By former DI Recruiting Coordinator at Arizona State University Jay J. Sferra
What differentiates you from your competition & gives an edge over your peers?
1. Start the process early
I started to build my recruiting list FRESHMEN Year. Example: At Arizona State University, my 2017 freshmen (presently in High school) baseball-recruiting list would have 100 recruits by now (through one semester of a student-athlete’s high school career). By September 1st of your junior year my list had 1000 recruits and I already had filtered it down to our TOP 20 recruits we wanted to offer scholarships and roster spots.
2. Develop your Game Plan and get evaluated by a trusted 3rd party scout.
That allows you to set realistic expectations at what level i.e. Division I, Division II, Division III, NAIA, JC. you can play at. Remember, “you don’t pick the school, they pick you”.
3. Build a academic/athletic profile with a skills video that you can proactively send to college coaches with all the information I needed to recruit you and add you to my list.
Coaches can’t recruit you unless they know who you are. You have to market yourself.
It’s essential to play the numbers game. You need to reach out to 50-100 college programs proactively by email and phone calls. Start now!
What Coach Sferra looks for in a recruitable athlete?
Academics (GPA, SAT & ACT) and baseball talent.
College degree is something no one can take away from you. It’s a $2M insurance policy. It sets you up for the next 30 years of your life. Baseball is the vehicle to get a quality education so Mom & Dad don’t have to pay full value for college.
Attributes of a winning player
A winning player understands the game & simplifies the game. He is competitive, fearless and relentless in his pursuit of excellence.
1. Analysis Equals paralysis. Don’t over analyze that’s leads to negative thinking and fear. Can’t play the game with negative emotion and fear.
2. Adjustments Baseball is a game of adjustments and a game of failure. You have to be capable of making adjustments & overcoming fear of failure. Acting in spite of fear (Courage) leads to confidence.
3. Adversity is a test and a stern teacher. Baseball is a game of failure. Fail forward, learn from adversity. Always told my team. “If you want to know who I am, watch me when things aren’t going my way”. That’s an indicator when recruiting & watching players. The game is tough enough-stay even keel. Don’t let your ego take over, positive emotions not negative. Best example of a winning player (Derek Jeter).
4. Aggressiveness under control. It is possible to be too aggressive. Balance is required-control. Be proactive not reactive.
5. Attitude & Approach I would tell my son throwing your helmet or bat or beating up the water cooler is negative emotion. It does not help. Control what you can control, your Preparation Attitude & Behavior.