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Don't waste your money. Such a recruiting service called me last year and asked if he could just sit down with me and talk. I told such a service that there is nothing they could do for my son that I couldn't do. They guy proceeded to get upset with me, and told me I had not elvaluated my son correctly. I told him that's why he going to two out of state showcases which will indeed tell us what level he belongs at. He's playing D-1 next year. Save your money, use this web site to help you. That's all you need. Good luck
Casey - We didn't use one at all, so I can't really comment on how effective they are.

What I know for sure is that the college coaches will want to see and evaluate your son themselves if at all possible. I kind of doubt they'll leave it to someone else's evaluation unless they know them well - and usually thats a scout or another coach they trust. So it is very important that you get your son in front of them via a reputable showcase or summer program. You don't have to look very far on this website to pick out a few showcases that parents have had good experiences with.

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casy...If your son has some talent and you have a tremendous amount of time to do his "paperwork" for him, then you don't need any type of markting service.

If, on the other hand, you have very little time to help him; you don't know the difference between a Division I and an NAIA program; you don't know the difference between Jugs and a milk jug; and, generally have only been supportive of your son in a positive, albeit "hands off" fashion, then these services would be of some benefit to you and your son.

Ask for some recommendations and go from there.

What we have done is include guidance and assistance thru the recruiting process for all the kids that attend our events--- it is all part of our showcase package-- all the player/parents have to do is email us or phone and away we go.

Why do we do this?

Most importantly we have seen the player and have already gotten feedback from the scouts and colleges coaches in attendance so we can work with the player/parents in a knowledgible fashion.

We are there for them when they need us-- some need more assistance than others but we are there to aid and assist them.

Tom Rizzi

NO! I almost got caught up in the baseball marketing world. My parents and I decided the money would be better spent on attending showcases and training. I attended two showcases and kept working on my game,(and grades). Meanwhile my mom worked on contacting college programs. After a lot of work on all our parts, it all worked out and I will be playing Div 1 ball next season. Good luck
I've read "How To Get Your Child An Athletic Scholarship" that Shellbourne talked about. Its the best one I've read. Unlike some books its easy to read and filled with stories that are relative to recruiting. Before I read it we were looking at some recruiting services but after gettting the book I feel like its best to handle the recruiting myself.
Hmmm, Shelborne, this seems like an orchestrated marketing strategy to sell a book written by a basketball coach. It is also strange that a first time poster, bbdad24, registers just to endorse the book.

Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.
I have been researching this topic for over 3 years and the one thing I have concluded is that there is no right answer, but I will tell you what I have come across and given your situation, you can make your own decision.

First there are really 3 types of recruiting services.

(1) Online services that promote student-athletes via the Internet with a profile (like a resume) to college coaches that can access the site.
(2) Marketing services that send out vast quantities of mail and email to many, many colleges hoping a few colleges take interest in a particular athlete
(3) The third type of service is kind of a hybrid service that combines marketing assistance and consultation. Many of the bigger companies that charge more money provide you more mailings and less assistance, and they don’t have the time or desire to really work one on one with a family. In this case, there are some smaller recruiting services that work with less clients and try to educate families on the process and assist with marketing rather than blanketing the country with emails and letters to every college coach in America and I have spoken to some recruiting services that will mail your information to USC if you are a 160 pound defensive end in high school.

Ok, so lets talk about the 3 services in depth.

