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Anyone with tales of college recruitment for a student athlete?


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Just wondering.  My little guy is several years away and this may be his path - but a lot can happen in 5 years.

wondering about which sport, which schools, how the decision was made and how it worked out

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Follwing....my son is currently a sophomore pitcher/3rd baseman playing on JV. His school has a good baseball program (top-10 in Florida) and had 6 D1 signees this year so there is a pipeline there. Looking forward to how this year turns out....

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There's a thread about our kids' athletic achievements... I kinda remember some chatter in there about this stuff.

Gb's 16 son plays baseball out in CA, pretty much all year on several serious teams that travel all over the country. Along with the teams, Started going to some college camps for HS kids as a freshman, got interest from college and coaches at those. Iirc, he ended up on some other national rankings/prospects charts as a result as well. At the beginning of pandemic, had been hitting the weights heavy and working out like a friend. Hit 93 on the radar on his 16th bday sophomore year (after a bunch of warmups in the 90, 91s) and signed letter of intent with U of Arizona not long after.

I can share my story with soccer, but being more than 30 years ago has little relevance for today.

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Buddy's daughter started training with boys AAU in 6th grade.  Prior to her entering 8th grade, coach pulls the dad aside and tells him, "This is how it's going to be.  It's going to be Stanford, UCONN, Notre Dame, whoever the up and comer is in the next 3-4 years, and another school she likes." 

Buddy was like "OK, you're the expert but we'll see.".  Guy hit it on the head.  Last two schools ended up being Oregon and South Carolina.  She actually ended up winning the Naismith Trophy and is in her second year at Stanford (mcl injury last year) and leads the team in points, rebounds, and assists as a sophomore.

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Went through the process a few years ago with my son.  He's a 6'3" right handed pitcher.  Was kind of a late bloomer as he hit the magic 90MPH fastball number the fall of his senior year.  Once that happened, the floodgates of college coaches interested opened (only had one D3 offer at that point).  My son would get random texts from about every D3 and JUCO around the country, but his interest was to be close to home and stay within Michigan.  He got "noticed" by UofM and MSU as their recruiting coaches followed him on Twitter, but it did not evolve beyond that.  He got some other serious D1 interest from a couple of the MAC schools, but it seemed the D1 schools liked to string you along a bit just in case something better came along (especially when they were down to their last couple spots).  We ended up visiting most of the Michigan D2 schools who play in a very good baseball conference (GLIAC) and that was where he ended up going.  The typical D2 offer was very good (pretty consistent across all the schools).  The school offered a nice base academic scholarship and the baseball program would match it (sometimes including books too).

Fun and somewhat stressful experience.

Edited by Al Czervik
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My nephew went through the process a few years ago for football. He had several D1 offers, all FCS schools. He was invited to walk on at a couple FBS schools. One piece of advice I have is to make sure you are familiar with the recruiting rules because some of the people out there will cut corners and play a bit fast and loose. I’m not talking about outright intentional violations and such, but just mistakes or aggressive contacts that could cause difficulty.  
 

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Both my sons wrestled D1, and the process was different for each.  My older one was heavily recruited, while my younger one was not as much.  Older one had multiple offers ranging from a full-ride at one school to 40% at another.  They both enjoyed the process of visiting the campuses.  I would encourage you to take all the visits you can, you never know until you set foot on the campus.

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17 hours ago, The Dude said:

Just wondering.  My little guy is several years away and this may be his path - but a lot can happen in 5 years.

wondering about which sport, which schools, how the decision was made and how it worked out

Make sure to take photos of your son kayaking for the rowing squad. 

Edited by wazoo11
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Son is a freshman and we are just starting this process for baseball.  He's a late bloomer, so not expecting much out of the gate.  Good lefty pitcher/1B.  HS tryouts next week.  Since last summer, he's had a few coaches reach out and invite him to summer camps this year.  He's also doing a PBR showcase this weekend with his summer team.  Interested to see where he stands against other players his age, as well as within his HS.  

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45 minutes ago, Peak said:

Son is a freshman and we are just starting this process for baseball.  He's a late bloomer, so not expecting much out of the gate.  Good lefty pitcher/1B.  HS tryouts next week.  Since last summer, he's had a few coaches reach out and invite him to summer camps this year.  He's also doing a PBR showcase this weekend with his summer team.  Interested to see where he stands against other players his age, as well as within his HS.  

Fwiw, my gb's son mentioned above did a ton of leg weight work between freshman and sophomore years- went from throwing in the 80s to the 90s, they feel as a result of the work.

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We have a nephew who rowed crew in HS for a good team. I took him to see the coach at my (and his dad's) alma mater...for that sport they recruit based on a specific time/number (urg?) And told him flat out his numbers were too low to be recruited, but about there to be a walk on, where they'd put a word in to admissions for him. Other than paying to be out into a online recruitment list and getting seen at races, that's all the recruiting that happened for him. He went to a great college based on his grades and tests, not sports.

His HS senior sister would be a four year basketball starter at her too rated school if not for covid. She's had colleges talking to her the last couple years and her dad has been very active/spending sending her to college bball camps for invited kids. I don't know that her game ever really elevated after freshman year, and I saw her at the camp at my college..didn't really stand out, tbh. She's waiting to hear from schools.

Not sure if they even offered recruiting trips this year because of covid. Does anybody know?

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My son is a Sophomore on JV. Starting 2B. He is a late bloomer as well. Grew 7 inches in the last 10 months and added 20 pounds. That was the first growth spurt. He will have another (in it right now actually). His high school varsity is ranked 11th in the nation by perfect game. 

We are not even starting the process till we feel he is physically matured and ready to showcase for colleges and attend college camps. No reason to expose him and get the wrong first impressions on paper. His ball skills are unquestioned. Fluid feet, great hands, good arm, excellent bat. But when your 5’7’ 125 pounds no one is interested yet. 

This summer he will be in the gym 6 days week. That was him telling me this. I started letting him workout this past summer at age 15. And the results have been mind blowing. His strength has really taken off in terms of speed, his arm velo and bat exit velo. 

Our varsity program won the national championship in 2016 so you can look that up and know where he attends. I have had the pleasure of being an assistant coach the last two years in their summer program and coaching with a baseball high school legend (Rich Hoffman). This summer he will be playing for his varsity pitching coach's program (The Wolfpack). I am finally going to the other side of the fence to simply enjoy watching him play. I have been coaching baseball since he was 4 years old all the way thru travel and high school summer ball. Time to retire LOL.

