Not sure y'all can evaluate this situation via the internet, but I could use some help to sort it:  Son was at Showball Academic this week.  The day after, he received an email from a school he had sent his video and stats to several times, but had never heard from.  Email was from head coach, obviously not a form letter.  The gist was: "Saw you play at Showball and you have potential.  Would like you to come to our camp next week so our PC can evaluate you."  The coach also asked to see transcripts and test scores (school is very HA), which I took as a good sign.

The school is a lower-level D1 athletically.  I looked up prior years' commits to this school, and they track closely with my son's measurables.  The "D1" label is a big reason Jr is interested (not a good reason to choose a college IMO), but certainly not the only reason.  All the colleges the boy is currently talking with are D3 HAs, and academics and cost at this new D1 are on par with them.  Bottom line: mom and dad would be very pleased to see son go to any of these schools.

I can get my son to the camp without financial hardship, but it's money I don't want to throw away either--will require a hotel, etc.

How seriously should we take this late-breaking expression of interest?

Original Post

Yep I was going to say that it sounds like a Patriot League school which is awesome.  If so, there is probably not much athletic aid available, but sounds as though the cost is similar to the HA D3s he is considering.  I'd do it if possible.  Best of luck!

Sounds like they want to get more coaching eyes on him.   This is exactly how my son's HA experience went before he committed.  He stood out at a large HA showcase, and the coaches saw rivals recruiting him as well.  They asked him to come to their prospect camp, and that's when he was offered.

Good luck!

PS..what are you waiting for, book that trip!

 

As others have said it appears legit. Requesting academic information is a buying signal. Now for the word of warning ...

If this is the only D1 pursuing him do they see something everyone else is missing or are they going out on a limb? If the coach makes a mistake he replaces the player next year. If the player makes a mistake he could be out of the game unless he transfers down. So part of the decision has to be about rolling the dice and would he be happy there if baseball stops being part of the equation? 

But to start do the visit. Keep it in play.

Just to add a note of slight caution, my son also received a similar email from a Patriot League HC after Headfirst, he immediately replied by email that he was interested and would like to talk to them, filled out the questionnaire, and never heard from them again.  Coach did mention their camp, and said it was not necessary that he attend.  There was no phone number on the coach's email.  My suggestion is for your son to ask to talk to the coach about his interest, before committing to go to the camp.  If they are seriously interested, wouldn't they do this?

cabbagedad posted:
anotherparent posted:

...My suggestion is for your son to ask to talk to the coach about his interest, before committing to go to the camp.  If they are seriously interested, wouldn't they do this?

Yup, that's what I was thinking.

I suggested to my son that he ask to arrange a call. His take was that the coach isn’t going to tell him they aren’t really interested. True, but I do think one could make some judgements based on how the call went (though my teenaged son is admittedly not great at reading subtle social cues). 

I know that's not always easy for young teens to navigate but maybe, between the two of you, you can come up with a line of dialog that he is comfortable with.  Something like.. "Coach, I'm very interested in the school and would like to attend the camp.  My parents also support me going to this school and my grades and test scores should measure up.  But, my parents' guidelines for paying to send me to a camp are that I am a player of specific interest to a school.  Can you tell me if I am anywhere on your board yet?"  

This may feel a little forward but if it can't be answered, what does that say about their level of interest?  It appears there is some but is it just passing?  At least maybe this will open up some additional dialog prior to the camp.  Maybe that interest will increase or decrease once he throws in front of PC.  It just seems like it is worth while to know as much as you can going in.  As disclaimer, though, that is definitely my nature, sometimes to a fault.  

Chico Escuela posted:
cabbagedad posted:
anotherparent posted:

...My suggestion is for your son to ask to talk to the coach about his interest, before committing to go to the camp.  If they are seriously interested, wouldn't they do this?

Yup, that's what I was thinking.

I suggested to my son that he ask to arrange a call. His take was that the coach isn’t going to tell him they aren’t really interested. True, but I do think one could make some judgements based on how the call went (though my teenaged son is admittedly not great at reading subtle social cues). 

