If you’re a young baseball or softball player who wants to play at the college level (or beyond), you share the same dream as many other young men around the world. Whether it’s Division I or Division III, you’ll need to get in touch with college scouts and coaches in order to get recruited. So how do you get college baseball scouts to notice you?
The Rapsodo team works with over 7,000 baseball and softball coaches across the country. We’ve put together some tips we’ve gathered from some of the best coaches in the game that we hope will help you land an offer from your dream school.
8 Tips To Help You Get Noticed by College Baseball Scouts
1. Put in the WORK
No matter what division you want to play at, coaches want more than players with skill; they want their athletes to have a great work ethic. If you want to get better, you need to put in the extra work on the field, in the cage, and in the weight room.
However, hard work doesn’t stop after each sweat session, it also counts in the classroom – so make sure you’re keeping your grades up as well. Most schools have minimum academic requirements for their athletes, so don’t cut your options short by constantly producing bad grades.
2. Know college recruiting rules and schedule
College scouts from the NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA all must follow their organization’s recruiting calendar. Knowing recruiting calendars for all three college organizations will help you better understand when it is the best time to reach out to coaches.
To help you get started, here are the recruiting schedules and rules for the three organizations listed above:
3. Write down your target list of schools
You may have been dreaming of becoming an Oklahoma Sooner or Vanderbilt Commodore – so put those schools and others on a target list! You might think those are your dream schools now, but there are other things to consider when it comes to picking a college – such as location, majors offered, and cost – so spend some time researching all your options as you make your list.
4. Show off your skills with video
When you’re at a game or taking practice reps, film yourself or have someone film you. Coaches don’t need to see super fancy videos, just a short highlight reel of your best plays. If you’re not a computer wizard, don’t worry – there are tons of free or cheap video editing software and apps on the market that can help you stand out. If you need some guidance, check out how California High Schooler Ethan Wang creates Rapsodo recruiting videos. You don’t have to have data overlay in your video, but if you have Rapsodo or other baseball/softball data technology available, it’s another layer that will help you stand out to coaches.
The Rapsodo app makes this extremely easy by allowing you to take videos on your iPad that will automatically come with data overlaid.
5. Build profiles on recruiting websites
Gone are the days of writing and mailing letters to athletic departments, hoping a scout will see you at a tournament. Technology has made it so easy to connect with coaches near and far, and recruiting websites like BeRecruited, RecruitTalk, NCSA, and SportsRecruits make student-athlete/coach connections their mission. Most profiles do come with a fee, but this small investment can go a long way if it helps land you a scholarship.
6. Get a Rapsodo Certified Assessment
Just like the ACT/SAT is the standardized test colleges look at to determine a student’s academic capabilities, RapScore is the standardized measurement baseball and softball coaches use to determine the hitting and pitching skill levels of prospective players. When you purchase a Rapsodo Certified Assessment at a participating baseball or softball tournament, you not only get your RapScore, but a breakdown of your strengths and weaknesses and where you rank at different college levels. Many universities, including those in the Power Five conferences, take RapScores into account when assessing recruits. If you want to know how to get coaches to notice you, getting your RapScore featured on the Rapsodo National Player Database is a great start.
7. Reach out to coaches on your target list
Tips 1-6 can be considered “steps” that will prepare you for the fun (more like nerve-wracking) part: reaching out to coaches on your target list. If you have completed most (ideally, all) of the steps above, then you’re ready to reach out the coaches from your dream programs.
If you’re not sure how to start the conversation, there are tons of resources and “how to email college coaches” templates online to help get you started. If you have your summer ball schedule handy, you can include that as well so coaches know where to see you. Summer is also a great time to set up campus visits, so try to set those up too. Remember, as we said in Tip 3, there is a lot more than baseball when it comes to choosing the right college for you.
8. Attend the right showcases and tournaments
Most travel teams will attend a few college showcase tournaments over the summer. These tournaments are great places to get noticed by coaches that are both on and off your target list. Let coaches you are actively communicating with know which tournaments you will be at, and make sure to check your emails and respond to college scouts that may have reached out to you.
In Tip 4, we talked about showing off your skills with video – but here’s an extra pro-tip: talk to your coach about investing in Realplay. Their video technology and recruiting platform allows you to knock out two of our tips with one stone (or ball). If you attend a Realplay event, you’ll get an added bonus: Rapsodo data overlay on all your videos!
Getting recruited to play at the next level is a long process, but it will all be worth it on signing day!
For more information on Rapsodo player development products, visit www.rapsodo.com.