For a high school baseball player, the key to getting recruited, like so many other sports, is to be seen. A highlight video can play a huge part in being seen, but for many ball players, showcases can also play a big part in being seen and recruited by coaches. And if you’re considering a showcase to shape up your recruiting, follow these tips to make sure you’re sharp.
Be Prepared Physically
Expecting to excel at a showcase is a great attitude, but expecting to excel without preparing is a big mistake. Just as you take batting practice or throw on off-days to keep your game sharp, make sure you’re sharp and ready for any showcase appearance. Warm up your arm by throwing the night before and the morning of a showcase. For hitters, take some cuts and fielding work the day before to have your game in the groove. Even if you can’t throw or hit, make sure to warm up, run, and scratch beforehand to ensure you’re ready.
Prepare To Be Recruited
In addition to being prepared physically, be ready to help your recruiting as well. Know what coaches will be in attendance and reach out to them beforehand. Even if it’s just a quick email to introduce yourself and let a coach know you’ll be at a showcase will give you a better chance of being seen and noticed by college coaches.
When baseball coaches come to a showcase, they’re looking for players, not performers. There’s nothing wrong with showing a coach your personality once they get to know you, but a showcase is all about demonstrating your skills and getting noticed for your abilities. Treat a showcase like a job interview and focus on making a good impression with coaches, on the field, and off.
Watch The Details
If you don’t pay attention to the little things, rest assured that coaches will. Whether it’s running out an infield grounder or battling through every at-bat, a player who works hard and doesn’t give up will always catch a coach’s eye. Bad habits are easy to slip into, so before you attend a showcase, ask one of your coaches to assess every element of your game, big and small. You shouldn’t have any problems in the big picture, but fixing the little things can help you rank higher in the “intangibles” column.
Work Hard But Have Fun
It’s OK to be nervous at a showcase. But, since it conveys passion for the game, baseball coaches also look for players who enjoy the game. Even if you don’t have a good day, being positive and enthusiastic will demonstrate to a coach that your attitude will mesh well with their team. Yes, you still want to compete and do the best you can, but if you’re not having fun while you do so, or your bad attitude is rubbing off on other players, coaches will notice.
In addition to looking at a player’s physical abilities, baseball coaches also look for players who can think through the game. So, when you have a chance at a showcase, ask a coach a question or questions about a specific play, at bat, or situation. Again, even if you don’t have your best performance at a showcase, showing a coach your desire to continue developing as a player, physically and mentally, will get you noticed.
Step Up And Follow Up After The Showcase
It’s always good advice to follow up after meeting a coach with a thank you note, either hand-written or via email. But, to ensure a coach connects the note with you, make sure your note is more than a generic “thanks for your time and I enjoyed meeting you.” Yes, that needs to be included but to stand out, mention the showcase, your position, and even why you want to attend that coach’s school beyond the baseball program. While it’s important to stand out during a showcase, it’s equally important that you stick in a coach’s mind after the showcase too.
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