If you want to play college baseball, there are plenty of things you could say to college coaches to help convince them to give you a roster spot. You might be tempted to say things you know they want to hear. But you don’t want to just get on a team, you want to stay on a team. If your goal is to find a program that will be the best fit for you, you need to be honest in your interactions with the college coaches recruiting you, who will have plenty of questions and ask for lots of personal information. Here’s why…
Every year, a similar scene plays out all across the country. Freshman ballplayers arrive at school and college baseball teams get to work. Their coaches have hand-picked these incoming players based on specific team needs and all have high hopes that the latest group of talented new players will push the current team to achieve more than the year before. Coaches have expectations for their players and players have expectations about their new teams. Both coaches and players want these expectations to match up with reality.
In the recruiting process, coaches and prospective players have priorities that are more similar than many recruits might think. Players want to find a good fit, and coaches do too. It does no good for a coach to sell a player on something they won’t get when they show up. This only leads to unhappy players, less success, and more turnover. Likewise, it’s a mistake for a player to tell coaches they should expect something that he can’t deliver once he’s on campus. It’s in the players’ and coaches’ best interest for both to be honest and up front. Some team turnover is unavoidable, but by being honest with coaches, you will have a much better chance of finding a program where you’ll stay for the duration of your college career.
If you’re still not convinced, here are 5 specific reasons to be honest with yourself and the college coaches who are recruiting you:
- If you are not honest, it will be impossible for the coach to figure out if you’re a good fit for his program. And if he’s not honest with you, you won’t be able to figure it out either. When you are so focused on finding a place to play, it can be hard to imagine that it would be a good thing for a coach to convince you that his team is a bad fit. But it can save you a lot of trouble, and no one knows more about their programs than coaches do.
- If you are honest in your evaluation of yourself and your schools of interest, you can figure out exactly what you are getting into, if you are recruited for a team. College baseball is a lot of work at all levels but if you aren’t prepared to meet your coach’s expectations, you’ll have even more work to do. Do you really want baseball to be your only extra-curricular activity? Are you willing to give up most of the social freedom and spare time that regular students have?
- The college baseball community is tight knit and word travels fast. There is a good chance if you are misleading, the truth will eventually come out. If you get a dishonest reputation, you’ll find that your opportunities start to disappear.
- Where you get your college education is a big decision—a life changing decision. What do you really want out of your college/college baseball experience? Be honest with yourself before you choose a school so you can make your decision based on what is important to you and the reality of the circumstances.
- It’s the right thing to do! Honesty is always the best policy. College coaches are looking for players with character. Nothing shows quality of character like telling the truth, especially when it’s a difficult thing to do!