The college baseball recruiting process has remained largely a taboo. I knew nothing about the process until a few offers started to be thrown my way. In this blog post, I will shed light on a common tactic employed by college coaches during campus visits: setting strict deadlines to elicit a sense of urgency. By understanding the dynamics at play, you can make informed decisions and maximize your options.
1. The Campus Visit
During a campus visit, it's not uncommon for coaches to present an offer accompanied by a tight deadline. The first thing you should realize is if they invited you on to campus, they like you. You have to realize that the ball is in YOUR court. They aren’t just being nice to you with the interest they are showing, as they genuinely believe you can help them out in the future. Make sure you realize your worth, and don’t feel bad asking for more time to decide with your family if they give you a harsh deadline. They might stress that they have limited funds and need a prompt response due to the high demand from other recruits. In fact my senior year I was looking to transfer schools (before getting signed) and I was on a campus visit. I was given a very enticing offer, but it was on the first day I entered the transfer portal.
2. My Story
Instead of succumbing to the pressure of an imminent deadline, I recommend you at least take some time to evaluate. Every situation is different, and maybe you are ready to commit on the spot. If that is you, awesome! But if not, don’t feel bad if you need more time. My senior year I was looking to transfer schools (before getting signed) and I was on a campus visit. I was given a very enticing offer, but it was on the first day I entered the transfer portal. They stressed that they had limited funds and needed a prompt response (within one day) otherwise the deal was off the table. I ended up telling them sorry, I need to see my options, so if the deal gets taken off the table I understand, but I am not rushing my decision. The following week I received an offer from a much higher caliber PAC-12 school that I had always wanted to go to. I never ended up playing my senior year because I was signed by the Nationals. However, that encounter taught me to know my worth, and to not get rushed into a decision.
3. Effective Communication:
If you receive a better offer or find a program that better suits your needs, it's essential to communicate openly with the coach who presented the initial deadline. Politely inform them that you couldn't make a decision by the designated date and provide them with the new offer you've received. This demonstrates that you are considering all options and making an informed choice.
4. Age Matters
If you are a sophomore in high school going into your junior year… THERE IS TIME. Coaches will make it seem like their roster has filled up, but they would not be talking to you at such a young age if they weren’t VERY interested. Here’s the thing, if you are late in your senior year, the whole “rosters are filling up” thing might be true. However, if you are two years out from graduating high school then I promise there is room. Keep in mind your age, because the younger you are, the more leverage you possess.
When navigating the college baseball recruiting process, it's crucial to remain aware of the tactics employed by coaches. While deadlines may create a sense of urgency, it's essential to remember that you have the power to make informed decisions. Take your time, explore other offers, and communicate openly with coaches. By approaching the recruiting process strategically and understanding your worth, you can ensure that you make the best decision for your future.