With everyone’s season about to start, I wanted to share some information with all of our readers about how the college recruiting process works while you and the college coaches are both in-season. Last week I hopped on the Baseball Rebellion Podcast with JK and Eric to talk a little recruiting and share our knowledge on camps, showcases and recruiting communication. If you haven’t already, you can listen to last week’s podcast by clicking here. To give a little background, out of college I was a high school coach at a top program in the Charlotte-area, and then following that, on East Carolina University’s Baseball staff for the past two years.
This article is designed to help anyone who plans on trying to play college baseball or softball and not just people who are currently being recruited. Whether you are 12 or 17, I believe that the information in this article will help you know and better understand how the recruiting process works during the season. As I have stated every time I talk about recruiting, whether it be in articles on the podcast, I CAN’T STRESS ENOUGH HOW IMPORTANT IT IS THAT YOU ARE REALISTIC WITH WHAT YOUR ABILITY LEVEL IS AND WHAT SCHOOLS FIT INTO YOUR LEVEL. You must self-evaluate yourself and have a clear, realistic understanding of where you are as a player. Here are the best ways to do so:
- Look at other players your age who are being recruited and find out what schools are recruiting them and ask yourself how you stack up against those players
- Get an outside (not your parents) opinion to compare you and other players to see where you currently stand. If your high school coach, travel team coach, or private instructor has coached recruited players in the past, ask them how your ability compares to players that have gone to play at the next level. At Baseball Rebellion, we help show this to high school athletes by comparing HitTrax data of players who have gone to play at the next level
- If you have relationships with college coaches ask them what they believe your strengths/weaknesses are. This is the best way to get your true evaluation as a player
You’re practicing, lifting weights and playing games. The college coaches are at their team’s practices, their team’s lift’s and their team’s games. Both parties are extremely busy but coaches still have to recruit and if they want to see you/talk to you then you have to make time for this to happen.
Most of the recruiting during the season will be done through phone calls, emails, text messages and direct messages on social media. This is very important because the first impression a coach has of you might not be in person.
STAND OUT DURING COMMUNICATION
The coach you talk to might be making 15 other recruiting phone calls that day. If you are really interested in that school you must do something that helps separate you from the others calls he or she makes. Here are some tips to help you better phone communicate with college recruiters:
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
These college coaches spend countless hours talking to your coaches, watching you play and looking at your stats. If they are spending this time doing their “homework” on you, then you need to be doing your “homework” on that school. If you get the chance to talk to a coach during the season, make sure you know how THEIR season is going and don’t just talk about yours. Know their most recent games/results, talk about how you’ve been keeping up with their schedule and what players you noticed are playing well. I can guarantee this is a great way to show the coach how interested you are.
SEND YOUR HIGH SCHOOL AND TRAVEL TEAM’S SCHEDULE
Most of the time coaches will have a spreadsheet of all of their recruit’s high school and travel team schedules. And a lot of man hours are put into scouring the internet trying to find that information. One of the best things you can do is send your schedule to school’s you are interested in. This will help save a lot of time for the coaches.
KNOW THE RULES
It is very important that you have an understanding of the recruiting rules so you don’t get yourself or the coaches a violation. Here is a chart highlighting some important information to know when it comes to rules and recruiting:
You can find great information on more recruiting rules at Recruiting Look.
SUMMER BALL/TRAVEL BALL
The most important “recruiting” season for both baseball and softball will be during your summer travel season. I spoke about it on the podcast last week that if you are a baseball player who is wanting to play in college you need to be on a team who goes down to Lake Point in Emerson, GA to play in the World Wood Bat Association. This is the MOST centralized recruiting area for college coaches in the county. Thousands of players go every summer and nearly every coach at every level will be there at some point to recruit players.
The most important thing you can do going into the summer season is making sure that school’s you have been communicating with have your travel schedule and be sure to send them updates any time there are changes. The last thing you want to have happen is for a coach to show up at a field/tournament that you’re not playing in anymore expecting to watch you play. Find out what college connections your travel ball coach has and if there are any you would be interested in. Sometimes it could be best for you to be proactive and reach out to schools that you have a REALISTIC chance of playing at.
The last thing I want to add is that if you find yourself panicking because you are not being recruited, know that there is a place out there for everyone to play. There are so many levels of four-year schools, junior colleges, and NAIA schools that there more than likely a place out there for you. If you find yourself in this situation, reach out to Junior Colleges in your area or in your state and see if there are still looking for players. There are numerous situations of student-athletes signing with a junior college summer after their senior year.
I really hope you all found this article informative. I used my knowledge gained while working on coaching staffs in high school, college and travel ball to help get this information to you in hopefully a very understandable way!
Found this article informative? Check out Tyler’s last recruiting article here!