College Recruiting: How To Improve Your Athlete’s Chances (Help!!!)

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Can You Help Take The Headache Out Of College Recruiting?

College Recruiting Athletes: NCSA

College Recruiting Athletes: NCSA. Photo courtesy: PGF-Recruiting.com

Do you consider yourself a generous person?  Yes?  Good.

Recently, I received the following college recruiting ask from one of my avid readers, Alan Rudy:

“Hey Joey, I don’t want to step out of bounds but recruiting is wild and woolly.  Jack Renkens was invited to give a presentation at East Lansing High School where our oldest plays ball. There was a great deal of really good info in his talk and, at the end, he strongly encouraged us to join and use NCSA.  By contrast, coaches at the HS – and people like Paul Reddeck – have suggested that the NCSA can become a very expensive means of getting access to too many, too expensive meat markets/showcases that rarely pan out.

These people say that Aiden should ask himself where in the country he wants to go to school, what size of school and kind of degree programs he is interested in, what kind of social life/college culture he wants and to explore schools where he’d be likely to get on the field before he’s a junior… and then to contact coaches at those schools with introductions, links to stats and videos, sending emails from HS and travel coaches, etc.

I can’t remember seeing a post from you in this topic. If you have one, could you help me find it? If it’s less trouble do you have someone who’s approach you like that you’d be willing to share?”

Honestly, the topic of college recruiting isn’t in my wheelhouse, and is not where I put my energy.  Here was my email response:

“Alan, I appreciate you reaching out about this. I haven’t done a post on it, and haven’t really spent a ton of time researching this. Back in the day companies like NCSA were a competitive advantage, now everyone does it, so that’s why the price you pay can be ridiculous for what you’re getting. Supply and demand. That aside, I’d still work it because you don’t want all your eggs in one basket. I’d get in touch with area scouts and get an honest opinion from them as to Jack’s current evaluation. That way you know where to focus training efforts. But here’s the reality, your son cannot be ignored if you’re working the process to get to:

  • At least 90 to 95-mph Ball Exit Speeds,
  • At least a consistent 15+ degree Launch Angles,
  • Above average OPS numbers on the field, and have a…
  • Sub 7.0 sec 60-yard sprint time wouldn’t hurt either.

Not to mention a 3.5 GPA in school! These five things make it real easy for his current coach/scout to recommend him, and a college/pro coach/scout to look at him as a reasonable prospect. In the weight room, I’d work on getting him to a 400 to 500-lb dead-lift, that would help A LOT of things on the field. CLICK HERE to see what this training would look like. 

Maybe I’ll do a post on this in the future, asking for advice from other coaches out there that are doing this and are successful in promoting/recruiting players and what they’re looking for.  I hope this helps brother. I really appreciate your continued support, so whatever I can do to help you out. Happy Holidays! – Joey”

Also, I forgot to mention Brian Domenico’s National or International Power Showcase – CLICK HERE for a post I did on that.  After my attempted response on college recruiting, Alan added:

“If you do the post on recruiting, would you see if you can get stuff from coaches at DIII and II as well as I? Just as you’ve insisted that most players aren’t Albert Pujols or Giancarlo Stanton, I think too much recruiting material focuses on “IF YOU WANT TO PLAY DI!!!!!” kinds of hype and it feeds the exploitative side of your business. It is so clear that you care about the guys you work with however they end up finding success in life… but it is also clear that a lot of guys are too much in it for the glory and money.
I’ve loved the last few blog posts!”

College Recruiting: The Ask…

I’ve heard that if you want to get, you have to give, and it is the giving time of year.  To those coaches, Academy owners, instructors, and/or parents out there, can you offer any advice no matter how small, to parents like Alan?  A million THANKS in advance for your generosity… (please REPLY below in the comments)

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Joey Myers

I’m a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), the International Youth and Conditioning Association (IYCA), and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).I’m also a HUGE supporter of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA).

I’ve spent 11+ years in the corrective fitness industry, and have too many alphabet-soup certifications to bore you with.I also played four years of Division One baseball at Fresno State from 2000-2003.

It’s NOT how you study, but what you study that counts.I apply human movement principles (or rules), validated by science, to hitting a baseball and softball.
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15 Comments

  1. Bill Masullo

    Hey Joey,

    Here’s my shot at your request.

    I spent numerous years recruiting an athletically non-scholarship team that rivaled and exceeded many, many scholarship schools.

    Foremost, not all scholarships are created equally. The vast majority are partials (with a minimum, Alan, you’ll need to check what that threshold is now days), not all schools fund the allotted number of scholarships for the type.

    In conjunction, beware of the combine – my suggestion is to be very judicious about the number of and the location of combines. I would not exceed more than 4-5 over the high school tenure. If you’re good, no need, If you’re bad, no need, If you’re in between – as are most – fine.

    As Joey suggested, control what you can control. Academics, Social, Training. Get the eval from a non biased party.

