Recruiting Myths and Mistakes
When does the recruiting process begin? This is a frequently asked question. If my son is not hearing from coaches does this mean he is not a good enough player? Another question I hear often. The answer to both questions is really covered with one simple answer...the process begins when you the player/parent start it. The vast, vast majority of potential college players will not hear from a coach before they reach out to the coach themselves to begin the dialogue. Baseball Recruiting, except at the very highest levels does not have the budget to fly coaches around the country to watch players play. This is why it is paramount that players/families are proactive in the recruiting experience and stick to the timeline posted below. Although NCAA Rules have changed in the past couple years in order to slow down the recruiting process it is always best to be the first in line. Below is a Recruiting Timeline posted by the NCSA...adhering to this timeline does not guarantee success but it certainly will expand your options as the time to sign with a school gets closer!
SECTION 1: HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL COACHES
MYTH & MISTAKE-1: MY HIGH SCHOOL COACH WILL HANDLE ALL OF THE RECRUITING STUFF FOR ME, I DON’T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT IT
Some coaches are very good at helping their players get the opportunity to play sports in college and have a great feel for the recruiting process and how it works. However, there are a lot of coaches (the majority) who don’t feel like this is a large part of their job description and don’t do as much as others in terms of contacting college coaches and sending out game films for their players. Whether or not your high school coach excels in this area or not, you must realize that this is your life and your career. You and your parents have to do everything in your power to make your dreams a reality. You must send your profile to every school that you are interested in. Do not leave it up to any coach. Most coaches do not have a national network of contacts just regional contacts. These regional schools might not be the best fit for your personal college goals.
MYTH & MISTAKE-2: MY HIGH SCHOOL COACH IS QUALIFIED TO DETERMINE IF I AM COLLEGE ATHLETIC MATERIAL
Reality: While many coaches are, some are not and many never played their sport in college. The bottom line, there are many factors that determine if you can play in college and your high school coach may have no idea what your true potential may be. Being qualified to play in college has a lot to do with the style each coach plays. Some coaches like to recruit sluggers (bigger and stronger) athletes and some coaches prefer to recruit versatile and athletic small ball type players. There are many factors that determine if you can play in college and your high school coach may or may not be able to evaluate your future ability as it applies to college.
SECTION 2: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE
MYTH & MISTAKE-3: PLAYING COLLEGE ATHLETICS WILL NOT BE MUCH DIFFERENT THAN HIGH SCHOOL, ASIDE OF THE SKILL LEVEL.
The reality is that playing college athletics is an unbelievable commitment in time and in dedication. It is nowhere close to your high school or travel baseball experience. 77% of all freshmen scholarship players quit or lose their scholarship by their senior year. In college you will play or practice for 3 seasons (fall, winter and spring). You will be required to lift weights, running programs that are extremely taxing. You also will be practicing at 6am or midnight once or twice a day depending on what facilities are available to your team.
SECTION 3: COLLEGE COACHES
MYTH & MISTAKE-4: IF YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH, COLLEGE COACHES WILL FIND YOU
This is an age-old adage that is often heard throughout the recruiting process and is both outdated and incorrect. These words are often spoken by older coaches (55+) who wish to
dismiss any thoughts by the student-athlete or parent that they should market themselves to institutions by sending out their information. The fact is that this statement is true if you are one of the top 100 players in the country, These top 100 players have already received a great deal of accolades and attention by your sophomore year, and most likely already have several scholarship offers in hand. This is simply not true for the remaining 99% of all high school baseball athletes. The only way college coaches will know about you is if you send them your profile, your video and express your interest in their school and program. Recruiting is now a global process and an online communication process. This process includes filling out recruiting questionnaires on college websites, sending out You Tube playing videos, creating personal blogs and investing with recruiting services that house your player and academic information. Despite your skills or success in high school, it is extremely easy to be overlooked by college coaches who have thousands of athletes to scout at hundreds of potential venue’s to scout high school baseball players. College coaches don’t read your local town paper and they probably will not attend your games, its not a good investment of their precious time. The top 1% of high school baseball players are recruited and discovered. Your performance on the baseball field will go a long way toward determining whether or not you get recruited or eventually receive a scholarship offer. The bottom line is that you need to be getting superior baseball results that place you near the top of your competition if you want to get noticed by the top programs at all NCAA levels. However, there are other recruiting factors which will determine whether or not you get an offer including; grades, character, work ethic, coach-ability, etc. The other major issue is that many football and basketball coaches have multi-million dollar budgets, baseball does not. It is a non-revenue generating sport at 99.5% of all schools in Division 1-3. Most baseball coaches have limited time and limited resources to recruit the entire country. Most baseball coaches depend on direct contact from high school players that express interest in their college and athletic programs.
