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RJM posted:
NY posted:

Thank you for this. My kiddo is a 2025 and I have zero clue what to do! This is a huge help! Very grateful for this forum! 

Unless your son is the second coming of Bryce Harper you can relax for a few years. If he is the second coming of Bryce Harper you can sit back and say, “talk to me.”

Lol I am stalking this site like a hawk  till his time! 😂😂 he got a few years! 

Prepare your son to have uncomfortable conversations with adults. Kids need to learn the fine art of being able to stand up for themselves while also being respectful. Many kids can communicate via social media but I don't think most of today's teenagers are good on the phone. or in person. And some of these coaches are hard-core and use pressure sales tactics on kids. 

Teach your child how to text/email properly.  One college coach added my 2020 on Snapchat and just yesterday on his story, the coach posted an email he received that was somewhat poorly written. While I think it was in poor taste for this coach to make fun of it, I also know that this coach will never consider this kid to be part of his program. I don't think there's anything wrong with proofing your child's email/texts to a coach until you're sure they can do it on their own. 

 

 

I'd say where my sons HS coach played a role, was recognizing my sons talent and giving him a chance.  He started his freshman year, and in the CCS games, he started 2 out of the 4 games.  In the final game he was recognized as the top hitter.  There were several college scouts there to see many of the upperclassmen, and as it turned out, his travel coach got phone calls after the game wanting to know about my son.

So, we were in the same situation as others posted, HS Coach was not a factor in recruiting, as he had limited contacts.  Travel coach had many contacts, and also helped navigate which schools over recruited or  were 8-10 deep with players in my sons position.  It was nice to see a Power 5 interested, but would he play?  Travel coach was instrumental guiding us to schools that were interested and knew what positions the coaches "needed" to fill.

Also, Head First and Showball were not just academic showcases.  They're expensive, but not just for the high academic player.  As it turned out, Showball was where my son got noticed and followed by several schools.

A very good write up, though, with excellent points for parents and players.

 

Great thread!  I just went through this for both of my sons this year.  One is a 2019 HS graduate, the other is a 2019 college grad with 1 year of baseball eligibility left.  The "wide net" still applied even for a grad transfer. Be creative in how you connect with coaches.  The grad-transfer did email coaches and did get many responses, but his biggest source of coaches was Twitter.  Not only utilizing Flatground, but he also searched Twitter for baseball coaches and would follow them.  He had approximately a 30% rate of coaches following him back, when then opened the door for him to DM them about the school and the program.  He used his Twitter account as a "highlight" reel where coaches could see who he was as a student, a baseball player and his work ethic.  The offer he ended up accepting was from a coach at an ACC program that followed him back on Twitter!

It also can't be said enough, find a school that checks all the boxes, not just the baseball box.  My oldest found this out the hard way.  He loved the baseball coach and the team, but when he was red-shirted his freshman year and was left behind for road trips, he realized how much he really didn't like the school and the campus.   

One final thing I would like to add is that parents need to work with and teach their children how to have a conversation with a coach.  My youngest son is a quiet one and helping him through knowing what questions to ask a coach and preparing him for the types of questions coaches ask.   It helped him find a school that he feels checks all of his boxes.

Great thread, and great info.  One question that I've often wondered is this.  Besides just going to their websites, what is the best way to research a specific school?  I like to look at rosters and go back several years etc, but besides that what is a good way to learn about the coaches and the programs etc.?  I like to read the coaches bio and you can learn a good bit there too.  

My son is only a 2023 so we haven't really even started the process (he's not Bryce Harper).   I have been helping him make a really long list of schools.  I'm basically just using geographic location and the level to which I think he could play.  I haven't factored in things like major yet because as most 9th graders my son has no clue what he'd want to major in.  

Any tips or sites that get into specifics on the schools?  

 

 

 

I thought I would refresh this thread ... as it is a great read.
Are there any 2020 or 2021 moms (or dads) that want to share a more current lesson learned or other advice?

