What schools were at my game? Was the coach here to see me? Should I send them an email? These are all concerns during the recruiting season. Exposure is the bottom line, right? How do I get seen? Of course being seen is a major piece to the recruiting process, but one piece often gets neglected. Not the emails, or the visits, or the research, but one major thing that truly has the highest impact on where you end up. Know what it is?
In 2006, Dustin Pedroia hit .181 and was sent back down to the minors. In 2007, Pedroia won the AL Rookie of the Year, and in 2008, he was named AL MVP. All credited to his relentless pursuit of improvement.
You know what the coaches want to see more than anything else as they’re recruiting you? Improvement. Improvement is the most important piece to the puzzle that is unanimously the most neglected. Coaches will take note on how you improve, or don’t improve, each time they see you. They will note improvement in your ability, your body, your instincts and your grades.
3 Keys to Improvement
- Improvement is not exclusive to the off-season. If you strictly roll out of bed and play games during your traditional season, you’ll improve, but not as much as you are capable of. You need to put the time and effort into working with intent on your skills. Focus can’t be solely on your in-game performance. Getting your skill work in before the game or after the game is fairly familiar and easy. Coaches will schedule practices on off days or you can head to the field for early work prior to a game. Those pre-game or post-game reps are incredibly important to improving. A major piece that is lost in-season is your strength training. Without strength training in season, your strength will only deteriorate.
- Improvement is not just physical. Coaches will track your emotional and intellectual improvement as well. They will note how you carry yourself. They will note your aptitude for understanding situations in games. More importantly, they will note the trend in your grades and test scores. Are your grades improving or declining as you move up the ladder in high school? Admissions departments love to see positive trends in grades and the difficulty of your classes.
- Improvement is hard without some help. As a high school student athlete, it is incredibly hard to improve on your own. It takes resources to improve your skills. The high school season is condensed, and the summer season is full of traveling and games. We suggest finding someone to work with in a one-on-one setting who can develop a deep understanding of where your game is now, and what you need to do to improve. There is a reason college programs have individual workouts in addition to their team workout. One-on-one attention is vital to improvement.
THE RECRUITING COACHES (@TheRecruitingCo) helps families navigate the tricky waters of the college recruiting process by providing the most truthful advice and hands-on guidance. Our coaches are all former college athletes and college coaches. You can learn more about how we can help your recruiting process here.