He Our son now has plans to visit two of the D3 schools that have shown a lot of interest and invited him to overnights. These are far from home and will involve multiple missed days of school and fall HS games.

He is excited to go, mainly because these two coaches have been courting him consistently and it feels good to him to be pursued. He has liked their conversations and feels comfortable so far.

I, however, have some hesitations about the schools and whether they’ll be a fit for him, baseball aside. Both have some extreme elements to them in terms of location or student culture. I haven’t expressed these concerns yet to son, just want him to have his own experience and see what happens. 

Both are strong high academic opportunities. 

Wondering what to do now about a few of the schools he has interest in that haven’t been as assertive. Need back up plans in place in case fit is not there after these visits. For example, schools that followed up after Headfirst with emails that told him they saw him play and hoped he could come to their camp (which he couldn’t). Some of those said “we hope you can come for a visit, let us know”—this after he said their camps were not going to work timing wise. They did not specifically say come for an overnight. Or send your transcripts...

One school he is very interested in said “you’re a really nice prospect”. With no invite for overnight etc. How do we interpret that?? Sounds tepid to me—my husband disagrees. 

Is it out of line to contact these schools again and ask them what their level of interest is? Tell them we have to start narrowing down the list of visits to pursue? Because for a couple of them, arranging a visit is the next step. How do we figure out which visits to prioritize if they haven’t told him point  blank “we want you” like the others? 

I have a feeling he will get offers at both visits coming up, and we need to have idea who else has serious interest, who isn’t as into him.

Any tips about how to ask these questions without calling their hand or putting coaches on the spot would be appreciated. Not much time to figure all this out. Time and financial resources mean only maybe one more long distance trip if these upcoming schools don’t fit the bill.

 

thank you!

Original Post

I agree with RJM. I also think that it's getting late now, especially for any school where players are asked to apply ED.  If they have not asked for a transcript yet that likely means interest is tepid at best.

Regarding your reservations about the schools with strong interest, there are several users here that have visited and/or are very knowledgeable about a broad range of HA D3 colleges in all parts of the country. You might consider gathering more info. Sometimes what the guides say or other online resources say about student culture etc. can be inaccurate or overblown. If you follow this board closely you probably have a good idea of who to ask for more info in a private message, assuming you don't want to ask publicly. If not, PM me for suggestions.

I also agree with RJM with a slight twist.  Schedule the visits to the two schools ASAP.  While you are waiting to visit these other two schools have your son pick up the phone and schedule the other schools before or after the visit...when ever you have free time.  In other words get it all on the calendar now.  You've got a very short runway and little margin for error.  Prioritize your time and resources, but get it scheduled now.  If there is a date/time conflict, you're son is going to have to make a choice.  

If your son gets a verbal offer, then deal with that as it comes.   At the moment he doesn't have an offer, so you can deal with that decision later.   Possibly post another thread on HSBBWeb with the updated situation.  Make no mistake about it, your son's job is to get as many quality offers in a short period of time as possible.   Ready go!

Good luck!    

RJM's advice about the recruiting aspect of your question is very good. Regarding your concerns about the fit of the schools, I think you should express your concerns to your son before his visits. That way he will have that info in the back of mind as he takes it all in. You know your son best and if you see some red flags, you probably aren't wrong. However, he's super excited about the love he's feeling from the baseball program so he's going in with rose colored glasses. He may inadvertently miss the red flags if they aren't on his radar. You can just say something simple like "I read that X School... sounds interesting. You'll have to check that out while you're there." Good luck to your son!

Also, if he is travelling a long way without a definite offer from the coach, someone has to listen carefully to what the "offer" actually is - with D3s this can vary a lot.  If the coach says "I have 6 names that I can send to admissions with a 99% guarantee, and yours is one of them" is different from "I send a list to admissions and you will be on it but ultimately it is up to them, but if you get in I would love to have you on the team" which is different from "I don't have a slot for you/room on my list, but if you get in on your own you have a place on the team."   If a parent isn't going with the player, then you have to educate the player ahead of time to listen for one of these.  (in fact, perhaps the coach has said something like this to the player on the phone, you should ask!). 

