This Post Written By LeagueApps Baseball Partner Representative Tyler Wood
I’ve been through the college recruiting process before and it’s stressful. I was once an aspiring high school pitcher looking to play college baseball. I had the opportunity to pitch at Furman University and go on to play professionally in the San Diego Padres organization. There is no magic formula to getting a scholarship, but here are five things I wish I knew when I was a high school baseball player.
Put Together a Realistic List of Schools
There are many things to account for when looking for a great school to play for: geography, academics, coaches, campus lifestyle. Put together a list of schools you are confident you will achieve academically and athletically. If you struggle academically, you won’t be allowed to play and if you struggle to get on the field you won’t enjoy your time off the field.
Don’t Post Without Your Grandma’s Approval
Be smart. I’m sure you’ve heard this from your parents, teachers and baseball coaches but take it from a 25-year-old who has seen lives get ruined from one dumb post. BE SMART about what you post on social media! If you don’t think college coaches are looking at your Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, you’re lying to yourself.
Be Honest With Your Ability
This one might sting, but not all of you reading this are going to play Division 1 and let me be super clear, that is ok! If you want to continue playing this beautiful game of baseball after high school, there are plenty of opportunities. I’ve played with some very talented players that have gone on to have wildly successful careers at the Division 2 and NAIA levels. I would rather be a weekend starter on a Division 2 team than a bench warmer on a D1 team.
Go To A Place Where You Are Wanted
This one really hits home for me (pun definitely intended). I am from St. Louis and I wanted to go to the University of Missouri more than any other school on my list. I emailed them so many times I should have received a restraining order filed. They saw me throw in 28 innings and I only gave up 2 runs! 2 runs!
Throughout this entire process, the coaches at Furman University stayed persistent and continued to make me feel like Furman was the place for me. Turns out it was the place. I was a four-year starter and went on to play professionally. Moral of the story is go to a school where the coaches make you feel like you are wanted.
Make The Most Of Your Time Playing
News flash: you will stop playing the game of baseball at some point, no matter how talented you are. There are hundreds of games I don’t remember playing. I have no idea what my stats as a junior in high school were. But I will never forget the friendships I gained over my career. Baseball is temporary but those friendships last a lifetime!
This is likely one of the biggest decision you will be making in your young life but it’s exciting! Do your research, make your campus visits and make the decision that fits all of your needs as a future student-athlete!
You can reach Tyler at firstname.lastname@example.org for more recruiting tips for your baseball program. And be sure to check out his other tips on his blog The TWood Shop.