Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Travel Ball Season Is Here
Now that freshman and JV ball has ended, many top underclassmen players have already started playing in many local tournaments last weekend in preparation of some huge Memorial Day Bonanzas that are happening from coast to coast. This is the time for all of you sophomores and juniors to really step it up and play hard and with passion. Many of you had practice the day after your JV or varsity season ended, others are probably having your first tournament this weekend. Memorial Day is early this year, so the season will essentially be a week longer this year and allow many of you the opportunity to take a week or two off to explore college camps and Perfect Game Showcases. Hopefully, many of you will have the opportunity to play in a Junior Olympic Tournament or the grandaddy of them all, the WWBA in East Cobb, GA.
But the main thing is to play, learn and work on your game. Coaches...by the time they are in high school, it's not so much about winning as it is developing and getting your players seen. Below is a timline we ran in one of our first posts for players that are finishing their sophomore and junior years.
SOPHOMORE YEAR TIMLINE(Incoming Juniors)
May-June· We hope you enjoyed your high school baseball season. Whether or not you were on varsity or JV, we do hope you played hard and smart. If you thought you were good enough to be on varsity, don’t worry, many high school coaches favor their upperclassmen. If you are good, you will get your shot next year. Be thankful that you got to play everyday on JV.
· Summer travel ball is more important than ever…There are never too many games in travel ball. The more reps against the best, the better you will get.
June-August· Attend an Area Code Camp in your region or state – Log onto Area Codes web site…(Listed in the right green column).
· Scour the web sites to the right about the many showcases offered in your area. The summer after your sophomore year is when college scouts get serious. Start sending your profile sheets and letters with more frequency before every showcase and camp or tournament you attend and personalize the letters to each coach.
· If there is a Perfect Game or another high profile showcase in your area attend it. They will prove invaluable to your reputation as a player. If they don’t have a showcase, there are many more. Look to the right for the showcases in your area.
· If you get more letters back, respond to every one, no matter if they are not in your top 10. Leave all doors wide open.
JUNIOR YEAR TIMELINE (Incoming Seniors)
· Register for the NCAA Clearinghouse. The link is to the right.
· Step up your work-outs from the previous years work-outs. You are starting to mature and you are able to take more on physically.
· Double check if you are NCAA eligible with your counselor.
· GET GOOD GRADES ON YOUR FINALS!!!!!
May-June· Send out your high school schedule to all of your college contacts. Find out what local paper covers your team frequently and send a link to each scout/recruiter/coach so that they can follow you. If your high school web site is up to date on the daily box scores and news, send them that link as well.
· Go visit the schools of your choice when you have time. Many have "Junior Days" during the spring, usually on Sundays. GO TO THEM!! THEY ARE IMPORTANT!! These are all “unofficial visits” and the bill will be on you.
· Plan your summer schedule!!! This is when the rubber hits the road…Attend all the important showcases. Go to the WWBA in Atlanta. Work to get invited to the Area Code try-outs and a USA Baseball try-out as an example. Have a plan in place and work towards getting as many phone calls as possible on July 1…the day when you can be officially contacted.
Summer· June and July are the primary showcase and camp months. If you followed the timeline, you will have gotten invitations to the camps of the schools of your choice, and to the invitation-only showcases. Continue sending out your letters and tell them of your successful Junior year on varsity. If you received any local awards such as first team in league or metro honors, tell them that up front!
· This is by far the most important time of a player’s baseball life. For instance, many of the better players will have received offers by the middle of the summer.
ON JULY 1st, IF ALL GOES WELL, YOU SHOULD START RECEIVING YOU FIRST PHONE CALLS FROM COLLEGE COACHES!!!
· The NCAA allows phone contact after July 1 of your Junior year.