The college baseball recruiting process can be challenging and parents often have many questions as they try to help their kids find a college baseball fit. If you have questions, you aren’t alone! In fact, we get so many recruiting questions from parents, we created a free online course to answer the most important ones and to educate parents on their role in helping players find a college fit.
In this article, we answer 1o common recruiting questions from parents and provide additional resources for more insight.
1. How do I make sure my son doesn’t get missed by college coaches?
Short Answer: Proactive and informed recruits don’t get missed. College coaches are too thorough and technology is too much of an asset to miss players who are contacting schools to initiate interest at the right time. Most players that feel like they “got missed” or “never got seen” fail to get recruited because they targeted the wrong programs or levels for their academic and athletic skill set. Being realistic about your son’s abilities and the schools he targets is extremely important in the recruiting process. Your son should be open to all options and cast a wide net when he reaches out to schools to ensure that he has options at the next level. We discuss these ideas at length in the articles below!
Resources: Proactive Recruits Don’t Get Missed, Common Barriers to Recruitment
2. I want to help my son with his recruiting process without stepping on his toes. What is the right level of parent involvement in the recruiting process?
Short Answer: Parents certainly have a tricky role in the recruiting process. Under-involvement can be just as big of a problem as over-involvement. While college coaches want your son to be the main source of communication in the recruiting process, you absolutely should be involved and engaged in the process. College is way too important to your son’s future for you to simply step aside. How involved you are often depends on the maturity of your player. At the very least, you want to be informed on what your son is doing. While there is a lot of differences from recruitment to recruitment, college coaches will often involve parents when they feel ready. Appropriately involved parents make a huge difference and we discuss how to be appropriately involved at length in our Parents’ Role in the Recruiting Process Crash Course, and the other resources below!
Important Reading: Parents Page, Parents’ Role in the Recruiting Process Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, Is Your Son Mature Enough to Make Recruiting Decisions on His Own?
3. I have limited resources, but want to give my son the best chance to play college baseball and get a scholarship. How do I get the most for my money?
Short Answer: First, let us just say that the recruiting process doesn’t have to be expensive. There are free or cost-effective alternatives for everything that costs money in recruitment. In general, the chase for athletic scholarship money often ends up with parents squandering lots of money and ending up with a small scholarship or no scholarship in the end. The truth is that many college baseball players don’t get athletic scholarships. As an equivalency sport, baseball is limited in the number of scholarships that a team can offer. Each level of college baseball has a different number of scholarships that each team can give out, but almost no one earns a full-ride on athletic money alone. It’s likely that any scholarship that your son gets will only cover a portion of your cost of attendance. You are more likely to be happy with where your son ends up if you re-frame your goal as helping your son find a college program fit for an affordable amount or as little out of pocket as possible. It’s possible that the cheapest place for your son to play or the best fit is at a school where they don’t even offer “athletic scholarships.” Getting good grades and scores on standardized tests remain the best way to get more financial assistance when paying for school, but the resources below are tremendous in creating an affordable or low-budget recruiting process without compromising opportunity at the next level.
Important Reading: Video: College Baseball Scholarship Basics, College Baseball Scholarship Limits and Rules: Level-by-Level, Making Sense of Your Scholarship, How to Balance Spending and Exposure in Search for Scholarships, More Scholarship Articles, The Truth About Showcases, 6 Steps to Get Recruited Without Spending a Dime, What to do if Money is Tight, Development is King: Why Development is the Key to a Low Budget Recruitment, Using Technology to Get Recruited
4. What are some of the biggest mistakes parents make in the recruiting process?
Short Answer: Some of the common mistakes we see parents make during the recruiting process are over-involvement (hijacking the process from their son), under-involvement (“It’s his decision”), unrealistic expectations regarding the level or schools where their player can/should play, not educating themselves on the process early enough, and much more. The articles below address some of the biggest mistakes in depth. Check them out so you don’t fall into the same traps!
Important Reading: 5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make During the Recruiting Process, Do’s and Don’ts for Parents at the Ballpark, Why You Need to Start the Recruiting Process Early
5. Do you have any parent-to-parent advice you can share?
Short Answer: No need to get long-winded on this one. We’ll let parents of current and former college players speak for themselves. Just click the link below!