SECTION 4: COLLEGE COORESPONDENCE
MYTH & MISTAKE-5: IF YOU RECEIVE A LETTER FROM A COACH, YOU ARE BEING RECRUITED
False, coaches’ send out thousands of letters to high school athletes they may or may not have heard of and there are probably 500 kids tearing open the same exact letter you received.
Receiving a letter means a coach knows your name and knows you play the sport they coach. The bottom line is that you have qualified for the first step (being in their database). Respond to the letter and follow-up with the recruiting coordinator and the head coach. Until one of those coaches calls you, invites you to the school and makes you a formal offer to join their program, you are not being recruited. These initial interest letters don’t mean too much. Here is a D1 Football Example, In 2004 a D1 program had a list of 4,000 prospects they were sending
letters to. Ultimately they are trying to sign 21 players out of a pool of 4,000 and 3,979 players that received letters from that school will ultimately not be recruited or sign with that school.
MYTH & MISTAKE-6: COLLEGE COACHES JUST THROW MASS MAILINGS IN THE TRASH
This is not true; it really depends on the school. Many college baseball programs make sure somebody(student-assistant or a volunteer coach) on staff takes a look at all incoming profiles and they at least sends an e-mail or a form letter to that prospect. Another reason why this is not true is because these recruits become the best prospects to attend their on campus baseball camps. This is another source of revenue for the baseball program, Still other college baseball coaches have admitted that they do throw them in the trash or only look at a few. It’s best to
follow up your e-mail mailings with a personal note or a follow up telephone call. Many schools will respond. Some will still not recruit you. That’s why you need to target 100 schools, not 10.
MYTH & MISTAKE-7: COACHES DO NOT LIKE BEING CONTACTED BY PROSPECTIVE ATHLETES
Quite the opposite, coaches hope to hear from good athletes who are interested in their program. Some blue-chip baseball players come to their attention naturally, but often there aren’t enough blue-chip baseball players in the college's backyard (100 miles) for a coach to fill his or her roster. Many high school baseball players don’t want to make contact with college coaches because they are afraid the coach doesn’t want to hear from them. For smaller schools, even some minor Division I schools, they need and want to hear from potential baseball recruits. 99% of all colleges or universities do not have a substantial enough baseball budget to fly around the country looking for qualified players. Most schools depend on recruiting services, online communications, college baseball publications, showcase reports and they rely on word of mouth recruiting. The internet has made it very easy for potential recruits to make contact with them through the team website, through e-mail or through a telephone call to the baseball office.
MYTH & MISTAKE-8: YOU SHOULDN’T SEND YOUR PROFILE TO A SCHOOL UNLESS YOU KNOW YOU WOULD LIKE TO GO THERE, AND YOU SHOULD PROBABLY ONLY SEND YOUR PROFILE TO A COUPLE OF SCHOOLS
In order to give yourself as many options as possible when it comes time to selecting a college or a specific coach, you need to send your profile (academic achievements, baseball achievements and standardized test scores) to all schools and baseball programs in which you may have an interest in attending. This way you can slowly narrow your list of potential choices after you gauge which schools have an interest in you. Remember, if you do not send your profile to a school, there is very little chance that they will offer you the opportunity to play
for their university.
MYTH & MISTAKE-9: COLLEGE COACHES ONLY RECRUIT TOP PLAYERS
In reality, college baseball coaches recruit anyone they think can play at their program and recruit any player who has current skills or potential future skills and who shows an interest in their program. Just because you are not the star of your team does not mean you cannot play in college. Many great high school players have reached their peak. Other great high school baseball players don't have the work ethic to make it in college, many don't have the grades and standardized test score to play in college. There are many factors the weight into recruiting. You have to be really good to get recruited and you have to have a tremendous work ethic that attracts coaches, you don't have to be all-state!
