I've been reading some of the threads in this forum regarding getting recruited.  What a wealth of information!  I was just reading MarkSmiths thread (congrats on your son's offer) and realized that the time to start making serious decisions may not be way down the road, but potentially right around the corner for my 2022.  As an incoming Sophomore he had better start preparing for a lot of things beyond improving his baseball skill set.  The most important is creating a list of schools that are a good fit for him not just in baseball, but academically, socially, and geographically as well.

This is my oldest kid, so I have absolutely no idea how to approach the selection process.  If you asked my son where he wanted to go, he would say he wanted to be a Florida Gator.  But that's not an educated answer.  It's based on how cool the UF football games he has attended with a friends family were and the fact that the Gators Baseball team gets plenty of television coverage.  I'm sure he can't tell you what their strongest academic programs are or answer any other questions that might help him decide if UF would actually be the right fit for him.  Not to mention the microscopically small percentage of all college baseball players that are good enough to play in a program like that.  I'm all for him aiming high, but want him to take a minute to really give some thought to the things that are important to him so he can identify some schools that would work for him if he falls short of his lofty first choice.

I'm aware how little money is available for baseball scholarships, so let's assume there will be none.  We live in Florida, and out of state tuition is not within our means, so I think he only needs to be - at least initially - evaluating schools in Florida.  I can pull up a list of every D1, D2, D3, NAIA, and Juco in FL and read the front page, but what resources and tools are out there to get real information on these schools?  What are some of the questions we should be asking?  How does he create his list of schools that are his dream schools, second tier, fallback options, etc....?  Thanks in advance.

 

 

 

Original Post

Most kids that young don't know what they want yet. They like schools based on things like mascots, school colors, football, basketball where they've been, where their parents/siblings went, and where Jimmy's attractive older sister went. 

He will probably get a better idea once he starts taking an interest in higher level HS classes and has a much more secure/established social life. For now if you go to any college baseball/football games just walk around the campus and see what he likes. If you see a student from a certain school - ask how they like it and what they wish they had on campus.  Have him talk with older kids/adults and ask about their experiences. If the school has college night or something along that line bring him and just listen - even if it's boring. Most are but you usually learn a thing or two each time. Find out what he wants to study or might be interested in.

Florida has plenty of good schools and almost all have great social life in terms of fun college towns with plenty to do whether it is parties or restaurants/sports. Once his teammates/friends start going to school he'll have a better idea knowing them and how they like it. Academics are important and an "average school" can be great for a specific program, just start doing some research and watching videos/reading reviews and he'll be fine. 

If your son is on a quality travel team with good coaching they can probably assess his potential. Step one is what level of competition conference can he play. If not the best team in the conference which ones? After deciding baseball fit consider academic, financial, social and cultural fit. By cultural fit a kid who grew up in an urban/suburban environment might not be comfortable in a more rural environment, religious versus non religious environment, etc..

Don’t worry about how large the list gets. Further research will have him ruling out some of the schools. Some of the schools won’t be interested in him. 

Then he has to figure out how to get in front of his target list. What showcases and tournaments do they attend? One way to find out is email the head coach and the assistant in charge of recruiting. Express interest in the baseball program and the academics. Ask what events they attend. 

If he has metrics that already would appeal to the coach add them into the email. A link to a two minute skills (not highlights) video might help. It’s a nothing to lose effort. If the coach takes a look it might help. 

Players who are major D1 and better mid major D1 prospects are already in recruiting mode. For the rest of mid majors and everyone else (D2, D3, JuCo) it’s mostly about post junior year summer. But it can’t hurt to get on the radar screen the previous summer. 

Never lose sight of academics. A stronger academic recruit is a safer recruit for the coach. Use baseball to gain admission to a college that might otherwise require a stronger academic record. Good luck.

Hey Wildcat...  some great info so far... if you can share a bit more about your kid, we can probably offer up some additional advice with more specific direction that applies to him.  I think I read he was throwing about 80 as a freshman P, which is good but not yet a D1 magnet.  What are his other measurables/strengths?  Is he a power bat? Hit for average?  Did he play V and if so,how good is the HS level his school plays in?  Does he play travel and same question?  Does he have a major or career in mind yet?

You are on the right track with your thoughts that a typical HS sophomore won't be thinking of a college list with meaningful line items in proper sequence of priority and that it is most likely a player stays in his home state, so the best place to start drilling down.  I'll wait for your answers before offering up more.

