Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Award

RT Staff Note: This years Turkey Award goes to the NCAA for the second straight year. But rather than criticize, we are offering suggestions to improve college baseball courtesy of an article written by Kendall Rogers a few months ago. We are reprinting this article for a few reason...First, we are on vacation and feeling a bit lazy today and second, Kendall is on to something...He did a follow up article this week and had a conversation with a few coaches on the issues below. Some will be implemented soon and some won't, but it seems the criticisms of the way college baseball is structured today needs a lot of tweaking. Enjoy the rest of your holiday.

By Kendall Rogers

There's no question most coaches agree with the idea of a uniform start date. In its first test this past season, the uniform start date was welcomed with open arms. The timing of the start date? Not so much. I think everyone likes the idea of teams starting the season at the same time. However, many coaches believe the season should start two weeks earlier, leaving teams with more time to play 56 games. In the first season of the uniform start date, the condensed schedule caused a variety of issues.

Football, basketball and baseball are popular sports on the collegiate level, but you'd never know that by the way the NCAA treats each sport. Football and basketball generally have rules put in place to help the sports. Baseball is on the other end of the spectrum. Though it's true some Division I institutions still don't have baseball scholarships, the list is small. For now, baseball has a scholarship limit of 11.7. Several coaches have proposed the scholarship total be raised to 14.7, but we have our doubts that will change.

Most coaches I've spoken with this summer are relieved at the absence of transfers. Because of the new transfer rule, players must now sit out a year if they choose to transfer schools. For the smaller schools, the transfer rule has been a huge relief. No longer can the larger schools use the summer leagues and other avenues as recruiting zones. However, there are some losers in this situation. Sure, the transfer rule is a step in the right direction. But allowing no transfers is going too far. Therefore, we propose that players can transfer if the school they're leaving gives them a full release, regardless of conference affiliation. That certainly could keep larger schools from raiding smaller schools, while also giving players the ability to transfer.

The selection committee generally does a good job with the Regional host site selections, but the same can't be said about where they place teams. Nothing this past season was more disappointing than the Long Beach Regional, where the committee paired Long Beach State, San Diego, California and Fresno State together. Long Beach State won the Big West, San Diego won the WCC, Fresno State won the WAC and California was a very dangerous team. Amazingly, Fresno won the Regional as a four seed. They also won the national title. Though the NCAA won't come out and say it, they stack the West Coast teams for attendance purposes. That may be a plausible answer, but that doesn't mean it's right. The NCAA should adopt a Regional system that consists of a field of 64 equally spread out.

With college baseball gaining popularity, it's time to improve the television contracts. The SEC and ACC have respectable television contracts with many regular season contests and their respective conference tournaments on television. The same can't be said for the Big 12, Pac-10 and C-USA. If the sport wants to get over the biggest hump, better television contracts must be negotiated. ESPN does a good job with the Super Regionals and College World Series, but its coverage the other four months of the season is laughable. The sport must spread the wealth to succeed.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Many Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. The NLI signing are over and we will post our list in a few days. Thanks to all of the players, parents and the hundreds of coaches that have sent us e-mails proudly announcing the signings. We'd also like to give a big THANK YOU for making Rounding Third so popular in it's first full year. Every day, we break our own personal records on the number of hits and page views we receive.

Also, thank you for all of the kind e-mails from our readers complimenting us on our content and resources we provide here at Rounding Third. Keep spreading the word. Our goal is to make a difference and it's readers like you that are helping us reach that goal. There's a lot to look forward to in the upcoming months. We will start to preview the high school season region by region, track draftable players and also give you a heads up on what college freshman are doing on their new teams. As always, we will respond to e-mails and any topics that you may want to talk about.

And all of you readers out thankful for the incredible support group that is the baseball community. Unlike any other sport, the baseball families are a close knit, caring and supportive group of individuals. That's what inspired us to start Rounding Third. We wanted to give back, what was given to us for so many years.

So enjoy your holidays...we still will be posting through the break and adding to that NLI list...In fact tomorrow, we will give out our Turkey award and it's another rant that we will write from time to time...all for the betterment of baseball...of course:)

RT Staff

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Synergy Day 3

Holistic Synergy sounds like a New Age practice found off the shores of the California Coast. In fact, it was a suggestion from a reader on the cooperation that all coaches should have with everyone involved in the development of a top rated player. Actually, it also sounds sort of redundant, but that's what baseball is all about...Repetition, repetition, repetition.

Players need to keep in baseball shape year round and with the seasonal state restrictions on HS coaches and the geographic difficulties in seeing travel coaches, players need to seek out extra help. That increases the need for High School and Travel coaches to have a ongoing relationship with hitting, pitching and conditioning instructors. Like our past three posts, this is another one of those instances where the lack of communication gets in the way of results.

Instead of being long winded on this topic...we are going to be a bit more blunt...Coaches...You need to talk with the private instructors and instructors need to talk with the Coaches.

Baseball players aren't industrial patents...there are no ownership rights of their impending successes to brag about. We hear too many times about instructor "Smith" claiming that Player "Jones" was the result of his "Innovative 8 Step Program"...Blah, Blah, Blah. Guess what? Forget about which instructor did the best job...Everyone is responsible...The high school coaches, the travel coaches, and the instructors...The end result however could be even better, if all coaches stopped working independently of one another and worked together. Communication handed down from one coach to another will help that player use the information and build a successful career with it.

Again, everyone wins and maybe, just maybe, coaches and instructors could learn something along the way. Face it coaches... After the high school season they will play on a travel/College Development Program team and after that they will seek out hitting and pitching and conditioning instructors during the's an ongoing cycle and it's a smart way to keep the mechanics top of mind and build muscle memory...Everyone needs that type of consistent training.

Work together guys. It's the "New Age" of total communication for the Betterment of Baseball!!!!

RT Staff

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Synergy Day 2

As we continue to receive e-mails from both High School coaches and travel/summer coaches on their players NLI signings, some of the names were duplicated between the two...and the thought occurred to us that it would benefit everyone if the two parties would just work closer together and take an interest in each others role in the development of the players that they have in common. We don't know how these coaches feel about one another in your neck of the woods, but around here, the relationship between HS and Travel coaches can be a bit strained. But it sure doesn't have to be that way. In fact, the ultimate success of their players revolves around the two of them working together to produce smarter, mentally tough, fundamentally sound ball players.

High School is about daily repetition, mental toughness, playing in front of crowds, and discipline. Summer ball is about putting that extensive training to the test against top competition and in front of recruiters. So to us, it would be highly beneficial to both coaches if they talked with each other about the progress, abilities and potential of their players with each other, so that the players can improve upon their game in the forthcoming seasons. Bottom line, they both see each others players about equally.

A HS coach will conduct about 60 practices and 30 games with his players and a Travel coach about 60+ games and 20 practices. Coaches that spend that much time with players, know what their players can and can't do, and should communicate those points with each other for the betterment of the players.