Yes, but he could learn (1) if the coach is willing to get on the phone with him and start to establish a little bit of a relationship; (2) how many pitcher spots they have remaining; (3) whether his transcript/test scores cleared the bar (assuming he has sent them already). Worth the time, in my view. 

My son had a somewhat similar late-breaking situation with a D1 school in New England that reached out to him in May of junior year. Hadn't responded to previous emails from my son, apologized for being so late, blah, blah, blah, wanted him to come to a camp in early June. Other side of the country for us. Not a cheap trip. This school has extremely high academic standards, so my son asked -- at my insistence -- the coach to take his transcript/test scores to admissions and make sure that they passed muster. Once we got word back that they did -- and, no joke, admissions reportedly said something along the lines of "they wouldn't if he were a regular student, but as a recruited athlete they do," lol -- I sprung for the trip. He didn't end up there, but I think it's fair to gather as much information as you can, beforehand.

 

Edited to add: CabbageDad beat me to it.

Have confirmed via PM that an RHP got a similar email after Showball from the same school. That player’s measurables sound a lot like my son’s. Also learned about a LHP who got the email—he is “projectable” though not throwing all that hard now.

I don’t think this coach is just trying to fill camp slots; but maybe casting a pretry wide net to try to find Ps who might have been overlooked.  Not sure yet what my son will do. If he wants to give it a shot, I’ll work out the travel.

Thanks to all for your thoughts on this—much appreciated. 

Do you know how many pitching commits they have already for your son’s class? This can tell you if this is B list recruiting to fill out the staff. If all your son’s other offers are D3 does he want to be a back of the staff pitching recruit for a D1. However, pitchers can change their destiny with one inning of velocity and success.

The coach is probably genuinely interested. But it appears it’s interest to the level of comparing your son with others before deciding who to offer. 

I think your son should absolutely call and get a feel if this coach "really" saw him and liked what he saw, or if this was a "fishing" letter to get people in camp.

With technology today, these generated letters are getting more and more personal to where it sounds like it is a "real" email.  For example, my younger son is a lacrosse player and was going to several recruiting tournaments and showcases.  For each of these tournaments, you provided your cell phone and email address.  He would get tons of emails that mentioned him by name, where they saw him, that they liked what they saw (some even got specific with things like "loved your off ball movement", etc.) but as you read them closer, you could tell they were generated....or as he would talk to friends he would find out they got the exact same email.  The kicker was when he got one of these "generically specific" emails that talked about him and finished with "you were one of the best midfielders we saw this weekend"....my son plays defense (with a long pole)....he just happened to get the generated "midfielder" email.

Anyway, if there is true interest I am sure he would be able to discern that by talking with the HC or RC.  Try to find out "specifically" what they liked about him.  At the very least, he could get a feel whether he "likes" the coach or not and would want to play for him (not all college coaches are created equal).

Good luck!

Based on PG, the school has only committed to two Ps (one L, one R) in the 2020 class, and lost several to graduation in May.  So they probably still want one or two more.

I agree that if my son wants to go to this camp, he needs to try to arrange a call.  (Not much time left for that, but he should at least try to have some further email correspondence.)  At this point, Jr. is leaning against going.  I told him he has to decide today (we'd need to leave town in a few days) and needs to reach out again to the coach if he wants to attend.

I also had the conversation with him (about this school and a few others that sniffed around him a bit in prior months) about being on the bench--or not making the roster--vs. being a bigger fish in a smaller pond.  The idea of being able to say he plays D1 still is a big lure for the boy.  Understandable, but I don't think it ought to be a factor in the ultimate decision.    