I think it makes perfect sense to say to other schools that you are scheduling visits and would like to know where you are on their board because you have strong interest in the school.

Part of the equation has to be:  how selective is the school, how likely is it that your son would get in without coach support, how much risk are you/he willing to take?

Ok will do this soon. Before he goes on trip. Pretty sure he’ll get offers, based on conversations had with these coaches. But we’ll see. Then he’ll have to figure out what to do. Hoping one of the schools lights his fire, but again I wonder.

Thank you for all the input. I’ve learned a lot reading about everyone’s experiences and otherwise would be pretty uninformed. 

Son takes ACT for second time next week. Three schools with very high admissions standards have told him he needs 2 more points, which he’s feeling confident about after studying all summer. But we’ll see.

Other schools aren’t at all concerned about score and his grades are strong.

Two interested schools will be at Arizona Classic so he may get more looks there? By then I imagine he’ll have to start settling into an ED decision anyway! 

At this point, your 2020 should have a clear idea of where he is feeling “the love.” Any program that asks you to apply early decision at this point should have made a clear indication that you are going to be a rostered player in your freshman year. It should have been clearly communicated by the program. If not, I would be wary of applying ED, as there is a binding component to that. 

I would assume an offer is coming. I don't think they'd be inviting your son up for an overnight to make a new friend. It's a big waste of your time, their time, and their hosting players' time, but it has happened where the whole thing is a bust. 

You can't really push the where do I stand question unless you have a leg to stand on aka other offers you would be willing to take. What your son needs is an offer from a school he would be comfortable attending and he needs to be calling these coaches and letting them know "Hey coach I have an offer from another school. It's a great opportunity and they'd like me to make a decision soon, but I'd still love to come play for you at ________. I wanted to reach out and see where we're at before I commit elsewhere." You'll get an honest answer, good or bad. But I would say that applications are due in less than two months and fall ball probably ends in a little over a month. If coaches are calling your son nice and telling them they'd love to see him at a camp but not asking for grades or scheduling visits asap then they're probably not too interested. Or likely have his position filled. 

I agree with PABaseball above 100% but also want to add another possibility.  I call it keeping you in the stable.  My son was kept in the stable by several HA schools; he had the scores/grades to pass muster at any school and was held in reserve (in the stable) in case any of the top 6/7/8 or however many admissions support being given/offers out there or even accepted fell through.  These schools dragged him along just in case.  They were not inviting him to camps as they had seen him enough, but were not inviting him for OV either.  But yet they were staying in touch to see where he was at, telling him things like they are almost finished with their recruiting class but often that they had one more spot and its between a few guys...stuff like that.  This was the case at a few Ivies, but also at least 2 HA D3 schools too.  

Ok these are painful but necessary responses. Thank you.

My husband and I will need marriage therapy when this is done, him being a perpetual dreamer/ optimist and me a realist, erring toward paranoia. 

So my son is set to OV at two schools at the end of September. One coach has told my son he is their “top guy”. The other has said they could have used his pitching this year. Both have sent handwritten notes, texts or emails regularly and have spoken to him on the phone. Son has their notes pinned to the wall above his desk.

HOWEVER, yesterday I search the names of these schools on here and discover that they are both unable to support players in admissions within their conference. Son is a good student but in no way a student that is anywhere near guaranteed admission at these high academic schools! What the heck. Neither coach has expressed any concern to him about this, as of yet, and plane tickets have been purchased.

They both saw him play at Headfirst, where test scores and GPA are part of player profile. And son remembers getting unofficial transcripts to one of them and gave GPA to the other. They met my husband and talked to him about our kid, expressed their interest and desire for him to come out.

So obviously my son needs to be in touch ASAP and ask the pointed questions re: admissions support. Any other advice? Should he call or text or email?

Thank you for all the help. If not for this website, I wouldn’t have caught this prior to the trip. He didn’t think that question was necessary, given the eagerness of these coaches and the fact that they had his grades! 

TS2020 posted:

So my son is set to OV at two schools at the end of September. One coach has told my son he is their “top guy”. The other has said they could have used his pitching this year. Both have sent handwritten notes, texts or emails regularly and have spoken to him on the phone. Son has their notes pinned to the wall above his desk.

