I was wondering what's the best tips and details about getting exposure and interest from college coaches. I have a 2018 son, and people tell me it's too early, but I see 2018 and even 2019's verbally committing all the time. Please let me know because I'm new to the whole recruiting and next level baseball environment. I believe he has the talent to go on to play college baseball, I just dont know whats best for him. Please let me know.

 Thanks alot. 

Original Post
#1 Assistant Coach posted:

You've come to the right place.  Sure you will get a lot of advice.

Remember, exposure TO and interest FROM coaches is not a cause/effect relationship.  Exposure TO, is something you can definitely control, but the interest FROM is out of your hands. 

Alright thanks. Hoping to get a few answers soon

BaseballCoach2,

College baseball is pretty vast.  Let's not try to boil the ocean all at once.  Let's start with something a little more manageable and targeted.....what does your son want to do, what is he capable of doing and who do you think will be interested in his skills?  If you can answer those questions it gives the board a starting point.

BTW...don't concern yourself with other's receiving offers at this time.  It's really not worth your time thinking about it.

fenwaysouth posted:

BaseballCoach2,

College baseball is pretty vast.  Let's not try to boil the ocean all at once.  Let's start with something a little more manageable and targeted.....what does your son want to do, what is he capable of doing and who do you think will be interested in his skills?  If you can answer those questions it gives the board a starting point.

BTW...don't concern yourself with other's receiving offers at this time.  It's really not worth your time thinking about it.

Academically he's an A-B normal with about a 4.0. But athletically He's capable of being an all-conference and all-district player if he continues to work. He wants to play college baseball and even beyond that if given the opportunity regardless of what level it may be. He's more of a contact and speed rather than a power player. I don't know if that means much to coaches so that's where I'm kind of lost. I know he won't just come straight off the bat with D 1's so I'm guessing just the coaches from the smaller colleges would be at least interested in contacting him.  Just looking for the base structure of what's what in this topic. 

I realize this is a baseball site but I have to open up the academic discussion since Fenway tried but it was overlooked.

While playing baseball should be a consideration it should not be the primary consideration.  What does your son want to be when he grows up if the baseball thing doesn't work out?  Someone who wants to be a teacher may go to a very different school than someone who wants to be an engineer.  I know most of our kids don't want to consider that baseball will end for them someday, but it is something that will happen and he needs to really think about what he wants to do after baseball.

After you lock down a sort of career path ask what type of school does he want to go to? There are small schools and big schools.  Inner city schools where each building could be 5 miles apart or schools set in a farm community where everything is within walking distance. Within an hour of home, or is he okay going cross country?  What can you afford to pay or get loans for if there is no baseball money?

Answering THOSE questions can narrow down the type of school he wants to go to, then from there you can check out their baseball programs.  I don't think a 2018 is too early to start to make a list of schools.  Once you have your list you can follow the timeline on the home page of sending out letters/videos/summer schedules to interested coaches and maybe find some showcases where his target schools will be in attendance.

Sounds like a smart kid. Does he have an idea where he wants to go to school academically? Casting a wide net in hopes of catching interest is a crap shoot unless he has strong tools. I would make a list of colleges that he would like to attend and start a campaign of emailing those coaches to start the process. What position does your son play? and what are his measurebles? You also need to be realistic in your sons abilities whatever they are.  

The 2018s and 2019s you see committing are mostly outliers.  The big recruiting year is the year after your junior year of HS ball.  It doesn't hurt to get exposure before then, but most of the attention at exposure events will be focused on the incoming HS seniors.  

I have a 2017 and we are fortunate that we are in a very good program designed to get kids exposure.  My biggest advice  would be to take a hard look at your travel program.  Make sure you are in one designed to get kids exposure.  

Using my kids program as an example.  We played normal travel ball up until two years ago.  We had a very competitive team in our area.  We were the team that other teams did not want to meet up with in a local tourney.  We were also competitive at the regional tourneys as well.   Thing is the program did not know how to get the kids exposure.  They chased the tournaments that billed them self as "exposure" or "showcase" tourneys played on local college campuses.  About the only thing these tourneys showcase is your sons tan.  The tourney companies rent these fields out, the schools pay an assistant coach or two to prep the field between games.  The AC then disappears into the athletic offices during the games.  

