By Keep Playing Baseball
KPB PodcastFeb 28, 2023
51 | Ian Macdonald, Associate Head Coach, Indiana Wesleyan University
In this episode, we talk all things recruiting with Indiana Wesleyan University Associate Head Coach and Twitter thread king, Ian Macdonald. Coach Macdonald’s career includes coaching stops at Grove City College, University of Charleston, and Indiana Wesleyan University. Wherever he has been, success for his team has followed.
In addition to coaching, Macdonald is known for his work educating players and families about the recruiting process on Twitter or through his website, collegebaseballrecruiting.net. Coach Macdonald is one of the leading voices on the college baseball recruiting process. His online course, Foundations of College Baseball Recruiting, launched a few months ago and aims to empower recruits with the tools to make informed decisions about the recruiting process and college baseball.
Accurate, thorough, thoughtful, and well-organized, Coach Macdonald's content is a must for any serious college recruit or parent. Coach Macdonald’s commitment to transparency and equity in the recruiting process is admirable, so it’s great to finally have him on the KPB Podcast to pick his brain about all things recruiting. You won't want to miss this episode!
Coach Macdonald's Website: Foundations of College Baseball Recruiting Online Course
Coach Macdonald's Twitter: Ian Macdonald (@sowhatnextpitch) / Twitter
50| Darrion Siler, Head Baseball Coach at The John Carroll School
We are excited to welcome Coach Darren Siler to the podcast. Coach Siler is the head baseball coach at John Carroll School in Bel Air, Maryland where he has led his alma mater’s baseball program since 2016.
The 2018 John Steadman High School Baseball Coach of the Year and Maryland State Association Baseball Coaches Coach of the Year brings a wealth of baseball knowledge and experience to the podcast.
Coach Siler has played and coached baseball all over the world. He has coached extensively in Europe, where he served as a Portuguese National Team Assistant Coach and Academy Development Coach. While in Europe he also coached several club teams to European Cup Qualifiers and international tournaments in Belgium, France, Czech Republic, Spain, Germany and Italy. Most recently, he traveled to Cuba, Dominican Republic, Japan, and Italy for coaching stints.
Stay tuned as we pick his brain about sending players to the college level, how his international baseball experience influences running a title contending program, and tell some funny international baseball stories.
49| Alec Smith, Founder, Best Speed Baseball Academy
Episode 2 of our new season of the KPB Podcast is a conversation with Alec Smith, who has a long track record of coaching baseball at all different levels in the Sacramento Area. Smith is the founder of Best Speed Baseball Academy, co-founder of Adi-Speed National Team, a three-time varsity head coach, and also spent 4 years as a junior college assistant coach with Cosumnes River College. Countless players from Smith's programs have gone on to play at all college levels and have success, which opens the door to an insightful conversation where we pick his brain about leading players and families through the recruiting process and what recruiting looks like from his unique perspective.
48| Jim Maciejewski, Mauldin HS, South Carolina
This episode kicks off a new season of KPB Podcast episodes where we sit down with coaches most familiar with the recruiting process. We are excited to kick the season off with Jim Maciejeski, athletic director and head baseball coach of the Mauldin Mavs in Mauldin, SC. Coach “Mach” has been coaching for 17 years, including the last 12 as a head coach. He is also in his 3rd year as athletic director at Mauldin High. In addition to his high school coaching, Maciejewski has spent 5 summers with USA Baseball as a member of their scouting Task Force, and most recently working with the 13/14 year-old Athlete Development Program and 15U National Team Trials. He’s sent numerous players on to the college ranks and has a number of former players playing professionally, as well. Above all else, Coach Mach is a student of the game and runs an outstanding program for his players.
How to Email College Coaches
A targeted email to a program of interest remains one of the best ways to get recruited. Yet, many recruits mess up this valuable opportunity to create a meaningful connection. Why? Most players don’t have the patience or do the prep work required to knock the email out of the park.
If you have the patience to listen to this short episode, you'll learn how to email college coaches the right way. In just 8 minutes, you'll walk away with the blueprint for writing an email that will lead to your recruitment. Have a listen, follow up with the links below, and give yourself the best chance at getting recruited from your intro emails!
Additional Articles and Resources:
Contacting College Coaches: How to Write an Intro Email
This Podcast Episode in Thread Format
How to Create A Successful DIY Recruiting Video
You May Also Be Interested in:
47| Doug Bernier (Former MLB Infielder and Pro Baseball Insider Founder Doug)
In this episode, are excited to be joined on today’s podcast by Colorado Rockies Data and Game Planning Coordinator and former Big League infielder, Doug Bernier. A California native, Bernier’s baseball career included success at every single level. After college baseball stops at Cuesta College and Oral Roberts University, Bernier started an incredible 16-year professional baseball career, which included 4 seasons in the Majors and over 1500 professional games. Bernier and his wife, Sarah, generously give back to the game through Pro Baseball Insider (probaseballinsider.com), an organization providing free instruction for aspiring ballplayers given directly from professional players. In addition to talking with Doug about how he maintained consistency and focus during the ups and downs of the better part of 2 decades in professional baseball, we pick his brain about his days as a professional scout and now a coach with the Rockies Big League squad. You won't want to miss this one!
Checking In: Everything Has Changed... Except for the Path to College Baseball
We've been sensing a great deal of panic among recruits and parents who have become fixated on the recruiting shutdown and D1 baseball's prolonged dead period due to COVID-19. In this episode, we try to put those fears to rest and explain why now is the time to plan and prepare, not panic. This episode follows a round-table discussion put on by our friends at the 3-2 Count Foundation exploring this new age of recruiting from multiple vantage points. We strongly suggest you check out the video here after listening to this episode!
46| Andrew Knapp (Catcher, Philadelphia Phillies)
We are excited to be joined by Sacramento area native and Philadelphia Phillies Catcher Andrew Knapp on the KPB Podcast for this fun episode. A former standout for the California Golden Bears, Knapp quickly rose through the minor league ranks, making his Big League debut on April 6, 2017. Knapp comes from a baseball family as his father Mike played 10 years of professional baseball and his younger brother, Aaron, is currently playing in the minors. This will be Knapp’s fourth season with the Phillies, and he comes back to Philadelphia after a strong second half where he hit .271 with a .346 OBP. More importantly, he is one of the truly good guys in baseball. Knapp has been a huge supporter of KPB and uses his platform to give back and do good for his communities. In addition to talking about his path to the Big Leagues, we talk about his time in college, his routines and preparation, as well as some light-hearted questions like, what would you change if you were commissioner? And, what three teammates would you bring with you if you were stuck on a deserted island?
You won't want to miss this great conversation, which comes with yelling children in the background (podcasting is hard when quarantining with kids!) and plenty of gems to get you better!
D1 and D2 Eligibility Requirement Updates
In light of disruptions to normal academic schedules, the NCAA Eligibility Center has modified initial eligibility requirements for D1 and D2 bound players. Among the changes we discuss in this podcast are:
No standardized test requirements for 2020 graduates
Implications for PASS/FAIL grading implemented this spring and summer
Importance of a 2.3 GPA (D1) or 2.2 GPA (D2) in 10 core courses (7 math/english/science) prior to start of senior year
Listen in for more information of check out the NCAA article directly HERE.
KPB's Guide to Improving in Self-Quarantine
When you are sitting at home all day, every day, it's easy to get discouraged or get into a funk. Even with limited resources, you can still use your time in self-quarantine to get better and stay on track to play college baseball! In this podcast, we discuss 6 areas where you can continue to improve that will help you with your dreams of playing at the next level. Listen in to learn about improving in the following areas:Academics Strength & Conditioning Skill Development Mental Game Recruiting Strategic Planning
Quick Recap: D1 COVID-19 Eligibility Ruling
The D1 Council ruling just came out and it's good news for college baseball players, particularly seniors. We discuss:
1. The D1 Council giving every college baseball player from this year an additional year of eligibility
2. The ability for seniors to have their scholarship renewed for the additional year (at the discretion of the school, who may also reduce or eliminate the scholarship for the returning player)
3. The elimination of D1 baseball roster limits and the ability for programs to exceed 11.7 total scholarships as a result of only senior scholarship renewals for the 2021 season
Plus what it means for current players and recruits! Listen in now!
The Impact of COVID-19 on College Baseball Recruiting
Daily KPB| Walking On: What You Need to Know
In this episode, we follow the lead of our popular written article about the risks and rewards of walking on. You can read the written article here.
Listen in to learn about:
1. Different types of walk-on opportunities
2. Questions to ask when offered a walk-on opportunity
3. Risks and rewards that come with walk-on opportunities
The Ultimate Guide: Parents' Role in the Recruiting Process
The most comprehensive and important #KPBpodcast episode on parents' role in the recruiting process is here! Following the same format as our Parents' Role in the Recruiting Process mini-series, we break down everything a parent needs to know to understand their role in the recruiting process and successfully help their son find a college baseball fit. In this episode, we break down:
1) An overview of parents' role in the recruiting process and how to how to appropriately be involved in the process
2) What parents can do during each of the 10 steps of the recruiting process to help their son
3) The 5 most important responsibilities and roles of parents throughout the entire process
You won't want to miss it. Click play now and follow up on the additional parent resources we mention by reading the articles on the site!
