As a special part of our events, we provide every player and parent with a recruiting seminar based on our online course Recruiting Roadmap. The journey to college baseball is a confusing, complex, and challenging one. In order to navigate that journey, you need a plan. More specifically, a Recruiting Roadmap. In addition to the seminar, every player gets access to our online course. We wanted to share with you the special workbook we provide as well as a few key points to the course!
Step 1: Determine Your Why. We call that Step 1 for a reason – you really need to work through the process of Determining Your Why before you do anything else. We have been through this process as players and are current college coaches that are recruiting players all year around. Without understanding WHY you want to play college baseball you will truly be lost among your journey. A full understanding of your WHY will be like a compass, you may be lost or angry along the way, but it’ll always point you towards your main goal.
Step 2: Formulate Your Strategy: Alright, so now that you have completed Step 1: Determine Your Why, it’s time for Step 2: Formulate Your Strategy. (In the course, this is quite a lengthy area, as each player has to personalize their own strategy!) This Step has 3 Parts to it.
Player Development Gameplan
Personal Baseball Equation
List of Schools to Pursue
There is a saying that “good marketing simply makes a bad product fail faster.” You can have the best recruiting strategy ever developed, follow every best practice imaginable, and literally do everything right through the recruiting process, but the bottom line is that if you are not good enough to play in college then it won’t matter. College coaches will not recruit you to play in their program. So the first part in your recruiting strategy should always be your personal training and improving your baseball skills. The truth is, if you throw 95mph, run a 6.5 60 yard dash, and have 100mph exit velocity, you will have the ability to play at nearly every D1 school, that should be your goal. But since a majority of us are not blessed with those tools we need to figure out our Personal Baseball Equation and List of Schools to Pursue as a way to help clear a lot of the clutter along the way!
Step 3: Execute the Game Plan. Once again, we have three action points for you as part of Step 3:
1. Embrace A Recruiting Mindset
2. Communicate Effectively
3. Make Informed Choices
Lets start with Embracing a Recruiting Mindset!
It Only Takes One
Remember that all it takes is one coach to like you in order to give you the chance to play baseball in college. Avoid the trap of comparing how many coaches are recruiting you compared to others. You never truly know what conversations other players are having with coaches (there is a lot of embellishment that goes around), and your focus should be on quality interactions with coaches over quantity. It only takes one coach to offer you a spot that fits what you are looking for in order to achieve your dream of playing college baseball.
Maintain a Thick Skin
Recruiting is an evaluation process. If you take every negative evaluation or lack of interest personally, you’ll be burned out in no time. One of our staff members was told at a showcase that he was not a Division 1 catcher while he was a junior in high school. He went on to entertain 10+ Division 1 offers later that same year and ultimately signed to play baseball at Duke University. Just because one coach is not interested in you does not mean that all coaches agree with him! Maintaining a thick skin will help you navigate the recruiting journey without letting the evaluation process get the best of you.
Different people have different sources outside of themselves that they put their trust in, but the bottom line is that you need to find something to put your trust in. There is way too much involved in the recruiting process that is outside of your control for you to navigate the journey without trust. Trust your Recruiting Roadmap. Trust your family and friends. Trust in something bigger than you. Trust that you are doing everything you can to give yourself every possible opportunity to play baseball in college. Trust above all else is what will help you stay the course and put one foot in front the other when you encounter obstacles along your recruiting journey.
The importance of effective communication should go without saying. Communication is what our world is built on. In order to communicate effectively, follow these best practices:
Respond to Everyone!
You will differentiate yourself from most recruits by simply being responsive. It’s amazing how many phone calls, emails, and text messages are sent to potential recruits with nothing but crickets on the other end. Respond to every coach you hear from in a punctual, respectful manner and you will stand out in the crowd.
Craft an Email Template
Working with a template is a huge productivity tip. You will be sending a lot of emails and there is no need to reinvent the wheel every time you send an email. In your email template, keep your email length to 2-3 paragraphs and include 4-5 bullet points with highlights you want to point out (i.e. 60 time, bat speed, ACT score, etc.). This length increases the likelihood that the coach will read the whole email, and the bullet points help make your email scannable for busy coaches.
You can should use a template for all your emails, but make sure you send the email to one coach at a time with a personal greeting to the coach in each email. Also, do your best to put a genuine opening paragraph that is specific to the school you are emailing. If a coach sees that they are part of a mass list they will delete the email immediately without reading it. Do your research and make sure you send the email to the recruiting coordinator at the school. Feel free to send it to the head coach as well, but make sure the recruiting coordinator is on there, too.
Be Persistent (but reasonable)
Coaches are extremely busy so their turnaround time in responding may not be as quick as you want. Don’t take that personally (remember the note about thick skin above?) Be reasonable in your expectations, but don’t be afraid to be persistent with a follow up email if you don’t receive a response within a couple of weeks.
Keep Your Options Open
Don’t assume anything about any school. Welcome the conversation from any coach that shows interest, ask questions to learn as much as you can, and then use your equation to determine if that school is a good opportunity for you. It’s easy to assume you know about a program or a school, but we would challenge that assumption. You never know what opportunity may end up being the best for you.
Sell Yourself! (Humbly…)
Why should a coach want you in their program? What do you bring to the table? Always be humble, but don’t be afraid to share what you have to offer and how you’d contribute to someone’s college program. Write this out. It’s normal to be a little nervous when talking to a coach, so having a list of bullet points or even a script can be helpful.
3. MAKE INFORMED CHOICES
This final action point in Step 3 is the culmination of your entire Recruiting Roadmap. Information is power. Use your Recruiting Roadmap to make informed choices. You don’t need us to remind you that we all have limited time and financial resources. You also don’t need a reminder that you only get one chance to travel through the recruiting journey. No one – seriously, no one – can truly guarantee you a chance to play baseball in college. That would be predicting the future, which no human being can do. We can promise you that if you do everything you can to give yourself every possible opportunity to play in college, you will have peace of mind knowing that you did your best. Don’t throw darts at a proverbial dartboard when it comes to your recruiting journey. Follow your Recruiting Roadmap. Put in the necessary work to develop as a player. Invest in good resources and recruiting opportunities. Execute your game plan to the best of your ability. Make informed choices about where you spend your time and resources, and when the opportunity comes, where you choose to play baseball in college.
We hope you enjoyed this quick snippet of our Recruiting Roadmap Course! We understand the recruiting journey can be very complicated with showcases, recruiting services, and much more. So remember, if you have any questions about your recruiting journey, the NCAA, or anything else regarding college baseball feel free to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org