MYTH & MISTAKE-10: RECRUITING STARTS SENIOR YEAR
While some of the more aggressive parts of the process do happen when you are a senior in high school, The baseball players that start the process as seniors are often disappointed. It’s a common occurrence to have verbal offers out and accepted for a graduating class as early as 18 months (end of sophomore year) before your high school graduation. In high profile sports, verbal offers are accepted as early as middle school! Regardless of the level of play, recruiting starts behind the scenes far earlier (6th and 7th grade) than you think or know about. Targeting colleges and universities as early as 6th grade is extremely smart because it starts the dialogue between your family and the university. Investing and attending the university's baseball camp is also a great idea. If a coaching staff can see your kid over 5-7 years they know what type of player you are, they know what type of person you are. This gives the coaching staff the ability to make an informed decision about you, the staff is unlikely to make a mistake because they have seen you play for 7-years. Starting as a senior is way too late, it limits your options dramatically and increases your chances of selecting the wrong school,.
MYTH & MISTAKE-11: COLLEGE COACHES CAN CONTACT ME ANYTIME THEY WANT
In reality, there are strict rules as to when a coach can send you literature and how often they can contact you at the NCAA level and the rules are less stringent at the Junior College and NAIA level. The good news is that you can contact college coaches at any time so
long as you initiate the phone call.
MYTH & MISTAKE-12: SUMMER IS SCHOLARSHIP SEASON
Unlike the recruiting process, which is full of regulators and stipulations as to when and how a coach can contact an athlete, a scholarship offer can be made at any point. Just don’t expect to get one too early. For a coach that starts out recruiting 45 baseball players for 6 positions, it would be imprudent to make specific dollar-amount promises in the beginning of the process. No coach wants to be in position where they have to go back on their scholarship promise. Recruiting is an ongoing dialogue that should begin in the 6th of 7th grade. This scholarship signing process is where two parties get down to particulars as the signing period nears. When a coach tells a high school baseball player in their Junior year “You’re a scholarship candidate for us” So if the high school baseball player has five or six schools he’s going to visit, when the baseball player comes back to us and says “Hey coach, I’m pretty close to making a decision, then a coach is going to give that athlete the exact dollar amount of the scholarship so the baseball player and his family can get a complete picture of what the offer is. In most cases, the first binding agreement between a baseball player and the institution is offered an athletic scholarship is the National Letter of Intent signing. This usually takes place in November or April of the senior year.
MYTH & MISTAKE-13: COLLEGE RECRUITING IS REGIONAL
In Reality: Baseball has become a global game. Look at the World Baseball Classic; look at the MLB and NCAA College rosters they are filled with international players. Not only in baseball but in other sports its become a global recruiting process. On many of the top D1 and D2 baseball programs you will find many Latin American baseball players, On the 2005 NAIA
first and second team All-American Soccer team there were 22 players listed (11 in each bracket) and only one player was from the United States. The other 21 players were from Iceland, Kenya, Uruguay, British Columbia, England, Ireland, Ukraine, Haiti, Serbia, Scotland, Germany, Ecuador, and one country we have never even heard of. One third of all Division 1 tennis players were not born in the United States and in 2003, 17% of all NCAA tennis players were International students. Recruiting, even at the lower levels is now a global process and the Internet has made every school in the entire country only a click away and coaches are now dealing not only with athlete's from all over the country but the world! Your ability to find a program where you fit in and get on that coaches radar screen before someone else is extremely important. It is true that many regional players (under 100-miles) are often more recruited because of access but in reality it’s now a global business. The name of the game is winning and attracting the best global players.
SECTION 5: I’M GOOD ENOUGH THAT,
COLLEGE RECRUITERS WILL FIND ME
MYTH & MISTAKE-14: I MADE ALL-STATE SO COACHES WILL BE CALLING ME
It’s true, that the most successful players will garner the most attention. Here’s the problem, the average number of players on an All-State teams in baseball is 40 and there are 50 states which means there are 2000 All-State baseball players each year. Another factor is that many states have different levels of All-State teams such as: (4A, 3A etc…) which makes this number is even larger. The other factor is that All-State players are also competing against Junior College Americans who have just graduated from their two year school.