It's not the prevailing wisdom on this board, but to me if the PSA is realistic, truly understands his status, is ok with an uphill battle for playing time (or even making/staying on the roster) AND the school is a great academic/social fit regardless of baseball, I understand and have no problem with going for the sole DI offer versus being a "loved" D3 recruit.  It's not for everyone, but there are no absolute rules.  Go where you're loved of course is good advice generally, but in the right circumstance and if the player is mature and knows what he's getting into, why not go for it and pursue the DI dream???  These guys are young and at least will be able to say they gave it a shot.  They've played competively for years and have an idea of what they face.  Some truly would prefer being a bench player on a DI team that has a great budget, facility, travels to cool places, plays other great teams, etc. than be the stud on a D3 team.  There are plus and minuses for both options like any life decision.  But you're only young once (says the old guy at the computer screen) .

Qhead posted:

It's not the prevailing wisdom on this board, but to me if the PSA is realistic, truly understands his status, is ok with an uphill battle for playing time (or even making/staying on the roster) AND the school is a great academic/social fit regardless of baseball, I understand and have no problem with going for the sole DI offer versus being a "loved" D3 recruit.  It's not for everyone, but there are no absolute rules.  Go where you're loved of course is good advice generally, but in the right circumstance and if the player is mature and knows what he's getting into, why not go for it and pursue the DI dream???  These guys are young and at least will be able to say they gave it a shot.  They've played competively for years and have an idea of what they face.  Some truly would prefer being a bench player on a DI team that has a great budget, facility, travels to cool places, plays other great teams, etc. than be the stud on a D3 team.  There are plus and minuses for both options like any life decision.  But you're only young once (says the old guy at the computer screen) .

Those all are good points, and if my son wants to go the D1 route (assuming he has the option), I wouldn't kick about that.  I do have some concerns that D1 means an even bigger time commitment and that could affect his studies, but I think the boy can manage it and deserves the chance to try.  On the other hand, we're not talking about the chance to play for Vanderbilt or Stanford here--this is a D1 program, but nobody expects to see them in the CWS.  They offer a little more glamor than D3 HAs, I guess; but only a little.

Chico: Seems like interest, though not sure it's Interest (capital I). It's worth a follow up call to determine where they are in their recruiting class. Even if they invited a number of P's with a similar e-mail, your son's call could serve as another "data point" to differentiate him from the others, showing his interest beyond a e-mail/text. Good luck to your son.  If the school is HA and your son's already demonstrated he can handle the HS academics (some AP's thrown in) he'll be fine.

Chico,

My son got 2 or 3 of those emails (or texts).  The coach was very encouraging that he saw my son play and thought he could be a good fit for their program but wanted the rest of the coaching staff to see him at their camp.  My son called them and got a similar pitch.  He checked with his travel coach, who called them, and got the same story.  So he went to the camps, one of which was 3000 miles away.  None of those coaches offered, or for that matter, treated him like anything special at the camps.  It seems that it was a sales pitch.

The coaches that did offer went to see him play, and if they wanted to see more, or have the rest of the coaching staff see him, they went to see him again at his next tournament (they all had his schedule).  Coaches that are serious want to (have to) see you play.

My experience with "come to my camp so I can offer" was not a good one.

It seems that after these large showcases, coaches make a list of everyone who might be possible, and put their emails into the program that spits out this kind of "personal" email to cast a wide net.  Son got several of these after Headfirst.  

He replied to the ones that interested him.  Some he never heard from again; they must have preferred other players who also responded positively.  Some followed up with much more personal emails or phone calls, and engaged in serious recruitment - only one of those asked him to come to a camp "so that the rest of our coaches can see you", and when he said he couldn't make it, they kept recruiting him anyway.

The funniest was one that ended, "I wish you the best for the holidays."  Obviously a form email written for a November showcase, and they forgot to update it for the summer. 

Smitty28's story is a very useful caution.  

Just one other note:  I think I understood that Headfirst films everything, makes a video for each player (they will sell to you if you want - we did not), which they make available to all the coaches who attended.  So, they can look at you again if they want, without your going to their camp.  Based on the timing, some seem to have waited until after they got videos from all the Headfirst sessions, before contacting my son.  I don't know if Showball does that.