Here is what we did for my daughter:

  • We took out a map and drew a 4 1/2 hour radius from out house.  We all agreed that the school would have to be in that range.  At the time, my mom was in HOSPICE and we needed for my daughter to be close enough to drive home or close enough for me to drive and get her.
  • She knew early on she wanted to be a teacher.  So, we took schools that were better known for teaching and gave them a higher rating.  While I say "higher rating," you have to keep in mind that this didn't mean that the school would be interested in her.
  • Next, we had to determine whether it mattered to her if it was D-I or D-II.  It did not so that opened up a whole lot of schools who were showing interest.  
  • Next we tried to see if we knew people who played at those various institutions and placed calls to them.  You would be amazed at what players say while in a program versus once they leave a program.  
  • My daughter picked some camps she wanted to attend.  For her, that was a good thing but ironically, the closest D-I school was luke warm while several schools in the same conference were red hot after her.
  • My daughter checked out the roster of each of the schools she was narrowing her choices for to see potential openings for her freshman year.  
  • A couple of schools had winter camps.  She attended two and at both, the players asked her to stay the night with them.  
  • I am going to mention this and you need to beware about this statement.  My daughter got close to a couple of coaches who were hot after her.  In the end, that was a mistake!  Coaches come and go.  It should be about the education.  Also, coaches can flat out lie to your child and then, at the last minute change their offer.  That happened to my daughter.  Her athletic offer dropped for 55% at one school to 40% at the end of the summer and after a tournament where she absolutely tore it up.  This was her top school pick and she went elsewhere where it all worked out well.  That coach was gone in two years.  

 

Have your son go to some team websites and look at the "recruit me" portion of these sites.  Have him begin the process.  Coaches want to hear from the player and not the parent.  He can open up a dialogue if he is lucky.  

So, I would start with a dual pronged strategy between athletics and academics.   Through his travel and high school coach, see what interest he is able to establish with baseball to determine what hurdles need to be overcome to get to a college baseball future.   Seperately, I would use College Navigator https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/ to get a sense of the academic metrics at the schools in Florida that may fit him based on his GPA with the understanding that SAT/ACT study and results are in his future.   This tool is a wealth of information.  From this information develop a plan or list of schools, reach out to those schools, attend camps to get a sense of the process.    Use the travel coach, high school coach and the HSBBWeb board as a sounding board for your plan.  Execute your plan.   Assess your progress and tweak as needed.

Good luck!

I too am interested in any info. I have 2022s , middle infielders, who were fortunate enough to paly Varsity as Freshman this past season. High School team plays pretty good competition, including against the #2 team in the state. Both had their ups and downs during the season, as i imagine most freshman playing at that level do. 

They both are pretty good academics, 3.5 GPA freshman year.  Both are top of the order hitters with speed, one of them hits with more power than the other.  Both had exit velo of 80 at a recent measurable day. Not D1 level yet , fully aware. 

 

 

 

I’m not a big fan of college baseball camps unless invited as a legitiamate prospect along with a campus visit. But if a kid hasn’t proven he’s a D1 prospect a local camp is a good inexpensive place to get a feel for showcasing and get some metrics. 

If the father is objective and pays attention he can see where his son fits in. Almost everyone will have a good glove and decent arm. It’s hitting mechanics that separate the levels of college prospects.  

cabbagedad posted:

Hey Wildcat...  some great info so far... if you can share a bit more about your kid, we can probably offer up some additional advice with more specific direction that applies to him.  I think I read he was throwing about 80 as a freshman P, which is good but not yet a D1 magnet.  What are his other measurables/strengths?  Is he a power bat? Hit for average?  Did he play V and if so,how good is the HS level his school plays in?  Does he play travel and same question?  Does he have a major or career in mind yet?

You are on the right track with your thoughts that a typical HS sophomore won't be thinking of a college list with meaningful line items in proper sequence of priority and that it is most likely a player stays in his home state, so the best place to start drilling down.  I'll wait for your answers before offering up more.

He was clocked at 82 before the season began.  He has actually dropped from that a little over the course of the season, as he topped out at 79 at the most recent PG tournament he pitched in.  I'm hoping with a strong off season regimen he can reach 85-86 going into his Sophomore season.  I will have to wait and see.  

