The following is a blog post by Ray Napientek, baseball expert and a head recruiting coach at NCSA Athletic Recruiting, who regularly contributes to the blog. Read more of Ray’s expert advice about baseball recruiting here.
Preparing for Spring Baseball Recruiting
Having a plan for your spring season is very important. Understanding that college coaches are always recruiting, even during their competitive season, will help you create a game plan.
These coaches are looking for student-athletes —students and athletes— that are strong in the classroom and strong on the baseball field. Having your priorities in order will help you compete for playing time on your high school team, help your team win championships and allow you to feel comfortable knowing you are doing your best for college coaches.
Here is a list of priorities to strive for in the spring season.
Keep your grades up as you prepare for spring baseball recruiting.
The NCAA continues to increase requirements for student-athletes in high school.
This is a good thing.
Preparing yourself for the rigors of college academics starts the day you step into high school.
One of the best ways to prepare is by recognizing that time management is important. Spend time mapping out study time in between school and baseball. You should set goals for yourself on how many hours you study a week.
At all college levels, coaches make sure student-athletes have extra time to study on the bus, plane or at hotels.
Finally, make sure you are setting up your time well in order to reach your GPA and ACT/SAT goals!
Use the spring baseball recruiting period to talk to college coaches.
I can speak from experience that college coaches are extremely busy during the competitive season. Coaches can be on planes, buses, vans and almost any other form of transportation you can think of for weeks.
But during those times, they are always checking their email and updating their priorities on which recruits to see when they get a day to recruit.
Coaches do not have off days in the spring.
Make sure to update them with your own spring schedule. Inform them when you will be playing at their college or nearby high school or fields.
Set a goal of a monthly update to send to coaches letting them know of your success in the classroom and on the field, and have your summer schedule ready for one of those emails later in the spring. The summer has become a huge recruiting time!
Don’t forget to have fun during spring baseball.
Playing baseball is fun.
Go out and enjoy the game. Work to the best of your ability. Don’t get tied up into feeling you need to hit a certain average or light up the radar gun.
Learn to compete. For whatever reason, many high school athletes forget what it takes to compete. Your goal should be to win the game for your team.
So many student-athletes these days get to college and have no idea what it takes to win a baseball game. They’ve lost perspective on what it means to play for the name on the front of the jersey.
Remember: you can still self-promote yourself to college coaches while you focus on the game and help your team win. You should not let one affect the other.
Always try to learn more about baseball during your spring baseball recruiting.
When you do have some “free” time go out and check out a baseball game.
Turn on professional baseball. Go attend a college game. See how college players prepare and play. Watch how major leaguers make in-game adjustments.
Always take those opportunities to learn about the game. When you think you know everything about this game that’s when you know you’re setting yourself up for failure. Never stop learning about the game!
Want to talk to recruiting experts like Ray about how you can take control of your recruiting? The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.