I have a question regarding the showcase. Where all the coaches listed actually at the showcase? There is a long list on the Showball website of colleges that have committed to go but I am wondering if they are all actually there and watching. If so, do they walk around talking to the kids or just off watching on the side. Thanks in advance for any insight!

We were at the Showball Head Coach showcase last week.  I can't say for sure that all of the colleges on the list were there, but all of the coaches that my son was looking for from the list were there.  There is a short meet and greet with the coaches after the showcase portion on the first day, and there were a few coaches assigned as bench coaches during the games on the second day, but other than that there isn't much interaction between coaches and kids.  It's not like Headfirst where coaches walk around and kids are encouraged to approach them.  The games are split between two fields and the coaches are assigned to particular fields and mostly do not move between the two fields.  The kids play a game on each field (and pitchers pitch in each game) so they get a chance to play in front of all of the coaches. 

Cece posted:

I have a question regarding the showcase. Where all the coaches listed actually at the showcase? There is a long list on the Showball website of colleges that have committed to go but I am wondering if they are all actually there and watching. If so, do they walk around talking to the kids or just off watching on the side. Thanks in advance for any insight!

A few coaches may have missed the event, but most were there.  (I didn't notice any absences.)  The coaches do watch and take notes, and in some cases will pull a player aside to talk.  I agree that there are more chances for interaction between coaches and players at HF.  This is great experience for players, so they can to get used to approaching coaches, but your son may end up talking with schools that have no interest in him.  (Lines always seem to be longest for Duke, Vanderbilt and the Ivies, but very few kids are on their radars.)

The other main differences I noticed are: 1) At HF pitchers throw on consecutive days.  That can be hard on arms, IMO.  (Although I hear they may have changed this for 2019.)  2) Showball Academic is almost exclusively head coaches.  They claim that is a big advantage--it may be; I don't know.  3) HF provides several info sessions for parents and players. I thought these were pretty good; my teenaged son who knows everything said he didn't care for all the talking.  Showball has a brief Q&A with coaches for parents, but generally is just baseball.

A search will turn up some other recent threads about Showball and HF.  Both are an efficient way to be seen by a lot of coaches.  I would just compare the lists of coaches and each and go with the program that has the most schools your son is interested in.

I think you (your son) made the right decision. He's a 2020, correct? My son gets a ton of camp invites from coaches who have seen him or whose assistants have seen him a a camp or other event. My thoughts:

1. It they are REALLY interested, why not call or text? He's a 2020 so there is nothing stopping them from doing so.

2. If they saw him at the event (especially the HC) then they must not like him enough so either they want to see more or they want him at the camp for his $$$.

That being said, I think some may just be gauging his interest in their school/program.  Especially D2/D3's. But again, why don't they just call or text?  If they are truly interested then let that recruit know that!

I'm no certainly no expert on this as my kid is not yet committed.  But he does have several D1 offers and although rankings aren't everything, he is nationally ranked and has received pro interest (MLB Draft Prospect Link invite).

So when I see the camp invite vs. direct contact I'm just a bit suspicious...

It definitely makes sense to carefully evaluate these invites and not lump them all into just a money grab category.  2017 was in dialogue with one of the assistant coaches who saw him at a showcase, and then shortly after one of the more generic camp invite e-mails from the school arrived.  Turns out it was another assistant coach who was in charge of those and did not know there had already been two-way interest with the other coach. 

Fortunately my son followed up with the assistant coach he was conversing with and he convinced him to attend the camp--that it would be good for the HC and other coaches to see him in action.  So he went and sure enough all five coaches were behind the screen watching him pitch three innings in the scrimmage game.  He excelled in the scrimmage and got the commitment there at the camp.

So it can happen--just be sure there is more interest and dialogue than just the standard invite shows.