HOWEVER, yesterday I search the names of these schools on here and discover that they are both unable to support players in admissions within their conference. Son is a good student but in no way a student that is anywhere near guaranteed admission at these high academic schools! What the heck. Neither coach has expressed any concern to him about this, as of yet, and plane tickets have been purchased.

So obviously my son needs to be in touch ASAP and ask the pointed questions re: admissions support. Any other advice? Should he call or text or email?

While it's true that certain schools get more help with admissions then others none of us really know for sure. Many of us have had a lot of experience with many different schools, but staffs change, admission's policies change, school financial situations change. In the HA D3 world if your son is a borderline student - varsity baseball player- is usually enough to get him over the hump. If it isn't, that is where the coach intervenes and tries to push a few kids thru. Even if the coach doesn't have that pull at the school, he is still putting a list together of kids that will be on the time if accepted and sending it to admissions. What they do with that information is up to them, but it is something. When people say a coach has no pull they might mean a coach can't walk in and tell them that Joe Smith will be accepted.  They can still give a list of guys they want. A school where the 25% of accepted students is a 1410 and your kid has a 1370 - "varsity baseball player" should get the job done. 

A good question to ask the coach is "How do you think I'll do with admissions?" If he says he can't guarantee anything then it might have to be a school you guys eliminate. It might be something where you say it's worth the risk. But I wouldn't go committing anywhere until you know for sure that he will be accepted and have a roster spot in the fall. First, take the visits and see how he likes the schools. They are not for everybody, he might hate every second of the visit. Admissions is still a part of the process. Sometimes the grades just won't cut it. But see how it goes, meet with some reps while on campus and have the conversation with the coach in person. I'm sure he would not be inviting your son up if he knew he had no shot at getting in. 

Update: The original email sent to my son was not forwarded to mom (something I’ve asked him to do so we can help him stay on top of all the communication). In it the coach states that he has done research on my son’s academic situation and knows he will be a great fit for the school (something like that). He also said he sees son being a difference maker for the team and roster right away, should he attend.  Obviously not a guarantee.

So I feel better but am still going to have son check in regarding the admissions situation this week. Last night all he would do was growl at me, after taking a 3.5 hour practice ACT followed by a study session. Then homework. Today he gets to tell his HS coach about the games he’ll miss for the Arizona Fall Classic and the overnight college visits, something that typically doesn’t go over well.

Senior year will be crazy busy. But I know I’ll prefer it to sitting in his empty room, smelling his T-shirts, next year.

Thank you for all the input. I’m pulling quotes directly from here to help him with coach communication.

TS2020, have you had pre-reads done for any of these schools?  Pre-reads involve sending Transcript, SAT/ACT scores and School profile.  These are then sent to Admissions by the coach, who is advised student is:

  • Tier 1: Gets in without coach assistance
  • Tier 2: Needs coach assistance (coach only has a small handful of these)
  • Tier 3: No go

The coach saying he's a good fit academically, usually doesn't carry much weight, unless he's slotted you for Tier 2, confirmed by Admissions.

 

Some schools also have "Red light, Yellow light, Green light" as far as admissions. Scratching my head for schools where athletics doesn't help with admissions. Caltech is the only one I can think of.  Places like MIT give minimal help....maybe Chicago. Almost all other schools athletics CAN give a boost in admissions, though, it always depends on who the athlete is and what the team's situation is.

 

   I wouldn't sorry about missing some Fall baseball in Senior year. Any coach worth his salt knows that fall is go time for an uncommitted player. We made the mistake with my 2018 of turning down some nice OV invites in order to go to some "important" PG Tournaments with his traveling team. For a HA kid with no hope of being drafted, that was silly. Getting a college destination arranged was more important.

TS2020 posted:

Update: The original email sent to my son was not forwarded to mom (something I’ve asked him to do so we can help him stay on top of all the communication).

So this is slightly off topic, but just a thought on communication and kids.

I'm all in with having kids take the lead on communication with coaches, but I also know that my kid doesn't always get the nuance of communication nor does he always know what needs to be forwarded. So in HS we set up an email box for him on my account (like a sub account??). He used it for all coach communication, so i could go in and read what was there when I had questions.

