Digital Mag Issues
The Biggest Recruiting Mistake High School Baseball Players Make
July 6, 2012VYPE MAGAZINE - Houston
David Franco is author of the popular College Baseball Recruiting Survival Guide (http://www.collegebaseballrecruitingsurvivalguide.com/) and founder of Next Level Ballplayer.com (http://www.nextlevelballplayer.com/), a free website where players, parents and coaches can learn from professional baseball players and top college coaches. David’s writing has been referenced on numerous respected sites such as SI.com (Sports Illustrated), and he has been a guest on multiple sports radio shows including ESPN Radio.
For the last several years, I have been a sounding board to countless high school players and parents as they navigate through the maze of the college baseball recruiting process. Often, the questions and stories are ones of frustration and confusion. I’ve found that there exists a HUGE disconnect between what the high school players (and parents) are thinking and the reality of their recruiting situation.
There are many reasons to blame for this disconnect. Some of the bigger questions that never get answered include: How to know if you’re good enough to play D1, how to actually stand out when being scouted, how college coaches determine whom to give scholarships, how to determine which showcases are a waste of time and money (Hint: Most of them!), and plenty of other relevant topics. These topics are covered in the College Baseball Recruiting Survival Guide (http://www.collegebaseballrecruitingsurvivalguide.com/), but today I want to highlight the number one recruiting mistake high school baseball players make:
NOT BEING PROACTIVE IN THE RECRUITING PROCESS.
Before you quickly dismiss this, saying, “That’s not me”, let’s take a look at five popular ways that “not being proactive” rears its ugly head. I see these all the time:
1. You think that just because you get a letter in the mail from a college, you are actually being recruited.
Each college baseball program is sending out hundreds, if not thousands, of letters to high school ballplayers every year. All this proves is that they have your address.
2. You think that paying a recruiting service to “get your name out there” means that all you have to do now is play well.
I have an aversion to recruiting services that sell under the premise of “getting your name out there” to college coaches. The problem is that they are also sending out every other player’s name that pays for it AND few, if any, coaches ever take those emails seriously. You’re much better off reaching out to schools yourself.
3. You think that because a college coach has called and talked to you, it’s only a matter of time until he offers you a scholarship.
The truth is that every coach recruits multiple players for a single scholarship. It’s great if the coaches are calling you because that shows that there is interest… just don’t mistake it as a done deal.
4. You (or your parents) pay to attend every showcase possible.
The problems with showcases are twofold. One, anyone can pay to be a prospect whether they are one in reality or not. Two, they are huge moneymakers and don’t always have the player’s best interests in mind. Some showcases are great places to gain valuable exposure to college coaches. Most are extreme wastes of time and money.
5. You wait until your Junior (or Senior) year to familiarize yourself with the recruiting process.
The answer to all of this if you haven’t figured it out already: BE PROACTIVE!! Figure out what level of college baseball is realistic for you, make a highlight video, personally reach out to those college coaches you’d like to play for, and do everything possible to get those coaches to come see you play in a live game (not just a showcase)… and don’t stop until that scholarship is signed!