By Ethan Guevin
Building a strong academic reputation is key to keeping your options open as a recruit. We’ve talked about the importance of schoolwork, grades, and test scores often (and so do college coaches!). Even at schools with more relaxed entrance requirements, many coaches are taking a close look at your grades and checking for more than just eligibility.
Your schoolwork tells coaches a lot about you, your character, your competitiveness, and your work ethic. In many cases, grades are also a great predictor of your baseball work ethic. Not everyone is going to get straight A’s, but working hard to do well at something that doesn’t come easy to you, or is something you don’t like doing, speaks volumes.
Schoolwork can be seen as a parallel to baseball. In school, almost everyone will come across classes they must take that they do not like, or subjects they struggle with more than others. In these classes, it’s easy not to try your hardest to do well. You might think you have a built-in excuse not to do well. But a true competitor will look at the tough class as a challenge and want to do well in spite of that, as will a kid who wants to be the best at everything—both desirable qualities in recruits.
Baseball is no different. There are things that are essential to becoming a complete player that you will not like, and the college game will force you to be good at everything. Will you compete to improve on your weakest skills because they are important, or will you use your dislike of those weaknesses or the difficulty of those skills as an excuse not to do them as well as you can?
By looking at your grades and having a brief conversation about your schoolwork, coaches can figure out whether you will put the time in to work on things you don’t enjoy to make yourself, or the team, successful. Take the following example:
Coach John reads Alex’s report card and sees the following:
Social Studies A
Coach John and Alex then have the following exchange:
Coach: How do you like school?
Alex: It’s ok, but definitely not as much as baseball.
Coach: Are there any subjects you like? Or anything you might be interested in as a major?
Alex: I like English and Social Studies a lot and they are pretty easy. I’m a good writer.
Coach: Is there anything that is difficult for you or that you really don’t like?
Alex: I have a hard time with Math and Science. Those are not easy for me. I just don’t think that way.
Coach John has just figured out that his recruit Alex is willing to put the time and effort into doing well in subjects that don’t come easy. Alex told him he likes baseball more than school, so if he is willing to work hard on something he doesn’t really like, he will likely do that for something he loves, like baseball.
Coaches can learn a lot more about you than your eligibility from your schoolwork. If you already know this, keep up the good work. If you have not been giving it your all, it’s better late than never!
Want to hear more about what college coaches are looking for and how they are evaluating recruits? Just click on the links below and learn from Alex’s story!