My 2021 is interested in East and West-coast schools, but we're in the middle. He's already engaged some recruiting coordinators, and we went to a Headfirst camp last fall. One of the RC's was engaged, but he told me: "He needs to get to one of our camps, where the big dogs can see him." 

I'm wondering if multi-school camps, like Headfirst or the one at Richmond in June, are enough in-person/on-field exposure for schools to make a decision. My assumption is these will typically be RC's and not HC's in attendance, as was the case at HF. 

His goal is a mid-D1 HA school. He's played SS and does some pitching. He has a 4.5 weighted gpa, 1270 on PSAT. He's 6-3, 185, with exit velo 95.

Thank you for your perspective!

Last edited by Long415
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I had heard a lot about Headfirst (HF) and Showball (SB) on this site way before my son had any specific interest in HA schools. They both are highly regarded especially with regard to direct exposure to coaches. As my son's journey progressed I came to realize that assistant coaches, and in a lot of cases recruiting coordinators, do not have as much influence as one might think. Yes, I had also learned that camps are money makers for coaches, especially volunteer assistants. So when one of these coaches is talking to a player at a camp and says "come to our camp" that tells me he does not have much influence in the recruiting process. This may especially be the case for HA schools.

So my advice would be to target one of the SB Head Coach camps on either west coast or east coast. Make sure the schools you are interested in are attending and that your son has had ongoing communication with them before you go. Or, if possible, attend the camp the assistant coach is recommending you attend if that is a top choice!

My son attended a few school camps both early and late in the recruiting process. Some things I would point out:

1. They are great early in the recruiting journey if for no other reason than to provide your son with the college baseball experience. This may help to "light a fire" or "open your son's eyes" to what it takes to play college baseball.

2. They can either make you or break you. The good thing is the coaching staff has an opportunity to see you up close and personal. They may have had interest before the camp as they see you from afar but the camp may also provide them with a reason to simply cross you off their recruiting list. Once a coach formulates an opinion it rarely changes. But I certainly think it is better to know sooner rather then later. And later could be fall of your freshman year in college! 

3. Like most other camps, they are a mechanism for producing income for coaches.

 

HA D1 coaches will go to summer 17U tournaments to watch players of interest.  If your son is playing in those (including, in the midwest, Grand Park, Cincy Flames, Music City), and of course WWBA, then if they are interested and still have open spots, they will come to watch him.  Do you have a travel coach who could ask those coaches about their level of interest?  That's the best, before going to a camp. 

I wonder about camps.  My son was asked for transcripts by one D1, then invited to their camp, but he genuinely couldn't go (it was plane ride away, busy time of year).  If he had gone, I don't think he would have impressed them anyway (60-time), which is partly why we decided not to spend the money.  But, we will always wonder what if.

If you were on someone's radar, send them more video as soon as you have it, and your summer schedule.  What's his 60-time? Fastball velo?  If those go up, send that info also (documented in some way, or on video, if possible).  Another thing about Headfirst is, I think, that they make the video available to all the schools that were there, so even if it was just an AC, the HC should have access to it.

No SAT/ACT yet?  You need one of those before HAs will be seriously interested, hope he is in the process of doing that.

Make sure you also target HA D3s starting now, they are less likely to be at tournaments, so a camp like Headfirst or Showball matters more, if you stand out.

My 2 cents is ask for the pre-read at HA schools now, whether HA D1 or D3. They should be able to tell you fairly quickly whether your son fits the academic profile for an athlete.  We learned the lingo a bit late and once we asked for the pre-read from schools we had even sent the grades and scores to, we fell short at a few that we thought were real contenders. So, instead of wasting time communicating with coaches only to find out you not in the right "band", get it out of the way. If your son throws 98 and is a lefty, it might not matter lol. Some Ivies are fine with 1200 SAT and then some HA D3s won't even look at you with less than 1450. 

Then, armed with that knowledge, do a side by side comparison of Showball and Headfirst, and I mean session by session to see which one has the most target schools attending.  We had great success with both and did them multiple times. Once spring season starts, have your son reach out to coaches and get on their radar and share videos and stats.  That way, when you pick a session and find out if they are looking for a player in the position and grad year of your son, you are ready to roll. 

