College recruiting in baseball has changed over the years. With the advancement of many showcase tournaments, where players compete with others from all over the nation, the value of team play has been thrown out the window.
Today’s baseball player worries only about himself, and relies solely on his own stat line to determine his success in the baseball market. Long gone are the days of taking pitches to increase a pitch count, or sacrificing your at bat to move over a runner.
The player worries only about how far he can hit the baseball or how hard he can throw the ball.
Today’s player has been trained to perform at a top level for a short period of time. For all of those who need a reminder, a baseball season does not last a short period of time.
Unfortunately, as a college baseball coach, it is important to decipher between the “me-me” playing attitude of today’s travel ball player, and find his true athletic tools that will ultimately help your baseball program flourish. Following a few steps, one will have a better ability of getting those elite-level players, and create a team filled with “Johnny All Stars”.
- Look to see a player/pitcher multiple times
It’s important, as an evaluator, to see a player more than once. With this in mind you’ll be able to ensure that a kid didn’t play out of his shoes, and that his talents, such as bat speed, hand-eye coordination, and athleticism can play throughout an entire weekend.
- Do your homework on the athlete
With today’s showcase atmosphere, where players spend only a weekend with a certain team, it’s important that you learn how the player interacts with others, and their coaches.
See what others in the business have to say about the player, and find out from coaches in his area on what they find to be positives and negatives.
- Become his biggest fan
If you want to score the top recruit you better be ready to talk about anything that athlete is interested in. You should be prepared to tell him what he wants to hear. Unfortunately, the athlete’s parents and those closing to them have been spoon feeding them hot air for years, and they don’t get tired of hearing it.
- Find out that player’s interest and become involved
If they enjoy cooking and fishing on the weekends, discuss that wonderful lasagna you made and how you spent your Saturday afternoon jigging for grouper and red fish off the coast.
- Technology is your friend
Recruitment of a student athlete has changed over the years. Gone are the day of emails, and phone calls.
Everyone has a cell phone. Be prepared to text message.
Gone are the days of selling the player on your program and all the benefits that your university has over another. We must evolve with the time’s and understand that many players are now pampered players.
Today’s athlete wants to hear about how great they are and how they will help make your school a better place, and a winner.
By following these steps, you will be well on your way to secure your number one recruit that will help take your program from great to powerhouse.