We have been advised by several people in baseball that we trust to sit tight, let him keep developing (as the development is really accelerating physically now) physically and Spring/Summer junior year start the process. 

We are being realistic. We do not expect any athletic scholarship for baseball. Typically only pitchers, catchers and phenom power hitters get baseball D1 scholarships. There are only on average about 11-12 D1 scholarships per school in the state of Florida and the rosters can be over 35 players. He GPA is 4.3 so academic money is the route he is taking. 

There are a lot of very good D2 programs in Florida that we feel could be great fits. But My son is open to go out of state (GA, SC, NC) as well. I am fortunate to know a lot of former MLB guys down here as well as some legendary coaches who know my son and love his game. The whole social media presence thing will take shape next spring and summer as well. 

I am extremely proud of how hard and how focused my son is. He came in as a freshman at 4’11 and 97 pounds and made this program on his own. He maybe got a total of 16 AB’s between fall and spring as a freshman. Now he is the starting 2B for the JV program. His varsity coach told him he took notice of his growth in the throwing program (we do a 3 week throwing program before spring tryouts...basically that is the tryout) and expects big things in the future from him. My son was ecstatic because he never said anything to him his freshman year except “hello”. 

It is an intense program here. But we have many D1 and D2 commits every year. The competition is fierce in Florida. Hopefully my son continues to grow, get stronger and make his baseball dreams a reality at the next level. 

We are in the process of figuring out which college advisor we want to use. We have been referred to several and have whittled it down to 2. So next year we will start all of that. Right now....it is simply about continuing to develop the measurable's he will need to make that first impression (60 yard time, arm velo and bat exit velocity). He has good measurable's already....but he wants them to be better before we start really showcasing for schools. 

 

 

Edited by Todem
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Anyone with tales of college recruitment for a student athlete?

I went to high school with a kid who got recruited by Woody Hayes.

No one in our small community knew Woody was in town but I worked with the guy's brother and he told me. 

How'd it work out?

Woody, ah.  Well he got in trouble not long after his trip to our town.  Football Coach Woody Hayes PUNCHES PLAYER

I never heard of the kid playing at Ohio State or if he made the team. 

Belushi did a skit on the incident.  John Belushi as Woody Hayes on SNL 1979

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My son is a Jr in HS, plays hockey and lacrosse at a prep school in MA. Always thought hockey would be his college athletic path but he's really developed as a lax player the last few years. The process varies by sport but D1 lax coaches are allowed to begin direct contact with athletes on Sept 1st of their Jr year. It was a weird summer in that typically for rising juniors the sidelines for summer tourneys would be packed with college coaches, and while they couldn't talk to the kids there was plenty of chatter between them and the club team coaches between games. Club coaches would then relay interest back to the kids. There was none of that this year, it was all about getting us much film as possible and proactively reaching out with highlight tapes to try to get noticed. Lax recruiting typically flows through club coaches (as opposed to HS coaches), and he made lots of calls to schools he thought we be a good fit, and had some sense of who would be reaching out on or after 9/1. Late in August he sent us a list of 15 or so schools he'd had conversations about my son with, with notes on what he thought the level of interest was. Up until that point, I honestly wasn't sure where my son would fit in. He's a defensive-minded middie, on the small side, but is fast with a great motor, and tough as nails. He can make plays and score the ball on offense, but his forte is ground balls, forcing turnovers, clearing the ball and making plays in transition. I honestly thought he would be hurt by coaches not seeing him play live, that the energy he brings might not translate as well to highlight tapes as a guy who scores a ton. But when the coach sent his "what to expect on Sept 1" it had a bunch of the top D1 programs in the country (Virginia, G'Town, Penn St, Richmond), some Ivy's (Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown), military academies (Army, Navy), NESCACs (Middlebury, Williams), some local schools (BU, UMass, Providence, Bryant) and some other lower-level D1s. The notes varied from "will definitely contact you on 9/1"  to "know who you are, love how you play, may want to watch you more in the fall before reaching out". The best news was that many of the schools were upper-tier academically, and the goal was always to use sports to get into the best school possible. My son makes an attractive recruit in this regard, an excellent student so not one coaches have to grease admissions departments to get in.

He's played a tourney in Delaware and we were spending the night in a hotel when the clock struck midnight on 9/1, and his phone started lighting up with texts and emails from coaches. Most that he heard from right away were on the list his club coach had sent, but there were others (Syracuse was one) that were out of left field. It was pretty flattering/exciting, but got stressful pretty quickly. A bunch of his teammates were also highly-recruited, several more so than he was. In the first week or two of Sept he had buddies from his team commit to ND, Duke, Harvard, and Syracuse. In the meantime he had phone calls, Zoom meetings and virtual tours, several of them every day. It became a grind. A coach would show a ton of interest, then go quiet for a week or two. Some he thought would reach out (G'Town, Virginia) never did, which was disappointing. He had some offers right away from some D1 schools that would have included a year of scholarship money (D1 lax only has 12 scholarships/year to split among up to 50 kids, so one year is typically as good as it gets), but none were good fits academically. It was a rollercoaster. By the end of Sept he was getting to the point where he just wanted the whole thing settled, and Richmond had emerged as the likely landing spot. They'd been consistent with their pursuit and communication since 9/1, my son loved their coach, their facilities are awesome, mild winters, they play a great schedule (Duke and UNC most years), solid academics, and they'd likely give him a year. They checked a lot of boxes, but I told him to hit the pause button. He was invited to play in a tournament the last weekend of Sept on a New England all-star team, competing against tons of already committed kids from all over the country. He played great, and apparently coaches were watching the live feeds because he had a bunch of calls when we got home the following Monday. Harvard, which would have been his first choice all along, contacted him to tell them they saw him at Nationals, and that he was on their short list to round out their class of middies - but they wanted to see him play more in the fall. Brown had shown a lot of interest, and we'd taken a ride down to do our own tour of the campus a couple of weeks earlier, but they'd gone quiet for a week or two. Somebody who was a player there years ago and still involved in the program was coaching at the tournament he just played in, and apparently lit a fire with the Brown staff to move on him. They offered a couple of days later. Ivy's don't give any athletic scholarships in any sports, but fortunately we're not in a spot where that was driving the decision. He committed to Brown on 10/5 and couldn't be happier. I think I'm most happy that he won't have to sweat out the typical college application process, and that he's staying close to home. 