Here's an example: Let's say a HS team has an underclassman with projectable skills, but he is a bit apprehensive at the plate and in the field. The HS Coach however, sees a hidden potential in this kid. Towards the end of the season, this kid gets more confident and contributes more to the team. In other words, the coach was right, this kid will be a big contributor to the team next year.

Now, here's a perfect opportunity for that coach to contact that players summer coach and give him a full report on this kids progression, strengths, weaknesses and communicate what his player needs to continue to work on. It's a win-win for both the player (the most important benefit) and both teams. But often times, egos get in the way and the players suffer as a result. If they don't communicate, the summer coach may not see what the High School coach saw and the player regresses rather than improves that summer season.

The opposite happens from summer/fall to the HS season. Why does this happen? We don't know, but for the sake of the players, open communication and synergy between the two programs is paramount to the progression of a players abilities. What are your thoughts? Click the comment button just below this post and communicate your opinions on this issue.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Every year in November, many of the top college coaches meet one on one with their players and give them their summer assignments. The Top players are assigned to leagues like the Cape Cod, Northwoods, Great Lakes and even Alaska.

College coaches from all over the country work in direct contact with officials from the National Baseball Congress(NBC), National Association of College Summer Baseball (NACSB) and the Atlantic Baseball Confederation Collegiate League(ABCCL) and other smaller leagues to get their players placed. Click on those links for a look at the leagues and their teams.

One of the mission statements of the NACSB is:

"To foster better relationships between collegiate coaches and the NACSB in conjunction with the ABCA".

The ABCCL's mission statement is:

* To serve as a convenient, accessible and quality resource for college baseball players to strengthen their skills and compete with their baseball peers.

* To provide college baseball coaches with an organized, constructive extension to their school programs during the traditional summer "off-season".

* To act as a venue for all college players to improve and showcase their talent before intercollegiate and professional evaluators.

Now That's Synergy!

Then it occurred to us...what if the high school coaches and the travel coaches took their communication to this level? Their college counterparts want their players to continue at a high level of competition...The leagues themselves (according to the ABCCL website)...are designed to improve the players by maximizing playing opportunity. As a result, they will improve their performance upon returning to school and increase their awareness among the professional scouting community.

Substitute the word professional with collegiate and that same synergy could exist with high school players. Again, we can not reiterate enough...the communications lines between the High School Coaches and the travel teams and leagues needs to come from both sides...and now is the time to make that contact! There is absolutely no reason why this can't happen...It's a huge win-win for both programs and an incredible upside for the players.


RT Staff

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Bats In The Cradle With The Silver Spoon

RT Staff Note: One of the more active baseball boards in the country on a year round basis is the NorCalPreps/Rivals board that covers Northern California. A question was asked by a well known manager of a College Development Program based there about the idea of Perfect Games new youth program. We gave our opinion and it is posted below. For the record we like Perfect Game...we just don't like this particular program that they are trying to promote. In our opinion it's for parents that are trying to buy an unecessary, costly experience for their kid in order to tell a story to his co-workers by the office water cooler. That said, PG runs some of the best showcases and tournaments in this country and many collegiate and pro players are better off for it. His question was...What Do You Think about Perfect Games new Youth Program? I know I have my thoughts but not sure if it's "fit to print". Our response is below:

What we think and what we will write on this family oriented web site are two different things as well. As a start, here's what PG says in it's promotional brochure:

Play with the best 11-14 year olds in the United States!
- Invitation only events are for nationally ranked players!
- Learn what the pros are teaching!

First, most select teams are already playing good competition by going to their annual treks to Cooperstown and playing competitive baseball at the plethora of tournaments that you can find at any Big League Dreams park in the state or country. At that age, that's all you need.

Second...we think that it is absolutely ridiculous and means zero to be nationally ranked as an 11-14 year old. Are you kidding me? How many times have you dads out there been to Cooperstown and seen that 5'10", 12 year old Grizzly Adams player on an opposing team. Guess how big Grizzly Adams is today?...5'10", probably out of baseball because everyone caught up to him and got better. It's impossible to know how good a player will be or how they will project at this age.

And invitation only? How can they track this? How can anyone know at this age how they rank nationally?

We don't mind that the kids at this age play at a high level. That's always a good thing...but they can do it on a local basis with a good select coach that is truly concerned with development and is consistently accessible to help work on the fundamentals of the game.

Kids at this age are impressionable and may appreciate some company with Albert Pujols (as PG advertises), but they also have a short term, sound bite like memory and one mini camp will not change their life. I noticed that they haven't published any costs. In true PG fashion, I doubt if it will be cheap.

Now that said, PG does some great things as well. They run one of the best tournaments in the country with the WWBA in East Cobb. They provide a good service with their PG National Showcases and regional affairs. We think every aspiring collegiate player should go to a few of their showcases to put things into perspective...but not until after their freshman or sophomore year.

Rob, what you guys and others that we have touted on our web site have done is the formula a player should follow to get to the next level. Baseball is about repetition, especially at this's about telling them, then telling them again, and then tell them what you told them, again and again and again.

Parents, your son should be having the time of his life from 11-14...Travel ball is all you need. And at this age it is just ball. It should be a lot of fun. He also should be playing multiple sports at this age...he should be a kid. He doesn't need to know how he ranks with some hairy dude in Columbia, South Carolina.

Once he enters high school...well, that's a different story. That's when you graduate from a travel ball mentality to a College Development Program mentality. Some will agree with us, some will disagree. But we have seen this model work more often than not.

We are big next level baseball fans. Better baseball often, but not always translates into better baseball players, but not at the expense of them just being kids. We wrote two articles that address this subject that we thought you may enjoy.
On The Campaign Trail For Travel Ball
It's About Time


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Make The Most Of Your Opportunities

RT Staff Note: As the high school season approaches in a few months, the same issues will crop up as it relates to playing time. Many high school teams have just completed their fall workouts and the following article is a reprint of a post we wrote last spring.

"You don't lose when you get knocked down, you lose when you decide to not get up."
I can't remember where I saw this quote or who said it. I'm not even sure I have the right words. It's just one of those thoughts that I recall from time to time and it gets me through a tough situation at work. I'm one of those odd parents that often see quotes that I think would inspire my kids. I usually print them out and lay them inconspicuously by the computer where they do their homework. They never acknowledge that they see any of these quotes and I never ask them if they saw it. The quote will just sit there for a few days and get tossed on weekends when my wife does her clean sweep of the house.

But, I'm pretty sure they see it and think how weird their father is and then quickly move on to explore the wonders of Facebook or I-Tunes. Nevertheless, maybe it's one of those subliminal messages that just pop up in their mind when they need it the most. They have had tremendous success with baseball and have a pretty terrific attitude, so maybe....

This quote pops up in my mind because we have been receiving an inordinate amount of e-mails from parents that think their kid is getting the shaft from not playing enough high school baseball. Most are from parents of underclassmen and that will be the focus of this post.

First, just because a player is not starting or getting as much playing time as you, as a parent would like, doesn't mean that he is not learning, developing or a valuable asset to the team. Being on a baseball team is more than just playing or starting. Everyone on that roster has a role.

