|I'm a High School Baseball Player and want to Play College Baseball, What should I do?
by Worldwide Baseball Prospects
For most young aspiring college baseball players the question, "How do I get noticed," seems to be very popular right up there along side, "Where can I get the most exposure?" First off let's help you in saying these questions need to follow others that are more important which will lay the future foundation to the answers you seek.
Your first question when starting the process of preparing to play at the college level should be directed at yourself as opposed to somebody else or what someone else can do for you. Whether you start early enough as a Freshman or Sophomore, which we at Worldwide Baseball Prospects highly recommend, or you wait later when you are a junior or really late when you are a senior, your first question may be, "What am I as a Person, as a Student and a Baseball player prepared to do and give of myself, back, in order to reach my goal of studying and playing baseball at the College level?"
You see, nobody is going to "get you recruited" accept one person, you. There may be assistance, coaching, or guidance but in the end it is your efforts on and off the field that will land you in a well suited college program.
As a young person starting out you may be very easily influenced by a lot of things such as TV, Internet, other Parents, Friends and Teammates. Even some coaches who seem negative or the parents who have good intentions yet seem over baring can also have an effect on you that could make it appear like you are running against the wind. How you think or perceive as well as how you talk to yourself with your internal dialogue can make things seem harder than they are or conversely aid in the process.
So it is imperative you would want to develop and later promote what we at Worldwide Baseball Prospects call the BIG3, "Person, Student and Player" and start the recruiting process and high school development process off right. You must lay down the foundation that is best suited for you as an individual.
BIG 3 - #1 The Person
A person or the personality of a human being is diverse and not all are equal. Some siblings are similar well others are very different. Joe Torre once said something to the affect that "he manages personalities." Do you think maybe this contributed to his success as a manager?" No two are the same, whether it's twins, brothers, or teammates and especially the recruiting process. With each individual there are some vast and small differences as well as similarities.
When you begin the process of development at the high school level you know that you have an idea that you wish to play at the college level. So when you are ready to begin, your first step is to take an account of your strengths and opportunities for improvement as a person.
Here is a list you may want to discuss.
1. How are your Non-Verbal Communication skills?
2. How is your Verbal Communication on the phone, can you carry an intelligent conversation?
3. How are your Verbal Communication skills in person?
4. How do you talk to yourself with your internal dialogue in different situations?
5. How do you present yourself to others? Are you confident and humble or arrogant?
6. How are your listening skills, can you retain information or do you hear what you want to hear?
7. Do you follow through with tasks easily? Are you consistent?
8. How do you treat others?
9. How is your life balance, how are your time management skills? So forth and so on.
Obviously this list could keep going but we think you get the point. By taking a real good look at who you are as a person you are then able to assess and build on the things that are needed to help you develop as a student and a player. It's the person who studies and the person who plays the game. The person is always before student-athlete and is the catalyst to developing both in a balanced way. It's an individual make-up, so by improving yourself as a person you actually provide yourself the tools necessary to develop both on and off the field. If you are a freshman or sophomore, developing these skills and others will pay you huge returns later in both the development and recruiting process.
BIG 3 - #2 The Student
The Student aspect of high school is an extremely important part of your goal to playing baseball at the college level and should be taken very seriously. During the freshman year of high school a student is getting familiarized with a new format, new social diversity and a lot of new experiences. Their ability to stay on track will be tested, their peers will demand their time, their sport or sports will demand their time and throw in the human aspect of growing and evolving into an independent person and their seems to be a whole lot of things going on at once. So where do you start.
Within the first 3 months of high school of your freshman year a student should have a good idea of how he is meeting the new demands. A meeting with the school guidance counsellor will help him to stay on track with his short term and long term goals.
This is where the ability to listen, retain information and develop a strategy for life balance and time management will be applied and practiced again and again.
Students may have different teachers conducting a classroom setting using their own style that they are comfortable with, which kind of sounds like some coaches. Students need to be able to adapt to their method, just like the with the term "coach-ability" on the field, in this case you need to apply "learn-ability, in the classroom."
Students need to develop a style of learning that works for them. For example, a large number of baseball players that we have spoken to over the years feel they are Visual Learners, possibly due to the learning patterns they repeatedly became accustomed to playing sports. They excel in visual subjects like Science, PE, Geography and are sometimes lagging in the word and number subjects such as English, Math and the Languages. Whatever the reason, if a student needs help, ask the teacher and/or the guidance counsellor for their expert opinion earlier rather than later. Do whatever it takes like for example, using the exercise of, Mnemonics, to aid in memory retention so that you can flow consistently with the work load and feel some element success. (*Side note to players: if you don't what Mnemonics is, look it up!)