I don't have his other measurables.  I understand 80mph doesn't really catch anyone's attention so have been trying to be judicious with spending money.  He has not done any kind of showcase yet.  He also broke a couple of toes and had to have surgery last fall and was just getting back up to speed and hadn't played any baseball at all for 3 months last year when tryouts for the top Summer travel teams were going on so he didn't tryout.  I think he will just try to go with a local inexpensive team this fall and target the more competitive (and expensive) programs next summer as long as he progresses well enough to play there.  He played JV.  He hit .450 and was the #1P and #1 3B.  He hit cleanup but to call him a power bat would be a big stretch.  He can hit a ball about 340, and I'm well aware that's behind the curve for his age group's top players.  Major or career in mind?  He doesn't have a clue.

2022Wildcat posted:
cabbagedad posted:

Hey Wildcat...  some great info so far... if you can share a bit more about your kid, we can probably offer up some additional advice with more specific direction that applies to him.  I think I read he was throwing about 80 as a freshman P, which is good but not yet a D1 magnet.  What are his other measurables/strengths?  Is he a power bat? Hit for average?  Did he play V and if so,how good is the HS level his school plays in?  Does he play travel and same question?  Does he have a major or career in mind yet?

You are on the right track with your thoughts that a typical HS sophomore won't be thinking of a college list with meaningful line items in proper sequence of priority and that it is most likely a player stays in his home state, so the best place to start drilling down.  I'll wait for your answers before offering up more.

He was clocked at 82 before the season began.  He has actually dropped from that a little over the course of the season, as he topped out at 79 at the most recent PG tournament he pitched in.  I'm hoping with a strong off season regimen he can reach 85-86 going into his Sophomore season.  I will have to wait and see.  

I don't have his other measurables.  I understand 80mph doesn't really catch anyone's attention so have been trying to be judicious with spending money.  He has not done any kind of showcase yet.  He also broke a couple of toes and had to have surgery last fall and was just getting back up to speed and hadn't played any baseball at all for 3 months last year when tryouts for the top Summer travel teams were going on so he didn't tryout.  I think he will just try to go with a local inexpensive team this fall and target the more competitive (and expensive) programs next summer as long as he progresses well enough to play there.  He played JV.  He hit .450 and was the #1P and #1 3B.  He hit cleanup but to call him a power bat would be a big stretch.  He can hit a ball about 340, and I'm well aware that's behind the curve for his age group's top players.  Major or career in mind?  He doesn't have a clue.

OK, great.  So, he is where so many his age are who have aspirations to play beyond HS and the potential to do so...  not quite there yet with the skill set and physical maturation but showing promising signs...  ...and not really knowing what he wants to do for a career yet.  The good news is that he is ahead of most with throwing velo at that age.  Also, there is time to gradually introduce things to him so that in the next year or two, while he is developing physically and with his skill set, he will have also progressed in his awareness and be better equipped to make good decisions about college.  

My suggestion is this...  start gradually spoon feeding him information.  Don't be overbearing but occasionally raise questions, point out positive examples, point out necessary measurables for various levels (which will become goals to target), have exploratory discussions about what type of learning and social environments he is most comfortable with, etc..  Bring him to college games of various levels.  Visit campuses and get a feel for what he likes and doesn't like.  Have him start a list on a simple spreadsheet of favorite schools and of things that are most important to him in choosing a school.  If he currently likes Florida because of the football team/games, that's OK.  Every few months, review the list and see if there are new schools, new priorities, etc.  Start getting him to think about what he may be interested in doing for a career.  Once he reaches the point where he is actually reaching out to schools, and hopefully the other way around, this list will likely take some dramatic turns.  It will be fun to watch.

Meanwhile, I think you are on the right track with local travel this fall and a better program next summer if he progresses.  Make sure he is getting proper guidance in that regard.  You don't have to spend a ton if you aren't in a position to do so.   In the next 12-18 months, you will both learn a lot about what levels he should target.  The process is driven both ways.  The player has to like the school, but even more so, the school has to like the player.  Things will narrow in a hurry once it kicks into gear.  It is smart to focus in-state until there is something that compels the search to be extended (like a specific major or HA school).

Whatever you do, make sure you both enjoy the full HS experience.  Making a college team may become a focused goal and require a great deal of commitment and there will most likely have to be sacrifices, but don't let it get to the point where he is spending too much time and effort looking ahead and not enjoying what is, for many, the best time of their lives.

cabbagedad posted:
2022Wildcat posted:
cabbagedad posted:

Hey Wildcat...  some great info so far... if you can share a bit more about your kid, we can probably offer up some additional advice with more specific direction that applies to him.  I think I read he was throwing about 80 as a freshman P, which is good but not yet a D1 magnet.  What are his other measurables/strengths?  Is he a power bat? Hit for average?  Did he play V and if so,how good is the HS level his school plays in?  Does he play travel and same question?  Does he have a major or career in mind yet?