Daily KPB| On Ramping and Safely Returning to Competitive Action
In this episode, we discuss what it takes to plan out your return to throwing and competitive action in a safe and effective way. We discuss terminology, like "on-ramping", that you are likely to hear and what it means. Most importantly, we encourage you to plan your return to baseball activity now so the holidays and poor weather don't slow your progress. Listen in now!
Daily KPB| Why Non-Baseball Characteristics Matter So Much in Recruitment
In our annual college coaches survey, coaches routinely rank non-baseball related recruit attributes as being more important than physical ability and baseball skills. Why? Having a baseline level of athletic or baseball ability is the only way that a coach will continue to completely evaluate a player. So among players who meet that threshold, it is often stuff other than on-field skill that separates them from other recruits. Want to learn more about this? Listen in to this episode!
Daily KPB| Program Fit > Level Designation
A successful recruiting process is one where the player finds a lasting college baseball fit. It's a situation where the player puts themselves in a position to achieve their college goals and enjoy their time doing it. Why, then, do so many people get caught up in chasing the highest level? The D1 experience, even when it doesn't fit what they want in a college experience? Sometimes it's hard to pass on shiny things. In this episode, we explain why it's important to keep program fit at the forefront of your college baseball search and not get tricked by level designation or the pursuit of D1 baseball. Listen in to find out more!
Daily KPB| 7 Ways Campus Visits Go Wrong
This is the podcast version of the written article by the same title on the KPB website.
Many college players that we talk to reflect back on campus visits as one of their best memories of the recruiting process. Think of it like the MTV Cribs of college baseball. Coaches open up the doors and peel back the curtains to their program and provide you with an opportunity to see what your life could look like if you end up at their program. Campus visits are a two-way interview. You have the opportunity to ask questions and evaluate whether the program is a fit for you and coaches have an opportunity to get to know you better and evaluate if you are a fit for their program. When done correctly, the visit should allow you the chance to get all the information that you need from coaches to make an educated decision on program fit. If the sound of getting to explore your college baseball opportunities in person doesn’t excite you, you may want to evaluate whether college baseball is right for you.
While campus visits should be fun and informative, they are also a big stepping stone in the recruiting process. We’ve lived through and heard plenty of stories of campus visits that go poorly. There’s nothing wrong with getting to campus and realizing that a school isn’t a fit for you, in fact that’s great! You don’t, however, want to ruin your chances with a school that interests you because of silly mistakes. In order to help you avoid making preventable mistakes, here’s a list of 7 ways that campus visits often go wrong and advice for not letting that happen to you. After listening to this and our How to Ace a Campus Visit article, you’ll be prepared to dominate your time on campus and can focus on just being the best version of yourself!
Daily KPB| A Message for ALL Seniors on Signing Day
Congratulations to everyone who is making their commitments official today or sometime during the signing period! In this quick episode, we have words of advice for signees and those who haven't yet found their program. Check it out!
Daily KPB| Handling Your Commitment the Right Way
This is the podcast version of our written article by the same title, which can be read here.
With the signing period starting in just a few days, there will likely be a wave of commitments in the coming weeks. If you are one of the recruits making a commitment or that will be you at some point, this podcast is for you! In this episode, we will address the way to handle your commitment the right way. The baseball world is small and the last thing you want to do during what is supposed to be a happy time is burn any bridges or have a bunch of college coaches angry with you. To stay in the good graces of everyone you have interacted with during your commitment, follow the 5 steps discussed!
Daily KPB| What College Coaches Look For In Recruits
Want to know what college coaches are looking for in recruits? Than you've come to the right place! In this episode, we read quotes and provide insight directly from college coaches about the skills and qualities they are wanting to see out of recruits. All you have to do is listen up and get to work building these desired skill sets!
Daily KPB| Seeking Exposure at the Right Time
This podcast is the audio version of the written article by the same name. You can read that article here. In this episode, we aim to bust some myths about "exposure" and help you better understand how to know that you are ready create meaningful exposure to college coaches. If you want to know the truth about seeking exposure and figure out how to know when you should start maximizing exposure opportunities, this episode is for you. Listen in to find out more!
Daily KPB| College Baseball Scholarship Basics
Find video and written college baseball scholarship resources similar to this on the KPB website right here.
Everyone wants to get a college baseball scholarship, but how much scholarship money is available? What can they expect if they do get a scholarship? Tune in to find out as we talk about some of the basics about college baseball scholarships!
Daily KPB| Ready to Commit? A List of Things to Consider!
Read the written version of this podcast on our website here.
With the signing period for seniors less than a month away, many players are considering their college baseball options and where they should commit following the end of fall ball. Hopefully you are putting a lot of thought into your commitment decision and looking at things from every possible angle. What does that mean? It means asking and answering a lot of questions about the programs you are considering. In this episode, we rattle off a laundry list of things you should be considering before making your commitment official, from the academic culture to the relationship you have with the coaching staff and more. Listen in as we try to help you make your commitment decision one based on facts that will stand the test of time rather than emotions which can quickly change once on campus.
Daily KPB| Committing Before Being Admitted Into School
This episode is the podcast version of the written article of the same title available here. In this episode, we discuss the precautions you need to take if you decide to commit before being accepted by the admissions committee. Listen in to find out what to do to make sure the commitment holds strong and you take care of business in the classroom.
Daily KPB| Finding Out About Prolonged Silence From Recruiters
You've been talking with a college coach and they seem interested. Then, all of a sudden you stop hearing from them. What does it mean? What should you do? We discuss that and more in this podcast episode! You can also catch the written version of this podcast right here!
Daily KPB| Red Flags: Looking Out for Money Traps and Tricks During Recruitment
This podcast is the audio version of the written article by the same title, which can be found here.
If you are reading this article, you probably already know we spend a lot of time talking about what you should be doing to stay on track for college baseball. Our website is devoted to providing you with all the information and guidance you need to make it to the next level, free of charge. Last year, a parent suggested that it would be helpful if we discussed some of the things parents and recruits should avoid in the recruiting process. The ability to recognize potential pitfalls has become increasingly important as the monetization of youth baseball leads to more people trying to profit from vulnerable players and parents who are hoping to give themselves the best chance at the next level. In this podcast, we will look at 5 red flags that can come up in the recruiting process. For the purpose of this podcast, we consider a red flag to be an event or interaction that should set off alarm bells so that you take some extra time to make sure that things are the way they appear to be. Not all red flags will turn into real issues, but they do merit closer attention before proceeding. Listen in to learn about the following 5 red flags:
1. Hidden Costs
2. Bait-and-Switch Models
3. Guarantees of Any Kind
4. When Coaches and Players at the Same Program Give Conflicting Information
5. Rushed (Scholarship or Roster Spot) Offer Deadlines
Listen in to learn more!
45| Brad Sanfilippo (Head Coach, San Jose State)
In This Episode...
We talk shop with San Jose State Head Coach Brad Sanfilippo. Sanfilippo is entering his 3rd season at the helm of the San Jose State Spartan baseball program, after taking over with the interim tag 3 weeks before the regular season started in 2018. He spun that adversity into a historic year, leading the program to a Mountain West tournament appearance. In his two years, he has already led the club to its winningest season since 2011 and the highest single season conference win total in nearly a decade. No stranger to D1 baseball, Sanfilippo served as an assistant coach from 2010-2017, including time at San Jose State and a handful of years with Cal in the Pac-12, where 21 of his players got drafted (4 who are currently in the Big Leagues) and helped lead the Bears to an appearance at the College World Series in Omaha. Before making the transition to college coaching, Sanfilippo was the head coach at his alma mater, Los Gatos High School, where he won 4 league championships and 2 section titles (the first 2 in the baseball program's history). He was inducted into the Los Gatos HS Hall of Fame in 2009.
In this conversation, we take a deep dive on recruiting, player development, buy in, and even dabble in some pre-season NFL predictions. Don't miss out as Coach Flip offers outstanding insight for recruits navigating the process!
Coach Sanfilippo on Social Media:
Academics, D1, Recruiting, Player Development, Offensive Philosophy, Mountain West Baseball, San Jose State, Pac-12, Mid-Major, Power-5
Daily KPB| Better Grades Mean More College Baseball Opportunities
The time to get serious about your academic pursuits is right now! In this Friday rant, we reiterate topics discussed in the written article Better Grades Mean More Opportunities. Check out that written piece to get the links to many of our best academic support resources!
In this podcast, we get straight to the point here-- academics are a huge piece of the recruiting puzzle! We explain why they are so important to college coaches and why now is the time for you to take them seriously. Listen in to find out more!
Daily KPB| How Are You Tending on Social Media?
This podcast is the audio version of the written article by the same title on the KPB website. You can find that article here and we strongly suggest you check that article out and dive into the links it shares that are referenced in the podcast.
