Advice For The HS Freshmen Who Wants To Later Play College Baseball

Same here...I'm retired and have the time to do it..I trained him to do it as well and we enjoyed the process along the way spending time together sometimes for hours..his job is to perform in the classroom and on the field, mine is to do the administrative..he spoke with the coaches on the phone and learned how to communicate effectively once over the initial shyness and anxiety and became quite adept..those are skills that will carry over in life...All of the work I did with him paid off...other player's parents have told me they wish they had gotten more involved...they are desperate to get their 2019's placed somewhere...not a good place to be..it may wind up with bad choices made and withdrawal from schools after a year I fear.   

I did the emails as well and coordinated the stats/video updates from tourneys. He responded to any coaches who responded to the emails as well as phone calls (obviously). I've had several parents and friends ask about the recruiting process and as much as i would like to take credit for any of it with the efforts above, it came down to his growth and performance on the field. The unsolicited phone calls and texts directly to him from coaches largely outweighed any prompted by my email campaigns.

High Academic - most often associated with Ivy and Patriot in D1, NESCAC, Centennial and the like in D3.  I'm being a little broad as there are certainly many schools in D1 and D3 that are not in those conferences that are certainly high academic, but you get the idea.

Our journey was a combination of several.  We had him on good teams that wanted him.  Played in 16U,17U, 14U  and 15U WWBA as a 14 year old guest player.  He was fortunate to pitch against some great teams.  In 17U as 14 year old he had the team that won it shutout for 6 innings and the coach pulled him for his stud and they lost 1-8.  Got on some radars.  Played in every WWBA he could from 14-17.  Only went to 2 college camps through entire journey and 1 PBR showcase.  Played in 2 PBR Futures games.

We set up a website under his name with all the information on webs.com.  It had all his info, school info, grades, video, stats, and schedules along with what he did in each HS game and tournaments.  Along with awards and accomplishments.  One stop place for college guys.  Many college guys told me that it was one of the few they visited because it had everything in one spot that was easy to see. 

We (I) sent emails each week during HS season and summer season about what he did the week before and what was coming up.  During summer we sent his pitching schedule and updates if something changed.  I know it worked because we got lots of feedback from college coaches when we made updates on his pitching schedule. 

Not a perfect journey for every player/family.  You have to figure out what works for your player according to money and level of play.  It helped us to have a LHP that teams wanted and then when they met him they found out he could hit so that was a bonus.  During 14 year, he was fortunate to pitch at LP every game and also batted and played the field for every team except the 17U because we were only there one day.  Figure out your child's level and goals.  My son's goal was to play in the SEC and he will get that chance next year. 

Francis7 posted:

Thanks for the HA explanation.  I also had wondered if it was the kids doing the emails or the parents sending them as if they were the kid.  

All texts and phone calls were 100% son (of course). I did the highlight videos and edited and reviewed emails. He set up a gmail account with firstnamelastnameclassyear@gmail.com for all baseball correspondence. That email address now gets a never-ending stream of camp invites.

Funny recent secondhand story from a 2020 teammate of my son who is going on a couple OVs in the next week or two. RC texts him about setting it up, kid texts back and asks something like "do you want to arrange it with my dad?" and the RC responded with "lol, no, of course not. I'm recruiting you, not your dad"

Francis7 posted:

Thanks for the HA explanation.  I also had wondered if it was the kids doing the emails or the parents sending them as if they were the kid.  

I worked with my son to develop a standard email he would send out for initial introduction.  As well as a tracking spreadsheet to keep track of who and where he had contact with folks.  After that it was up to him.  He used his own email address and was responsible for replying to any emails, texts or phone calls.  He would pass most things through me to be reviewed for grammar and content but it was all up to him.  I did shoot and produce and upload his videos but I work in a technical profession and that stuff is second nature to me so it takes me about a tenth of the time it would take him.

I advised my son what should be said in emails. I wanted them to sound like an intelligent kid, not an adult. Even an intelligent kid speaks/writes differently than an adult. The coaches can tell. 

I set up an email address just for recruiting. It was firstname.lastname.highschoolclassyear@gmail.com. It made it recognizable as coming from him for the more interested coaches.

Francis7 posted:

Regarding emailing coaches, someone somewhere else once recommended setting up an account with a specific naming convention that would get attention and tell the story. Something including grad year. Any recommendations on that?

