NCSA

Yes, they're effective.  But only sign up for free service to start.  It's important to know how involved and aware you and your son's coaches are relative to recruiting.  Don't sign up for fee services until you can get objective free feedback of your son's abilities.

What age is your son?

(Great people involved in this service, but take it slow...)

He's 13.. Heading into HS this fall. I've heard a ton of horror stories about sites and services like this and would only do the free option. 

His abilities as a 13U travel player are good, he's leading the team in most offensive areas and is the #1 catcher...but high school is a different beast. 

Thank you for the response and advice. 

Gotcha... you're 3 yrs early, no need.  Focus on fundamental development: footwork, proper throwing mechanics regardless of pitching, goodhitting instructor who takes it slow and emphasizes learning to hit it hard, position your son to be on the best team possible for next year, look up the travel programs - which tourneys do they go to?  Not critical for your son now, but can take two seasons to improve and get on key teams that will travel to key tourneys when son is 16u.  

College coaches love good students!  Play at least one other sport thru soph yr of high school.  Make it fun, enjoy the ride!

fwiw, I echo Gov's comments.  You have time.  Just play ball, for now.  I have a kid the same age as yours.  He's working with hitting instructor every other week and playing summer ball with his intermediate school team. Will hit the weights in late summer and fall.

Coach_TV,

So, I'm going to offer you a somewhat different viewpoint. 

Over the years, I've seen folks post about NCSA and other organizations that ask the same question you've asked.  Since NCSA has been around for some time they must be doing something right and providing value to someone....the question is for whom?  Most of the people I've met over the years are people like Gov and Smokeminside.  They are very hands on, and came to HSBBWeb asking a lot of excellent questions that are specific to the process and their situation.  On the front end, they've taken temporary ownership in their son's recruiting efforts.  Over time that ownership has transferred to the recruit when he understands the magnitude of recruiting, options and ultimately what that "one" decision means.   If you are that hands-on type who really wants to understand all the recruiting options and process, I don't see NCSA or others offering you much value especially the free service.  You can get a lot of excellent advice from our posters who have been through it or are going through it at all levels and divisions.   Essentially, you get to see recruiting upfront in the trenches.   There is nothing better on the market, IMHO.  

Recruiting services cater to a different kind of person.  Possibly someone who doesn't have the necessary time, discipline or the desire to get involved in the "trenches".  From my vantage point, nobody is going to understand or have that desire to learn and experience recruiting more than the people who have skin in the game...the parents and the recruit.  This is the best place to get that.  As always, JMO.

Good luck!

fenwaysouth posted:

Coach_TV,

So, I'm going to offer you a somewhat different viewpoint. 

Over the years, I've seen folks post about NCSA and other organizations that ask the same question you've asked.  Since NCSA has been around for some time they must be doing something right and providing value to someone....the question is for whom?  Most of the people I've met over the years are people like Gov and Smokeminside.  They are very hands on, and came to HSBBWeb asking a lot of excellent questions that are specific to the process and their situation.  On the front end, they've taken temporary ownership in their son's recruiting efforts.  Over time that ownership has transferred to the recruit when he understands the magnitude of recruiting, options and ultimately what that "one" decision means.   If you are that hands-on type who really wants to understand all the recruiting options and process, I don't see NCSA or others offering you much value especially the free service.  You can get a lot of excellent advice from our posters who have been through it or are going through it at all levels and divisions.   Essentially, you get to see recruiting upfront in the trenches.   There is nothing better on the market, IMHO.  

Recruiting services cater to a different kind of person.  Possibly someone who doesn't have the necessary time, discipline or the desire to get involved in the "trenches".  From my vantage point, nobody is going to understand or have that desire to learn and experience recruiting more than the people who have skin in the game...the parents and the recruit.  This is the best place to get that.  As always, JMO.

Good luck!

Fenway articulates a very important point here (what else is new, right?):

-that basically contracting the use of an organization, that you have researched and vetted, is fine, but nothing........NA-THING, is better than the subject party getting "in the trenches" themselves and taking 100% control of it; subject party being ideally a well-informed parent/guardian at first, and then ultimately, as Fenway states, when player is mature enough to comprehend and take ownership?  The player himself.

