“College is a 40 year decision, not a four year decision.”
We’ve heard numerous coaches utter some variation of this phrase. At KPB, we like to think of the college decision as a life-long decision. The things you learn, people you meet, network you create, dollars you pay, and so much more will change and shape the rest of your life.
Two concerning patterns I observed in my time conducting campus visits as a D1 recruiting coordinator are: 1) kids and parents don’t seem to know exactly what they are looking for in a school; and 2) kids and parents often don’t have questions ready to find out about the things that should matter most in the college decision. These trends tell me that players and parents aren’t always treating the college search and recruiting process like the life-changing decision that it is.
This article will build on our discussion from ‘Questions to Ask Interested Recruiters‘. We want to get you thinking about what matters most to you so that you can ask coaches and recruiters the right questions. Like most things with the recruiting process, figuring out what matters most to you is easiest when you are organized and have a plan.
If you are just getting started looking for schools and exploring your college baseball options, you are in the right place! Starting Up is a section of our website that features all our introductory articles, including 5 Steps to Finding Your Team. If you are farther along in the recruiting process, you may have already realized that asking the right questions to coaches and recruiters may be the single best way to find out if a school and baseball program can offer the things that are most important to you. To get you thinking about what you should ask before your next campus visit or conversation with a coach, we’ve made a list of questions that you can choose from. In our next post, we’ll share a list of questions for parents.
Do you have my intended major?
How would you describe the academic culture within your program? At the school?
Are there any majors at your school that you cannot do as a baseball player because of scheduling conflicts with practice or games?
What is the most popular major among the players on the baseball team?
What kind of academic support is available to the baseball team?
Do you have mandatory study hall?
What is the average class size?
What’s the professor to student ratio?
School Size /Campus Atmosphere
How many undergraduate students are there on campus?
How many students live on campus?
Is there a large commuter population?
(Where weather is an issue) Where do you go when it rains/snows/during the winter?
Are the facilities on campus?
Are the facilities walking distance from where players live or do you need a car?
Is there a locker room?
What type of off-hours access do players have to the field/batting cages?
Is there a weight room for athletics? Who is the weight room shared with?
Is there a strength and conditioning coach specifically for baseball?
Do you have a place you can train inside when the weather is bad?
What is the weather like during the fall?
What is it like during the spring?
Is the wind a factor on your field? In what way?
What position do you see me playing at your level?
How many players do you plan on returning at my position?
Do you have a lot of freshmen who play right away?
Do you usually red-shirt freshmen?
How many players do you have on your roster in the spring and how many do you start with in the fall?
How many players have transferred out in the last few years?
What is the biggest reason why players have transferred out?
Where do most of your players come from (geographically)? Are most local?
Training and Development Philosophies (Read this article for more questions on this topic!)
How would you describe the relationship you have with your current players?
What is your philosophy on player development? What does that look like at a typical practice?
What are some adjustments you think I’ll have to make to be successful at the college level?
What is your pitching/hitting philosophy?
What is your plan for helping me become the best player I can?
What conference are you in?
How many games do you play?
How much travel is involved in the game schedule?
How do you travel to games?
How many teams from your conference usually make the playoffs?
How many weekends off do players typically get in the fall?
How would you describe your team culture?
What are the pillars of your program?
Can you describe a typical day for both the fall and in-season?
Where do freshmen live?
Is there easy access to public transportation?
Coaches should be happy to answer any questions you have as long as you ask them respectfully. If you have had time to prepare for the conversation, take it upon yourself to do research and answer the easy questions yourself (What conference are you in? for example). Your college education is too important to not know about the things that matter to you before you make your decision, so prepare your list of questions today!
Parents, we realize you may have some questions of your own! Read Asking Questions that Matter to You (Parents) and prepare your list of questions now!