My son's high school coach suggested we sign up for it, and it of course has a free option, and then more expensive options to see matching schools, etc. Anyone have any experience with it and thoughts on whether it's worthwhile? Feel free to PM me if you prefer.

Original Post

The good thing about FieldLevel is that a coach has to verify your son and his abilities.  You can have more than one do the verification, which should be an added benefit.  We had both HS coach and Travel coach "endorse" my son.  You can add transcripts, videos and write a player synopsis, all without paying out of pocket.  Can only help get more exposure as far as I can tell.

Last edited by CatsPop

My son signed up when he was a freshman because a local D1 used it instead of recruiting questionnaires. The Varsity baseball coach liked it so much he had all the varsity kids create profiles. He's pretty good about updating his assessment of players a few times a year. Like someone said above, you can be linked to more than one coach and all coaches can provide an assessment. The coaching assessments cannot be seen by the player.

My son has a few college coaches following him and he's a Sophomore. A coach has even contacted the varsity coach about my son. We only use the free version right now.

It's neat because you can see what level of coach is looking at your profile (i.e. NCAA D1, D2, JC, etc) and also see when your teammates meet coach search criteria. You have to pay if you want to see the specific coaches/schools that are looking at your info or to see what schools the site has matched you with. Your profile can have as much or as little as you want. My son has a lot in his profile, including transcripts. We'll also be linking video when it's done.

How do I find out which college coaches are using this service? Just like showcases, I want to see that the colleges that son is targeting are using this site for finding players.

Another question: I don't see our HS or club team on there. How hard would it be to ask HS and club coaches to start using this site? Will they hate the idea of writing evaluation for players?

Site shows use broke down by division or type:

D1 286, D2 241, D3 329, NAIA 202 & JC 442 schools respectively.  I would imagine it would be hard to approach a coach and tell them that they need to use the site.  Most would try to get on board once they know about it though, I believe.  I am sure that it is hard for them to write the type of glowing evaluation that we all want for our child, but I'm sure that they do the best they can given the circumstances.  The thing is though, the coaches really can not sugarcoat anything because it will give them a bad reputation and the colleges will stop using their team or organization to draw prospects from in the future.  It's a true coach to coach system.

Evaluation is blind, so we can't see it, which makes me feel like it's pretty honest.

Coach is the one who told us about the program.  I'm trying to decide if it's worth upgrading to see matches between my son and colleges. You can pay $19 a month or $30 or $50 I think. At each level, you get more access. Not sure that's worth it?

 

Asked my son's travel coach. The club has actually been on there for a few years. Here's his complete reply:

"We have done it for 3 years. Had some interest and communication but not worth the money ... Ive only kept the account for email connections. They upsell kids and parents. Let you know theres interest but u have to pay them to see who it is. We had our best player sign up and pay and another not pay. Same amount of contacts."

I'm not sure I would pay for the upgraded access. If a college coach is interested, they can contact the player's coach for more info or contact the player directly if they are of age.

I think it's definitely a useful tool, but I don't think it's the only thing people need to be doing. I can see a lot of activity over the last few weeks, based on my son's activity feed. For example, in the last week, several JCs and D2s have been using the site to search and their searches have identified juniors and seniors on our varsity team. I have seen that the top player on our team had his profile viewed by a D1 college. Nobody can see who these schools are, but the schools can use the player profile info on the profile to make contact.

When my son signed up, the site automatically sent a message to his coach to ask him to make an account. He did and now our entire varsity team is listed on the site.

Field Level has been the best and most active site of any that my son used. He had profiles on NCSA, BeRecruited and CaptainU. By far, Field Level was the best. We didn't pay for it but you do get a good idea of which level of colleges are looking at your profile.

Our son signed up for this service when he went to a summer tournament after his junior year.  You could see who was looking.  

He had more playing time with summer team, than school team at second base and pitcher, just closing pitcher for school team.  So not many schools really interested.

 He received an email, from Lyon college, a private Naia in Arkansas interested in having him visit.  We applied to the school, went in for a visit and they offered him a scholarship.  Because of his ACT score, he had already been offered an Academic scholarship for half, and baseball could not beat it.  They don't allow double dipping.  Right now, he is pitching and getting time at second base. He could have gone to other schools with ACT, but wanted to play. Will see how things go, but this gave him the opportunity to go to school and play baseball.

Our experience was that FieldLevel was the best compared to CaptainU and Berecruited.   2 of the 5 schools that had the most interest found him on FieldLevel.

We found it helpful. My son made a number of contacts via FL. You coach can "promote" you to your preferred colleges, and we saw a pretty good rate of "views/follows" from those schools.  Some coaches got my son's contact info and began conversations (email and then phone). There really isn't all that much reason (other than it's fun) to upgrade. We did upgrade for the one month before my son committed (just last week) when he was seeing a lot of activity and we wanted to know the schools who were looking.  Overall, a good service.  It seemed to be used by all the schools he was interested in. 

Francis7 posted:

Bumping this one up. Anyone have any recent feedback on this service that they would be willing to share?

Just one more tool to use, especially if you want to include a link in your e-mail you send to coaches. I wouldn't pay for it though unless you see a bunch of hits and it drives you nuts wanting to know who they are. Use the free portion of it and see what kind of traffic you get for a while. Over time you will see it doesn't warrant paying for it.

This was my plan for my son and what really made it easy was I could actually see who did view his profile. It would say (just as it does today), D1 coach from Virginia viewed your profile. You could then go in and do a search for D1 colleges in Virginia and if you clicked on each one the page would show they had viewed your profile. I can't remember exactly what it was but maybe it was a "heart" icon or something? This lasted for the first 6-12 months we were on it but then they must have figured it out because that "feature" disappeared.