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On 2/14/2021 at 10:24 PM, El Floppo said:

There's a thread about our kids' athletic achievements... I kinda remember some chatter in there about this stuff.

Gb's 16 son plays baseball out in CA, pretty much all year on several serious teams that travel all over the country. Along with the teams, Started going to some college camps for HS kids as a freshman, got interest from college and coaches at those. Iirc, he ended up on some other national rankings/prospects charts as a result as well. At the beginning of pandemic, had been hitting the weights heavy and working out like a friend. Hit 93 on the radar on his 16th bday sophomore year (after a bunch of warmups in the 90, 91s) and signed letter of intent with U of Arizona not long after.

I can share my story with soccer, but being more than 30 years ago has little relevance for today.

@The Dude, this is THE post about playing baseball in college and I bolded the parts that are pretty much necessary, with the first part helping at any level and the second part crucial for D1 attention, and I would add that attending the camps part is probably universal for any sport. For baseball, scouts LOVE velocity, and 90 MPH is the magic number. For the other positions, it's going to be about the measurables--height and speed--that can't be coached into a player. Especially for D1.

My son is at a DIII school and has 2 years of eligibility left, though scholastically he's a senior. He was Rookie of the Year in his conference as a freshman and has been all-conference every year.  He probably could have competed for time at some DII schools but probably lacks the physical gifts to start in D1. His strengths are in the intangibles, but scouts don't really care about those; I saw that first hand at Perfect Game, the biggest cattle call racket in baseball.  I say this because there are a ton of kids like my son out there but then their parents and/or youth coaches mess things up and instill a "D1 or bust" mindset, which creates a false sense of reality regarding their potential and/or options.  My son was always the top 1-2 players from travel ball through varsity ball, but never seemed to draw any attention, which I presumed to be a product of him going to public school where the local press treats private school ball like it was the only HS ball with any talent.  The coach of the showcase organization he played for in HS gave all of the kids the best advice by telling them to be realistic in their search.  One of the dads on the team gave me even better advice by emphasizing the value of going to college camps, which they were doing in addition to playing on the showcase team. I think the guy realistically knew that any kid that played for him wasn't the super elite D1 prospect anyway, as they were in more 'elite' programs.  

Like I said, my son didn't really draw much interest, other than the boilerplate stuff that smaller schools send out trying to draw interest; and all of them included 'come to our camp!' language.  The coach where he plays now didn't see him in a game, or watch video of him or know anything about him at all; he saw him when the showcase team was at a camp that a D1 school near his was running, and the coach liked how my son went about his business at the camp.  I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I'm guessing it was his attitude and approach to the game coupled with his drive to always do his best.  Regardless of what it was, my son landed on a level where he got to play almost right away (one of the starting outfielders got hurt 2 games into the season, my son took his place, caught fire at the plate and hasn't looked back), which for 99.999% of college ballplayers, is an enviable place.  Regardless of how his college career ends, he was able to do more than many of the 'better' kids he played with and against, because many of them are either riding the bench on 'bigger' schools (including kids who threw 90 MPH+ in HS) or still trying to find their path to the majors and have gone the community college route in an effort to be a benchwarmer for a DII or DIII school.

I'm far from an expert in the recruiting arena, since my son was barely recruited at all, but as a dad of a kid that loves baseball and plays the game like he was born to do it, my 'advice' is that the recruiting will take care of itself, and the biggest 'regret' I have would be that he didn't go to any college camps on his own, but that was his choice.  I think that regardless of the sport(s) your son ends up pursuing, the best thing to do is keep the love of the game first and foremost, because all of sports become a grind at some point, so it should be something he loves doing.  As for playing past HS, ANY kid that wants to play past HS can have that chance, especially since many schools see sports as a way to increase enrollment.  My son's school started baseball the year before he got there.  Even though the campus isn't big enough to build a ball field (they use a local HS varsity field, which they helped build. Not ideal, but it's not a homer dome, either.), they started a baseball program anyway.  And there are a lot of schools on the DIII level doing that.  If you end up with a sports prodigy for a son, he'll get put on a path to the top--AAU, elite travel programs, etc, that will be more than willing to take your money and promise DI interest.  If you end up like  most of the rest of us, with a kid that loves to play but has to be more 'realistic', there will still be somewhere he can play after HS, and he'll like it, wherever he ends up.

 

 

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7 hours ago, El Floppo said:

Not sure if they even offered recruiting trips this year because of covid. Does anybody know?

There were some recruiting trips, but it was limited, much of the contact was over Zoom, etc. Coaches texting to follow up quite frequently, etc.

Source - my nephew's football experience this past summer/fall/winter. He had somewhere around 25+ D1 scholarship offers with a few of the high end programs sniffing around offering preferred walk on. He ended up accepting to an Ivy league school (he's also pretty dang smart in addition to athletic).

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6 minutes ago, acarey50 said:

There were some recruiting trips, but it was limited, much of the contact was over Zoom, etc. Coaches texting to follow up quite frequently, etc.

Source - my nephew's football experience this past summer/fall/winter. He had somewhere around 25+ D1 scholarship offers with a few of the high end programs sniffing around offering preferred walk on. He ended up accepting to an Ivy league school (he's also pretty dang smart in addition to athletic).

Which Ivy did he accept?

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On 2/15/2021 at 8:41 AM, Al Czervik said:

Went through the process a few years ago with my son.  He's a 6'3" right handed pitcher.  Was kind of a late bloomer as he hit the magic 90MPH fastball number the fall of his senior year.  Once that happened, the floodgates of college coaches interested opened (only had one D3 offer at that point).  My son would get random texts from about every D3 and JUCO around the country, but his interest was to be close to home and stay within Michigan.  He got "noticed" by UofM and MSU as their recruiting coaches followed him on Twitter, but it did not evolve beyond that.  He got some other serious D1 interest from a couple of the MAC schools, but it seemed the D1 schools liked to string you along a bit just in case something better came along (especially when they were down to their last couple spots).  We ended up visiting most of the Michigan D2 schools who play in a very good baseball conference (GLIAC) and that was where he ended up going.  The typical D2 offer was very good (pretty consistent across all the schools).  The school offered a nice base academic scholarship and the baseball program would match it (sometimes including books too).

Fun and somewhat stressful experience.

He didn't draw any interest after Cooperstown?