Important Reading: Parent-to-Parent Advice on the Recruiting Process
6. What do we need to know about the NCAA rules and eligibility?
Short Answer: Recruiting rules and even eligibility requirements can change without much notice, so it’s important to understand them early and revisit them often. You’ve probably heard horror stories of players preparing to play at their dream school, only to find out they didn’t take the right courses or meet some eligibility requirement. With a little work, this mistake is avoidable. Many high school players simply aren’t mature or aware enough won’t take the time to understand academic eligibility requirements or required courses, so it’s a role best served by parents. Take time to understand the NCAA rules and eligibility requirements when your player hits 9th grade. Check his course schedule each semester to make sure he’s in the right NCAA approved core course. This type of work can be tedious, but it’s better than finding out at the last minute that someone made a mistake. Get informed on eligibility and the NCAA rules early, and stay updated as things change.
Important Reading: College Baseball Recruiting Rules: Level-by-Level, Eligibility 101, Playing College Baseball: You Need to Know the Rules, Important Resources, Academic Planning Worksheet, More on NCAA Rules
7. How can I help my son find a program that fits what he is looking for?
Short Answer: While your son must take charge of the recruiting process and be the driving force behind it, there’s no denying that parents play a key role in recruiting success. Finding balance between being involved and letting your player take the lead is key. Parents who are engaged and supportive play a big role in helping players find a college baseball fit. Any short answer here will pale in comparison to the resources we have set up to help you better understand your role in the recruiting process. Helping players and parents understand how to find a fit is the entire goal behind the KPB website and our free online courses. We are here to provide you and your son with the resources needed to make informed decisions and find a lasting college baseball fit, at no cost.
Important Reading: Parents’ Role in the Recruiting Process: A Crash Course, Parents’ Role in the Recruiting Process, 5 Steps to Finding Your Team, Targeting the Right Schools in Recruitment, Creating a List of Schools
8. What is the FAFSA and do I really need to fill one out?
Short Answer: Yes. Filing a FAFSA will be worth every second you spend doing it. Not only can the FAFSA connect you to aid that will help make school more affordable, but it is required by admissions at many colleges and universities, and is often mandatory if you receive a baseball scholarship. By filing, you are getting a better understanding of your financial options to pay for your son’s schooling. You can decide later what you want to accept or reject.
Important Reading: Online FAFSA Resources, Don’t Let Confusing Forms Stop You
9. Does my son need to specialize in baseball in order to play college baseball?
Short Answer: No. Getting recruited to play college baseball is about demonstrating the skills, tools, athleticism, projectability, and physicality that college coaches are looking for. It’s about meeting the standards of play. If you can meet those standards, you can play at the college level, regardless of whether you’ve never played another sport or were a 3-sport athlete in high school. College coaches absolutely love multi-sport athletes, so long as they present the right athletic skillset to make them successful at the next level. We encourage young kids to play other sports for as long as they enjoy them. As you get to high school, the decision to specialize or continue to play multiple sports is very personal and depends on how your son prioritizes baseball goals with his enjoyment playing other sports. Without knowing your son’s situation, it would be silly for us to tell you what your son should or shouldn’t do. To be clear, we love all sports and take a balanced look at single-sport versus multi-sport decision in the article linked below.
Important Reading: Baseball Specialization or Multi-Sport Athlete? You Decide!
10. What questions should we be asking college coaches?
Short Answer: Asking the right questions during recruitment is one of the most important roles for you and your son. You should ask anything that will help you make an informed decision. While it’s important that your son do most of the question asking and communicating throughout the recruiting process, you should never shy away from asking the questions you need. We have countless resources on what to ask and what to research. When it comes to financial details, scholarships, and cost of attendance, you will definitely want to take the lead. You’ll also want to ask about academics and ensure that your son will have the resources needed to succeed. We could go on and on about what to ask coaches, and the real answer is that there are no bad questions, as long as they are asked in the right way. Avoid making questions sound like an ultimatum or like you are backing a coach into a corner. The resources below will give you endless ideas about what you should ask and when.
Important Reading: Asking Questions That Matter For You (For Parents), Questions to Ask Interested Coaches and Recruiters, 9 Questions to Answer Before Committing, 7 Difficult But Important Questions to Ask College Coaches