Many high school teams have mid week scrimmages, and situational practices in which everyone participates. We talked about this in a a previous post. Those scrimmages and practices are just as important as the games to many coaches. If a player is good, then his skills may motivate someone else that doesn't want to lose their position to that underclassman.

Many of you parents with bench sitting sons need to sit down with them and ask them what is their motivation? Is your son setting goals and working harder in practice to achieve those goals? Does he have the desire and the drive to want to be the first on the field and the last to leave? Does he hustle the most? Is he the most attentive when the coaches speak?

If so, then his time will come. If not...then that may be the problem at hand. Because practice and scrimmages are where you learn and develop's not always in regular season games. The coach may have picked up on that. The only way to turn this situation around is giving 110% effort, learning, developing and setting goals to get out of that mental rut that is often caused by sitting on the bench. If he truly loves baseball, he needs to truly love the journey to get there as well. That means paying dues, working harder, hustling and doing everything he is asked to do and more in practice.

But even if that player never gets his chance or is just not as physically talented enough to crack an everyday line-up, attitude and enthusiasm is still important. A player must realize that this is still a team sport and that there are other team members that need their support...a dead dug-out often results in dud of a game. There really is no room for negative attitudes in the dug-out just because a player is sitting the bench.

There used to be a kid we knew who was a smallish infielder who also never played much...but he never gave up trying. He was the inspiration in the dug-out, leading the team in other ways like spirit and upbeat chatter on the bench. He usually only got in games that were blow-outs, but when he got up to bat, he received more vocal support from his team mates than anyone else. He never even thought about quitting or giving up. He was having fun just being on the team, with his friends and for the love of the game. At the end of the season, the coach gave him a special award for being the most inspirational player on the team. He never played much, but I guarantee that he learned and developed in many ways other than just baseball.

Players, if you are sitting the bench, try something new and turn it up a notch and see what happens. The coach hasn't cut you. You ARE on the roster and he must see something in you right? Even if things still don't change then at least you can hold your head high and be very proud that you gave it your all and played the best of your ability day in and day out. You may not have a career in baseball, but that work ethic that you learned between the lines will pay you HUGE dividends later in your adult life.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cory Lidle Memorial Thanksgiving Tournament

RT Staff Note: On Thanksgiving Weekend, the SOCAL College Development Program, SGV Arsenal informed us that there is a Memorial tournament that warrants some PR. We agree. Not only is it a great tournament, but it benefits a great foundation…The Cory Lidle Foundation.

On October 11, 2006, a Cirrus SR20 plane crashed into the Belaire Apartments complex on York Ave. at E. 72nd Street on New York City's Upper East Side, killing Cory Lidle and co-pilot/flight instructor, Tyler Stanger. In addition to the deaths of the two on board the plane, 21 people were injured as a result of the accident, about half of them New York City firefighters.

Lidle was the third Yankees player to die in a crash of a plane owned by the player. The preceding two were catcher Thurman Munson (died August 2, 1979) and pitcher Jim Hardin (died March 9, 1991). Yankees owner George Steinbrenner described Lidle's death as a "terrible and shocking tragedy that has stunned the entire Yankees organization" and offered his condolences to Lidle's wife and 6-year-old son. On October 12, 2006, before the 2006 NLCS game in New York City between the New York Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals, the teams and spectators observed a moment of silence to honor the memory of Lidle.

Cory Lidle, March 22, 1972 - October 11, 2006 was born in Hollywood, California, to Doug and Rebecca Lidle. Cory was one of four children, younger sister Lisa, younger brother Billy, and twin brother Kevin who played minor league baseball. Cory was very active in the West Covina baseball leagues, playing for the West Covina American Little League 1980-1984, West Covina Orangewood Pony 1985-1986, West Covina Mickey Mantle 1987-1988, and West Covina Babe Ruth 1989-1990.

Cory attended South Hills High School (Graduated in 1990) in West Covina, California. During his senior year at South Hills High School, Cory had a record of 12-2, with 100 strike outs, 26 walks, an earned run average of 1.02, was named All Valley Pitcher of the Year, and All CIF State Pitcher. What was equally special to all of these accolades as a pitcher was that Cory's twin brother, Kevin, was his catcher during their senior year.

Cory married Melanie Varela on January 7, 1997; the pair had one son, Christopher (born in 2000).

Cory was signed in 1990 by the Minnesota Twins as an amateur free agent. In 1993 he was signed by the Milwaukee Brewers. Lidle was then traded in 1996 to the New York Mets, and made his Major League debut for the Mets on May 8, 1997. Lidle later appeared for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays, Cincinnati Reds, and Philadelphia Phillies. His best season was 2001 when he went 13-6 with a 3.59 ERA (10th in the American League) for Oakland, helping the Athletics win the wild card. His career zenith occurred in August 2002, when Cory gave up one run during the whole month (setting Oakland's consecutive innings without an earned run record), won all five of his starts, and was one of the primary driver in the A's historic run of 20 straight wins.

In 2007 Cory was posthumously inducted into the Binghamton Baseball Shrine. He played for the AA Binghamton Mets (New York Mets). As a major league pitcher and up to his death, Cory was very active in youth baseball. He was frequently seen at baseball fields giving free clinics and promoting sports.

The spirit of the Cory Lidle Foundation is a chance for Cory's family, friends, colleagues, admirers and acquaintances to continue Cory's important mission of charitable giving. It also allows them the opportunity to come together in an atmosphere of celebration to remember their friend Cory and too share the many wonderful memories they hold on to.

Through the Cory Lidle Foundation the members hope to continue Cory's legacy of love, giving and friendship by keeping Cory's memory alive through charitable giving. In its Inaugural year, the Cory Lidle Foundation has raised over $137,000 thanks to hard work, dedication and generous donations. They have been able to continue Cory's tradition of raising money for the Make A Wish Foundation, in addition they have been able to contribute to the Mt. San Antonio Cory Lidle Memorial Scholarship, the Mt. San Antonio Tyler Stanger Memorial Scholarship and establish the Cory Lidle High School Baseball Scholarship.

Tournament Details
Team Entry Fee $425
All Money collected is donated to Charity including The Tyler Stranger Memorial Fund. Please visit

Questions? Please contact Tournament Director Dave Bletcher @ (626) 848-2679

18 Year Old Division
Contact Darren Murphy @ (909) 967-7669 or Mike Viera of SGV Arsenal @ (323) 791-9981

Chief Umpire Ken Mort and all the Umpires have donated all their umpiring checks back to the Stanger’s Memorial Fund to benefit Tyler’s family. The total donation from the umpire’s is nearly $5000.00!

A $1000 College Scholarship will be awarded to a selected Tournament Player

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Baseball Exercises

RT Staff Note: We are busier than ever and sometimes we rely on others to do our work for us. Todays article is from Jon Doyle of Baseball Training Secrets. Enjoy.

By Jon Doyle, MA, CSCS

While you search around the Internet for baseball exercises, you no doubt come across some odd and strange looking exercises. The problem is a great deal of these "exercises" is not only worthless, but potentially dangerous. So I figured I'd write up a quick article so you can determine if an exercise you come across is worthy of you adding to your program.