    Create a list of schools you’d like to attend. All sizes. Exclude top 25 schools from the list. If they want you they’ll call. If you’re heart is set on a top 25, be prepared.

    Invest time in research – the internet lists everyone. Briefly, Check out the roster, check out the academics, check out the social dynamics.

    Narrow the field by your own criteria (small vs. large, good academics vs. ok, religious school vs, party school, program where you can grow vs. PT coach and limited staff, program that fits your style vs. program that you need to fit, etc.)

    You’ll find out by looking at player hometowns if the school is recruiting locally, regionally, nationally. Most schools have small recruiting budgets.

    Get on top of it early. Early is 10th grade. Don’t panic if it’s late, though. Many schools have recruits drop off for various reasons. Write to schools, ask if they are attending any of the showcases, where, are they hosting clinics over the Holidays, if so, apply to the camp (usually less than $150), are other schools going to be there. Ask to briefly meet them afterwards Go to them. Get your no’s fast (I think Paul R. says this as well). Ask the hard questions. Can I play for your team, Are you (the coach) planning on staying, do the AC move on because of their value, is the program funded, is th e facility clean, does it look like the program is growing, is the school growing, are you prepared to sit for 2 or 3 years or do yo want to play right away, does the philosophy fit what you’re looking for, who are you recruiting, am I a fal back position for (have you already recruited my position), could you recommend me to another similar/appropriate program). Take the campus tour on your own with everyone else, is it a dump, is it a commuter, is it really nice? Get answers. Just make sure you are at the right school for the right reasons.

    I think early is when you want to get on the radar. Late will restrict your flexibility in choosing.

    Create a budget and stick to it. I think a workable schedule is 5-8 schools over two to three years. If you’re playing travel, are any of them attending any tournament you’re playing? Contact them, send a schedule, ask for materials, say thank you, follow the team’s season. Most schools will contact you in a reasonable time, they’ll probably have you fill out an online info app, as well.

    I think you want the process to be least stressful as possible. That means you have to be active in getting what you want. Control what you can control. Don’t worry about others’ thinking/opinions. It is a business for the coaches – it’s their livelihoods. If they’re not comfortable with a part of your game they’ll tell you-not to hurt you, but to help you by improving in that area of need. You want to be with a team that wants you for you.

    Hope that helps, and I know that if the want is bad enough you’ll find the right place.

    Good Luck!

  2. Chris Siedem

    I can help. It’s what I do every day. I would never recommend a big recruiting service like NCSA or NSR. What we do is very different and very personal and has never failed. And I’ve been through it twice as a parent too, one in softball and one in baseball.

  3. Bill Masullo

    Quick Follow Up, Alan

    If you’re thinking of going the route of a service, ask how they disseminate the info. If it’s in batch I would strongly reconsider.

    Now days, coaches are tuned in tech wise – you can shoot your own video, or have someone help you. No need for bells and whistles. Most of these tasks you can do for a minimum fee, if not nothing at all.

    Further, if you had time you could pre-build a site with academic, personal info and references, and some athletic video. Keep video to a minimum and include the bad with the good.

    Coaches will ask/tell you what they want. Very few players are recruited unseen in person.

  4. Eric D. Wewers

    We tried it with my oldest and it was a waste of money. Evaluation is by video only. They told us he was at best a low level D2 player. Yet was a preferred walk on due to academic money at a Big 12 school. Youngest did not use it and we took the camp route. Picked about 6 schools in different sizes and ended up with a perfect fit. He loves it. I don’t trust NCSA or other groups, because they seem to over promise and under achieve. I have had several college coaches at D1 to D3 say if a kid is not interested in coming to a camp, then why would he go to school here. I do recognize there is a travel and timing issue with camps. That is something you need to work out. I found if camps conflict or are to far away, contact the coach and help find a solution. This may take multiple attempts on your part, but in the end does show interest. most importantly, these contacts should come from the player. College coaches do not want to hear from the parents. Interest has to come from the player.

  5. Chris Siedem

    Good info Bill.

    My advice to parents is this – be skeptical and do your homework. Youth sports today isn’t about kids it’s about money. EVERYONE wants your money. So be skeptical and do your homework. We are talking about your $ and your kid’s future! And you are right. It can be done on their own. They can make a video. They can make their own website. Yet I can also tell you this – I review video every day and there are more kids with video hurting them than kids with video helping. Every day I see video that makes me want to cry. Same is true for websites and profiles. And the sad thing is that in many cases they’ve paid an awful lot of money to go in the wrong direction.