We know that social media is becoming increasingly important in the recruiting process, but what does that mean for you? How can you avoid the negative consequences of social media while still benefiting from the information and free exposure that social media platforms provide? We discuss all that, talk about what we have learned about social media in recruiting from our college coaches survey, and more! Listen in.
Daily KPB| What Different Types of Emails From College Coaches Mean
This is the podcast version of our written article by the same title. That article can be read here. Note: The email examples in the article will be easier to understand in written form than what is described in the podcast episode, so be sure to check them out!
Here's a common scene in the recruiting process: You just got an email from a college program you are interested in. You are excited, and hope this will be the start of your journey to making a commitment. But do you really understand the intent behind the email? Is it expressing real interest? Before you get too far ahead of yourself, make sure you read the email closely. College coaches send out a number of different types of emails that mean different things and have different purposes. While the emails may sound similar, they can have very different intentions.
Emails are a safe way for college coaches to reach out to recruits without having to show their hand (level of interest). The emails can have a variety of meanings and purposes. The way the email is worded, how much personalized information is included in the email, and what type of response it asks from you will help you better understand the intentions of the program that sent it.
In this episode, we discuss the different types of emails that college coaches send and what they mean. Specifically, we discuss 3 different kinds of emails you might receive from a college coach (Camp Email, Exploratory Interest, Definite Interest), what each means about your recruitment, and how to follow up. Listen in to learn more!
Daily KPB| For Coaches: Let's Not Let Ego and Language Get in the Way of Development
This podcast is the audio version of the written article of the same title, available to read here.
As a coach, instead of focusing on the “right” language, focus on using language that creates understanding and the right physical response for each individual player. That may mean you tell one hitter to “swing up to the ball”, you tell another hitter to “swing down on the ball”, and you tell the rest of the hitters to “swing level or on plane”. By being flexible with your verbal cues, you help everyone get better and make yourself a more successful coach.
The idea of being flexible with language and finding verbal cues that work for each guy means you will have to set your ego (and perhaps stubbornness) aside. Doing so does not mean that you don’t know what you are talking about or that you teach the wrong things, in fact it’s the opposite. A multidimensional approach to coaching is a sign that you are committed to teaching and helping your players develop the movement patterns they need to be successful. That’s what coaching is all about. Coaching is about player development, not proving your way is the only way. If you still aren’t ready to give up your preferred verbal cue for something that doesn’t resonate as well with you, think about this: Mike Trout trains his swing thinking about swinging down on the ball and Kris Bryant trains his by thinking about swinging up. Should one of these MVPs change his training cue because it’s wrong? No! There are many paths to success! Moving forward, prioritize helping your players find their own paths to success by using language and verbal cues that work for them.
Daily KPB| The Importance of a Diverse Recruiting Plan
This podcast episode corresponds to our written article by the same title, The Importance of a Diverse Recruiting Plan.
In this episode, we discuss the many different ways that college coaches are finding the players who end up playing in their program and discuss the importance of having a diverse recruiting plan that gives coaches multiple ways to connect with you, evaluate you, and recruit you. Listen in to find out why it's so important!
Daily KPB| Learning From Others: The Value of Purposeful Observation
This podcast is the audio version of the written article, Learning From Others: The Power of Purposeful Observation.
"You have to apply yourself each day to becoming a little better. By applying yourself to the task of becoming a little better each and every day over a period of time, you will become a lot better."- Coach John Wooden
Want to play college baseball? There are people around you every day that can help you get there. The people we are thinking about are probably not the same people that immediately jump into your mind. We’re not talking about your coaches or your parents or even your teachers and counselors, although all of these people can be a tremendous help in the recruiting process. The people we are talking about are your teammates and your peers.
Your peers can play an incredible role in helping you understand what it takes to get better if you can take your ego out of the comparison. That can be easier said than done. Most high school players fall into the trap of letting their ego interfere when comparing themselves to their peers. Who has the better stats? Who is getting more attention from colleges? Who got invited to this event or plays on this team? Why is he getting recruited by that school and I’m not? Why is he already getting offers? These types of comparisons only serve as a distraction. Every college bound player is on a different timeline and follows a different path to the next level. When we talk about the role your teammates and fellow competitors can play in helping you get better, we are talking about learning from their successes and failures as much as your own.
There’s a common misconception that learning has to come from your own success or mistakes, but imagine how many more learning opportunities you create each day when you really pay attention to what is happening around you. That’s the entire point of our Think the Game articles. Learn from everyone’s experiences, so you don’t have to make every mistake for yourself! There is feedback and important lessons all around you that can help you grow and improve and we want to highlight how you can use this feedback to be your own coach and get a little better each day. We discuss 4 keys to purposeful observation in this episode. Listen in to find out what they are!
Daily KPB| Targeting the Right Programs in Recruitment
This podcast is the audio version of our written article, Targeting the Right Schools in Recruitment
A common misstep in the recruiting process happens when players pursue schools where their baseball skill set doesn’t fit. These players either only target schools where the standard of play is too high for their skills, or they ignore interest from schools where their skill set does match up well, thinking they can “do better.” It goes without saying that you should treat all interest as serious interest and make sure you do your research on every program individually. With over 1,600 college baseball programs, there are many schools you will not know about. With so many programs out there, how can you make sure you are targeting the appropriate schools for your skill level? It turns out that this question doesn’t have one simple answer and that’s why so many recruits get it wrong! Luckily, we have done the research for you and we’ve come up with 5 things you can do to help make sure you are targeting the appropriate level of college baseball for your skill set. We discuss them in this podcast!
Daily KPB| Using Your Social Network to Help You Get Recruited
This is the podcast version of the written article titled, Networking: Your Secret Weapon in the Recruiting Process.
When it comes to the recruiting process, surrounding yourself with a good network of people can make a big difference. Not only can a quality network help you make sound decisions throughout the recruiting process, having ties with people who are well connected in the college game can go a long way to opening doors and providing opportunities. There are many stories of players getting a foot in the door with a college coach because a former teammate, current coach, or someone they know has a connection to open that door. While your talent, work ethic, character, and skills are ultimately what will get you to the next level, at times recruiting can feel like it’s more about who you know than what you can do. If you are worried that you don’t have a strong network behind you, don’t worry! On this podcast we will discuss how you can use your connections to strengthen your network and how you can use your network to help in the recruiting process.
Listen to the episode for more on how you can:
1) Assess the strength of your social network
2) Grow your social network
3) Use your social network to help you in the recruiting process
Daily KPB| Demonstrating Emotional Control
This podcast corresponds to the Emotional 101 article on the KPB website.
“The ballplayer who loses his head, who can’t keep his cool, is worse than no ballplayer at all.” –Lou Gehrig
There’s no debating that the way baseball is being played is changing. The game is slowly starting to embrace a more modern flair. Bat flips and celebrations that would have cost a beaning in past generations are becoming the norm. Still, many college coaches debate the outward displays of emotion that they see. Sure, it’s a new generation, but how much bat flip is too much bat flip? How much emotion can a player display before it becomes a side show? Since we know college coaches are spending a lot of time evaluating the body language and behavior of recruits, we take a look at some of the emotionally-charged situations college coaches see on the recruiting trail and how they help or hurt a recruit’s chances of being recruited.
44| Mike Neu: Head Coach, Cal Baseball (D1)
On This Episode:
We are excited to welcome former College World Series champion, Big League pitcher, and current Cal Baseball Head Coach Mike Neu to the podcast. There aren’t many things in the game of baseball that Neu hasn’t accomplished. He started his college career playing for baseball legend Jerry Weinstein at Sacramento City College where he won a state title before transferring to University of Miami. At Miami, Neu was an All-American pitcher and recorded the final out of the College World Series for the champion Hurricanes. Neu was drafted out of Miami by the Reds and worked his way to the Big Leagues where he pitched with both the A’s and Marlins. After his playing career ended, Neu started out as an assistant coach at Diablo Valley CC before quickly assuming the head coaching role at DVC. He made his first move to Cal as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. He left Cal in 2015 to become the Head Coach at University of Pacific (D1 in Stockton, CA) and after helping turn the program around, returned to lead the Cal program in 2018. In his first two years as the Head Coach at Cal, Neu has coached the Golden Spikes winner in Andrew Vaughn and lead the Golden Bears to an NCAA Regional Appearance. He has a reputation as an outstanding recruiter and if his career to this point is any indication, Neu and the Bears will have continued success as they look to return to Omaha. We talk Big League lessons, recruiting, the Pac-12, development and much more in this can't miss episode.
D1, Pac-12, Recruiting, Development, Culture, Academics, Life Skills, Multi-Sport Athletes, Daily life
Daily KPB| The Importance of Attention to Detail in the Recruiting Process
This podcast mirrors the content found in our popular article by the same title, which you can read HERE. We were asked to write that article by a college coach who was frustrated by the constant barrage of poorly written emails from recruits. Using a poorly written email as an example of players failing to understand the importance of being detail oriented and thorough in the recruiting process, we discuss 4 major reasons why college coaches are paying attention to players who attend to the details and are willing to go the extra mile to do things right. Listen to find out why in a recruiting world where there are countless players with similar on-field skills and ability, a recruit who shows attention to detail will quickly separate himself from the rest.