And while some may not like this, I also have access to his student account at college. He runs it, but every now and then I can check in to make sure he's actually registered for classes, bought books and done all the little things he kind of floats by. And sometimes when I ask questions he just says "there's an email, can you just read it cause I didn't understand it?"

It saves me having to quiz him about stuff, but lets me remind him (gently) to make sure he's getting done what he needs to do.

Iowamom23 posted:
TS2020 posted:

Update: The original email sent to my son was not forwarded to mom (something I’ve asked him to do so we can help him stay on top of all the communication).

So this is slightly off topic, but just a thought on communication and kids.

I'm all in with having kids take the lead on communication with coaches, but I also know that my kid doesn't always get the nuance of communication nor does he always know what needs to be forwarded. So in HS we set up an email box for him on my account (like a sub account??). He used it for all coach communication, so i could go in and read what was there when I had questions.

And while some may not like this, I also have access to his student account at college. He runs it, but every now and then I can check in to make sure he's actually registered for classes, bought books and done all the little things he kind of floats by. And sometimes when I ask questions he just says "there's an email, can you just read it cause I didn't understand it?"

It saves me having to quiz him about stuff, but lets me remind him (gently) to make sure he's getting done what he needs to do.

AMEN.   I had/have access to my son's personal email account and checked it regularly during recruiting and have access to my son's college email account and do the same.  I know someone is going to say let him grow up and I rarely have to say anything to him but I also have a strong vested interest in his college as long as I am paying so I agree with Iowamom23 and want to make sure he has done everything he has to do. 

Not to hijack the thread, but how much stock should a player put in a HA D3 coach’s invite to come for an overnight visit?  My son’s travel coach tells the boy he can stop planning other visits bc his 1st choice school has issued such an invite. That makes me uncomfortable, since son could end up with no offer just a few weeks before ED deadline. I’d like son to keep emailing other coaches and to plan on overnights at another couple of schools.  Adding to this thread bc son and I keep disagreeing about whether he ought to keep reaching out to schools to gauge interest in much the way the OP wants her son to do.

Imo, your travel ball coach is correct - BUT, until you have something (an offer you want and believe will be delivered), you have nothing.

My son turned down a school because he quite simply didn't enjoy his visit; before the visit, we could not conceive he would not accept the offer.

Overnight visits can be real eye openers; students "gossip" about all sorts of things.

Thinking back on our experience, son's travel coach was also recruiting coordinator and batting coach at a D1 program (and is now head coach at that program) and he also told us that the HA D3 coach's offer of an overnight visit was to be interpreted as an offer was coming.  

Son had gone to overnight visit at his top choice, received his "offer" - apply ED and we'll push through admissions - and he received another invite for an overnight visit after pre-read of transcripts to a much higher level academic school in New England very late in the game (which he did not end up visiting).  I discussed with the travel coach because I thought there was no way son would be able to get in and he said they would not be inviting for an overnight if they A. weren't prepared to make an offer and B. thought they'd be able to get him admitted.  

That was just our experience and the advice we received.  Every case could be different.  There was no expectation of son committing to apply ED right there at his visit (at the school he selected).  If I had to do it over again I think I'd have son go to a few more overnights just to see what other schools/programs were like for comparison purposes.  

 

 

All of your comments very helpful.

Son should check with coaches about possibility of pre-read or need thereof.

i agree that a shared email address is the way to go. We did not do it this way and it would have been helpful. Instead, we’ve been logging into our son’s email account to check things periodically, with his permission. However my husband made the mistake of opening an unread email from a coach while my son was at school— he later regretted doing that. If we were to do this again, we’d set it up differently! Great advice.

I just hope he likes one of these schools a lot!

Chico Escuela posted:

Not to hijack the thread, but how much stock should a player put in a HA D3 coach’s invite to come for an overnight visit?  My son’s travel coach tells the boy he can stop planning other visits bc his 1st choice school has issued such an invite. That makes me uncomfortable, since son could end up with no offer just a few weeks before ED deadline. I’d like son to keep emailing other coaches and to plan on overnights at another couple of schools.  Adding to this thread bc son and I keep disagreeing about whether he ought to keep reaching out to schools to gauge interest in much the way the OP wants her son to do.