----------RESPECTFULLY EDITED-----------------------------------------------

But bottom line is, yes these outfits can be useful, but always CAVEAT EMPTORE, but no one, NO ONE, beats YOU, YOURSELF, RECRUITING SERVICE INC.

fenwaysouth posted:

Coach_TV,

So, I'm going to offer you a somewhat different viewpoint. 

Over the years, I've seen folks post about NCSA and other organizations that ask the same question you've asked.  Since NCSA has been around for some time they must be doing something right and providing value to someone....the question is for whom?  Most of the people I've met over the years are people like Gov and Smokeminside.  They are very hands on, and came to HSBBWeb asking a lot of excellent questions that are specific to the process and their situation.  On the front end, they've taken temporary ownership in their son's recruiting efforts.  Over time that ownership has transferred to the recruit when he understands the magnitude of recruiting, options and ultimately what that "one" decision means.   If you are that hands-on type who really wants to understand all the recruiting options and process, I don't see NCSA or others offering you much value especially the free service.  You can get a lot of excellent advice from our posters who have been through it or are going through it at all levels and divisions.   Essentially, you get to see recruiting upfront in the trenches.   There is nothing better on the market, IMHO.  

Recruiting services cater to a different kind of person.  Possibly someone who doesn't have the necessary time, discipline or the desire to get involved in the "trenches".  From my vantage point, nobody is going to understand or have that desire to learn and experience recruiting more than the people who have skin in the game...the parents and the recruit.  This is the best place to get that.  As always, JMO.

Good luck!

What fenwaysouth said.  I don't believe I've seen fenwaysouth embolden a post like that before, but what he said could not be said any better.  There is no better resource on the market indeed than the hsbbweb and on top of all that - it is free. 

fenwaysouth posted:

Coach_TV,

So, I'm going to offer you a somewhat different viewpoint. 

Over the years, I've seen folks post about NCSA and other organizations that ask the same question you've asked.  Since NCSA has been around for some time they must be doing something right and providing value to someone....the question is for whom?  Most of the people I've met over the years are people like Gov and Smokeminside.  They are very hands on, and came to HSBBWeb asking a lot of excellent questions that are specific to the process and their situation.  On the front end, they've taken temporary ownership in their son's recruiting efforts.  Over time that ownership has transferred to the recruit when he understands the magnitude of recruiting, options and ultimately what that "one" decision means.   If you are that hands-on type who really wants to understand all the recruiting options and process, I don't see NCSA or others offering you much value especially the free service.  You can get a lot of excellent advice from our posters who have been through it or are going through it at all levels and divisions.   Essentially, you get to see recruiting upfront in the trenches.   There is nothing better on the market, IMHO.  

Recruiting services cater to a different kind of person.  Possibly someone who doesn't have the necessary time, discipline or the desire to get involved in the "trenches".  From my vantage point, nobody is going to understand or have that desire to learn and experience recruiting more than the people who have skin in the game...the parents and the recruit.  This is the best place to get that.  As always, JMO.

Good luck!

I've truly see the value of this site even prior to this post, but it's really come out seeing the responses. 

Like my OP said, I'm received emails about this site and wanted to ask the experts here about the value of a site like this...and I got what I asked for!

I am a hands on parent from the aspect of research and presenting my son options of what is out there.  It's his life, it's his feet that cross the white lines... mine are on the outside coaching 1st base... it's his journey; but I want him to be loaded with information to be in the best possible position for success.

He'll be starting his HS journey this fall and my coaching days (6 kids who are 26 to 13..coached them all)are coming to an end and I'm truly looking forward to just being a Dad in the stands; but I want to present him a plan to get him where HE wants to go.

I'm going to echo Fenway and Coach. 

And I'll add that I'm not a fan of these services at all.  Helping kids and families with college recruiting across all sports, I see these types of sites/services everywhere.  I see a lot of athletes filling out NCSA, berecruited, et.al., forms and waiting for coaches to call.  I see families paying for premium services from these sites and....crickets.

Creating an academic and athletic profile or resume is an important part of the recruiting process for most high school athletes who desire to play their sport in college.  This profile is in addition to the athlete filling out the online Admissions and Athletics forms that pretty much every college has today. 

