A question that I am commonly asked by high school athletes is “When should I begin looking for schools and contacting coaches?”
The answer to this is pretty simple.
Obviously, the earlier you start in your high school career, the better off and less stressed you will be.
However, if you are a senior and are just starting, don’t worry because schools at all levels still have roster spots and some scholarship money left.
No matter what grade you are in, the most important thing you can do is to first create a plan of action that will help you attain your goal of playing at the college level.
All of the action steps listed below will be discussed in much more detail in future articles!
- Evaluate where your skill set currently is and what “tools” are needed to play at the level you are striving for. If you have no idea where you are or what is necessary to where you want to go, you will be going through this process completely blind! I wrote an article about the importance of self-evaluation here.
- Begin to think about what you are going to want to study in college. Many people go into college “undecided” as to what field of study they are going to major in. This is perfectly fine, however, if you have an idea of what you want to do, this will help the recruiting process as well as make your college experience much more enjoyable. You are going to school for an education, so if you are able to study something you are interested in, college will be much more interesting and useful!
- Create a list of schools at all different levels (D-1, D-2, D-3, NAIA, and Junior College) that you would want to attend. This will force you to think about items that are very important when choosing a school such as class size, town size, distance from home, academic majors, etc. You may initially have a list of 50-100 schools that you have interest in. As you go through the process, you will gradually narrow this list down to only a few.
- Begin to contact the coaches at all of the schools you have interest in. It is ok to send an email to all of the coaches on staff. These emails should be personalized. The last thing you want to do is send mass emails to college coaches because those get deleted. You want to approach this as building a relationship with each coach because ultimately that is what you are doing!
- Continually work on all facets of your game. The most important thing to remember with recruiting is the fact that if you are not good enough to play at that school, the coaching staff will never recruit you.
- Repeating Step 1 over and over on a daily basis is going to be absolutely crucial for your baseball career!
Something else that you should remember is that all of the above need to be done by you!
You should seek guidance from people that have been through the process (the ABPA will help answer any questions that you have!).
One thing you want to avoid are “recruiting services” that market you to college coaches. These services do not work and people usually end up spending $3500 for things that can and should be done on their own! (I will discuss this in much greater detail in future articles because this is a topic I am very passionate about!)