A lot. I've mentioned this on a few other threads but they aren't inviting your kid up to campus to make a new friend and get his thoughts on the new arts building. It is a huge waste of time for everybody involved if the trip does not result in an offer. They wasted your son's time, your time, your job's time, their own time, and their host player's time. There really isn't a good reason to bring a kid out to campus and not offer him. Unless your son is a borderline candidate for admissions and they need to run some numbers in regards to GPA and scores there really isn't much to talk about. 

Went on a visit with 2019. It was a school well within his baseball ability and the trip was taken more as a courtesy to his travel coach than it had to do with actual interest in the school. Spent all day on campus and end up in coach's office where he tells us how he thinks he's a great fit and can see him being their sat starter as a freshman. And then silence. No offer. He was pissed he missed a school field trip for that. It was the last conversation he had with that coach. Now, he had a bunch of other offers. Until your kid has an offer do not drop any school he would even slightly consider going to. All it takes it one visit where he clicks with the kids and likes the campus. Works the other way is well, all it takes is one bad visit to dream school and the dream dies quickly. 

Chico Escuela posted:

Not to hijack the thread, but how much stock should a player put in a HA D3 coach’s invite to come for an overnight visit?  My son’s travel coach tells the boy he can stop planning other visits bc his 1st choice school has issued such an invite. That makes me uncomfortable, since son could end up with no offer just a few weeks before ED deadline. I’d like son to keep emailing other coaches and to plan on overnights at another couple of schools.  Adding to this thread bc son and I keep disagreeing about whether he ought to keep reaching out to schools to gauge interest in much the way the OP wants her son to do.

Until you have the "ink" keep on working it.

Even if you have visited schools in the summer, the in-semester visit is important, as other have said, he may not like the school when he stays with players.  Also, sure he'll probably get an offer when on a visit, but for D3 schools there are various kinds of "offer" - they could say "we don't have a slot for you, but we hope you'll get in and you'll have a spot on the team," which you might like less than a more definite "we will get you through admissions" at another school.  You have to be in there with the coach to ask exactly what kind of offer it is, unless your son has already asked on the phone.  If the top choice coach has said on the phone "I have a list of xx players who are guaranteed admission and you are on it" then I think you could visit only there.

So should my son schedule other overnights now at schools in addition to the one he thinks is his first choice? 

I agree that much can change when you visit during the school year, meet members of the team, etc.  The visit to current top choice is in early October.  Should the boy schedule visits with other schools this fall as well?  Any visits would require plane tickets, and my son's travel coach advised him to save the money, at least until after the early October visit.  I have no wish to spend money I don't need to; but arranging travel on very short notice during the three weeks between that visit and the ED deadline would be expensive and difficult. How bad would it be to schedule an overnight and then cancel it if my son decides he has found the school he wants to attend? 

Buy refundable tickets (e.g., Southwest).

Don't feel bad if you get an offer from school #1 (which you are convinced will be honored by admissions) and call off further visits - the players assigned to care for your son wont mind the all-of-a-sudden free weekend.

Coaches understand how the recruiting game of musical chairs goes and flows; you are simply protecting and hedging your interests.

Exciting times - when it's over and you look back, the sigh of relief/satisfaction is priceless.

Chico Escuela posted:

So should my son schedule other overnights now at schools in addition to the one he thinks is his first choice? 

I agree that much can change when you visit during the school year, meet members of the team, etc.  The visit to current top choice is in early October.  Should the boy schedule visits with other schools this fall as well?  Any visits would require plane tickets, and my son's travel coach advised him to save the money, at least until after the early October visit.  I have no wish to spend money I don't need to; but arranging travel on very short notice during the three weeks between that visit and the ED deadline would be expensive and difficult. How bad would it be to schedule an overnight and then cancel it if my son decides he has found the school he wants to attend? 

Only you can decide your budget. I would have zero worries about telling the program that you can't make an OV. Just don't expect an offer from them, unless your player has really caught their imagination.

 

 In general, though, I would try to get your son to meet the team, if possible. My 2018 lucked out with his team (he had only met a couple of kids beforehand), but you never know what you are going to find when you visit. I know of one VERY HA school where large numbers of the team do coke after games. 

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