Angels Baseball


Spend Wisely - Part 4

The Road to Getting Recruited

Senior Year: Your child’s final year of High School is hopefully one filled with excitement about the future.  One where you spend time reflecting about the past 17 or so years, and how on earth did you get to this point!  There will be laughs and possibly tears as you may not want to see your ‘little one’ off to college.  But, the Senior Year for an athlete who aspires to play College can go one of two ways.  Your child may have already committed and officially signed their letter of intent.  In that case, the Senior Year is definitely filled with excitement.  Or, your child may be watching the days go by wondering why they haven’t committed yet.  In this case, the Senior Year can be quite stressful, wondering where they will be a year from now and how can they get there.  

This is where we will focus on our final ‘Spend Wisely’ piece; on the player that is in their Senior Year waiting for that interest.

Next Steps: Before I get into what I believe should be your course of action, let me touch on a word in my last sentence in the paragraph above…”waiting”.  You do NOT want to wait.  I have spoken with many High School players, at various ages, where I question them on what are they doing to ‘get recruited’.  The answer is MOST ALWAYS along this line “Well, I am playing on Team ABC and we’re going to tournaments and I have a profile on XYZ website.”  Essentially, they are doing nothing.  

You have to think like a salesperson.  It amazes me that parents and their kids treat this process any differently than business.  You have to SELL YOURSELF.  Any salesperson will tell you that you cannot sell anything if you never ask for the sale.  As a player looking for a place to call home, you need to ‘ask for the sale.’

So, in no particular order, if you haven’t committed yet, and are not getting any correspondence from places of interest to you, here are the things I would recommend:

  • Outreach to the School: Assuming this is a place where you realistically can play, you need to email them.  Before getting into the contents of the email; if your aright-handed pitchermaxing out at 80mph, you are not going to Florida State.  So, hopefully, your list of schools that you want to target is REALISTIC!  In your email, include why you want to go to that school.  There has to be specifics.  Just as you do not want to receive a form letter, college coaches do not want emails where the player is simply saying “I would like to play at your school.”  State specifics on WHY that school is of interest.  The reasons could be from baseball to school to the atmosphere of the college.  Be specific.  Also in your email, you need to include a copy of your HS transcript.  They will eventually need it so get it to them ASAP.  Also include a short 2-3 minute video showcasing your skills.  This doesn’t have to be a professionally shot video.  Something on your phone is fine; but be sure to capture the correct angles.  Go online and to the baseball team’s webpage.  In the majority of cases, at least one coach’s email will be there.  Grab as many as are there and send them the email.
  • Have others network for you: Are there coaches, whether it’s a private instructor or your high school coach or travel coach that will make a call or send an email for you?  If not, why won’t they?  Ask them.  You may not like the answer but it may give you insight into why you’re not being pursued.  But hopefully they will outreach on your behalf.  College Coaches do not want emails or calls from your parents; but they will read an email or return a call from a coach.  ASK FOR HELP!
  • Have you given thought to JUCOS: Ah, my favorite topic!  I love JUCOS.  Why?  First, JUCOS are great for those late-bloomers.  Maybe you didn’t hit your growth spurt until your Junior Year.  Maybe you didn’t really develop an interest in playing college ball until your Junior Year.  And by this time, your ‘recruiting window’ was almost shut.  JUCOS are a great way to buy some time.  Play another year or two showcasing your truly developed (and passionate about baseball) self.  Second, many JUCOS have better coaching than D-1 schools; and play a better brand of baseball than D-1 schools.  Be open-minded to JUCOS.  Drop the ego.  I know your friends, or your friends’ children, may be attending well known D-1 schools; but History 101 is History 101.  A degree from a four-year school doesn’t have a line that reads “this kid only went here for two years because they went to a community college for two years.”  A JUCO is a great way to buy more time and possibly open up some additional doors down the road for your desired schools.
  • Continue the process of Showcases and Camps: You have to continue to get in front of people.  Remember, be a salesperson.  And for a product to be sold, it has to be seen and evaluated.  Continue to get out there.  You may have been doing this for 2 or 3 years now, but continue to get in front of coaches.  Some coaches who may have seen you last year will see you this year and may be impressed with your development.  Some showcases may be staffed with coaches who have never seen you before.  Get out there and get in front of people.

What you cannot do is sulk.  Yes, you will be disappointed and frustrated and sad…and all the motions that go with feeling rejected.  But, sitting on a couch or laying in bed drowning in those emotions won’t solve the problem.  Only action solves the problem.  

I firmly believe there is a spot for everyone that wants one.  But you have to work for it.  It will not come to you.  Be open-minded; do your research; improve your skill set; and network!  It’s a lot of work; but from someone who went through it, it was all worth it.  Playing college baseball was a tremendous four years.  I met my wife because of it and have two beautiful kids because of it.  I met incredible people and gained experiences that have served me 20 years after I left Wake.  My wish is that all kids who want the experience of playing college baseball get the opportunity to have it.  

But, it takes work; so start taking action now!