Sounds like you have the right idea in keeping all of your options open and being realistic with where your abilities will take you. Just wanted to add my $0.02, as I had been down the same road many moons ago…
I think the first thing you must take to heart, understand, embrace, and use to your advantage is that all of this is a business. You are being used for a greater plan by the coaches and the university you hope to play at/attend. Make yourself something they can’t live without, make them feel like YOU are the face of their university and the athletic program. Be the feel good story, the glowing example of why going to their school and excelling is where it’s at. How to do this? Here are my thoughts-
- Get your grades up.
You already know this, and you’re doing a good job this term it sounds like. Get a 4.0 until you graduate. You can do it, just work as hard at it as you do with you pitching and hitting. It’s one of the easiest things to correct, and it’s completely in your power.
Why is this crucial? Easy- it will be easier for you to get academic scholarships at whatever university you attend than a baseball scholarship. Baseball has no real full rides; plenty of partial scholarships that pay for books and such, but nothing substantial, unless you’re extremely special. You make yourself an asset to a potential coach by having a great GPA; you’ll be an asset, as they will know you wont fall victim to academic probation, and things of this nature. This allows them to give you a little scholarship money (you deserve it), but it will also help you and your family financially to boot, as you will be more able to defray school costs. This will come in handy if you go out of state and have to pay OOS tuition. Plus, you keep up the good study habits in college, you’ll be on the honor roll, and setting a great example. Coaches love this, not quite as much as raw talent, but hey, it helps.
- Know what you want to do academically.
If you know what you want to do for a major, this will help hone your list of potential schools down to a bearable amount. Wanna be an engineer? Sweet, Georgia Tech is on the list. Savannah College of Art and Design? No. Go where you’ll be happiest, and if you hate school with all of your being, you are killing yourself. You will be miserable, you wont go to class, you wont make the grades, you wont be eligible, you WONT PLAY. If youre a long way from home, this whole cascade will be compounded 100-fold.
- Don’t be afraid to do the juco route.
Its a great way to figure out what you want out of life, school, and baseball. Plus, if you’re not quite there academically or athletically, it gives you 2 years to get your act together and then transfer. This was what I did, and I went from someone no one recruited to having my choice of programs to go to. Also, if you have a growth spurt and those pro scouts come knocking- you can sign after your sophomore year. Dont like your draft position? Transfer to a D1 school. You’ll be surprised how the potential to be drafted out of JC can be a bargaining chip when transferring, and selecting a school.
- Not all D1 schools are created equal, and not all D2,3’s are to be ignored.
I ended up at a D2 school at the end of the day; I got tired of not playing, and people telling me that a lefty that throws 86 with an occasional 89 with a good slider isnt a commodity at the high D1 level. So I transferred. Not only did I play at a fantastic program (with great competition and one that had a couple of trips to the CWS to boot), my academic future looked even brighter by moving. By graduating from where I did, playing quality baseball, and being a well rounded guy, I got into an Ivy league grad school (I tore my rotator cuff, so my future in baseball was nixed). I was a longshot applicant, but having the education and background that I did made me a wanted commodity. It never would’ve happened if I stuck around at the D1 school, as their academics aren’t so hot. Baseball wise, at every stop I have made (D1, D2, juco), I’ve been scouted, and have had teammates drafted. The point of this? It doesnt matter where you are, talent will always be noticed, so always play, study, and carry yourself knowing someones watching you. Make the most of your abilities and options and you will never fail.
So yeah, this is a bit hodge podge and jumbled, but hopefully these thoughts, and those of the others that posted, give a good idea where you should be headed mentally and emotionally. Feel free to PM me if you have questions about anything, I’m happy to share and help in any way I can.
ETA: more concise description of my velocity