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A lot of kids playing high school and travel don’t understand the commitment. This is a question I ask kids who talk about playing college ball.

When I played college ball  (the bases were made out of dinosaur bones) I felt owned between baseball, school and a very part time job. My kids didn’t work in college. I didn’t want them to work. With baseball/softball I wanted everything else to be about studying and having a little bit of a social life.

Rather then me posting my son’s schedule from when he was a college freshman ten years ago how about posters with kids currently playing post their son’s fall and spring schedules.

Not all programs are the same. It would be interesting to see schedules from D1 Top 100, D1 other, D2 (I know nothing about D2), ranked D3 and other D3.

** The dream is free. Work ethic sold separately. **

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P5 top 25 program.

Freshman year attempting to be a 2-way player.  School from 8-11:30.  Quick lunch and field ready to go by 1.  Pitching practice and team work until 6-7.  6-9 quick dinner and study hall for 2 hours mandatory.  9-11 or 12 individual hitting workouts to do what the rest of the hitters did during practice.

Now, Junior year.  Everything is the same except he is no longer a 2-way, his choice and no study hall required.  Still at the field from lunch until 7 most nights that they are not playing.  Games during the week are until 9 since they are home for every weekday game this year.  A couple of away games during the week last year due to Covid stuff and they were home at 2-3 in the morning but schedule next day did not change.

On Sunday nights for SEC schedule away games they get back about 11 PM on Sunday.

Do you really want to commit the time to play college ball?

Two out of three of my son's said "no thank you" to college baseball.   They saw what their older brother went through at a D1 HA known for scheduling 42-44 games a year with additional flexibility around practices, classes and travel.   By no stretch of the imagination was his D1 experience comparable to a D1 P5 and yet he spent 30-40 hours a week in season and 15-20 hours a week off-season on college baseball  (away from studies).  My two younger sons wanted no part of it.   I give them a lot of credit for knowing what they wanted to get out of college, and knowing they weren't as passionate about baseball as their older brother.
Last edited by fenwaysouth

We make a point of emphasizing this question to anyone asking to be part of our program.  We make it plain that what we do is not for everyone.  We are not a recreational enterprise; we help college-bound players reach that goal (and pro players when someone rises to that level).  What we find is that most players, due to the lack of maturity that is understandable given their age group, think that they want to keep playing forever.  And they see someone they know moving on, and can't imagine a world in which "that guy" plays in college and they don't.  They think that baseball is fun (which, of course, it is) and therefore, why wouldn't I want to keep going?

But just because you might have talent doesn't mean college baseball is for you.  Just like there are hundreds of potential careers, but you might not like but 1 or 2 of them if you're lucky, what goes on in college baseball is more like a job than it is like your youth rec travel team or even your HS team.  There's no shame in saying, "That's not really for me."

And yet, every year kids quit college ball because, no matter how hard you work to drive the nail through the skull, for some they just have to experience the reality before they truly have it dawn on them that this is not what they want in their lives.

I put together a weekly schedule and a year/calendar schedule to lay out for our guys what job it is they're applying for.  We do all we can to make sure we're dealing only with kids who truly want this.  But the best you can do is limit the number of kids who are taking up a team slot that would've been better devoted to another guy.  You'll always have some guys who get to age 18, 19 or 20 before they realize they're on a track that's not right for them.

But then again, who among us didn't change our minds about our plans for our futures between ages 16 and 20?  Most college kids change their plans for their majors at some point.  Many change schools, or leave for a time and then return later.  I don't suppose there's any reason to think baseball players would be so much different from everyone else in this regard.

This was my son’s P5 fall schedule as close as I remember. My daughter’s P5 softball schedule wasn’t much different.

Before breakfast - swimming for upper body strength

Breakfast

Classes - 8 or 9 until noon

Baseball - 1 to 5

Dinner

An hour after dinner - Weight lighting or agility training

9pm until done - Homework

Rinse and repeat

On Saturdays they were encouraged to support the football team after morning practice. Saturday night was free.

On Sundays my son slept late. Then he watched football. After the early game he had early dinner and caught up on homework he didn’t get done during the week or got ahead on the coming week.

He said the worst weekend fatigue wise was during the season. Saturday was rained out. Sunday they played a doubleheader. They left Burger King at 8pm for a ten hour bus ride home. They had to get signatures from their Monday classes after road weekends to prove they went to class.

