By: Andy Partin
Not enough emphasis goes in to appreciating how hard many assistant college baseball coaches work. Now that players are committing as early as 8th grade, imagine how long that assistant coach has to maintain a relationship with that player even before he steps on campus. On the flip-side, there are plenty of assistant coaches that get a commitment from a player early and don’t talk to them for a year.
Before diving further in to the importance of assistant coaches, I suggest always choose a program based on your love of the school first. Can you see yourself going to that school even if you didn’t play baseball there. Secondly, do you see the coaching staff doing everything they can to help you be successful on and off the field.
Now, back to the topic. Having a good relationship with your assistant coach is vital. Typically, one assistant coach will be responsible for the position players and one will be responsible for the pitchers. The majority of individual instruction will not come from the head coach. In most cases, he basically oversees the whole program. A lot of the skill-based teaching comes from your assistant coaches.
It’s key to make sure that you are comfortable with the assistant coaches. You must believe he can make you a better player. Your personalities need to mesh the assistant coaches. In some programs the assistant coaches run the practices.
During the recruiting process, utilize your time on the phone and on your visit(s) to learn as much as you can about the assistant coaches. Understand that it’s impossible for a coach to make every kid on the team happy. Typically every kid not playing regularly has an issue with the coach (naturally since he feels like he should be in the line-up). So when you ask a current player his thoughts on the assistant coach you need to try to distinguish between hard feelings and facts.
Don’t fall in love with just one coach either. The majority of assistant coaches want to be head coaches and they are looking for openings after every season. I don’t want to get too much in to the likelihood of an assistant coach staying as there are way too many factors to weigh out and consider.
Bottom line, you are going to spend a great deal of time with your assistant coach so make sure he’s someone you feel like you can learn from and someone you can trust.
By: Andy Partin
I’m asked more often than you’d imagine, “how do I know if they are really interested in me?” There can be some confusion so let’s clear things up a bit and paint a clearer picture.
Let’s look at 3 ways to know for sure if a college baseball program is really interested in you:
1) Are they initiating contact with you via email or phone? Not are you emailing them and they are emailing you back, but are they seeking you out over email or by phone. Or are they requesting you contact them through a third party.
2) Is that coach coming to watch you play? Not are they there to see another kid on your team or the opposing team, but is that coach there to see you play. Odds are that coach has contacted you previously to let you know he’ll be there to see you play a certain game(s).
3) Has a coach requested you come on an unofficial or official visit to his school’s campus? This is a no brainer serious sign of interest. I don’t know about you but I value my time more than anything and likely same goes for that coach. If he/they weren’t interested in you I highly doubt he’d give up 2-4 hours of his time to spend with you unless he has a serious interest in you.
These are 3 no-brainer signs that a college is interested in you. If you receive an athletic scholarship offer you’ll have a full understanding how interested they are in you.
We’re excited to host our IMPACT College Coach Camp Showcase in Glenn Allen, VA on June 18-19, 2019. Please find more information below..
Tuesday- June 18, 2019
Check In Time: 10:00 Am
What to Bring: Baseball Attire, Cleats, etc
Deep Run High School
4801 Twin Hickory Road
Glen Allen, VA 23059
Pro Style Workout: 10:30-2pm
College Coach Instruction: 2-3pm
June 19, 2019
9:00 AM- Black vs Teal
10:45 AM- Teal vs Maroon
1:30 PM- Black vs White
3:15 PM- White vs Maroon
Rosters/Teams will be released on Monday afternoon..
By: Andy Partin
Finding the college baseball program that best fits for you can be tough, especially when you and your parents don’t have a realistic view of your ability. Understand that college baseball has a place for just about every player. If you are super talented then the top programs are who you should pursue and if you are on the opposite end where you lack the talent but still want to play, then you need to look at much smaller programs. Most players fall in between.
The key to finding the right schools is understanding who you are as a player. There is only one guy who will play shortstop at Florida State (for example) every year. Picture every shortstop in the state of Florida the past three or four years (that’s a lot). The best guy out of all those shortstops, plus all the out of state kid’s the FSU coaches saw, that’s the kid who’s going to play shortstop at Florida State. As I have stated before, I’m the last guy to try and squash your dreams, but you need to be somewhat realistic.
When a kid starts talking to me about colleges one of the first things I ask is do you want to go somewhere you have a good chance to play right away or is being more of a role player for a while OK with you? Obviously, the majority of guys want to go somewhere and play right away. Nobody wants to go to college and not play, so pursue programs where you have a good shot to compete early on. If you land at a school where you don’t play much, you and your parents will have an unpleasant experience and that situation usually ends up messy.
By: Andy Partin
Every program is different the way they handle their pitching staff. Some schools rely on less arms and have them throw more innings and others use more arms and have them throw less innings.
If a coach tends to rely heavily on 7 pitchers throughout the season it’s going to be tough for the other pitchers to play a part throughout their career in that program. I’d suggest finding out how that coaching staff distributes innings.
Look back over the different season’s stats on the school’s website and you’ll be able to see how many different pitchers got to pitch throughout the season. This will give you a solid idea of what your chances are like when you show up.
If a pitcher is throwing close to 25 innings during a season then he played a solid role. If a pitcher doesn’t throw near that then he was probably never a guy that was involved in a situation that could dictate the outcome of a game.
Let’s not discount the fact pitchers who struggle in practice or early on in games will have a tougher shot getting a chance to prove themselves again in games. The players have to perform in order to receive opportunities.
Bottom line, just be educated about the programs you are interested in. Knowing how many guys on a roster played a role will give you a sense of how much you can expect to pitch and contribute to your team throughout the season.
By: Andy Partin
When you are narrowing down your preferred schools of choice you better have an idea how many scholarship players have quit or transferred those baseball programs.