I agree, anything can happen but that school had better be a school you really want to attend.  My frustration is when:

1. Kid sends school his summer schedule which includes well-attended events (WWBA, etc.) and lists national camp where school has at least one representative attending

2. School has the opportunity to see kid play in tourney (WWBA)

3. School's coach (assistant volunteer) sees kid at camp and tells him he is interested and asks if interest is reciprocal

4. School sends camp ($$$) invite

While it may be possible they ask him to commit later after attending their camp I am just unwilling to spend more $$$. Missed opportunity? Perhaps. But they had an opportunity to evaluate and it apparently was not enough or they don't trust their assistant coach (volunteer assistant). Either way it just goes to show that camps do get you seen but really are primarily money-makers...

I have often thought that there should be a special category of camp that is invite-only and free (travel costs might still be involved, but the coaches/program would earn nothing on the event).  If a school is really interested, they could invite a player for that. 

A little more color about the email that led to me to start this thread:  Email asked son to send his grades and transcript and son did so that same day.  I'm pretty certain this was not a mass camp email (unless the school is blast emailing with typos and other errors as if sent from a phone--could be, I guess...), but HC never responded after getting academic info, even though my son should have cleared that hurdle.  My son decided that whatever level of interest the school had must be pretty low--which seems correct. 

Chico Escuela posted:

I have often thought that there should be a special category of camp that is invite-only and free (travel costs might still be involved, but the coaches/program would earn nothing on the event).  If a school is really interested, they could invite a player for that. 

A little more color about the email that led to me to start this thread:  Email asked son to send his grades and transcript and son did so that same day.  I'm pretty certain this was not a mass camp email (unless the school is blast emailing with typos and other errors as if sent from a phone--could be, I guess...), but HC never responded after getting academic info, even though my son should have cleared that hurdle.  My son decided that whatever level of interest the school had must be pretty low--which seems correct. 

Unfortunately, NCAA prohibits this--all attendees have to pay the same price for the camp.

Chico Escuela posted:
Cece posted:

I have a question regarding the showcase. Where all the coaches listed actually at the showcase? There is a long list on the Showball website of colleges that have committed to go but I am wondering if they are all actually there and watching. If so, do they walk around talking to the kids or just off watching on the side. Thanks in advance for any insight!

A few coaches may have missed the event, but most were there.  (I didn't notice any absences.)  The coaches do watch and take notes, and in some cases will pull a player aside to talk.  I agree that there are more chances for interaction between coaches and players at HF.  This is great experience for players, so they can to get used to approaching coaches, but your son may end up talking with schools that have no interest in him.  (Lines always seem to be longest for Duke, Vanderbilt and the Ivies, but very few kids are on their radars.)

The other main differences I noticed are: 1) At HF pitchers throw on consecutive days.  That can be hard on arms, IMO.  (Although I hear they may have changed this for 2019.)  2) Showball Academic is almost exclusively head coaches.  They claim that is a big advantage--it may be; I don't know.  3) HF provides several info sessions for parents and players. I thought these were pretty good; my teenaged son who knows everything said he didn't care for all the talking.  Showball has a brief Q&A with coaches for parents, but generally is just baseball.

A search will turn up some other recent threads about Showball and HF.  Both are an efficient way to be seen by a lot of coaches.  I would just compare the lists of coaches and each and go with the program that has the most schools your son is interested in.

Thank you very much for the response. It was very helpful!

2020pitcherparent posted:

We were at the Showball Head Coach showcase last week.  I can't say for sure that all of the colleges on the list were there, but all of the coaches that my son was looking for from the list were there.  There is a short meet and greet with the coaches after the showcase portion on the first day, and there were a few coaches assigned as bench coaches during the games on the second day, but other than that there isn't much interaction between coaches and kids.  It's not like Headfirst where coaches walk around and kids are encouraged to approach them.  The games are split between two fields and the coaches are assigned to particular fields and mostly do not move between the two fields.  The kids play a game on each field (and pitchers pitch in each game) so they get a chance to play in front of all of the coaches. 

Thank you! My son is thinking of going to the Showball Mega Camp (I think that’s what it’s called). It’s expensive and coming off of an expensive summer season, we want to spend our money wisely. My husband is skeptical about these showcases, but it sounds like they really offer what they claim, which is good to know. 

