Recruiting article

The following recruiting article was copied from the MLive HS baseball forum. Some good stuff. It was written by a parent of a HS Freshman:

[quote]The following information is provided as a courtesy based on things we learned over the course of the last few years. I thought it might be helpful to those who are interested in playing baseball in college. It is not an “end all” to the information out there…just a start for you if you haven’t started already.

THE RECRUITING TIMELINE, by: Bob Howdeshell, great article…good starting point.

ISSUES: 1. High School GRADES: You already know what they are and if they should be better. READ the NCAA manual on eligibility, CORE classes, athletic scholarships and how grades impact them.

Did you know that if do not have a certain GPA and receive academic money, it may actually count against your athletic scholarship? If it counts against the athletic scholarship, you may actually have to decline the money based on the limited number of baseball scholarships permitted to the school!!! Go to Academics and Athletes search on your own…it’s user friendly.

NAIA Advantages (Taken from NAIA website)There are many advantages to competing in NAIA sports. Beside the benefit of close-knit communities and small class sizes on the typical NAIA campus, NAIA athletics offer:- Maximum opportunity to participate in regular season contests and National Championships/multiple sports- Greater opportunities to transfer without missing a season- Fewer recruiting restrictions- Focus on the education and character development of the student-athlete

The NAIA recruitment process is less cumbersome; with fewer restrictions on the contact between a student-athlete and a coach (more practice time opportunities too). More frequent communication aids in assuring that the student-athlete is comfortable with the choice of an institution. While NAIA rules hold to strict academic requirements, the process of establishing eligibility is streamlined since there is no clearinghouse.

NAIA schools in Michigan: Aquinas College , Concordia University, Ann Arbor , Cornerstone University , Davenport University, Madonna University, Marygrove College , University of Michigan–Dearborn, Siena Heights University , Spring Arbor University A junior college program (GRCC or others) may fit your student athlete because of grades, financial concerns, desire to play close to home, or for any other reason…this should be a viable option and not discounted for any reason.

The number of scholarships a conference within a certain level funds may be significantly less that what the governing body (NCAA, NAIA, etc…) dictates. Does the specific academic institution fund less scholarships than what the conference or governing body allows?

HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE: NAIA schools are allowed 12 full scholarships in baseball. The teams in Conference A agree that they are going to set the funding limit at 7 full scholarhips. Team number 1, in Conference A can only afford to fund 5 full scholarhips. Team 1 splits 5 scholarships over X number of players.

Did you know that an athletic scholarship is a renewable one-year contract, not a four-year committment? How will the coach from the school that you have an interest in, or that has an interest in you, renew the scholarship? Does it include on the field performance?

  1. What do you want to study? What colleges offer that course of study. Given the statistics of those who actually PLAY sports in college, academics should be the first priority in determining a possible fit for you.

There are many search engines…so do your homework. One example is: There are others that allow you to input the variables that are important to you…Education, cost, location, etc…do your homework. If you don’t know what you want to study, maybe JC/CC is the right way to go.

  1. After looking at SCHOOLS that have your field of study, what other VARIABLES are important to you…distance from home? Size of school? Quality of baseball program? Make a list of the five (or all) most important variables to you SPECIFICALLY…not your best friend.

  2. Check your EGO…as a parent, we are all proud of our student/athlete’s abilities and accomplishments. However, it is not what we think that is important. It is what they think and more importantly, what the college coach thinks. It is like a poker game…and a coach is not going to reveal his entire hand until he has to. You should not reveal your hand either.

Be positive…don’t be deceptive (even if the college coach is), just don’t be too quick to reveal your position unless it is what your child REALLY wants. Even then, maybe they low ball the offer because you showed all of your cards. (Standard answer could be something like: (insert school here) is an excellent opportunity, we are seriously considering the opportunity…(and you should)!!!

  1. NCAA, NAIA, JC/CC, other options: This goes hand in hand with number four. Despite what you think, your son may not become a D-1 athlete. Be open minded. Don’t say no to any opportunity until you say yes to the one your student/player wants.

  2. Network: Develop your own network…Coaches, training facilities, camps, summer teams, whatever it may be. They ALL use word of mouth. It’s NOT POLITICS whether or not someone is willing to speak on your behalf…you have to remember it’s THEIR credibility on the line.

  3. What are your son’s baseball DREAMS. How can the school you are looking at help him achieve those dreams. Do players currently on the roster have similar dreams? ASK them! What does a team do for placing your son for the summer? Anything? Where have they placed players in the past one, two or three summers? Do any of the coaches coach summer teams? Where? What collegiate league?

  4. Playing time: An important issue you should consider after academics. You must look at your son’s position, the depth of that position on the team you’re looking at and ask about where the coach see’s him in the scheme of things. No one is going to make promises…but if they say by Junior year, do you want to wait two or three years to play? Look at other options…be open minded and realistic.

Here are some sites that may be of interest to those who have a desire to play above and beyond the high school level. Some of them are strictly showcases, some of them are clinics with high attendance by college coaches, and some are multiple day events with showcases/games.

The all have a couple of things in common: Programs are looking for players who demonstrate a high level of commitment (in the classroom and on the field), attitude and aptitude for baseball; and, there are expenses involved.

NCAA schools CAN NOT waive fees associated with camps, clinics, showcases. NAIA can waive fees, but may not. Read and learn the difference between these and VISITS…and when a visit can take place.

These links should be current: This is well attended. You may want to consider doing this between 10th and 11th grades. (You can search by state, by date, etc…these are well attended) Michigan’s only showcase is at Spring Arbor University, end of July, and they have awarded baseball scholarships to kids who have attended each of the last four years. If you have a specific school that you are interested in, you can search the camps by college. If all else fails, email the recruiting coordinator at that school and inquire what showcases he attends. They will try to sell you on attending their camps… be ready. This is a new program for Michigan and schools located in the Great Lakes region. Again…if your son is not ready, it could work against him considering the video portion is posted and sent to the schools. Be prepared, or reconsider. Quickly becoming one of, if not the best, source for recognizing athletes…check out their programs…even consider going to Iowa if you happen to have a reason to travel there. I know, that’s hardcore. (Click on camps and clinics, then click on College Development Camp)

This is well attended by coaches. Their expenses are paid to attend…and they draw the best players from Chicago area to attend. There will not be anyone here who is not a “real” player.

If your student/athlete has a desire to go to a specific school…no matter what…even if it means not playing a sport at that school…GOOD. However, if there is a chance he might be able to play a sport, or two, at the same school, it might be worth your time and other resources to check out a camp at that specific educational institution. This can be a double-edged sword…a poor performance may seal your doom.

Best of luck…remember…if being a student/athlete was easy…everyone would be doing it. [/quote]


Thank you

Good article!