Baseball is a non-money generating sport and the majority of coaching staffs have limited resources to recruit all of these very talented and highly acclaimed players. If you don’t personally contact these colleges or universities and let them know that you want to play for their school, they will not recruit you. The pro-active athlete who contacts coaches first and takes control of their recruiting is the one who will create much attention and eventually get the phone call from the recruiting coordinator. It’s not always the All-State player who earns the scholarship, its the above average players who proactively contacts the school who gets recruited. .
MYTH & MISTAKE-15: IF YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH, COACHES
WILL FIND YOU, SCHOLARSHIPS WILL FIND ME
Reality: Recruiting is now a global process and despite your skills or awards in high school, it is extremely easy to be overlooked by college baseball coaches who have thousands of athletes to scout and hundreds of potential venues to scout them at. College coaches do not read your local paper and these coaches probably will not attend your game. The upper 1% of high school baseball players are the ones who are truly recruited if they fit the college’s current need and college’s style of baseball. The bottom line to proactive recruiting is organization and communication. These are the cornerstones of the recruiting process for the player and his family. It is important for young athletes to organize first -- put their goals (type of baseball program, location selection, academic major selection and connection with the staff). Build these goals on paper and then build a checklist of things that need to be done, which includes picking up the phone and calling college coaches. E-mailing coaches your personal profiles and filling out a recruiting profile on the university's baseball website. It is important to take a proactive approach. "I think the one thing that baseball players / parents don't realize is that they have a tremendous amount of control, as far as initiating communication with the college coaches, which essentially gets them on the radar screen," said Tom Kovic, the founder of Victory Collegiate Consulting. "I think that there is a little too much caution that athletes and families take when it comes to getting on the radar as far as athletic scholarships. I think they're afraid that they're going to come off appearing cocky, and that is not the case at all." Coaches do their best to scour the country in search of recruits, but they can only be in one place at a time. If you believe that you have something to offer a program, it can't hurt to reach out to that school.
SECTION 6: THE TOP PLAYERS RECRUITING MYTH
MYTH & MISTAKE-16: COLLEGE COACHES ONLY RECRUIT TOP PLAYERS
It’s true, that the Top-25 NCAA D1 schools primarily only recruit the top players. College coaches will also recruit the “best fit athletes”. These are the athletes that can play at their school within their style of play. They also recruit “project players” great practice players that they can develop into solid Junior and Senior contributors. Just because you are not a star of your high school team or travel team it does not mean you cannot play in college. There are many high school players who do not start because of a coaching conflict, because of politics and because they played behind very talented upper classmen players at their position. Many backups are “late bloomers”, many were socially distracted in high school and many have dramatically grown mentally and physically since high school.
SECTION 7: THE WALK-ON MYTH
MYTH & MISTAKE-17: I CAN WALK ON AT THE SCHOOL OF MY CHOICE AND EVENTUALLY GET THE CHANCE TO PLAY
Most walk-ons end up good Intramural players. The media glorifies the walk-ons that make it, for good reason, because few do. Coaches over-recruit because college coaching is competitive and because of the attrition rate within college athletics. Thousands of very good baseball players each year find themselves cut after “try-outs”. These players are invited to try out and are little more than admissions tricks to raise school enrollment. If you watch a lot of sports television, then you have probably heard stories about walk-on player examples such as:
The 2013 UCLA Closer / The David Berg story; this is an amazing story (If there's a freshman of the year in college baseball, it deserves to be former La Puente Bishop Amat pitcher David
Berg. What he accomplished as a walk-on this season at UCLA was nothing short of extraordinary. He finished the season with a 1.46 ERA while making 50 appearances, second-best all-time in NCAA history. As a junior in high school he only pitched 9-innings. He was a two-year varsity baseball letter winner at Bishop Amat High School under head coach Andy Nieto...helped lead Bishop Amat to the CIF Southern Section Division IV title at Dodger Stadium as a senior...captured first-team All-CIF Southern Section Division IV honors as a senior...earned first-team All-Del Rey League acclaim as a senior...went 7-1 with four saves and a 1.05 ERA, logging 59 strikeouts and five walks in 47.0 innings as a senior...pitched exclusively in relief as a senior...limited the opposition to a .145 batting average and .212 on-base percentage as a senior...helped lead Bishop Amat to a 29-4 overall record in 2011...earned Bishop Amat team MVP honors, specializing as a sidearm right-hander out of the bullpen...had a very strong senior season as a middle reliever after having pitched just nine innings as a junior.
