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We have been contacted by NCSA( Next College Student Athlete). They sound good, very nice and professional, and state they can help with College Recruiting. My boy is only 14( and in 8th grade), so I'm wondering : Isn't this a little early for all this, or should be begin down this road?

Has anyone delt with NCSA? Or a similar organization? Any advice would be appreciated.

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I’m not a fan of these services. A parent and a quality travel team coaching staff with contacts can do a better job of zeroing in on the right colleges. Regardless of my opinion of these services is your son at the point where he has something to show a college coach will notice? Typically at fourteen it’s only a handful of D1 prospects across the entire country.

When my son played 17u (first season post soph summer) the coaching staff sat down with each player and their college list. They had an honest discussion about each school. The coaches provided additional recommendations. Services and consultants typically don’t have this level of contact and knowledge about a player.

Last edited by RJM

I happen to really like the NCSA site.  I would not use them for recruiting, however.    Also, I wouldn't use them until your son is entering his Junior year of HS and you know the top D1's are not knocking down your door.  If he's a top-end talent he will be found through his play.   I can't recall the pricing of the site but I would recommend just getting access to their database.   Sure you can find all the information they have publically but they have tools that help you zero in on desired schools and for us, it helped us map out our strategy.   Coaches will "look" at your son's profile which is equally cool and useless.

I do think that NCSA is just mostly a company looking to separate you from your dollars but there is some stuff that is helpful (if the price is right for you).   

Do you have the disposable income? If so then yes it is convenient, but if you are cheap/frugal/pennywise or rather just want to stretch your dollars to buy more baseball gadgets to anger your spouse, then a little digging here can get you the same information/guidance. Your kid's travel program should he helping too. If they are not, then your kid needs to seriously reconsider leaving for an org that can. HS summer travel is about recruiting and it can be pleasant enough but the camaraderie I enjoyed in preteen to early teen baseball just does not exist. Luckily my kid and I had a good preteen early teen experience, yes there was drama at times but also lots of hysterical and fun moments. I am terribly disappointed my Spanish vocabulary did not expand nearly as much as my waistband...Ay dios mios.

Everything you need to know about the recruiting process is here and will be answered by someone who has been through it already.  Read the timeline at HSBBW, read through threads, and then see what happens in HS. Best advice is "make a plan and work the plan"....once he makes his HS team.

Best of luck! OMG love, love, love 14 YO's... a bunch of gangly giraffe's with crackly voices. 

As soon as I signed up for my son’s free profile on NCSA they started calling me. And calling me. And calling me. Incessant about having a call consultation with me. Once they learned I wasn’t calling them back, the emails started coming. And coming. I finally replied and said “listen, if you want me to consider your services, wrap them all up in an email to me with specific pricing and I’ll look it all over and let you if I’m interested.” The emails stopped and I never heard from them again.

Stick to this site and any parent/player that will share their story with you. You have time. Read everything you can get your hands on for free first. That’ll take a while. Be a sponge and be resilient.

In addition to asking questions here, go to games. Ask player’s parents how their kid ended up at the school. Ask where else he considered. They will tell you about the experience in college. Most parents enjoy talking about their kids. I got a lot of information this way.

@DanJ posted:

As soon as I signed up for my son’s free profile on NCSA they started calling me. And calling me. And calling me. Incessant about having a call consultation with me. Once they learned I wasn’t calling them back, the emails started coming. And coming. I finally replied and said “listen, if you want me to consider your services, wrap them all up in an email to me with specific pricing and I’ll look it all over and let you if I’m interested.” The emails stopped and I never heard from them again.

Stick to this site and any parent/player that will share their story with you. You have time. Read everything you can get your hands on for free first. That’ll take a while. Be a sponge and be resilient.

Times 3 for me because my family is a wonderful and hopefully not a typical example of intrafamilial communication. Wife, kid and I signed up at different times...it was a communication blitzkreig of bandwidth breaking proportions which I now replaced the word spam with nsca in my vocabulary. A warning to those out there who have not signed up for their free goodies...webinars, guides, etc.  Helpful if you do not use the resources in here but I strongly advise to use an old email and a near extinct land line or you will be NSCA-ed. They are the modern day Jehovah's witness knocking on your door on an early Saturday morning....no offense to my JW friends on here

I'll go a *bit* against the grain of the thread.  I'd say large orgs like NCSA and SportsRecruits are not worth the significant money. However, there are more personalized services, either individual or niche outfits, that are both legitimate and results driven.  Guys like Josh Rudd (who posts on this site) and PTW are tremendous.  Yes a terrific travel team can get a lot done for you, but they often have many, many players to showcase.  Outfits like the ones Im advocating are much more concierge in nature, and have personal relationships with college HC and RC's that are very important.  Particularly given the challenges of last year, ones that I think will have repercussions for at least another recruiting cycle.  Anyway, another perspective YMMV (as well as your $$)

@Wechson posted:

I'll go a *bit* against the grain of the thread.  I'd say large orgs like NCSA and SportsRecruits are not worth the significant money. However, there are more personalized services, either individual or niche outfits, that are both legitimate and results driven.  Guys like Josh Rudd (who posts on this site) and PTW are tremendous.  Yes a terrific travel team can get a lot done for you, but they often have many, many players to showcase.  Outfits like the ones Im advocating are much more concierge in nature, and have personal relationships with college HC and RC's that are very important.  Particularly given the challenges of last year, ones that I think will have repercussions for at least another recruiting cycle.  Anyway, another perspective YMMV (as well as your $$)

IMHO,  personalized services can provide more bang for the buck. Just get references and speak to previous clients.

