Steve Farley (Steve@therecruitingcoaches.com), former head baseball coach at Butler University and recruiting consultant for The Recruiting Coaches, offers parents and athletes some important NCAA / College Baseball recruiting tips.
There is a lot of misinformation in the college recruiting process. Here are some facts and tips that may assist players and parents in the process:
- You need to have a good understanding of the “big picture”: only 10% of little league players are still playing by the time they get to be high school age and only 10% of high school players move up to play on college teams (NCAA DI/DII/DII/NAIA & JUCO). Not everybody will have an opportunity to play collegiately.
- The person who ultimately decides whether a high school player is a college prospect is THE COLLEGE COACH. Players don’t get to decide & parents don’t get to decide. Parents need an objective 3rd party to help them understand what level of baseball ability their son has. This could be an experienced HS or travel team coach, a pro scout, former college coach, etc.
- The two most important factors that college coaches evaluate to determine whether or not you will be a prospect for them is 1) a player’s academic profile (ACT/SAT scores, GPA, class rank, etc.) and 2) baseball “tools” and ability. The 5 tools for a position player are running, throwing, fielding, hitting for a high batting average and hitting for power. For pitchers, coaches are looking at velocity, movement, location, changing speeds, etc. A player has to have the grades to get into a college and a player has to show some above average baseball tools & ability.
- FOCUS ON THE FIT OF THE SCHOOL AND NOT THE LEVEL! Too many people focus only on trying to play NCAA Division I baseball. Only 2.1% of all high school players end up playing on a DI team. 82% of the schools that sponsor college baseball programs are NON-DIVISION I SCHOOLS. Aim high and dream big, but be realistic with what your athletic and academic abilities are. Focus on the overall best fit of the school based on a wide variety of factors.
- For most HS student-athletes, the decision on where to attend college will be the MOST IMPORTANT DECISION they have had to make in life so far. The four years of college can have a huge effect on the next 40 years of your life… what degree you get, what job you end up with, what part of the country you live in, possibly who you marry, etc. It’s a big decision—so take your time! Do some research, ask questions & get involved with the process.
- Parents are the most important part of the support team. They help guide and motivate their son and keep the process moving forward. DON’T, however, be the “helicopter” parents who hover over their son 24/7 and end up dominating the recruiting process. Overbearing parents can have a negative impact on the recruiting process for their son.
- First impressions are important. Players- assume a college coach is always watching you! What if a coach was checking out your social media accounts right now? Would there be “red flags” of inappropriate language or photos? Coaches who attend your games and practices are watching your attitude, hustle, leadership, poise, ego, etc. They want to see how you handle adversity… a bad umpire call, a bad hop, opposing players yelling at you, etc. Your character counts!
- Remember- focus on the fit of the school, not the level. One final question to ask yourself before choosing a school… “Would I still pick this school even if I wasn’t on the baseball team”? If you can answer yes, you’ve probably picked a college or university that will be a great fit for you.
For more information on recruiting visit www.therecruitingcoaches.com or to contact Steve directly, email him at Steve@therecruitingcoaches.com
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