My son's college coach is from out that way (WI instead of MI) and spent some time coaching in the North Woods League up there.  Almost got my son a spot as an alternate on a team (Thunder Bay) last year but they shut it down because of Covid.  Is that league on his radar?  I knew nothing about that league until my son told me about it, but it sounds pretty cool and much more of an event than the local minor league teams near us.

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4 minutes ago, Charlie Steiner said:

He didn't draw any interest after Cooperstown?

My son's college coach is from out that way (WI instead of MI) and spent some time coaching in the North Woods League up there.  Almost got my son a spot as an alternate on a team (Thunder Bay) last year but they shut it down because of Covid.  Is that league on his radar?  I knew nothing about that league until my son told me about it, but it sounds pretty cool and much more of an event than the local minor league teams near us.

LOL!  Can't believe he didn't get any looks from knocking it over those 200' fences!

I'm familiar with the Michigan teams in that league as I've seen some guys he knew and/or played with play for those teams.

Unfortunately, my son decided to stop playing after his freshman year.  Was a bummer because he never got to experience a real season because of Covid.  He wanted more balance beyond practicing 6-days a week for 4 hours/day plus volunteering and everything else (as he put it, he wanted to be a college student and a baseball player, not just a baseball player).  He has since transferred to a Big Ten school and is playing club baseball there.  Sad he moved on from the other opportunity, but happy that he is happy and can focus on his school work (and happy he still gets to play the game).  Tough to go from getting money to play to paying to play 😕

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1 hour ago, Charlie Steiner said:

@The Dude, this is THE post about playing baseball in college and I bolded the parts that are pretty much necessary, with the first part helping at any level and the second part crucial for D1 attention, and I would add that attending the camps part is probably universal for any sport. For baseball, scouts LOVE velocity, and 90 MPH is the magic number. For the other positions, it's going to be about the measurables--height and speed--that can't be coached into a player. Especially for D1.

My son is at a DIII school and has 2 years of eligibility left, though scholastically he's a senior. He was Rookie of the Year in his conference as a freshman and has been all-conference every year.  He probably could have competed for time at some DII schools but probably lacks the physical gifts to start in D1. His strengths are in the intangibles, but scouts don't really care about those; I saw that first hand at Perfect Game, the biggest cattle call racket in baseball.  I say this because there are a ton of kids like my son out there but then their parents and/or youth coaches mess things up and instill a "D1 or bust" mindset, which creates a false sense of reality regarding their potential and/or options.  My son was always the top 1-2 players from travel ball through varsity ball, but never seemed to draw any attention, which I presumed to be a product of him going to public school where the local press treats private school ball like it was the only HS ball with any talent.  The coach of the showcase organization he played for in HS gave all of the kids the best advice by telling them to be realistic in their search.  One of the dads on the team gave me even better advice by emphasizing the value of going to college camps, which they were doing in addition to playing on the showcase team. I think the guy realistically knew that any kid that played for him wasn't the super elite D1 prospect anyway, as they were in more 'elite' programs.  

Like I said, my son didn't really draw much interest, other than the boilerplate stuff that smaller schools send out trying to draw interest; and all of them included 'come to our camp!' language.  The coach where he plays now didn't see him in a game, or watch video of him or know anything about him at all; he saw him when the showcase team was at a camp that a D1 school near his was running, and the coach liked how my son went about his business at the camp.  I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I'm guessing it was his attitude and approach to the game coupled with his drive to always do his best.  Regardless of what it was, my son landed on a level where he got to play almost right away (one of the starting outfielders got hurt 2 games into the season, my son took his place, caught fire at the plate and hasn't looked back), which for 99.999% of college ballplayers, is an enviable place.  Regardless of how his college career ends, he was able to do more than many of the 'better' kids he played with and against, because many of them are either riding the bench on 'bigger' schools (including kids who threw 90 MPH+ in HS) or still trying to find their path to the majors and have gone the community college route in an effort to be a benchwarmer for a DII or DIII school.

I'm far from an expert in the recruiting arena, since my son was barely recruited at all, but as a dad of a kid that loves baseball and plays the game like he was born to do it, my 'advice' is that the recruiting will take care of itself, and the biggest 'regret' I have would be that he didn't go to any college camps on his own, but that was his choice.  I think that regardless of the sport(s) your son ends up pursuing, the best thing to do is keep the love of the game first and foremost, because all of sports become a grind at some point, so it should be something he loves doing.  As for playing past HS, ANY kid that wants to play past HS can have that chance, especially since many schools see sports as a way to increase enrollment.  My son's school started baseball the year before he got there.  Even though the campus isn't big enough to build a ball field (they use a local HS varsity field, which they helped build. Not ideal, but it's not a homer dome, either.), they started a baseball program anyway.  And there are a lot of schools on the DIII level doing that.  If you end up with a sports prodigy for a son, he'll get put on a path to the top--AAU, elite travel programs, etc, that will be more than willing to take your money and promise DI interest.  If you end up like  most of the rest of us, with a kid that loves to play but has to be more 'realistic', there will still be somewhere he can play after HS, and he'll like it, wherever he ends up.

 

 

Good advice.  I might sound a little crazed as I am pondering it before he’s in high school - but that’s probably a covid side effect of having time on my hands.  He’s not thinking about it.  

and if he decides on a college over sports that’s fine as well

Good hearing others stories though

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1 minute ago, Al Czervik said:

LOL!  Can't believe he didn't get any looks from knocking it over those 200' fences!

I'm familiar with the Michigan teams in that league as I've seen some guys he knew and/or played with play for those teams.

Unfortunately, my son decided to stop playing after his freshman year.  Was a bummer because he never got to experience a real season because of Covid.  He wanted more balance beyond practicing 6-days a week for 4 hours/day plus volunteering and everything else (as he put it, he wanted to be a college student and a baseball player, not just a baseball player).  He has since transferred to a Big Ten school and is playing club baseball there.  Sad he moved on from the other opportunity, but happy that he is happy and can focus on his school work (and happy he still gets to play the game).  Tough to go from getting money to play to paying to play 😕

I hate to say this, but there were a lot of kids my son played travel ball against that were still hitting the ball 200' in HS; what's sad is that many of their parents were so obnoxious during our travel ball years that it made me happy that their kid wasn't a stud any more.  On a happier note, it sounds like your son was able to leave the games on his terms, I'm glad he's happy doing what he's doing now, it's a good sign that you raised him right. On the club ball note, I don't know what the Spring is going to look like, but PM me if they travel to College Park to play Maryland's club team.  A lot of kids from the travel ball team that kicked my son's team's butt every year and knocked them out of the playoffs his senior year of HS wound up playing on the U. of Md club team, along with a several other local public school kids who had pretty good HS careers as well but ended up seeing things the way your son does. I know my son's school has already said no fans, but I grew up on U of Md's campus, and I know if they do that as well, I'll be able to find a place to watch anyway. 