(1) Online services seemed like a really good idea when they were conceived and took off when the Internet got cooking. Unfortunately the demand is totally driven by the people who run these services, rather than the college coaches. Type in recruiting services into any search engine and you will get a dizzying array of online services that claim to be the best. In reality, college coaches are not going online to search for athletes. I found websites that listed schools that used their service then contacted coaches at those schools and they said they didn’t use them. In the past 2 years I have probably asked 50 coaches about online services and never once has any coach told me they use an online service to search for athletes. In most cases coaches have a good idea who they would like to recruit and they would be hard pressed to sit down at a computer for 2 hours and look for athletes whom they have never heard of and never seen play, who simply posted a resume about themselves hoping any coach recruits them. The second problem is that statistics do not really get you recruited, but talent, athletic skill and desire. These 3 traits are nearly impossible to display on an online resume and most statistics are very intangible. It has gotten so bad that last fall Dateline did a big story on an online recruiting service who was blatantly lying about the schools and coaches that used their service. Turns out that their system was generating false inquiries and that the majority of the schools listed on the site had never even heard of the site. The other problem is that there are hundreds of these services throughout the country and college coaches simply cannot use them all or even decide which one to use. They have so many letters, phone calls and recruits that they already have to deal with that it simply isn’t a useful way to recruit.

(2) There are some marketing services that charge anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 to create and mail out packages to many schools. Last year I read an article on a swimmer who got a partial scholarship to Penn. State after a $2,500 package arrived on the coaches desk. When asked about the recruiting service and the swimmer, the coach responded like “The kid’s an academic achiever with a great personality and athletic potential, the way it was conveyed to me couldn’t have mattered less.” Basically what the coach said was that he didn’t need the fancy package that costs a lot of money, he simply needed to know the grades and swim times of this swimmer, her desire to compete and then he simply could have made a decision as to whether she was qualified to swim at Penn state and qualified to be accepted at Penn state. His next step would have been to inviter her for a visit. This could have been accomplished possibly in one long distance phone call or simply filling out a recruit info form on the teams website.

Coaches care less about how this information arrives, as he articulates, and more about what your information contains. If you do not have the size, skill or desire to compete in college, you can spend a million dollars and send all the packages you want, and the result will be nothing at all!

Coaches don’t recruit student-athletes that are not capable of getting accepted at their school academically or capable of performing at their school athletically and they don’t recruit players because they received a PR package in the mail with all sorts of stuff. It was her skill that got her recruited and you cannot buy skill. In reality, all you often need to do is take a proactive role in your recruiting process and start writing letters and making phone calls to college coaches.

In many cases, the coaches I spoke to said they received sometimes 20 packages a week like this and many went unopened. Part of the problem is the distrust over services like this and many coaches do not like parents investing money in promotion and do not like recruiting companies trying to do the job they were hired to do which is recruit (especially at the high D1 level). One NCAA liaison at a D1 school said they get a big packet of athlete resumes from companies and she thinks it’s humorous that the company expects coaches to pass this around, which they don’t. These services will often take anyone with a checkbook or credit card too.

(3) Consultants – I have spoken to several recruiting consultants and while I don’t always agree with parents spending a lot of money on recruiting assistance and promotion, I recognize the valuable role these people can play. The college recruiting process is a difficult thing to tackle and unless you have gone through it once already with another child, it is a completely foreign process. Many families simply do not know how to rate their talent, how to evaluate schools, or how to contact coaches. I don’t buy the “we don’t have time to research colleges so we hired a service.” When someone tells me they don’t have time to research schools, what they are telling me is that they don’t care what school they go to as long as they can play sports. These people don’t always get very far in life and what college you attend is an extremely important decision that requires your complete attention. Consultants can provide that extra assistance you need and while they cannot always help you select the right school, they can ask the right questions that help you target schools that are a good fit with your athletic and academic skill and college desires (major, size, distance and so forth). There are thousands of kids who think they can play high level college ball and don’t because they didn’t target the right schools and didn’t do a unbiased evaluation of their skills. There are also many high school coaches who don’t know the recruiting process from the back of their elbow and kids need help. While you probably won’t get a scholarship by using a recruiting service or that much money, you may find a good program to play at and finding a school you enjoy being at for 4 years is in itself a very valuable thing when you think about all the students that transfer or drop out of college because they were unhappy. Most of these services will prep you for contacting coaches on your own and will not be sending out mass marketing packages to schools, so your message will hopefully be a little more personal and have a better chance at being looked at.

