Recruiting Tips

These tips have been compiled by the BNBA Board with input from Jeff
Stewart, San Diego Padre Scout and former Illinois State University Head Baseball Coach.

Bloomington-Normal players who have gone on to play at the college level.

1. Seek help from your high school coach
Ask your coach what your strengths and weaknesses are as a player.
Ask your coach to project you as a Division 1. Division 2, Division 3
player or other.
Ask coach for advice on how to get noticed and ultimately recruited.
Most coaches have friends that are at colleges coaching.
Ask your coach to write letters of recommendation for you.

2. Attend college baseball camps
As a freshman, start attending the following camps:
Attend camps in the summer for individual players. Pick major colleges
such as Illinois because other college coaches help at these camps and
are scouting for players.
Pick colleges you may want to attend. Most colleges have these camps
as a tool for tryouts.
§ Attend Major League Baseball tryout camps. Most are free and
a many college coaches attend as well. You should start attending
these camps when you are a freshman.

3. Play summer baseball
If possible, play on a competitive summer baseball team. College
coaches are allowed to attend summer tournaments to recruit players.
This is where top players are recruited and these tournaments are most
valuable for players who are projected to be recruited by Division I
schools; however, some players will get recruited by D2 and D3 teams.
It is important to be either a top player or a player on a successful
team.

Even if you are not on a competitive team, it is still important to
play during the summer. Summer is a crucial time to develop your skills.

4. Get bigger, stronger, faster
All other things being equal, coaches look for athletes. Use your off
season time to increase speed, strength, and overall athleticism. Not
only does this increase your performance on the field, it demonstrates
discipline and a commitment to improvement.

5. Visit college web sites
Most colleges have a form to complete on their web site for players
interested in playing at that particular school. Most college baseball
coaches, including those at the division D1 level, do not have the
budgets to travel and recruit all of the players they would like to
see. So they have a form to fill out so you can let them know about
your ability and interest in their school. Usually you can then visit
the school and meet with one of the coaches. If they are interested,
they might then make a point to try to see one of your games.

6. Marketing
You need to market yourself. Keep all the articles from the local
paper. Also keep your year-end statistics from the school. You can
always say you can do certain things but coaches will want to see
stat’s from independent sources. It is beneficial to make a highlight
tape of yourself playing as well for colleges to review.

7. Academic standing and eligibility
After you junior year, it is very important that you register through
the NCAA Clearinghouse at http://www.ncaaclearinghouse.net. This where
you can determine if you are academically eligible to play for an NCAA
member school.

Beyond being simply eligible, coaches stress the importance of being a
good student. Balancing school work and the demands of intercollegiate
athletics requires that the student athlete comes to college with a
disciplined attitude toward studying. Collegiate coaches are under
great pressure to maintain programs that graduate student athletes and
therefore look for players that they can depend upon to take care of
business in the classroom. A coach may hesitate to recruit a student
who has athletic potential but could become an academic liability for
the program.

8. Timing
The summer after your junior year/fall of your senior year is when
college coaches extend most scholarship offers; therefore contacts to
college coaches, marketing efforts, and school visits should happen
during your junior year at the latest. There is also a June signing
period for seniors who might have blossomed late or got off to a late
start in the recruiting process.

If you do not get a scholarship offer you can receive grant money.
Schools will offer grants on a first come basis. So if you haven’t
received a scholarship offer by the start of your senior year then
apply to the schools you want to attend in early September of your
senior year. Then ask for the financial aid package as soon as you are
approved at your school. Even if you are not sure you want to attend
that school ask for the financial aid package. You need to do this
early because when the grant money is gone it is gone!!!! In some
cases colleges will ask for a deposit when you apply but most all are
refundable. Just because you apply and get a financial aid package
doesn’t mean you have to attend the college.

9. What to expect
Division I baseball programs only have 11.78 scholarships at any one
time and D2 programs can have no more that 9. NAIA schools may have
the equivalent of 12 scholarships players.

Some collegiate teams might have as many as 40 players on the roster.
This means that many players receive no financial aid and most players
that are on scholarship receive only a partial scholarship. It is
unusual for a player to receive a “full ride”, even at the D1 level.
Many players are asked to walk on at D1 schools and then compete for
scholarships while on the roster.

Division 3 programs offer no athletic scholarships so players, like
all other students at the college, should seek need-based or
merit-based grants from the school. Talk to the coach at the D3 school
that you are interested in playing for and, if he has an interest in
you, he will advise you on the proper process for seeking the most
favorable financial package available.

10. Finally
The key is to play well, with hustle and an obvious love of the game.
Recruiting is a proactive aspect of college scholarships. There are no
shorts cuts to practice and training.