They normally go above and beyond the call of duty because they get future business from referrals.

Need to understand their college coaching network.

Sorry for the ramble.

Great information folks-THX! A side note, since being on a great travel team , was mentioned several times. Well, we are on a travel team, and are enjoying getting alot of good experience, but we are winning very few games. My son and a couple other kids are the standouts, and the rest are really good kids, but their level of play, just isn't enough to get us many wins. Is this going to be an issue? Will my kid get noticed, even though his team isn't winning? Should I look to get him on a different team, or make the most of what we got( at least he is getting alot of play time). Secondly, one reason he was placed on this team is that he can catch, even though its not his best position. He enjoys it, but i just doubt, that Catching is where his future lies.

Great information folks-THX! A side note, since being on a great travel team , was mentioned several times. Well, we are on a travel team, and are enjoying getting alot of good experience, but we are winning very few games. My son and a couple other kids are the standouts, and the rest are really good kids, but their level of play, just isn't enough to get us many wins. Is this going to be an issue? Will my kid get noticed, even though his team isn't winning? Should I look to get him on a different team, or make the most of what we got( at least he is getting alot of play time). Secondly, one reason he was placed on this team is that he can catch, even though its not his best position. He enjoys it, but i just doubt, that Catching is where his future lies.

When he gets to 16u and 17u it’s important to be on a quality team relative to what he’s trying to accomplish. A high school teammate of my son went to a major PG event. The mother complained they never saw a college coach the entire week. When you’re on a team losing most of its games there’s an assumption the talent isn’t there. Teams with reputations draw college coaches.

Last edited by RJM

"Well, we are on a travel team, and are enjoying getting alot of good experience, but we are winning very few games."

I can take this question/statement in a different direction. Winning is very dependent on level of competition. There are teams that have very good records, but when you look at who they are playing you quickly figure out why. Then there are teams with sub 500 records that come in and shut you out. At 14u he needs to "enjoy getting alot of good experience". 

"Should I look to get him on a different team"

Tough to answer without direct knowledge of situation, but I would start by asking if the current organization has a track record of getting guys to the next level. Be cautious about moving teams and do your homework. The grass isn't always greener. 

"Secondly, one reason he was placed on this team is that he can catch, even though its not his best position. He enjoys it, but i just doubt, that Catching is where his future lies."

Don't automatically discount this move by the coaching staff. Especially if the coach has been around the block a few times, and your kid shows interest in the position. This can turn into a lot of future leverage for your kid. Everyone is always looking for a solid catcher. The great ones are not that common, and have an extremely large impact on that winning percentage you touch on previously.

Also, this statement makes me believe that the travel org has different teams (A-B-etc..) at the same age. If so then you need to ask yourself a few more questions. Off the top of my head: What events does the A team play, how competitive are they, and more importantly do they put the top kids from their organization on this team?   

@RJM posted:

In addition to asking questions here, go to games. Ask player’s parents how their kid ended up at the school. Ask where else he considered. They will tell you about the experience in college. Most parents enjoy talking about their kids. I got a lot of information this way.

THIS^^^^^   When my son was being recruited by mid-majors in the state I took a Sunday and went and watched 2 of the teams in the MAC play to "see if I thought he could play at that level".  At the time they were the number 1 and 3 teams in the league...fairly late in the season.  It ended up 13-10....and kind of reminded me of a bad HS game lol.  I know it obviously wasn't a typical day for either of the teams....but it did show me that I was pretty sure my son could handle that level of play.   If I had thought he would be completely overmatched, maybe we would have directed our recruiting efforts elsewhere....but as it turned out he ended up at one of the schools I watched that day and had a solid 4 years there

ReluctantOFan: Thx for your comments and questions. Our coach has recently changed organizations and has a history of changing kids, bringing in new kids, etc. So its hard to know what he's going to do. He in charge of 5 teams now and may add another one in the summer.  Yes, there are different levels and age groups and the coach brings my son "up" to the Majors team,  when needed", and down to the AAA team when needed ( or not needed on the Majors). I've kept the Stats on most of the kids and my son out hits all of them but one( just a little factoid).  My son likes playing catcher, but it does rob him of his speed( he is second fastest player on any of the teams). How would we decide that being a Catcher is the best position for him? Body style?