Its understandable a lot of D1 athletes go undeclared (major) with general studies the first couple of years. My son majored in Econ with a concentration in Quantitative Analytics (essentially calculus and stats).

My daughter is five years older than my son. I learned the deal through her and her friends. I was in the lobby of a Sheraton in Boston early one evening. A UMaryland bus pulled up. I had to check to see if one of my daughter’s friends was on the bus. I was shocked to find out the #1 field hockey team in the country bussed everything up to ten hours.

My daughter’s friend was on the bus. I chatted with her in the lobby. She told me what she did on the field (leading scorer in the country) didn’t matter on the bus. Upperclassmen took up a side of an aisle. Freshman shared seats and carried equipment.

Last edited by RJM

My son's schedule is/was similar.  P5. Weights 5 days a week from 6:30-8am. Class 9-12:30ish. He had to have his arm worked on (pt), so he goes in an hour before practice. To the field at 1.  Practice or skill work until about 5:30 or 6.  Scrimmages Saturdays and Sundays unless there is a home football game. Team meetings 1-2 evenings a week usually. They also have to eat at training table 4-5 times a week.  Homework, sleep, repeat.   I always think its interesting to hear that you have to pick a college you love without baseball because you really don't get to experience much of anything besides baseball.

Last edited by baseballhs

reading this ... I smile ... as my personal journey as a non-preferred walk-on to the lowest division club rugby program was a lot less effort and yet still a great college experience for me (I'm now 30 yrs into my engineering career).

reading this ... I cringe ... having to decide when to make my 15 yr old 2024 read this ... Should my kid read this before or after Sep 1 of his Jr HS year - when the college baseball coaches will be allowed to call my kid direct with talk of all the trappings and promises?

@mjd-dad posted:

reading this ... I smile ... as my personal journey as a non-preferred walk-on to the lowest division club rugby program was a lot less effort and yet still a great college experience for me (I'm now 30 yrs into my engineering career).

reading this ... I cringe ... having to decide when to make my 15 yr old 2024 read this ... Should my kid read this before or after Sep 1 of his Jr HS year - when the college baseball coaches will be allowed to call my kid direct with talk of all the trappings and promises?

There aren’t any promises. There are only the delusions of promises heard by players and parents. A player can blow “you will have every opportunity to start” in one bad practice. Do you think that kid believes he received every opportunity?

You better have him read it now.  Because those conversations can happen before that date.  My son's first offer was before he was a 9th grader.  He had already committed before he was a junior.  If you wait until then to have this conversation, he will be so far behind.  But I'm not a fan of it's their journey let them make the decision on their own.  I believe our role as parents is to help them along the journey.  The final thing is their decision but our part is to guide them.

I think it’s also good to set the expectation that it’s not fun. At least it may not be for awhile.  My son was so exhausted his freshman year. He told me that he just started liking baseball again this year because he had lost the love last year. Part of that was his coach but also it really truly is a grind.  That year was followed by a 3 day drive on May 31s to play 70 games over the summer with 4-5 days off total,  and then 4 days home before reporting back for Fall. It’s a job that he gets to do with some guys he loves.

@mjd-dad posted:

reading this ... I smile ... as my personal journey as a non-preferred walk-on to the lowest division club rugby program was a lot less effort and yet still a great college experience for me (I'm now 30 yrs into my engineering career).

reading this ... I cringe ... having to decide when to make my 15 yr old 2024 read this ... Should my kid read this before or after Sep 1 of his Jr HS year - when the college baseball coaches will be allowed to call my kid direct with talk of all the trappings and promises?

I had a similar experience mjd-dad.  I was a college walk-on to a .500 program that turned it around and began winning conference championships....there wasn't anything better!  We spent 20 hours playing and practicing my sport in season and 5-7 hours per week in the offseason in the early 80s.    I loved college sports, but todays college athlete (at all levels) is expected to do and give so much more than I ever thought possible for a student athlete.

I agree with pitchingfan that you better have him read and understand the committment now.   At 14-15 (ten years ago), my son was being exposed to college recruiting through his travel organization.   He was hearing recruiting things he didn't understand from travel teammates...this was all new to us.   He was also being exposed to new things in the classroom that really excited him.   My wife and I did everything we could possibly do to learn about what was possible for him....he had no idea at the time what those possibilities were.   That would change quickly as the athletic part of the college recruiting  equation  got ahead of the academic part, and college coaches began recruiting him.   You are his sherpa.   Show him the way and he will choose the best path.

