We are riding the recruiting roller coaster right now. I am reading as much as possible trying to help position my son as best I can without going broke in the process, we have been doing this for 4 years now. Those of us on the lower end of the recruiting spectrum, the kids that are “just good enough”, just looking for a chance, watching their son repeatedly get rejected for not being strong enough or big enough receiving vague advice from coaches or being straight up lied to so you can be a part of their fundraiser it can be very frustrating. Limited resources mean you can’t travel to big events, or to a lot of school “prospect” days.
When you know, you know. When you visit a school and the head coach takes his time to talk to your son (3 hrs). When the pitching/catching coach (My kid is a catcher) spends 45 minutes discussing the difficulty of handling 15+ pitchers vs 4 or 5 in high school, giving advice for cardio when your knees are tore up after 40-50 games. When they freely give their plan for your son and it is well thought out and tailored to him. When they discuss academic, physical and moral development citing concrete examples of current or former players. You will know that is a program that wants your son. It will be very evident.
As my 2022 closes in on his decision I will tell you what the key to our low budget baseball journey was. He is a good kid, outgoing, and talks to everyone on the field and I mean everyone. Umpires, coaches of the other team, players of the other team, random people standing by the fence, pretty much everyone. He is a good smart player and it showed, he didn’t hit 500 ft bombs, he played situational baseball. He didn’t throw everyone out, although he does have a low pop time of 1.83 – 1.90. He did talk to his teammates when mistakes were made. He didn’t shout he talked and discussed. It was noticed and pointed out on more than one occasion by individuals watching the game. One in particular had a 20 min. conversation with him after the game. Just a guy watching a baseball game, not a scout, not affiliated with any school. Somehow his name was passed along to a coach, 1500 miles away, who watched a video and that coach texted my son. When my wife asked what skills the coach wanted demonstrated during a visit the coach said he can play good enough as evidenced by his videos. He liked everything he heard and wants a quality kid that can lead, coach, and mentor on and off the field. One school is all that is interested, and that is all it takes.
This is what worked for us:
- For the player, Be a good person
- For the player, Become and play the best you can
- For the player, grades always matter
- For the player, have an open mind
- For the parent, Make a lot of videos
- For the parent, encourage your child continuously
- For the parent, put your money into making them technically proficient (Training over games)
- For the parent, have an open mind