I have a 2024 LHP/1B ... doing my best to help my son navigate the recruiting process, chase his dreams, and hopefully find it to be an enjoyable ride along the way


Note - I found this thread when searching hsbaseballweb for stories linked to keepplayingbaseball.org.  The KPB content is excellent - thanks for paying it forward. 

If you have the appetite and time, you'll find almost everything you need within HSBBW.  What it is it NOT, is laid out perfectly ready to follow to a T.  Every recruiting journey is unique/different, so trying to mimic someone else's is usually a recipe for disappointment.  You will find things that worked wonders for another kid who is nearly identical to your kid, that don't do a thing for you.  So don't chase that ghost.  If you put in the time and cast as wide a net as possible (by experimenting with LOTS of approaches), your son's recruiting journey will likely contain small pieces from 100 other previous recruiting journeys.

If that vague/high level advice leaves you unsatisfied, I'll throw one more out there that will likely leave you equally unsatisfied.  If you and your son sincerely feel he's doing everything (or more than everyone else) to get bigger, stronger and faster...   you're wrong.  Go ask any player/parent if their kid is doing more than others to get bigger, stronger and faster and 99%+ won't hesitate - absolutely!  Even in a classroom full of straight A students, one of those straight A students is the dumbest of the bunch.  If you can't PROVE you're bigger, stronger and faster with tangible/measurable results, you're not bigger, stronger or faster.

Used this website to gather thoughts and opinions from those who have been there before. Proved to be a valuable asset when taken in the proper perspective.

As mentioned before, each player’s journey is quite similar in spirit, but can be vastly different in detail.  Players who dream of playing at the next level should take time to really understand what it takes to not only get to the next level, but also stay at the next level!

Bigger, stronger, faster really has little to do with getting to the next level. Talent, attitude and perseverance are much more valuable in that pursuit.

Son is a 2019 and with Covid hitting, it has resulted in a wild and crazy ride for him and many others who played / are still playing college baseball. All the years of training and sacrifice could not have prepared anyone for the impact of Covid to the baseball community. Point being, your player’s path to the next level is not a straight one or well defined one so please do not anguish over it.

I have watched my son’s travel ball and high school teammates become fortunate enough to get the nod to the next level whether it be college or minor leagues only to watch them face the reality that their adolescent glory days level of success pales in comparison to the talent at the next level….consequently earning them a one way ticket back home to hang up their cleats for the last time.

If the sobering reality of talent at the next level does not impact your player, the daily workload will definitely be a force to recon with. Those who are “D1” or die players will truly understand how difficult life is at that level after a couple of week of being there. Morning workouts, classes (5 classes a semester is mandatory), mandatory study hall as a Freshman, homework work, practice, games, travel for games, team meetings/events all make even the most dedicated rethink their goals, dreams and desires. (Note: if sleep is important to your player, have them get as much as possible before leaving high school.)

Furthermore, I have watched MANY life long studs, beasts, and top 20 round draft picks who chose college over minor leagues, as well as, many average players reach a D1 level schools only to “Visit” it for the first semester.

Also, please know that just because your player has one of those coveted D1 scholarships, they are not even guaranteed a spot on the team let alone playing time. Watching Freshman high level players get cut after their first Fall season or not even play a single game in the Spring is sobering. By the way, if your player makes it to year two or three, they are not exempt from being cut…imagine that!

This post is not intended to be discouraging, more so, a guide to the realities that your player may face and should be as prepared to handle as much as he or she prepares their baseball skills.

Parents—encourage your player to go after their dreams and be as emotionally and financially supported as you can. The journey has many peaks and valleys, but when viewed from the proper perspective, it can be both exciting and a great learning experience for your player when he or she transitions into the women or man they are meant to be!