Daily KPB| 5 Do's and Don'ts For Parents at the Ballpark
This episode provides insight on mistakes that parents are making at the ballpark and mirrors the content in the written article found HERE.
College coaches may be recruiting high school players, but they are paying very close attention to what the parents of recruits are doing at the field as well. Parents make many unintended mistakes that can hurt their son's chances of getting recruited. We don't want that to happen to you, so we discuss 5 common mistakes that are made at the baseball field by parents and provide suggestions for more constructive alternative behavior. Listen in so you don't hurt your son's chances of getting recruited and playing at the next level.
Daily KPB| What Does Your College Baseball Fit Look Like?
What does your college baseball fit look like?
It's a straightforward questions that can make or break your recruiting process before it even begins. If you want to improve your chances of finding a college baseball fit, you first need to know what that fit looks like. In this episode, we give you resources and suggestions to to help you answer that question, starting with this worksheet to help you sort out your college preferences. For more information and insight, listen to the episode or read the written version here.
Daily KPB| Make the Most of Summer Ball
This episode is the podcast version of our written of the same title which can be found here : https://keepplayingbaseball.org/make-the-most-of-summer-ball-2019/
It’s about that time of the summer when your final tournaments are coming up. Guys are in a lot of different situations – some may have spent the summer showcasing for college coaches, while others are hoping to make their varsity team this coming year.
No matter what level you’ve been playing at, there are some things you can look back on now to get the most out of your summer baseball experience. A huge part of progressing in the game is learning and making adjustments. Summer ball is a great time to learn your game, try new things, and figure out what you need to work on.
On this episode, we ask you to consider 7 important questions about your summer and use them as a tool to reflect on what you’ve learned and what you need to improve on as you move forward. Development is the key to playing at the next level, and this list will help you stay focused on continually improving. Listen in to find out what they are!
43| Clay Cox: Head Coach, Paris Junior College (Texas)
On This Episode:
We’re excited to welcome Paris Junior College Head Coach Clay Cox to the podcast. Cox has been at the helm of the Dragon Baseball Program since 2016 and with the program since 2015. Over this time, he has developed a reputation for dominating in the classroom and on the field. His team is constantly among the nation’s leaders in team GPA and his squad has consistently moved more than a dozen players on to 4-year programs or professional baseball. Prior to his time at Paris JC, Cox spent time coaching at University of West Alabama and in the high school ranks at Rockdale High School, in addition to summers coaching in the Texas Collegiate League where he had a lot of success. Along with his role as head coach, Cox is Founder of Infield U and is active in sharing his coaching practices with the baseball community. Cox brings a wealth of knowledge to the KPB podcast, and in this episode we pick his brain about recruiting, program building, academics, infield play, and much more. So grab a notepad and turn up the volume as we connect with a high energy leader and great baseball mind.
Contact Coach Cox:
Twitter: @CoachCox19 and @Infield_U
JUCO, Recruiting, Infield, Development, Infield U, Academics, Hitting, Pitch Recognition, Texas, Transferring
Daily KPB| 9 Questions You Should Be Able to Answer Prior to Committing
In the recruiting process, the adage “knowledge is power” takes on an especially important meaning. An uninformed or hasty recruiting process greatly increases the risk of ending up with a poor college fit. Think about it this way. Would you make a $100K investment without knowing every little detail? Probably not. So why would you do the same with your future? Four years of college at many schools costs well over $100K. One of the biggest and most common mistakes made in the recruiting process is taking information for granted or not finding out everything you should before picking a school. To prevent you from making this mistake, we’ve come up with 9 questions you should be able to answer about a program before deciding to commit. In this episode we break down those 9 questions and explain why they are important. You'll notice some overlap with previous podcasts and articles. That's a good thing! We've talked about questions you should ask college coaches and now were talking about questions you need to be able to answer for yourself, so there is lots of overlap.
Below we've included links to some of the articles and resources we discuss in this episode. Be sure to check them out so you can make educated and informed decisions!
Making Sense of Your Scholarship Offer
Doing a Basic Budget Analysis for Your College Search
Daily KPB| Get Yourself Noticed For the Right Reasons
This podcast is the audio version of our written article by the same title. You can read that article here.
Every college-bound high school player dreams of getting noticed by a college coach. If you weren’t interested in that, you wouldn’t be on this podcast right now! Well, we want you to get noticed, too, but we want it to be for the right reasons. A lot of people don’t realize that intangibles, like attitude, knowledge of the game, and appearance, can play a big role in making or breaking your chances of playing for a team.
You may wonder what we mean by “intangibles.” We are talking about things that can’t be physically touched. They have nothing to do with your athletic skill set, but you can be sure that coaches are looking for them. Intangibles include not only your attitude, your knowledge of the game, and your outward appearance (height, weight, fitness level) but also things like your ability to be in the right position, your understanding of the unwritten rules of the game, your ability to focus, and whether or not you can think on your feet.
For example, let’s say that there is a player who is interested in playing at a D1 school on the West Coast. We will call him Carl. If it were up to Carl’s talent and athleticism alone, there is little chance that he would be considered for a spot on the team. Sure, Carl is a good player, but to play at the school he is interested in, he would have to be one of the top prospects of the region. Carl attended the showcase for his dream school and the coaches immediately noticed his attitude and his hustle, and that he looked like and carried himself like a ballplayer.
Now Carl may not end up getting a roster spot on the team, but that is not the point. The point is that even though he may not be expected by many recruiters to be a great player, he may get a shot to play at one of the top schools in the country because of his intangibles. Carl is buying himself additional opportunities: he is getting noticed for the right reasons. Intangibles are things that every player can control through hard work and effort.
On the flip side, many players of all different talent levels get crossed off of coaches’ lists before they even step between the foul lines. You don’t want to get noticed because you look lazy, distracted, slow, or careless. That would be getting noticed for the wrong reasons.
In this podcast, we list 10 things (you are in complete control over!) that you can do to get noticed for the right reasons. Listen in!
Daily KPB| College Coaches Want Players Who Respect Others
College coaches want players who respect others. Seems simple, right? You'd be surprised how man players get crossed off of recruiting lists not for the way they play the game, but because coaches see them having negative interactions with coaches, teammates, umpires, opponents, and parents. If you have any doubt about what people would say about you following an interactions with them, it's time to get to work mending those relationships. Respect is a cornerstone of successful college baseball programs and coaches will be spending a lot of time finding out if you respect others and will be a respectful member of their baseball community. For more, check out the written article here.
Daily KPB| Recruiters Want Players Who Can Stay Focused
This article shadows the lessons from our written article of by the same title, which you can read HERE.
We strongly suggest reading the written article as well and reading the entire article series about a fictional recruit named Alex, who experiences many of the same recruiting situations that you will. The series uses real life stories and feedback from college coaches to teach valuable recruiting lessons. Learn it from Alex so you don't have to learn it the hard way yourself!
Among the lessons discussed are:
1. Every time you are at the field, you may be being evaluated (before the game, in the dugout, during pre-game, during the game, in between games, etc.)
2. You won't have your best day every single time you are at the field, but find a way to be mentally and physically present each time, even if that means having a good "bad day".
3. You passion and involvement (intangibles that have nothing to do with your on-field skills) speak very loudly to college coaches. Disinterested players get little interest from college coaches.
4. Show how involved you are with actions and attitude that help your team win
5. We recap some don'ts around the field!
Listen in for more!
42| Joe Moroney (Founder, Always Grind)
In this episode...
We sit down with former Kansas Jayhawk outfielder and Always Grind Founder, Joe Moroney. Moroney describes his journey from walk-on with a no guarantee of a roster spot as a freshman to team captain as a senior. In the episode, we discuss Moroney's transformation from an undersized role player into one of the Big 12's best outfielders and a professional baseball career. Among the topics discussed are the role or patience, persistence, and process in the college search, building good habits as a high school player to ease the difficult transition to college, and how to use notebooks to improve your development plan and help yourself get recruited.
Whether you are just starting the recruiting process or entering your senior year with nowhere to play at the next level, you'll draw inspiration and insight from Moroney's story or persistence and success. Listen in for more!
D1, Recruiting, Contact List, Walk-On, Power 5, Patience, Persistence, Planning, Habit Building, Day in the Life, Journaling, Baseball Journal, Always Grind, Notebooks
Daily KPB| You Need a Strength and Conditioning Program
This is the audio version for the blog article, You need A Strength and Conditioning Plan
Every year, we ask college baseball players what advice they would give high school guys trying to make a successful transition to college baseball. Every year, we get some variation of the response above: “Get in the weight room!”