1. Ground-based Exercises - Not all baseball drills need to be "ground-based" or standing up with your feet in contact with the ground, but 99% of the good ones are. Baseball is played standing up. So you should workout that way. Nuff said.

2. No Machines - If an exercise is done on a machine you can kiss it goodbye like an Adam Dunn bomb. You should focus on free weights, body weight and medicine ball -related exercises. Cables are ok, but if it's a machine it won't help your baseball performance and may even hinder it due to lack of stabilizer muscle working and improper execution of range of motion.

3. Explode - Baseball happens at lightning speeds and so should your training. Now, this does not mean exercising out of control, what it means it learning how to properly execute each exercise in a very explosive and controlled manner, just like you do with a bat and ball.

4. Posture - As soon as you lose posture, whether it's in your swing, your throw or when you run, you lose the majority of your strength and power. Same goes in the weight room. Make sure all of your baseball exercises not only maintain proper posture, but they should help build it as well.

5. Similar Joint Movements, Not Exact - This may be the biggest rule broken when it comes to baseball exercises. Don't try and replicate a throwing motion or swinging motion with an object a lot heavier than your game-used equipment. For example, if you use a 30 ounce bat, don't swing a 45-60 ounce bat thinking it will make you a better hitter.

In fact, it will make you worse. Studies prove that any implement over 15% heavier or lighter than your normal piece of equipment will alter your mechanics significantly. If you swing a heavy bat you're practicing a different swing! Same goes with throwing a ball. Drop the weighted balls. It's too much of an injury risk and virtually impossible to maintain your mechanics when you use them.

Same goes in the weight room. Don't use a baseball exercise that tries to mimic a specific movement on the field. This is NOT baseball-specific and stems from the brains (or lack there of) of idiot strength coaches who have no clue what they're doing and, most likely, have never worked with a real athlete in their life. Or in other words they are an Internet Hero. Be wary, they are everywhere trying to steal your money.

Stick to these five basic rules and you will eliminate most, if not all of the terrible exercises floating around the Internet. And you will have a program comprising of many very good baseball exercises to help you become the best possible player you can be!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Recruiting Rules

Rule, Rules, Rules. There are plenty of them to consider when going to college and even more to consider when you are a student athlete.

First, there is the recruiting. We are now in what is considered a quiet period. What’s a quiet period you ask? The NCAA web site has all of the following on their web site, but we thought we would explain in a little more detail about how these rules are interpreted by the schools and the organizations that run the showcases and camps. The NCAA definition from their web site is in regular type and ours and additional info we gathered from scouring through the rules and regulations manuals is in (parentheses and italics.)

Contact- A contact occurs any time a coach has any face-to-face
contact with you or your parents off the college's campus and says
more than hello. A contact also occurs if a coach has any contact
with you or your parents at your high school or any location where
you are competing or practicing.

Contact Period - permissible for authorized athletic department staff members to make in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts and evaluations. (The coach may also watch you play or visit your high school. You and your parents may visit a college campus and the coach may write and telephone you during this period. Schools can have face-to-face off-campus contact with prospects and parents...usually at showcases and camps...and prospects can take part in activities designed for evaluating athletic and academic abilities.)

Dead period - not permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations on- or off-campus or permit official or unofficial visits. (Seems self explanatory, but schools may write or telephone prospects during this period.)

Evaluation- An evaluation is an activity by a coach to evaluate
your academic or athletics ability. This would include visiting your
high school or watching you practice. (Or compete in a camp, showcase or other major national tournament event such as the WWBA, BCS, Junior Olympics, etc.)

Evaluation period - permissible for authorized athletics department staff to be involved in off-campus activities to assess academic qualifications and playing abilities. No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts with a prospect are permitted. (These are usually showcases and camps as well, but the schools may not have face-to-face contact with prospects and parents at all. A coach may write and telephone you or your parents during this time.)

Quiet period - permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts only on the member institution's campus. (The coach may not watch you play or visit your high school during this period. You and your parents may visit a college campus during this time however. No contact or evaluation may be made off campus.)

Official visit- Any visit to a college campus by you and your parents paid for by the college. The college may pay the following
• Your transportation to and from the college;
• Room and meals (three per day) while you are visiting the college; and
• Reasonable entertainment expenses, including three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest.

Before a college may invite you on an official visit, you will have
to provide the college with a copy of your high school transcript
(Division I only) and SAT, ACT or PLAN score and register with the
NCAA Eligibility Center

Detailed information about recruiting is available in the online edition of the The NCAA Guide for the College Bound Student Athlete.
Now, that you understand the terms, here is the baseball calendar:

The dates in this calendar reflect the application of Bylaw 30.11 at the time of publication but are subject to change per Constitution or if certain dates (e.g., National Letter of Intent signing dates) are altered.

August 1-31 2008: Contact period

September 1-11 2008: Quiet period

Sept. 12 - Nov. 9 2008: Contact period

November 10-13 2008: Dead period

Nov. 14, 2008 - Feb. 28 2009 Quiet Period
Except for Jan.2 (12:01AM)
thru Jan. 6 2009,(12:01AM) Dead Period

March 1- July 31 2009 Conact Period
Except for April 6-9 2009: Dead Period

So there you have it on the recruiting rules for baseball. Confused? Don't be. The rules in place are actually in place to even out the all teams and to ensure that all schools big and small have the same opportunities at showcase and camps to evaluate and observe.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Joe The Thumber

A colleague told us the other day of a working class type of pitcher that is small in size, but big in heart that is making waves at a west coast JC this fall. On the heels of Tim Lincecum’s Cy Young award, this story shows how a little bit of grit and determination can propel a player’s status.

Our name for this pitcher is Joe The Thumber…we want to keep his name private, but it is aptly named, because he’s all about off speed and more off speed. Joe was dominant LHP in his youth. His growth was ahead of the curve for kids his age. Unfortunately for Joe, he grew too early and not enough. He stopped at 5’10” and 160lbs and with it, the letters from college scouts. He had a successful high school career, but was often an afterthought in the summer leagues due to his size and 81MPH fastball.

That did not deter Joe though. Every time he pitched, he did his job. In fact, he often made players much bigger and stronger than him look foolish with his nasty slider, wicked curve ball and his knack for location, location, location. In fact, there wasn’t a pitcher on any staff of his high school or summer team that had better stats than Joe. Nevertheless, many coaches always felt that he just wasn’t intimidating enough. He looked hittable…yet the stats proved otherwise. It seemed as if the coaches always thought that teams would eventually catch up to his style of pitching…yet they never did.

College coaches felt the same way. They were impressed with his stats, just not his physical stature. He was considered a risk and it was rationalized that he would never have that same success with the type of talent that he would be facing in college. So they passed on him.

Joe knew better however. So, he embarked on a campaign to seek out the best Junior College teams and tried out for all of them. After a series of bullpen sessions with a high profile west coast program, he landed the opportunity he wanted.