You are on the right track with your thoughts that a typical HS sophomore won't be thinking of a college list with meaningful line items in proper sequence of priority and that it is most likely a player stays in his home state, so the best place to start drilling down.  I'll wait for your answers before offering up more.

He was clocked at 82 before the season began.  He has actually dropped from that a little over the course of the season, as he topped out at 79 at the most recent PG tournament he pitched in.  I'm hoping with a strong off season regimen he can reach 85-86 going into his Sophomore season.  I will have to wait and see.  

I don't have his other measurables.  I understand 80mph doesn't really catch anyone's attention so have been trying to be judicious with spending money.  He has not done any kind of showcase yet.  He also broke a couple of toes and had to have surgery last fall and was just getting back up to speed and hadn't played any baseball at all for 3 months last year when tryouts for the top Summer travel teams were going on so he didn't tryout.  I think he will just try to go with a local inexpensive team this fall and target the more competitive (and expensive) programs next summer as long as he progresses well enough to play there.  He played JV.  He hit .450 and was the #1P and #1 3B.  He hit cleanup but to call him a power bat would be a big stretch.  He can hit a ball about 340, and I'm well aware that's behind the curve for his age group's top players.  Major or career in mind?  He doesn't have a clue.

OK, great.  So, he is where so many his age are who have aspirations to play beyond HS and the potential to do so...  not quite there yet with the skill set and physical maturation but showing promising signs...  ...and not really knowing what he wants to do for a career yet.  The good news is that he is ahead of most with throwing velo at that age.  Also, there is time to gradually introduce things to him so that in the next year or two, while he is developing physically and with his skill set, he will have also progressed in his awareness and be better equipped to make good decisions about college.  

My suggestion is this...  start gradually spoon feeding him information.  Don't be overbearing but occasionally raise questions, point out positive examples, point out necessary measurables for various levels (which will become goals to target), have exploratory discussions about what type of learning and social environments he is most comfortable with, etc..  Bring him to college games of various levels.  Visit campuses and get a feel for what he likes and doesn't like.  Have him start a list on a simple spreadsheet of favorite schools and of things that are most important to him in choosing a school.  If he currently likes Florida because of the football team/games, that's OK.  Every few months, review the list and see if there are new schools, new priorities, etc.  Start getting him to think about what he may be interested in doing for a career.  Once he reaches the point where he is actually reaching out to schools, and hopefully the other way around, this list will likely take some dramatic turns.  It will be fun to watch.

Meanwhile, I think you are on the right track with local travel this fall and a better program next summer if he progresses.  Make sure he is getting proper guidance in that regard.  You don't have to spend a ton if you aren't in a position to do so.   In the next 12-18 months, you will both learn a lot about what levels he should target.  The process is driven both ways.  The player has to like the school, but even more so, the school has to like the player.  Things will narrow in a hurry once it kicks into gear.  It is smart to focus in-state until there is something that compels the search to be extended (like a specific major or HA school).

Whatever you do, make sure you both enjoy the full HS experience.  Making a college team may become a focused goal and require a great deal of commitment and there will most likely have to be sacrifices, but don't let it get to the point where he is spending too much time and effort looking ahead and not enjoying what is, for many, the best time of their lives.

Thank you for taking the time to write that thorough post.  You not only gave me some great advice on how to proceed going forward, but really made me feel more comfortable about the things we have chosen to do (and not do) up to this point.  I'm raising 3 kids on a squarely middle class income.  I will make every effort to do what I can for each of my kids to achieve their goals, but have chosen not to go spend $700 on PG showcases and target elite (and expensive) travel teams just to show he can throw 80mph, which doesn't get anyone's attention anyway.  You've made me feel like that reasoning is not wrong and that I haven't sabotaged my kid's future.  This is my oldest and I've never been down this road before.  

This site is a great resource and all of your input is much appreciated.

As his velocity increases look for travel teams looking for extra pitching. He may get to play free or for a very reduced rate. My son’s travel team would take three or four extra pitchers to East Cobb and Fort Myers. 

Get to the act/sat sooner than later (ideally spring of freshman year).  That will help clarify two things: 1) highest academic potential and 2) how much money schools can give outside of athletic $$. 

My son managed to pull an act north of 30 as a freshman....once his baseball abilities caught up to the board scores he had options for all types of schools at all types of prices. 

