The fall and winter are full of baseball showcases and college camps for players. These can be great recruiting tools for coaches, so it is important for those players who attend to be ready to make a good impression. Here are a few quick ways to make sure you do so:
- Pay attention to the details. The little things matter because first impressions can go a long way. It may sound obvious, but surprisingly it is not. This means making sure to show up early, wearing your uniform properly, and hustling everywhere you go. It may seem that doing these things would simply allow you to fit in with crowd, but many times the people that show up and do these things are actually the exception and not the norm. A vast majority of players at these events are very close in terms of talent, so believe it or not failing to run out a ground ball can be a quicker way to be crossed off a coaches list than making a physical error in the field or striking out.
- Show off your strengths. Unfortunately not everyone can be a five tool player. However, usually everyone has at least one or more areas of their game that they excel at. This could be speed, power, defense, arm strength, certain pitches, etc. When at these showcase events, which only give coaches a short glimpse of your skills, it is important to make sure you put your best foot forward and try to highlight your best attributes. This applies to the preparation you do before attending as well. If speed is your game, make sure you master your 60 yard dash technique, and show off your speed during any games by taking an extra base or stealing a bag. If you are a pitcher, don’t show up rusty. These events often take place during times outside of the season, so you will have to put in your own work on the side to stay sharp and at full strength. If defense is your strength over hitting, make all the plays you can in the field while showing you can handle the bat by maybe moving a guy over on the bases or getting a bunt down. Power hitters – don’t be scared to strike out go up and let it fly. Time after time players show up to these events and try to be something they aren’t – they swing for the fences when they aren’t going to hit any out no matter what – try to blow it by hitters when they don’t have the velocity to do so – or they become scared to fail and don’t leave it all out on the field. Each player needs to identify their strengths are work to put those on display as best as possible.
- Contact Coaches Beforehand and Follow Up. If you are attending a camp at a school you are interested in attending, or know that a coach of a program you are interested in will be at the showcase you will be in, contact that coach beforehand to for lack of a better word “introduce” yourself. It doesn’t do much good to show up unannounced. If you are genuinely interested in attending their school, send them a simple email saying who you are, that you are attending your camp, and that you like their program and are interested in attending their university. This simple task could help put a face to your name at the camp, and at the very least doesn’t hurt anything. Then, after the camp, make sure to follow up with the same coach. Once again, a simple email stating how you enjoyed their camp and were impressed with the school and facilities could go a long way. If it is a showcase, thank them for attending or something along those lines. Very rarely is a player recruited immediately out of a camp or other event, and many times it’s actually against NCAA Rules, so your goal should be to put yourself on the radar. Simple tasks like these could do just that.