These types of stories are very unrealistic for most walk-ons. The David Berg story is another story of a player making the team against all odds. David Berg also played a major role in
his team’s 2013 National Championship success as a freshman. The media loves to hone in on these feel-good stories. The "zero to hero" stories are very appealing to sports fans and to parents of athletes. American has been built on these types of very unique stories. But before you decide to try to walk-on at your dream school we want you to have a realistic idea about what your chances of making the team.
First, each school and coach have different policies on walk-ons and different policies for walk-on candidates. Additionally, each year is different the main variables are based on open roster spots, depth at your current position, the style of play (small ball athlete type versus bigger and stronger slugger type athlete) that the coaching staff is using to recruit this type of player. Before deciding to walk-on you need to ask a number of very specific walk-on questions to determine if this is a good idea. There are also three different types of walk-ons (blind, invited with no roster spot guarantee and roster spot guaranteed but no athletic scholarship money)
Type 1 / The Blind Walk-On: 70% of all walk-ons are the Blind Walk-On type. This type is the least probable to succeed walk-on. This is also the most storied type of walk-on;
Hollywood loves this type of walk-on. This walk-on many times has had zero contact with the coaching staff prior to trying out. These types get very few chances to prove themselves and are usually dismissed within half of a day tryout.
Type 2 / Recruited, Invited with No Roster Spot Guaranteed: 20% of walk-ons are recruited and invited. This type has no guarantees that they will be on the final roster. This walk-on has had multiple contacts with the coaching staff throughout the recruiting process. These walk-ons usually played their high school baseball within 100 miles of the campus. This type of recruit, is usually a solid and proven player but not a star. Normally, this student has been admitted to the school either on their own or with the support of the baseball team. Walk-ons should never plan on getting help from a team to get into school, it’s unlikely but it does occasionally happen. The positive part of being this type of walk-on is that you will be given a pro-longed tryout and you will be allowed to workout with the team during the fall semester. To make the team you will need to beat out a returning player or have a spot open up through another means (injury, player suspension, and academic failure, off the field issues). Again, it is not guaranteed that you will make the team. Brett Gardner (NY Yankees) was this type of walk-on.
Type 3 / No Scholarship-Roster Spot Guaranteed: 10% of walk-ons are roster spot guaranteed walk-ons. The most likely to make it walk-on is the player who is guaranteed a roster spot but does not receive any scholarship money. While the player may be guaranteed a roster spot to start or a spot on the roster, they do not benefit from the added security of having scholarship money invested in them. If a walk-on replaces a returning player, they are often the non-scholarship players who started out as a roster spot walk-on. This type of player is called a walk-on at some schools. While at other schools this type of player is not considered a walk-on. Ryan Howard (Philadelphia Phillies) was this type of a walk on.
These are the most important questions you should ask before deciding or attempting to walk-on.
Q1-Are there any other schools (D1, D2, D3, NIAA, and JC’s) that are interested in me as a scholarship player? Have I truly investigated all of my options, or am I stuck at one school?
Q2-Am I willing to quit playing if I don’t get selected?
Q3-Even if you do get selected are you willing to not play? In college the bench warmers have to work just as hard as the starters. Many walk-ons transfer after wasting a full year of their eligibility because they realize that they can play for a different school.
Q4-How happy will you be just being a full-time student if you don’t make the team? You have playing baseball the majority of your life, can you live without it?
Q5-Will you be able to watch other baseball players who you are probably better than playing while you don’t.?