A profile can be done in hard copy and distributed to the athlete's vetted list of schools with a cover letter.  This was a hugely successful starting point for my boys and any athlete I've worked with.  And / or a profile can be created online, and again, shared with that athlete's vetted list of schools via a link in an email.

Regardless of how this information is distributed, the two points are taking the initiative to create a student - athlete profile and targeting that player's vetted list of schools.  There's time and money involved in doing this.  But there's no need for some third party service.

I almost signed up with these folks, but held off and soon found this site and got some comfort around the calendar and paths.  In hindsight, I'm thinking a 3rd party site might complicate the process if the parent also decides to step up and take an active role.  I'm glad I was able to avoid the cost but also glad that I did not begin to rely on that service or ever develop any contrary opinions.  I know the process is long and takes effort, but many folks have helped lay out the basics and the next steps and have taken much of the mystery out of the process.

I am also a huge fan of tapping the expertise of coaches.  Would not expect them to manage the process, but if you have a good coach, then you should be able to get good guidance on where you should be looking.

In our son's journey I think during his freshman year of HS I actually went all in on their paid services. Immediately I felt it wasn't a worthwhile endeavor.  To their credit they honored their free look period with no hassles when I asked for my money back. 

As others have stated we then dug in on everything this site had to offer. My son started owning process mid sophomore year and made for him a great choice which so far has been all a parent could ask for in many ways. 

I'm  a big believer that if you follow the process outlined over and over on this site and perform your due diligence your son will have the best opportunity for a positive outcome. Good luck. 

OK, guys, I gotta chime in! This recruiting thing is NOT rocket science. My husband basically hired "baseballmom" to handle all the baseball stuff...lessons, travel teams, recruiting, etc....all that in the trenches stuff!  He wrote the checks, when needed. And loved watching our son play! lol! 

I   that there is NO NEED to use a recruiting service. So, Fenway, ClevelandDad, #1 Asst Coach  & others are absolutely right! Follow the Timeline, get a few min of video from all sides, make up that Profile sheet, showcase, when/if appropriate, teach your son to properly market himself & use excellent manners when addressing Coaches. Create college & contact spreadsheets, & follow thru with excellent communication, news, your travel schedule, etc.   Become familiar with NCAA registration & recruiting rules, keep the grades up & take college level classes in HS, if possible. Stay CALM! Enjoy! Come here & ask questions, get feedback!

There's your recipe for success! 

Best of luck! & enjoy the ride!

My son signed up for the free profile.  He has quite a few colleges that have followed him and soon after he started getting a lot of mail and email from the admissions side of various colleges.  The free profile seems like a no brainer, but we don't have any need for their paid services.   

We did not pay to use a recruiting site for our son, but posted his stats and videos on several sites' as free accounts. It was a good place to keep info updated and shared with prospective coaches and also be searched for opportunities he might not be aware of. But mostly they are vehicles for email about camps, college camps, etc.  I will say that the NCSA blog or weekly newsletter had great articles on recruiting that were well written and researched. So from an info gathering point of view, it was good. Also son was interested in D3 so NCSA could be useful for D1, D2 or NAIA, but certainly I echo the posters above that say you can do it on your own and will have your son's best interests at heart. Good luck and enjoy these years!

I have a different take than most on this sight. For most of those on this sight, commercial recruiting services such as NCSA, Field level among others may not be necessary, They are of a alent level or in a program that gets good exposure but for many perspective players these services are the only way parents and players can get national exposure. My sons had a different coach every year in HS and the travel organization focused only on regional schools and promoted to d1 and 2 primarily. For us, these sites allowed us to easily screen for colleges nationally and advised us on camps such as Stanford and Headfirst along with encouraging us to PG. They gave us a time line as to how we should be progressing and taking the SAT/ACT. We were not on this web sight at the time so, If not for these services we would not have known how to do a video, contact a coach, respond to a coach. etc. The education and personal coaching was very  informative. The services also allowed us to screen colleges on a national level with a click of the mouse as apposed to spending a lot of time doing the research  ourselves.  True you can find that info here but you have to look to find it. These sights had everything pretty much cookie cutter and simplified , freeing up a lot of time and effort.  

