September for Seniors
Are college coaches calling you? Sometimes they can't. Be sure to return every call you receive from a college coach, most college coaches only get one call to you per week and if they don’t connect with you they can’t call again. It's a fact that college coaches are restricted by the NCAA to certain times when they can talk to recruits. Most people don't know this and wonder why coaches don't answer their email, letters and phone calls. Also - did you ever think that these coaches have a life too outside of their actual job of coaching? Let's say he taught a couple classes during the day, led a workout in the weight room in the morning and practice in the afternoon ... what do you think he does now? Call you? Probably go home and hug his kids, kiss his wife and eat dinner. The world does not evolve around you ... be sure you appreciate his time that he does give you. This doesn't mean that you should not continue moving forward in the process. Remember, just because they can't talk to you doesn't mean they can't watch you play, see you at showcases and follow your progress.
As we get closer to the fall classic, my office has been averaging more than a hundred calls or emails a week from college coaches. Most of these coaches are trying to pin point where certain players will be playing and making sure they don’t miss anyone while in Arizona. These calls do not always pertain to players I am coaching, as a matter of fact I would say more than 75% of phone calls I receive are regarding players I have never coached but either coached against or scouted throughout the years. Understand this - less than 1% of all college coaches at the fall classic will show up hoping to discover someone. If you do not have a solid list before the fall classic, then the event is really just another tournament for you. For those with a plan and prepared it can be the beginning to the end of the recruiting process.
September Checklist for Seniors:
Identify application deadlines at each college
Identify scholarship deadlines
Finalize the plan of which schools you will visit this fall/winter and which schools you will attend baseball camps at, if any, and why?
DEMAND from your Fall team to know when you will be playing if your teams rotates players
Pitchers and catchers get rotations ASAP
Start submitting applications
It’s ok to start submitting applications if you know that school is in your Top 10.
Some colleges and coaches will encourage you to apply and many will waive the fee if you apply online and apply early
Don’t confuse this with “Early Action” or “Early Decision”
Get letters of recommendation
Procrastination often strikes students who are asking for teacher recommendations. Don’t be shy. The teachers know you’ll be coming. The greatest sin is to wait until the last minute.
Choose Teachers Carefully
Don’t pick the teachers who gave you an easy “A”, rather go for the ones who you worked the hardest for, who know you the best and for whom you did your best work.
Check the requirements of the colleges, some will only require one
Be sure to let the teachers know of the deadlines.
Ask teachers soon
Mid-September is a good time.
If you want to wait a little longer as you are getting to know a twelfth-grade teacher, that’s fine.
Keep in mind that popular teachers may have twenty kids who ask them for letters. Its better to be the first to ask than the twentieth
Give teacher your resume and best work
Remember when we told you to save your best work?
Now is the time to dig up the stuff from classes you took with teachers whom you have asked to write recommendations.
A resume may jog their memories about your involvements outside of class
Follow up with your teachers (Politely)
About a week before your first application deadline, follow up with your teachers. Say something like, “Just wanted you to know that I am sending in my application (s)” or “Just wanted to make sure that you have everything you need.” They’ll thank you and maybe even happily tell you that they sent it.
Get an additional letter?
Too many students ask for too many letters of recommendation. An extra one doesn’t help except in the unlikely event that the person can say something that other recommenders cannot. A letter from a big-shot friend of the family who barely knows you but is an alumni of First Choice U will be worthless.
Can I ask my art teacher?
The teacher you may know best may be your art teacher or your coach and it is natural to wonder if a letter from someone like that would be helpful. The answer is generally “no”. In almost every case, recommendation letters should come from teachers in English, social studies, math, science, or foreign language, with the best combination (where two are required) being one from English teacher and one from either math or science.
Have a great month