Q6-Are you willing to start the finite clock (the 5-year clock)? When a student enrolls at a university as a full-time student their 5-year finite clock begins, which means they only have 5-years to use up their 4-years of NCAA athletic eligibility.
Q7-What do you want out of your college playing experience? Just to be part of a team., or to become a part-time contributor or do you want the chance to become a starter? Accepting a
non-playing role for the majority of your college career is not easy.
Q8-Did you investigate how many roster spots are open on the team you are trying to walk-on at? Many times roster spots do open up later because players quit, academic issues, off the field
issues, law breaking issues off campus and players get tired of the grind and just quit. You don’t want to put too much stock in hoping that this happens, it can happen but it does not always happen
Q9-How densely populated is the team at your position? Is your position 4-deep, if it is, it’s unlikely that you will make the team.
Q10-Find out what your tryout will consist of? Ask the coach what type of real opportunities you will really have.
Q11-Have you spoken to the coach and received a realistic idea about your chances to make the team. Do not be shy; ask away this may be your only chance to ask very detailed and direct
Q12-Keep showing up and expressing your interest. The more you show up at the coach’s office or at practice the better your chances will become. Some players even request to become a manager assistant, to help out the coaching staff so they can get a chance to practice and a
chance to make next year’s team. Your chances to make the team are slim, so do not be shy and don’t take the first no as a permanent no, be resilient and keep going after your dream.
SECTION 8: SCOUTING SERVICES
MYTH & MISTAKE-18: MOST OF THESE ‘SCOUTING SERVICES’ THAT I HAVE HEARD ABOUT ARE SCAMS
This is not true; the key to qualifying the value of recruiting services is to investigate each service thoroughly. Talk to the service multiple times and ask them to differentiate themselves from other services. Ask a lot of questions about the service, the total cost and their process. Many recruiting services are going to provide the services of e-mailing your profile, making you a professional highlight film, providing a college scouting report on you, Many will also provide unlimited guidance throughout the process. These are valuable services.Verify what each company by asking for referrals, what is their record of success? Recruiting services are not for every student / athlete. If you are serious about getting a lot of financial assistance and you are 100% certain that you want to play college baseball at a high level, its a solid investment. These services have a lot of contacts that you do not have. They also know what each one of the coaches is looking for. These services can be invaluable as well as successful.
SECTION 9: DIVISION I MYTHS
MYTH & MISTAKE-19: DIVISION I PROGRAMS HAVE BIG RECRUITING BUDGETS
Some of the larger schools with top notch football and basketball programs do have large recruiting budgets, but most do not. There are very few college baseball coaches that have the ability to fly around the country to recruit baseball players. Most also do not have an endless coaching staff that they can send out to scout each player. This is especially true when their team doesn’t generate any money for their school, which is just about every D1 baseball team.This is one of the main reasons why student athletes need to become extremely proactive in recruiting colleges and universities.
MYTH & MISTAKE-20: ALL DIVISION I PROGRAMS HAVE SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE
While the NCAA mandates how many scholarships a school can offer for a particular sport, it is up to the school whether or not they want to and can offer the number of scholarships allotted
to them. Example: Division I baseball programs are allowed to offer 11.7 scholarships to their entire team, but many division I baseball schools may offer only 3 or 4 scholarships. Many private schools have grants and financial assistance but no athletic scholarships. Ivy league schools also do not have athletic scholarships.
MYTH & MISTAKE-21: DIVISION I PROGRAMS DO NOT OFFER WALK-ON TRYOUTS.
Reality: While walking onto a Top-20 Division I baseball team will be pretty difficult; many coaches rely on walk-on's each year and will usually conduct tryouts to give as many players a
chance as possible. It is better to find out what walk-on opportunities exist before you show up at tryouts. It certainly is not easy, but it is not impossible either. The probability is extremely low, but it is possible.
SECTION 10: DIVISION II MYTHS
MYTH & MISTAKE-22: ALL DIVISION II PROGRAMS HAVE SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE
While the NCAA mandates how many scholarships a school can offer for a particular sport, it is up to the school whether or not they want to and can offer the number of scholarships allotted
to them. Example: Division II baseball programs are allowed to offer 9.5 scholarships to their entire team, but many Division II baseball schools may offer only 1 or 4 scholarships only.