Good luck!

My son's experience in the ACC, 2008-2012, was very similar to those described above.  On most weekdays pitchers were generally at the field from noon until 7:00 pm.  Quick dinner, followed by mandatory study hall of 2 hours. (Study hall could be exempted after first semester if your grades were good enough).  Saturdays and Sundays were usually another 4-5 hours, sometimes more.  Mondays were supposed to be "off" but they really weren't.  Even though the team did not officially "practice" there were still meetings, bullpens, and  weights.

Early season mid-week games usually started at 5:00.  But, as the weather warmed up they were pushed back.  It was not unusual to finish a mid-week home game at 10:00 to 11:00 pm.  Mid-week road games usually involved leaving at 2:00 (or earlier) and getting home around 12:00-1:00 am.

The other thing that always got me about mid-week road games was that EVERYONE traveled, even pitchers who had thrown extensive innings the previous weekend.

Weekend road trips usually involved leaving on Thursday.  Sometimes as early as Thursday morning, depending on the length of the trip.  Yeah, there was wi-fi on the bus.  But, good luck studying on the bus if you're anything other than a jock major.  Some of those road trips ended with the bus getting back around 2:00-4:00 a.m. Monday morning.

Coaches and college staff will, let's call it exaggerate/sugar-coat the facts.  Son was an engineering major.  During the recruiting process we asked what would happen if he had a test scheduled on a Thursday or Friday during a road series.  We were told by the academic support staff that they could arrange to have the tests proctored at the school they were visiting.  Unfortunately, son's engineering professors never got that memo.  If son had a test scheduled on Thursday or Friday he usually had to take it earlier in the week, before the rest of his classmates.

The NCAA rules regarding allowable practice time are joke.  They are totally ignored at many, if not most,  schools.  As others noted earlier, when you get to the college level, it's a JOB.   College athletes are forced to play way too many games in much too short a time for most kids to get a real education.  With basketball and football it's all about the money.  But, there is no money in college baseball.  With baseball it's driven by the coaches.

Last edited by MTH

Mine was a top 10 national champion D3 program, high academic school, and STEM major.

I don't exactly remember the specifics of his schedule other than he pretty much ran on 4 hours of sleep per night. I would routinely get emails/texts at 2-3AM local time; most of the time to bed at 4AM, up for 8AM classes.  When he was not in class or studying he was throwing pens, hitting balls, on the field, or in the gym lifting.  Weekends were for catching up on sleep (out of season) or a party or two. I have no idea how he did it - but he did. 

Travel was mostly by bus and they always had mid week games and they needed to be at the field by 3:00PM and went until 10:00PM unless they travelled and then they would lose a full Tue/Weds to game/travel and get home after 1:00AM.

Coaches were flexible and basically said "get your work in and perform and we will accommodate you as far as schedules"  He would flex in and out of afternoon practice based on his labs. (which are always in the afternoon) When he was being recruited, Stanford, and the Ivy's indicated they would do the same. One of the only questions I would ask a recruiting coach was "how do you accommodate engineering students who have afternoon labs" and as soon as we heard "....well....you...know...."  boom they were off the list, and frankly that was most D1's.

When travelling, coaches also put STEM kids in the same room so they could get their work done while on the road. That was very helpful.

Most teachers accommodated the athletes since probably 15% of the school's students were some sort of athlete. Some did not and he just dealt with it himself.

Summary: College baseball is hard, VERY HARD, and most HS students have no idea of the demands.

P5. Covid has changed things - the players were encouraged (given orders) by the HC to take asynchronous online classes so they could work at their own pace and because generally it's easier. The schedule two years ago would have looked a bit different.

6:30-8:30 lift/conditioning

9:00 -9:45 breakfast - mandatory as the meals are made for each team at a certain time. They eat in the athlete lounge and are rarely in the normal dining halls which is a great waste of the meal plan they're required to purchase

10-12 - study hall - basically class as 80% of their work is online. Only get out of study hall if you're above a 3.6 which knowing his friends I can't imagine there are too many of them.

12- 1:30 - downtime/lunch

2 to 6+ - practice but they all start strolling in at 1:15-1:30 ish

6: 00 on they're on their own. That includes dinner, homework and any in person classes or online synchronous classes. Yes the entire team is pretty much taking night classes. Mine is in class until 9:45 MWTh.

This is for the Fall

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