  6. Evan Brandt

    I think my thoughts will differ from everyone else’s… this is due to my time put in and diligence in sifting through information… I do strongly recommend getting on a site like NCSA… it is expensive yes, but it gives coaches like myself access to you on an unbiased level outside of our camps. Unfortunately camps can be hard to attend, espescially for my program. I rely on sites like NCSA. Field level is another one but I always feel like HS coaches are blowing smoke on there. They say a kid is D1 or D2 but watching his skills video and game tape he wouldn’t start for my D3 program. I love NCSA because I don’t have to read a certification and projected level the kid should be at. I get to make my own eval. I recruit nationally and do not get a huge budget to take trips. Most of my trips are to Wisconsin or Minnesota and that’s it. Places that are heavy D3 baseball and hard to pull kids from. My process is simple… I find a kid on a site, watch videos, look at stats, look at competition to make sure their stats are not inflated based on competition, and then I request a phone call and invite to camp. I think these sites have their benefits for small schools like myself. I also think some of the other ones like NSR and other services are not a good thing, I can tell when I am being mass emailed and I usually delete that message. NCSA fieldlevel captainU etc allow me to find u without sifting through regional newspapers and stuff… also, the personal work done by athletes as mentioned by a few needs to be done correctly, I receive these messages constantly. I delete them constantly, messages saying a kid is interested in my engineering program (not something we offer). These types of messages come in daily…. with all this said, I will advise to do what u have to to be seen. If it means NCSA great, if it means some other form great… but please choose wisely, know who is in attendance at showcases, if ur an engineering major and all schools there are liberal arts, don’t go. Simple stuff, but I encourage an understanding of the recruiting landscape and how things are being done in 2017 and some knowledge that is out there. Two things before I finish.
    1) please disregard any spelling or grammar errors here, it’s a texting generation 🙂
    2) my line is always open! My name is Evan Brandt I am the Head Coach at Finlandia University and my contact information is available on our athletics website! I love conversation and helping baseball players. Feel free to contact for any sort of question.

    • Joey Myers

      Coach Evan! I love this coming from a college coach’s perspective 😀 And great information, thank you for sharing. I know some of this seems common sense, and it is, don’t over-think. Bravo Coach!

  7. NJBaseball

    Bill’s comments are most appreciated and spot on. There are some additional resources I’ve recommended and have found helpful: Wayne Mazzoni SHU Pitching Coach has a great book on recruiting and some articles that are easily found online or are podcasts of radio shows where recruiting was discussed. Dave Kiriloff just did a top 10 recruiting tips video. Dan Blewitt from Warbird Academy had a podcast back on May 4, 17 that had great recruiting suggestions. These three and Bill’s info I think are consistent and incredibly helpful. I’d suggest that prospective college players be proactive, reach out to schools on their own they are interested in, attend their camps, and impress upon those coaches/schools why playing college in important for them. Kudos Joey for trying to help out Alan. Happy Holidays!!!

  8. Justin Lewis

    Hey guys…Mind if a softball guy chimes in? I coach D2 softball in Texas and I get mass emailed by a ton of kids in California everyday telling me about their travel ball schedule…oh and “I’m a 2022″….Uh, well…delete. So here’s some things I recommend besides all of the great info already provided.

    1. Self awareness is key! Understand what kind of player you are (or are raising). Understand what you want for your education (although I truly believe it’s kind of jacked up to ask a 16-18 year old kid to know what program they want in a school…but some do). My school has a bunch of eng programs, and a vet school (we get kids we probably shouldn’t
    because of these two things! I’ll take it!).

    2. Understand the differences in D!, DII, DIII, NAIA etc.. DI has 11.7 scholarships, we only have 7.2 at DII, DIII has zero!

    3. Find out what teams need…I currently need another outfielder like I need a hole in the head! If you are a catcher, ask coaches when they will be recruiting another catcher. We currently won’t be signing another until 2020 assuming everyone stays healthy, eligible etc.

    4. Know what you qualify for and understand how extra scholarships can help. Since we only have 7.2 scholly’s, we do ask about academic money. Texas also gives us a tuition waiver for Texas resident veterans kids! That’s huge! Each school also has different grants, scholly’s etc…find out what you can add. Oh and our school waives out of state tuition for athletes…that is like a 40% scholarship right there!

    5. I like camps. Is it expensive? Yes…I get it. But here’s my thought, and I’m only speaking for our program. We love to teach. We just finished a camp and we went for two days…and we spent two days teaching! Yes it gives us a chance to see your kid, but it also gives us the chance to actually work with your child. They also get to see what it’s like to be coached by us. If we are a school that your child is interested in, go to the camps. We are also very honest with the players. Is it easy to tell a kid who wants to come to our school that they can’t play for you? Yes, but it’s part of the job.

    6. Find the best spot for you. We have kids who just want opportunity. If they don’t cost us anything, and they can play a little, we will have the opportunity talk with them…they will get the opportunity to compete every day. We can only travel 20. What they earn through their opportunity is up to them. Some take it and run and earn a lot of playing time, some never make the travel team. As long as they know these things up front, We are ok with carrying a bigger roster.

    Sorry for the rambling…just how I roll…haha…good luck and I’m open to talking with anyone if they feel I can help!

  9. scott

    Joey,
    Quick question regarding your response of getting to 90-95mph Ball Exit Speeds,..are you basing this off of a tee or pitched balls. Thanks