– Just think this will be your last month as a junior in high school.
Things to make sure you have done this month: (May checklist)
The College search “Don’t” list
Don’t get your heart set on one college
There are probably dozens if not hundreds of colleges where you could thrive. The frenzy of the college search is about getting into big name schools, but once you get beyond the name, little is unique about one particular place. You can always find another good one that shares the same traits.
Don’t get fooled by phony “Honors”
Have you heard from Who’s Who among American High School Students? Or the National Youth Leadership Forum? If so, don’t think for a minute that you are being honored for anything real. These and other organizations sell products that you can buy, not honors you have won (or earned).
The other is that “You have been ‘invited’ to pay money to participate in a national showcase, or you are on a National Scout Bureau’s follow list – again they are selling something. Don’t be honored by the idea that you get to pay money!
Don’t obsess over rankings
Have you mentioned the first tier of the US News & World Report rankings? I hope not. The ranking are a reasonably good indicator of the prestige of various colleges, but they say little about where you would be happy. And the rankings change every year for no obvious reasons other than selling magazines.
Same is true for baseball programs – coaches come and go, players come and go – so be sure to pick the school for the right reasons. Yes, the coach is important but not the “end all” … he could be gone when you get there!
Don’t pick colleges to impress your friends
Don’t worry too much about the weather
Recruiting Rules - Official and Unofficial Visits
Earlier in the year, we touched on the rules under which college coaches operate in regards to recruiting. These rules vary widely from all three NCAA divisions and the NAIA and NJCAA in addition to NCCAA colleges.
These rules do not prohibit an athlete, even before their senior year, from initiating contact with college coaches. One of the most effective ways to get on a coach's radar is to contact them and then visit the school. If you have a choice to visit a college or to attend a tournament for them to see you play, I would recommend visiting the college every single time. If you have the choice of playing games or visiting college campuses – I would recommend visiting the campuses every single time. You just finished or are close to finishing your high school season, how many more games do you need to play … time is ticking … you are wasting time! Get on campus - they want to know you exist and that you have a sincere interest in their college. They want to have the time to evaluate you academically, athletically, socially and emotionally … among so many other factors. It’s important to realize this is YOUR life, I see so many kids (and parents) only get interested in colleges that have shown interest in them? Just because ABC University’s baseball coach likes the way you run out an infield hit or XYZ College’s coach likes your presence on the mound does not mean it’s a good fit for you. Students and parents make that mistake year in and year out and that is why we have so many players going to a college for a semester or a year and then having to transfer. They either do not do their research and choose the college that is the highest level (NCAA D1 or D2) or that ends up being the least expensive or only option.
You have to get involved with as many colleges as possible and at as many different levels as possible (including junior colleges) and then VISIT!
NCAA schools at all levels are allowed to host athletes on both official and unofficial visits.
An Official Visit is one in which the school pays for the athlete to come and see the campus. The nature and extent of the visits and benefits is strictly controlled by the NCAA. In baseball you can have one expense-paid (official) visit to a particular campus beginning on the opening day of classes of your senior year and can have no more than five such (official) visits. This restriction applies even if you are being recruited in more than one sport. You can't have an official visit unless you have given the college your high-school (or college) academic transcript and a score from a PSAT, an SAT, a PACT Plus or an ACT taken on a national test date under national testing conditions.
During your official visit (which may not exceed 48 hours), you may receive round-trip transportation between your home (or high school) and the campus, and you (and your parents) may receive meals, lodging and complimentary admissions to campus athletics events. A coach may only accompany you on your official visit when the transportation occurs by automobile and all transportation occurs within the 48-hour period. In addition, a student host may help you (and your family) become acquainted with campus life. The host may spend $30 per day to cover all costs of entertaining you (and your parents, legal guardians or spouse); however, the money can't be used to purchase souvenirs such as T-shirts or other college mementos. Additionally, during a campus visit, the school may provide you with a student-athlete handbook.
An Unofficial Visit is one in which you visit the school at your own expense. The institution may provide the following on an unofficial visit:
o Complimentary admission to an on-campus athletic event
o Transportation within 30 miles to off-campus practice and competition sites, but not to
attend one of the institution's athletic events
o In DI and DII, a meal to the prospect in the school's on-campus dining facility (or off- campus if all on-campus facilities are closed). In DIII schools a meal can be provided if it is a normal policy to provide a meal to all prospective students
o In DIII, the institution can provide housing to the prospect, provided such housing is
available to all visiting prospective students
A player can take an unlimited number of unofficial visits to any campus and can make them before or during his or her senior year in high school.
At NAIA institutions, no such restrictions are in place. An athlete can visit a school at any time, and can even practice with the college team during that visit.
NJCAA rules allow for both official and unofficial visits, and the rules are very similar to those of the NCAA.