The digital age has made accessing information easier than ever. But does that mean that it’s easier for college coaches to find a recruit like you or that it’s easier for you to get lost in the cyber shuffle? The answer to that question really depends on how you are using technology. In this article, we describe 5 ways you can use technology in the recruiting process to your benefit, making you a better player, improving your chances of getting recruited, and saving you lots of money along the way.
Like many technological tools, social media is a double edge sword. As we discuss in our recently updated article, Using Social Media to Get Recruited, it can connect you to great resources and information, provide you with a platform to market yourself and express your individuality, and help you create positive exposure. At the same time, if you use it poorly, social media can cost you opportunities at the next level. Your social media accounts are one of the first things that college coaches are checking, so making sure you are recruitable online is the first step to using technology to your advantage in recruitment!
Over the last few years, the role of social media in the recruiting process has taken off. Covid-19 has nearly made it a necessity. It used to be that all the articles on our website were warnings about what happens when you use social media poorly, but now social media has become a legitimate and acceptable way to create free exposure to college coaches. Contacting coaches who are active on social media by way of a DM or sharing a video is landing players opportunities. Don’t believe us? Read our article from last week about Rob Friedman’s Flatground platform on Twitter, which harnesses the power of social media to give kids free exposure and make sure no qualified kids are “falling through the cracks” in recruiting. Browse the Twitter handle @FlatgroundApp and you’ll hear testimonials from players who have been contacted by dozens of college coaches because of the skill videos they posted. We also shouldn’t forget that social media is great opportunity for you to follow coaches and programs and get insight into their personalities, teachings, beliefs, and much more. The bottom line? You are one tweeted video away from a college offer and it’s completely free!
Access to Information
A world of information is at your fingertips. KPB is a prime example of a resource that provides all the information you need about the recruiting process, for free. Use technology to learn as much as you can about college baseball, the recruiting process, player development, and more! Need a throwing program? It’s out there. Need resources on the mental game? Boom, you’re in business. Beginning to understand that you need a quality strength and conditioning program if you want to play at the next level? Read a free blog, DM, message, or email that strength coach you are following, and there you go! The best part? Most of it is free! There is so much free, quality information out there that if you are motivated enough to put forth the effort and learn how to filter out the quality information, you can put together an incredible development plan without spending a dime. Before you pay for information or a service, find out if you can get the same thing for free. Most of the time you can!
Researching Schools, Programs, and Coaches
You can find out a lot about a college baseball program, school, or coach with quality online research. Roster, records, opinions, facilities, travel schedules, majors, coaching philosophies, literally everything you want to know is likely online. Researching programs and schools is one of the most important steps in the recruiting process and you should leave no stone unturned. Read this for more information on what you should be looking up and tips for how to find it and use this checklist to keep track of what you’ve found out.
We’ve already talked extensively about why you shouldn’t believe the myth that creating exposure needs to be expensive. Technology has made it easier than ever for you to showcase your skills in a way that can get college coaches interested in following up (see Social Media above!). A well-crafted email with a link to video or using social media to post a skills video is free and can be just as useful in getting a coach interested as an expensive showcase event or tournament. This article has everything you need to know about recruiting videos, including what college coaches want to see on your skills video and access to a free online course that will teach you how you can make a cheap, effective video on your own.
Quantifying Tools (Measurables)
As we lay out above, technology has made it easier than ever to connect with college coaches in meaningful ways and show them what you can do. We’ve discussed the importance of sharing video, and you guessed it, using tech to include measurables in your video is super important as well. While college coaches want to see if you pass the eye test (evaluate your athleticism, movement, and baseball specific actions), they are also looking for ways to quantify your skill set. Measurables like arm strength, exit velocity, spin rate, foot speed, and much more have never been easier to collect and share. If you want to paint a complete picture of the type of player you are, quantifying your tools with the measurable data that college coaches are looking for is the perfect addition to a recruiting video. If you don’t have access to these tools, see if a local facility or program would be willing to help you collect important data for your video.
Networking isn’t just for adults. In fact, in this article we talk about how networking is a secret weapon in the recruiting process and most people are using their network as well as they could. The baseball world is small and people you know likely have connections that could help you at least get a conversation started. If not, join Twitter Chats, connect with coaches, and market yourself. You never know who will be looking at your stuff or provide you with a timely retweet of your skills video and more.
The only thing preventing you from using technology to your advantage is the effort required to put together a great plan and follow through. We’ll help you with the information and planning, but the rest is up to you. It’s time to get to work!