Going through the recruiting process can be one of the most stressful times of your athletic career.
There are so many decisions to make, so many different items to do and think about, many different people trying to influence you, and most importantly, you’ll be deciding what and where you’ll be spending the next 4 years of your life!
The earlier you start this process, the easier it will be. Also, having a plan and knowing what factors will guide your decision-making process will be critical in not only making a great decision, but also making life much less stressful throughout the process.
There are MANY factors that need to be thought about as you go through the college recruiting process. Below are a few factors.
Things to Consider
Academics: The first (and probably most important) item to consider when choosing a school is what academic programs does the school have that you would want to study.
In order to consider this, you really have to have an idea (at least a general one) of what field you want to go into. A lot of people go into college undecided, but having an idea will make the process much easier!
You are going to college for academics first!
Almost every person that goes to college will eventually have to get a job in the “real world.” I know you believe you are going to be a professional player (and that’s great) but there is no excuse not to get your education just in case you get injured!
Even with players that play professionally, the percentage that actually makes enough money to live off of is a joke!
Location: The next item to consider is how far away from home you want to go to school? Is it important for your family to be able to watch you play? Do you want to be able to have the convenience of going home every few months?
If you choose a school that is a great distance away, know you may only get to see your family a few times a year and may only get to go home once or twice! Some people can handle it and some can’t.
Don’t set yourself up to fail because you want to go to a certain baseball school! This is something only you can decide!
Class Size: Another factor to consider is how well you function in different size classes. Do you want a small ratio of student to teacher or are you ok sitting in a lecture hall with a few hundred people where the teacher doesn’t know your name (Honestly, your teacher should ALWAYS know your name whether the class has 10 students or 1,000, but that’s another article!).
School (City) Size: You need to look at how big the school is as well as how big the surrounding city is.
Some people are ok with going to a school the with a student population of 1,000 and a city population of 20,000. Some people would be bored out of their mind because there is nothing to do in the town!
You are going to live there for at least 4 years, so you need to be able to enjoy your time there!
These items above are just some of the most important things to consider when choosing a SCHOOL. These are the most important things you need to consider before you look at the baseball team.
On the baseball side of things, you need to look at:
How many recruits are brought in each year? If you go to a school that brings in 40 kids every year, chances are you won’t play much and the coaches don’t have a lot of faith in who they’re bringing in!
Where are the majority of the players from? If 99% of the players on the roster are from California and you’re from Florida, it’s probably not going to be a great fit.
How many players do they have at your position? If you are a SS and they have 4 SS’s, that may not be the best fit for you.
How much money are they offering? This isn’t nearly as important for the simple fact that the amount of money depends largely on your position. Certain positions will get more money than others.
Baseball is not a sport that is going to give out “Full-rides” and if someone tells you they got one, either they’re lying or most of it came from the academic side.
Do you like the coaching staff? Honestly, a lot of people think this is important, but it should be the LAST thing you think about.
Baseball, at all levels, has a very high turnover rate for coaches. There is a pretty decent chance that the coach that recruited you won’t be the coach that sees you graduate!
There are MANY more factors that are involved in the decision making process. I’m going to compile more of an all-encompassing list at a later time. If you have any good factors, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Knowing exactly what type of school you want to attend (the first 4 factors) will help eliminate many schools and make your decision much easier and stress-free!
You may start out with 100 potential schools, but after narrowing this list by your criteria, you may only have 20-30. It is great to have options, but you want to make sure those options are a great fit for you!
The bottom line when you choose a school is you HAVE to choose somewhere that you would want to go if you were NOT playing baseball! If you do not like the school, it can (and most likely will) be a long 4 years!