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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.