It’s not enough just to tell a college coach or professional scout that you work hard or you’re a leader on /and off the field. It’s not enough to tell a college coach you would love to attend their college to get an education and play ball. You need to Prove It! Show vs. Tell. What do I mean?
Think about what a college coach goes through in the recruiting process. Once they have narrowed down the recruits they are interested in, they’re going call them on the phone. In doing so, it’s evident that they like the player’s ability, but they also want to get to know them as a person. Let’s say they call 5 recruits in a night. If you’re one of the lucky ones to get that phone call, you’ll experience an array of emotions, one of which will be “nervous”. You want that coach to like you. You want that coach to know you’re interested in their school. You want the coach to know you’re a hard worker, a leader and someone that would be a great representative of their program. There are a lot of things that you want a coach to know about you, but you may not know how to say it. If you simply tell a coach you’re a hard worker, etc, than you’re no different than any other recruit. How many guys are going to tell a coach that they don’t work hard? How many guys are going to tell a coach that they have bad character, or they aren’t leaders? The answer is NONE.
The same can be said for an interview with a professional scout. It’s not just about ability when someone is thinking of investing money in you in the draft. As I have mentioned in previous articles, they are investing in you as a person…the whole package. The affect that making the wrong decision has on a club is more than just a wasted draft pick. Besides winning, professional baseball teams, as a whole, are concerned with the perception of their organization. They want to bring in the right people, not just the right players.
So how do you stand out to a college coach or professional scout? The easiest way is in showing instead of telling. If you call a coach or scout, who has not seen you play, and tell them you’re a good player, they’re going to want to see it with their own eyes. They’ll either want to see you on video or see you play in person. The same goes for telling a coach you’re a hard worker, you’re a leader, or you have good character. Let them see it. Provide examples of what you’re talking about. In the following example, which of the players would stand out to you?
Player 1 – “Coach, I’m a hard worker. I give 100% all the time, and I think I’m a leader on the field. And I was named captain this year.”
Player 2 – “Coach, I’ve always worked hard. Usually I am up at 6 am…I lift weights before school….Then, after school, my friends and I hit in the batting cages and take ground balls in the gym….I have been working with a hitting coach 2 times per week, for the past year….I try to finish first every time we run sprints….My teammates voted me captain this year, and I was elected class rep in school by my teachers.”
Of course, your answers as a player will vary depending on your activities and personality. But, Player 2 is going to stand out over Player 1. He was able to “paint a picture.” When you’re ready to answer a question from a coach or scout, ask yourself “how” or “why,” and answer thoroughly. Do you want a coach to know you’re interested in their school? Research a school before you speak with a coach or you take your visit, and make sure to talk about what you’ve learned through your research. Do you have good character? Give some examples of situations you’ve been in and have shown good character, or talk about clubs you’re involved in inside or outside of school. Whether it’s talking to a coach or scout, don’t assume that just telling is enough. Actions speak louder than words. Prove it!
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