This fall, he has been nothing short of amazing. He put on about 15 lbs., added about four miles to his fast ball and has yet to have a run scored on him in scrimmages this fall season. He is the smallest on the team, but when he is on the mound, he comes up big. He locates his ball with pin-point accuracy and has a Steve Carlton like glaze when he pitches. Joe the Thumber is on a mission. He has a lot to prove and our bet is that he will land a major D-I offer after next season.

Players, there is a lot to learn from guys like Joe The Thumber. There are a lot of you that may not have the chance to sign an NLI this early signing period. That doesn’t mean that you should give up on your dreams if you really love this game. Joe loves this game and is having the time of his life. If everything progresses the way Joe has planned it, then going the JC route will be his way to play major college baseball. There’s a saying that says that ‘There’s more than one way to skin a cat.’ I’m not sure where that saying came from and why someone would want to skin a cat in the first place, but it means that you have options and to never give up.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

College Development Programs

RT Staff Note: We are always touting CDP's like ADB, Norcal, East Cobb and others, but there are a growing number of other programs that fly under the radar, yet help place dozens of players every year in colleges. The All Star Baseball Academy isn't exactly an unknown organization. They are high profile in the east, but not usually top of mind in terms of championships. That said, pro players like B.J. and Justin Upton played for ASBA. Rounding Third salutes teams like ASBA and the world of College Development Baseball would be a better place if more programs like this and others in our top 10 would emulate this business model. It's great for the game of baseball and provides an incredible service for players that want to play ball at the next level. The following is a Press Release we found on CBS MarketWatch.

All-Star Baseball Academy Announces Commitment of 24 Players to Collegiate Baseball Programs

WEST CHESTER, Pa., Nov 12, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- All-Star Baseball Academy (ASBA), the Delaware Valley's largest organization for developing young athletes through instruction, competition and mentoring, announces today that 24 of its players will be signing letters of intent by the November 19th deadline to play collegiate baseball. These Greater Philadelphia region players have all been active participants in ASBA's programs and will be entering elite baseball programs across the country. ASBA will be honoring these players at an event at its West Chester facility at 7:00 p.m. on November 19.

The ASBA players will be signing with colleges including the University of North Carolina's program, which is currently ranked third by the NCAA, as well as schools such as Georgetown University, Wake Forest University, Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia and Penn State University.

"We would like to congratulate each one of these players," said Mike Manning, director of ASBA. "We have a tremendous class of athletes this year and see many younger players following the same path to play college ball. Our program is designed to not only provide instruction to improve the skill sets of the players, but also help them through the recruitment process and prepare them for competition at the collegiate level. We look forward to following these players through their collegiate baseball careers."

The 24 players include:

Name - College - High School

Robert Amaro - Virginia - William Penn Charter
Nick Bonadies - West Chester U. - Scotch Plains Fanwood
Tim Cooney - Wake Forest - Malvern Prep
Tom Coyle - North Carolina - Germantown Academy
Ryan Dietrich - Penn - The Hill School
Chris Gosik - East Carolina - Malvern Prep
Neal Herring - Penn State - West Chester East
Jeff Kelly - Pittsburgh - Owen J. Roberts
Justin Leeson - Georgetown - West Chester East
Mike Lubanski - Wake Forest - Malvern Prep
Jay Lynch - Binghamton - West Chester East
Ryan McCallin - Georgia Southern - St. Mark's, DE
Dan Novak - U.S Naval Academy West - Chester East
Mark Rhine - Wake Forest - William Penn Charter
Taylor Runge - Bucknell - Octarara
Vince Russomagno - Cornell - Episcopal Academy
Eric Ruth - Winthrop - North Penn
Jeff Schill - John Hopkins - LaSalle College HS
Steve Snyder - Penn State - West Chester East
Jim Stokes - Elon - College The Hill School
Andrew Strenge - Maryland - Holy Ghost Prep
Tom Timoney - UNC Wilmington - Mercersburg Academy
Christian Walker - South Carolina - Kennedy Kenrick
Chris Whitman - Millersville U. - Bishop Shanahan

ASBA works with players to ensure that they will have successful future careers through a high level of competition and superior instruction. ASBA offers collegiate baseball showcases, which offer players the opportunity to demonstrate their skills for the leading collegiate baseball coaches across the country. In addition, ASBA offers camps, where players further develop and perfect their skills and learn the best techniques for highlighting their abilities.

In November, December and January, ASBA is offering five Collegiate Camps which have been designed to introduce high school-level players to college coaches and offer a perfect environment where players not only learn from these coaches, but are also able to demonstrate their individual skills. The Winter Collegiate Camps will be held at ASBA West Chester on November 15 and 16 with coaches from the Coastal Carolina University, December 13 and 14 with the University of Virginia, December 20 and 21 with the University of North Carolina, December 29 and 30 with Villanova University and January 10 and 11, 2009 with Penn State University. More information on the Winter Collegiate Camps can be found on the ASBA website at

About All-Star Baseball Academy
All-Star Baseball Academy is the Delaware Valley's largest and most respected organization for developing more than one million young athletes each year through instruction, competition and mentoring. With locations in West Chester, Broomall, Hatboro and Downingtown, Pa., ASBA offers area youth many different services to provide them with the necessary edge to be successful in athletics as well as their lives. For more information on ASBA visit

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Evan in Baseball Heaven

RT Staff Note: Today is the first day to sign a national letter of intent. Congrats to those that worked hard to get to this point. We will post our list shortly. To see how big of an impact college can have, the following is a story from the Long Beach Press Telegram. One important paragraph from this article states,'Longoria's win also underscores Major League Baseball's growing affection for ready-made college baseball stars. Of the last 14 rookie of the year winners dating back to 2002, 12 were collegiate products.' This is significant folks.

Not every player is an Evan Longoria, but college ball players are raising the eyebrows of Major Leagues scouts. We observed a college scrimmage last weekend and their were 10 scouts in attendance. All of you 2009 will be entering college at the right time. Work harder than ever, because in the years ahead, the stakes for college baseball players will be raised a few notches.

Former Dirtbag star named AL Rookie of the Year and takes all 28 first-place votes.

By Bob Keisser, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 11/10/2008 10:28:55 PM PST

The one person Evan Longoria depended on most for tips during his transition from college to pro baseball was his former Long Beach State teammate Troy Tulowitzki.

So there's a small slice of irony that Longoria would go his mentor one better Monday when the third baseman won the American League Rookie of the Year award. The former Dirtbag and St. John Bosco product led the Tampa Bay Rays to their first-ever World Series and received all 28 first-place votes, making him the first unanimous winner since 1997.

More irony: The winner in 1997 was another Bosco Braves star, Nomar Garciaparra, the current Dodger who was a unanimous choice when he was with the Boston Red Sox.

Tulowitzki finished second in balloting for the NL award last season, barely losing to Milwaukee's Ryan Braun. Longoria is the second Dirtbag to win the AL rookie award; Bobby Crosby won it in 2004. He also is the third Dirtbag to claim a major award, joining Crosby and 2000 AL MVP Jason Giambi.

