On Sunday February 26 2012, the First Base Foundation held the Collegiate Baseball Event. This event was a great way for high school students to get an understanding of how to make sure they are eligible for athletics as well scholastics according to NCAA requirements. Another standout for players was the knowledge of showcases and scouting clinics that are both helpful in player development and “looks” (being seen by scouts) from scouts. The Academic counselor for the College of Marin in Kentfield was a keynote speaker at the event as he explained crucial information about choosing colleges. This seminar is highly recommended to student athletes looking to play baseball in college and need ways to get seen by coaches, scouts, and learn the tricks and tips that could make the decision of getting an athletic scholarship and not being eligible to attend a University of California.
An academic counselor for the College of Marin spoke at the event and gave clear NCAA rules and requirements for student athletes in high school who plan to play high level college baseball. One of my favorite things about the event was the fact that I learned a lot of new information. Most events similar to this one say a lot of the obvious facts about college and baseball in general, but at the Collegiate Baseball Event, all the speakers on the panel had many pieces of helpful and interesting information that I was unaware of prior to 26 February 2012. Were you aware that if you take the SAT twice, the colleges will take the highest of the score of each subject from each attempt? How about that the college that you have dreamed of attending since childhood may not offer the “Major” that you dreamed about pursuing since childhood?
That’s right; many students play the name game with colleges, meaning they want to attend the Gucci’s and Prada’s of colleges. What they don’t know is that there are many colleges that you may not have heard of that have the division of athletics you wish to play in as well as solid academics and a wide variety of subjects and extracurricular activities. You must also take into account whether you want to attend a school in the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletics Association) or NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) both of which are college sports divisions. Many students get accepted into four-year colleges but choose to attend and junior college due to location, experience, or some other reason.
When it comes to scouting and contacting college coaches, according to Steve Berringer (head coach of the College of Marin) and Jake Baron (player at College of Marin), you must stay persistent about emailing coaches your schedule due to their overwhelming time commitment to their own team, family, and other school and athletic business. Scouts can be the same as coaches in that they are always looking for new players however, they can be unpredictable at times and show up to games when you least expect it, therefore you must bring you’re a-game every day because there will always be somebody bigger and better than you. Scouts will not waste their time with you if you do not show them that you have something better to offer to them then somebody else.
Some scouting clinics are naturally better than others, however choosing the right fit is crucial. Some opportunities are free and may have more to offer than another that you have to pay for so research is important. Another thing to look for is the clinics that require a fee to get in but do not strengthen a player fundamentally, physically, mentally, or gets him any looks from scouts; in this case, they are just trying to get your money. Asking around about camps is a good way to avoid these scams. Some players are invited by coaches and scouts either because they are very talented players, or they have potential to be a good player and I recommend going to the clinic if invited because no matter what, you will learn something because a coach or scout would not waste their time teaching you something new if they didn’t see something in you worth their time.
A highly desirable characteristic in a player is “coachability”, or how well the player can take instruction and apply them to his game. Coaches love this virtue because it makes their job much easier and it put trust in you to make the adjustments while playing that could save the game. No coach appreciates a big mouth on a player. When a player talks back to a coach, this shows disrespect and a good coach will bench the player no matter how good he is, even if he is the best on the team. This is the one characteristic that a player must not have and if he does talk back to his coach, he needs to learn do hold his tongue as replying with a simple “yes sir” or “yes coach” will make the coach respect you more as you have just shown him respect by listening to what he says and making it clear that you understand without questioning his authority. If you do have a question, it is ok to ask as along as it is not challenging what he has asked you to do.