The shutdown of professional, college, and high school baseball due to COVID-19 is sending shock waves through the athletic community. First and foremost, we hope everyone is staying safe and taking the suggested precautionary measures seriously. We are sad and frustrated too, and truly feel for those who have worked so hard, only to see their season disappear before their very eyes. This is a difficult time, and we will get through this together.
The situation is so fluid that the full impact all the cancellations will have on college baseball and recruiting won’t fully be realized for quite some time. One thing, however, is certain– this is going to be a mess for governing bodies, administrators, coaches, players, and families to sort out. We’ve heard many good questions about how this will impact college baseball and recruiting, and we answer some of those questions as best we can below. Take a look!
What will happen with eligibility?
The NCAA has already come forward and said that it will grant players in D1, D2, and D3 an additional year of eligibility. Eligibility, however, will not guarantee that roster spots are held for will be 5th year seniors or that scholarship money will be available.
How will recruiting be impacted?
Have you read our article, Nothing is Guaranteed? This will be more true about recruiting and college baseball than ever. We simply don’t know the extent that recruiting will be impacted as things are changing on a daily basis and we don’t know when (or even if) things will return to normal. At present, the NCAA has implemented a dead period until at least April 15. One thing that is becoming clear is that it will be more competitive than ever to play college baseball. With current players gaining another year of eligibility and the likelihood that adjustments will be made to roster and scholarship limitations, many programs will have huge rosters during the fall. New players will be competing with more returners than ever, and competition will be fierce to say the least. It’s quite plausible that players who have been promised scholarships will see adjustments or even be told that they won’t have a spot. If you take anything from this article, know that the path to college baseball just became more competitive than ever before. More players will be vying for the same amount of playing time and it will be chaotic for coaches to sort out.
What can I do to stay on track to play college baseball?
It’s unprecedented to have an opportunity to train in the middle of the spring season, but that’s what this cancellation period has provided. Without the ability to compete against others, who will train the best and make the best use of the time to address deficiencies in their game? Those who use the period best will be the ones who benefit the most from the shutdown. This means that you’ll have to get creative and figure out how to continue to develop into a better player while following Corona Virus protocols. Josh Heenan has an article full of great advice for continuing to improve and develop during the shutdown. You can find it HERE.
In addition to continuing to improve your strength and skills, you can adjust your recruiting plan. This should include things like:
- Creating a new recruiting video with verifiable data for coaches who can no longer come see you play
- Developing a plan for reaching out and communicating with coaches
- Creating back-up plans now that uncertainty and competition for offers will be at an all-time high
- Use extra time to study for the SAT/ACT
- Prepare for future interactions with coaches. Have you don’t everything on this list?
I’ve heard of different opportunities to continue training or playing. What should I do?
An unfortunate side effect from this whole saga will be another opportunity for people to financially take advantage of players and families by playing off of their fears and uncertainty. As always, there will be people doing it right and people simply looking to make money. Our suggestion in addition to following protocols, is to do your homework and make sure you can trust the people, organizations, or companies pedaling opportunities. Do they provide what you need? Is it safe? How much are they charging? Do they have your son’s best interest in mind? These are all questions you should consider and use to guide your decision-making.
Without knowing how the Corona Virus outbreak will develop, it’s impossible to know exactly what to expect from a recruiting and college baseball perspective. Like you, we’ll have to wait for many of those answers. When those answers become clear, we’ll be sure to update and share information with you. For now, in addition to following protocols and do their part to flatten the Corona Virus growth curve, the best use of your time is to continue to develop and train as best as you can. Prepare mentally and physically for the most competitive college baseball recruiting there’s been.