"I'd be lying if I said I expected to be in this situation when I was a kid," Longoria said Monday. "There were times when I struggled when I played in high school and even college baseball.

"But like any kid who loves baseball, it's something you dream about, and this feels like a dream come true. It's such a special thing, to be unanimous, that it's hard to put into words. I appreciate every vote, especially since I didn't start the year in the majors."

23, was the Rays' first-round pick and third pick overall in 2006. He had a sensational first pro season in 2007, hitting well at three different levels. He was sent to the minors before the start of the 2008 season but was called up two weeks later and never looked back.

He hit .272 with 27 home runs and 85 RBIs despite missing five weeks with a broken wrist.

Longoria hit .353 with 11 home runs and 43 RBIs as the Dirtbags' junior leader in 2006. He said playing alongside Tulowitzki in 2005 as a sophomore was a key part of his development.

"I haven't had much time to talk to many people (from his local days)," he said. "I've had texts with Tulo, Coach (Mike) Weathers, (assistant) T.J. Bruce. I spoke with Tim McDonald, my hitting coach in 2006. The lady who cuts my hair is the wife of my former high school baseball coach, so I've sent some messages back.

"The important people at Long Beach were Troy, Coach Weathers and (sports psychologist) Ken Ravizza with all he taught me about the mental side of baseball. Troy, just talking to him seeing how he went through the whole process last year was such a big help."

Weathers said: "It's such a fantastic story, for Evan having such a tremendous season and to be a part of what happened with Tampa Bay. Like everyone who comes out here and has some success, I hope we've played a small part of where he is today."

What most observers and voters keyed on was Longoria's poise as a rookie for a World Series team and how he and other young Rays have put a face on a franchise that until 2008 had never had a winning season.

"Baseball is a team sport, but every franchise has somebody that sticks out," he said. "But whether it's me or B.J. Upton or Scott Kazmir, it doesn't matter. If it happens to be me, I'll do the best I can to represent the club and the city.

"I feel like I can do more. I wouldn't go into next year expecting myself to hit double the home runs and double the RBIs, but if I were able to replicate this year every year, it'd be a productive year. I know I have the ability to do more, and all I can really do is prepare myself to the best of my abilities and then go out on the field and see what happens."

Longoria's win also underscores Major League Baseball's growing affection for ready-made college baseball stars. Of the last 14 rookie of the year winners dating back to 2002, 12 were collegiate products.

Four of the last five AL ROY winners were first-round picks - Longoria, Detroit's Justin Verlander (2006, Old Dominion), Oakland's Huston Street (2005, Texas) and Crosby (2004). In the NL, Braun and Colorado's Jason Jennings (2002) were also first-rounders.

"I think there are a lot of teams that want players who are in that 22- and 23-year-old range who have been prepared in college and can play in the majors soon," Longoria said.

"It's what I did in college playing against top-caliber players that prepared me for this."

Other Dirtbags to place in ROY voting include Tulowitzki, Jered Weaver (fifth, 2006-AL), Jason Vargas (tie eighth, 2005-NL), Terrmel Sledge (tie sixth, 2004-NL) and Steve Trachsel (fourth, 1994-NL).

There have been several other Long Beach and neighborhood MLB award winners in the past. Wilson's Jeff Burroughs was the 1984 AL MVP, Bellflower-born Jeff Kent was the 2000 NL MVP, and Long Beach-born Tim Salmon was the 1993 AL Rookie of the Year.

Wilson standout and Hall of Famer Bob Lemon's peak years came before the creation of the Cy Young Award, and he likely would have won it three times if it had around. He ranked fifth in AL MVP voting in 1948, 1950 and 1954 and was the top vote-getter among pitchers all three seasons.

Poly's Tony Gwynn won eight NL batting titles; Bosco's Garciaparra won two AL batting titles; Poly's Vern Stephens led the AL in RBIs three times and home runs once; and Compton's Duke Snider, the Dodgers Hall of Famer, led the NL in home runs and RBI once and twice finished second in the 1955 NL MVP voting.

The Cubs' Geovany Soto hit .285 with 23 homers, 35 doubles and 86 RBIs to win the NL Rookie of the Year award. He became the first catcher to win ROY in either league since Mike Piazza of the Dodgers in 1993.

The previous winner from the Cubs was pitcher Kerry Wood 10 years ago. "I just didn't want to put extra pressure on myself. I just wanted to do my job as the team required," Soto said on a conference call from Puerto Rico .

Soto became the first NL rookie catcher to start an All-Star Game. In addition to his productive hitting all season, he did a nice job handling a Cubs pitching staff that compiled a 3.87 ERA, third-best in the NL. He even caught a no-hitter by Carlos Zambrano.

"It's kind of surreal. It really hasn't sunk in yet," Soto said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Choosing A College Baseball Program

RT Staff Note: Tomorrow is the first day a 2009 graduate can sign his National Letter Of Intent. If many of you players desire to be in that position next year or the year after that, here's an article that we reprinted from HS Baseball Web. They re-printed it from All

Questions To Ask A Coach
Reprinted From:
All Sports.Com


Choosing a college should be the hardest decision you should make. Is it the right school for you? Does it have the academics you need? Do you have a legitimate opportunity to contribute to the athletic department?

These are just some of the questions that you will need to ask coaches, team members and admissions during this entire process. Below are some questions you should be asking yourself.

Questions for Coaches

What kind of academic support does the college provide? (tutors, etc)

What is the team grade point average?

What is the team graduation rate?

What are some of the majors of team players?

Is my scholarship guaranteed for four years?

What are your red-shirt procedures? Will I be red-shirted in my freshman year?

Does the scholarship cover summer school?

Will the scholarship cover a fifth year if necessary?

At my position, what does the depth chart look like?

Where do I stand on the recruiting list?

What are my scholarship opportunities?

How many assistant coaches are there?

Questions for Team Members

Does the coach teach at the school?

What is the morale of the team?

Does the team like the staff?

Is the coach interested in academics?

Do the athletes really have to go to all classes?

How long is practice?

Would you go to this school if you had to choose again?

What is the average class size?

What are the dorms like?

Are the professors accessible?

Do the athletic dept. tutors do a good job?

Questions for Admissions

What is the average class size and ratio per professor?

Who teaches classes? (Professors, teacher assistants)

What is enrollment of college?

How is my major regarded?

What percent of graduates from my major receive jobs within three months of graduation?

How many fraternities and sororities are available?

What are the housing policies?

May I sit in on a class in my major? (as a guest)

How accessible are counselors to me?

Summary Question for Yourself

Did I have a good overall feeling about the school?

Would I go to school here if I wasn't going to play sports?

Will I fit into the athletic program?

Am I satisfied with the living arrangements?

Am I satisfied with the academic opportunities?

Many additional questions will, and should, come up throughout your recruiting process. The bottom line in choosing a college is simple...Choose a school that you would go to if you were not going to play sports!

Your chances of playing professional sports is very slim. Go to college to get an education, meet lifetime friends, play some sports & have fun! When the final whistle blows and you're 21 years old and out of college, what you will have is experience, memories and a college degree. Don't make the mistake of selecting a college only because they are the only school that offered you a scholarship. Pick a college because that's where you would want to spend the next four to five years of your life.