The program we moved to 3 years ago, does not play in the general area tourneys everyone is playing in.  They and a couple of other highly selective programs in the area have joined together and play each other just about every weekend.  In addition the programs have cultivated relationships with colleges throughout the midwest as well as nationwide.  They publish a schedule of when and where kids are playing.  The programs and games are structured to showcase kids rather then winning games.  Yes winning is important to everyone, but they will not ride a hot pitcher for a whole game if they know they can put another kid on the mound and let the college guys see him.  They bat CO in most games and swap kids in and out of the games pretty much every other inning.  

If you are playing in a program that is not structured to get kids in the right places you may want to consider moving programs.  Find one that is structured to get kids exposure and has a good track record.  Ours puts about 75-80% of their kids into college programs every year.  Out the remaining kids many of them could play in college but choose not to for various reasons.  

I see that you are in VA.  I know there are regular posters on this board that are familiar with the programs in that area. Hopefully they can be of some help.

CaCO3Girl posted:

I realize this is a baseball site but I have to open up the academic discussion since Fenway tried but it was overlooked.

While playing baseball should be a consideration it should not be the primary consideration.  What does your son want to be when he grows up if the baseball thing doesn't work out?  Someone who wants to be a teacher may go to a very different school than someone who wants to be an engineer.  I know most of our kids don't want to consider that baseball will end for them someday, but it is something that will happen and he needs to really think about what he wants to do after baseball.

After you lock down a sort of career path ask what type of school does he want to go to? There are small schools and big schools.  Inner city schools where each building could be 5 miles apart or schools set in a farm community where everything is within walking distance. Within an hour of home, or is he okay going cross country?  What can you afford to pay or get loans for if there is no baseball money?

Answering THOSE questions can narrow down the type of school he wants to go to, then from there you can check out their baseball programs.  I don't think a 2018 is too early to start to make a list of schools.  Once you have your list you can follow the timeline on the home page of sending out letters/videos/summer schedules to interested coaches and maybe find some showcases where his target schools will be in attendance.

Oh okay. Thanks. He's talked about wanting to be a physical therapist or something in the field of sports medicine once he gets older. I know that some of the kid's change their minds about what they want to be when they get older as they progress through school. He has made a brief list of schools that coincide with the path he wants to take. I'll remind him that it's not always 100% baseball and academics do come first because he seems to get carried away. Thanks alot once again. 

Welcome.

It is not too early and in fact the next two summers are critical for your son. Start with CACO3GIRL's assessment of what his academic interest are and then merge that with baseball. You need to get an independent assessment of his projected baseball skill level and then build a plan around the two elements, academic and baseball. Make up a list of 25-35 schools that fit the profile and start researching, use the USNews, and other college ranking books to get a good profile of what interests him, school size, location, finances, etc all come into play. Make visits to schools and watch games, and start working the plan. Once he has HIS plan then he can start contacting his targeted schools and let them know his summer schedule. (which he/you should be well into the planning stage now)

Good luck!

 

BOF posted:

Welcome.

It is not too early and in fact the next two summers are critical for your son. Start with CACO3GIRL's assessment of what his academic interest are and then merge that with baseball. You need to get an independent assessment of his projected baseball skill level and then build a plan around the two elements, academic and baseball. Make up a list of 25-35 schools that fit the profile and start researching, use the USNews, and other college ranking books to get a good profile of what interests him, school size, location, finances, etc all come into play. Make visits to schools and watch games, and start working the plan. Once he has HIS plan then he can start contacting his targeted schools and let them know his summer schedule. (which he/you should be well into the planning stage now)

Good luck!

 

Okay thanks. I really appreciate it. 

BaseballCoach2 posted:

Oh okay. Thanks. He's talked about wanting to be a physical therapist or something in the field of sports medicine once he gets older. I know that some of the kid's change their minds about what they want to be when they get older as they progress through school. He has made a brief list of schools that coincide with the path he wants to take. I'll remind him that it's not always 100% baseball and academics do come first because he seems to get carried away. Thanks alot once again. 

A teenage boy got carried away thinking about his baseball dreams???  NO WAY!!!!

