Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Uncommitted Seniors...Focus on April 13th, 2011
Today is the last day a senior can sign his letter of intent in the early signing period. As much emphasis as we are putting this week on signed players, we know that not everyone reading Rounding Third is committed to a college. This site is dedicated to helping all baseball players realize their dream...So, we are re-visiting a subject that we touched upon a few years ago. That particular and very popular post last month, stressed that uncommitted Seniors should not give up on their dream and continue to market themselves.
Recently, we encountered some statistics to support why Seniors should step-up their recruiting efforts. Did you know that when you take into consideration D-II, D-III, NAIA and JC's, that there are more college scholarships awarded in April signing period than in November? Also, 75% of all baseball opportunities are outside of D-I. Yes, most of the majors and some mid-major D-I's will have fullfilled their needs in the November period. However, most of the D-II, D-III, NAIA and JC's sign their players in April.
That should be encouraging for most of the unsigned players. So, knowing that...it's time for uncommitted Seniors to change their focus and target the schools that may or may not have been on the original lists. Forget the major D-I's at this point. While there certainly will be exceptions, they are done recruiting for the most part. Start to research other options and go after them as aggressively as the original list of colleges.
As a start, if a player was a big contributor on their high school or travel team last season, they should ask both coaches to write a letter of recommendation. Then, write a personal letter and, along with the profile sheet, recomendation letters and video if one exists, send them out to a whole new list of smaller colleges. This time, make sure to follow it up with a phone call. Seniors should not hesitate to ask the college coach or recruiter if there is any interest. Don't be afraid to call and do not wait for a written response back. That response is somewhat hollow anyway. When players send out letters, they will get a letter back in most cases....However, a response letter is not an indication that they are interested. It's basically a confirmation that they received the letter. Some college coaches will include an invitation to a winter camp. Again, a camp invitation is not necessarily an indication of interest. I should not have to say this, but the call must come from the player...NO PARENT INTERVENTION!
Now that the April signing period is the new goal, the emphasis on a players senior year in high school takes on more importance. Step up the off-season conditioning program. Send the college coaches high school schedules. Work hard to ensure a spot on the team. If players are unsure of their role on the school team this upcoming season, ask the high school coach for advice on what he wants from you as a player...and then DO WHAT HE SAYS!!! Just because a player talked with their coach doesn't mean they are off the hook. It means that he is going to look at that player a bit differently to see if they followed through on his advice. All Players must step-up the work ethic several notches.
In the warm weather states, most high schools will already have 15 games under their belt by the beginning of the April signing period. E-mail stats and any local articles that might have been written and send them to the targeted colleges to get an early jump. But, don't worry frost belt players, the late signing period is quite a bit longer than the one-week November signing period. The late signing period is from April 13,2011-May 18,2011. The longer signing period gives players an opportunity to continue to play out their senior year and improve.
So, we hope we have shed a little light and given baseball players hope that there is still a lot of time to fulfill your dreams. Just work hard, play smart, continue to contact coaches and excel in the classroom and many will fulfill their dream to play at the next level.