My son set up an email account specifically for recruiting - firstname.lastname2019@....com.  Every intro email he sent had some form of "NAME 2019 CATCHER - 6' 2" 190, POP = xx, EXIT VELO = xx.  Subsequent email subject lines kept "2019 CATCHER NAME" and mentioned upcoming tourneys (but dropped any specs).   Usually an updated video was included.  I find that all-caps in the subject line catches the eye in a sea of emails.

My son and I both had access to the email account.  He did the emails, I tracked them to make sure nothing fell through the cracks.  I also kept a tracking spreadsheet so we had a running log of all contacts and follow-up action items.  This way he always knew who to drop off the list and who was heating up and needed to be invited to the next event.

I did something similar to Smitty, sons set up new email addresses that we both had access to.  My access wasn't so I could write emails, it was to make sure they stayed on top of their jobs managing the process.  The first few emails sons sent I reviewed and offered a few suggestions.  After that, they got much better at writing to their audience - adult coaches.  It turned out to be a terrific learning experience for them and was an unintended benefit of the recruiting process.

I took the path much more similar to recent posters than earlier ones... I advised as needed but made sure that son had plenty of skin in the recruiting efforts side of the game.  In my view, this was going to be a decision that would likely significantly impact the rest of his life, so I felt he both needed proper adult guidance and needed to have a lot of input and awareness during the process.  It provided very good learning lessons for him, made him take more ownership and the coaches definitely expect to communicate with the player and not the parent.  The few years of involvement with the recruiting process for him was probably better than any other single school-related project during those years in regards to learning how to become an adult.  I say this, even though injury largely derailed and re-routed his particular path.  The journey as much as the destination..

To RJM's point, I think the coaches usually have a pretty good idea of whether they were receiving communication that was mostly from the player or mostly from the parent.

I did set up the spreadsheet for him and managed reorganization from time to time.  And, as it relates to another of Francis' threads, I did spend a fair amount of time helping research schools, including roster/coach surfing   There is a ton that you can extrapolate but I think most of it became as much entertainment as anything.  

 

Son set up his own separate email for recruiting purposes only like most people have already mentioned. I did alot of the "research" so we knew what to say, expect, etc... Son did all emails and communication himself. Sometimes he would forward email to me to read that he had received to keep us in the loop. Other times, he just verbally told us what they had discussed. I will say this - we were on an OV with another potential recruit and their parents, and the coaches sat us all down and asked our sons questions regarding test scores, GPA, opinions on summer league after committing, applying to school, etc.. Our son answered the questions. The other recruit looked at his parents after every question and parents spoke for him. Finally, the HC spoke up and said "These aren't hard questions. YOU should know the answers. Mom and Dad aren't coming to school with you". I chuckled a little at that but it made me wonder: how many other parents aren't involving their kids in this process and doing it for them? It made me wonder if this kid really wanted it or not? 

1.  Stay focused on school/act/sat/etc - maintaining good grades and performing well on the field can get you admission to schools you may not have thought attainable.

2.  Stay focused on getting better at baseball and being a better athlete-  bigger, stronger, faster,  - if you're a pitcher work on velo gains - velo gains will open doors.  Ideally find a trainer/program that works for you - my son found a pitching instructor (referred from travel coaches) who made a significant impact.

3.  Figure out where you want to go to school - academically, geographically, socially, etc.  Also, figure out what is realistically affordable. From that list figure out if you think you are a baseball match.  Look at the roster and see how you compare by checking PG and PBR profiles - Target Schools you are interested in that are both realistic baseball and academic options - BE SELF AWARE, but keep working - you never know what can happen.

4.  Attend a PBR Showcase Summer after Freshman year and ideally each summer thereafter - good way to get tape/stats.  Also, in my experience PBR has a good network to all levels of college coaches - they were very helpful thoughout my 2018's process.

5.  Try to get on a travel team that plays at top tournaments "wwba championsips/midwest prospect league/etc" where coaches congregate and you can easily be seen.  Ideally this team has connections to colleges and can help make introductions. 

6.  Repeat 1, 2, 3 - its an iterative process....Where you are at academically, mentally and on the field when you are 14 will be very different  than where you are at when you are 17......and be patient and keep working - everyone's recruiting process is different - At many points it will likely feel like its not going to happen for you  - for my son it all happened summer after his junior year - entered the summer with no offers and by the end of the summer season had many good offers from P5 to High Academics.

