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Recruiting Tips -
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It's August .......
What's Happening Now?

by: Bob Howdeshell
High School Baseball Web

Some insight into what college coaches are doing at this time -- regarding the "recruiting puzzle."

With the exception of the actual college baseball season August is the busiest month of the year for college baseball coaches.

Preparations are being made for the upcoming school year, which will start in just a few weeks. Letters are being sent and telephone calls are being made to the returning players and the incoming new players.

For the smaller schools that are allowed to play a full fall schedule of games, final dates are being filled and confirmed for the fall schedule. Work is being done by all schools on their spring "non-conference" schedules.

Add to all of this a little something called "recruiting."

August is the busiest month on the recruiting calendar. Coaches are on the road, heading in all directions. There are national tournaments and age group world series events to be covered.

August is also the month for two of the nation's premier high school talent evaluation events. East Coast Professional Showcase and the Area Code Games.

These two events are "covered" by most of the NCAA Division I schools as well as many of the NCAA Division II and NAIA schools. Some DIII and Junior College programs attend these as well.

College baseball coaching staffs are also finalizing and "fine tuning" their recruiting boards. What is a "recruiting board" you ask?

Well just like a Major League Baseball or NFL team college coaching staffs rate and list potential high school recruits. Whether this is done on an actual board, a piece of paper or on a computer doesn't really matter. Most college staffs use this methodology.

By now the top programs have contacted their "target" recruits and have a feel for the level of interest by certain players.

Lists are fine tuned by talent evaluations, position needs, a player's interest in a program and of course by the amount of scholarship dollars the coaches feel it will take to sign a player.

A player's academic standing is weighed and evaluated by the coaching staffs. Some schools are willing to gamble and roll the dice on a marginal academic student/athlete, others are not. A player's standardized test score is considered. Lists are being made for offers of "official paid visits."

Programs must be certain that a player has a legitimate interest in their program and the chances of signing the player are good. College baseball programs are only allowed 25 "official visits" per year. Player's are only allowed to take 5 paid "official visits. A player may take as many unpaid "unofficial visits" as they would like.

On top of all this coaches must continue to try and stay in contact with potential recruits during this hectic month. Either by mailings or by telephone. Keep in mind that a college program may only contact a player once per week (by telephone). Players and/or their parents and coaches may call a college coach at any time, as often as they like.

For the top programs many key decisions are from evaluations made while watching the national and world series events and the high school player talent showcases. In some cases it is simply the coaches ability to see two or three potential recruits at the same place and time and compare them against one another.

August is a very busy month for college baseball coaches. Another important period starts in a few weeks when the coaches get to see the new incoming players during fall practices and games.

Many times new players will pleasantly surprise coaches, other times coaches realize that a player may not be "the answer" or he is better suited to play a position other than the one for which he was recruited. At that time a coach and program may need to "rethink" which players and/or positions are most important for the current recruiting.

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