A couple of times I was temped to see who it was but it just wasn't quite enough. If you see a coach from D1 in such and such state looked at your profile and you think you may be interested in a D1 school from that state, just e-mail them directly!

My son never even looked at the site. That was a pretty good indicator to me as to whether I should pay for it!

Last edited by ABSORBER

There are a ton of threads on here about recruiting services. The general consensus is that they may work for a handful of people to help get noticed by smaller schools with smaller budgets, but they really aren't good for much else. Not just this service, but all of them. 

Without trying to turn this into a big thing - they're almost never worth the money and paying somebody who has never seen you play to help you get recruited probably isn't a great idea. Bottom line - they provide a profile and some edited video, but they're not going to pick up a phone and tell schools what you do well. Because a) they've never seen you and b) they don't have that pull. 

Save the money, make a video on YouTube, send the link to coaches in emails, and send the link to flat ground. Throw in some things like size, weight, gpa, position in the description and boom you have the same exact thing for free. 

It doesn't hurt. I know we did it by paying the minimum to see what schools were viewing during my son's senior year. We had a handful of teams contact my son, mainly D3 and NAIA. My son eventually signed with a mid major D1 last year, but it wasn't because of FieldLevel. I agree with above poster as well. Depends on where you're at in the process. Mine had an injury Junior year and had a lack of exposure. Flatground wasn't known, but I would suggest them for free.

Last edited by TXdad2019

Our school offered it for free to the players and it wasn't helpful. We got hits from schools that were not anywhere close to the criteria we had entered into the profile. Most were just trolling for campers. They hyped the views bit a lot of time, I think they created things so they could try to get you to pay for a higher level of service. I agree with the others, set up a YouTube channel for your son and post videos (edited as best you can so they aren't too long) and when your son emails coaches, attach the link. Best of luck. I know it's going to be more challenging with things the way they are.  But, coaches have a lot of free time on their hands too with no season.  Take advantage of that. Stay safe!

What position is your son?

We did free through High School and had some interactions and interest, but everything my son did with his Travel Ball teams (Summer/Fall), Perfect Game events, and Twitter (@Flatgroundapp) were all way more productive and effective. 

There are PLENTY of free resources available online. Bookworm Ballplayers, Mound Prospects, others for catchers too, Flatgroundapp (for pitchers) and flatgroundbats (for fielder/hitters). READ THE RULES and what you can post for the most effective use of those free services.

I wouldn't think you need to pay, unless like others said, you can't stand not knowing, but if there is real interest, it won't take long for your son to get an email and you'll know who it is/was.

Better money is spent on a good quality video (with good radar) and/or regional showcase or event with tons of coaches. I get not everyone can afford or have access to a Stalker Pro2 or other good radar gun vs Ballcoach or whatever, but the SP2 will leave no doubt to scouts.  Find someone and borrow it, if you can.

Most will also tell you....running and doing a pull down into a net doesn't show anything either. Game footage, bull pen, etc. are better.  Multiple angles would be good too. JMO

PABaseball posted:

There are a ton of threads on here about recruiting services. The general consensus is that they may work for a handful of people to help get noticed by smaller schools with smaller budgets, but they really aren't good for much else. Not just this service, but all of them. 

Without trying to turn this into a big thing - they're almost never worth the money and paying somebody who has never seen you play to help you get recruited probably isn't a great idea. Bottom line - they provide a profile and some edited video, but they're not going to pick up a phone and tell schools what you do well. Because a) they've never seen you and b) they don't have that pull. 

Save the money, make a video on YouTube, send the link to coaches in emails, and send the link to flat ground. Throw in some things like size, weight, gpa, position in the description and boom you have the same exact thing for free. 

Back in the day I had a conversation with one of the founders of this service. The concept was basically social networking between COACHES in which the coach of the HS player is quasi-vetted to be a "real" coach with "real" knowledge of the player's skills and who could "verify" the player to college coaches. The thought process here was "coaches trust coaches" and as long as all coaches were being honest and forthright in their assessment of players, well its utopia, cats and dogs can live together in harmony, etc.

The reality of it is, there are a metric crap-ton of coaches out there who don't know their heads from their butts when it comes to what players are/aren't ready to play at the next level. Many of the travel ball coaches who are out there now really are snakeoil salesmen who are making a buck or two off every player they string along. This service enables that to a degree, because it also gives that moron who calls himself a coach an opportunity to go out on this platform and sing the praises of any kid he wants. 

Ultimately in my son's recruitment, we had a profile that was a duplicate effort of his Youtube channel (one of those "why not, it's free" moments. His coach that he played for when he actually got offered never was on this service in the first place, but instead had the kind of reputation necessary to be able to speak to college head coaches in their language.

Sooooo, in a nutshell if your coach is already a trusted guy by college coaches, he won't need to use a service like this to promote his players (for the most part) and likely won't. If you are using it as a platform to post videos, don't expect that to get you recruited. Can't hurt, but value is minimal.

Travel team used it some hits. That may have panned out if we pursued but  it wasn't a good fit. 

Younger sons Juco coach used it too. He already had a network D1 -D3 and NAIA  but used it for more exposure. Son got offers from NAIA and D2 low level. Guys looking for catchers. These coaches were new and didn't have "feeders" themselves. Best offers came from trusted JUCO and trusted local HS coach. If you dont have a HS coach placing players contact others who do and see if they can help. That is what we did when in HS. Ultimately ended up on a NAIA team 2  hours away by the beach, poor soul. It was by a trusted coach referring him to the HC. 

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