A note from Jeff to parents -
I get asked regularly to explain the benefits of our college experiences and when (and where) to send their child on one of our campus trips. I think the thing that matters most is that you evaluate where your son is right now within the process ... and be honest. For members of Fallon Sports, we will have a better idea because we know our members but for those who are not members think about the following (in this order) - and as a side note, not wanting to be away from home is not a reason to not go on any trip, as matter of fact it'd probably be the reason why you would send your son, so he can experience life outside of the area you currently live and grow as a person. If he stays and attends college in your area, then when will he ever have the opportunity to travel, experience life and do the things that we do on these trips? In addition, these trips tend to show everyone, parents included, the tremendous opportunities we have (as Americans) within the country.
1. Be sure to choose at least one trip each summer
Doesn't have to be with us necessarily, just get on college campuses, talk to college coaches, hear them speak, what they say, the way they say it. Listen! This process is about you (the student) finding the perfect place for you to get your college education. It is not about a college coach seeing you, liking you and offering you a scholarship. The idea is to find 5-10 different colleges that are near perfect for you, then at those colleges let the college baseball coach see you, evaluate you and decide where you fit in his program. That way each college you are dealing with is perfect and you will never settle.
2. Choose something that is in your budget - if your son isn't sure what he wants to do, study, etc .. then nothing at this time is very important to do something, otherwise you will spend another 3 months gaining no ground on the process. The great thing about each of the colleges we visit and the coaches we meet is that they will continue to educate our players and teach them about the process. They will reassure the players that its ok not to know, the recruiting process is all about self discovery and by being on these trips our players get a little closer to that.
3. Choose something that fits into your calendar - If you have high school, club/scout team conflicts then choose one that does not conflict. If you have a family vacation planned, then choose one that is outside of that window. In my opinion, no one trip is more important than another for the athlete that is unsure, each provides exceptional opportunities as well as value with the recruiting process.
4. Make sure it (the trip) has enough other activities to keep him entertained and motivated - If you are unsure, choose one that might have an activity that he might never have the opportunity to do again (i/e Fenway Park, Baseball Hall of Fame, Wrigley Field, Coors Field, Field of Dreams movie site, Oregon Coast, etc) - our trips always have something extra that will show the students other experiences that would be available to them if they chose a college in that area, but it's important for us to offer an experience that these guys will never forget. Yes, we are doing this to help them get closer to finding the right college but it's also an opportunity for us to have a huge impact on each of their lives. These are not just "college trips", they can literally be life changing and unforgettable - these are experiences!!
5. Don't wait until next year!
I hear regularly, that this is going to be great for (their son) to do "next year" - well guess what, life happens and next year you'll find a reason why it's not going to happen. Ultimately, this summer is huge for your son to visit colleges, no matter what year you are in high school (including seniors). To elaborate -
After Freshman/Sophomore year - it will help him get to know what he knows what he likes and does not like in a campus, a coach, an area of the country, the challenge or ease of traveling into a specific area. For sophomores, next summer (after junior year) is when your son will have a solid working college list and it'll begin to be narrowed down and he will want to visit each and get dialed in on who is who. At that time you'll want to get more specific with which trip you attend and colleges you are visiting. Two summers (after senior year) from now you will be preparing for the college that he chose - At that time, you begin to realize that your son will never have another free summer as a kid, so it's a great time to send him on a trip to relax, play baseball, have fun and live the experience of something that he may never be able to again as a child.
So as you can see THIS summer is critical to discovery and finding what matters most to your son - no matter what his age.
What is guaranteed? - Your son has been playing baseball in your area for probably the past 10 years of his life - now, he has an opportunity to get out and discover new things, play against new opponents, experience life as it is in another state, region of the country -by staying "home" he won't be discovering much of himself if he stays grounded to what he already knows and has experienced. What does he gain from that? How are you going to be further along in the recruiting process when you move on to the next year? For seniors, how did you move forward in your life, by staying "home"?
Thanks so much for reading, there is nothing we do at Fallon Sports that don't have a reason or tremendous value - I appreciate you looking into our trips.
If you have any questions at all on these trips, please email our Director of College Campus Tours, Suzanne Forfa at FallonCollegeTours@gmail.com
1) In the case of injury or other issue out of our control, is money refundable? In the event of an injury, the funds are credited to your account for future use. Since we have to control roster size, we need to have accountability to each seat in the van, body in each bed and player on each roster so the funds for each roster spot is specifically assigned to pay each expense associated with him being on the roster. We can credit to a future tourney or experience which allows us to plan that event out accordingly.
2) Do players play positions and only pitch occasionally? It depends on the player and the position. Some players are just pitchers, some do both and some don't pitch at all, it is all relative to the player, his situation and our need. As a general rule a player comes into each experience or tournament with us with a plan that (together) we establish based on what the player is trying to accomplish. For example, if a player is coming off a high school season where he logged a lot of innings and needs to back off during the summer, then we accommodate that. If a player did not get innings during the high school season and needs to get on the mound more, then we accommodate that. The goal of the experiences are to expose players to college coaches, the college lifestyle and baseball on the road (as in college). The goal of the tournaments is to continue to develop players, coach them and make proper evaluations on them.
3. Can he attend an experience by himself? Definitely, we have supervision for each player on every college experience. From coaches while playing games and showcasing to chaperones and FS off field staff while not on the field, each player is always supervised as well as expected to follow a detailed schedule.
4. Does he fly to the assigned airport and then get picked up? or does he have to rent a car? Yes, he books his flight into the assigned airport, emails us his flight itinerary and we pick him up at the airport as well as bring him back when his flights departs and make sure he gets on that flight.
5. Do you schedule all the Hotels / Lodging? Yes, we secure a team hotel to be the base of all operations while on the experience. Sometimes we change hotels a few times within a trip as we travel across a state or region but each hotel is announced and published well in advance
6. Do you drop them off at the assigned departing airport? Yes, just as the flight in, we assign a departing airport, you send us the itinerary and we coordinate the drop off, usually (like with the pick up) there are several other players coming/going all within the same window
7. What does the price listed cover? The price listed covers the actual experience, the organization, scheduling of college coach visits as well as the coordination and introduction with these coaches. It covers the pre-experience communication as well as the post experience communication. The price does not include lodging, travel or any extra opportunities within the experience. Be sure to read the itinerary for each trip and see what is covered inside the trip, but as a rule lodging, travel and meals are not covered, you purchase that in addition based on your length of stay.
8. How much is the typical lodging and travel for each player? For most trips, players will secure their own airfare and for trips that are within 6-12 hours of Phoenix, we will rent a team van and provide an option to travel to and from Phoenix in the team van. (please inquire about pricing if you have an interest in that). For trips where airfare is required, the typical lodging fee is $50 per night/per person and the transportation fee (team van) is $35 per day. Once your trip is created, we send you an invoice with the lodging/transportation fee (if applicable).
9. How much does it cost a parent to attend? There is no cost for parents to come on any experience you just pay your own expenses and can come and go as you please. Parents are always welcome (and encouraged) to join in anything we do within an experience.
10. Do any of the Fallon coaches talk to the college coaches on behalf of the players? Yes. We communicate with every college coach within a specific trip on each player on our roster. From the time they register to continued follow up afterward. The more we can get to know the player and the sooner we know the player is going on a specific trip, the more information we can present to the coaches.