Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sophomore and Junior Year Are The Most Important Years...Part Two

We continue our timeline through the sophomore and junior years. If you followed the plan that we detailed for you in our last post in your freshman year, you are used to the drill. This time however, you are playing for keeps, because sophomore and juniors ARE looked at by college and pro scouts alike...Follow this timeline and you may get what you want.

· How did you do academically your freshman year? If the answer was great, then continue with the same routine of conditioning and work-outs you had as a freshman. Most of you are first timers to this site, so look at the last post and follow the same routine as we outlined for freshman.

* Now if your grades weren't so hot, then you need to plan your day better and make sure that you are carrying a 3.3 or higher. High school will get harder as you progress, so buckle down and get into a disciplined routine that includes the aforemnetioned work-outs AND will allow you at least 3 hours of studying (not in front of TV) a night. Sit down with your high school counselor and tell him your goals and make sure you are taking the curriculum necessary to get into the colleges you are targeting. As hard as maintaining grades and playing a varsity sport at the same time may seem to you now, wait until you go to college. A college student/athlete is a high school student athlete times 10! We will discuss this in another post, but the demands in college are far greater than what you think you are experiencing now...So our advice is to get yourself disciplined now, so you can transition to college more smoothly.

January-May· Enjoy your high school baseball season. Whether or not you are on varsity or JV, play hard and smart. If you think you are good enough to be on varsity, don’t worry, many high school coaches will favor their upperclassmen. If you are good, you will get your shot next year. Be thankful that you get 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.

July-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 of 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 Team One in your area attend those. 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.

· Register for the fall SAT standardized tests ...We suggest the SAT because it is accepted by most all of the top schools and it is a bit harder. You should want the harder test right? Hopefully most you took yours in last year as well.

· Get the best score that you can. Take it two to three times if necessary even if you qualified for the target schools minimum requirement the first time. Always strive to do better than what is required. You wouldn’t do the minimum required of you in a baseball game would you???

· 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.


Feb -May· Send out your high school schedule to all of your contacts. Find out what local paper covers your team frequently and send a link to each 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.

More later.

· The NCAA allows phone contact after July 1 of your Junior year.

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