The Players’ Tribune has a great series of articles called Letter To My Younger Self. In this feature series, professional players pen a letter to themselves at a younger age, using their experience and hindsight to give advice and talk about things they could have done differently. We love the idea of learning from experience and the experiences of others. Current and former college players have a lot of valuable advice to offer current college baseball prospects as they go through the recruiting process, and we thought that Letter to My High School Self was a great platform for successful players to share this advice. We hope you can learn from the lessons of those who made it to the next level!
Dear Rising Senior in High School Christian,
You have just reached July 1, the day that NCAA coaches can contact you, and your phone will not ring for about 4 more days. A handful of your friends have already verbally committed to perennial winning programs and you are nervous about not having any coaches dial your number on the first day of the open contact period. Do not panic. You are starting to get nervous about the myth that high school baseball players from Colorado get overlooked. Do not worry. Although you are very excited to get serious about the recruiting process, and hope that your phone starts ringing with numbers from area codes that you do not recognize, relax because everything is going to work out.
As you start receiving phone calls from coaches, you will start taking to the internet, looking up schools like Creighton, New Mexico, University of Indianapolis, UNLV, and Gonzaga. You will begin to set up visits with schools and spend hours on the road with your parents driving from state to state, checking out potential colleges. Here is a piece of advice to keep in mind: While you have the mindset that you are going to major in baseball and minor in school, you are actually going to do the opposite. You will major in school and minor in baseball. When you go on your visits think to yourself, “is this a school that I would go to if I wasn’t playing baseball?” Soak everything up on your visits. Venture out without the coaches showing you around and see the campus, and really take your time. Don’t rush to make a decision so you can ink your name on Colorado’s list of high school commitments. Visit as many schools as you can and see the communities around the school. Think about the programs that the school offers, not just the baseball program. You’ll go around and see the schools and eventually one of the schools you tour will blow you away.
August 2 is going to come and you are going to be pitching at a tournament in Arizona. After the game, your phone is going to ring and you are going to field a request to jump on an hour and a half flight to go to a town northwest of Phoenix. You will get off the plane in Las Vegas on August 4 and meet your mom and dad at the baggage claim, and the next day, will take a campus tour with the head coach of UNLV. You will see where the Criminal Justice classes are and meet the academic advisor. You’ll tour the baseball field and meet two players from the team who are preparing to begin their fall season. After your tour, you and your parents will drive around Las Vegas, not just the strip but the towns just outside where many of the players live. You enjoy the weather and walk around until your dad decides he has a poker tournament he needs to play in at the Bellagio.
On August 5, you call the head coach of UNLV and decide to officially make yourself a Rebel. You have been blown away by everything the school has to offer. You are excited because you have been interested in going to UNLV since you were 9 years old when your mom brought you back a Runnin’ Rebels hat from a girls weekend. Las Vegas is the place that you will call ‘home’ for the next 4 years, where you will meet some of the best friends that you will ever have. The time that you spend in Vegas will be cherished and although your baseball career isn’t going to work out how you hoped it would as an incoming freshman, you will make more memories than you will ever expect. Enjoy it and make the most of your experience in college both on and off the field.
First-Year Law Student Christian