ReluctantOFan: Thx for your comments and questions. Our coach has recently changed organizations and has a history of changing kids, bringing in new kids, etc. So its hard to know what he's going to do. He in charge of 5 teams now and may add another one in the summer.  Yes, there are different levels and age groups and the coach brings my son "up" to the Majors team,  when needed", and down to the AAA team when needed ( or not needed on the Majors). I've kept the Stats on most of the kids and my son out hits all of them but one( just a little factoid).  My son likes playing catcher, but it does rob him of his speed( he is second fastest player on any of the teams). How would we decide that being a Catcher is the best position for him? Body style?

This could turn into a novel so I'll try to sum it up and keep it as brief as I can:

Catching, like many other aspects of baseball, first starts between your ears. Not quite sure how to describe it in written word, but your kid has to be a little different. That's the first thing most coaches actually look for in a catcher whether they know it or not. Does the kid want to get dirty? Is he willing to wear a few bruises like a badge of honor? and so on.. because the kid has to want to do it. The next point is whether the kid has a good understanding of the game. Quite a few parents don't understand this one. Everything from leadership skills, reading swings, feeling momentum changes, understanding tendencies in certain counts, befriending an ump (that's a big one ), and the list goes on and on... As far as body type, there really isn't a one fit all answer. I feel that the stereotype of short catchers is a left over piece of the game when trucking the catcher was allowed. I'm old enough to remember when this was fairly common place. Heck the catcher on my team growing up was maybe 5'4" tall and wide. Trust me football got it right when they say low man wins. That really isn't the case anymore, and I've seen some really good "tall" catchers over the post Buster Posey rule years. Catchers still must have good mobility/flexibility and come out of the crouch well with a tight/strong arm path, and there are some guys with decent height that can do this very well. To touch on the speed thing. Every team I have coached, I make a point to have 3 kids that can catch (current team has 4). Not that I expect to catch the 3rd or 4th, but if truly needed I got him. It mainly helps with the bullpen session and live AB's during practice if I'm completely honest. The vast bulk of the game time innings are split between to 2 main catchers. This gives the one kid that is not catching time to recover by recharging in the dugout by the water cooler (hot day), or what I found works a little better on cold days is moonlighting in a corner OF position. This lets him stretch out his legs and run a little. I have always felt that if my catcher is being run down over a series of games, then I have failed as a coach.   

FWIW: Youth stats are not very reliable. They do give you a vague sense of value, but don't always take everything into account. Almost all kids with above average footspeed at 14u will likely have a higher batting average than the same kid against older/stiffer competition. Basically they beat out a few more GBs against 14u competition that they will no longer do so against 16u competition and so on. Also, I have batted kids with very low averages at the top of the lineup. If you looked only at the numbers you would think I was clueless. However, what the numbers didn't show was the 0-4 included several lasers hit directly at the center fielder. Another common pitfall of stats is they heavily depend on the actual scorer. One situation sticks in my mind over the years. We were playing a really tough team and ended up winning a close well-played game. Primarily, thanks to my 2 hole hitter who based on my eyes had himself a game! However the stats showed that he went 0-3? So I sat down with guy doing to scoring and went over play by play. 1st AB= man on 2nd and 0 outs - 4-3 GB - Productive AB moved runner to 3rd with less than 2 outs. 2nd AB= man on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs - rocket that ate up the shins of the 3rd baseman - drove in 2 but scored an error when it should have been a hit - play was not routine as 3rd baseman was hopping on foot for a couple mins after the play. 3rd AB= takes long AB fouling off tough pitches with runner on 2nd and 1 out - team is being forced to throw there number 1 to close out the game - pitcher throws 7th pitch in the dirt allows runner to advance to 3rd on WP. 8th pitch on 3-2 count is deep fly ball to CF. Runner tags and crosses home standing up. Scored as FO when it should have been a SF. I know that was hard to follow, but basically on paper the kid went from having a trash day of 0-3 to having a great day of a 500 BA with 3 RBIs against a really solid team. 

@Wechson posted:

I'll go a *bit* against the grain of the thread.  I'd say large orgs like NCSA and SportsRecruits are not worth the significant money. However, there are more personalized services, either individual or niche outfits, that are both legitimate and results driven.  Guys like Josh Rudd (who posts on this site) and PTW are tremendous.  Yes a terrific travel team can get a lot done for you, but they often have many, many players to showcase.  Outfits like the ones Im advocating are much more concierge in nature, and have personal relationships with college HC and RC's that are very important.  Particularly given the challenges of last year, ones that I think will have repercussions for at least another recruiting cycle.  Anyway, another perspective YMMV (as well as your $$)

Are there organizations that specialize in specific geographic areas?  or perhaps even specific levels.  I'm thinking my son is a D3 or juco prospect.  2023  We tried to go to a D3 game the other day.  I wasn't thinking and just looked at the schedule and went.  No fans.  SMH   

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