The final step is the week prior to the event you pick, email the coaches and let them know he will be there and what team he will be on if applicable. 

Last bit of advice, look for the schools that do camps with other schools attending.  Richmond is one, Princeton and James Madison and Boston College are a few we attended that do. It's a nice way to be seen in a smaller event format.

Hope this helped in some way. Best of luck!

Agree with ANOTHERPARENT.....the tourneys he mentioned will get your son a lot of exposure, predominately midwest and some East Coast.   My son was in an organzation that also was in the Midwest Prospect League.  They would get schools from all over the midwest, Southeast and East Coast, but I don't ever remember any of the west coast schools....and at the time, the MPL was probably the premier recruiting event in the midwest.   My son has played with/against a lot of big name kids over the years who went to big name schools.....but I can't recall one that played further west than Nebraska.   Not sure the best way to go about getting seen by them....but I just don't think they come out this way often

@anotherparent thank you. He's planned to take the SAT in June, but I get the concern on timing. I noticed ACT scores are turned around much faster than SAT's, will investigate that. Good tip on D3's. He throws in the low 80's and to be honest I do not remember a 60 time. 60 was not a highlight, but he's done a ton of work since then. 

@Kimb27 that is a direct approach, the pre-read. Where in the process did you ask for the pre-read, was that like after camp/tournament exposure? Did your son ask, did you? My boy is not lefty/98

If you can get him into the Feb. 8 ACT, that would be a really good thing.  In part because it probably won't interfere with any baseball activity (the next ACT is April 4, the SAT dates are March 14 and May 2), in part because HA coaches may not take him seriously without a score.  He can take these tests more than once with no penalty at all, but you want him to have a score going into the summer; PSAT is not going to tell them much.

60-time is the major measurable for shortstops, along with EV.  Better know that too, it will give you a better idea of what kinds of schools to target.  You can measure it fairly easily on a football field (assuming it gets above freezing in the middle of the country!)

We never asked for pre-reads; the coaches asked my son to send information for a pre-read when they were interested. 

Buckeye 2015 posted:

Agree with ANOTHERPARENT.....the tourneys he mentioned will get your son a lot of exposure, predominately midwest and some East Coast.   My son was in an organzation that also was in the Midwest Prospect League.  They would get schools from all over the midwest, Southeast and East Coast, but I don't ever remember any of the west coast schools....and at the time, the MPL was probably the premier recruiting event in the midwest.   My son has played with/against a lot of big name kids over the years who went to big name schools.....but I can't recall one that played further west than Nebraska.   Not sure the best way to go about getting seen by them....but I just don't think they come out this way often

Take it for what it’s worth, California has a ton of baseball players and not enough programs. Mid levels players are encouraged to expand their lists and look outside of CA.  Breaking INTO the west coast is hard unless you’re a stud or have a 1500 Sat. Players who can mash, throw in the mid 80’s, and are members of National Honor Society are a dime a dozen where we are. 
If you still want to look out here: Stanford camp, HF or SB camps. Tournaments: USA baseball (June/July), and AZ Fall Classic (Oct) seem to attract most if not all D1s.  PG WWBA West (July), and Wilson Premier (sept) to a lesser extent. 

Here are where the D1’s are located. I’d go East young man

 

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If you're happy with his scores and GPA, you can do it now.  If he has been talking to coaches already and there is interest, he can ask the coach if the pre-read can be done. It also shows the coach that your son is really interested. It's not an unusual request with HA schools.

Otherwise, as he attends showcases and camps this summer, it's the next logical move if there is mutual interest.  A lot of coaches will ask for transcripts and scores. But, they won't always take the next step with asking admissions to weigh in. It's a great way to weed schools out and get a feel for where your son may fall with the academics. It's a multilayered process. Just stay focused and organized.  You don't want to spend precious time on communicating with schools and attending their camps if there is no way he can get in.  His grades and scores are excellent.  So, there should be many options for him.

LousyLefty posted:

Take it for what it’s worth, California has a ton of baseball players and not enough programs. Mid levels players are encouraged to expand their lists and look outside of CA.  Breaking INTO the west coast is hard unless you’re a stud or have a 1500 Sat. Players who can mash, throw in the mid 80’s, and are members of National Honor Society are a dime a dozen where we are. 
If you still want to look out here: Stanford camp, HF or SB camps. Tournaments: USA baseball (June/July), and AZ Fall Classic (Oct) seem to attract most if not all D1s.  PG WWBA West (July), and Wilson Premier (sept) to a lesser extent. 

