Earning The Edge on College Baseball Scholarships

Students who excel at baseball in high school often pursue playing time at a college or university. Depending on the school, landing a spot on the team can be challenging. Schools in a strong conference in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) are usually quite competitive for all athletic scholarships, especially in baseball. Students hoping to attend universities and play on the school’s team should be gifted and experienced. There are a number of ways that players vying for college baseball scholarships can make themselves stand out in the eyes of coaches and selection committees.

Talent

One of the advantages in playing college baseball is an opportunity to have a career as a professional ball player. Earning a spot on a successful college team opens more doors than playing at a smaller school in a lower division. For some students, however, earning a college education is more important and perhaps more realistic than attempting to land a career position in minor and major leagues. High school players should check with their schools of choice on how coaches handle recruiting. High school boys who are set on a particular college may discover that sending the coach a video of selected games and impressive plays is preferred – or not. While impressive batting is an important piece of video to include in a compilation, footage of positional play is also important for coaches. It could make the difference between which students receive baseball scholarships. When schools of choice are nearby, college coaching personnel may be familiar with local high school and recreational teams and their coaches. This can generate scouting trips to games. High school ball players should attack every game as if a scout is watching. In some cases, coaches look at videotape of one player, only to notice the talent around him.

Recommendations

Getting noticed can also take place through a coach’s recommendations. Coaching staff in a nearby geographic location or those with ties to certain universities may be able to help their most promising players garner attention from the college recruiting teams.

Academics

While athletic scholarships are mostly based on talent and the ability to play the game, academics do matter. Many schools have academic requirements that must be met, even for athletes. Some universities are willing to bend the rules for certain talent, but aspiring baseball players should not count on any preferential treatment. Test scores and academic standing do count and can prevent players from getting a full ride on baseball scholarships.

Team Skills

All team sports are dependent on the dynamics built among players, coaches, trainers and managers. College coaches prefer to take on players with team skills, rather than showboaters who tend to be the center of attention. Hard work and teamwork count in the eyes of baseball scholarship committees. Team skills and leadership traits are desired qualities on and off the field.

Character

When seeking admission to select universities, coaching staff and scholarship committees take a long look at character. Students who follow the rules and offer personal qualities with high moral standards are more likely to be selected for the team and athletic scholarships.

When students send scouting tapes to coaches, they should also try to include a letter of recommendation from their team coach or school teachers. This will help decision-makers to put a name to the skills they see through hundreds and even thousands of tapes and applications sent to them.

Tips for Earning College Soccer Scholarships

As soccer has grown in popularity in the United States, so has the competition for soccer scholarships. Students hoping to play for their favorite college or university should start planning early. The days of students with little experience earning scholarship opportunities are not what they used to be. Players need to stand out in a positive manner to earn spots not only on the soccer team’s roster, but especially for any sports scholarships.

Travel Teams

For stand-out players, traveling teams in addition to high school experience can help students prepare for the advanced competition and rigorous schedule in college athletics. Depending on a university’s location and conference, teams may need to do significant traveling throughout the season. Players who are accustomed to taking buses and planes to a game have an edge over those who seldom venture far from home. The skill level of players on select and travelling teams is much higher than recreational league play where everyone on the team sees time on the pitch. Participation in these higher level leagues is often a sign to university coaches that players have something special.

Clips

Coaches at schools with many prospects don’t have a lot of time to visit high schools to see every promising player. Those with the best chances for soccer scholarships and prime playing time will usually be on the coach’s scouting or recruitment list. Other players hoping for sports scholarships should send a video assortment of clips from games where the player is featured on camera. The DVD should be clearly labeled with the player’s name, high school and other team affiliations. It should be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from the student’s coach or coaches.

Academics

When it comes to securing soccer scholarships, students with good grades will fare better in the selection process if there is a close competition among other candidates. Students should take special care as early as their sophomore year to ensure that their grades are at the very least above a C level average. The higher, the better.

Character

There is little supervision supplied to college soccer players. Coaches rely on them to behave appropriately and avoid problems both on and off the field. Those with school disciplinary actions or any type of criminal record are considered by most coaches to be a risk. This can jeopardize a student’s chances of being offered a scholarship, and perhaps even being on the team at all. Players who are recommended by their coaches as easy to work with and non-problematic are more likely to receive a closer look from their schools of choice. Those with leadership qualities are also elevated higher on the list of consideration in many cases.

Versatility

One of the most critical factors in whether a player receives one of the available soccer scholarships is versatility. If a team is in need of a player in a particular position for the upcoming seasons, the athlete who can deliver may have a better opportunity. Those who are versatile enough to switch positions when needed – or are willing to try – will earn more points in the coach’s point of view.