@DanJ posted:

If you have the appetite and time, you'll find almost everything you need within HSBBW.  What it is it NOT, is laid out perfectly ready to follow to a T.  Every recruiting journey is unique/different, so trying to mimic someone else's is usually a recipe for disappointment.  You will find things that worked wonders for another kid who is nearly identical to your kid, that don't do a thing for you.  So don't chase that ghost.  If you put in the time and cast as wide a net as possible (by experimenting with LOTS of approaches), your son's recruiting journey will likely contain small pieces from 100 other previous recruiting journeys.

If that vague/high level advice leaves you unsatisfied, I'll throw one more out there that will likely leave you equally unsatisfied.  If you and your son sincerely feel he's doing everything (or more than everyone else) to get bigger, stronger and faster...   you're wrong.  Go ask any player/parent if their kid is doing more than others to get bigger, stronger and faster and 99%+ won't hesitate - absolutely!  Even in a classroom full of straight A students, one of those straight A students is the dumbest of the bunch.  If you can't PROVE you're bigger, stronger and faster with tangible/measurable results, you're not bigger, stronger or faster.

As my kids were growing up I told them a lot of kids and parents are going to find out the hard way it’s a nasty, competitive world on the other side of Townline Road. The parents will no longer have any control over how the kids are treated or the ability to negotiate advantages for them.

My son’s LL team went to states when he was eleven. A kid outside our league zone said he was going to play in our league the next year. He told everyone his father would make it happen. It was what the kid expected from experience. Of course his father couldn’t make it happen. But this was nothing compared to the slap in the face this kid got when he headed off for college ball and dad couldn’t make it happen anymore.

Last edited by RJM
@DanJ posted:

If you have the appetite and time, you'll find almost everything you need within HSBBW.  What it is it NOT, is laid out perfectly ready to follow to a T.  Every recruiting journey is unique/different, so trying to mimic someone else's is usually a recipe for disappointment.  You will find things that worked wonders for another kid who is nearly identical to your kid, that don't do a thing for you.  So don't chase that ghost.  If you put in the time and cast as wide a net as possible (by experimenting with LOTS of approaches), your son's recruiting journey will likely contain small pieces from 100 other previous recruiting journeys.

If that vague/high level advice leaves you unsatisfied, I'll throw one more out there that will likely leave you equally unsatisfied.  If you and your son sincerely feel he's doing everything (or more than everyone else) to get bigger, stronger and faster...   you're wrong.  Go ask any player/parent if their kid is doing more than others to get bigger, stronger and faster and 99%+ won't hesitate - absolutely!  Even in a classroom full of straight A students, one of those straight A students is the dumbest of the bunch.  If you can't PROVE you're bigger, stronger and faster with tangible/measurable results, you're not bigger, stronger or faster.

I tried forever to get my boy to eat more and healthier. He’s always worked out a bunch. I read stuff here about different diets and gains and somewhat questioned whether they were true. Also made excuses as to why it wouldn’t work for him.

He went to HF the first week in August and was at the top of his game. A few coaches showed interest right away. One of them said he has the skills they need but looked “weak” and needs to become a more physical player to get an offer. The next day he was on a mission. He’s up 30lbs as of Monday and has improved every metric imaginable. The level of interest in his recent videos is incredible and he’s now hearing from some HA D1 schools that wouldn’t give him the time of day a few months ago. It’s pretty cool to see the communication of coaches chasing him vs him chasing them.

In no particular order, here are some thoughts on my son’s (’22) recruiting experience:

1) Agreed on being physical. Our travel program played the 18u SGV Arsenal (LA team, former players like Gerrit Cole, Max Fried, etc.) as 16u/freshman and ALL the Arsenal 18u players were committed to P5s. Prior to the game our coach brought the team and the parents into the dugout, this had never been done before, and told us to take a good look at what it takes physically to be a D1 player. I recall the 2B was 6-3, 220# (currently at Stanford). We lost 5-2 respectably