Many D3 and NAIA schools have limited budgets and use these services are a means to recruit nationally, and for the good but not area code caliber player they are a way to get national exposure relatively easily. My sons were good players. Both PG 8/10 and National HF but got little interest from  most local So. Cal schools; however both sons were contacted from D3 and NAIA schools through out the country from these services., including a couple offers from  D3 and  NAIA top 25 teams.  For the good position player but not top caliber prospect from So Cal or sunbelt  regions,  leaving home may be the only way to continue playing and the NCSA's of the world make it easier to promote themselves on a national level. One Ultimately chose an academic school who contacted him after Stanford and the other chose a local JUCO so maybe they didn't need a recruiting service but they had options across the country that they otherwise would not have had.

So,  as it is for most things in life, You can do it yourself or pay someone to do it for you. That pretty much sums it up

I started down the same path with NCSA, signed up for the profile and started getting calls from their sales guy- let me say first that everyone I spoke with was VERY nice, professional and respectful and want to do what they say they will do, but they do want to get paid for their efforts. We spoke to their regional sales-somebody-or-other for about an hour and he went through a "roadmap" of college recruiting, and wanted us to write everything down so we could follow the checklist. It was very sound, but generic advice (you can get all that and much more here!) Once you sign up for the free profile they will send you tempting emails like "A Coach has looked at your profile! Pay us some money and you can see who it was!". In the end we did not pay for their service, but instead found another site called berecruited.com They also offer a nice professional looking free profile, but with more options to continually update stats, add videos and there's a blog feature too. And from what i see they do have coaches search for players (but they tell you who those coaches are and from what schools). The schools that search "organically" were mostly Jucos and the like, but what I found to be most beneficial is using the link to the profile in recruiting emails. Several D1 coaches have viewed his profile, I'm pretty sure as a result of the emails and not directly from the site.

 

NCSA is probably the best when it comes to recruiting services.  I guess if someone has no idea how recruiting works at the various levels a recruiting service or showcase geared towards DIII would be valuable.

It is very easy to get a DIII college interested in anyone with good grades.  Everyone that signs up for a DIII recruiting event or service is going to draw interest from DIII schools.  Talent always helps draw more interest, but being a good student is the most important attribute for many DIII programs.  Pretty much the complete opposite of DI recruiting where talent is most important and the grades just have to be good enough.

If anyone disagrees with this, just give it a try.  If your son is an above average student, send info to a large number of DIIIs.  Give them your academic information and mention that you are a good baseball player and want to continue to play in college.  Then see what happens.  You are going to find out that there will be colleges recruiting you to play baseball.

Just remember there are a number of DIII colleges that are a much higher level than most others.  The technique above won't work at those colleges.  These are the DIIIs that compete for championships. 

Some DIIIs both the high academic and others fall into both categories competitively.  I look at DIII baseball programs as though within DIII, there is a DI, a DII, and a DIII.  The bottom part of DIII would have trouble competing at a decent HS level.  And there isn't really anything wrong with that, as long as people know that ahead of time.

Point is... It is very easy to create recruiting interest at the DIII level.  Many recruiting services do very well because of that. Customer sees recruiting interest and become happy.  Even here where we read about many players being recruited by the same exact DIII colleges... doesn't that seem kind of odd.  I mean how many players with parents on here are being recruited by the same exact DI colleges?

Bottomline, NCSA is a good company that has been around a long time.  Even though we do not support any recruiting service for baseball, we would consider them the best and most reputable.

I signed my son up for NCSA free service and use the hits from that to drill down into my database to discover who was looking at my son's profile. His club team also effectively uses Fieldlevel.com, so we subscribe to that one and it has born fruit. It is important to be proactive and to reach out to the programs your kid is interested in...don't wait and be reactive...

The truth is you can accomplish the same thing through email (free) and YouTube (free).  Coaches don’t want 30 different login’s for websites when they can get all the info they need if you send them an email with your grades and video  ‘Profile views’ are meaningless.  Majority of those profile views are coaches poaching your email address to dump into their own database so they can send out camp emails.  Save the coaches the extra step and email them directly….they’ll appreciate it, and so will your wallet.  If you are hanging on to "profile views" as interest, you are hanging on to strands. 