Take the advice of the guys who have lived the experience and survived the difficult transition to college baseball. If you want to play college baseball, you need a strength program in high school. Building a baseline level of functional strength is incredibly important for recruiting and to be prepared for the rigorous college season. Functional strength means strength that is useful to performing baseball specific movements more efficiently. A strength and conditioning program that improves functional strength is the answer to many baseball deficiencies and allows a player to throw and hit harder, run faster, bend and move more efficiently, stay healthy and much more.
So what does this mean for recruits wanting to play baseball in college? Plain and simple, make building functional strength a big part of your development plan. As we discuss in our article, Why Size and Physicality Matter in Recruitment, college coaches are looking to recruit physical players. While not everyone develops physically at the same time and not everyone can be 6’3”/205, everyone can add strength and mobility that will help them perform better, stay healthy, and get recruited. Getting in the weight room consistently is one of the single most important things you can do for your development. A quality strength and conditioning program in high school provides the base and preparation necessary to make significant gains in college when your body matures and allows you to improve as a player by leaps and bounds.
So how do you go about creating a quality strength and conditioning program? We share some basic exercises you can do in this guest blog by former college baseball standout and PT Alex Wirta, but there are many people who offer great strength and conditioning advice specific to baseball for free. Here are five of our favorite free resources that are well known in the baseball community:Eric Cressey, Cressey Performance Driveline Baseball, Baseball Development Powerhouse and Industry Leader Ryan Faer , Cleveland Indians Zach Dechant, TCU Baseball S&C Coastal Carolina Baseball’s S&C Team
All 5 of these resources share a wealth of strength and conditioning information and are a must follows on social media. Their blogs are linked above and they are also easy to find on Twitter. These resources are a great place to start doing your research and summer is a great time to learn about and implement a strength and conditioning plan that is right for you. Don’t wait, it’s time to get to work!
Disclaimer: As always get approval from your parents, doctor, and school strength coach before you start any conditioning program.
Daily KPB| Standing Out to Recruiters is Easier Than You Think!
Standing out to college coaches recruiting at your games doesn’t have to be rocket science. In fact, it’s a lot easier than you might think.
This time of year, college recruiters are crisscrossing the country to see hundreds, if not thousands of high school or travel ball games. Recruiters are working night and day to find and sift through hundreds of players to come up with one, two, or just a few of the “right guys” to fill out a roster for 2020 and beyond.
It might seem impossible to stand out in the crowd of prospective players. How can you get noticed among hundreds of players at a tournament? How do you rise above the other 100 names on a recruiter’s lists? How do you avoid getting crossed off the lists? We asked a recruiter and he told us that it’s simpler than you think:
“In the dog days of summer, everyone gets a little worn down and tired. I would be lying if I told you there weren’t days when I didn’t feel like scouting and recruiting. Days when I don’t feel like driving several hours, sitting in the heat to watch games, and driving back. Days when I am sick of living out of cheap motels and eating late-night fast food. But, every time I step out of my car to watch a game, I find a way to be present. I find a way to put my emotions and feelings aside, lock in, and have a productive day. I have complete control over my ability to be in the present moment and the kids who are playing in front of me deserve my complete attention. As a result, most of the time when I leave the ballpark, I leave thankful for getting to do a job I love and happy I showed up that day.
Players need to be able to do the same. Baseball is not a chore, it’s a game. And it’s a game you are playing by choice. It is supposed to be fun. The number one way to get crossed off a recruiter’s list is by acting uninterested or like you don’t want to be there. The players that make it to the next level, play the game present in the moment. They are engaged in the game, and as a result, they play one step ahead, they play the game hard, with effort, the way it was meant to be played.”
In other words, hundreds of guys are out there not running hard when they ground out or hit a fly ball. Hundreds of guys are not hustling on and off the field. Hundreds of guys are making mental errors and forgetting the game situation or they are looking tired and disinterested on the field. Hundreds of guys are not moving with the pitch, not anticipating the back-up position, and not making the effort to congratulate a teammate on a good inning, at bat or defensive play.
These are the guys that get crossed off the lists. College coaches don’t want to watch this.
So, if you want to stand out when the recruiter comes to your school or sees you at a big tournament, you need to play like you want to be there. You need to play hard so that it leaves as lasting impression and makes you stand out from the crowd. Do you remember the first day you started with a team (high school or travel ball) that you thought was going to be really, really good? Do remember the first time you did something during an important game that led to a win? You need to bring back the energy, fun, and confidence that you had on those days and keep it on the field with you during every game that a recruiter sees you play.
You’ll stand out if you run hard, play hard, stay focused, are aware of the game situation, and play to win. It’s that simple. You might even end up on that list of guys that recruiters are spending all that time looking for.
Daily KPB| Development: Your Key to Getting Recruited and Saving Money
This is the audio version of our written article, Development: Your Key to Getting Recruited and Saving Money
In this episode, we discuss the "all exposure is good exposure" myth and explain how the false equation of exposure and recruitment is leading families to spend unnecessary money chasing exposure at the wrong times. The goal of this episode is simple. We want to help you understand that development, not exposure, is what will lead to college baseball opportunities and that developing college-level skills must come before any meaningful exposure.
The lessons from this podcast are twofold:
1) You don't need to break the bank going to every exposure event to get recruited to play college baseball
2) If you do have money to spend on the recruiting process, put it towards your development, develop recruitable skills, and then find ways to get in front of the schools and coaches you want to play for
Listen for more details!
Daily KPB| Asking Coaches About Their Training, Development, and Coaching Philosophies During Recruitment
This episode is the audio version of our written article, Asking Coaches About Training, Development, and Coaching Philosophies During Recruitment. That article links to many other great resources on the questions you should ask coaches during the recruiting process.
In this episode, we discuss questions you should be asking to find out if the player development and coaching philosophies of a program align with your ideas as a player. Listen in to find out about the importance of asking the following 10 sets of questions to programs that are interested in you!
What are the pillars of your hitting/pitching/offensive/defensive philosophies? How have these philosophies evolved over time? What are the pillars of the training programs? What is your system for developing players at my position? How do you see my skills fitting in with that development system? What are the daily routines for my position? What does a typical practice plan design look like? What changes would you expect me to make to my game? What do you think I need to improve to have success at your level? How will your development and training plans help me make those changes? How individualized are your training protocols? Do you have a one-size-fits-all approach or do you allow flexibility for individual preferences. I have workout routines/activities that I learned from former coaches. I think they work for me. Would I be allowed to keep doing these things if I play here? How is strength and conditioning integrated into your training? How much emphasis do you place on the weight room? How is recovery and nutrition integrated into training? What is your track record with arm injuries? How closely do players work with the trainers and team doctors? Do you plan on being the pitching/hitting coach here when I’m a senior?
Daily KPB| Who Can You Trust in the Recruiting Process?
You can find the written version of this podcast content here.
We know better than anyone that the recruiting process can seem like a daunting task. If you don’t know what to do, it can be confusing and frustrating. In a KPB survey of high school baseball players, 59% said a major concern about playing at the next level was not knowing what to do to get recruited. These same sentiments are echoed every time we talk to a group of high school baseball players in person. In the recruiting process, like many other things, knowledge is power. There is no substitute for understanding what it takes to play college baseball and knowing the ins and outs of the recruiting process. That’s what will give you the best chance to find a college baseball fit, and that’s why Keep Playing Baseball exists! We give you the information and resources you need to make it to college baseball and we provide it 100% free. Even with the information we provide, there are no shortcuts. You still have to put in the time and effort to take charge of your recruitment and create a personal plan.
During recruitment, you are likely to have many other people offering advice on what you should do. While many people truly just want to help, you also have to be careful for companies and individuals who say they want to help, but are really just after your money. Unfortunately, there are people who try to cash in on players who don’t know what to do and parents who are willing to do everything they can to provide their kids with the opportunity to reach the next level.
It's important for you to find people who are offering advice for no other reason than to help you find a college baseball fit. Finding people to help you for the right reasons isn’t as difficult as you think. We’ve come up with 3 ways to ensure people are helping you for the right reasons. Listen in to find out what they are!
Daily KPB| 7 Difficult but Important Questions for College Coaches
This podcast covers the content in the written article of the same title that will post to the KPB website on 6/19. In this episode, we explore 7 important questions to ask college coaches during the recruiting process, the appropriate time to ask the questions, and why it's important you get that information. Listen in on why it's important to ask:
1. Where do I stand among your current recruits and what do you need to see from me to move up on your list?
2. How do you see me fitting into your program’s future plans? How do you plan to help develop me into a better player?
3. What changes or adjustments would you like to see me make to my game to have success at your level?
4. How would you describe your hitting/pitching philosophy? How do you train that on a daily basis?
5. How would you describe the relationship you have with the current players on the team?
6. What do I have to do academically (grades and test scores) to make sure that I get admitted to school?
7. I’ve heard that decommitments happen and I want to make sure that we are on the same page about what this commitment means. I will obviously stop pursuing other schools, but what does this commitment assure me of from your end and under what circumstances would you pull the offer or commitment?
