we hear this mantra a lot:  go where you are loved.  Can you please define what that means, to you? 

I tend to think of "Go Where You are Loved" a lot in terms of who will invest money in you with athletic scholarship money ( at least in terms on D1's).  What are other specific examples of knowing that you are loved?.   

These coaches are all extremely skilled at communication... It'd be helpful to know more examples of what being loved really is, from those who have been through it, especially if the money offers all end up being the same...

Original Post

It may have been mentioned previously. But I brought it to the board several years ago back when my son was in high school. He’s twenty-six now.

i was at a Boston College game against NC State. By chance I was chatting with the right fielder’s father. The kid was starting as a freshman. They were from North Carolina.

i asked if UNC recruited the kid. At the time UNC was significantly better. The dad said UNC made an offer. But they only showed interest. They gave the kid the traditional “you will have the opportunity to compete for a position” pitch. NC State told him specifically he would be competing to win the RF position with a good chance to win it. 

The dad told me NC State showed love. They pursued the kid with intent. He said UNC showed interest. They would have been pleased if he chose them. But he never felt they would be bothered if he didn’t. 

After I posted this story the legendary, late TR Hit kept hammering home the point of “go where you are loved.”

This approach of going where you are seemingly most loved by the baseball coaches makes some intuitive sense, but what if the kid's top priority is going to the most academically prestigious college he can get admitted to with baseball helping with admissions process. In other words, if kid is serious and dedicated about playing and competing in college baseball, but he prioritizes the academic fit over the "love" from baseball coaches, should he not go to the college with the best academics vs the college showing him the most "love"?

Zoom 2020 posted:

This approach of going where you are seemingly most loved by the baseball coaches makes some intuitive sense, but what if the kid's top priority is going to the most academically prestigious college he can get admitted to with baseball helping with admissions process. In other words, if kid is serious and dedicated about playing and competing in college baseball, but he prioritizes the academic fit over the "love" from baseball coaches, should he not go to the college with the best academics vs the college showing him the most "love"?

Definitely.  However in that scenario, a kid will need to understand that they might never play, and might not even be on the roster after fall practices of freshman year. 

Zoom 2020 posted:

This approach of going where you are seemingly most loved by the baseball coaches makes some intuitive sense, but what if the kid's top priority is going to the most academically prestigious college he can get admitted to with baseball helping with admissions process. In other words, if kid is serious and dedicated about playing and competing in college baseball, but he prioritizes the academic fit over the "love" from baseball coaches, should he not go to the college with the best academics vs the college showing him the most "love"?

It depends on the player’s priorities. I believe it’s possible to find a reasonable balance. I told both kids their decision would be 70% academic and 30% baseball/softball. In both situations they finished with positive experiences both academically and athletically. 

Two versions.  My middle son went to The Citadel.  When he was a sophomore, we lived in Tennessee and he played for a team in SC.  The Citadel was at every game in some form or fashion.  They always commented on how he did either hitting or pitching.  They were by far the first to make a great offer (so they showed money).  He got offers from half of sec and acc but never the love he did from them.  The only part they exaggerated was that he would get a chance to swing a bat.  Never got a chance in a game even though he led team in HR's during fall ball first three years.  Did not even try to swing in fall ball senior year because he knew by then it was a waste.  He did not even visit campus before he committed or signed NLI (DO NOT RECOMMEND).    Great education.

2019 had received a tremendous amount of great offers from P5 schools in Midwest as we lived in Missouri at the time.  Arkansas was recruiting him and RC got HC job at Tennessee.  Contacted him through coach a few days after he got the job and told him offer would be coming.  Was the first official offer as a new HC and a good one for an SEC school.  The new PC came and sat through a game that started at 12:30 in the morning until almost 3 in the morning.  Sat through entire game.  They made offer and continued to follow him around the travel ball circuit.  They actually flew across the country to watch him pitch and made it clear that was why they were there.  They showed love with presence and money also.

I know everybody talks about falling in love with the school not coaches, but in the recruiting process it is the coaches who show the love not the school.  It is hard to fall in love with an institution unless it is your first choice and you have been a fan for life.  The coaches are the other aspect of the relationship not the school.

I say the recruiting process is like dating.  They have to invest the two things that everybody knows are important.  Time and Money.   One without the other is not really a great relationship.  But it requires both.  Time is the heart investment and money is the interest investment.  The more time and money invested the more you know you are loved.  Without money, there is no long-term investment in college or pros.  Without time, there is no heart investment.

"Love" in this case is definitive serious interest where you know the Coach is going to do anything possible to make sure you succeed along with the team.   My son had recruiting experiences across (mostly) traditional mid-major D1s, D1 Ivy, D1 Patriot, and D3 HA schools.  Recruiting is a marketplace.   You quickly figure out where your sons talents have value, and who is interested and not interested.   This can be a first hard lesson.    

