Today’s post highlights some of the points made by one of our recruiting experts during a webinar. It’s easy and free to register for a webinar that’s convenient for you. Just look for the webinar you’d like to attend on our Recruiting Education page.
This week’s webinar on baseball recruiting strategies was hosted by Nelson Gord, a three-sport athlete in high school, and a walk-on to the University of Illinois-Chicago baseball team who became a four-year starter and earned a scholarship for his skills. After college, Nelson went onto a career on teams like the Schaumburg Flyers, Houston Astros and Kansas City T-Bones. In addition to playing, Nelson has coached at every level, from high school and travel teams to college baseball.
Get your recruiting online.
Nelson can’t emphasize enough that recruiting has moved into digital spaces. “The reality is coaches won’t be able to come out to you at the drop of a hat to see you play,” Nelson says. “So it’s super important you have your video uploaded on your profile.”
The more complete your profile can be: with transcripts, contact information, key measurables and more, the better.
“Coaches want to be able to learn about the way you play from third-party sources,” he says. “Whether that’s a coach or a verified resource like NCSA — it’s not like you can have a parent vouch for you.”
Focus on the fundamentals in recruiting.
“I often hear kids say ‘I really want to go to this school and play baseball,’ or ‘It’s been a dream of mine to play baseball here,'” Nelson says. “And my next question is: Have you talked to those coaches? Have they seen you play? And they answer: ‘No, coach.'”
Being proactive in your recruiting is the only way you’ll get ahead. Getting in front of coaches at camps and tournaments is a great way for coaches to cross-reference your online profile’s stats, Nelson says.
“It’s always good to be in their system. Be sure you know who’s going: send them an email, a text message, a tweet, so they know you’re going to be there. And then make sure to follow up to see if they have any feedback about your performance.”
Be realistic in your expectations.
When you’re talking to coaches or looking for camps to attend, Nelson says, “You need to go to places where they have some knowledge of who you are, and you have a realistic expectation of being able to play there.”
“If you’re a senior and you’ve never started on your varsity team, you won’t find an easy way onto a top 20, top 40 Division I program. The reality is there are so many schools out there you have to be realistic about which camps you’re going to attend.”
Keep an open mind.
Make sure you’ve done everything you can to open up different opportunities. “We recommend taking both the SAT and the ACT. You can see which one you’re better at. Plus, since different schools take one or the other, you’ll also find different areas and schools you might not have thought about.”
And just because you haven’t thought of the school means it’s a bad fit: “I’ve never heard from a recruit at the end of the process: ‘I took too many visits,’” he says. “You can take the visits at any time; you have an unlimited amount of unofficial visits.”
Get more helpful tips and strategies personalized to your recruiting by building a profile.