LOL, just keep being the voice inside his head telling him to focus.  It has been said by many on this board that baseball ends for everyone eventually, some sooner than they wish due to injury or life in general getting in the way.  While it is great to shoot for the stars eventually he will come back to earth and live a life that doesn't center around baseball.  THAT is why choosing a school based on academics or how he specifically feels is more important than their baseball program.  Baseball ends for many people before college and some DURING college.  How will he feel about the school if he eliminates the baseball factor? 

I have a 2020 and I took him through Manhattan after Cooperstown just to walk around the streets of New York.  To say he HATED it is a massive understatement.  He's a Georgia boy who loves baseball and wants to play in College but the city buildings, the smell, the lack of nature, just the vibe of the city in general made him very uncomfortable. Inner City Colleges will be off his list no matter what the baseball program is like. 

"I have a 2020 and I took him through Manhattan after Cooperstown just to walk around the streets of New York. To say he HATED it is a massive understatement. He's a Georgia boy who loves baseball and wants to play in College but the city buildings, the smell, the lack of nature, just the vibe of the city in general made him very uncomfortable. Inner City Colleges will be off his list no matter what the baseball program is like."

Its never too early to begin creating college possibility lists: one list for baseball, the other without baseball. Both lists should represent realistic possibilities (e.g., if your son doesn't have Vandy quality baseball skills, don't put Vandy on the baseball list). Wherever those two diagrams overlap are your highest priority targets.

I quoted CaCo3's post to show how a kid's ideas of where he'd like to attend can change. My S had a very similar reaction to repeated visits to Manhatten; he ruled out New York City early and stuck to it. He chose a school sitting near NYC. After his freshman year, and after repeated trips with his friends to NYC on weekends, he admittedthat he had not understood NYC's gravitational pull and wished he hadn't been so stubborn. Kids ideas of college and career possibilities change - alot; it's tough not to impose certain adult bias' and feelings into his selection process.

So, you have plenty of time; but don't delay in making progress every day in the classroom and on the field. Don't push those standardized tests back, rather take them as soon as he's is ready - the earlier the better. The better his scores, the more options for college. At the same time, bringing his baseball skills to a D1 level is a long, incremental process. Balance the travel ball with personal lessons developing those personal skills - while baseball is a team game, players get recruited based upon individual skills.

Begin the discussion with finances in mind: finances can have a huge impact on the list. Get familiar with his school's counselors - will you need to do the college leg work yourself, or are the counselors helpful?  Is he taking the hardest HS curriculum his school offers? The more difficult (assuming success), the more colleges. 

If this is your first child getting ready for college, the mountain of knowledge you need to accumulate and digest is enormous. But you've got time.

very good advice above.  I'll echo and try to stress  the importance of creating a target list of schools - based on whatever criteria is important to your son-   location, city, rural, big, small etc.  and choosing the right type of travel team that will get you exposed to those schools.   I've seen kids in our area play for legion, or some travel team a dad put together, no colleges see them play, and everyone wonders why they aren't getting noticed by colleges.   

We started emailing potential schools the fall after my son's sophomore season (actually sat watching the World Series while shooting out emails).  He had hopes of playing D1...but at that point he was still the smallest/youngest kid in his class and didn't "look like" a D1 kid, though he was capable of playing with any kids his age...even some who already had D1 interest.  He emailed about 40 possible choices.  D1's from a 3 state area (not the Power 5 schools...we knew they likely were out of the question), several top D2's and even a few D3's...just because I made him .   We sent out info on his HS season (varsity SS & P) and also a video that we shot on our own just a couple days before.  To our surprise, even though the emails went out between 9 and 11 pm, we had 7 or 8 responses by the next morning.  2 or 3 said thanks with a "canned" response...or a camp invite....but the other 4 or 5 were actually replies from coaches.  We could tell by their replies that they had actually watched the video.  No "serious" inquiries at that point, but one of the coaches who did reply ended up being one of the 4 or 5 schools my son actually had some serious contact with the next spring/summer.   We sent out the same email & video again a couple more times through the winter...and once more in the spring after updating with his Junior stats/info....and his summer schedule.  We got a few new replies each time...and eventually dropped most of the ones who had never responded.

Funny thing is, the school he ended up at never replied once...not even a hello......lol

Did this get him noticed?  Yep....by some schools.  Did it get him into college?  Based on the sentence above this....nope!   His talent ended up doing that, which is usually the deciding factor....but getting him and his information in front of coaches never hurts.

Good Luck!!!

