Tuesday, March 4, 2008

HS Coaches...Make Sure Your Players Are Placed for the Summer

This year, more than ever, it is nearly impossible for a college program to scout a high school game. Because of the insane ruling the NCAA imposed on all college teams, baseball didn't start until Feb. 22nd this year. Now, in order to squeeze in 56 games by the same ending date, college teams are scheduling 5 games a week. They have no time to see high schools play. The recruiters are usually the assistant coaches. They are needed at the games and at home.

Therefore, more and more recruiters are going to rely on the big name showcases and tournaments to scout talent. As we have stated many times on Rounding Third, Showcases and high profile tournaments are the most cost effective way to see a huge group of prospects at one place. Gone are the days of the traveling recruiter paying a visit to Johnnies home. The state of the college recruiting biz is a sophisticated and intense procedure. With college baseball approaching top revenue status with new TV contracts with CSTV, Fox, Comcast and ESPNU, there is accountability at stake here. Even without the shortened season, recruiters already embraced the showcase and tourney scene because it gave them an opportunity to see the best playing the best. Occasionally they would head over to a high school game if time allowed, but now there is no time.

The solution? Coaches...your high profile players...if they haven't done so already, need to be placed on teams that will benefit their chances to play at the next level. Don't have time? Consider the lack of time a college coach has with year round conditioning, fall ball scrimmages, and media guide prep. They still find the time to place their players in summer leagues from the Cape, to Northwood’s, to Alaska to the Carolinas. This is a tremendous opportunity for their players, because like travel ball, many of these elite summer leagues combine the best of all the colleges. Why do the college coaches place them in that situation? Mr. Obvious says that it's to make them better players.

So, why should high school coaches place their players? Plain and simple...Travel ball is better competitive baseball and it will make them better players....plus there is the added benefit that they will be noticed by the dozens of scouts that will attend those venues that they play in. Now HS baseball is better baseball from the aspect of team camaraderie, school spirit, bigger crowds and tons of local press...Don't misunderstand what we are saying...Travel ball, by virtue of the top all league players all playing on one team against alike teams is what makes it more competitive. So, it's a win-win for the player and the HS coach. The player gets better and the coach gets a more seasoned, tougher leader next season. It's not too late...get on the phone now...Travel coaches...contact the high school coaches...we have hundreds of you reading this blog everyday. Use the college coach analogy when explaining the benefits of travel ball...

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