to follow. The process to get into college can be

overwhelming. However, using the Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete is a very smart thing to do.


Have you gone to site? It is a really cool interactive site.

It is essentially a playbook with information about being an NCAA



The site itself was designed to look like a playbook. It is a three-ring binder that "is dedicated to helping you

understand the balance between academics and sports required of every student-athlete for a successful life in school, and out. Here you can learn about the NCAA, download the Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete, and discover how you can go pro in something other than sports."


When you go to the site, the first words that you read are: There are over

380,000 student-athletes, and just about every one of them will go pro

in something other than sports.


I really enjoy the emphasis that the NCAA has put on "going pro" in something other than sports. The

inside folder pocket has an envelope with pictures that open to the

television commercials they have played.


I certainly was not aware of the Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete

when I was in high school and there wasn't an interactive website for

me to review. The site and its design effectively simplify the



This playbook discusses:

  • Amateurism-Eligibility Requirements

  • Academic-Eligibility Requirements

  • Core Course, GPA, Tests, Special Conditions

  • NCAA Eligibility Center

  • Questions to Ask as You Consider Colleges

  • Information for Parents and Guardians

  • Details for High School Counselors and Athletic Administrators

  • Recruiting Regulations


The media gives a lot of emphasis to professional athletes and thus every

kid wants to grow up to be one. I can tell you personally that although

it is a great experience, it sometimes is not all that it is cracked up

to be.


So check out the site, read it, download the playbook

and follow it. I am confident that if you follow the plays in this

playbook you will be successful.

2,043 Views 5 Comments Permalink Tags: team, sports, football, ncaa, high, school, recruiting, athlete, college, education, student, kicking

Recruiting Realities

Posted by Michael Husted Apr 18, 2008

There were some good articles in the New York Times recently about college recruiting and scholarship money.  The series of articles definitely highlighted the somber tails that some

student-athletes experience. Like anything else, we usually only get to hear or

read about the top 1% who have success.


I believe that there needs to be a shift of thinking in the college recruiting

process, both by parents and student-athletes. As athletes we have pride. Sometimes

that pride serves us well and other times it can hurt us. Most of us expect or

hope for scholarships to play in college. Parents definitely hope for it and

think that we are the next best player since Tom Brady (Coincidently, he was a

6th round draft pick.)


Yes, college tuition is getting more expensive every year. Therefore, we feel that it is important to

get a scholarship. I know that I was looking to get one to help my parents. (I

was also hoping that if I got a scholarship out of high school, they would buy

me a Suzuki Samurai with wood paneling on the side.)


Neither happened.  I ended up "walking on" at the University of Virginia and driving a beat up Ford

Pinto with no A/C. The summer after I graduated high school, I received a call

from Liberty University with an offer for a “full

ride.”  I respectfully declined. 


It should not be about “show(ing) me the money.”  I understand

that there are some people that cannot go to college for financial reasons

unless they get an athletic scholarship.


However, for this discussion, the shift in mind set should be focused on the benefits of playing

college sports.   Athletics offer more

long term benefits then tuition alone.

Pursuing sports in college can increases acceptance opportunities.  Once there, just a few of the traits you

learn are:


  • Time management

  • Discipline

  • Team work

  • Self-Motivation

  • How to deal well with pressure


Those skills and a college

degree will ultimately land you with a great job when you graduate.

Many employers look first to student-athletes for the above mentioned

traits when hiring.

If fact there is even a website geared towards hiring student-athletes

out of high school:


Read the series of articles in the NY Times .


Good luck!

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