Stricklin Interview

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Interview
Coach Scott Stricklin


Assistant Coach / Recruiting Coordinator
Georgia Tech University

Scott Stricklin rejoined the Georgia Tech baseball staff in July, 2001, as Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator. Stricklin, who was a volunteer coach at Tech in 1998 and 1999, returns to the Yellow Jackets í coaching staff after spending the last two years as pitching coach at Vanderbilt.

In his current role at Georgia Tech, Stricklin will be responsible for the Yellow Jacketsí hitters while working with the catchers and outfielders and serving as the teamís first base coach.

In his two years at Vanderbilt, Scott demonstrated that he is an excellent recruiter, said Tech head coach Danny Hall. He was responsible for the pitchers and worked with the hitters, and he did a fantastic job with our catchers in his two previous years at Georgia Tech. He played for me at Kent State, and was the starting catcher on two conference championships teams before advancing as high as AAA in professional baseball.

Question: You are considered one of the best recruiters in college baseball, what do you consider your "strong points" or best assets when it comes to recruiting?

Answer: Before you can recruit a player, you have to do the legwork to find him. I strongly believe that in order to be successful at anything, you have to be willing to put in the long hours to get it done. I take a lot of pride in my work ethic.

 
Question: You have been involved in recruiting at a mid-level NCAA Division I program, at Vanderbilt and now at Georgia Tech. What would you say are the differences in recruiting a potential student-athlete for each of these schools to be?

Answer: Obviously, Georgia Tech has the tradition but I believe that Vandy can be on the same level. Our philosophy at Vandy was to find the best players who were good students and show them it was a great place to be. At Tech, we do precisely the same thing. Tech has had so much success, for such a long time, recruiting can sometimes be easier at first because of the name recognition. However once the process gets started the recruiting side of things is the same.

 
Question: In talking with parents of high school players and potential college baseball student-athletes I many times feel that a college coach may have to recruit the parents as aggressively as the player. Do you find that to be true?

Answer: Absolutely. Moms and Dads help their children make every decision as they are growing up. Their college decision should not be an exception. If we want a player, to play for our school, then the parents need to feel comfortable that their son is in good hands. I really try to get to know the parents of the kids I recruit, because their needs to be a mutual trust.

 
Question: With regards to recruiting - Do you have a specific geographic area that you recruit from, or do you recruit "nationally?"

Answer: Because of our academics, we can recruit nationally. However, we try very hard to get as many in-state student athletes as possible.

 
Question: If a player were interested in Georgia Tech when would be the time for him to send a brief letter of introduction? Which grade in school / what time of year?

Answer: Because of NCAA rules we can not send recruiting material to a prospect until September 1st of their junior year. If a player has an interest in a particular school, he should send his information and request some information in return at the beginning of his junior year.

 
Question: Which of the following things would be good for a player to include with a "first letter"? (Note: Just a yes or no next to each of the following)
∑ Season statistics - Yes
∑ Photo of player - Yes
∑ Newspaper clippings - Yes -- But don't go over board
∑ Short videotape - No Not with the first letter
Ask if they would like to see a videotape first
∑ Names / telephone # of pro scouts - Yes
that have seen the player

Answer: Note: Items in bold are Cocah Stricklin's answers

 
Question: What other items, if any, would be helpful in a first contact letter?

Answer: Make sure to include an email address in personal information

 
Question: If a tape is beneficial to you and your staff what suggestions would you make to the player? Such as all game situations? Some individual fielding and batting situations? Pitchers in games only, or is throwing to a catcher good also?

Answer: Tapes should be sent only by request, most of the time. If the player lives a good distance from the school, a tape may be the only way to get interest from the school. However, sending out tapes to every school that a player has an interest in can be very expensive.

Game footage is important but individual workouts can be bery good as well. Coaches look for athletic ability and hand and foot quickness. Make sure the footage has the player demonstrating his athleticism. Pitchers in games as well as is in the bullpen is fine.

 
Question: : With the increasing number of high school talent showcases in recent years how important is it for a player to attend this type of event? Do you and/or the coaching staff attend any showcases?

