Back-to-Back State Championship Coach Offers Perspective for Families
I have been in the sports business for over twenty years and met some incredible people along the way. Just like many college coaches can tell in only a few minutes of watching a prospective high school recruit and know they are going to be successful and should receive an athletic scholarship or not, I met our guest coach for this blog and instantly knew he was a man who creates championship environments.
In addition to presenting recruiting education seminars, consulting with families on the college recruiting process, and publishing my book, Looking For A FULL RIDE?: An Insider’s Recruiting Guide, I am also a certified speaker, trainer, and coach for the Positive Coaching Alliance. As I was coming on staff, I had the honor and privilege of meeting PCA trainer, Coach Tod Creneti and instantly knew I was in the midst of an amazing leader, coach, and teacher.
Tod Creneti has spent 26 years as a football coach at both the high school and college level. Over the last two years, Coach Creneti has led the Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School football program in Bradenton, Florida, to back-to-back state championships! Most recently, he was named the Independent Football Coach of the Year for the entire State of Florida. He also runs his own business, Foundation Coaching to help bring out the potential in others.
I have asked him to provide insight on the college recruiting process this week as he has seen it from both the side of a high school coach and a college coach, and can therefore, provide a true “insider’s” perspective.
Coach Renee Lopez:
Having sent over 50 of your high school student-athletes to play in college over the past few years, how do you think the recruiting process has changed over the past 10-15 years? With the rising costs of college, many families are looking for sports to be the means to pay for them to attend. What are your best recommendations for the college recruiting process and getting scholarships?
Coach Tod Creneti:
The biggest change is that recruiting is driven much more by the student-athlete and the internet has completely changed the landscape. Primarily, families need to identify where their student-athlete best projects at the college level and this requires some hard honesty. Once that level is accurately determined, athletes should dial in on which schools meet their academic and social interests and begin to build a relationship with the coach who recruits in their area.
Coach Renee Lopez: What are the biggest mistakes families make in the recruiting process?
Coach Tod Creneti: Paying for recruiting services (vs. recruiting educational programs such as you provide Coach Renee) and using their own evaluation of their child’s talent as the gold standard.
Coach Renee Lopez: What intangibles are college coaches looking for beyond athletic talent and good grades?
Coach Renee Lopez: The Positive Coaching Alliance states a very crazy, yet sad, statistic that about 70% of kids are leaving youth sports by the age of 13. What do you think the role of youth sports should be?
Coach Tod Creneti: Youth Sports provides young people a safe place to develop life skills that will impact every area of their lives for years to come.
Coach Renee Lopez: What is unique about football recruiting (vs. other club-based sports recruiting)?
Coach Tod Creneti: Football recruiting runs through high school coaches almost entirely (versus many other club driven sports such as soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball, lacrosse, and basketball). The high school coach is the central figure in facilitating recruiting for their players. High school coaches should be communicating with players all throughout their time in a coach’s program. They should also be advocates for their players while providing accurate feedback to players and families.
Coach Renee Lopez: What role should parents play in the recruiting process? What roles should they not play?
Coach Tod Creneti: Parents should play the role of encourager in what can be a very tedious process. They should not drive the process.
Coach Creneti has been a very successful coach at both the high school and college levels. As he mentions, college coaches are looking for character. Last fall, we released blogs that we would strongly recommend you read to better understand what character truly means from a college coach’s perspective. Read Beyond the X’s and O’s: What are College Coaches Really Looking For? and 5 Social Media Strategies to Market Yourself To A College Coach.
Want some help with the recruiting process? Join some of our 9 Facebook Groups:
- Parents of High School Student Athletes Walking Through The Process (All Sports)
- Beyond Xs & Os 4 HS Athletes: Health, Recruiting, Team Building, Mental Training (All Sports)
- Athletic Recruiting Education for Principals, AD's, and Counselors (All Sports)
- Club/HS Coaches Learning College Recruiting Process (All Sports)
- Play College Soccer (Soccer Specifically)
- College Recruiting for GK's (Soccer Specifically)
- Positive Team Building for Pro, College, HS, and Youth Coaches (All Sports)
- Mindset & Leadership Lessons for Athletes, Coaches/Teachers, & Business Leaders (All Sports & Business Leaders)
- Christian Competitors (Coaches & Athletes Serving Christ @Field/Court/Gym) (Sports Ministry for All)
Would you like her to do individual consulting with your family to get an insider’s perspective?
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Did you know Coach Renee Lopez can come to your school or sports organization?
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Coach Renee Lopez
As a 17 year coaching veteran, Coach Renee Lopez is a recruiting expert for high school student-athletes. She uses her NCAA Division I, II, and NAIA Head Coaching experience to help families navigate the recruiting process to be identified by college coaches and help them find the right “fit” for playing at the next level. She has produced 3 All-Americans, over 30 All-Conference athletes and Her teams have been honored with awards for team academic accomplishments, sportsmanship, and sports ministry. In addition, Coach Renee Lopez has been named Coach of the Year by her peers.
She presents recruiting seminars across the country, has recently been featured in USA Weekly, with the National Alliance for Youth Sports, on SiriusXM Radio and ESPN Radio. She is the author of the book, Looking For A FULL RIDE?: An Insider’s Recruiting Guide where she has interviewed over 65 college recruiters across all sports and college levels. In addition, she runs 9 Facebook groups to help facilitate conversations on college recruiting education, coaching education, leadership development, and sports ministry. She is also a certified speaker, trainer and coach for the John Maxwell Team, Jon Gordon Company, 3Dimensional Coaching, and the Positive Coaching Alliance.
She also does private consulting for student-athletes and their families to help in understanding the often daunting process of recruiting. (See one family’s testimonial.) If you are looking for help in the college recruiting process, please email Coach Renee Lopez at email@example.com.
Tod Creneti has been serving young people and their families as a school administrator, teacher, coach and minister for over 25 years. Currently Tod is the Founder of Foundation Coaching, a practice committed to helping teams, businesses, and other organizations perform their very best. In three years training with the Positive Coaching Alliance Tampa Bay, Tod led over 275 community education workshops at over 40 schools and youth sports organizations. Tod has trained for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, The Tampa Bay Lightning, The Tampa Bay Rays, The Miami Dolphins and The Miami Marlins during that stretch.
Tod has spent 26 years as a football coach at both the high school and college level. Over the last two years, Tod has led the Saint Stephens Episcopal School football program in Bradenton, Florida, to back-to-back state championships. Most recently he was named the independent football Coach of the Year for the State of Florida. Tod has served as a USA Football Master trainer for the last five years as well.
Currently, Tod resides in Parish, FL, with his wife Tanya and their two daughters Gabby and Sophia. He graduated from Gettysburg College where he played quarterback and place kicker on the Bullets squad for four years.