Editor’s note: We’ve recently been focusing on stories about students who were recruited their senior year. Here, recruiting coach assistant Brett Scyphers talks through the common tips we give to seniors who are still looking to make a connection with college coaches.
Thomas Edison once said, “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are: hard work, stick-to-it-iveness, and common sense.”
This quote applies exponentially to a senior baseball recruit that has not made a commitment. You have probably put in a lot of hard work, but you feel like it hasn’t paid off because you aren’t signing in November. Good news: Most baseball recruits make their commitment in the spring of their senior year.
So have hope! You need to stick with it if you want that experience of playing baseball in college because it’s still possible. Below we outline a common sense approach to your recruiting for this stressful time that will help you find one of those opportunities to continue your baseball career:
Have Realistic Expectations and Be Determined.
Be open to all to all division levels. If DI coaches have not called up to this point, let alone offer a roster spot, it’s time to focus most of your attention on DII, DIII, NAIA, and Junior Colleges
Keep in mind: 81% of college baseball opportunities are outside of Division I
College coaches recruit heavily throughout your senior year. And it follows a domino* effect: After the Early Signing Period, many DII programs know they have a chance at the remaining, unsigned seniors.
- *Note: The process doesn’t always work out this way (DI finishes recruiting, then DII, and so on). Some DII programs are done recruiting at the Early Signing Period, while some NAIA programs have several recruits who have signed a Letter of Intent, some DIII programs have multiple commitments, etc.
“Recruiting Never Stops.” If you have heard this then you know that even the highest level programs will keep an eye on recruits just in case someone in their recruiting class falls through.
Be Persistent. Start reaching out to schools in your home state and region. Most recruits will receive more interest closer to home versus further away, because in-state tuition helps extend a college coach’s recruiting budget, and there’s a better chance of the college coach coming to watch you play.
Don’t give up on the idea that you can still accomplish your dream of playing college baseball
Don’t be discouraged if you have friends or teammates who have made a decision. No two recruits have an identical recruiting process. If you haven’t found the right college program then look at this process optimistically: You have more time to figure out which one will be the best athletic, academic, and social fit.
Update your information online
Update your NCSA Profile (You do have a profile, right? If you don’t have one yet, start here.) Make sure you include all of the important details:
- SAT/ACT Score
- Skills Video
And don’t forget to register with the NCAA/NAIA Eligibility Centers.
Create a Weekly Game Plan
Proactively email at least 3-4 programs per week. Find out if they are still recruiting your position, and focus on personal contact with coaches (phone calls, personal emails, campus visits).
Conversely, be very selective with the camps and showcases you attend. Keep in mind that most DII, NAIA, and Junior College programs can set up personal workouts to evaluate you on their campus (versus you paying for a camp). If you’re going to travel to a college campus, be sure there is personal communication with the coaches prior to spending time and money at an event.
If you’re an NCSA Verified Member…
Take advantage of our Recruiting Classes. We host weekly classes called “Seniors: Your Monthly Recruiting To-Do List,” in which we go through all of these topics in deeper detail:
- Early Signing Period for Baseball & the NLI
- College Baseball Scholarship Money
- Critical Baseball Recruiting Dates and Timeline
- Choosing the Right College Baseball Camps
- Finding the Right Baseball Program
- Paying for the Right Baseball Showcases
- Visits 101
Be sure to monitor which college programs are still recruiting for your position by reviewing the Roster Openings weekly.
Set up a one-on-one Recruiting Strategy Session if you are overwhelmed and need a personal game plan.
Some Final Thoughts
Guys, this process can be a stressful at times, especially if you feel like you are behind. Hopefully these steps will help if you find yourself still uncommitted at this time of the year. The important thing to keep in mind is that the recruiting process is not over for you if you don’t sign a National Letter of Intent in November. Only a small percentage of recruits will sign an NLI. It does mean there is work to be done for exposure and to gain interest from college coaches.
Your commitment won’t happen overnight, but stick with this and keep working hard. This process could go well into next spring before you make your decision which means there is still time, but you should start now!
Contributor Brett Scyphers is a recruiting coach assistant at NCSA Athletic Recruiting. Still questions about the recruiting process? Sign up for a free profile.