Why these companies thrive still?

Despite the negative aspects of many recruiting services, we live in a frenzied world of camps, showcases, travel teams, private instruction, specialization and rising tuition costs. After parents invest thousands of dollars in all these things, they want some sort of return on their “investment” via an athletic scholarship. Since so little practical information exists on the college recruiting process, they often turn to these services to give themselves the best chance for a scholarship. In reality, only 50% of NCAA athletes receive some athletic scholarship money and some can be a few hundred dollars. The rest play for the love of the game.

Having gone through the process myself, I tell people that it is possible to it on your own, provided you have a basic understanding of the recruiting process and what is required of you. Unfortunately most people do not have even a basic understanding of what they need to do. In many cases, the only people telling them what to do are recruiting services who want a $1,000 from them. So depending on who you are and what you want, there can be no right answer for using a service, especially if it helps you get into a college program that you enjoy. I will never recommend the first 2 services I have outlined above as there is too much negativity towards those services from college coaches. They don’t like them and they don’t recommend them. I would recommend a consultant if you are totally lost and need help, but you have to have the grades and skill to get in and play in college.

You might consider a consultant if………….

- If you can afford it.
- If you live in an area where there is very little exposure to college coaches.
- If someone else has determined whether or not you can already play at the college level and that someone is qualified to make that determination.
- If your high school coach is willing and able to endorse you for the college level and you have spoken to him before you give any money to a recruiting service.
- If your parents have little knowledge of the college recruiting process
- If it comes with personal consultation and guidance and you can pick up the phone any time and receive as much assistance as you need at any time.
- The service doesn't send out mass marketing packages to colleges. These get thrown out faster than they are sent. Also ask how information is sent, by you, by email, in a bulk package that promotes hundreds of athletes at the same time?
- If the service works with a select number of student-athletes each year.
- If you are afraid to pick up the phone and call coaches on your own. If you can’t do this, you are in trouble.
- If you think they can help you with something that you cannot do on your own.
- If your high school coach can't tell the difference between Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson when it comes to athletic skill.
- If you cannot afford travel teams or athletic showcases.
- I'm not a fan of franchises, but if you find a franchise recruiting service, ask the other questions that relate above.

Dave Galehouse
Director –
G House,
Excellent post! I still do not believe in recruiting services but you brought up some good points. I am learning there are many parents that are confused as to what route to take and may need asistance. It is our job to let them know about the High School Baseball Web!

I don't necessarily believe in them either, but I believe that each families needs and situation is unique in its own right, and while college coaches do not encourage the practice of parents paying for recruiting help, there are inevitably people that need help with the process and the only way to get help sometimes is to pay for it.

Simply picking up the phone and calling coaches will go a long way in your recruiting efforts, but if you have no idea how to evaluate a roster, a school, or how to evaluate your own ability and where you fit into the world of college athletics, many phone calls are placed to coaches and schools that are too advanced for many players or do not represent a good fit. And unless you have help in finding that niche you belong in, you might not be as successful as one would like.
Several years ago (before discovering this site and doing some other homework) we used a service, went to one event. I was overwhelmed with one thing, they were going to do as much as they could to get as much of my money as possible and I was not impressed that they could really do anything we couldn't do on our own with a little (ok alot) of effort.

Also,upon having the chance to get some feedback from a few schools they made it clear that anything received from a recruiting service went right in the trash. Their feeling being that anything from a service was biased, not objective and twisted to be as positive as possible (why else would the recruit be using the service. Certainly not to have the service send out anything negative).

And so using this site and a few other sources of information we plotted out our own course. As others allude, very time consuming, but ultimately worth all the effort.

Bottom line, I'm not a fan of these services, but if you feel you need their help so be it. I think at the end of the day you want to have gone through this process with no regrets and at the heart of that is having the feeling you've done everything you can to find the right spot, the right fit. So, if in leaving no stone unturned you feel a need to consult with a service I'd say do so, but proceed with caution and with one hand holding onto your wallet.