MYTH & MISTAKE-23: WALKING ON TO A DIVISION II IS EASY
This is absolutely not true; many top Division II programs are stacked with Division 1 transfers, junior college transfers and very strong Division II baseball recruits. Just because it’s Division II does not mean that making the team is not going to be extremely difficult.
SECTION 11: DIVISION III MYTHS
MYTH & MISTAKE-24: DIVISION III SCHOOLS ARE WEAKER ATHLETICALLY
In some cases yes, but in many cases no. Many Division III programs have very talented athletic programs that are better than many DII schools and even DI schools. They are still very talented and dedicated athletes who play DIII because they wanted to continue their athletic career in college. If you think you can just stroll onto a DIII baseball program you are in for a big surprise. If you haven’t watched a Top 25 DIII game and you think this way you are severely limiting your choices. Go check out Marietta College in Ohio or Cortland University in Upstate NY. These teams are very competitive and they recruit top players from all over the country, many of could played Division I or Division II baseball had they chosen that route.
Reality: Many Division 3 programs have very talented athletic programs. Look at these teams, they are highly competitive and they practice just as many hours as Division I schools. If you show up not in 100% tip-top show and serious you will be cut and escorted off the field.
1. Linfield (34-6)
2. St. Thomas, Minnesota (33-5)
3. Cortland State (34-9)
4. Salisbury (30-7)
5. UW-Whitewater (34-7)
6. Trinity, Texas (36-7)
7. Ithaca (34-6)
The best Division III program in the United States is Marietta College in Ohio, they have won the National Championship multiple times in the last five years. Many of these athletes selected D III because they were focused on getting their education first and playing athletics second. But they are still extremely talented and dedicated athletes who wanted to continue their athletic career in college, but wanted to do it on their own terms.
MYTH & MISTAKE-25: I CAN’T GO TO A DIVISION III SCHOOL BECAUSE I NEED AN ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP
Many DIII schools offer attractive financial aid programs and you should not overlook any school, even if they do not offer athletic scholarships. Many student-athletes go to DIII schools for free because they are good students. many have financial family needs and use that leverage to get the best financial deal possible. If you get a $5,000 athletic scholarship at a $30,000 DI or DII School you still have $25,000 a year to pay! There are many parents that are basically sending their kids to school for free because their sons and daughters had strong academic backgrounds and coupled that with athletics to make themselves an attractive student and recruit for a certain school. The amount of scholarship is not important. The bottom line price you have to pay is.
SECTION 12: GENERAL COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP MYTHS
MYTH & MISTAKE-26: ALL COLLEGES OFFER ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS
Only Division I & II colleges can offer athletic scholarships (plus Junior Colleges and some NAIA schools). Division III Programs can only offer financial aid and academic grant money for
top students. While DI and DII colleges can offer athletic scholarships, there are many baseball schools that may only have 1 or 2 scholarships for their entire team and they will divide that money up to several players. Athletic scholarships are not offered at the Ivy League which also competes at the D1 level, although most Ivy programs have attractive financial aid and grant
packages should you wish to attend one of the Ivy schools! There are several DI baseball coaches who have one athletic scholarship to offer for their entire team. In this scenario you might be lucky to get a few thousand dollars, and may need to come up with an additional $30,000+ if you want to attend a private school.
MYTH & MISTAKE-27: ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS ARE FOUR YEAR CONTRACTS
One of the most common misconceptions is that a scholarship, whether it is full or partial, lasts four years. By definition, a scholarship is a one-year renewable grant. Renewals are not
automatic, and the college must notify the student in writing by July 1 of his or her scholarship status. Therefore, even the proverbial "full ride" -- a rarity at virtually every program -- is only guaranteed for one year.