Cece posted:
Chico Escuela posted:
Cece posted:

I have a question regarding the showcase. Where all the coaches listed actually at the showcase? There is a long list on the Showball website of colleges that have committed to go but I am wondering if they are all actually there and watching. If so, do they walk around talking to the kids or just off watching on the side. Thanks in advance for any insight!

A few coaches may have missed the event, but most were there.  (I didn't notice any absences.)  The coaches do watch and take notes, and in some cases will pull a player aside to talk.  I agree that there are more chances for interaction between coaches and players at HF.  This is great experience for players, so they can to get used to approaching coaches, but your son may end up talking with schools that have no interest in him.  (Lines always seem to be longest for Duke, Vanderbilt and the Ivies, but very few kids are on their radars.)

The other main differences I noticed are: 1) At HF pitchers throw on consecutive days.  That can be hard on arms, IMO.  (Although I hear they may have changed this for 2019.)  2) Showball Academic is almost exclusively head coaches.  They claim that is a big advantage--it may be; I don't know.  3) HF provides several info sessions for parents and players. I thought these were pretty good; my teenaged son who knows everything said he didn't care for all the talking.  Showball has a brief Q&A with coaches for parents, but generally is just baseball.

A search will turn up some other recent threads about Showball and HF.  Both are an efficient way to be seen by a lot of coaches.  I would just compare the lists of coaches and each and go with the program that has the most schools your son is interested in.

Thank you very much for the response. It was very helpful!

My son is not a pitcher (C, OF, 1B). He is a very good student and very dedicated but he also plays football and basketball so he doesn’t train for baseball year round. He just came off of a busy summer season and has some email correspondence going on with coaches and will be attending about 5 low level DI camps in August. I’m thinking one of the showcases is a good idea. Thank you again for your feedback!

Cece posted:

Thank you! My son is thinking of going to the Showball Mega Camp (I think that’s what it’s called). It’s expensive and coming off of an expensive summer season, we want to spend our money wisely. My husband is skeptical about these showcases, but it sounds like they really offer what they claim, which is good to know. 

CeCe, you probably already know this, but just in case:  It's important for your son to establish some groundwork before he goes to one of these events:  Make a list of your target schools, send them emails a week or two in advance with son's relevant info and a link to video (if they don't already have those), and tell them he will be at Showball.  My son put the showcase in the email re: line--e.g., "2021 LHP, 85 mph, 31 ACT - at Showball Aug. 20" 

Chico Escuela posted:
Cece posted:

Thank you! My son is thinking of going to the Showball Mega Camp (I think that’s what it’s called). It’s expensive and coming off of an expensive summer season, we want to spend our money wisely. My husband is skeptical about these showcases, but it sounds like they really offer what they claim, which is good to know. 

CeCe, you probably already know this, but just in case:  It's important for your son to establish some groundwork before he goes to one of these events:  Make a list of your target schools, send them emails a week or two in advance with son's relevant info and a link to video (if they don't already have those), and tell them he will be at Showball.  My son put the showcase in the email re: line--e.g., "2021 LHP, 85 mph, 31 ACT - at Showball Aug. 20" 

 I will make sure he does the legwork. Thank you for for mentioning that he should put the showcase in the email re: line. He is going to some college camps that he was invited to (some are generic invites and a few seem a little more personal). Should he respond telling them he is going? So much to think about! 

Cece posted:

 He is going to some college camps that he was invited to (some are generic invites and a few seem a little more personal). Should he respond telling them he is going? So much to think about! 

I would let the coach(es) know he is coming to camp--definitely do so if he already has been corresponding with a particular coach and/or got a personal invite.  The message can and should be short--just let them know you are coming, maybe give a quick update if you have new video or something else new to share (e.g., made an all-tournament team, new SAT score, etc.).  If your son hasn't previously corresponded with a school, send (or re-send) his basic info.

Advice from the parent of a 2020 who is not yet committed--others may have different advice.

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