2) Be selective about recruiting services. Not a knock on them but we did not participate with NCSA. We did use the SportsForce basic service to access their 17k Twitter followers which I thought was a good value. Very nice people but just don’t expect any personal service w their basic deal. Conversely my son was one of the first clients of Joe Oliveira at OBC. Joe lightly recruited my son, meaning he followed him on Twitter, while he was RC at SD State. (RC for nearly 10 years). He reached out to my son after leaving SD State to start OBC. I can’t tell you how important it is to have someone who knows the coaches you want to play for in college. My son played for a prominent travel team with a great coach who works colleges tirelessly for his kids however the relationships are 99% West coast. My son wanted to play East coast HA D1. Joe would make a phone call and come back with info like, “They are not recruiting any more ’22 RH hitters” or “the coach said they have an offer out to a NY player, if they decline you are next on their board”. Simply put, info your son can’t glean on his own typically. Find someone who can make those calls and has the respect of the coach on the other end. Ideally, it’s your son’s travel coach but it might not be for some.

3) It’s incredible how many schools are interested in your son who never make contact until you get to #1 or #2 on their board. During my son’s process he found out that he was #3-#8 on several school’s boards who had never contacted him (including the HA D1 he committed). So, keep sending those emails and DMs!

4) The very HA schools (think 1550+ SAT min) recruiting processes are SUPER challenging so buckle up if these are on your radar. As a parent, I thought these schools were the most professional with their approach/communication. That said, they also have the toughest job in recruiting finding great players that have a 4.0/1550 SAT that want to play in the cold Northeast not Florida St or TCU

5) Apologies ahead of time for this last one as it’s a downer. The anxiety you feel as a parent in the process prior to offers/commitment…is here to stay. First it is “will we get from verbal commit to the NLI without any disruptions?" like the RC & HC leaving for another school  -- yes this happened to my son. After signing, it’s things like “do you play basketball for fear of potential injury senior year”, next it will be Fall ball cuts Freshman year, next it will be playing time anxieties, next it will be draft status, next it will be coaching changes junior year…I think you get the point. Yes, I understand these are all great problems to have but my naive expectation was that once my son signed last week we’d be living on a cloud. It’s great for sure to be over the first hurdle, but I didn’t realize that the anxiety would persist.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Great post Midwest Mom.....I really only disagree with one of your points:

4. High School Coaches are more important in the process than travel coaches. I know some travel programs are amazing and if yours is, that’s excellent! But ours made promises they never kept, and this seems to be a recurring theme on HSBBW. His High School Coach was amazing. And every single college coach who had true interest in my son called the HS coach – not all of them called the travel coach.

This depends ALOT on the coaches (both HS and travel).  Our situation was exactly the opposite.  My son played 17U for one of the top programs in the Midwest.  I would say 95% of his contacts were thru the travel coach.  Heck, he ended up at a school 45 miles from home and I'm not sure the RC at the school ever talked to his HS head coach even one time.  My son's travel coach contacted him at least a couple times a week saying "hey I had a call from XXXXXX Univ...are you interested?".  Things may be different depending on the area, but I think there was one "local" college coach (who had known him since he was 12) at any of his HS games.

Great post Midwest Mom.....I really only disagree with one of your points:

4. High School Coaches are more important in the process than travel coaches. I know some travel programs are amazing and if yours is, that’s excellent! But ours made promises they never kept, and this seems to be a recurring theme on HSBBW. His High School Coach was amazing. And every single college coach who had true interest in my son called the HS coach – not all of them called the travel coach.

This depends ALOT on the coaches (both HS and travel).  Our situation was exactly the opposite.  My son played 17U for one of the top programs in the Midwest.  I would say 95% of his contacts were thru the travel coach.  Heck, he ended up at a school 45 miles from home and I'm not sure the RC at the school ever talked to his HS head coach even one time.  My son's travel coach contacted him at least a couple times a week saying "hey I had a call from XXXXXX Univ...are you interested?".  Things may be different depending on the area, but I think there was one "local" college coach (who had known him since he was 12) at any of his HS games.