Daily KPB| Creating a Development Plan Using Summer Ball
Daily KPB for the written article of the same title. Your ability to fulfill your developmental potential this summer and improve as much as possible hinges on having a development plan. A plan that includes summer ball as part of the puzzle is going to be much more effective than a plan where playing summer ball is the development plan. Games can help you improve, but just showing up to games isn't going to allow you to maximize your potential to get better.
In this podcast, we borrow lessons from collegiate summer baseball and apply them to the high school scene. We discuss why it's important to have an "exit meeting" after the spring season and get honest/objective feedback on where you need to improve. We describe how to tailor you plan so that you are getting stronger and better, rather than wearing yourself down. Ultimately, we lay out a step-by-step process for you to follow to create a development plan that will allow you to improve and maximize your potential. Listen in or read the written article on the same topic for more!
41| Jordan Stampler: Head Coach, Pfeiffer University (North Carolina)
In This Episode:
A year from his first appearance on the #KPBpodcast, we catch back up with one of our most popular guests, Pfeiffer University Head Coach Jordan Stampler. In this episode, we talk about the summer of recruiting ahead, how coaches do their “homework” on players, red flags in recruiting, and much, much more!
Open and honest about the recruiting process and how he's created a strong winning culture in his program during his 2 years at the helm, you won't want to miss this conversation with Jordan Stampler, one of the college game's great young coaches.
Contact Coach Stampler:
Recruiting, Exposure, Summer Ball, Development, Culture, Parents and Recruiting, Recruiting Red Flags
Daily KPB| 6 Ways to Improve Your Game This Summer
In this podcast we discuss 6 tips for improving your baseball skills this summer. Read the article or listen to the podcast find out more about these 6 things:Watch as much baseball as you can. Play or train in an environment that will allow you to focus on development Play or train in an environment that will push you Commit to a plan and build a routine to reinforce that plan Set SMART goals. Pick a small but important part of your game to really focus on improving (bunting, base running, holding runners, your pick-off move, charging ground balls, etc.)
Daily KPB| Completing Your Pre-Enrollment Responsibilities Accurately and On-Time
This Daily KPB corresponds to our article on pre-enrollment responsibilities of 1st year college baseball players. In the article and this podcast, we explain why completing pre-enrollment responsibilities on-tim and with accuracy is important in setting the tone for your college baseball experience and how it has widespread implications around campus. Here's more:
Okay college bound baseball players, listen up. It may not seem like it right now, but this is incredibly important. Before you hurry off to your new college program at the end of the summer, there is a lot to do. You are no longer in high school, and your pre-enrollment checklist is your first taste of college responsibility. Believe it or not, completing your pre-enrollment responsibilities quickly and accurately will set the tone with your coaches when you get to campus. If you don’t believe me, know that your college coaches are using this as a test to see what type of student-athletes they have coming to campus.
You see, the pre-enrollment duties are about much more than just completing the pre-enrollment duties. They are a microcosm for attention to detail. The way you complete these duties will have a ripple effect on the the baseball program that extends well beyond what you may think. Here’s what happens:
When you don’t get the tasks done on-time, the support people and departments responsible for handling those duties on campus (housing, math or language placement, academic adviser, compliance officers, etc.) don’t receive the information they need on time. The direct consequences of your procrastination may be big (not getting the schedule you need) or small (general annoyance), but either way, you would be building the wrong kind of reputation. If your teammates join you in making it harder for staff in other campus departments to do their jobs, your coach is going to hear about it and the baseball program may not get the cooperation that it needs down the line.
So what does it really mean to get your pre-enrollment responsibilities done accurately and on time? It shows that you have respect for your new baseball program. It shows that you have respect for your coaches, and it lets them to focus their time and energy on things that will improve the team and your experience. It means starting the relationship with your new coaches off on the right foot. And above all else, it means doing the right thing and being a responsible player and person. When players finish pre-enrollment responsibilities on time, it improves the reputation of your baseball program around campus and demonstrates that your program respects the support people and departments that will make your college experience infinitely better.
There aren’t a lot of guarantees in college baseball, but starting your college baseball experience off on the right foot is a great start. So, when you get a laundry list of seemingly inconvenient and sometimes annoying pre-enrollment duties, do it on-time and thoroughly. The goodwill your effort creates will pay off down the road.
Daily KPB| Why Size and Physicality Matter in the Recruiting Process
This Daily KPB episode corresponds to the article on our website with the same title.
We’ve written about how in baseball, skill is valued over size. It’s one of the great things about the national pastime—the best players come in all shapes and sizes. Just think back two years to the AL MVP race between Aaron Judge and Jose Altuve. You couldn’t pick two more distinct body types. While the Judge and Altuve comparison is easy to draw upon and helps to show that size doesn’t have to be a limiting factor, it would be foolish not to point out that Altuve is an extraordinary talent. While skill is the driving force for playing opportunities at the college level, size and “physicality” are heavily recruited attributes and do matter. In this episode, we describe the difference between “size” and “physicality”, and explain why college coaches value these two attributes, and why you need to focus on becoming the most physical version of yourself.
For more information, read the article HERE.
40| Brett Thomas: Founder of The Catching Academy
On This Episode
On this episode, we talk catching with Founder of the Catching Academy, Brett Thomas. Thomas played his college baseball at UC Berkeley and immediately jumped into the college coaching ranks when his playing career was done. His coaching career has included stops at the D1, JUCO, and high school levels, including time at UC Berkeley and College of San Mateo.
Thomas has always had a passion for working with catchers and felt the need to develop catchers at a lower level to prepare them for the next step in their playing careers and started the Catching Academy in 2014. Going on nearly 5 years, the Catching Academy works with over 100 catchers a year, helping develop physical skills, but more importantly people and leadership skills.
On this episode, we pick Thomas' brain about what it takes to be a great catcher, including stance, receiving, throwing, blocking, mentality, staff management, and much more. In addition to our in-depth discussion on catching, we dive into the recruiting process, what catchers need to do to make it to the next level, and the characteristics of a good college catcher.
Contact Brett Thomas:
Recruiting, Catching, Receiving, Throwing, Blocking, Managing a Pitching Staff, Development,
Daily KPB| Why College Coaches Want to See You Fail
This episode pairs with our written article titled, Coaches Want to Know How You Lose.
There is always a lot of great baseball during the college playoffs. This year’s playoffs have included great plays, gritty pitching, and thrilling walk-offs. Of course, for all the exciting games in the playoffs at various levels of college baseball and the upcoming Super Regionals (and even the College World Series), there are still losing teams. For many players, the loss meant the end of their season. Sometimes the scores were close; sometimes they were lopsided. A loss is never easy, no matter what the scoreboard says. Baseball is a heartless game. One day you’re on top and the next, you’re facing a crushing defeat.
While you might think that coaches and recruiters are only interested in players who win games, most actually want to see you fail some so they can see how well you handle losing or failure. Why? Because every ballplayer loses sometimes and every ballplayer fails; it’s part of the game. Coaches are looking for players with “character.” They are looking for players who will add strength, not problems, to their teams through seasons that are filled with ups and downs. Here are a few tips to help you get noticed, even after you’ve lost an important game.It is ok to show emotions. Coaches don’t expect you to be a robot. You might be feeling frustrated, disappointed, sad, and even angry. Coaches want to see that it matters to you, but that you can manage those emotions. That means you don’t let your negative emotions dictate your behavior. Things like throwing equipment, knocking things over, hitting anything, lashing out, or losing control of yourself are definite no-no’s. Show that you respect your teammates, other players, coaches and officials. If you blame your teammates, refuse to shake hands with the other team, complain about the umpires, sulk, or walk away from your coach, you are going to get crossed off many recruiters’ lists. Don’t forget, recruiters and coaches often share information. You could lose your chance to play at the next level if you get a reputation that you are immature or a troublemaker. Show that you respect yourself. Keep your head up. Look everyone in the eye. Don’t say anything negative about yourself. Stay calm and if it is appropriate, start thinking about what you could have done differently. If you made mistakes, take responsibility but recognize that mistakes happen and they don’t change who you are. Show your coach and your teammates that you are walking away from the loss and turning the page, taking only the lessons that will help you improve in the future. Be a leader. You’re a competitor. You need to compete until the last out in the last inning, no matter what the scoreboard says. But, once the game is over, you need to accept the loss. A leader takes adversity in stride and when he does, his team takes notice. You can help your team by keeping things in perspective and positive. You need to show your teammates (and recruiters) that you are the kind of player who picks up his friends, stays calm and considerate, and walks off the field even stronger than when the game began.
Everyone loses. It’s the players that handle themselves with the same class and character during times of loss and failure as they do when they are winning and dominating that college coaches are looking to recruit. Let that be you.
