Parents, as your athletes get older and begin separating themselves from their competition, are you aware of the opportunities that they truly have at the next level?
There are roughly 2,000 collegiate teams in the United States looking to fill rosters with the players that best fit and buy into their program’s traditions and beliefs on the baseball field.
Now, do not get overwhelmed, I understand that a lot of coaches talk about the percentage of players that make it to that level, (roughly 6.4% of senior athletes in High School make it to the collegiate level, according to the NCAA ), but do not let that discourage your athlete from giving it their all to play beyond their High School years.
With the new technological advancements in the game of baseball and the use of recruitment based camps and tournaments, there are new and much more accessible ways of getting a head start in the recruiting process.
New social media accounts, and online websites such as FieldLevel, Hudl, Prep Links, and so on, give coaches the ability to watch your player from the convenience and comfort of their current surroundings making recruitment far more elaborate and extensive than ever before.
By creating an online profile describing your athlete; height, weight, class of graduation, and current statistics, it gives coaches a better opportunity to find you earlier, as well as keep tabs on you throughout your high school and summer seasons.
Giving coaches video on performance, or fundamental-based video analysis, along with updated statistics allows coaches to track tendencies as well as get a better wholesome picture of a player as an athlete. With so many technological advances, I believe there is a better opportunity for a true evaluation of a player, for a longer and overall better understanding of a person’s full potential on the field.
Keeping your online profiles updated, as well as accurate, gives you that much more of a head start in the recruiting process.
Along with the advancements in technology, there has been an increase in recruitment based camps and tournaments that have become extremely detrimental in getting the appropriate exposure to recruits.
Through area-based scouting camps, there has been a tremendous increase in collegiate coaching turn-outs, and in turn the number of players that successfully get an opportunity to play college baseball has significantly gone up.
Getting involved in camps, or teams that partake in recruitment based activities gives your athlete an extreme edge over the majority of their competition.
Teaching your child to play with coaches watching, teaches them to slow the game down as well as teaches them the appropriate way to react and play the game of baseball.
Normalizing the pressure leads to both a confidence boost for the athlete, as well as experience at the most competitive level that most children do not get. What you are looking for is an edge, something that makes you stand out from the rest, and in a sport full of failures, the experience is the best thing for understanding and crafting your overall skills.
Outside of the diamond is where the impact is tremendous, teaching athletes at a young age how to correctly communicate and effectively converse with scouts, impact recruitment as much, if not more than the skills you attribute to the field.
The most asked question by coaches at the next level is, “What is he like as a person? What are his grades like? Is he coachable?”.
Thus, learning how to properly communicate with coaches is extremely important, so getting them used to these types of conversations at a younger age, gives them a head start come their junior and senior year when they start talking with coaches more frequently.
The best thing you can do is get exposure for your athlete, actually, in my opinion, there is no such thing as too much exposure, thus I would suggest going above and beyond if this truly is what your child wants to do.
Alongside recruitment camps, come competitive Select baseball. These are normally summer and winter teams that are separate from the high-school team. These teams can be extremely beneficial in getting recruited and playing at the highest level.
Find your athlete a team that partakes in recruitment based activities. Whether that being camps, or playing in tournaments that are sponsored by, or represented by college teams. These events give players direct contact and exposure to Collegiate coaches, as well as gives them a more personable experience when meeting and talking with these coaches.
By normalizing the conversations between your athlete and collegiate coaches, as well as exposing coaches to your athletes in person, it creates more opportunity for your athlete as a whole.
Remember, college baseball is a passion, but finding a home away from home is also important in finding the perfect fit for each athlete.
Using the new technological resources, as well as exposing your kids to the highest caliber of competition and pressure from playing in front of recruiters, it will best set them up for success to get seen and talked to.
Putting yourself in front of those that you are trying to impress is the best way of getting picked up and brought aboard a collegiate team, and if you successfully use the newly available resources it will increase the likelihood of being talked too, as well as finding your athletes dream school to settle down and pursue the rest of their lives.