It's very situational, I think. In our case the HS coach had a very strong in with my son's eventual school, but the travel coach had loads of connections at schools that weren't as useful (either we weren't interested or they weren't :-))

I believe most people on this site would agree the travel coach was more valuable in the process than the high school coach. There are plenty of high school coaches who don’t have college contacts. That said, there are some very good high school coaches who do help with recruiting. There are also travel programs that over promise.

My son’s high school coach offered to help. He knew most of the college coaches in the state. My son didn’t want to remain in the state. My son thanked him and added the travel coach had it covered. He asked the high school coach if a college coach calls about academic standing or citizenship just tell the truth.

A friend of my son played for the B travel team in THE program in our region. They made all kinds of promises and did nothing. The kid got into an D3 HA on his own through Head First. It’s not as if the travel program had nothing to sell. He became a D3 All American as a corner infielder. He had a D1 swing. He lacked other D1 metrics. Unless you’re looking to go pro take the best academic situation.

Last edited by RJM

Holy mackerel I have read these recruiting threads more times than I can remember. I mean that literally because I go back and start reading them again and about half way through I recognize that I have read them before. For me the process is a mystery that has so many facets that you never know which way to jump. There are so many opinions as to camps, PBR, PG and which coaches are going to help that I don't know exactly which way to go. Our HS coach doesn't seem to have any direction. The travel coach changes each year. I know their names but I don't have a a working relationship with any of them. That is mostly due to the threads warning parents to never converse with the coach. We are looking at local D2 colleges and a couple of them have camps coming up soon. I think the boys should attend, and the price is cheap but based on many of the opinions here I don't know if it is even worth doing. This is their junior year so I need to start making critical choices and I don't want to mess this up. Advice? And yes, I am as nervous about this as a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs.     

Everyone has an opinion and a story. No two recruits are the same or share same story. My two cents: my son committed to a D2 and he was “seen” at their  Winter camp. We saw it was cheap, over a break and had little to no experience with recruiting. When coaches saw something they liked, they called kids over and talked to them about high school, travel play, etc.. that’s how our story began and ultimately he ended up there. He was also a Junior when he went. Now, due to COVID happening his very first year on campus, his journey changed. He is a Premed student and was looking at not playing another year because the whole team of starters decided to use their COVID year of eligibility to return the next season. He was recruited with the lure of all the players who would be graduating and how he would use first year to get feet wet and then roll into second year ready to go. Things change that are beyond your control. You adjust and make hard decisions. He decided to focus on academics and left the team, the coaches told him he could return anytime he wanted to. He is happy, still hangs with the team, and has no regrets. Enjoy your journey!

I don't recall anyone ever saying don't talk to a travel coach. HS coach yes, everyone will tell you don't talk  to him - about playing time and position. Anything else is fine.

If a camp is at a school of interest, and is  nearby and affordable, and the kid's ready to play, go for it.

Junior year, you need to start making progress.  An inexpensive camp that can give you some measurables is a good place to start.  Based on those numbers, you can have an idea of what pond you need to be fishing in.  P5, D1, Mid- Major, D2, D3, D3 HA, JuCo, NAIA. Get advice from some folks here. As most will say, you would probably already know if you had a P5/D1 kid. The rest of us are/were fishing in a different pond.

Even without a personal relationship, I would contact the travel coaches to see where they see your son at the college level.

1) Find an advocate for your son, high school coach, travel coach, hitting or pitching coach. Your kid can and should do this.

2) Get the advocate to contact the schools that make sense to contact and junior wants to play at.  Make a big list.  Without an advocate, virtually all contacts are just slightly above junk mail to the RC's.

Past this, it's junior's turn to step up

3) Junior follows up with the schools with video, HS schedules, travel schedules, ... follow up emails on specific games or performances.  Ask about specific roster needs at XYZ state or any other items to know this is not a shotgun blast email.

