Your counselor can also assist you with the certification forms. You should register
with the Clearinghouse by July 1st after your junior year.
If you need to bolster your SAT scores in order to meet eligibility requirements,
you can visit the Test Prep Page.
When college coaches must choose between two recruits of equal talent to award
scholarship money, coaches almost always select the recruit with the highest grades.
The better your grades, the better your chances!
Market yourself aggressively to college coaches. Local colleges may scout your
games without any prompting on your part. But, the out-of-town coaches will never
see you compete unless they first know you exist.
You must make the initial contacts, and sometimes the second and third contacts.
You may have to recruit some college coaches harder than they recruit you.
How? Send letters of introduction to college coaches before the start of your junior
year. Tell them a little about yourself, and express an interest in their program.
Enclose an academic/athletic resume´. Follow up with phone calls. Update them with
new achievements, statistics, press clippings, and schedules as they become available.
If your grades or test scores are above average, make that evident.
Enlist your high school coach to write a letter of recommendation. Enclose a copy
when you send your resume´, or ask your coach send the letter directly to the schools
you're most interested in.
Most importantly, ensure the college coaches know when and where they can see you
play (games, tournaments, camps, talent showcases). Extend a clear invitation to
come watch you compete.
College recruiting budgets are small. Coaches from out-of-town colleges are more
likely to travel to an area or event where they can see a number of prospects at
once. Take advantage of any "bonus" exposure you receive when recruiters come out
to watch a teammate or opponent on the same field as you.
Here are five ways to increase your exposure beyond the high school season:
- Play on high profile summer traveling / tournament teams. College and pro scouts
often attend these tournaments. To get on a high profile summer team, you may have to
recruit their head coaches the same as you would college coaches.
- As early as the summer after your sophomore year, participate in "prospect" camps
at the schools you're interested in. The cost could range from $200-$400 plus travel.
As part of your initial contact with colleges, request information on any prospect
camps the school might conduct.
- Anytime after your junior year begins, garner an invitation to a talent showcase,
Expect to pay $200-$500 plus travel for a few days of exhibiting your physical tools
in front of college and pro scouts.
- Tote your camcorder to the field. Inquire if the coaches who can't see you in
person would like a performance video of you instead. Obtain some expert advice,
produce a master tape, and mail out copies.
- Enroll in one of the Internet recruiting services. Most of the twenty recruiting
web sites primarily funnel student resumes into the hands of college coaches. High
school athletes and their coaches enter academic/athletic resumes into a database.
College coaches can search these databases to supplement their traditional recruiting
process. Some of these sites charge a fee, others are free to students.
Which Schools To Contact?
Over 380 college baseball programs have home pages on the Web. They display an
on-line version of their media guide consisting of one or more of the following:
- a schedule of games
- player profiles
- action photos
- coaching staff bio's
- an all-time team record book
- post-season honors received
- profiles of alumni who have advanced to college or professional ranks
- photos of the field and facilities
- dates of upcoming camps, clinics, and tournaments
- staff phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and points of contact
- fan information regarding tickets, directions, parking, special events and promotions
To view the home page for a particular university team, just open Skilton's Baseball Links,
scan the list of 200+ schools, and click on the team's hot link. Note -- We recommend the links here on the High School Baseball Web
Of the 400+ college teams represented on the Web, over half are D-II, D-III, NAIA, or junior
college teams. Jim Dixon's Div III Baseball Pages provides direct links to 120 D-III baseball
To get an idea of which college baseball programs are the best, the spring editions of the
NCAA News, Collegiate Baseball, and Baseball America often list the top-25 national rankings
and conference standings at the various levels of college ball.
Many baseball team's home pages are linked to the college's main home page. You can
perform "one-stop shopping" when inquiring about tuition, curriculum, and the various
aspects of campus life that influence your choice of universities.
The overriding factor in selecting a college should be obtaining a quality education
that will sustain you after your baseball career is over.
The Sports Source Official College Baseball Reference Guide ($25) is a good starting
point. Its 800 pages contain the coaches' names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. for
more than 1,550 of the nation's college baseball programs. Moreover, it includes detailed
information about academic programs offered, tuition, and admissions requirements.
Who Should Do The Leg Work?
Mainly you, the student. Don't wait for scouts to knock down your door. Don't assume
your high school coach will market you. Parents should furnish support and advice,
but remain in the background until you visit a campus.
College coaches look for mature players who take initiative, possess the self-confidence
to speak with them directly, and show the desire to "do whatever it takes".
When To Begin Sending Letters?
Since college coaches start seriously evaluating prep players in their junior year,
it's best to contact coaches as soon after your sophomore year as possible. According
to Jeff Spelman, Director of the Team One Showcase, 50% of all baseball scholarship
dollars are awarded to players in the fall, before their senior season ever begins.
If your senior season draws to a close and you still haven't been picked up by a college,
don't panic. Once the dust settles from the Major League draft in June of each year,
college coaches fill roster spots vacated by underclassmen or incoming recruits who
When Coaches Show Interest
Often, the first contact you'll receive from a college coach will be a letter
requesting that you submit a player profile, including a referral from your high
school coach. Complete and return these questionnaires promptly.
The NCAA restricts the number and timing of face-to-face contacts, phone calls, and
letters that can be made by college coaches. You are responsible for knowing and
abiding by the rules on recruiting. They are summarized in the NCAA Guide for the
College-Bound Student Athlete. Avoid any contact that could endanger your eligibility.
Don't Burn Any Bridges
Pursue every school on your "top five" list as though it is the only school interested
in you. Continue to respond cordially to all inquiries and accept invitations for
campus visits until you have a signed contract in hand from the school of your choice.
Though not a common practice, college coaches can retract verbal offers and promises
right up until the time both the school and recruit commit in writing to a scholarship
Alternatives To Division-I Scholarships:
- Compete at one of the better D-II or D-III schools. Some very good baseball is
played at these levels.
- Play at a quality junior college while you continue to "sell" yourself to the
big schools, and transfer after two years.
- Go north! Many talented prospects living in the northern half of the country
choose to attend southern schools in warmer climates. This creates a bit of a talent
vacuum. If you can survive the cold, snow, and indoor workouts, you may earn significantly
more playing time at a northern college.
- Walk-on at a D-I university. Research the coach's history of playing walk-ons and
the potential for scholarship in your sophomore year of college.
Just In Case:
Even if you expect to win a scholarship, you would be wise to seek other forms of
financial aid. Per Spelman, most recipients receive between 10%-50% of a "full-ride".
NCAA schools can award the following number of scholarships each year:
Division I level = 11.7
Division II level = 9.0
Division III level = none
Coaches must divide a limited pot of money among all scholarship athletes on their
roster. College Edge, University Web Page Directory, and Financial Aid Information page,
provide pathways to a wide array of information on entering and paying for college.
What's more, always secure an "ace in the hole". Apply and gain admission to at least
one college you would want to attend regardless of baseball.
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) (913) 339-1906
Sports Source Directory of College Baseball Programs (800) 862-3092