Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The Timing Is Now
We had a friend travel with his son (a Senior at the time....since graduated) to see a few schools this past spring and they happened to visit a very small D-1 school that told him that one of their position player recruits had to have major shoulder surgery and in all likelihood, would not be able to play next year. Because this visiting player had a near perfect GPA and SAT score, and also played for a top rated travel program, the coach at this university told him timing was everything and made him an offer. He had almost given up hope that he could play college baseball. That brings up a good subject for today's post. This player took a different approach and visited colleges he wanted to attend. And, if you have the time, this is a great way to get to know a school that you may be unsure of. Just because you haven't heard of a school or aren't that familiar with a school, doesn't mean it's not a good school. This player was surprised by the beauty of the schools he visited. Interestingly, many small D-II, D-III and NAIA colleges look very picturesque...more so than their big D-I counterparts. And believe it or not, school aesthetics are a big part of many decisions to go to a school.
However, most players don't have that luxury or time, but there is a lot you can still do from your home to help you get noticed by colleges that still have needs.
Timing is only everything if a players name is top of mind with that coach at the time of the need. In other words, if a player is a unsigned senior, one letter to your target colleges won't do. You need to step up your campaign...be creative and supply them with a bit more than what you previously have given them.
For instance, companies advertise to attract consumers to their stores and buy their products. You must do the same. Do you have a video of your skill? If you are a position player, provide an edited video of you fielding your position from various angles. Video yourself at the plate...preferably at a 90 degree angle (facing the batter), then from behind the plate. Time and film your throws to first if you are an infielder and to third from right field if you are an outfielder. Pitchers parents have tons of game videos usually, so edit the best performances. Do a brief intro of your name, grade, height, weight, side you throw and bat, high school, travel team and send it off to one of your target colleges with your complete profile.
But be smart who you send it to. As a senior, letters to Top 50 D-I programs are probably not realistic. Our friend's scenario at the top of this post is the exception. Barring injuries, most top D-I's have completed their recruiting and as we stated yesterday, the colleges with needs are the smaller D-I's, most D-II's, D-III's, NAIA and JUCO's. That should be your target.
If you can't visit these colleges, many have virtual tours on their web sites. Some are quite good and provide 360 degree views of the campus and it's main attractions. Look and see if the targeted school has the educational curriculum that interests you... Go to their baseball site and look at who they play, their record, who they graduated and who they have signed thus far. If everything looks good, send them the packet. It's tedious and time consuming, but so is college life, so this is a great exercise to tackle.