In our previous post, we introduced you to a growing problem; parents spending way too much money for the hopes of gaining a spot for their kids on a college baseball team’s roster. This post serves as a continuation, where we wil tackle what we recommend a player do during their Sophomore Year in High School.
Sophomore Year: As the player enters their Sophomore year, hopefully they have had the opportunity to attend a Showcase that was attended by two dozen or so College Coaches. The player is likely now waiting, waiting for some correspondence from a College Coach telling them that they liked what they saw and are interested in pursuing them. While that is a possibility, the more likely correspondence will be along these lines: “Hi Jason, we had the pleasure to see you at XYZ Showcase. We’d like to take an additional look at you at one of our camps this Winter. We’ve enclosed the details of our Winter Camps…” One thing that everyone needs to understand is that a significant portion of College Coaches pay is through Camps. So, they send information out to as many people as possible. The more people that attend their camps, the more money available to the coaches. As a former college coach, I know how it works. College Coaches HUSTLE for contact information as they know that every address they collect is a potential camp attendee.
Regardless of whether you get communication from a College Coach, you need to communicate with them. You should send an email to every coach with the following: “Hi Coach, I believe you were at the XYZ Showcase. I am a Sophomore in HS and am reaching out to all the Coaches to see if I can get feedback on my performance, specifically where I need to improve. I would love to play College Baseball and am committed to putting in the time to improve my skills; so would love to get some feedback.” Reaching out to coaches and showing an interest in what you need to work on is refreshing to a Coach. Typically, they get emails from kids telling them they would love to play for them. So, receiving an email asking for feedback is a breath of fresh air. You won’t get feedback from all coaches; but any feedback helps.
The next step is to continue your research on various schools while also looking for another Showcase to attend during the Winter. The goal is to attend two showcases before the summer after your Sophomore Year in High School This gives you the best chance to receive interest from College Coaches. Hopefully, you receive interest from a few schools by the Spring. You should then take those schools and plan on attending their camps in the summer. Let’s say you received interest from five schools. If you can attend five camps, great; but if not, research those schools and pick the two that may be of the most interest to you. Attending College Camps gives you the chance to have direct contact with the Coaches. They now get a chance to see you for a longer period of time, while you also get to do the same. You can tour the campus and surrounding area during non-camp times. Camps are an important piece to the recruiting puzzle; but are most effective when they are the result of a Coach having seen you at a Showcase.
The Sophomore year Is a critical year for those that are looking to play college baseball. It is the year that should be focused o getting noticed; and the most cost-effective way of getting noticed is through Showcases. When researching Showcases, pick those that have a history of having many Colleges attending. Most times, the Showcases will list previous attendees. Pick Showcases that have Coaches attend from schools that are of interest to you. Yes, research will be needed; but it’s time very well spent.
In our next post, we’ll share what we believe should be the course of action during a player’s Junior year. At this point, your child has spent time developing their skills, they have attracted some interest through Showcases and now are attending College Camps. More to come!