The athletes that are proactive in the recruiting process are the ones that stand the best chance to play at the next level.

Starting the Process

The best way for a high school athlete to start the recruiting process is to create a game plan on how to contact appropriate college coaches.

What does appropriate mean? Not all football players are meant to play at Alabama; not all basketball players should play at Kansas. This means getting in contact with colleges that are at your level of ability is crucial. This process should start as early as your freshman year in high school for Division I programs and during your junior year of high school for all other levels.

It is essential to be proactive in the recruiting process. Work hard on the field to sharpen your skills and work hard in pursuing the colleges you prefer. Involve your parents, coaches and even your high school guidance counselor.

Here are the main criteria you should consider in determining which colleges to pursue:

No matter what your athletic ability is, good grades will open doors and bad grades will close them. It is important to understand the emphasis that college athletic programs place on grades.

Which schools can I afford to go to? This is where grades come into play. Good grades could equate to academic scholarships that help you afford your dream school, especially if the athletic scholarships don't pan out as you planned. Baseball is an equivalency sport, so generally programs award only partial scholarships.

It's important to choose a school where you will be happy even if playing your sport does not work out. You also need to consider other important factors including climate, location, tradition, school size, majors, etc. It is encouraged to visit the school and get a good feel for the campus and the surrounding city.

Do I want to attend a Division I school even if I don't get much playing time? Would I rather be a starter at an NAIA school? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself when considering schools and your athletic abilities. It is also important when you do visit a school, to partake in a baseball practice/game. Pay attention to the coaching styles and the team chemistry. Is this a team I want to be a part of?

And when you decide which schools you're interested in...

We recommend emailing the baseball program's Recruiting Coordinator a link to your Baseball Northwest profile, complete with stats and video. If you play in a showcase event where college coaches/professional scouts attend, also be sure to notify the baseball program's Recruiting Coordinator when/where you are playing. Be sure your emails are always personal and keep them short.

Baseball Northwest is happy to help answer any recruiting questions you might have. We are in no way a recruiting service, but have a passion for helping players find the best fit for them to play baseball at the next level.