All across the United States there are hundreds of collegiate athletic departments gearing up for a new batch of fresh recruits that they hope will take their program to higher and better places.
Now, when it comes to recruiting top talent it’s especially hard for smaller schools in rural areas to compete against large Division 1 programs with multi-million dollar facilities with all the latest training equipment.
Due to this, it’s not surprising to see an average high school athlete pass up a solid scholarship offer at a smaller institution to pursue a “preferred” walk on opportunity at a larger school.
I hope that I’m not misunderstood, this article was most definitely not written with the intent at taking a shot at major Division 1 schools and their programs, in fact I’m all for giving a student athlete the opportunity to excel on possibly the best “stage” as far as amateur athletics go.
What I am aiming for is to shed some clarity on those who are being influenced by others. One thing is to advise a student on what may benefit him or her, another is to influence them.
Coaches and parents, trust me, I know all you want is the best for your child but the fact of the matter is that their college experience is just that, theirs. Here are a few factors to take into consideration when making “The Decision” kids:
Be realistic, contrary to popular belief higher learning institutions require all incoming students to go through the application process. No matter how great your 40 yard dash time is. Don't cut corners, college athletics has a way of weeding out cheaters.
Know what you are worth and negotiate accordingly. College is expensive and student loans suck.
Student-athlete means student first. I truly hope every college athlete has the opportunity to play professionally but it’s simply not realistic. Go to class, all those professional athletes need doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc.
This absolutely does not mean that you are not in need of coaching. It actually means just the opposite, you do need to be coached and the coaching staff will become, for lack of a better term, your parents during your time with them.
Be sure you are willing to buy into their program, remember, the program most likely existed before your arrival and will most likely continue to exist afterwards.
Your new school will be your home for most times up to 5 years if you are redshirted. Make a smart decision, it’s terribly hard to enjoy college if you despise your geographic location.
College baseball is one of the best experiences you can have in life. Starting from maturing as a person to developing into the best player you can be. Lastly, enjoy the process. It will get stressful and if you are lucky enough you’ll have to make a tough decision between two maybe three institutions. Embrace the challenge, do not complicate it, do not rush and HAVE FUN.
Por Andres Rodriguez