Step 8: Evaluating Options and Offers

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Intro to Step 8

It’s decision-time! All your hard work boils down to one big decision: where are you going to play college baseball? Make no mistake, this is a huge decision that will impact the rest of your life. A decision of this...

Do This

✅Give yourself time to let the excitement of your visit die down before making any financial decisions
✅Make sure you have all the financial, baseball, academic and other information you need for each program you are considering
✅Re-examine a list of the criteria that will be most important to your college experience and compare what each school you are considering provides for each criteria (for example, opportunity to play as a freshman versus playing at the most successful program)
✅Compare all your opportunities closely
✅Compare the cost of attending each school you are considering
✅Get feedback from your parents or people you trust
✅Take your time making a decision
✅Answer these 9 questions for each of the programs you are considering before committing

Learn About This

✅Learn about what your scholarship offer(s) or walk on position means
✅Learn about how to compare different scholarship offers side-by-side
✅Learn about emotional versus rational decision-making in the recruiting process
✅Learn about how to understand and deal with offer deadlines from coaches
✅Learn about the differences between signing an NLI and making a verbal commitment
✅Learn about why you should never rush your decision to commit

Academics

There are a lot of different factors that enter into deciding where to play college baseball. Academics should figure prominently into that decision. How will academics enter into your decision-making process? Which schools have your major? Which will let you sample classes before declaring a major? How do the academics set you up to succeed in your career after baseball? If baseball doesn't work out as planned, will you be happy at that school academically?

These are all important questions to factor into your decision. The most important thing to realize is that college you get to study and specialize in the subjects that interest you. Unlike high school, not everyone takes the same classes. In college, baseball is an extension of the classroom. Being engaged in classes and baseball is the best way to create a well-rounded learning experience in college that will set you up for life-long success. So when you are making the big decision, give academics the importance it deserves.

Player Development

Before you read on, re-read the development section for Step 7. Much of that information and the answers to those questions should inform the baseball side of your college decision. Many recruits decide to play at the best known school that offers them a spot. That may in fact end up being the right school for you, but you should look for a program that is the best fit for YOU and what YOU want, not the best-known commodity. That means a program where you will have genuine opportunity to grow and improve and that means a program with a clear development plan for its players, and more importantly, for you!
Ask the coaches for specifics. Find out what you will be doing day in and day out. What will you be doing in the weight room? Will you be allowed to continue doing the things you feel are important for your success? Do they allow for personal differences or cookie cutter their players? What is the style of the offense or pitching? How do they try to manufacture runs or attack hitters? Do you agree with their philosophy? These are all things you will want to know ahead of making your big decision and consider at great length, because once you are there, it's too late to ask or change.

Are You Ready For Step 9?