The difference between casual interest, interest and serious interest was very noticeable to me, and I wasn't the person on the phone.   We know one SEC school who lost a scholarship recruit (he broke the law) and the coach wanted to offer my son academic money & honor school status only because it wouldn't come out of their baseball money....my son was an afterthought in this case...this was not love.  This was convenience for the SEC Coach.  Contrast that with the school he eventually selected (D1 with no athletic scholarships, but an abundance of life opportunities) where the baseball coach got my son a meeting with the Dean of engineering while he was on campus.   Love is not what you say, love is what you do in college baseball recruiting.

As always, JMO.

Going where you're loved is fine, so long as you remember that your loving coach has never seen you play college baseball.  He may or may not think you're a good bet to be a significant contributor to the team, but nobody will know for sure if that is true until you start attending practices.

I know this is unhelpful, but you will know it when you see it. If you have to ask yourself do they Love me? They probably do not, 

My Son went D3. There was some mild D1 interest, but no love, no money and they rarely contacted him. On the D3 level there were coaches that called regularly every week, Had him on campus multiple times. Talked to his Travel and HS coach about him. One school even sent a coach to watch him play during Fall Ball. Sent some coaches during spring as well when he was pitching, 

If you feel you are chasing them instead of them chasing you, it is not love.

I also feel that an institution can show love. During the financial aid process you could tell the schools that loved him. They invited him to there Honors days in the spring. He spent several weeks on 3 different campuses competing with other students for scholarship money.  Each of the schools kept in touch to make sure he was showing up. 2 of the three schools were very generous. One of those schools (his favorite) fell to the wayside. His assigned counselor would not call back and kept stringing him along, They would not give a clear answer to some of his questions. We did not care if the answer was No. Son showed concern that if the school treated him this way during the recruiting process, how would they treat them once they got his money. 

The other two finalists were quick to answer and were forthright with their answers. The last visit he made to his final choice, the coach pulled him aside, And told him that he wanted him, however if he chose them, He would be very hard on him and he would not be the guy he met during the recruiting process. It was his job to make, my Son, love the school, and if my son went there the coaches job was to win. I think that conversation put the school over the top, for my son. He still did not decide until June 1. 

The identification of love in my son's experience was continued pursuit/interest AFTER surgery for a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder in his rising senior summer. Three or four schools stayed in touch, offered visits and/or roster spots, workout invites when rehab was done, etc., and the rest went radio silent. Everyone's journey is different.

I would also say you see the love after you commit and even after you sign NLI.  They still watch and keep up with you.  UT watched him pitch several times throughout summer and fall.  They kept up with his spring season and must have followed him because they sent him texts when he did good.  

The saying is "Play Ball." Go where you have a better than reasonable shot at PLAYING. For this to happen you need to be brutally honest with yourself. If the coach is not clamoring to have you, then, you are likely not his first choice.

When my son was going through the process, there was a D1 school in South Carolina that was his dream school. As a California kid, he was not on their radar. We did everything we could to market him to that school. The more we did, the less they did. Until, April 30th of his senior year. We got a call from the coach offering him a small scholarship (this was back in the mid-2000's). With the offer, he said that the two kids before him on their recruiting list opted to go somewhere else. This meant the my son was at best #3 on their recruiting list at his position.

In talking with his coach, he made a very astute point. He said, if you are #3, what are the chances that they will be recruiting for that position next year. The reality was he wasn't their first of second choice. Is that really the love that you want.

He chose to go to a D3 school that made it very clear that they wanted him from day one. They made no real promises; however, they were clear that they wanted him. In the end it was the right choice. He played all four years, was a 2-time all-american and had the opportunity to play pro ball. In then end he went were he was wanted rather than going someplace that he only dreamed about.

In all my years of participating on this board, I am constantly amazed at the number of people that spend hours believing that as a walk on (invited or not) will have a good shot at playing. It happens yes, but there is a reason that coaches spend the time recruiting. They want the best players that give them the best opportunity to win. If they want you they will let you know. There are no guarantees, however, they will make it clear if they want you.

 

ILVBB posted:

 

In all my years of participating on this board, I am constantly amazed at the number of people that spend hours believing that as a walk on (invited or not) will have a good shot at playing. It happens yes, but there is a reason that coaches spend the time recruiting. They want the best players that give them the best opportunity to win. If they want you they will let you know. There are no guarantees, however, they will make it clear if they want you.

THIS^^^^^!

"Go where you are loved" is that magic combination of factors that includes 1) You WILL get playing time/ be on travel roster; 2) get significant help paying for your education. 

Your son will have to perform at his best every year by eliminating any "competition" for his job! Prove to Coaching Staff, you are "the man!" for the job for the duration of your career.