@The Dude, Al brought up an underrated experience no one seems to talk about, and that's club ball in college.  I think a lot of D1 schools offer club baseball, and no doubt they field teams that could compete with smaller schools' regular varsity team, so that will be another option that will give him the chance to play and give him time to focus on his studies.

As for fretting about you son's sports future before he's even gotten to HS, I can say I was like that as well.  In fact, I needed a reality check by the time he was 10.  I'll spare the long story, just suffice to say that after that I was able to lighten up somewhat. Still, I always looked for opportunities to get him better, but ultimately let him decide on what team he played for and what 'extra' work/instruction he took. I drove myself crazy no doubt, but fortunately I was 'wise' enough to stay out of his way and let him decide what he wanted to do.  FWIW, he was also kind of a soccer prodigy but gave it up right before high school because, in his own words, he didn't love it enough to be a benchwarmer.

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Lots of good advice so far, especially about being realistic.

I've worked covering high school sports in my area for a long time and written about a lot of athletes and their college decisions. For many of them, the final choice comes down to a D1 school showing light interest, or a smaller school that's a good fit and is recruiting them really hard.

Approximately 100% of the time, choosing the latter leads to a much better college experience. Many that pick the D1 school eventually either quit sports or transfer to a smaller school later (often the one they spurned before).

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I had two kids recruited, one for basketball and one for golf.  Both got partial offers from mid tier academic schools.  But with 4.4+ GPAs they decided to go to the better school.  It's not like either of them were going to be professionals.  The basketball player would have been lucky to play at all.  I played two college sports, and quit one of them midway through freshman year.  It's a lot of work even when you love it.  Practice time is brutal on the grades and to a certain extent on your social life.  So I totally supported their choice and it's worked out very well.  I also coached AAU basketball until a couple of years ago, and have seen a lot of kids  I coached in that and other sports that did the low level D1 or D3 thing.  They usually end up giving it up in college and transferring schools.  Not one of the 11 college athletes I coached was playing after sophomore year.  They all gave it up to have a more fun college life.

Three things I guess ...

1.  When you get to HS junior year, pick good school that the kid loves and have your kid pursue those coaches.  They should email them even before that so the coaches pay attention.  If they can play sports at one of those schools then awesome.  But it's not worth it to go to a lesser school just to play sports unless they have professional intentions.

2.  The college coach you play for really matters.  A lot.  So many kids pick the school without spending enough time understanding the coach.  Kids just don't get that.  Parents do.   If your college coach doesn't 100% love the kid, they are not going to get playing time.

3.  Sadly it's super important to peak at an early age.  My kids were late bloomers physically and we focused on a lot of sports.  Honestly, if you want your kids to be top college prospects they have to focus on one sport early.  I know all the books talk about well rounded, developing all the muscles, yada yada.  In hindsight it's BS.  Coaches recruit starting at age 13.  They can't technically recruit, but they are watching.  And to overcome a player that peaks early is tough.  The early eaker is getting all the opporuntities playing on better teams, in high competitions, etc.  A 16 year old is going to have to perform out of this world to get noticed and snag one the remaining openings the coaches haven't verbally promised.

The process itself is fun though. Kids enjoy the recruiting visits and the attention.  The reality is though, they better be good early or the premium colleges sadly aren't going to be an option.

I'll also add that 80% of scholarships are given to kids living within 100 miles of the college.  Except for the way top kids, coaches are looking at the talent nearest them that is easy to travel to see.

 

 

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18 hours ago, ex-ghost said:

Not as sexy as your big, popular sports - anyone have experience with a cross country / long distance track kid?

My friend's kid was an outstanding middle distance runner. My understanding is that recruitment for track and swimming are very similarly black and white - if your best time meets the standard they're looking for, you get recruited. If it doesn't, you don't. Not sure how that translates to cross country, where the course can influence the runner's time. My sense from my friend is that the target recruiting times aren't that hard to find. If you do some googling on College Confidential (which kind of sucks since they did a message board upgrade a few years ago) or some sites about recruiting, you should be able to get a general idea. Also, you can look at potential target schools' rosters, and do some online searching for the best high school times of the freshmen and sophomores and get a ballpark as to what the coach is looking for

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On 2/16/2021 at 12:54 PM, Nigel said:

My son is a Jr in HS, plays hockey and lacrosse at a prep school in MA. Always thought hockey would be his college athletic path but he's really developed as a lax player the last few years. The process varies by sport but D1 lax coaches are allowed to begin direct contact with athletes on Sept 1st of their Jr year. It was a weird summer in that typically for rising juniors the sidelines for summer tourneys would be packed with college coaches, and while they couldn't talk to the kids there was plenty of chatter between them and the club team coaches between games. Club coaches would then relay interest back to the kids. There was none of that this year, it was all about getting us much film as possible and proactively reaching out with highlight tapes to try to get noticed. Lax recruiting typically flows through club coaches (as opposed to HS coaches), and he made lots of calls to schools he thought we be a good fit, and had some sense of who would be reaching out on or after 9/1. Late in August he sent us a list of 15 or so schools he'd had conversations about my son with, with notes on what he thought the level of interest was. Up until that point, I honestly wasn't sure where my son would fit in. He's a defensive-minded middie, on the small side, but is fast with a great motor, and tough as nails. He can make plays and score the ball on offense, but his forte is ground balls, forcing turnovers, clearing the ball and making plays in transition. I honestly thought he would be hurt by coaches not seeing him play live, that the energy he brings might not translate as well to highlight tapes as a guy who scores a ton. But when the coach sent his "what to expect on Sept 1" it had a bunch of the top D1 programs in the country (Virginia, G'Town, Penn St, Richmond), some Ivy's (Cornell, Dartmouth, Brown), military academies (Army, Navy), NESCACs (Middlebury, Williams), some local schools (BU, UMass, Providence, Bryant) and some other lower-level D1s. The notes varied from "will definitely contact you on 9/1"  to "know who you are, love how you play, may want to watch you more in the fall before reaching out". The best news was that many of the schools were upper-tier academically, and the goal was always to use sports to get into the best school possible. My son makes an attractive recruit in this regard, an excellent student so not one coaches have to grease admissions departments to get in.