Answer: Showcases can be very rewarding for players and coaches. The most important thing a player must do when deciding on which showcase to attend is to find out which schools will be in attendance. There are just so amny showcases now that coaches can not attend them all. We do attend several showcases each summer.

 
Question: Which of the current high school baseball talent showcases do you feel are the best?

Answer: Team One does a great job and has a good reputation among coaches. The Area Code Games and their try-outs are always very good. If a showcase is put on by pro scouts, the the East Coast Professional Showcase, in Wilmington, NC, it is normally very good. When players need to be invited to participate, it is usually a good sign that it is a good showcase. Be sure to check the history of each showcase.

 
Question: Are the "online" internet recruiting services taken seriously by college coaches? Would you recommend them to a high school player and his family?

Answer: I always like to check out the various recruiting sites. Is is a good way to keep up on the "gossip" that goes along with recruiting. I would recommend that players and parents use the services, but don't count on them exclusively. The best way to get recruited is to go out and bee seen.

 
Question: Do you hold summer and/or holiday camps at Georgia Tech? If so how important or beneficial would you consider it to be for a prospective player to attend?

Answer: We have a number of camps during the holiday break and in the summer. Camps are a great way for a player to see the school and learn more about that particular program. Coaches always look for prospects that attend their camps. Every year we end up recruiting a player that came to our camp that we didn't know about before the camp

 
Question: Do you attend tournaments during the summer months to watch players on the better travel teams?

Answer: Yes. There are several good tournaments that we attend. We are fortunate to have the East Cobb program in our backyard and they host several great tournaments.

 
Question: How important would you consider it to be for a player to play on one of the better summer teams? One that competes at the highest levels of competition regionally and nationally.

Answer: Very important -- Playing against the top level competition is very important.

 
Question: Do you prefer to watch a player in a game with a travel team, at a quality tournament, or at a top high school showcase?

Answer: I prefer to see a player in a real game. In showcases everyone hustles and plays hard because their are scouts in the stands. I like to see how hard a player plays when he thinks no one is watching. That tells you a lot about a player. Sneaking in to see a player play in a non-important game can tell you a lot.

I think coaches can find players at showcases but then go to watch them in games to learn more about them. Obviously big tournaments are well attended by coaches because there are more players there to be evaluated.

 
Question: What is the typical roster size for your program? What is the approximate breakdown of pitchers versus position players?

Answer: Our current roster has 33 players. 14 pitchers and 19 position players. This is the biggest roster Georgia Tech has ever had. We normally like to have around 30 players on our roster.

 
Question: Professional baseball seems to have a "love affair" with bigger players. In other words pitchers over 6' tall .... Derek Jeter sized shortstops, etc. What are your feelings on this when it comes to evaluating and recruiting players for your program?

Answer: Body type is the easiest thing to evaluate. We all want the player that fills out the uniform. However the pros wants these kids too. Sometimes the best players are the under-sized, over-achievers. Smaller players have a tendency to play harder and work harder because they know they have to. These guys become great college players, not only because of their work ethic, but because they stay in school for 4 years.

 
Question: : When watching a player how important is his "attitude appearance" to your overall evaluation and future recruitment of that player?

Answer: Very Important! I like to watch a player in the dugout after he makes an out. See how he reacts to failure. If I'm going to be around a player for 4 years, I want to like him. A player that throws bats and helmets, argues with umpires will get marked off of a lot of lists.

 
Question: When watching a player how important is his "personal appearance" to your overall evaluation and future recruitment of that player?

Answer: I think first impressions are very important. Players should keep in mind that someone is always watching them, when they are a prospect. How do you want to be seen and perceived?

 
Question: There has been some discussion in recent months about college baseball programs possibly returning to using wooden bats. Do you have any thoughts or comments?

Answer: That would be awfully expensive for schools. Wooden bats break and are not exactly cheap. I think the answer is to regulate the aluminum bats. To keep them from having to much "pop."

 
Question: Do you have any other comments or advice for a player that has aspirations of playing college baseball?

Answer: The best that I have ever received was that it's not what you do when people are watching that's important, it's what you do when people are not watching. To me, that means, working hard and doing the right things.

Coach Scott Stricklin
Assistant Baseball Coach / Recruiting Coordinator
Georgia Tech University

 

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