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Before choosing a college baseball program, you should be asking your future coaches a lot of questions. We’ve talked at length about many of questions you will want to ask throughout the recruiting process. You can brush up on those informative articles here:
Eric Cressey also has a very thorough article with 25 questions you should ask during the recruiting process. The Cressey article has great information and can be found here.
One very important set of questions that we feel deserves a bit more attention is questions about coaching and training philosophies. Often lost in the bells and whistles that programs pull out during the recruiting process are specifics about how a program fits with your development goals as a player. First year players are often caught off guard by training methods or surprised when asked to make adjustments right away. When you are talking with coaches, you should spend lots of time finding out about the coaching philosophies and training methods that will be central to your development. We’ve had numerous college coaches tell us that they wish more recruits would ask about their training process and coaching philosophies. To help you start the conversation, we’ve included a list of questions that will help you get to the bottom of the training and development practices at college programs of interest.
- What are the pillars of your hitting/pitching/offensive/defensive philosophies? How have these philosophies evolved over time? What are the pillars of the training programs?
- What is your system for developing players at my position? How do you see my skills fitting in with that development system?
- What are the daily routines for my position? What does a typical practice plan design look like?
- What changes would you expect me to make to my game? What do you think I need to improve to have success at your level? How will your development and training plans help me make those changes?
- How individualized are your training protocols? Do you have a one-size-fits-all approach or do you allow flexibility for individual preferences?
- I have workout routines/activities that I learned from former coaches. I think they work for me. Would I be allowed to keep doing these things if I play here?
- How is strength and conditioning integrated into your training? How much emphasis do you place on the weight room?
- How is recovery and nutrition integrated into training?
- What is your track record with arm injuries? How closely do players work with the trainers and team doctors?
- Do you plan on being the pitching/hitting coach here when I’m a senior?
The questions above are by no means an exhaustive list, but they probably give you some ideas about questions you might like to ask that pertain specifically to how you like to train. The biggest thing is to make sure you are well informed on the coaching and training philosophies you will be expected to follow . You will want a program where training methods are constantly being evaluated and improved. If coaches shy away from direct answers or are unwilling to explain why they do things, it’s a red flag. Coaches should be excited that you are invested in your development enough to ask about their process and their ‘why’. Not only will you become informed on individual programs by having these conversations, you will likely learn a lot along the way!