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Something we have been repeating in conversations and over social media is the importance of pursuing your college baseball fit over all other recruiting criteria. But in order to find your college baseball fit, you must first know what your fit looks like. It seems obvious that you should use what you want in a college baseball experience to guide your college search and recruiting process. Yet, for a number of reasons (lack of knowledge, poor preparation, emotional decision-making, etc.), many recruits find themselves making decisions in the recruiting process based on criteria that won’t ultimately lead to happiness when on campus.
The working vision of your ideal college baseball experience is sure to change over the course of high school as your preferences and interests evolve (which is a good reason to delay your commitment until you are 100% sure), but at any given time you need to know what your current ideal fit looks like. Having a well thought out and developed vision of what you want from a college baseball experience will help you avoid making poor decisions and increase your chances of connecting with a program where you will be successful and happy. So, how do you figure out what your ideal fit looks like? There’s three main steps and lots to consider.
Step 1: What Makes You Happy?
Step 1 involves thinking deeply about what’s most important to you both on and off the baseball field. When push comes to shove, what are your priorities? What is going to make you happy? What is going to help you accomplish your college and baseball goals? Use this worksheet to help you sort through the many variables and school characteristics you should consider.
Step 2: What Programs Fit Your Criteria From Step 1?
Once you have developed a strong idea about what you need to be happy and meet your goals, you need to find what programs will provide you with the experiences and qualities that you value. Start by doing lots of research on the different college baseball options that are out there. What will your experience at these different levels, conferences, and schools look like? As you start to zero in on a competitive level or type of school, dig deeper into individual schools and programs that interest you. Try to find out what your experience at that school will look like by talking with current and former players about their experiences there, researching online, and reaching out to the coaching staff when you are ready to show them you have the skills that they are looking for. Try to get as much insight as you can. We promise you won’t regret putting the time and effort into understanding what life will be like once you get to campus.
Step 3: Pursue the Programs From Your Step 2 Research
After you have laid out what you are looking for and found schools that fit your main criteria, it’s a matter of connecting with the coaches and navigating the recruiting process. Use the KPB Yearly Pages and the KPB Blog for help and useful information. Continue to do research throughout the recruiting process and be open to new schools and new ideas. It’s okay for your interests to change and you should be adding and subtracting schools from your interest list as your preferences change and you find out more about each program. Once you’re ready to connect with schools, using social media and email is a great first step. We outline how to use social media and video to get recruited here. We discuss how to effectively email coaches here. Most importantly, remember that the recruiting process should be fun. If you use your preferences to make practical decisions and target realistic schools, you can enjoy the process understanding that your hard work and efforts are more likely to result in you finding a lasting college baseball fit!