He's played a tourney in Delaware and we were spending the night in a hotel when the clock struck midnight on 9/1, and his phone started lighting up with texts and emails from coaches. Most that he heard from right away were on the list his club coach had sent, but there were others (Syracuse was one) that were out of left field. It was pretty flattering/exciting, but got stressful pretty quickly. A bunch of his teammates were also highly-recruited, several more so than he was. In the first week or two of Sept he had buddies from his team commit to ND, Duke, Harvard, and Syracuse. In the meantime he had phone calls, Zoom meetings and virtual tours, several of them every day. It became a grind. A coach would show a ton of interest, then go quiet for a week or two. Some he thought would reach out (G'Town, Virginia) never did, which was disappointing. He had some offers right away from some D1 schools that would have included a year of scholarship money (D1 lax only has 12 scholarships/year to split among up to 50 kids, so one year is typically as good as it gets), but none were good fits academically. It was a rollercoaster. By the end of Sept he was getting to the point where he just wanted the whole thing settled, and Richmond had emerged as the likely landing spot. They'd been consistent with their pursuit and communication since 9/1, my son loved their coach, their facilities are awesome, mild winters, they play a great schedule (Duke and UNC most years), solid academics, and they'd likely give him a year. They checked a lot of boxes, but I told him to hit the pause button. He was invited to play in a tournament the last weekend of Sept on a New England all-star team, competing against tons of already committed kids from all over the country. He played great, and apparently coaches were watching the live feeds because he had a bunch of calls when we got home the following Monday. Harvard, which would have been his first choice all along, contacted him to tell them they saw him at Nationals, and that he was on their short list to round out their class of middies - but they wanted to see him play more in the fall. Brown had shown a lot of interest, and we'd taken a ride down to do our own tour of the campus a couple of weeks earlier, but they'd gone quiet for a week or two. Somebody who was a player there years ago and still involved in the program was coaching at the tournament he just played in, and apparently lit a fire with the Brown staff to move on him. They offered a couple of days later. Ivy's don't give any athletic scholarships in any sports, but fortunately we're not in a spot where that was driving the decision. He committed to Brown on 10/5 and couldn't be happier. I think I'm most happy that he won't have to sweat out the typical college application process, and that he's staying close to home. 

 I'm real proud about Brown, but you need to talk to him about Gilroy. 

 

(Sorry - Varsity Blues quote that I'll have to wait for another 20 years to use)

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  • 1 month later...

My daughter is finishing her senior year playing soccer at a D3 with a biology major.  She was turned off on a couple official visits to D1s and made a decision to play at smaller school.  I thought D3 coaches sold their program better than D1s?

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10 hours ago, SofaKings said:

My daughter is finishing her senior year playing soccer at a D3 with a biology major.  She was turned off on a couple official visits to D1s and made a decision to play at smaller school.  I thought D3 coaches sold their program better than D1s?

Depends what you are going to college for.. yes,  this is overbroad but ....

D3 - school is 1st, your sport is a very close 2nd

D1 -You are there to play a sport and do just enough in the classroom to stay eligible. 

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3 hours ago, Angry Beavers said:

Depends what you are going to college for.. yes,  this is overbroad but ....

D3 - school is 1st, your sport is a very close 2nd

D1 -You are there to play a sport and do just enough in the classroom to stay eligible. 

I played D1 soccer for a top 20 team, and that wasn't the case at all for us or any of my friends at other similarly rated D1 schools. But it was a while ago and some schools and clearly some sports are more sports oriented.

Tbh, I'm not sure what sofakings was asking.

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4 hours ago, Angry Beavers said:

Depends what you are going to college for.. yes,  this is overbroad but ....

D3 - school is 1st, your sport is a very close 2nd

D1 -You are there to play a sport and do just enough in the classroom to stay eligible. 

I can't disagree more with your statement on D1.  It depends on the school, sport, major.

Sure maybe a stud football player looking to go pro will do just enough. But tons of kids go for the sport AND education. 

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2 hours ago, El Floppo said:

I played D1 soccer for a top 20 team, and that wasn't the case at all for us or any of my friends at other similarly rated D1 schools. But it was a while ago and some schools and clearly some sports are more sports oriented.

Tbh, I'm not sure what sofakings was asking.

Soccer is a sport that the school looks to pull up the cumulative GPA.  I've been told by numerous coaches that soccer looks at grades first, then supplements with athletic money. There lies the "school first" mentality.  

A D1 level football player can skate by.  Soccer guys have to have good grades/test scores then get what's left over within budget.

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So question:

We keep being told that camps are vital.  I get it but I have 2 issues.

1. It's a money grab by college coaches and I dont have an extra $150+ to go to 18 different camps so what do we do when my kids don't have a clue where they want to go?  It'd be easy if my son said "I want to go here"...then we go to that ID camp.

2. With 1 mentioned, is it ok/better to go to camps that have, say, 8 schools attending or just the 1?

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1 hour ago, belljr said:

I can't disagree more with your statement on D1.  It depends on the school, sport, major.

Sure maybe a stud football player looking to go pro will do just enough. But tons of kids go for the sport AND education. 

I did say broadly but...Really? Name the D1 sport and school where the coach would understand if the athlete said they had a class conflict with a practice or could not make an extra  film session because of class. Not the exprerience at all for my friends kids or my own son and step son when going through the recuiting process, being on  D1 team and a D3 team.   This is present day, not some years ago.

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29 minutes ago, Angry Beavers said:

I did say broadly but...Really? Name the D1 sport and school where the coach would understand if the athlete said they had a class conflict with a practice or could not make an extra  film session because of class. Not the exprerience at all for my friends kids or my own son and step son when going through the recuiting process, being on  D1 team and a D3 team.   This is present day, not some years ago.

Everything you mentioned in this post happens in many D3 schools.  Friends son had a class conflict and the coach told him you want to be a business man or ball player?  And I don't know or so know every school and sport, my point was many students are doing way more than  to  "just get by" or just stay eligible.   Now if you want to talk priorities maybe but I can name many D3 softball schools that are more serious than d1 schools  :shrug:

Edited by belljr
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18 hours ago, SpurrierisisGod said:

So question:

We keep being told that camps are vital.  I get it but I have 2 issues.

