By: Brendan Dougherty
For many high school baseball players, the recruiting process can be difficult and confusing at times. There are many different areas that must be addressed during the process. One of the more important things in the process is forming a list of schools that will help you decide where you will go for either the next three to four years. At the beginning stages of creating a list of schools which may start as early as your freshman year in high school it is important to understand that your list must have some definite criteria that must be met. You should also understand that your original list may change over the course of the recruiting process.
When you are creating your list, it should have different tiers and categories of things that you are looking for in each individual school. Another important factor to remember is your list may be bigger when you first start but it should get narrowed down after you do your research and find out if it is the right fit for you. Here are some keys to creating your list and things that you should be looking for:
Academics: Can you get into the school academically? Do they have what you are wanting to or thinking about majoring in? How difficult is the curriculum?
School Size/Campus Life: How many students attend the school? Can you see yourself at that school if you were not playing baseball?
Cost: Division I Baseball has 11.7 Scholarships and only 27 can be on scholarship. Research other financial options or scholarships that you may be able to receive at different institutions.
Interest in School: You must be able to see yourself at the school if baseball was not an option. Although baseball is going to take up much of your time there. You still want to be able to enjoy the other parts of the college experience.
Communication with Schools: What type of communication are you having with the schools on your list. If it is consistent and you are talking with members of the coaching staff, then there is more than likely interest on their part as well. If you are receiving camp emails and you have interest in the school, then I suggest you go to an on-campus camp. If it is not a place that you can see yourself going then I would respond to the staff member thanking him for the invite, but you will probably not be attending camp.
Coaching Staff: This is one of the most important parts of creating a list. You must do your research on the staff as much as they are going to research you. Try to create a relationship with them as best that you can. Go to campus and watch them practice seeing how they interact with there current team. They are going to be with you more than anyone the three or four years that you are there so you want to feel comfortable that they are going to develop you as a player, but also as a person.