Monday, November 10, 2008

ESPNU to Broadcast College Baseball's 150th Anniversary Game

RT Staff Note: Trivial Pop Quiz...Where was the first Collegiate Game played and when? You know that ESPNU is really making the effort to turn up the broadcast heat, when they start broadcasting games between Williams and Amherst colleges. It is a significant game to be sure, but it shows that college baseball has turned the corner. ESPN has enough confidence in college baseballs drawing power to broadcast a game like this. This is an exciting time for our game. High school players take the game gets more TV time, the stakes WILL get higher in the recruiting front. Take your off-season work-outs seriously and ramp them up to the next level. Think about it...How many minor league games does ESPN broadcast? Hardly any. Thanks to guys like Dustin Pedroia, Evan Longoria and Pat Burrell, going practically from college to the pros, the college game on ESPN has more significance. This is a good sign folks. The college game has almost reached the status we thought it should have been in all along. Now only if the number of scholarships given out to players would match it's new found popularity...

From Wire Services...PITTSFIELD, Mass. – When Williams and Amherst colleges next meet on the baseball diamond, it will be broadcast live nationally on ESPNU.

The matchup will mark the 150th anniversary of college baseball at, appropriately enough, historic Wahconah Park in the "Birthplace of College Baseball."

The two teams competed in the first intercollegiate game in 1859 in Pittsfield when a mutual site could not be agreed upon. The city's amateur Pittsfield Base Ball Club offered its original grounds, which now the site of a downtown coffeeshop.

"Pittsfield as the birthplace of college baseball, and the first city in America to play ball is proud to host the 150th anniversary game," said Mayor James M. Ruberto. "We are also looking forward to unveiling our new infield and upgrades to historic Nokona Field at Wahconah Park."

(The field is being renamed after Nokona Athletic Goods, owned by some of the partners in the city's new collegiate baseball franchise, the American Defenders of Pittsfield.)

Wahconah Park, site of minor league and key collegiate and amateur games for two centuries, was designated as college baseball's birthplace by the College Baseball Foundation of Lubbock, Texas, last year. The Ephs and Lord Jeffs weren't able to play the scheduled day because of heavy rain, but Williams prevailed 9-4 in a May 4 makeup tilt. A logo to celebrate college baseball's birthplace was revealed in pregame ceremonies.

Williams and Amherst's rivalry date back to Amherst's founding in 1821 by a splinter group from Williams who sought to have that college moved to a more central location, such as in Hampshire County. The spirited competition between the colleges is most obvious in its sports teams, especially football.

The schools originally challenged one another to a "friendly game of ball" in 1859 as players from both schools had competed in "rounders" and "base ball" on sandlot sites and at prep schools before the initial intercollegiate clash. This also was 47 years before the founding of the National Collegiate Athletic Association by President Theodore Roosevelt, so eligibility of contestants was not an issue.

Amherst won the 1859 game 73-32 (that's right) in 25 innings. Teams played (like cricket) in those days until the squads tired, or it was time to hitch the wagons or catch the trains to return to campus. The nine-inning framework for baseball contests followed in the later 1860s and early 1870s.

The Lord Jeffs and Ephs (both members of the New England Small Athletic Conference and solid contenders for the 2009 league crown) finished with identical 24-12 records (Amherst also had a tied to close at 24-12-1) last year and have two of the strongest baseball traditions among New England colleges.

"This 150th anniversary game will be preceded by a re-enactment of the original game under vintage rules with alumni players of both schools participating," said Dan Duquette, a 1980 Amherst alum and partner in the American Defenders. "We are also planning to honor Amherst baseball coach Bill Thurston (longtime head of the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee) who will be completing his 41-year Amherst coaching career."

The 150th anniversary game will be carried live nationally on ESPNU on Sunday, May 3, 2009, at 1 p.m.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Tell Them, Tell Them What You Told Them, And Then Tell Them Again

Over the years, we have seen two types of players that make it to the next level. The quiet leaders and the vocal leaders. Both are great for team morale and team unity. The vocal leader is the spark in the dugout that keeps everyone loose with upbeat banter and funny comments. He also is the guy that can back it up with his work ethic. These guys are coaches dreams and will carry that confidence into a great career someday..and we are not just talking a baseball career.

The other leader is the quiet leader. He isn't as vocal, maybe not as out going, but is respected because he shows his leadership on the field. This player is highly competitive and finishes first in all of the drills and is the first to arrive and the last to leave practice. He is incredibly coachable and makes up for his lack of vocal skills with keen listening and attentiveness. He too is every coaches dream and will be a success in the classroom and in the business world.

But as different as they are from a personality standpoint, they are quite similar with their work ethic and the humbleness. Great leaders are humble and while the vocal leader is loud in the the field you would never know how really good he is. It is the same with the quiet leader. That's why they are leaders. They are well liked and well respected that way. It's this humble attitude that sometimes gets in the way of a good recruiting campaign however. We have seen players be way too humble in touting their accomplishments to college coaches. They think it's bragging.

Yes, it IS bragging if players beat their chest at school or at a party by telling everyone about their stats and press clippings. No one likes that guy.

It IS NOT bragging if players are writing a letter to a college coach however.

If a player leads the league in hitting, RBI's, ERA or fielding and is awarded some post season accolades, they need to put all of that information into a letter or profile sheet. Our post two days ago talked about the need to sell a players abilities and talents. Well a player needs to realize that the "product" he is selling is himself and in order to make that sale, he is going to have to give that coach all of the features, benefits and facts to convince that coach to "buy".

And like any good salesman, players need to be persistent. They need to tell the coaches, tell them what they told them and then tell them again and again and again. It's not bragging guys. It's exchanging important information that will hopefully impact the future of the college coach's team.

So, when you sophomores and juniors send out your profile sheets, letters and emails to coaches, don't be afraid to give them all of your stats, accolades and accomplishments. Back it up with clippings, stats from your College Development Program or high schools web site too. Pitchers, infielders and catchers can benefit by showing video of their fielding and pitching technique and all hitters should do the same.

Players don't have to hire a company to do this. In this You Tube World we live in, a player can produce his own video...just don't go crazy with it with music and graphics. This is the time for both sophomores and juniors to ramp it up. Coaches are in a good position to read letters and watch videos this time of year...Good luck
RT Staff

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Between the Ears

RT Staff Note: The following is from the book "Mind Gym" by Gary Mack. Gary is a leading sports psychology consultant and counselor who has worked with professional athletes in every major sport. He is president of two consulting firms, Sports Assist and Planning Solutions.

Like our beliefs and attitudes, our thinking can be a powerful ally. How we think affects how we feel, and how we feel affects how we perform. My job is to help athletes think clearly and use their minds effectively by teaching them to turn their negative critic into a positive coach.