1. It's a money grab by college coaches and I dont have an extra $150+ to go to 18 different camps so what do we do when my kids don't have a clue where they want to go?  It'd be easy if my son said "I want to go here"...then we go to that ID camp.

2. With 1 mentioned, is it ok/better to go to camps that have, say, 8 schools attending or just the 1?

1. It's not really a money grab.  It's a necessary part of their fundraising.  For example, in Baseball they only get one paid assistant coach.  They need to raise funds to try to give any additional assistants some scratch.

2.  When we were going through the process, I ended up targeting camps with multiple schools attending.  Like you said, it can get expensive trying to go to all the camps.  Ironically, the school my son ended up going to was never at any of the camps he attended.

Edited by Al Czervik
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On 4/3/2021 at 2:17 PM, belljr said:

I can't disagree more with your statement on D1.  It depends on the school, sport, major.

Sure maybe a stud football player looking to go pro will do just enough. But tons of kids go for the sport AND education. 

I understand what @Angry Beavers is saying and agree with him about today's college athletics landscape. He's not talking about the kids, the majority of whom do meet the requirements of both sports and education effectively, he's talking about the coach's expectation.

My experience, having worked in a private school with a number of D1 recruits, is that D1 athletes are expected to shape their schedule around the sport. No classes that conflict with practices, of course, but also none that conflict with off-season conditioning sessions either. There's no "off" season, so no study abroad, except during the summer. The coach got you into that school, so he expects your priority is the athletic program, and you fit everything else in around that. No taking courses that are too difficult, either, because the schoolwork might take up too much time. We had one kid, a great student, who after committing as a junior in high school was told by his Ivy League coach to drop all of his advanced courses as a senior. Ivy League teams have to meet a certain median GPA for their recruits and the coach wanted to make sure the smart kid earned a 4.0 to offset the low GPA of another recruit.

My neighbor's kid, who plays for one of the most legendary programs in women's athletics, is expected to live close to campus even in the summer so she can participate in conditioning and "captain's practices" which are highly orchestrated by the coaching staff. 

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On 4/4/2021 at 9:47 AM, Al Czervik said:

When we were going through the process, I ended up targeting camps with multiple schools attending.  Like you said, it can get expensive trying to go to all the camps.

This is where we're at right now. My son's a freshman and he's been invited to multiple baseball camps this summer by college coaches. He can't go to all of them, so he's focusing in on the ones with multiple schools attending. It helps if there's a school he likes, but he doesn't really know what he likes yet.

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13 minutes ago, The_Man said:

I understand what @Angry Beavers is saying and agree with him about today's college athletics landscape. He's not talking about the kids, the majority of whom do meet the requirements of both sports and education effectively, he's talking about the coach's expectation.

My experience, having worked in a private school with a number of D1 recruits, is that D1 athletes are expected to shape their schedule around the sport. No classes that conflict with practices, of course, but also none that conflict with off-season conditioning sessions either. There's no "off" season, so no study abroad, except during the summer. The coach got you into that school, so he expects your priority is the athletic program, and you fit everything else in around that. No taking courses that are too difficult, either, because the schoolwork might take up too much time. We had one kid, a great student, who after committing as a junior in high school was told by his Ivy League coach to drop all of his advanced courses as a senior. Ivy League teams have to meet a certain median GPA for their recruits and the coach wanted to make sure the smart kid earned a 4.0 to offset the low GPA of another recruit.

My neighbor's kid, who plays for one of the most legendary programs in women's athletics, is expected to live close to campus even in the summer so she can participate in conditioning and "captain's practices" which are highly orchestr,ated by the coaching staff. 

This may all be true and I probably agree, I read it more as the kids were doing just enough, which isn't always true. That was my bigger point.   I think it boils down to the school, sport a lot also.  Like is the school "known" for this

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1 minute ago, Peak said:

This is where we're at right now. My son's a freshman and he's been invited to multiple baseball camps this summer by college coaches. He can't go to all of them, so he's focusing in on the ones with multiple schools attending. It helps if there's a school he likes, but he doesn't really know what he likes yet.

Make no mistake these are about making money but also for getting seen. My daughter is a sophomore and attended our first "big camp" last year. She had 2 schools reach out from that camp

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1 minute ago, belljr said:

Make no mistake these are about making money but also for getting seen. My daughter is a sophomore and attended our first "big camp" last year. She had 2 schools reach out from that camp

Oh I'm sure. I told him to pick two for this year. Any more than that and I feel like I'm wasting money. My thoughts are he'll be nervous at the first one and we'll get better feedback when he's relaxed at the second one.

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2 minutes ago, Peak said:

Oh I'm sure. I told him to pick two for this year. Any more than that and I feel like I'm wasting money. My thoughts are he'll be nervous at the first one and we'll get better feedback when he's relaxed at the second one.

You should be able to see which camps are "worth it".  A camp at a college ("worth it") but about making money.   Random camps hit or miss based on affiliations, some will be a cattle drive.  I've been lucky to have a mini network to at least know which camps are "worth it" here

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Both my daughters played D-! college volleyball.  My older daughter was noticed in 8th grade, my younger one in 10th grade.  Female sports are different than men football and BB or at least they were a few years back.  Once a VB player committs there in an unwritten rule that other schools stop recruiting and trying to flip them like football and BB.  My younger one wanted to go out state and sent game film of herself to the coach.  Then when we played in a National Qualifier in Chicago the coach came to watch and asked her to take a visit the next weekend..she committed that weekend.

Volleyball is the club sport that players get seen.  I have been to national events at convention centers where they had over 100 courts set up.    Any school big or small you ever heard of it at these events.   Michigan, OSU, Alamaba, Florida, UCLA, Stanford you name it.    Then all the small D-1S, D-2s, D-3s and private colleges.   There you can see thousands of players of all skill levels.

It is not like mens football or BB where coaches have to fly into see one player at a HS game.

 

Edited by Da Guru
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11 minutes ago, belljr said:

You should be able to see which camps are "worth it".  A camp at a college ("worth it") but about making money.   Random camps hit or miss based on affiliations, some will be a cattle drive.  I've been lucky to have a mini network to at least know which camps are "worth it" here

A friend of mines daughter wanted to play at UNLV a few years ago and she was a good player but not on their radar.  So she attended the UNLV volleyball camp after her junior year..next thing you know they were recruitng her and offered her.  

