Being approached/recruited is an exciting part of amateur youth athletics. And there are countless books, magazines, news articles and web site nfo on how the system(s) work and advice on how to navigate. What I’d like to pass on to you here is a kind of “between the lines need to know” that should go on – before, during and after the process. It’s important.
The recruitment process starts way before you know it. You’re watched and observed early. More so then you realize. So, consistency in your performance, you conduct, your pattern(s) of behavior is critical. In this regard, baseball talent that comes with baggage – of any kind, is excess baggage. So, don’t do things off the field that will detract from what you do on the field.
Somewhere along the line someone is going to make a judgment call on you that will ultimately come back to support or takeaway from the creditability of their job – their earning power, their ability to provide income for their family, their pecking order among their peers, and their own personal persona. Think of yourself as supporting someone’s job – can you bring enough dependability to the table to do that? Are you trustworthy enough to keep respectable grades, stay out of trouble, be ready even when you’re not one of the active roster players?
People that approach you will no doubt have a lot of credibility behind them. So, it’s only reasonable to expect the following:
- A business card that gives their name, title, the institution’s name, address, phone number, what department their from, and so on. People that approach you with nothing more than a handshake
and a lot of talk are to be viewed with caution – their strangers…nothing more…nothing less.
- Your parents and other family members are your best bet for support.
- High school coaches are a great source for contacts and follow ups. Their knowledge of the entire process is basic to their professional credentials. However, a math teach that runs the schools ball club may or may not come with the skills to assist you and your family through the process. If this is the case, don’t hesitate to do your homework on your own – and when it comes time to sit down and talk to recruiters, college coaches/staff members, tell them of your situation. These people are there to help you – not to put one over on you.
- When a recruiter wants to talk to you and your family – under no circumstances treat these people with a …”what can you do for me” attitude! The fact is, their guests in your home and should be treated with the same kind of hospitality and respect as anyone else.
- When your talking with college coaches and recruiters they know you don’t do this for a living — but they do. Don’t crowd them with a lot of talk – have a lot of questions ready and be prepared to LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN. You don’t have to cover every little chapter and subchapter then-and-there. Remember, you’re learning as you go along – so do it.
- Parents and legal guardians are usually proactive in initial stages of this process – and that’s a good thing. What usually kills the information stream and a lot of associated interest is when your parents/family/legal guardians are TOO OVERBEARING. In other words, there will come a point in your experience when you’ve got to take over and your family’s adults have to sit back and listen as advisors. IT’S IMPORTANT. So, be prepared now to tell dear ole dad and mom –whoever, to take it easy as the process unfolds and you’re into a session with an institution for the …say…second or third go around. You’ve got to take the reins by then. Like I said …IT’S IMPORTANT.
- The recruitment process is a great time for you, whether initiated by yourself or the institution. So enjoy it!! Have fun. Go into the process like it’s an adventure – because believe me it is! You’re going to meet some outstanding people, in addition to some of the most dynamic personalities on the planet.
There is a publication that covers a lot of this in addition to a lot of other stuff. It’s called:
“ Advising Student Athletes Through the College Recruitment Process” by Michael K. Koehler. It’s published by Prentice Hall. It’s a bit expensive – but a must if you plan to be part of the recruitment process,
in any way.
Merry. Merry Guys!!