BaseballCoach2,

Ok, so you've been given some great advice about the importance of academics and academic fit with college baseball.  We've only scratched that surface, as that can be a whole separate long discussion by itself.  Your sons take away should be took look at physical therapy (or similar majors) schools in the context of baseball.  You can get a listing of majors by school, location and other dynamics here:  http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/ 

The good news is your son shouldn't have academic eligibility issues with the NCAA.  it may be possible that he could be eligible for academic money based on the schools he's looking at, but he has to keep those grades up and understand how academic money is awarded by each institution.

As far as college baseball goes, pretty much every current college player is a former all district player or all conference player.  Pick a college and a player bio.  Yep, those guys were studs in high school.  If your son wants to play in college, that is the level of separation he'll need with his peers.  About 6% of high school players go on to play in college (all levels).   That is a pretty small crowd.  So, it would be a great idea to get an impartial, qualified person to evaluate your son's skills to give you a baseline and a reality check.  Check in with his high school coach, travel coach, Legion coach, or personal coach about who is the best person to evaluate him.  Local scouts may be in your area and they can provide some guidance on his baseball tools as well.

It is very important to educate yourself  and your son on the college recruiting timeline.  There is a reason there is an old saying about timing....it is everything.  It is so true in college baseball recruiting as well.   There is a recruiting timeline because there is a talent hierarchy.  Top talent typically goes to top programs early.  There are exceptions, but there is a flow to when talent is offered and commits to the D1 Power Conferences and then makes its way to D1 Mid-Majors and eventually D2, D3, JUCO and NAIA.   This is the orginal HSBBWeb timeline which is still a great reference.  http://www.hsbaseballweb.com/recruit_timeline.htm   As you research this more and more you will get a sense of when talent gets recruited to which schools.

So, choosing the right venue for the right exposure becomes easier when you know what you are looking for.  Travel teams, showcases, camps are used as a marketplace to bring college coaches and players together to determine if there is interest.  Picking where to spend your time and money becomes a personal decision.  If you stick around HSBBWeb long enough, you'll get a sense of the activity level required.  I'll share my experience with you to show you what not to do.  My son wanted to go to school in Virginia...under no circumstances was he willing to go to school outside of Virginia.   Well, when he figured out none of the big D1 Virginia programs were seriously interested in him he expanded his search outside of Virginia.  Some Virginia D1 mid-majors became interested but they didn't have engineering.  So we expanded our search to the East coast looking for D1 level baseball and engineering.  While this was going on, a bunch of D3 engineering schools also became interested, so he considered them.  What it amounted to was if he had started with his major (engineering) we could have saved ourselves a lot of time and trouble.  When it came down to it, he didn't care if it was D1, D3 or D12 (I made that up) as long as they had his major and he could play college baseball.   So, please learn from our experiences.

Good luck, and keep the questions coming! 

 

 

A couple good points about exposure and travel teams.  My son played on a very good team at 15U and 16U.  Myself and another coach had put it together....just kids from NW Ohio that we personally knew or had met over the previous 4 or 5 summers.  We carried 12 to 13 kids most of the time.  Of those kids, there are now guys pitching in the ACC, B1G and MAC (2) with other playing at all levels throughout Ohio and Michigan...10 of the 13 are playing in college.  Funny thing is, we played in the best events we could...and really had VERY little interaction with college coaches...other than a few toward the end of the 16U summer.  The team split up....my son and 3 or 4 others went to play for a very well known organization known for getting kids a lot of exposure.  Those 4 kids are all at D1's now.  As much as we thought that our 15/16 team was getting enough exposure...that next summer made it painfully obvious that we hadn't.  My son played in front of 40-50 coaches at some events.  He normally came in in relief after a 6'5 LHP who was being recruited by EVERYONE...so that didn't hurt .  His summer coach would contact him almost weekly telling him he was getting calls about my son....some from schools we hadn't even noticed at tourneys....including Patriot League teams and even an Ivy...son said "Dad, they only play 35 games a season...I'm not going there"....lol.   

I guess my point is the same as others have said....being put in position to be seen by the right coaches is the key to finding a place to play.  In our area, my son would have NEVER had a D1 coach attend his HS game...it just doesn't happen here in rural Ohio.  Playing for a good program in the summer....that got him in the right events got him looks....and eventually a spot on a college roster.

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