Daily KPB| How to Ace a Campus Visit with College Coaches
Campus visits are exciting! Last week, we talked about the different kinds of campus visits and why they are important. That article and podcast is a great resource and can be found here. In this episode, we turn our attention to visits arranged with college coaches, and what you can do to put your best foot forward. This podcast corresponds to our article on How to Ace a Campus Visit. Whether or not the coaching staff has seen you play, campus visits are the perfect opportunity to make a lasting impression. You have put in a lot of work, the school is interested, and you could be a few steps away from finding your college fit. Formal campus visits with coaches often serve as either an initial check or final litmus test to ensure a player’s personality and character mesh with the current coaching staff expectations. In other words, it’s a critical hurdle in finding a college fit and coming to an agreement. Think of it as a two-way job interview. You are not the only one who is auditioning for the part. In person visits with coaches on their own turf are great ways to get a feel for whether the coaches and program have what you are looking for. If you show up prepared, you can simultaneously find out if a program is right for you and make a good impression. In this podcast episode, we give you the blueprint to dominating your campus visit!
39| Aaron Troyansky: Former D3 P/OF (Carleton College, MN)
In This Episode:
In a departure from our normal interview, in this episode, podcast host Ethan chats it up with a former college teammate Aaron Troyansky (Carleton College, '10). In addition to discussing Troyansky's college recruitment, which saw him go from a big high school in Lubbock, Texas to a small D3 program in Northfield, Minnesota, we also discuss Troyansky's atypical college baseball career, during which he stepped away from the game for his sophomore season before returning to the Knights program. His story provides great insight into the challenges faced by players in their transition to college baseball and college life in general. Among the topics discussed are the ways Troyansky's college baseball experience helped prepare him for his professional career as a carpenter.
During his playing career at Carleton, Troyansky was a mainstay on the mound for the Knights, helping the program reach their first ever Conference Tournament in 2009. He extended his baseball career after finishing up with the Knights, playing a season in the Belgian 1st Division with the Merchtem Cats. Troyansky currently resides in Sitka, Alaska, but has used his trade to live in a number of different places around the U.S. in the last several years.
Topics: D3, Preparation, Recruiting, Academics, Summer Ball, Transition to College Baseball, Learning Through Baseball, Professional Life
Daily KPB| For Parents: Why You Should Delay Showcases Until Your Son is Ready
How do you know when your son might benefit from attending paid showcases and seek exposure? The following 5 questions are a great way to tell if your son is ready for attention from college coaches.Is your son either an upperclassmen (junior or senior) or already getting attention from college coaches? If the answer to this questions is no, then it makes little sense to waste money showcasing. For starters, he can’t even take a coach-hosted campus visit at a D1 school until he’s a junior in high school, so he won’t be able to make a fully informed decision even if he wants to. Non-D1 levels of college baseball usually don’t start actively recruiting until the upperclassmen years, so there’s plenty of time. Underclassmen who do merit college attention this early will know it because coaches and programs will seek him out, rather than vice-versa. Is he being asked to attend invite-only events or to play for invite-only teams? Chances are that people in the baseball community will help get your son exposure once they feel like he is ready. Invitations are a good sign that your son is a desired player and ready to be recruited. Does your son have standout tools, skills, or physical characteristics? Don’t confuse stats with tools or skills. Most college coaches don’t care about your son’s stats (they are too dependent on factors outside of his control, i.e. the level of competition). Coaches are more interested in evaluating your son’s potential or projectability at the college level. They will be looking at physical characteristics (height, weight, strength, athleticism, frame, wingspan, etc.) and tools (arm strength, glove skill, speed, ability to hit for average, ability to hit for power). Standout tools are particularly important at showcases because coaches only get a snapshot of what a player can do and it’s easy to predict how tools will translate to the college level. If your son does not have any tool or physical abilities that will stand out, he is likely better off spending time developing these tools and can create exposure and interest in ways better suited to his skill set, like being seen in game play. Is your son a senior without a place to play in college next year? If you are a senior with no options yet, you have nothing to lose by trying to get seen. Are your son’s grades and test scores good enough for him to be an NCAA qualifier? Are they good enough to get him into school? Even if coaches want your son to play for them, they can’t do anything if his grades are not good enough. If everything else matches up except for grades, target events that will be represented by levels you are eligible for (NJCAA and NAIA).
If you answered no to question 1 or questions 2-4, your son should hold off on attending showcases because they will not yet improve his chances of getting recruited. If you answered yes to question 1, 5, and any additional question, you and your son can start exploring showcase events that fit with your budget and give you exposure to the right schools.
When it comes to creating meaningful exposure, your son should get in front of college coaches when he can show them the skills that they want to see. Striking while the iron is hot will not only give your son the best chance of getting recruited, it will also save you money and keep his focus where it should be—on developing into the best player possible.
Daily KPB| What You Need to Know About Campus Visits
When it comes to campus visits, there is a lot you need to know. In this article, we break it all down, including the different types of campus visits (Official, Unofficial, Formal, Informal) and the different recruiting visit rules by level and division. If you are preparing for a campus visit, this episode is a must. If you prefer to read the article associated with this podcast, you can find it here.
We have many great resources to help you prepare for and ace your campus visits, and you can find all of them in our Recruiting 101 resource under Step 7: Preparing for Campus Visits and Visiting Schools.
Daily KPB| Even Little Things You Do Matter to College Recruiters
In this Daily KPB, we set the stage for the upcoming summer recruiting articles that center around Alex, a fictional recruit we use to tell real like recruiting lessons.
You may not realize it, but everything you do around the baseball field, from the way that you wear your uniform to the way you run out a ground ball, is being watched by college recruiters who come to see you play. In the next few weeks, we want to tell you about common mistakes that can get you crossed off recruiters’ lists.
While some of the things we tell you about may seem very picky, keep in mind that coaches normally only get to see you play for a short time. Coaches and recruiters will formulate their ideas about you as a player based on everything they see you do, and these judgments are often made quickly. If you are lucky, coaches will get to see you play multiple games. That way, they can see your ability as a player and what kind of teammate you are. But, most recruiters will watch you play one game, maybe only one at bat, one play in the field, or one inning of pitching to determine whether or not to see you more. In that moment, will you be doing something that will make recruiters want to come back to see you or something that will get you crossed off the list? Fair or not, everything you do is magnified and recruiters will make quick decisions based on what they see. Everything you do matters!
We’ve made up a story to help you see what we mean. It follows Alex, a recruit just like you:
Alex is a good high school baseball player. He found the KPB website early in high school and learned about what he needs to do to play college baseball. He studies hard and his grades are good. He makes a video and sends it out to schools. He receives several letters of interest from coaches who saw the video. He also goes to a local showcase at the end of his junior year where a lot of college coaches are present. He performs well at the showcase and hears from several more interested colleges. It is now the summer after his junior year and his summer team is going to a big national tournament. On his way to the tournament, he stops for a few unofficial visits and is shown around college campuses by the coaches.
John is a college recruiting coordinator. He spends his summers recruiting and he attends many showcases and tournaments. Early in the summer, he goes to a showcase where he sees Alex and a number of other prospects. He gets in touch with Alex and 6 other players and he arranges for them to visit his school on their way to the national tournament. John is also going to the national tournament to see 25 potential recruits at the same event and he is sure to pick up more names as he watches the games. The event is hectic and takes place at several different high schools and baseball complexes. He tries to see as many of the players on his list as possible, and because of scheduling conflicts and priority players, he is only able to watch 5 innings of Alex’s game before having to leave to see a pitcher who is scheduled to throw. He gets to Alex’s game a little early and has time to watch him warm-up and interact with his teammates.
Without even knowing it, Alex is on John’s shortlist of potential players for his team. Alex isn’t aware, but he and 4 other infielders are being considered for one scholarship. Alex’s chances for the scholarship depend on what he does during the 5 innings that John sees him play. During these 5 innings, Alex can help, hurt, or ruin his chances of earning the scholarship to play college baseball.
During the summer, we will return to this story and talk about the little things that Alex does that help or hurt his chances. We hope that you’ll learn from Alex’s mistakes and use the lessons to help you successfully navigate the recruiting process.
Daily KPB| Important Considerations for Summer Ball: Showcases, Camps, Teams, and Balancing What's Important
This longer Daily KPB covers our 3-part mini-series on important considerations for summer baseball. Here's a bit of an intro before we dive in:
The dog days of summer are ahead and that can only mean one thing– summer baseball is right around the corner. If you are trying to decide what showcases or events to attend, what team to play for, and how to balance development, exposure, and rest this summer, this 3-part mini-series is for you! We start off by exploring showcases and camps in this article, we follow up by tackling how to decide where to play in Part II, and Part III brings everything together with a discussion on balancing development, exposure, and rest.
For each of these summer baseball decisions, your skill level and financial situation will dictate the options available to you. Your goals as a ball player and knowledge about each option will help you make educated decisions about what’s best for you in the short and long-term. Let’s explore some of these ideas and help you figure out what’s best for you.
First, consider your skill level. Are you getting invited to invite-only events? Have schools already expressed interest? Are you one of the better players at your school or in your league? If the answer to these questions is yes, then you are well on your way in the recruiting process. If you are still working hard to get noticed and improve your game, that’s okay too. There are good summer options for players at every stage of the recruiting process. It’s important to remember that last year the D1 recruiting rules have changed. Since you will be unable to visit with college coaches on campus tours prior to junior year of high school, really pushing the exposure envelope in the underclassmen (freshman and sophomore) years of high school doesn’t make sense. You won’t be able to make a fully informed decision until junior year at the earliest. This is a big difference from summer’s past when top tier players could commit to a school with all the information they needed at any point of high school. With these changes in mind, let’s look at important summer baseball considerations when it comes to camps, showcases, choosing a team, and balancing recruiting, development, and health.
