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Bloomington-Normal Baseball Association

College Recruiting Tips

These tips have been compiled by the BNBA Board with input from Jeff Stewart, San Diego Padre Scout and former Illinois State University Head Baseball Coach.                                      

Bloomington-Normal players who have gone on to play at the college level.


1. Seek help from your high school coach

Ask your coach what your strengths and weaknesses are as a player.

Ask your coach to project you as a Division 1. Division 2, Division 3

player or other. Ask coach for advice on how to get noticed and ultimately recruited.

Most coaches have friends that are at colleges coaching.

Ask your coach to write letters of recommendation for you.

2. Attend college baseball camps

As a freshman, start attending the following camps:

Attend camps in the summer for individual players. Pick major colleges

such as Illinois because other college coaches help at these camps and

are scouting for players. Pick colleges you may want to attend. Most colleges have these camps

as a tool for tryouts. Attend Major League Baseball tryout camps. Most are free and

a many college coaches attend as well. You should start attending

these camps when you are a freshman.

3. Play summer baseball

If possible, play on a competitive summer baseball team. College

coaches are allowed to attend summer tournaments to recruit players.

This is where top players are recruited, and these tournaments are most

valuable for players who are projected to be recruited by Division I

schools; however, some players will get recruited by D2 and D3 teams.

It is important to be either a top player or a player on a successful

team. Even if you are not on a competitive team, it is still important to

play during the summer. Summer is a crucial time to develop your skills.

4. Get bigger, stronger, faster

All other things being equal, coaches look for athletes. Use your off

season time to increase speed, strength, and overall athleticism. Not

only does this increase your performance on the field, it demonstrates

discipline and a commitment to improvement.

5. Visit college web sites

Most colleges have a form to complete on their web site for players

interested in playing at that particular school. Most college baseball

coaches, including those at the division D1 level, do not have the

budgets to travel and recruit all of the players they would like to

see. So they have a form to fill out so you can let them know about

your ability and interest in their school. Usually you can then visit

the school and meet with one of the coaches. If they are interested,

they might then make a point to try to see one of your games.

6. Marketing

You need to market yourself. Keep all the articles from the local

paper. Also keep your year-end statistics from the school. You can

always say you can do certain things, but coaches will want to see

stats from independent sources. It is beneficial to make a highlight

tape of yourself playing as well for colleges to review.

7. Academic standing and eligibility

After your junior year, it is very important that you register through

the NCAA Clearinghouse at This where

you can determine if you are academically eligible to play for an NCAA

member school. Beyond being simply eligible, coaches stress the importance of being a

good student. Balancing school work and the demands of intercollegiate

athletics requires that the student athlete comes to college with a

disciplined attitude toward studying. Collegiate coaches are under

great pressure to maintain programs that graduate student athletes and

therefore, look for players that they can depend upon to take care of

business in the classroom. A coach may hesitate to recruit a student

who has athletic potential but could become an academic liability for

the program.

8. Timing

The summer after your junior year/fall of your senior year is when

college coaches extend most scholarship offers; therefore, contacts to

college coaches, marketing efforts, and school visits should happen

during your junior year at the latest. There is also a June signing

period for seniors who might have blossomed late or got off to a late

start in the recruiting process. If you do not get a scholarship offer you can receive grant money.

Schools will offer grants on a first come basis. So if you haven’t

received a scholarship offer by the start of your senior year then

apply to the schools you want to attend in early September of your

senior year. Then ask for the financial aid package as soon as you are

approved at your school. Even if you are not sure you want to attend

that school ask for the financial aid package. You need to do this

early because when the grant money is gone it is gone!!!! In some

cases colleges will ask for a deposit when you apply but most all are

refundable. Just because you apply and get a financial aid package

doesn’t mean you have to attend the college.

9. What to expect

Division I baseball programs only have 11.78 scholarships at any one

time and D2 programs can have no more than 9. NAIA schools may have

the equivalent of 12 scholarships players. Some collegiate teams might have as many as 40 players on the roster.

This means that many players receive no financial aid and most players

that are on scholarship receive only a partial scholarship. It is

unusual for a player to receive a “full ride”, even at the D1 level.

Many players are asked to walk on at D1 schools and then compete for

scholarships while on the roster. Division 3 programs offer no athletic scholarships so players, like

all other students at the college, should seek need-based or

merit-based grants from the school. Talk to the coach at the D3 school

that you are interested in playing for and, if he has an interest in

you, he will advise you on the proper process for seeking the most

favorable financial package available.

10. Finally

The key is to play well, with hustle and an obvious love of the game.

Recruiting is a proactive aspect of college scholarships. There are no

shorts cuts to practice and training.


Bloomington-Normal Baseball Association

P.O. Box 3324 
Bloomington, Illinois 61702

Phone: 309-829-2129
Email: [email protected]

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