 

 

 

 

I think of college selection as a Venn diagram, The first circle, and most important in my opinion, is academics.  Based on HS performance you should have an idea where your son is academically relative to his peers (top of class, middle, bottom half, etc) and this is a starting point.  I set a minimum bar for my son's choices based on USNews ranking.  From here we discussed location - what part of the country? (my son did not want to stay local); big city vs smaller town; large vs medium vs small school, warm climate vs cold.  You'll find that your son may not have strong opinions now but he will form a point of view on these variables.  This exercise should net him a list of schools, perhaps 20-50.  From here, we over-layed baseball talent to narrow the list, and from there specific interest from coaches/lack of interest narrowed the list further.  This was a 3-year process up to the summer entering senior year when he committed.

Wildcat, first thing to do is talk to your son about what part of the country he is ok playing in.  The more states he is willing to play at, the bigger the net.  The more schools he can possibly play for.  There are recruiting services that will helping you formulate a plan.  Many people on these boards don't think much of them.  For my son and I, it really helped.  You also need to have a good grasp of your son's talent level.  That will dictate what schools he should be aiming at.  Here is a cheat sheet: https://www.ncsasports.org/rec...ed/college-divisions

What position does your son play?

Rocky, please remove the link!  We don't advertise recruiting services.  We promote FREE recruiting advise/help.  

Wildcat, fenwaysouth & several others are on point!  Good luck! It's a very manageable proces...spreadsheet, organization, followthru...fish in the right pond! You'll get the hang of it!

Since you're in Florida, I would focus at least as much energy on ensuring he is in the top tier of Bright Futures scholarship levels as you do on developing his baseball skills.

Doing so will take tuition off the table as a concern for any state school and will make even in-state private schools affordable.

baseballmom posted:

Rocky, please remove the link!  We don't advertise recruiting services.  We promote FREE recruiting advise/help.  

Wildcat, fenwaysouth & several others are on point!  Good luck! It's a very manageable proces...spreadsheet, organization, followthru...fish in the right pond! You'll get the hang of it!

It was actually a decent article which happened to be a NCSA write-up.  No harm no foul IMHO.  Referencing an article vs promoting two diff things.

Great comments about the process provided above.

Rocky Alvarez posted:

I referenced free information that's easily available by doing a Google search.  I am not promoting anything in my response.  i don't know what your hang up is.  

You seem to be referencing not promoting.  Had to look at the article....  We have so many experienced parents and coaches on this site, we've all learned the parent needs to get educated on the recruiting process which eliminates the need for NCSA.  NCSA fine for the minority of parents who have zero time or inclination to help guide their athletes through the process... unfortunately the parent remains clueless about what their kid is going through.

I did both.  I conducted extensive research and joined a recruiting site.  I used it as a resource.  Can you get the same information on your own than you can from a recruiting site?  Of course you can.  It's not a make or break.  Is it an added resource.  Showcases and prospect camps are also resources.  Travel teams are resources.  But once again, if you do not do your own research and do the heavy lifting in the recruiting process, it doesn't matter what recruiting service you use, it wont do much for you.  It's just another resource.  

Just remember, D1 is where the best talent is, but it doesn't mean D2, D3, NAIA, or JCs are less competitive.  Among the things to consider is how important it is to be able to watch your son play in person, for both of you.  If that is a priority, than your list will look vastly different than if your priority is playing only for top academic schools, or selecting a school where your son will have the most playing time.  First, you have to determine what are your son's priorities in selecting a school.  Some players will be happy at any D1 that gives them an opportunity, whatever corner of the country its located in.  Others would rather play for an NAIA school in their backyard than play for a D1 on the other side of the country.  

Have fun with the process. Somewhere there is a school with your son's name on it.  And when you pitch a no hitter, hit for the cycle in a game, are spotlighted in the local paper, and make your school's hall of fame, it really doesn't matter what division your son is playing for.  Your smile wont be any less wide.

Just a reminder: The player doesn't pick the school.....The school picks the player. It's not about lists. It's about exposure. Play in front of as many schools as possible. D1,D2,D3, JUCO.

That being said, it's important for the player to know where he fits academically, financially and socially. That's important.

 

StrainedOblique posted:

Just a reminder: The player doesn't pick the school.....The school picks the player. It's not about lists. It's about exposure. Play in front of as many schools as possible. D1,D2,D3, JUCO.

That being said, it's important for the player to know where he fits academically, financially and socially. That's important.

 

It’s like all the items on the shelf at a store. They don’t jump into the cart they like. It’s all about proper positioning, marketing and exposure to be chosen.

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