By Tom Rizzi
College Select Showcases
What do you expect from a showcase?
I would hate to tell you how many times I have been asked " Can you guarantee me a scholarship?"
Briefly, let's take a look at what you should and should not expect from a showcase.
You Should Expect:
- To get an idea of where your talent stands in relation to others around you. Playing in your own "pond", big or small ,doesn't always give you a true picture regarding your own talent
- To be seen by people that would otherwise not see you, be it college coaches, pro scouts just somebody in the stands who knows somebody. Keep in mind that some dads in the stands are more than just dads and know coaches or scouts. Also keep in mind that not all coaches or scouts sign in. They prefer to remain anonymous.
- To get an honest evaluation of your talent by an unbiased and experienced individual. This will help you in determining what level of college ball you should direct your efforts to in terms of your college baseball future.
- To meet players from other regions and have the opportunity to compare thoughts as well as addresses and phone numbers. This is the social aspect of the entire event. You can make some friendships that you will keep perhaps for the rest of your life.
- To exposure that you would not get otherwise. You can never get enough exposure, no matter who you are. Remember that scouts and coaches talk to each and compare notes.
- To get enough time on the field to properly show your skills-if you play more than one position speak up and make it know so you have ample time to play all your positions.
- To have an enjoyable time while you are involved. Stay relaxed and play with ease.
You Should Not Expect:
- To walk away from the event with any sort of scholarship in your pocket. Coaches will want to see more of you on the field and know more about you as a person before any of that talk begins
- To have coaches or scouts talk to you or your parents. If they do talk with either you or your parents consider yourself fortunate. This is a definite sign of interest on their part. If they do not talk with you it does not necessarily mean they have no interest in you either. Some coaches just don't talk to you while there. They will follow up with a call or personal letter.
- To be required to bat a 1.000 or strike out every batter you face as a pitcher to make an impression. Coaches look for "projectibility" not necessarily a stellar performance. A great performance won't hurt but it does not necessarily assure you of anything.
- To be given any guarantees regarding your college or pro baseball future just because you had a good showing.
- To be treated like a "star" because you come in with rave reviews and a load of press clippings. It only matters what you do on the field and in the dugout while you are in the showcase.
What you as a showcase participant want to do is present yourself in a good light. By this I mean "dress like a ballplayer, act like a ballplayer, feel like a ballplayer". Forget the jewelry and fancy strut !!! Don't wear your cap backwards even if Griffey Jr. does!
When a coach in the dugout suggests something listen to him, do not blow him off. Keep in mind that the showcase staff in the dugout reports to the evaluators as well.
While in the stands keep your remarks to yourself because you never know who is sitting around you. Be ready at all times and never fail to hustle on and off the field.
In a nutshell this should help you get a better idea as to what to expect from a showcase. Just be relaxed and play to the best of your ability---you cannot be asked to do any more than that.
GOOD LUCK !!!!