MYTH & MISTAKE-28: MOST ATHLETES GET A FULL ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP OR NO SCHOLARSHIP
Full scholarships are very rare and most coaches divide scholarship money up between several players. 98% of guaranteed full scholarships are for DI basketball and football. Baseball divides
money up to many players and no other team or program is guaranteed to be fully funded. Rarely to baseball players see their tuition, room, board and fees covered for an entire four years. The "full ride" is one of many myths that student-athletes and their parents may encounter when navigating the NCAA athletic scholarship maze during the recruiting process. If a typical that a baseball team that has 35-40 players on its roster, there's a good chance that 25 of those players receive a percentage of an athletic scholarship -- likely less than half of one full
scholarship. Another two or three may receive need-based financial aid only, while another two or three are paying their own way entirely.
MYTH & MISTAKE-29: MOST ATHLETES ARE ON SOME TYPE OF AN ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP
Under the NCAA, including Divisions I, II and III, only 30 percent of student-athletes are on any form of athletic scholarship. Division III doesn't offer any athletic scholarships, nor do any Ivy League schools. And the majority of the D-I and D-II teams are not fully funded, meaning they do not have the resources to offer the maximum amount of scholarships allowed by the NCAA. Some schools try to reward upperclassmen for their loyalty to the program by upping their
scholarship going into their senior years, which may leave less than three scholarships for a coach to go out and recruit nine or 10 incoming players.
MYTH & MISTAKE-30: MOST ATHLETES ARE ON SOME TYPE OF AN ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP
If a baseball recruit is not offered an athletic scholarship in his freshman year, that doesn't mean he or she is not eligible later. There also are a number of other options that can be explored through the college's financial aid department. They include: need-based financial aid,
grants and loans.
SECTION 13: ACADEMIC MYTHS
MYTH & MISTAKE-31: BAD GRADES WON’T MATTER IF YOUR TALENT IS GOOD ENOUGH
Part of this statement is true. The best skilled baseball players always attract the most attention from college coaches. The problem is that a baseball coach must look at the athlete’s
transcript, GPA and SAT/ACT scores. The baseball coach will have to see how these match up with the school’s minimal requirements. If the athlete does not meet the requirements, the baseball coach will be forced to drop the athlete from their recruiting list, even if the athlete would be a tremendous asset to the team. Recruiting athletes can be expensive for coaches and schools. Most coaches won’t invest their time and money recruiting a baseball player who is not going to be admitted into their school, or is going to fail out or become academically ineligible.
If you don’t earn a 3.0 GPA or higher, over 50% of NCAA DI programs won’t be able to get you past the admissions office. Grades are becoming the single most important factor in recruiting.
Admissions and administration offices are putting more pressure on athletic departments to recruit athletes that succeed once they get into school. Sure you may be ‘eligible’ to be recruited as a D1 athlete with a 2.3 Core GPA, 820 M/V SAT, or 17 ACT, but unless you are a top blue chip baseball player, not many schools are going to recruit you.
MYTH & MISTAKE-32: COLLEGE COACHES WILL HELP ME GET INTO SCHOOL IF I AM ON THE BUBBLE ACADEMICALLY
Reality: While being recruited by a college baseball coach can be an advantage over applicants that are not athletes, you need to be very close academically to what the school seeks out
in any student. Baseball coaches can submit a list of names to the admissions department, but you need to be committed to the coach and express a strong interest in attending that institution. At the end of the day admissions make admission decisions, not coaches, and many students that thought they were a shoe-in for admissions will get rejected. It can also depend on the needs of individual teams, and the number of applicants the school is dealing with in a
SECTION 14: SHOWCASE & BASEBALL CAMP MYTHS
MYTH & MISTAKE-33: SHOWCASES, CAMPS, AND CLINICS ALONE WILL GET ME RECRUITED.
The main problem with showcases is that if 100 players will attend and Division I baseball coaches will be watching the same five or ten players. That’s how showcases work. The baseball coaches have already identified the potential DI student-athletes that will be there,
and they use the showcases as a means of evaluating those specific players. With few exceptions, college coaches go to showcases with a game plan and go to evaluate current prospects, not find new ones. If a Division II/III level player is intent on going to a showcase, it is critical for that athlete to pinpoint around ten schools they are interested in and find out which showcases those schools will be attending. Just showing up to any random showcase and hoping to get discovered is not a good idea as they will undoubtedly be overshadowed by the better players and not gain much from the experience. Also, realize many of these events main purpose is to generate revenue.