I am currently a senior right-handed pitcher on the baseball team. In addition, I am the President of the Student-Athlete Leadership Committee (SALC), Richmond representative on the Atlantic 10 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SSAC), and sit on the Division I National SAAC for the Atlantic 10. I was able to be involved in all of these facets because of the hard work I put into the recruiting process many years ago.
The process is by no means an easy one, but the rewards in the end are priceless if you can make it work. My recruiting experience took place a long time ago and many things have changed, but I recently mentored my brother through the process. He now plays baseball at William & Mary.
Furthermore, I recently began interviewing for jobs and will begin working in New York City as an investment banker this coming summer. I was prepared for the job interview process because of my experiences being recruited to play college baseball. While the processes have their differences, your attitude and effort during the process should not change.
Here are some points I encourage you to remember during the recruiting process:
Be proactive. Don't wait for things to happen
Initiate the conversation
Don't be afraid to call, write, or e-mail coaches
Ask questions. If you don't ask, you will never know
Research the schools you want to be recruited by. Do your homework and show the coach you want to be at their school. (Know who some of their players are, know who they are playing that week, etc.)
Let them know where you will be playing (Give them a schedule of when/where)
Highlight your strengths
Make a video for coaches to use as an evaluation tool
Ask for feedback. ("Hey Coach, what should I be doing now? Is there anything I need to do to make this process easier for you? How can I improve myself as a player?")
Respond quickly to all e-mails, letters, or phone calls
Don't give up if one school says no. Everything happens for a reason
Hope this helps and best of luck in the recruiting process.
I wanted to play baseball in college, but in terms of being recruited I had to get myself out there and do the work. I had to market myself so to speak so coaches would know who I was whether it be going to summer baseball clinics held by the teams I was interested in, or sending the coaches letters through the mail. I was fortunate enough to be able to do that and play for a very well known coach around my area, which was an all-star team so to speak, consisting of great talented players from Pennsylvania.
We played in tournaments every week and college coaches attended these games. We also went to showcases, which were held by Perfect Game, a baseball tool that enables players nationally to showcase their talent in front of MLB and college scouts. These were held all over the nation. The showcases consisted of infield and outfield drills, a timed 60 yard dash and then games where the pitchers could display their talent. There was anywhere from 30 to 100 scouts there if not more depending on the talent level. Also, I attended national tournaments with this same team where teams from around the nation competed against each other. One was held in Marietta, Georgia and the other in Jupiter, Florida. Playing well in any of these tournaments was sure to get you recognized instantly, and for me, it turned out great because I performed very well in front of the scouts who attended. Once I got noticed, coaches would come talk to me in person, call me on the phone, and/or send me letters through the mail showing their interest in me.
The whole process is intimidating and emotionally draining, but the end result was well worth it for me. After my junior, I began getting dozens of calls from schools around the nation telling me they saw me play and were interested in talking to me more about joining their program. It was a tremendous feeling and definitely helped my confidence.
I narrowed my list down to University of Virginia, University of Richmond, James Madison University, University of Louisiana, Lafayette College, Boston College, and University of Rhode Island, Clemson University, and University of Maryland. After a lot of consideration I decided to take official visits at Clemson University, University of Maryland, and University of Virginia. I wanted to get a great education and play for a well known Atlantic Coast Conference program.
I verbally committed to University of Virginia in September of my senior year after taking my three official visits. I was thrilled by my choice and couldn’t wait to get started playing college baseball. It was such an amazing feeling knowing that I was going to be playing D-1 baseball at one of the top schools in the country.
Market yourself. Go to every camp and play on every team possible in order to put yourself in a position to be seen.
Just play your best and stay confident, there will be someone who is interested in you.
Enjoy the process. It can be very overwhelming, but remember to stay calm and focused.
I grew up playing basketball, soccer and baseball year round, but prior to entering high school, as is becoming more and more common these days, I decided to focus most of my efforts on one sport, basketball. While I continued to play baseball and soccer throughout high school, basketball became my central focus and year round activity. When I reached high school I began receiving heavy interest from D-1 and D-3 collegiate basketball coaches and also some moderate interest from local D-1 and D-3 baseball programs.
The beginning of the recruiting process was very new and exciting for me. In my sophomore year of high school I can remember looking forward to going home each day to see what schools I received letters from. As the year went on, the countless letters turned into nightly phone calls from various coaches. Finally, coaches began showing up at my practices and games. All of these happenings were very encouraging and provided me with a lot of confidence.
Since I decided early on to play basketball I focused most of my interest in schools that were recruiting me to play basketball. While I was still considering playing baseball I decided it would only be for a school that was also recruiting me to play basketball. At the beginning of the process my main desire was to play for a D-1 collegiate basketball program. However, even as a teenager I was relatively realistic with myself and knew that my basketball abilities were not going to lead me to the NBA. Thus, I decided it would be in my best interest not to rule out D-3 schools and instead, use basketball to help me get into the best academic school possible.
Much of the recruiting interest I received came from lower level D-1 conferences like the Patriot League (Bucknell, Colgate and Lafayette) and the Ivy League (Cornell, Columbia, Brown, UPenn and Harvard) and from an endless amount of D-3 schools (including Johns Hopkins, Williams and Amherst). At this point in the game, my decision hinged on my D-1 versus D-3 preference, the different commitments involved in both, the location of the schools (proximity to my hometown and urban/rural setting), and the academic prestige of the schools.
Although NCAA regulations allow up to five official visits to D-1 schools and unlimited amount of visits to D-3 schools, by my senior year I was already completely exhausted with the recruiting process and eager to make my decision. As a result I decided to take D-1 visits to Cornell, Colgate, Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, I also took a visit to Johns Hopkins University.
After completing my visits I felt comfortable with all the schools, the coaches and my potential teammates. Ultimately, I wanted to remain close to home but not so close that I felt I had never left. As it turned out, the two-hour drive to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore seemed to be a perfect fit. My decision was made easier by the fact that I felt very comfortable in Baltimore, my teammates were great, and the commitment level was right in line with what I was looking for. I am very thankful for the life experience I received from the recruiting process and my time as a student athlete at Johns Hopkins University.
Map out exactly what you are looking for in a school and an athletic program as soon as possible.
Always be upfront with coaches. It is not rude to be honest and coaches will appreciate you telling them the truth.
Your decision is more then just choosing an athletic program and you should bring academics, location and your general happiness with the school into your decision.
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