Navigating the Recruiting Process During COVID-19

Many people are wondering how to continue their recruiting process during the coronavirus quarantine. With seasons cancelled and the rest of the year uncertain, it’s easy to get anxious about the already difficult process.

There’s a lot we don’t know about the NCAA’s plans and what the landscape is going to look like for the next year, or more.

I’m going to share what I would do if I were in the recruiting process right now. Truthfully, there’s only so much you can do at this time to further your process. But there are things you can do right now that will benefit you in the long run and help you achieve success later on. Don’t get bored with slow progress. It’s essential to ultimate triumph. Learn from the guy who went through the process twice…play the long game.

Before we start…let’s get one thing straight: no, you’re not falling behind in the recruiting process during coronavirus. Everyone is quarantined; everyone’s season is cancelled. No one is secretly playing tournaments or having covert conversations with college coaches down by the docks like something out of Peaky Blinders. This really is a quiet period. Having said that, I do think this time can be used productively and that you can take a few small steps to gain some ground in the process.

Here’s how I would use my time if I were in the recruiting process during coronavirus:

  • I would double the number of schools on my list to email.

If you’ve read any of my stuff, whether on the site or from my emails, you know that I don’t advocate for sending out a bunch of random emails. This is hardly ever a good strategy. I have always strongly recommended finding schools that excite you, that fit your needs, and that have a need for your position. However, this takes a lot of time and research…and if you’re in high school, you already have a full day of school, baseball, family obligations, and a social life.

This means that you don’t have the time to research a ton of schools, find ones that fit your needs, target those schools for their needs, write your emails, put together your video, and send them off. You can do some, but not nearly as many as you can do now. If I were you, I would continue to find schools that meet my needs and target schools that need me, but I would do this in greater quantity.

Your list is a numbers game. Yes, a shorter list of filtered, targeted schools is more valuable than a longer list of unfiltered, random schools. But, what if you had a longer list of filtered, targeted schools? Your chances of getting multiple responses shoot through the roof if you increase the number of schools you reach out to. It’s simple mathematics…probability for the win!

Use this down time to add schools to your list. Don’t sacrifice quality, but increase the quantity.

  • I would create a stockpile of video (if possible).

Now, this one will not be possible for everyone. But, if you do have access to a cage or somewhere you can hit and get some defensive work in, then use this time to build an enormous stash of video. You can never have too much video.

I recommend having video stored away just in case a coach asks for something specific. Oh, you want a video of me blocking a baseball? Here it is! Oh, you want a video of me fielding ground balls at shortstop? Here it is!

Create your stash now. Of course, you can’t get game video right now…but no one can! Use this time to bank video. You’ll almost certainly use it at some point.

  • PREVIOUSLY, I WROTE THIS: I would prepare all of my emails and save them as drafts.

UPDATE: With the NCAA’s decision to give all division one and two players a year of eligibility back, some of the fog has lifted (though, it’s still quite difficult for coaches to assess their needs and rosters). While coaches are still having a hard time figuring out which players are returning and not, they have a better idea now that the NCAA has made this decision.

Because coaches have a better idea of what their rosters *may* look like, I think it’s safe to send emails out to coaches during this COVID-19 quarantine.

Having said that…for those of you interested in emailing top baseball programs, you may want to wait on those schools. Programs with a hefty number of potential draft picks are going to have to wait and see what MLB decides to do with the draft. You can still send emails to these schools, but your response rate may be even lower than normal (even with the response rate from these schools already starting at a low percentage).

If you have any questions about this update, please email me.

ballerbuilder@gmail.com

  • I would use this time to gain strength and athleticism.

You may not have access to a cage. You may not have access to a field. But you have access to time, and you have access to your body.

There are so many workouts and activities you can do to get stronger and gain athleticism at home. Don’t believe me? Just google, “Workouts to do from home during coronavirus” and you will get hundreds of results. Also, there has never been a better time to go outside and be active. Hiking, swimming, playing in the yard, etc. are all “social distancing” activities. Take advantage of this time and keep your body ready.

I want to reiterate that you are not “falling behind” in the recruiting process during coronavirus. But, I do think these things will help you line up the dominoes so when opportunity arises, you aren’t trying to get your act together…you already have it together, and you’re ready to take advantage of it.

Do the hard work first…wait patiently in the tall grass…stay vigilant…and when opportunity arises, jump on it!

I remember having no idea what to put in an email, or even the subject line. I didn’t know how to make a recruitment video, and I struggled gaining attention from coaches. In junior college, we formed a calculated strategy that worked like magic. I earned a scholarship to Mississippi State after hitting .208 my freshman year at the University of Oregon.

Join my email list to learn more about how you can gain attention from college coaches and simplify your recruiting process. (And don’t worry, I only send 2-3 per week so it’s enough to chew on, but not enough to clog your inbox).

In addition, feel free to email me with any questions you have regarding your personal recruiting process.

ballerbuilder@gmail.com

2 comments

  1. I’m wondering what the best way to go about the recruiting process is when I do not have a summer team. I injured my arm over the winter and wasn’t able to try out for any summer teams. What should I do so that I can make my self known to college coaches?

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