Son's 17U summer, he had very serious interest from the first school that contacted him.  RC was at almost every game.  Had said hi to myself and son's mom and made it clear he liked what he saw.  Son had talked to him numerous times also.  HC came to see him one time...and for whatever reason didn't like what he saw.  RC continued to recruit my son, but we decided at that point that that school was going to be the "last resort" baseball wise (it was still a good school academically and fairly close).   Another school  was recruiting him, but not so serious...saw him a couple times, had him down to watch a game, etc.    He got a on July 1 (contact date that year) from a coach who said "we've seen you several times and like what we see...can you come for a visit next Tuesday?".  Sure...we went, son loved the school and told us "if they offer, I'm taking it".   Coach said "I want to see you throw one more time".  It was the following morning at 8AM, 3 hours away.  He was there...game got rained out.  He told us "I talked to your coach, you'll throw tonight".   6PM game...he was there....son threw one inning 3K's on 11 pitches.  Coach waved as he left.  An hour later, we had an email that said "I'm going to work on numbers tonight, call me in the morning, we'll talk about your future in our program".     He called in the morning, was offered and that was it....start to finish in 5 days.

baseballmom posted:

"Go where you are loved" is that magic combination of factors that includes 1) You WILL get playing time/ be on travel roster; 2) get significant help paying for your education. 

 

I don't know that I agree with your second point--given NCAA rules, there will be kids on D1 and D2 rosters who don't get athletic scholarships.  (Yes, academic merit money may be on offer sometimes as well.)  And don't forget that not everyone is seeking out schools that grant scholarships other than on the basis of financial need.  Your rule eliminates the Ivies and many of the academically most selective D3s.

Chico, these aren't rules. 

As per OP's question for the meaning of "Go where you are loved", those 2 items factored into my son's decision. He was D-1 material & it worked out well. No small thing that his Coach at the time had helped 34 players get drafted, which was a big plus for son...making it 35 players drafted! lol...Pro ball was son's goal...dream...And he was fortunate enough to see it thru, with Grace from above, lots of hard work & immeasurable determination & perseverance. 

baseballmom posted:

Chico, these aren't rules. 

As per OP's question for the meaning of "Go where you are loved", those 2 items factored into my son's decision. He was D-1 material & it worked out well. No small thing that his Coach at the time had helped 34 players get drafted, which was a big plus for son...making it 35 players drafted! lol...Pro ball was son's goal...dream...And he was fortunate enough to see it thru, with Grace from above, lots of hard work & immeasurable determination & perseverance. 

Sounds like your son is a very talented player--certainly more talented than mine.  Which is why I wrote my post--the suggestion that if a coach "loves" your kid, he will offer a scholarship isn't advice that fits the situations of quite a few folks.  I wouldn't want those who may be brand new to the recruiting process (that was me not long ago at all) to get a mistaken impression.  Too many baseball parents think incorrectly that their kids are playing for free rides to college.  Many college players won't be able to measure a team's interest by looking at scholarship offers. 

Chico Escuela posted:
baseballmom posted:

Chico, these aren't rules. 

As per OP's question for the meaning of "Go where you are loved", those 2 items factored into my son's decision. He was D-1 material & it worked out well. No small thing that his Coach at the time had helped 34 players get drafted, which was a big plus for son...making it 35 players drafted! lol...Pro ball was son's goal...dream...And he was fortunate enough to see it thru, with Grace from above, lots of hard work & immeasurable determination & perseverance. 

Sounds like your son is a very talented player--certainly more talented than mine.  Which is why I wrote my post--the suggestion that if a coach "loves" your kid, he will offer a scholarship isn't advice that fits the situations of quite a few folks.  I wouldn't want those who may be brand new to the recruiting process (that was me not long ago at all) to get a mistaken impression.  Too many baseball parents think incorrectly that their kids are playing for free rides to college.  Many college players won't be able to measure a team's interest by looking at scholarship offers. 

I understand where you are going but if there is athletic money available and you get none you are not truly loved. If there is none and no one gets any then it is how much do they help you get other money or get in school.  If there is no time or money invested then no love. 

I say in sermons all the time.  Show me your checking account and your calendar and I will show you what’s important to you.  Where you spend your time and money is where your love is.  Whether recruiting or dating or life.  

RJM posted:

Even in D3 a coach can show love by offering to help the player get through admissions.

My youngest went to a D3, not only did the coach help with admissions, he text him or called him almost weekly all spring and summer AFTER he had already committed and was accepted.  One thing I have learned with both my boys now is you will never have to ask yourself if a school "loves" you.  You will know.  My oldest this year had lots of offers.  more than 1/2 the schools offered and then reached back out 6 weeks later to see how the decision process was going.  The other coaches would text, call, DM and just ask how was school going, how wee his changes going, was there anything they could help with.

On the D3's that are not so HA, the coach may not need to help a player get in. However they may be able to point to resources available to all students, not just athletes, to be sure that the student presents as well as possible for Merit scholarships. 

Some coaches were really good at getting there players connected to the right counselors, to make sure they took full advantage of the resources available. All counselors are not the same. Some work harder than others. The good coaches know who those are. 

Most of the schools Son felt love from received calls from the coaches every week. 

Like I have said. If they Love you you will know. 

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