Are you trying to learn how to get recruited for college baseball? Getting recruited to play college baseball can be an intimidating process. The odds of earning a college athletic scholarship favor those who are the most prepared and knowledgeable about the process. Even though getting recruited is a daunting task, there are steps you can take to make yourself a more attractive recruit to college coaches.
- Be the most fundamentally sound baseball player you can be. College baseball is extremely competitive, so to get a leg up on the competition, practice, practice, practice. Learn to play more than one position so that you become invaluable to a team.
- Play great competition. If you want to play with and against the best baseball players in college, play against them in junior high and high school. Find a competitive travel team in your area to play on. Most elite teams will travel to out-of-state tournaments so that you get the experience of playing in different stadiums against great competition. This is especially important for players who live in cold weather states and who do not get as much practice time as those who live in Florida, Texas or California, for example.
- Get noticed. Attend college baseball camps. Send out your best highlight tapes to college coaches. You need to be seen by the people who matter.
- Get good grades. Regardless of how awesome you are on the diamond, you will not be recruited if your grades are low. You need at least a B average to be taken seriously by college coaches.
- Hustle. Play hard and get your uniform dirty. Hustle beats talent any day of the week. Remember, there is no substitute for hard work.
- Decide where you want to play. There are three college athletic associations that support baseball: NCAA, NAIA, and the NJCAA.
- If you do not get recruited, try and walk on. This is a very difficult and intimidating task to accomplish, but others have done it, so it is not impossible. If you are successful at making the team, you may be offered a scholarship at some point down the road, but there are no guarantees.
Notes on the different levels of collegiate athletics:
- The NCAA has 900 college baseball teams in Division I and Division II. Colleges are allotted twelve scholarships in Division I and nine in Division II. Most of these scholarships are awarded as partial scholarships. For example, some coaches will hand out 24 partial scholarships, rather than 12 full ones.
- The NAIA, or National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, sponsors baseball as well, but on a smaller scale. There are very few full scholarships for NAIA players. The best way to market yourself with NAIA programs is as a student first and an athlete second.
- The NJCAA, or National Junior College Athletic Association, sponsors baseball, and many great professional baseball players have gone the junior college route. Division I junior college programs have 24 full ride scholarships to award. A full ride scholarship encompasses tuition, books, room and board, and transportation expenses. Division II junior college programs have 24 scholarships that cover tuition and books only. Playing at a junior college will allow you to face good competition, work on your degree, and possibly transfer to the school of your dreams in two years.
The road to college baseball is littered with the dreams of those who either were not good enough, or who were, but did not believe in themselves. The keys to getting recruited to play college baseball are hard work, determination, and the will to succeed.