 

We have a 2022 as well.  For us, we had decided that he would not do any travel ball until he was around 15.  He has done a lot of practicing & has picked up in a few local rec tournaments here & there, but nothing consistent.  We decided that this year we would do a few things to see how he stacks up & to start getting his name out there with the plan to start travel ball next year at the 15U level.  He will also start on our high school varsity team.  Here is what we have done & how it's worked for us, just to share experiences.  We also set him up an email to correspond if needed & started him a Twitter account that he only shares PG articles/videos about him etc.

-Entered him in the 14U PG regional showcase to qualify him for the National showcase. 

-Played in the 14U PG National.  He met the head coach of one of his dream schools on the plane & he came & watched him play (he's interested in this school because of the pitching coach)

-Tried out for our regions USA NTIS/ Selected for our regional team & competed in Cary, NC

-Selected for the 2019 Team USA NTDP

-Played in his first travel ball tournament the WWBA Freshman World

 

After the two showcases & Team USA he had lots of coaches following his twitter & lots of emails to attend camps, but no real contact.  After playing in the Freshman World, before we had even made it to the airport, our travel coach had sent us four coaches to call that were all P5 schools.  Three were on his radar (including dream school listed above)  & the fourth was an SEC school that he'd never considered, but is now interested in.  Out of the 4 schools two have asked him about his grades & it didn't come up yet with the other two.  Two of them asked what his parents did for a living (I'm sure to give an idea of financial aid).  They have all requested that he come to their camps in January.  One of the schools asked if he would be willing to be a 2-way player for them as that is what they would be wanting from him. (He's a pitcher & OF)  This kind of surprised me as I figured they'd convert him to pitcher only.  Three asked him to call them monthly & the other weekly. He was horrible on the first few calls, but has gotten much better at it.

So for us, playing travel ball was the factor that was most beneficial.  It could be that the coaches did not have a way to contact us previously, but we're grateful for the connections that the travel ball coach has.  I'm sure everyone has different experiences, but this is what we've experienced so far.  I'm just glad that we've found this site to help us navigate through the process.

 

hopefulmom posted:

Son set up his own separate email for recruiting purposes only like most people have already mentioned. I did alot of the "research" so we knew what to say, expect, etc... Son did all emails and communication himself. Sometimes he would forward email to me to read that he had received to keep us in the loop. Other times, he just verbally told us what they had discussed. I will say this - we were on an OV with another potential recruit and their parents, and the coaches sat us all down and asked our sons questions regarding test scores, GPA, opinions on summer league after committing, applying to school, etc.. Our son answered the questions. The other recruit looked at his parents after every question and parents spoke for him. Finally, the HC spoke up and said "These aren't hard questions. YOU should know the answers. Mom and Dad aren't coming to school with you". I chuckled a little at that but it made me wonder: how many other parents aren't involving their kids in this process and doing it for them? It made me wonder if this kid really wanted it or not? 

Very good real world example of just one of may reasons why the player should have at least a substantial stake in ownership beyond just playing and taking care of grades, chores and training!!

KLL posted:

We have a 2022 as well. 

... After playing in the Freshman World, before we had even made it to the airport, our travel coach had sent us four coaches to call that were all P5 schools.  Three were on his radar (including dream school listed above)  & the fourth was an SEC school that he'd never considered, but is now interested in.  Out of the 4 schools two have asked him about his grades & it didn't come up yet with the other two.  Two of them asked what his parents did for a living (I'm sure to give an idea of financial aid).  They have all requested that he come to their camps in January.  One of the schools asked if he would be willing to be a 2-way player for them as that is what they would be wanting from him. (He's a pitcher & OF)  This kind of surprised me as I figured they'd convert him to pitcher only.  ... 

KLL, that's awesome for your son and welcome to the site!

I would caution about the one school... for a P5 to suggest to a 2022 that they specifically want him to be a 2-way at this point in time ... consider that there is a distinct possibility this is largely to create excitement and a sense of connection with your son.  That's not all bad - there is likely real interest but no way of knowing at this point if they will actually want him as a 2-way, which is very rare among P5's.

Sorry, sort of veered from the OP.

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