I totally agree on the consulting aspect--- to me this is key for the parents and player. Most families need this more than the marketing aspect, which they can do themselves with a bit of direction.

And once we have seen the player at one of our showcases we a re truly to helping them regarding their sons recruiting. They can use us as a reference on all their correspondence

I talked with one recruiting firm this past weekend at a clinic and they told me that they sent materials out without ever having seen the kid-- they relied on HS coaches input for their evaliuation of the kid--I won't tell you what their fees were but they were all 4 digits!

I am new the boards, but, here is my experience and opinion.
After meeting with a rep from a recruiting service, and finding out how much it costs, my wife and I decided that we could do pretty much the same thing they could for less money. It does take time and research, though. So, it is my opinion that if you have more money than time, it might be worth it. That's no knock, just an observation.
My son will be going to a D1 school next year and I did it all on my own although I did come into contact with the organization that gets beat up the most on this board and in my opinion rightfully so. That being said we attended A showcase late in the process conducted by Tom Rizzi TRHit and could have learned in 1/2 hour what it took me 4 months to do if I had gone there earlier.He reaffirmed everything I had gathered.This board is also a great source of info.Do it yourself invest your money in a showcase that will give a lot of information such as college select. Then if you are focused on a particulat college get to one of their camps if not a national recruiting showcase for my money that is Perfect Game.
HSBB parents; Mnay years ago before I got into the showcase business I owned a franchise for a recruiting service based out of Ohio.

I can honestly say that the people in the home office are wonderful and dedicated to what they do and they believe in what they do as well.

I mainly worked with baseball playes and I must they the kids I worked with were exposed to many schools with I would say about 90% of the players getting scholarship to schools in this region thru my hard work and contacts.

what I did realize was that many of the schools these kids heard from were from the Eastern half of the U.S., private schools or Liberal Arts schools that were pricey.

Here's my 2 cents worth. I got into the Showcsase business because coaches need to see a player play. Colleges get 1000's of letters in the mail and they will look at all of them thru the schools graduate assistants and they will get passed on from there to the appopriate coach if the GA likes what he sees.

There are 2 things a parent can do that is worth your money. Get on a travel team that plays in the top tourneys or attend showcsae camps or both.

You can mail to all the schools you want but unless your at an event that has several other top prospects or in a "ELITE" summer tournament you may just be spinning your wheels with little or no return for your money. Remember, you must play competitive summer baseball to get noticed. Daay ball doesn't get it done at this age.

Another thing about recruiting service and why I lost my franchise> The company's don't care who your writing up, they just want the franchise fee. Just sign as many as you can and when you do some will stick and some will not. Remeber, it's sales job for these recruiting service. They make money when they sign kids up.

Best of luck when deciding on how to get the best bang for your buck!!
One more thing. When choosing a summer program, do inquire whether the coach gets involved in making sure that schools come to see his players. And try to find out ahead of time where the team will play or travel to. Some programs are expensive, but worth more the investment than recruiting services.
I will tell a story that illustrates some of the problems with some services.

About 6 months ago, a recruiting service in New England read some of what I had written about recruiting services. The guy wasn’t that thrilled and wanted a chance to explain his service. We bantered back and forth via email and he tried to justify the fees of his service (upwards of $1,200) by telling me that it would cost parents much more to send 2 letters to 1,000 schools on their own. First off, there probably aren’t a thousand schools that offer your sport in the entire country and needless to say, sending a thousand random letters out will generate very little if no interest, not to mention that there isn’t that many schools that will meet your skills and personal desires. But that was their model, send out as much mail as possible and hope some coach somewhere takes interest.

Browsing their website one day, I saw the name of a local athlete I knew who had signed up, the kid was a junior. Having seen this kid play for 2 years, I didn’t think he had the skills to play in college at any level. I bumped into his coach a few weeks later and my own curiosity led me to the following questions. For the purposes of this story lets call the player Burt. Here is what I asked.

