I recently had a young man send me an email regarding his facial hair
and my opinion regarding coaches and professional scouts and their
reactions to players with “hair.”
I was impressed with his question and thought process. The following
is my outlook on the issue of a high school player and facial hair.
I have asked the question:
“How important is a player's physical appearance? I do not mean is
he 6'-1" tall and weighs 205 lbs. What I am referring to is tattoos,
body piercing, odd hair styles, manner of dress etc. Are any or all
of these items a "negative" when a college coach sees a prospective
In every interview with a college coach and professional scout –
that we have done on the High School Baseball Web. Follow this link
The answers varied from coach to coach and scout to scout. All agreed
that if the player were the next Alex Rodriguez or Roger Clemens they
would be able to overlook these items.
However for the average high school player that has the ability to
play at the college level the answers were important. Some coaches
did not seem to mind or care one way or the other about facial hair.
Other coaches are “turned off” by long hair, facial hair and tattoos,
not to mention body piercing.
Why is this important to a high school player?
It obviously reduces the potential schools that may be interested
in a player. What if it eliminates a player’s favorite school from
As we recommend here on the web site …. A player should never fail
to return a questionnaire to a college baseball program. You never
want to eliminate possible choices.
In a sense a player with facial hair (neat or not) is possibly
You may have heard the term “that player has a good face” when being
described by a scout or coach. What does that mean? Many times it is
a reference to a player having a baby face … not even shaving yet. A
possible indicator that the player is not done growing yet.
By openly displaying facial hair a player is advertising that he is
well on his way to physical maturity.
I understand the argument about young men wanting to assert their
manhood, rights of passage, etc. However keep this in mind… the
college coaches and pro scouts are almost always clean cut, well
groomed with shorter hair individuals.
Just as I would be uncomfortable around folks with purple hair,
nose rings and other adornments – so would a college coach be
uncomfortable around a young person that does not look similar
to them. That’s simple human nature.
I have had discussions with parents about “freedom of expression”
and similar comments. I completely disagree with ALL of those
Keep in mind that the name of this game is exposure and “marketing”
for your player. As of this writing I have never seen a ZZ Top “look
alike” scouting a high school player.
Smart advertisers market to the target demographics. Smart coaches,
players and parents are aware of the target demographics as well……..
The college coach and professional baseball scout.