Baseball Recruiting Winter Checklist
January 19, 2020
With spring training fast approaching, it’s time for student-athletes to put the finishing touches on their hard work this off-season and cross off a few items in their college search process. From visiting campuses to contacting college coaches and preparing for standardized tests, check out a few items that each grad year can complete this winter to get ahead in their recruiting process:
CLASS OF 2021:
- Prepare for your standardized tests to help you balance your classwork and baseball schedule once the season begins.
- Most students will take their standardized tests for the first time in the spring of their junior year. Unfortunately for baseball players, this is right when your season is getting underway. Being proactive with your preparation now will help you this spring when you are in-season. You will still need to balance your time between the field and the classroom – getting ahead now will make this a much easier task this spring.
- Reach out to college coaches before their season begins.
- With spring fast approaching, college coaches are starting to turn their attention towards their upcoming season and away from dedicated recruiting time. Expressing interest to a college coach is a great way to get on their radar, and it’s important to reach out to them while they still have the time and resources to focus on recruits. Remember to make this message personal and genuine – coaches can tell when you send a generic email to multiple programs, and they want to hear about what interests you in their program specifically.
- Schedule a few campus visits prior to the spring season.
- Between your high school season and preparing for your standardized tests, you will have limited opportunities to visit schools in the months ahead. Spending time on campus is an essential part in deciding if a school is the right fit for you, so scheduling a few visits while you still have flexibility in your schedule will help you when it’s time to narrow down your school list. If you have already visited a variety of campuses, start to focus on the schools that check off the most qualities. If this is your first time visiting, cast a wide net so that you are exposed to a variety of settings and gain a better understanding of what qualities you are looking for in your ideal college.
CLASS OF 2022
- Create a list of qualities that you’re looking for in your dream school.
- When developing your list of schools, it’s easy to get caught up in the name-recognition and division labels. We strongly recommend that student-athletes begin by listing the different qualities they are looking for in their dream school, instead of just the names. Once you’ve narrowed down a key list of characteristics and prioritized them, you can start to compare specific programs to these criteria. Narrowing down your school list can be a daunting task – having a strong set of qualities to fall back on will help simplify the process as you move along in your recruiting.
- Develop a baseline for your standardized test scores.
- The class of 2022 is still a year away from when most student-athletes take their standardized tests, but it’s never too early to find out how you stack up compared to your own goals and the admissions standards of high-academic schools. Developing a baseline for your standardized test scores during your sophomore year can help shape your study plan leading into your junior year and set you up for success on test day.
- Similarly, develop a baseline for some objective measurements – 60-yard dash, exit velocity, overhand velocity, broad jump, etc.
- Objective measurements are an integral part of performing in a showcase setting and provide insight to college coaches on your athletic ability/potential. There’s plenty of time to develop as you approach your showcase opportunities, so use these results as a baseline to measure your growth over the next few years. We also recommend including these metrics in your communication with college coaches. They’ll be impressed that you are working hard to improve your physical skills and appreciate the opportunity to follow your development throughout high school.
CLASS OF 2023 and younger
- Visit a variety of college campuses to help you get a better idea of what type of school you are targeting.
- We highly recommend that student-athletes start their college search by coming up with a list of qualities that they are looking for in their ideal school, rather than focusing on the name and division label. For freshmen, visiting college campuses of different sizes in different settings can help jump-start this process and narrow down this list of qualities. Cast a wide net when beginning this search, and challenge yourself to visit a few campuses that you might not expect to enjoy. You might be surprised by what stands out to you and what you find desirable about each college. After each visit, make a quick written list of the qualities that you liked and did not like about each school. You will start to notice some similarities between visits and realize what’s important to you.
- Fill out the questionnaires for colleges that are on your target list.
- Filling out recruiting questionnaires on a program’s website is an easy way to get on their radar early and to indicate your potential interest. You will need to take follow-up steps in the future to demonstrate genuine interest in their program – sending personalized emails, visiting the campus, meeting the coaching staff in person, attending a game – but filling out this form puts you in their system and gives you something to reference in your initial outreach to the coaching staff.
- Continue to focus on your on-field development and upcoming tryouts.
- As you embark on your first season of high school baseball, you will experience plenty of growth and development – as well as some ups and downs – over the next four years. While it’s natural to focus on the results of each game and each at-bat, try to place more emphasis on your improvement and some of the smaller details. If you’re working each and every day to improve your game, then the results will follow.
Check back for more recruiting advice and updates on our partner programs in the coming months, including interviews with the Headfirst team, more recruiting checklists, and match-ups to watch between the high-academic schools joining us at camp in 2020!