There are two simple questions that every college coach in the country is going to ask.
What is your GPA?
What did you score on the SAT and ACT?
THAT’S IT! Those are the two qualifying questions every coach will ask to find out if you are (1)eligible to play in the NCAA, NJCAA, or NAIA and (2)meet the academic requirements to be accepted into the college or university. It does not matter how talented you are as a baseball player, if you do not meet the academic requirements it is pointless for the coach to continue any serious conversation about recruitment.
Grade Point Average (GPA) and test scores mean everything! Not only will it determine your acceptance into the school and athletic eligibility but in some cases, depending on the school, will determine how much academic scholarships and grants (if any) you will receive. Most private colleges and universities offer various scholarships and grants to help reduce the cost of tuition.
Do you have a recruiting video?
Recruiting videos are the best way to showcase a players individual talent. Because we live in the digital age of information it is much easier (and less expensive) for a college coach to ask for a video rather than travel to where ever part of the country just to watch one or two players. If you do not have a recruiting video then the only option left is to travel to them for a workout. College baseball programs do put on showcases but often charge for them which can run anywhere from $50 to as high as $300. If you have to travel a long distance you can add gas, hotel, and food to your expense. In the end, if the coach shows no interest in you attending his school and program then you will have to do everything all over again for another school. This can get pretty expensive after awhile. That is why we highly recommend doing a recruiting video simply because you can send it to as many college coaches you want anywhere in the country with the simple click of a mouse. In return, you eliminate paying for showcases, workouts, gas, hotel, food, and etc. The All-Star Warehouse Baseball Academy runs a division called “Collegiate Prospects” which creates recruiting videos as well as train, evaluate, advise, and promotes the player to various colleges and universities based on talent and academic compatibility. The price for recruiting videos range from about $500 to $1500 depending on the company and services they offer (i.e. actual recruitment services can be a separate cost).
Should I attend national showcases?
Honestly, this is a loaded question but here is our take on this. There are organizations such as Perfect Game, Prospect Wire, Baseball Factory, and many others that organize numerous showcases throughout the country year round. Depending on the size of the event you may have a few to several dozen colleges and universities attending the event. Some events may not have any college coach or recruiter attending because the organizers are simply recording data to post on their database allowing access to authorize scouts and recruiters from across the nation to view your information.
Bottom line these events cost money and some come with a high sticker price. Range of cost goes from as little as $50 to as high as $600 or more. Showcases are huge revenue for some of these organizations as they draw hundreds of participants willing to pay whatever they say for the hope that some school somewhere likes them and offers them an athletic scholarship.
It never hurts to attend at least one showcase during your high school career, but if you do make sure to attend one either at the beginning or end of your junior year of high school. This is the best time to attend as most players reach peak physical condition and maturity. Remember that most players are still maturing physically during their freshman and sophomore year. It is also just early enough for a school to begin dialogue with the player with possibility of a scholarship. All colleges and universities, if not most, plan their recruitment more than a year in advance. For example, if its summer they are likely not recruiting graduating seniors but rather juniors going into their senior year of high school or more so sophomores going into their junior year.
Don’t over do it! A common mistake we see is players attending multiple showcases throughout their high school career and sometimes attending back-to-back events. It only takes one time for a scout or college recruiter to see you. If you did not impress them the first time it’s probable you will not impress them the second, third, fourth, and so on. In fact, every time you attend an event with the same scouts and recruiters you are just exposing more of your individual flaws.
Verbal commitment versus National Letter of Intent?
According to the NCAA,the phrase is used to describe a college-bound student-athlete’s commitment to a school before he or she signs (or is able to sign) a National Letter of Intent. A college-bound student-athlete can announce a verbal commitment at any time. While verbal commitments have become very popular for both college-bound student-athletes and coaches, this “commitment” is NOT binding on either the college-bound student-athlete or the college or university. Only the signing of the National Letter of Intent accompanied by a financial aid agreement is binding on both parties.
The National Letter of Intent (NLI) is a voluntary program governed by the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) and administered by the NCAA. By signing an NLI, the college-bound student-athlete agrees to attend the college or university for one academic year. In exchange, that college or university must provide athletics financial aid for one academic year. In order to sign an NLI, you must register for a Certification Account with the NCAA Eligibility Center.
To sign a NLI there are designated dates for the early signing period and regular signing period of the student-athletes senior year. A NLI cannot be signed outside of those periods nor can it be signed prior to a student-athletes senior year.
When is the best time to commit and sign?
It is common to see division I schools ask highly rated student-athletes to commit as early as their freshman or sophomore year. Depending on the program these schools may lose some of their recruits to the MLB June amateur draft or another school (decommitment). In reality, some schools may receive more commitments than they have available roster spots and this is by design. But for those who are not in the top percentile in the country with a big division I offer the best time to commit is either at the end of your junior year or at the beginning of your senior year. If a athletic scholarship is offered then a letter of intent is necessary to be signed which can be done during the early signing period (November) of your senior year.
I am a senior with no college offers. What now?
It is common for high school player to not have a college offer during his senior year. According to scholarship stats only 11.5% of high school players in the nation will play in college, while only 2.1% of all high school players in the nation will play at the division I level. That 2.1% will have committed before their senior year and sign by the early signing period. As for everyone else, a plan of action has to be taken there is a true desire to play at the collegiate level. First, figure out what kind of player you are (DI, DII, DIII, JUCO, NAIA)? Next, decide how far away from home you are willing to attend school? Remember, the more open you are to leaving the state the more variety of options there is available to you.