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No Early Signing
What To Do Next

by: Bob Howdeshell
High School Baseball Web

You did not sign a Letter of Intent in the early signing period. The phone has not been ringing-the letters have stopped. What do you do now? Is the dream of playing college baseball over?

Maybe not -- But it is time to be PRO-ACTIVE and get back to work. Here are some tips.

High School Seniors
The early signing period has come and gone, the high school season is about to start. You may have received a call or two phone calls from college coaches but nothing is really going on, contact from colleges just isn't happening. Your frustration level is WAY up - your self-confidence has taken a pretty good "lick." Think that you are alone? Trust me on this one - You are not alone. Thousands of high school baseball players are in the same situation that you are.

What do you do now? Obviously you can't give up the dream of playing college baseball. You've worked too hard to do that. Have you explored every option? Here are a few ideas and helpful hints.

First some good news - There are more college scholarships awarded in the late signing period (April on) than in the early period. The large D1's sign the bulk of their kids in the early periods. BUT the majority of the DII, DIII, NAIA and Juco schools sign their players in the later periods.

I talk to many parents at this time of year that tell me "we sent out 50 - 75 letters" just like you said to do. My son heard back (by mail) from almost all of them. Why didn't any of them pursue him further?

There can be a variety of reasons for that answer. What I usually discover is that the letters went to the 50 or so strongest Division 1 baseball programs in the country. (LSU, Stanford, Georgia Tech, etc.) The truth is these schools get hundreds and even sometimes more than a thousand letters (each year) from hopeful high school players. I know of 10 or more schools that responded to over 500 letters.

Getting a letter from a school DOES NOT mean that they are recruiting you.

It is probably time to step back and take a second look at the caliber of college baseball that you are really capable of playing. Not everyone can play for a Top 10 team. There is no shame in that!

It is probably the time to contact some of the smaller schools, again the DII, DIII, NAIA and Juco programs. Most players and parents miss these the first time around.

I would also suggest that you focus your search closer to home, if there are schools in your area. Keep in mind that the college programs will be playing the same time that you will be. It would be very difficult for a college coach at a school several hundred miles away to make it to one of your games.

Here are some ideas to try:

  • Make a phone call to any coach that contacted you before the early signing period, ask the coach if there is any interest still. If not then ask the coach for any schools that he might recommend. Coach's talk - he may know of a school that would be a good fit for your abilities
  • Start a new list of schools - Keep it small - no more than 20.
  • Send letters of introduction to those schools (see the Player & Parent section of the Recruiting Tips, for letter suggested formats.
  • You can use Addresses & EMail Links to find college baseball web sites. This link will take you to the "College Baseball" section.
  • Make sure that you include a copy of your high school baseball schedule with the letter.
  • About one week after mailing the letter CALL the coach - this is very important - it will show initiative and let the coach know that you are interested. (the player should make these calls not the parent)

    There are no restrictions on high school players calling a college coach. If the coach is not in ask to leave a message or voice mail and ask for a return call. Tell them you are following up on a letter that you sent. (Speak clearly and loudly .... no mumbling or talking like you do with your friends on the phone) You can use email for this too -- but I find that the telephone works better at this stage.

  • If these coaches are not interested ASK them if they could recommend any schools - immediately send a letter to those schools
  • Follow these letters up with phone calls
  • Ask your high school coach to make a few calls to college coaches that he may know. The same for your summer team coach.
  • If you know any of the area professional scouts a good idea would be to contact them and ask if they know of any programs that would be a good "fit" for you.
  • Another source might be the instructor or owner of the training center that you workout at in the off-season. Many of these guys have contacts with college coaches.
  • Do not forget about the junior and community colleges in this process

It's not too late but it is time to be PRO-ACTIVE and make contact with schools. As the baseball season starts you will have even less time to make follow-up phone calls, etc.

You have been playing baseball most of your life. You don't want to quit on your dream now do you?


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