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I was talking to a corporate candidate about a job today and we were talking about "ghosting" in the business recruiting field and  I just told him "you will know if they are really interested in you - - if you don't receive a call move on" and flashed back to advice I received from @Coach May 's regarding my son's baseball recruiting and thought I would post it best advice that I received from HSSBW?

What is your yours?

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Man, it would take me a while to whittle options down to one, so I will simply double stamp what @BOF and @chazball said above.  Both are so valuable that I don't need to come up with anything else.  Unfortunately, these 2 PROFOUNDLY important pieces of advice are ones that most players and parents don't want to hear.  They don't want either be true because they're are fun-haters that kill the "dream" of their uber-special son.  We all HAVE to tell our kids that they can do and be whatever they set their minds to.  If the sky is the limit - like we've pounded into them since birth - then every kid can play at Vandy if he believes in himself and works hard enough.  Where we go wrong, is we skip the part where we're supposed to swoop in and tell them we were simply trying to inspire them and that reality is infinitely more complicated at age 17 than it is at age 7.  I know good, down-to-earth, grounded parents that struggle with killing their kids' dreams.  I am one of them.  Inertia is a b!tch!

* Go where you’re loved.

* Get bigger, faster, stronger.

* Have a forty year plan, not a four year plan.

* Make a business plan for exposure and  execute it.

* Pick a school based in education, baseball, financial, social and cultural fit. Understand what cultural means.

* No matter what happens (injury, etc.) if he wants it badly enough it will happen.

These all mattered. The last one brought me in off the ledge.

Last edited by RJM

Fit, fit, Fit. Pick a school you'd like if baseball falls through for some reason.  One kid did and thrived, even though he lost two seasons to COVID. One kid didn't; he chose the school because of its combination of competitive baseball and competitive academics.  Nerdy place that he said would be a much better fit if it had a hockey or football team, preferably both.  

Hmmmm.....one thing.  Okay here it goes.

Know thyself.  You have to know what you want to get out of your 4-5 years of college (baseball) before committing or enrolling.  Have a keen understanding of what you want to do when you graduate college because you just spent a lot of money and time on that education.   Be honest with yourself.    On the flip side, college may not be ideal for your situation and you have god-given ability to play professionally out of high school.  Understand your skills and listen to what others (edit: qualified others) say about your skills.

Last edited by fenwaysouth

I wish I could remember who said it but it was about 15 years ago so it would have been one of the old guys who probably is not here anymore.

"Don't let anyone, another player, another parent,  another coach, and maybe yourself tell you where you belong.  The coaches of the schools you are interested in and see you will tell you where you belong."

That was very relevant in my younger son's recruiting, maybe more than the immediate task at the time for my middle son.  But both got their choice.  Some they wanted did not make the offer but some they thought they would not get gave them also.

I've thought about this more so I am posting once more despite the thread seeking a "single" piece of advice.

If you want to feel warm and fuzzy and risk coming up short of your goal, listen to all the people who say you/your son is great.*  Usually, the more money (and/or PR/press) someone stands to make off you  equates to them saying warmer, fuzzier and more worthless things that don't make your goal any more likely.

If you want to improve, grow, augment/adjust and increase your odds of attaining your goal, listen to all the people who say you/your son ISN'T great.**  Have them articulate exactly why they feel the way they do.  Ask them what they think you're able to overcome and what you're not.  Ask them to prove you're not great - with specifics.  Those specifics then become your roadmap to attaining the PROPER goal for you.

* - almost everyone chooses this one

** - almost no one chooses this one

First post, but the last post hit me and the way I am trying to help my 2023 pitcher on his journey. His travel team coach/pitching instructor (ex MLB pitcher)  is a "truth teller" and we have chosen that path with the hope he ends up in the right place. He will and has told us both straight up where he sees him landing, where he can help him get and what to do for more opportunities. It's not all sugar coated which is exactly what we want because as of now this is my first and last rodeo with a kid having the desire to play college baseball. We only have one and I just hit the big 50 so another coming along is definitely not in our plans, lol. I would like to thank everyone on this board as I have lurked since he was a freshman and we were told by several different sources that he has the chance to pitch in college. I have learned a lot from all you guys/gals and I think " go where you are loved" seems to be the best advice I have taken from this forum.

Most valuable lesson for our family was how to interpret school 'interest' and how to effectively communicate with programs. We rarely felt surprised by action or inaction thanks to the stories that parents and players have shared here. If not for those lessons, son might have chased a few programs that  weren't likely to pan out.

Second most valuable lesson: Go where you're loved.

I got a world of useful advice here--in old posts, in responses to questions I posted, from lurking, and via PMs from folks who were amazingly generous with their time.

I'd say the most important thing I learned is that a high schooler can't just play well and wait to get discovered by coaches (even at showcases and other events where there are a lot of colleges looking for players), but has to actively "market" himself. If you are not a future early-round draft pick, the recruiting process looks less like "recruiting" and more like a job search.  And like a job search, 1) it's important to apply to the right positions ("reach" options are good, but you need to know where you fit); 2) first impressions and brief impressions are vital, so you have to learn how to comport yourself; and 3) you may get a lot of "nos" on your way to some "yeses," so you have to have a thick skin and keep trying.

All the above advice is great. Most of it is focused on the initial high school recruiting. My advice is to also be aware that there is a good chance that you will need to make some adjustments AFTER making that victory post on Twitter and signing NLI.

The first important mindset adjustment is to realize that being committed is just the first step of the long journey through the college baseball experience. If you don't keep getting better every day, you get passed up by those who are.

Second realization is that even it you make an informed decision and choose a program with a good fit, there is still a good chance you will need to make adjustments after arriving on campus. Most high school recruits will not realize how likely it is that a transfer will be necessary, and most do not realize how small the baseball world really is. It is vital to build a good social network of all the coaches, scouts, mentors, and players you meet along the way. Do not burn any bridges, and stay in touch with everyone you meet. You never know when that 2nd baseman from your summer team 4 years ago, or that assistant coach you talked to at the showcase, or the coach who recruited you from another school, will be able to open doors for you somewhere down the road.

If you keep working hard and continue developing relationships, you will be better positioned to deal with any hiccups in the master plan.

I'll piggy back of what @T_Thomas just said.  My 2021 came within arms reach of his goal - a D1 offer - but came up short and decided to go the Juco route.  I made it clear (and continue to do so) to my son that accepting an offer and even signing, does not mean recruiting is over.  In Juco cases like his, it's simply an extension of his recruiting journey; not an end.  I don't even like to think of it as a pause in the process.  For those that don't know the timeline well, it isn't good to view going Juco as "we've got another 2 years to find you a 4-year home."  My son arrived at his Juco campus on August 2nd - about 5 months ago.  2nd semester classes began yesterday, so it'd be easy to say "he really just got there."  And while there is some truth to that, for a position player like my son who is aiming high with his 4-year targets, this year - 2022 - needs to be IT.  The kinds of targets he's shooting for will be making their Juco offers late this summer and fall.  So he "just got there" but also is looking to commit in the next 8-9 months to a 4-year.  As such, he will be sending out emails very soon to his D1 targets (especially those that had interest in HS and committed to following him in Juco) with his spring schedule as well as his summer plans with the collegiate league he's playing in.  I'd caution anyone who is going the Juco route from feeling "finished."  It's more like you simply reached another base camp on the way to summiting Everest.  Catch your breath and enjoy the night, but get up tomorrow and begin working towards the next leg.

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