As you already know, doing well academically is critical to getting recruited and playing college baseball. Not only must you meet minimum academic qualifications to be eligible to play college baseball, but having quality grades and test scores will open up many more college baseball options. In this article, we discuss 5 ways academics impact college baseball opportunity, provide resources to help you become a better student/recruit, and share what we’ve learned from asking college coaches about the importance of academics.
5 Truths About Academics and Recruiting
College coaches view poor academics as a red flag
Many college coaches will not consider recruiting a player who is just barely eligible, believing that marginal grades make them an off-field or eligibility risk. When you are a low (or zero!)-maintenance player in the classroom, you allow the coach to keep their focus where they want it– on the field!
Quality academics mean more scholarship money
Good grades and test scores are the best way to make your college experience more affordable! Baseball is not a full-ride sport and academic aid opportunities outnumber opportunities for athletic scholarships. This means that by qualifying for academic scholarship money, you not only make your education more affordable, but you allow the coach to make their limited scholarship money go farther.
Good students are valuable to the program
You’ve likely seen college coaches taking to social media to brag about their team GPA or how many players made honor roll. That’s because coaches are evaluated in part by the academic success of the student-athletes that they bring to the school. After all, the education is why you are supposed to be there in the first place! Being a good student is another way for recruits to be more appealing. If things don’t work out on the field, you are still bringing value to the team in the classroom and making the program look good.
Getting admitted improves your recruitability
Seems obvious, right?! You can be the best baseball player in the world, but if you can’t get admitted into school, it doesn’t matter. On the flip side, players who get into school on their own (without assistance or preferential admissions treatment) make it easier for coaches to give an opportunity to make the team. If the coach is undecided on whether to offer you, getting admitted can tip the scales in your favor.
Coaches at every level prioritize academics
Would it surprise you to hear that JUCO coaches still want good students? We know this because we’ve asked them! Don’t believe us, read about our college coach survey results below.
KPB’s Academic Resources
Whether you like doing schoolwork or not, you’re probably beginning to see that academics matter a great deal. Below we share several articles with information and tips from educational professionals to help you stay focused and improve your grades. They are worth your time to read!
Academics Through the Eyes of a College Coach
Another article, Your Transcript Tells Coaches More Than You Think, describes the way coaches use a recruit’s academic record to evaluate desire, motivation, competitiveness, risk and much more. Our most recent survey asked college coaches from all different levels of college baseball how they rated the importance of good grades and test scores when evaluating potential recruits. Coaches have been nearly unanimous in stressing the importance of good grades. Since 2017, the average rating coaches have given for the importance of good grades has been right around 8.5 (out of 10), with almost no coaches ranking grades lower than a 7 and over 1/3 of respondents giving it a 10 out of 10! Like grades, SAT/ACT scores have been ranked as highly important for recruiting by college coaches, with average rating of close to 8.
College baseball coaches of all levels have responded to our survey with a clear message to recruits—if you want to play at the college level, you must do well academically.
If you haven’t taken care of business in the classroom in the past, it’s not too late to turn things around. Get ahead to start this school year and stay ahead. College coaches are going to ask about your grades and test scores and the bottom line is your academic success matters a great deal.
For more on the importance of academics in recruiting and additional access to KPB’s academic resources, click here.