Here are where the D1’s are located. I’d go East young man

 

There is a lot of insight from Lefty. Even with 1500 SAT's a player is not going to get much attention without the "stud" part and only a handful of Cali teams recruit outside of the state. 

Long415,

We live in Southern California and my son was mostly interested in HA schools on the east coast, so we had the same challenge.  My son did a few things to specifically get on the radar and get the attention he needed to get offers:

1) created a realistic list of schools that fit academically and athletically.  This was harder than you'd think because his early ACT and SAT scores were low (lower than we knew he was capable of), and it took tutoring and a few attempts to get his scores where they needed to be for HA schools.  He also changed dramatically physically over a two year period (grew 8"+ and added 30+ pounds over 2 years) so his exit velo, throwing velo and pop time improved dramatically by his junior year and he became a D1 prospect.  His target list changed constantly as new schools came into play or fell off the list.

2) was part of a national travel program that made many trips to the east coast each summer and fall.  This was very useful since coaches on the east coast will make the trip to Georgia or Florida to see a player play, but they aren't likely to spend much time (or any) in California.  Tournament play against top competition is the best way for a coach to see a player.

3) made heavy use of video to get the coaches initial attention.  There are many threads on this site that discuss videos.  My son kept his to 90-120 seconds of cage swings, in-game at-bats and some in-game defensive work (son is a catcher).  The videos were updated regularly to keep them fresh and show new material.  He included GPA, test scores, key baseball metrics (no stats).  The videos were attached to intro or update emails.

4) He kept coaches at his target list of schools aware of his progress and game schedule with regular emails.  Many of these emails went unanswered.  Some went unanswered for a long time until the coaches responded.   Some coaches were aggressive early in their response and dialog, others stayed in the background and then came out of nowhere to show intense interest.  You just never know so keep up the work of engaging coaches - if you have the right target schools he will find success.

We went cross country for a HA school camp after the RC had seen my son (RHP 2020) at both the Arizona Fall Classic and at a HeadFirst camp and strongly encouraged him to go to their prospect camp. This was in the fall/winter of his junior year. The PC had seen video from the camp, PBR showcase, etc. but had not been at the events to see him pitch live. My son had already confirmed that he had the GPA and SAT score required to be considered for admission. This was a school that had been on his radar as a good fit so we took the plunge and spent money on airfare, hotel, car rental and the camp fee (which was very nominal). In my son's case, it paid off. He received an offer that he accepted. However, the expense was not insignificant so I would recommend that you ensure most of the pieces of the puzzle are in place ahead of time (and combine with campus/admission tour).

We're in TX and my son wanted to go East. You gotta go East and get in front of them.

Stanford is practically done for 2021. Their $1200 camp is a HUGE money maker for the coaches and players. 

Some of the other HA have spots left. But you gotta be seen. Target large PG events for the best exposure. Wilson Premier is OK for West. Columbia, Brown, Harvard, and other HA are still actively recruiting. 

Definitely will need the ACT/SAT scores (ASAP) and GPA. Stanford Athlete requirement was 3.8 and 1300 SAT.

Study the NCAA Recruiting Calendar. A lot of showcase and events might be on a certain quiet or dead period and there won't be any coaches there.

We double dipped and did a UNC/Duke Camp weekend+ for one plane trip over the summer. Evals are great too to get exposure and be seen. Dusty Blake (Duke PC) did a pitching evaluation on my son. The regular camp evaluations are a joke. Prospect camps are better than Cattle Call "Elite" camps. 

My son got the most attention after breaking 90 at the Underclass WWBA in the Fall in Ft Meyers and Throwing 92 and a No Hitter / (1 error from 3rd to 1st for final out ruined) "Perfect Game" in Jupiter in October. Committed to GaTech early November. 

Go where the scouts are. (and let them know you're coming and when you'll play).

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Yeah, just got found about this site after a recruiting discussion we had with a 2022 at our HS and got on today.

Good luck this weekend In the Flats!!

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