One day, I was at Yale field in Connecticut, visiting the Mariners' Double A club, the New Haven Ravens. One of the young center fielders was struggling in the batting cage. "Mack, I'm never going to get this," he said between cuts. Her shook his head. "i don't have a clue." His negative critic was hard at work, shouting into his ear with a bullhorn.

"Let me ask you something,"I said. "If Ken Griffy Jr. thought like that, how good a batter do you think he would be?"

The question stopped the kid.

He knew that if Griffey thought the way the minor leaguer did, the Mariners' slugger wouldn't perform well either. The kid's thinking was hurting him more than his swing. He needed to change his thinking, or at least give his mind a rest. Ted Williams offered some sage advice: "if you don't think too good, then don't think too much."

Just as we have irrational and unrealistic beliefs, we all are guilty of distorted and dysfunctional thinking. Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine said, "I went through the 'Don't do this' syndrome at certain times in my career when facing certain batters. I told myself not to hang a curve ball. Sure enough, I did. Now I focus on 'Do this.' It's a significant difference."

Which voice do you hear? Which is louder, the negative critic or the positive coach. You can choose to listen to the voice that offers and reinforces positive thought. It has been said that thoughts become words. Words become actions. Actions become habits. Habits become character. Character becomes your destiny.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's Your Turn Sophomores and Juniors

As this years group of 2009’s sign their NLI’s, a new group of 2010’s and 2011’s must approach the recruitment process in methodical and business like manner. Players need to approach the application to colleges and college baseball teams and prioritize the importance of a college education and the role of a student athlete.

We recommend that players take a business like approach because contacting coaches is like making a sales call to a prospective client. Players need to make coaches aware that there’s a great product ready to be shopped, looked at, and considered to improve the chances of their schools ability to compete on a national stage. If players don’t make the proper pitch, and do so effectively, then the “sale” won’t be made. It takes perseverance, articulation, and a plan to land that sale. It may take many sales calls, but it only takes one to get the college of a players choice.
Here’s some various stages to follow for those 2009 and 2010 graduates.

Research , Research, Research
No college left behind approach. First, find the college that best suits academic goals. We are big proponents of education first. Baseball can give a player educational opportunities that may have not been available had not his baseball been in the picture. Take advantage of that players.

Next, find the school that has the best fit geographically. Mom and dad may want to come see a few games. A player may want to stay close to home for other reasons like weather, girlfriend or just a convenient excuse to take that trip home to have mom do the wash.

Finally, research the needs of teams that have positions vacated by graduation or the draft. This is as simple as looking at the rosters of each team.

Tell The Coaches Who You Are
When targeting schools a player needs to create a player profile. A player profile consists of academic and athletic attributes and strengths. A player profile is an essential tool that will highlight skills and achievements to the schools where they stand the most chance of being noticed and appreciated. A well rounded and complete player profile will lead to a greater overall success rate in a player’s admissions efforts.

Target the Coaches and Schools That are the Right Fit.
As we mentioned at the top of this article, a player must make sure that the athlete matches the needs of the college. A player needs to make sure that the schools they have chosen are a good fit both scholastically, athletically and socially too. School should be a memorable experience too.

The Recruiting Campaign
After a player has performed the above tasks, he needs to start the big recruiting campaign. Letter after letter, e-mail after e-mail. Target schools that fit talent level too. If a player wants to target Division I, Division II, Division III, NAIA, or JC schools, click the links to view the choices.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What IS your Intent?

Congratulations to all Class of 2009 baseball players that will be signing next week. (November 12th) You all should be proud of what you all have accomplished thus far in your lives. It’s really an honor to play a sport in college…and hard.

As you sign your Letter of Intent…Ask yourself what IS your intent? Will you strut around feeling full of yourself, or will you continue with that same hard nosed work ethic that got you here in the first place? Well, we along with your parents, coaches and future coaches encourage the latter, because it certainly won’t get any easier for you.

Each step in your life just keeps getting harder and more competitive. You may be the best in your high school or league, but next year, you will compete against all the best players in all the best leagues in your state or region of the country. College Development Programs certainly helped you prepare for this moment, but now size, strength, stamina and heart are the wild cards to compete against and strive for. It’s time to get serious, be the senior leader, and show your future coaches that they have a lot to look forward to.

The same work ethic needs to extend into the classroom too. There really is no comparison between high school and college. Bottom line, college is much harder and just as you would train your body for a long grueling season ahead, you need to train your mind and prepare it for the rigors of higher learning.

Parents, savor this moment as well. It’s not too corny to break out the digital camera and take a few pictures of the signing. In fact, it will be a great moment. We even bet that as you drive away from his new surroundings next fall and head for home with the nest a bit emptier, you’ll break out those signing pics and your mind will rush with all of the memories of snack shack dinners, long drives with noisy players in the back, muddy floorboards, smelly socks, Motel 6’s when nothing else was available, diving catches, and the blur of acronyms like RBI’s GWH’s, HR’s, K’s, BA’s, OBP’s, ERA, SLG’s, and wonder how it went by so fast.

Congrats 2009’s!!!! Play Hard and Smart…Make us all proud!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008


RT Staff Note: Here's an article from Carmen Bucci of the Complete Athlete.

Talking on the phone, or meeting face to face with a college coach is an important step in the college recruiting process. If you receive a phone call or are offered a visit by a college coach, it means that a coach likes your ability as a player, and is interested in learning more about you as a person.

Believe it or not, there’s more to you than just being a baseball player. You all have things about you that are interesting…things that make you unique. You may not think certain things about you are interesting, but others (college coach or professional scout) just might.

The more coaches or scouts know about you, your character, your background, your hobbies & interests, and your personality, the better they know you. In turn, the better they know you, the more they like you. And, finally, the more they like you, the better the chance you have to get recruited or drafted. Remember, when a college coach offers a scholarship or a chance to play at their school, and a professional team considers drafting you, they are making an investment in you.

Another reason to allow others to get to know you is that you just might find you have things in common. Finding things in common makes both of you more comfortable around each other and it makes a conversation go a little smoother. You’ll always have something to talk about with that person. Finally, if you don’t let people get to know you, they’re going to draw their own conclusions. And, those conclusions may not be right.

In my workshops, at the multiple Perfect Game Showcases, I had the pleasure of working with a number of dedicated baseball players. Before the workshop, they were each just 1 of the hundreds of players in attendance. While working together for only an hour, I was able to get to know them as more than just baseball players.

I found out that one of the players speaks Italian, another is interested in physiology, a few of them have traveled overseas, another lived in 6 different cities growing up, another had a great sense of humor, and another was cut from his freshman team, only to come home and begin to work on his hitting in the basement 2 hours later. Not only did he make the team his sophomore year, he started. Most of the players didn’t think that what they were telling me was interesting. However, by the end of the workshop, each player left some type of impression on me.

I had a chance to really get to know the players, and each left an impression on me. Getting to know their personalities, and getting to know each of them as people, led to me wanting to see them succeed. You can have the same effect on a coach or scout.

How do you do that? How do you show your character, your personality, or your confidence without bragging? Stay tuned for next month’s article. We’ll cover how to show vs. tell.

Carmen Bucci
Founder & President