Understand this, when you are being recruited or when you are on your visit, you’re the star of the hour. Once you show up on campus things change and you become just another guy in the program. Sorry if that hurts some of your feelings, but it’s the truth and you better be prepared.
You need to understand this: COLLEGE BASEBALL IS A BUSINESS. Some of these head coaches are making over $500,000 per year. They are going to do whatever they need to do to make sure they win. I’m not trying to spook you – every program is different. And yes, baseball is ‘a game’ – but how well you play can dictate if a coach keeps his job or not. This is about people’s lives not just a baseball game.
Some programs create log jams at certain positions. They may bring in 3 freshman catchers and 1 will rise above and the other 2 will sit on the bench. So, what happens is kids see the light and they quit and/or they transfer. This benefits the coaches because they keep the best player and get all that scholarship money back.
I’m a fan of telling kids and families to gather as much information as possible. For example, go online and find the past 4 years signing classes for a school and look on the current roster and see how many guys are still at that school. Sure, there will be a couple academic situations or family issues or whatever will force kids to leave but overall it will give you a good feel for how many scholarship players have quit and/or transferred.
By: Andy Partin
College coaches get contacted everyday about kids telling them they are interested in their program. The best way to contact a college coach who has never contacted you is by email.
Whatever you do, don’t send out a mass email to 10 schools and address it, “Dear Coach,”. That’s a quick way for your email to be deleted or not be taken seriously. My recommendation is you personalize the email to a particular coach.
If you just fill out an online baseball questionnaire you generally get put in the camp invite list. So, if you want to pretend like you are getting recruited by a bunch of schools, just fill out their questionnaire and watch the emails and letters pour in and you can tell everyone how #Blessed you are on Twitter and post college envelope pictures on your Instagram and Snapchat.
I’m not here to squash anyone’s dreams. I’m the last guy to ever tell you that you can’t do something, but I’d suggest contacting schools that suite your skill and academic level. Not every kid out there can play in the SEC, so contact schools at your level or even slightly higher.
In the email tell the coach who you are, attach a schedule and invite them to watch you play. Odds are if that coach is watching a tournament you are at, he’ll make time to at least go watch you play if he hasn’t ever seen you.
This is where having a good reference comes in to play. You can have that reference follow up with that coach if he thinks you can play at that school.
After the coach sees you if there is interest, he will pursue you. If he does not, then move on. It’s nothing personal.
I do want to explain that phone calls are not the best choice to contact a coach who isn’t recruiting you. A phone call can be a little invasive and coaches are very busy people, whether you realize that or not.
By: Andy Partin
College baseball coaches recruit on a need basis. With the roster and scholarship limitations college baseball programs have they can’t sign a recruit at every position each year. They identify what areas they need to improve on and recruit accordingly.
Something many talented players and their parents don’t understand is just because you are the best catcher in the state of Florida and you’ve always dreamed of going to the University of Florida; but they have 2 young catchers in their program the chances of you getting a scholarship offer is pretty slim. It’s not that they don’t like you, they just don’t have a need for you.
Find out what different college programs need in your recruiting class. If your skills meet their needs there is a chance you may get an offer. If there is no need for you at a certain school then spend your time looking at schools with a need for you.
By: Andy Partin
Two-way money is a term used throughout college athletics referring to a player who has grades good enough to receive academic scholarship money and athletic scholarship money.
At one point some schools were taking advantage of academic dollars and giving kids academic dollars they didn’t deserve so the NCAA has set the standard a student athlete must meet in order to receive two-way money.
Something most parents and kids don’t understand is in order to continue receiving academic money you must maintain a certain GPA. If you don’t maintain that GPA you will forfeit that academic scholarship the following year.
For example, if you are on 25% baseball scholarship and 40% academic scholarship and you don’t maintain your GPA you are now responsible for paying 75% of your school instead of only 35%. We’re talking several thousands of dollars in most cases.
Athletic money is more permanent than academic money. If you are a good student and a good athlete you should be rewarded for both. Just know exactly what you are signing for.
By: Andy Partin
So many kids have dreams of playing big-time Division I baseball but are relatively clueless on the process of getting there.
Something that many parents and players don’t understand is a Division I school can only have 35 players on their roster and only 27 players on scholarship. That means 8 players on their roster are considered “walk-ons.”
Before this roster and scholarship rule was implemented a few years ago many schools were bringing in 30 or more guys on campus every year. And they were coming on books only scholarships!
Today the minimum scholarship size is 25%. A fully funded Division I school only has 11.7 scholarships. Some schools have less. It’s hard enough to be competitive with 11.7; think how tough it must be with half of that!
A fully funded Division II baseball program has a max of 9 athletic scholarships. Division III college programs have 0 athletic scholarships, NAIA programs have 12 and the max a Junior College baseball program can have is 24 athletic scholarships.
The sad thing is football and basketball have enough athletic scholarships for their third-string guys to have full rides! A 50% scholarship in college baseball is a huge offer.
You hear all the time from baseball kids and parents they’re on a “full ride.” News flash – they are probably lying. College coaches have a very tough job trying to divide out their limited allotted scholarships while trying to put the best product on the field. I couldn’t imagine sinking 1 full scholarship in to only 1 player. If you do that, odds are your team won’t be very good.
I encourage kids and parents to set your ego aside and don’t be so greedy and for once put yourself in the college coach’s shoes. If you are only interested in who gives you the most money, odds are you are choosing that school for the wrong reasons anyway.
Baseball is a team sport in a sense. If you’re a shortstop and you take a full scholarship from a program, odds are you won’t have a very good pitching staff. Or your double play partner isn’t going to be very good.
Divide 27 players on scholarship by 11.7 and you can see full rides just don’t happen often.