Student-Athlete questionnaires on a college baseball program’s website may seem silly in today’s age of social media, email, and Google, but they can be an important first step to getting recruited and showing initiative.
Questionnaires are a great way to get your name out to college coaches early in the recruiting process. Many coaches will only send out questionnaires to players of interest, so it is up to you to go to the websites of the programs that interest you and fill out their questionnaires online. If you have a serious interest in a specific team, this is a great first step. It will also get your name out to other schools, because college coaches make up a small community. If one coach likes you, you can bet that your name is getting around to some other coaches too.
It may seem like it takes a lot of effort to fill out all the information that the questionnaires ask for, but you should answer all of the questions as best you can because you never know what a certain program values. For example, if one school has high academic standards, they could be looking just as much at your GPA and academic honors as your baseball statistics or measurables. Be sure to include everything you can, and make sure you are completely honest. Nothing will make a coach lose interest in you faster than if he finds out that you exaggerated your GPA or lied on any part of your questionnaire.
The best time to fill out a student-athlete questionnaire for recruiting purposes is when you have the type of academic and baseball skills that coaches are looking to recruit. This includes skill measurables that they would like to see (throwing velocity, 60 times, exit velocity, etc.) and academic information like Core GPA and SAT/ACT scores. If you’re not sure when the right timing is for you, check out this article or this article on the importance of timing and this article on when to contact college coaches. Another way to use questionnaires is to indicate early interest in a program you are strongly interested in, which can help get you on camp email lists.
Keep in mind that these questionnaires are simply another way for you to introduce yourself to the coaches and show interest. The goal of the questionnaire is to provide a coach with information they need to evaluate you as a fit, and they often allow you to provide much more information than you would want to use in an email. If you don’t hear anything back, don’t worry and don’t give up on that program. Many coaches won’t take any action after receiving a questionnaire, and it isn’t always due to lack of interest. It may be because they are waiting for a chance to see you play, aren’t recruiting your class, or may be prohibited from contacting you due to recruiting rules. Give it some time and then send a follow-up email. The email should be simple, direct, and only have the most important information (read this for what that is!) that the coach needs. It serves to reiterate your interest, remind them you have filled out the questionnaire, and show a coach that you are being proactive and truly are interested. Be sure to include any important updates (including new video or upcoming game schedules) in that email so the coaches know you are working hard to be considered as a prospect.
While a questionnaire alone will likely do little to start a recruiting conversation, it’s a great way to provide a lot of information, reiterate interest, and pair with a personalized email to show you truly want to explore being a part of that program!