4) Showball or Headfirst are great camps.  Lot's of coaches. Can really generate interest if he's got something to show.  Better if an advocate can have the coaches looking for him.  Best if the coach at your dream school is there and he is looking for junior.  Unfortunately, the coach in your neck of the woods probably won't be there.

5) PBR or PG have big databases but no coaches. I give this a maybe.  It can be expensive. A huge measurable will stick out.  Everybody else is just everybody else.  The Georgia PBR guy will blow some kids up on twitter.  Your mileage will vary.

6) Go to a camp or visit that you get a personal invite to, not the ones with unsubscribe as an option.

7) Get bigger faster stronger and better at baseball.

For you, Pray, Patience, Bourbon, rinse, lather and repeat.

Highly over simplified.  Good luck.

Taking to coaches depends what you’re talking about. Never talk to a high school coach about playing time and position. If a high school coach talks to you be civil in return. I ended up spending an afternoon at a showcase with my son’s coach. We talked for three hours. But it wasn’t about my son. It was about helping kids find the right level for exposure and how to go about it. We talked about kids playing Legion versus travel. He was new to being a high school head coach. For both of us, recruiting had changed since we went through the process.

Once the player is at the recruiting level of travel there could be conversations with the travel coach. My son’s travel coach wanted to know if he promoted him to a certain private university and he only got 25% could I afford to send him there. It’s when we had our first talk on his eligibility for both athletic and academic money. My son was an all conference shortstop. When the travel team assistant (also an associate pro scout) felt he was more promotable as a center fielder the coach spoke with me after my son. Some shortstop’s parents might have packed up and found a new team.

Keep in mind a lot of views on this board come from the bias of positive and negative experience. PM posters and ask questions. Most posters will respond

As for the D2 camps I would send my kid to any camp I can afford I felt might have a positive impact on his exposure and recruiting.

A positive aid to have in the recruiting experience is an advocate. An advocate is someone who has credibility and can presell the player before an event. For my son it was his travel coach. It could be a high school coach or a private instructor. But the best way to be recruited is walk on the field with someone knowing who you are and all you have to do is prove your talent.

Unless a kid is a jaw dropping stud (likely everyone knows about him anyway) the toughest way to get recruited is show up, throw spaghetti (your talent) off the wall as an unknown and see what sticks. Pitchers can get away with this somewhat due to the radar gun if they hit a high enough number. It doesn’t work for position players unless they’re noticeably slicker than everyone else on the field and hit the ball the hardest and farthest.

My son was presold by his travel coach. But I still asked him what he was going to do to standout between players 400 and 1000. On any given day you could pick these rankings out of a hat based on who’s solid fundamentally and who’s having a good day.

Last edited by RJM
@RJM posted:

Triple … Jet and I took a different approach on how to answer your question. But notice we both mentioned having an advocate to sell the player.

I noticed that. I appreciate all of the responses and I am already thinking of the right person to advocate. They have had several coaches and trainers and I want to find the right person.

Does the HS/Travel coach sell to the RC or the HC of the target school?

I don’t know who the coach called. My son would hear from the recruiting coach. He was told what coach would be at the event. The recruiting coach would ask for his schedule, jersey color* and jersey number. If it was a showcase they asked for his showcase number and what color team he was assigned.

* He had to provide the options. In any given game it could be white, black or red.

The top tier travel teams have relationships with a lot of college coaches and teams.  Former players, former coaches.  Buddy of a buddy.  Ex-team mate.   

The travel org itself might have a big enough name/cache to at least get a listen from any coach. A common refrain on this site is that college baseball is actually a pretty small club.

They contact who they know. In general, your son should contact the RC.

RJM did mention going to the local colleges to get seen/know by the coaches if you can afford it.  We missed out on a lot of that opportunity due to COVID.  Local coaches can come by and see him play or send folks to watch him play.

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