If you are a high school baseball player who wants to play in college you and your entire family have sacrificed and worked like mules to achieve your dream of playing at the next level and as you get closer to that dream, the doubts and fears rattle around in your brain. What if I’m not good enough? How will I know? How do I prepare myself. Most importantly, where do I go? How do I make the right choice of a school and program; somewhere that I can develop as a player and a person. Somewhere that I will be given an opportunity to play and compete?
You and your family have invested a lot and the pressure is on to make the correct choice.
In order to make good decisions in any aspect of life; you need good information.
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” Aldous Huxley said that in 1926.
And he was right.
For several years I have teamed with other sports professionals and run programs which prepare and consult young student athletes in order to help them fulfill their dreams of playing at the “next” level; be that college or even professional baseball. All of our team members work extremely hard at getting and GIVING the best information available because our consultation will impact on some incredibly important decisions of the young men … and women … and the families we work with.
These are literally “once in a lifetime” decisions.
Choice of a college; a field of study to pursue, and playing college baseball/softball are all “once in a lifetime” decisions with a lot of factors involved. The family and the student athlete want to make the correct choices on ALL the elements.
And it is NOT all about baseball/softball.
In fact baseball/softball are probably the LEAST important part of the equation and decision. A young athlete’s intended academic field of study, the financial cost, the geography (where the student lives; near to home or far away), the size of the school, social environment and finally the specific baseball or softball program are all important factors.
In college sports, a student athlete gets four years of competition. That’s it. Four per customer.
It is a "failure" game. I am sure you have heard that about baseball itself; the same is true of the pursuit of college athletics. No? Listen to some statistics:
Only 5.6 - 7% of ALL high school baseball players will play at ANY level in college; NCAA DI, II, or III, NAIA, or Juco. Of those who make it onto a college roster, 30% will quit or be asked to quit in order to make room for another player. An astonishing 15% of SCHOLARSHIP players will quit. 50% will transfer; almost unanimously down. 75% of the student athletes who begin participating in their freshmen year will NOT make it to their senior year so ...
HOW you PREPARE and ultimately MARKET yourself as a player and person to the colleges you choose is incredibly important.
As I have mentioned; the issues of academics, finances, geography, size of the school, and social environment should all come waaaay before the baseball/softball issues.
The baseball or softball part? That comes down to the answers to a couple simple questions:
1. Will you be given an opportunity to compete for playing time?
Will you continue to grow and develop as a player … and a person?
Over perhaps the last ten to fifteen years the youth baseball industry has become dominated by clubs and academies and the PERCEPTION that THEY are the ones who hold the answers to the questions concerning your future in baseball; that “next” level; whatever and wherever it may be.
2. How will you interact with the other players and coaches?
The point, whether implied or stated is that they will prepare and perhaps even “deliver” a student athlete to that “next level”; to college baseball.
Do these academies deliver on that promise?
In my estimation; not necessarily.
A couple years ago I put together a panel of professionals: two MLB scouts, the head of player development for a top minor league team, and a Can Am League coach.
The purpose of the forum was to get some information on what scouts and professional organizations are looking for and, without my solicitation, the professionals turned the discussion towards the current industry model; the academies, travel ball, etc.
It’s an hour long but worth the watch. I hope you enjoy and I hope it helps.
I work to address a broad range of issues in the articles and give you all the best information possible. If you have a question or feel you would benefit by advice or counseling, give me a call.
I realize that sometimes it is difficult to ask for help; especially with mental skills. However, all of us can improve something with our game or field of endeavor.
Believe me … at the highest levels of performance which you all aspire to … mental skills are the MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR GAME. Fixing mechanical skills or getting bigger stronger faster without being tough mentally simply DOES NOT WORK!!!
Sometimes we need help but don’t know who to ask … or how. Mental skills are "stimatized". People think that asking for help with your mental game means that you are "broken". Nothing could be further from the truth. All 30 MLB teams have mental skills coaches. Your "mental skills" can EASILY add 5 - 10% to your game and having you performing at your best CONSISTENTLY. Contact me and I can explain all our programs including sports mental toughness programs which can easily improve your own mental game or that of your son/daughter or the players you coach.
I work with athletes and their families at every level of performance from all over the world using ZOOM over the internet!!!
CALL ME FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
Karl Avdek, Founder, GC-GP-GH