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Late Summer for Juniors

Although the fall of the eleventh grade is relatively relaxed, there is still a lot that an incoming junior can be doing right now. I think it's beneficial, however, for that junior to take a step back and look at what is happening with seniors right now. Compare seniors who have planned and seniors who did not. Compare who has a good handle on where they will be going to college and who is starting to stress. In just one short year, seniors will be leaving for college, in just 7 months, seniors will be beginning their last high school season while in just 4 short months (120 days), some seniors will be officially committing to their college. Juniors, if you are not taking control RIGHT NOW ... trust me, you WILL miss the boat.

For juniors, aside from the October PSAT, the key things to get on your schedule are the Junior Fall Classic and the Perfect Game Under Class tournament in September. However, if you do not have a plan of how to get coaches to your field, nobody will discover you. Be sure to check out an upcoming post ... "What really happens at the fall classics and high profile tournaments" and how you can guarantee coaches will be at your field. It's time to decide if you want to be ahead of the curve and proactive or spend your entire senior year stressing, struggling and trying to catch up.

Here is your junior check list - good luck!

JUNIOR CHECKLIST

  • Create Fall Baseball Schedule

  • Important events

  • Junior Fall Classic

  • Perfect Game Under Class

  • College visits

  • Enroll in Tough Courses

  • As a senior you’ll be deep in college applications, visits and just being a senior. Now is when you can take an AP course and actually get the score in time to put it on your college application. If you apply early decision or early action, your junior grades will be the last ones the admissions offices see. Also understand that college coaches will almost never see your senior high school season so this year is HUGE

  • Take the PSAT (in October, but register now)

  • It’s still just practice unless you are one of those 99th percentile people who might qualify for the national Merit Scholarship contest.

Registering for the Tests

  • Head to www.collegeboard.org to register for the SAT and www.actstudent.org for the ACT.

  • Know your test center code. Each test center has a unique code, which you can look up as you register. Early registrants are the most likely to get their first choice.

  • If you’d like to send your score to a college, have a list of them ready.

  • Try to complete the registration in one sitting. However, you can save your information and come back later if you choose.

  • Keep in mind that at the end of the process you will need a credit card to seal the deal.

  • Communicate and stay consistent (for Fallon Sports members)

  • Send weekly reports to me, remember I talk with these coaches every single week

  • Keep building relationships with college coaches and admission personnel

  • College Planning Goal of the junior year is to end with a very strong and legitimate Top 30 college list.

  • Continue to understand what you are looking for in a college

  • Coaching style

  • Location

  • Size of classes

  • Distance from home

  • Competitiveness of program

  • And whatever else is important to you

  • Respond to each college coach who sends you information

  • Do not close doors

  • College coaches keep moving around, you never know when the coach at one school ends up as the coach at your dream school.

  • Your idea of a perfect college will change as you go through this process

The University of Arizona head coach, Coach Jay Johnson is a great example of the coaches who move and move up. An assistant coach at Point Loma University (while they were NAIA) just a few years ago, to the head coach at Point Loma to assistant at the University of San Diego to head coach at University of Nevada-Reno to head coach at the University of Arizona and a College World Series championship series appearance. It happens that fast to good people!

At this point, you should have researched schools and sent numerous communications to the coaches at the schools in which you have an interest. Some may have responded and some may not. You should consider the response (or lack thereof) and the interest shown by coaches in determining what steps to take next. However, don’t be misled by thinking that just because you know you are good that they know that as well. The key is to contact as many college coaches as possible so you have a fighting chance of finding the best possible college for you.

Remember, sometimes a coach may not be able to contact you because of NCAA recruiting rules,

financial constraints or scheduling conflicts. Do not let that deter you. By keeping a coach informed of your desire to be seen, you are putting yourself in a better position - whether they can come or not.

For those coaches unable to see you play, do some research on the camps that the coach offers. Camps, showcases, and/or combines are often a good way for a coach to see you compete, but a little research on your part is valuable. Before committing the funds and time to participate in a camp, showcase, or combine, be sure that you will accomplish what you want - for the coach to see you participate. It can be very beneficial to call or email a coach, express your serious interest in the school or program, and ASK what is the best opportunity for him to be able to see you. Remember that this is all predicated on the fact that you can actually play at that school and the college is within your ability level.

An extremely effective way for a coach to see you is plan a trip to the campus. Let the coach know you are coming and ask for an appointment to see him. They will schedule a time to meet you and show you the athletic facilities. They will then send you to the admissions office, where you can get a campus tour and learn about their admissions and financial aid policies. It is always advisable to visit a campus and meet a coach face to face before committing to spend four years of your life there.

These avenues should afford you the opportunity to meet coaches and be seen by them. It is important to persist in these efforts - you will greatly enhance your chances by being aggressive and proactive.

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