John Hinson of Southern Athletics 3 Tips On Getting Commitment Offers
Southern Athletics Baseball, located in Hendersonville, North Carolina, is a three-fold baseball organization that includes camps, clinics, and club teams. Their mission is to use their experience and knowledge to accelerate the development and exposure of players in order to garner success on the largest platforms in the country. That stands solid with their three pillars: development, exposure, and recruiting.
And they are absolutely crushing the recruiting pillar.
As of March, every single player of their class of 2017 has committed to play at the college level. Twenty five percent of those players signed commitments to schools that are in the ACC or SEC. Eight players of the 2018 class have also committed, of which nearly 40% will be playing in those mega conferences. Their focus is to have them all signed by the end of the year.
We reached out to John Hinson, President of Southern Athletics and partner of LeagueApps. Aside from leading Southern Athletics (SA) Baseball club and its tournaments, he is also launching Palmetto Sports Academy in Greenville, South Carolina.
John grew up in Asheville, played baseball at ACC powerhouse Clemson University, and for a couple years played in the Houston Astros farm system. We asked him what the secret sauce is to recruiting.
“The secret sauce, if there was any, is for the travel guys who are engaged in this recruiting process to be genuine,” he said. Here is three part formula John says can make you genuine on the recruiting trail.
Do It For The Right Reasons
College coaches are easily able to figure out a guy’s intentions and what their motivations might be. John has made it a point to surround himself with like-minded people on his staff that share the Southern Athletics mission who truly want their players to reach the next level, on and off the field.
“The difference between the guys that do this really well and the guys that sort of peak out and then they’re gone in two years, are that the first batch of guys are doing it for all the right reasons.”
Meaning club directors that are in it for their egos and nothing else won’t forge relationships with college coaches longer than two years. Make your travel club about something more than just baseball by adopting a mission.
Be a Great Communicator
We preach all the time about the importance of communication for baseball and softball programs. It’s true that instant and constant communication from a club or tournament director is important for day-to-day operations, but the same can be send to help reach your recruiting goals as well.
One unique way John is able to communicate SA’s recruiting goals is through a blog. Craig Collins, Vice President of SA, maintains a blog that provides parents, players, and any member with tips and best practices that help relieve some of the stress around the recruiting process.
“The important thing is to communicate a lot. Stay positive with the parents, even if that means it might be difficult for you to say,” he said.
But communication doesn’t have to be a one way street of you speaking with your players and their parents. Communicate with other people in your industry, especially those you have forged relationships with.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Fulfillment
College coaches will work with any club director that is genuine. But to really forge a relationship with a college, according to John, you have to truly get fulfillment out of getting seeing your guys commit.
“What I mean is they don’t mind calling a division two or three school and saying, ‘listen, I’m here to help your program. Are you looking for a pitcher two classes from now?’”
Even if you don’t have any players that can help them out, John recommends you scout your next tournament, and if you see a potential fit, give that college coach a shout. In the long run, that relationship will be stronger and soon you will have a new college pipeline where there was none before.