Does a poor mark mean a person is not a good student? Well not necessarily, it means that a student got a poor mark in a particular subject or project. Your effort and your attendance as a student will speak volumes about your personal character and devotion. If you show up every day and exhaust all your opportunities to raise your mark(s), make no mistake, that is a great student! Just like in baseball if you put in extra time on your own practicing your weaknesses and you show up every day with that smile, hustle and positive attitude this is the making a of a great ball player. The goal would be to learn how to teach yourself both on and off the field to maximize your results.
In the end, the hard work that you put in now will pay off later as a Junior and Senior. Some young students forget that Colleges and Universities require them to take courses of study and maintain a certain GPA to play baseball. In order to even lace up the cleats and run on the field you have to study and be consistent at it at a certain level!
"It's really a no-brainer that academics should be a major priority in life during the high school years for any student athlete who wishes to play baseball at the college level."
The better your marks and test scores, the more opportunity may be made available for you to attend and possibly play college baseball. This may translate into more schools to choose from that are a good fit for you and/or scholarship funds to access, which is great for coaches with strained or no athletic budgets.
BIG 3 - #3 The Player
There are thousands of High School players across the country and abroad who wish to one day play the game they love in college at some level. As we mentioned earlier some are heavily influenced by outside sources such as TV, Internet and Friends. For those just starting out the first step you may consider as a player is a simple and easy one. As a parent, you need to find out where your son stands today with his skills and abilities.
This doesn't mean comparing him to others. It means comparing him to himself.
Before you begin dragging your son around the countryside it would be a good idea to receive a complete baseball evaluation. A 1-on-1 evaluation in a live setting from a creditable source of whom you do not know allows for total attention and effort being given to your son.
Obviously the longer the evaluation the more the evaluator/coach will get to know your sons strengths and weaknesses. He then will be able to offer a professional opinion to help him get better based on what he saw over that period of time. You need to know where your son stands with his tools, his strengths and weaknesses, how and what he projects to others watching him play for the first time, things like professionalism, heart, hustle, poise, aggressiveness, enthusiasm, etc.
Parents, future college recruiters that may be potentially interested in your sons talents may not know him like you do, so with this in mind do you think that it is a good idea to get an assessment from someone else's point of view? Remember, one person's good evaluation could be another's great evaluation and visas versa! The key at the freshman level is to get a solid bench mark for development to set him on the right path for the future. After the on field assessment there is still more to do.
This means taking a look at the overall experiences he has had in sport and baseball such as travel experience, location and distance from home without parents, different cultures and climates experienced, type of current coaching he has available and access to, his individual development strategy and timeline of goals both long and short term. Take a look at his nutritional habits, motivational techniques, baseball specific strength and performance routines for the year, etc. With all this information as well as other a family can build a plan to develop him. The key to this is that your son must have the heart and desire to do this and want to do it. You will be synchronizing this with his academic schedule in class and at home so those time management skills will really be important.
BIG 3 Conclusion
When you start off your recruiting plan as a Freshman it is much like building a house, you need a lot of information, a good support team around you and a solid overall foundation to help you in the direction you want to go.
Families need to understand that their son is developing as a Freshman and that doing a combination of small things earlier will most definitely pay off later down the road when time is limited and must be more specific.
Things to keep in mind when you are starting out ........
1. Your son is an individual, so as one, create a plan solely for him and his needs and desires.
2. Person, Student, Player is your total product that your son will be presenting to a school later, not just one aspect of the BIG3.
3. Develop your BIG3 before you present "sell" it as a freshman.
4. Often over looked, Academics is why you're going to a school, it is when you are admitted to the school you will have an opportunity to play.
5. Players need to develop their 1 year plan in stages (ex. 3 month intervals) that will progressively lead them to their BIG3 short and long term goals.
6. Players need to go get general experience within the BIG3 early in their freshman year as opposed to waiting until they become juniors when they need to be very specific with their time.
7. Players need to have a product to present and for lack of a better term "sell", so as a freshman ask yourself if you are college ready, if the answer is not yet then have patience and get the experience you need and develop your total product, create some value.
8. Learn what you don't know and learn what you are weakest at. Remember fundamentals don't age.
9. As a freshman you need to gain experience so attending an economical event or camp is great. You need to learn how to professionally present yourself before, during and after the event.
10. Forget the Hype, don't follow the heard or do what is popular, look at what is important for you and your individual situation.
11. Please remember this is about what you are doing today, it does not matter what you did in Youth Baseball. It matters what you present today to a college coach or recruiter.
12. Parents, know your role, Players, know your role too.
13. Parents create and opportunity fund for the year for development that you can stick to. Work within your means and remember to work with what you have.
14. Breathe, learn, grow, challenge yourself, have FUN and repeat!
About Worldwide Baseball Prospects (WBP™) is a coaching and mentoring organization that assists High School Baseball Student-Athletes, from freshmen to seniors and their parents to reach their short and long term goals in the college baseball recruiting process through our comprehensive program, The WBP™ High School to College Baseball Recruiting Program.