Finding The Right School During A Global Crisis
Normally, high school seniors would be gearing up for their final summer before college.
This is not a "normal" time.
For athletes who have committed and SIGNED to college programs, the summer will serve as their personal prep time.
But what about those who have yet to sign? What about those who had planned on using their senior year as a final point of leverage to obtain a scholarship or roster spot?
The covid-19 pandemic has created barriers for all of us, from minimizing work opportunities to forcing us to find new ways to acquire food.
For athletes, it’s served as a time of self-motivation. For college coaches, they too missed out on a season of evaluating new talent.
There ARE roster spots available for the Class of 2020. The question now becomes, how will you find the fit that’s right for YOU?
Start by identifying where you are TODAY. If you just graduated, you have a solid idea of what level of ballplayer you are. Did you hit .500 in a top-tier conference? Can you throw 90+ from the left side? KEEP IT REAL and identify what type of ballplayer you are, or what level(s) you think you can have success at. Then, approach schools within those levels.
Establish a set of criteria that school’s will need to meet in order for you to be happy. Some criteria may include:
Major: if you’re sure you want to be a Petroleum Engineer, find a school with a program that will allow you to pursue that.
Distance: do you want to be close to the family or experience “going away to college”?
Size: do you like the idea of professors knowing you on a first-name basis? Maybe you enjoy the thought of walking across a campus with 30,000 students?
Athletic Program: do you want a program with rich tradition and history, or to lay the foundation of something new?
Team Needs: are you OK with sitting behind an All-American for two years, or is it necessary that you can start right away?
Coach: your coach now dictates much of what you do (or don’t do). You want this to be a solid, positive relationship. Find out his/her reputation & coaching style and determine if it gels with what allows you to succeed.
Contact schools on your behalf. Again: this is not a normal time. Coaches and schools are scrambling to get back to “normal” just like the rest of us. You’ll need to do some work to get your name out there. Perfect a well-written email that establishes your interest (text us at 330.550.6627 for tips on how to outline your emails).
The harsh reality is that no one will care as much about your career as YOU DO. Especially during a global pandemic, people have bigger issues to worry about. But for you, this is still a crucial step that will impact the rest of your life.
Put together a solid (and short) highlight video to attach to your email. Show clips that highlight your strengths; maybe include some 60-yard-dash times or your velo from Right Field throws from that Perfect Game Showcase. It’s a highlight tape, highlight the best parts of your game!
Are you willing to walk on? Let’s say you have a “dream school” that you would do anything to play for. Would you be willing to walk on? Do you truly believe that, if given the opportunity, you could make the team and have success? If this is you, contact the coach (assistant coach, recruiting coordinator, even a PLAYER at the university may be able to help!) and start a dialogue.
Tell him you’re willing to bet on your abilities and walk on to his program. You believe in its tradition, and you know in your heart that you can be a integral piece of its future.
Be open minded. Many ballplayers want to put “D1 bound” in their Instagram bio. The reality is that Division I isn’t for everyone. Neither is DII, DIII, JUCO, or NAIA. Do you research and see what those other schools have to offer. You’ll be surprised to find how much money is available at NAIA schools.
DIII schools have some of the best facilities in the country. JUCOs often have incredible ties to four-year schools, which can aid in getting you placed after your first or second year. There are amazing opportunities at all levels of college athletics. Research the various levels and follow up by reaching out to coaches to set up a phone call, meeting, or official/unofficial visit.
You - the Class of 2020 - as well as the Class of 2021 are navigating through a recruiting period unlike one we’ve never seen before.
It’s difficult, and it even seems unfair. But this is just prepping you for life: which is also not fair. Instead of feeling sorry and throwing in the towel, MAKE MOVES.
If you want to play ball - I mean if you truly want this more than ANYTHING, you will find a way. There are resources (like me!)
out there willing to help you.
Put the highlight tape together, write your email, and start contacting schools.
If you need any help or have any questions, text me, I’ll do whatever I can to help you! (330.550.6627)