Edited by Da Guru
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1 minute ago, Da Guru said:

Both my daughters played D-! college volleyball.  My older daughter was noticed in 8th grade, my younger one in 10th grade.  Female sports are different than men football and BB or at least they were a few years back.  Once a VB player committs there in an unwritter rule that other schools stop recruiting and trying to flip them like football and BB.  My younger one wanted to go out state and sent game film of herselfto the coach.  Then when we played in a National Qualifier in Chicago the coach came to watch and asked her to take a visit the next weekend..she committed that weekend.

Volleyball is the club sport that players get seen.  I have been to national events at convention centers where they had over 100 courts set up.    Any school big or small you ever heard of it at these events.   Michigan, OSU, Alamaba, Floriidam UCLA, Stanford you name it.    Then all the small D-1S, D-2s, D-3s and private colleges.   There you can see thousands of players of all skill levels.

It is not like mens football or BB where coaches have to fly into see one player at a HS game.

 

Softball is similar but not exactly the same. Club is big.  You have to "sell yourself" and they have recruiting rules in place about student contact but it's very similar

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On 2/15/2021 at 1:03 PM, Navin Johnson said:

Buddy's daughter started training with boys AAU in 6th grade.  Prior to her entering 8th grade, coach pulls the dad aside and tells him, "This is how it's going to be.  It's going to be Stanford, UCONN, Notre Dame, whoever the up and comer is in the next 3-4 years, and another school she likes." 

Buddy was like "OK, you're the expert but we'll see.".  Guy hit it on the head.  Last two schools ended up being Oregon and South Carolina.  She actually ended up winning the Naismith Trophy and is in her second year at Stanford (mcl injury last year) and leads the team in points, rebounds, and assists as a sophomore.

And last night named Final Four MOP....love this kid.

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2 hours ago, Peak said:

Oh I'm sure. I told him to pick two for this year. Any more than that and I feel like I'm wasting money. My thoughts are he'll be nervous at the first one and we'll get better feedback when he's relaxed at the second one.

I relayed my son's experience upthread, but wanted to emphasize that (not to put any more pressure on him, but) there are coaches who are looking at more than just what they do on the field/court. With a sport like baseball, camps are only going to showcase a kid's capabilities so much. I know this may sound like more pressure, but it's hard to say how many kids consciously have this in mind when they're there.  Like I said before, the only coach that really recruited my son based his impression on how he went about his business at the camp, so if he comports himself well and shows a good attitude and work ethic, that could turn some heads as well.

As for the cost, we went the showcase route, went to Perfect Game, and in hindsight, those were a bigger 'waste' of time and money as far as getting exposure than going to camps. Don't know if PG is on your radar, but to reiterate what I've said before in this thread, the scouts that actually do show up a) already know who they want to see and b) will only notice pitchers who can hit 90 on the radar and hitters who are driving the ball over the fence; the rest are just background noise to them.  As someone who's done this already, I can say that going to camps offers a better direct exposure than most 'showcase' events, especially PG, since that event runs almost all year long and attracts way too many teams.

One other thing I'll add that may alleviate some of his worries: he doesn't have to impress all of the coaches, just one of them.

Good luck with the process.  Keep us updated.

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2 hours ago, Charlie Steiner said:

One other thing I'll add that may alleviate some of his worries: he doesn't have to impress all of the coaches, just one of them.

Thanks for the advice.  I've read your tales and have tried to keep a sane mindset watching him move from Rec to Select to HS ball.  It's been a fun trip.  None of these are PG showcases.  That is one area I do want to stay away from, for his and my sake.  He's been involved with some PBR events, mainly because his summer team works with PBR and attends the tournaments.  The camps he's been invited to have come from College coaches who run the Junior Day College Coaches Camp, as well as the College Coaches Showcase Camp.  Looking into them, there are about 10 colleges who participate and lead the camps from a centralized location.  He's received invites from college coaches, and one of the camp directors, to attend this summer.  Most likely that's all he'll do.  Some of the other camp/showcase invites look like form letters that are sent to a huge mailing list.

How did your son handle camp/showcase requests?  Did he send a follow up to everyone, even if he wasn't going to attend?  My wife and I are split trying to determine which ones he should reply to, and which ones he should ignore.  If it's obviously a mailing list, then he wouldn't reply b/c the coach wouldn't know him from Adam.

 

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4 hours ago, Da Guru said:

Both my daughters played D-! college volleyball.  My older daughter was noticed in 8th grade, my younger one in 10th grade.  Female sports are different than men football and BB or at least they were a few years back.  Once a VB player committs there in an unwritten rule that other schools stop recruiting and trying to flip them like football and BB.  My younger one wanted to go out state and sent game film of herself to the coach.  Then when we played in a National Qualifier in Chicago the coach came to watch and asked her to take a visit the next weekend..she committed that weekend.

Volleyball is the club sport that players get seen.  I have been to national events at convention centers where they had over 100 courts set up.    Any school big or small you ever heard of it at these events.   Michigan, OSU, Alamaba, Florida, UCLA, Stanford you name it.    Then all the small D-1S, D-2s, D-3s and private colleges.   There you can see thousands of players of all skill levels.

It is not like mens football or BB where coaches have to fly into see one player at a HS game.

 

My daughter started playing volleyball a few years ago. She's a senior now. Got a late start. She's been varsity three years and is in her third year of club. She's developed into a good player and obviously helps that she's a legit 6'. She could play in college. Without us trying, we have several D3 schools reaching out to us/her. She has no interest in those schools, though. She isn't going to let volleyball decide her college, which I 100% agree with.

She has decided on a college that is a good D2 volleyball program. She says she doesn't want to play there. I get the sense, though, that it's more about her thinking she's not good enough. I think she is good enough (totally biased, of course), or at least good enough to give it a shot; if it doesn't work, then it doesn't work. I still have dreams she'll decide to walk-on (if that's a thing at this college) or get noticed playing club/intramural. No idea if either is realistic. Probably just a crazy dad-dream because I'm not ready for my volleyball fan days to be over. I've concluded that she doesn't LOVE volleyball; she likes it a lot, but doesn't love it. And that's ok, of course, but I think she potentially could regret not trying.

Tonight's likely her last high school game and we have a few club tournaments left. BTW, we're still holding out hope that her club team gets a bid to nationals. Twice we were one match away from a bid, so we're hoping a bid can trickle down to us.

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