A trend we’ve seen in the college recruiting space recently is the importance of increasing a player’s exposure to college coaches. We’ve seen a variety of scouting networks promote their ability to do exactly that. These services are very helpful for a player, but if used the wrong way, can set you back. Learn how to increase exposure to coaches, the right way.
Some of the larger scouting services have built a truly impressive network of college coaches and offer a great deal of visibility for players. There are a few things things that a player should be aware of before using a scouting network to guide their recruiting experience.
- While being a part of a network to get you more visibility is a positive thing, keep in mind that there are hundreds, if not, thousands of other players in that same network with the same overall goal as you. The players that excel in a specific part of their game (throwing 90+ across the infield) will stand out from the crowd, and the players that are average across the board can be overlooked because they don’t have a tool that immediately sets them apart from others. Don’t get me wrong, this ‘average’ player would make an excellent college baseball player, but getting visibility through a network might not come organically and could take some time.
- It might feel good knowing that you are one click away from hundreds of college baseball coaches, but don’t let it give you a false sense of security. The harsh reality is that a vast majority of these schools will be dead ends, for a variety of reasons, ranging from academics to a program’s needs at that point and time. A small percentage of the college baseball programs that have the ability to view your player profile will actually be a good fit for you as a student and an athlete. As a players attempts to increase exposure to college coaches, it’s important to keep this in mind.
- Being a part of a vast network can lead players to cast too wide of a net during the college search. Players often find more success setting specific goals and criteria to guide them through the recruiting process. Players want to take advantage of the network they are paying to be a part of, and feel that in order to do so, they need to consider a wide range of schools, because that is what they paid for, right? The reality is that players should narrow their focus to a list of schools that are a good fit from both an academic and athletic standpoint.
- A few of the previous concepts build into this last point for the grand finale. By tapping into this massive network, a player can lose sight of the most important part of the recruiting process; finding a college that is the perfect fit from both an academic and athletic standpoint. What we see over and over again is the player that gets interest from a program, pursues the opportunity knowing that it’s probably not a great fit, and ends up choosing that school because an offer was there. Having an offer on the table feels great, but don’t allow it to let you lose sight of the bigger picture. We’ve also seen players change their intended major because the school they choose didn’t have it. Talk about the cart being in front of the horse. In order to find your perfect fit, you must find a school that aligns with your academic and athletic preferences, and then equally as important, the coach needs to feel that you are a good fit for the program. When these pieces align, you have found a school that is truly right for you. With the massive amount of exposure scouting networks offer, it can pull players away from the principle of being laser laser focused throughout the recruiting process. There are some great supplementary tools out there that provide players with a platform to be able to make decisions guided by data and analytics, not assumptions and word of mouth recommendations. We’ve seen a lot of players have success when they pair up these tools with a membership to a scouting network.
Having said all of this, scouting networks are an extremely beneficial tool, and if used correctly, will help you increase exposure to coaches. These networks have an incredible staff, with an immense knowledge of the game as well as the recruiting process. As a player, being aware of these pitfalls will allow you to make the most of your experience with a scouting network.