1) Coach, are you aware that Burt was interested in playing in college
2) Are you aware that Burt signed up for a $1,000 recruiting service to promote himself to college coaches
3) Do you think Burt has the skills to play in college
4) Are you willing to endorse him for the college level.

Here are the responses….

1) No I was not aware that Burt wanted to play in college
2) No, I was not aware that Burt signed up for a recruiting service
3) Burt could maybe play at the low D3 level, but that would be a stretch
4) No, I have several other players with more skill that coaches are calling about, and if I recommend a player such as Bert and he isn’t able to compete at the college level, those coaches will never call me again or ask me to evaluate a player.

After this, I emailed the guy at the recruiting service and asked him the following question.

Do you encourage people who are going to sign up with your service to speak to their high school coach before they give you a check for $1,000.

I wanted to know because before, the recruiting service had told me that they rely heavily on recommendations from high school coaches. His reply was that they do in most cases, but that many coaches are not able to evaluate their players. Hmm.

Burt’s Coach has been coaching high school basketball for over 25 years, has had many players play in college, has won over 12 league titles including 4 in a row, and has played for the state championship multiple times. Oh, he also replaced Rollie Massimino when he took the head high school job, so he obviously had some qualifications then.

All this led me to believe that this recruiting service did not encourage Burt to talk to his coach before he plunked down his $1,000. Now Burt is spending a $1,000 to send packages out to hundreds of schools without a coaches recommendation. Burt also had no statistics that jumped off the pages. Burt doesn’t have a lot going for him right now.
Ghouse has said it all. Franchise owners of recruiting services have certain quota's they must meet each month or these lose there investment of the franchise. What I learned in that business is that you don't want the parents talking to the coaches because the coach will influence the paretns not to use a recruiting service. Before you fork over your money, talk to your HS coach and get his opinion of what level your son can play. The recruiting service will do everything they can to make you believe your son is a D-1 player. Do your homework on recruiting services and talk with your HS coach because he may have many schools already in mind where he feels your son can play. And that won';t cost you but a nice dinner for the HS coach for helping your son achieve his goal of playing college baseball.
I have been watching this thread very carefully and have been hesitant to post this but now I have decided to go ahead, so here it is. I posted a question a while back about a program called Gameday Prospects. I received several replies that advised me to keep my money in my pocket. It seems to me everyone reading this web site is against recruiting services. At this point, I feel it necessary to tell you about my experiences with the Gameday Prospects program. My son has participated in two events. The cost of the event is no more than the cost of any camp or clinic. After each event, I received an evalutation that I felt was right on track. Please keep in mind, my son is only 13. I'm keeping on reading, it ain't time yet. Since the time of him participating in these events, I have needed help with several projects concerning my son. The director of that program has gotten involved and was able to make some things happen that I alone could not have accomplished. Also, I have had several questions about my son getting to the next level and sent this director an e-mail asking these questions. I received back an answer from the entire staff which included reasons why they felt the way they did. One thing I did notice on their web site, a statement that said, "Satisfaction Guaranteed". So far, if I look at the money I've given them to "instruct" and "evaluate" my son, it's nothing compared to the information and help I've received from them, and for this, I will be eternally greatful. Gameday Prospects has a program called "Potential Prospect" I can sign my son up for when he is in the 8th grade. Yes, there is a fee. They also have programs that continue up through high school that I guess is considered a recruiting service, and yes there is a fee. But if I can continue to get the excellent service from them that far out weighs the money I've given them, I would be crazy not to use their service. I feel my family has ONE SHOT at this. I want to do it right. Please keep in mind, I'm not telling anyone what they've done in the past is right or wrong. I'm also not trying to advise anyone on what to do in the future. All I'm trying to do is tell you about my experiences and see if there is some information you can get from them to help you. Now, I'm out on a limb!!! Have at it!!!

I'm still reading, it ain't time yet!!!

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