Use NCSA for my 2018 swimmer and my 2020 catcher.

2018 - Has over 500 views...  60 + Follows and not sure how many emails.   She receives mail at the  school too.   I disagree with Brian that its a majority of coaches "poaching" emails.  While it does occur, he is making it seem like it is not useful.    I would say %50 of the interest are from D3s where she would be #1 ranked swimmer as a freshman on the team in her strokes.  The rest is D2 and D1.  Obviously by the time you look at D1 she is the third or 4th ranked swimmer on the team as a freshman.    The BIGGEST suggestion I can make is....If your kid isn't going to follow up and utilize the options that NCSA provide  and just lets the colleges "view" the profile, your not going to get much out of it.  The more involved and proactive the athlete with the service, the greater the chance of success.

2020-  VERY skilled catcher.  Top notch receiver and blocker.  Not getting any love cause he hasn't hit his growth spurt yet. Look at every kid being recruited in his age bracket.  They are ALL big kids.  Do you believe that they are the only ones with skill?    He is only 14 and 5'8 135.  Signed him up as a 9th grader since we get a small sibling discount.  Has had a few showcase invites (mass emails Im sure).  Biggest thing was when two DIV 1 schools "followed" him.  Granted the search was for basically a warm body graduating in 2020.  BUT they followed him and it knows it.  Talk about motivation.  It was like a fire was lit under his butt.  He is committed to lifting and putting on weight and keeping his grades in the A B range.  Hell....If that is ALL I get out of paying $$ it was well worth it.  IMO.    We just want to keep playing ball for as long as he can.  (He BELIEVES he will be Div 1.  Love the confidence....).   Will settle for anything that lets him play a little longer once HS ends.

@Kevin A congrats on the success of your daughter. That's great stuff.  Sounds like she will have a great college career. 

I think these services mislead people when they see coaches are "following" them.  For your son to use it as motivation is a great way to use it, probably the best way to use it.  The families who use it as gospel that the coach is interested are the ones who are being mislead.  Trust me if a coach is interested they will do more than follow an online profile.  

Just curious, did you happen to get camp invites to the schools who followed your son? 

I've heard NCSA is quite good when it comes to many of the sports where there may not be much repeated exposure to large groups of coaches.  Take swimming - I've heard "times" are sort of the sole measure (they're not really looking for grit or the grinder when it comes to the 50 free).  Throw in the female gender and perhaps their are some programs that are looking for solid candidates who have expressed a sincere desire to compete at the collegiate level.

Moving over to baseball, RC's don't really have to go snooping around NCSA trying to find candidates as they can head over to some PG tournament and find dozens of kids who might fit the bill - then repeat the following week.

I do agree with the possible motivational component.  This could easily be the case where the kid is not some Power 5 prospect (very, very few are) and shelling out some bucks to create a "carrot" can be well worth it if the only payback is a solid high school transcript.  I think when push comes to shove, NCSA cannot simply be relied upon to get RC's to your doorstep, but I can see it being a component and probably costs around the same as a high end bat or glove.

BrianTRC posted:

@Kevin A congrats on the success of your daughter. That's great stuff.  Sounds like she will have a great college career. 

I think these services mislead people when they see coaches are "following" them.  For your son to use it as motivation is a great way to use it, probably the best way to use it.  The families who use it as gospel that the coach is interested are the ones who are being mislead.  Trust me if a coach is interested they will do more than follow an online profile.  

Just curious, did you happen to get camp invites to the schools who followed your son? 

She has the potential to have a great college career.  A lot has to happen yet and the schools will  be sitting on the pool deck at Nationals on July 1 when they can actually talk to the swimmers.

Your right...Following them (and in 9th) doesn't mean anything.  Coaches can do a blanket search with very little distinguishing criteria.  But it also lets you know when the profile was actually viewed.  Means the coach or assistant coach took the time to read your profile...Your stats.....View your skills video....And then when they actually follow you, it adds a little weight.    The fact that school X was looking at 2020 catchers might tell me that the school has an opening.  Might help me focus on who to touch base with as well.

 

As for the camp invites, I mentioned they seemed to be more of a email blast.  

 

 

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