38| Travis Beausoleil: Head Coach, Mitchell College (D3, Connecticut)
On This Episode:
He took over as college baseball's youngest head coach at 23 years-old. Fast forward 8 seasons and he has amassed the best winning percentage in the region over the last 5 years and lead the program to new heights. You won't want to miss our conversation with Mitchell College skipper Travis Beausoleil. Since taking over the Mariner program, Beausoleil has transformed the once marginal program into a perennial powerhouse, breaking records along the way. In addition to the best record over the last 5 years, Beaus has helped his program collect tons of hardware, including NECC championships and numerous player awards, including conference player of the year and All-American honors. Prior to his time at Mitchell, Beas spent time on the staff at UCONN where he helped the team earn a Super Regional bid and coached numerous former Big Leaguers. No stranger to higher levels of college baseball, Beaus has spent time coaching for the Chatham A’s in the prestigious Cape Cod Summer League and the DC Grays in the Cal Ripken League. We take a deep dive into recruiting, D3 baseball, team culture, and much more. Listen in and you'll quickly see why Coach Beausoleil's program has taken off.
Contact Coach Beausoleil:
D3, Recruiting, College Decision, Practice, Hitting, Infield, Financial Aid, Day-to-Day student life, Student-Athlete Experience, Mitchell College, Team Culture
Daily KPB| Staying on Track and Productive While Injured
This Daily KPB episode is the podcast version of our Staying on Track on the DL blog article. In this episode, we discuss how to take ownership over your recovery. We lay out 10 things you can do to ensure you keep improving and help your team get better, even if you can't play. We list the 10 suggestions below but listen in for more detail!Talk to your doctor and meet with the athletic trainer to get a clear sense of what you can and cannot do. Ask about baseball activities and workout/fitness activities. Stay in shape in any way you can. Ask your doctor and/or trainer about alternative activities. Just because you have bicep tendinitis, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t run or lift legs. If you have a strained hamstring, it doesn’t mean you can’t do shoulder strengthening exercises. Be sure to get the okay from your doctor first. Develop a new routine. Using the tendinitis as an example again, instead of stretch, throw, defensive work, hit during practice, your new routine might be, stretch, run sprints, defensive glove work, one armed tee work. Your trainer can help you figure out what is best for your situation. Commit to your rehab! Listen carefully to your doctor and trainer. Review their plan. Schedule it out, write it down; make sure you stay on top of it. The trainer may be juggling many different players, so you need to be proactive and take ownership over your own recovery! Ask the trainer how to use time in the training room to “prehab” (do preventative care) in other areas. Do as much baseball activity as you are allowed by your doctor and trainer. Make sure your coaches know what you can and cannot do. Meet with them and ask about different ways you can be involved in the practice plan. They may be delighted to learn that they’ll have another person who can help run practice. Other players will also appreciate you staying on board and helping the team, even if it’s not on the field. Watch, watch, watch! There is so much value in purposeful observation and learning things from others can make things "click" for you when you get back in action. What are the best players doing to make themselves better? What are the less productive players doing? By paying attention to others, you can learn a lot and get better without picking up a ball, bat or glove. Stay on top of your school work! Bad grades = less opportunities to play college baseball. Use any extra time you may have to get ahead. Work on being a great teammate. Being a good teammate is rule number one in baseball. Injuries provide you with an opportunity to help your teammates in times when you normally wouldn’t have opportunity to do so. Take advantage of it. Help the team be better in any way possible. Do a chart during a game, work on picking the opposing team’s signs, help out with fieldwork, be a positive voice, etc. There are tons of ways to help the team, if you don’t know how, just ask your coach what you can do to help.
Daily KPB| Lessons From MLB Hitters: Plate Discipline
This is the audio version of our Early Season Lessons From MLB: Plate Discipline (2019) article. Click on the article for more information on how the 3 players discussed transformed their offensive approach and the numbers that resulted.
Over the last 3 years, we have profiled MLB players who are having great seasons due in large part to changes in their plate discipline. This year, that player is Hunter Dozier. Like Andrelton Simmons and Eric Thames the two prior years, Dozier's breakout year is showing hitters at every level of baseball from Little League on up the importance of plate discipline. Regardless of your physical size or tools, improved plate will make you a better offensive player and it's something you can start improving today!
Improved plate discipline means you are swinging at good pitches to hit, which translates to hitting the ball harder more consistently. Being patient enough to wait for a pitch you can handle forces pitchers to throw in the strike zone and beat you with their stuff. It also allows a hitter to see more pitches, get on base more consistently, and strike out less. Plate discipline is a sign of maturity and understanding in the box, a trait that college coaches love.
Plate discipline goes beyond swinging at strikes and taking balls. It also doesn’t mean that you are passive at the plate. You should still take a "Yes, yes, yes, YES!" or "Yes, yes, yes, NO!" approach to hitting. Plate discipline has to do with swinging at pitches you are looking for and that you can hit hard at a high rate. It’s a skill that helps distinguish between a batter and a hitter. A batter has an approach and a plan that changes from pitch-to-pitch and situation-to-situation. Batters understand that there are ways to help generate offense beyond trying to get a hit on every pitch. A lineup of batters is much more consistent than a lineup of hitters. Hitters are streaky—on a constant roller-coaster. When you rely on getting a hit every AB, you are likely to expand the zone, start pressing when the results aren’t coming, and be at the mercy of the pitcher. When a player swings at pitches he can hit hard on a regular basis and lays off pitches that hitters get themselves out on, he no longer relies on pitchers to make mistakes to be successful.
So how can you improve your plate discipline and turn yourself into a batter that is a true offensive weapon? Start by understanding which pitches you hit well and which you don’t. Practice working in certain hitting zones during BP and drill work. For example, take inside strikes and swing at strikes on the outer half. Then switch. Or do the same on pitches up and down. Always provide context and situation for your swings. Next, watch the game closely. Pitchers have tendencies and patterns. If you watch every hitter during the game intently, you will gain a lot of information and be able to make much more educated/accurate guesses on what pitch is coming in a given count or situation. This will allow you to sit on a pitch or a speed during leverage counts. Another thing to do is train your eyes like you do your swing! Find ways to get as many visual reps as possible. Stand in on bullpens. Look into vision strengthening games and exercises. Finally, become a student of the game. The more you learn about approach and plate discipline, and the better you understand which pitches you hit well, the tougher out you will become. Not only will these skills turn you into the batter that college coaches want, your team’s offense will benefit immensely as well.
You don't need to have Hunter Dozier's physical tools to improve your offensive value, but you would be smart to copy his blueprint for success. Focus on plate discipline and watch your offensive production improve.
Daily KPB| Recruiters Want Players with Clean Social Media
Daily KPB Episode
Social media is one of the most accessible ways that college coaches can get a preliminary character check on a recruit who interest them. The bottom line is that college coaches are checking your social media and using it to get valuable intel about your character and who you are as a person. What they see on your social media accounts is impacting their interest in you and you should be very smart about your social media use and keeping your profiles clear of anything that could give interested coaches the wrong idea.
In this podcast episode, we discuss a real life situation of how one of these social media checks resulted in a player getting crossed off a college coach's list, despite showing everything the coach wanted to see on the field. This Daily KPB episode corresponds to THIS written article, which is full of additional links and information on social media use. Check it out for more information!
Being Smart About Social Media
Even Little Things Matter To Recruiters
Recruiters Want Players Who Stay Focused
Recruiters Want Players With Tools: Always Run a Hard 90
Recruiters Want Players Who Can Handle Failure
Your Appearance Matters to Recruiters
Your Transcript Tells Coaches More Than You Think
Emotional Versus Rational Decision-Making in the Recruiting Process
Recruiters Want Players Who Respect Others
Daily KPB| Are You a Good Teammate?
This episode mirrors our written article with the same title. You can read that article here. Here's what we discuss:
At some point during your college baseball recruitment, an interested college coach is going to turn to your high school or travel coach and ask some variation of the same questions: are you a good teammate?
If you want to play college baseball, the answer to that question better be a resounding yes. If it isn't, you've got work to do. In this podcast episode, we talk about why that questions always comes up, why it's so important, and why if you want to get the most you can out of baseball and go as far as you can, being a great teammate is priority #1.
Are you a good teammate?”
Stop right now and consider that question for yourself. How do you grade out as a teammate? What kind of teammate are you? How would your coach describe you to an interested recruiter? If the answer is anything less than rave reviews, you have work to do. Being a good teammate is rule number one, and if your coach lets on that you are anything less than a good teammate, your recruitment will likely end right there on the spot. There are many boxes a recruit must check off to be seriously considered by a program, but there are only a few question marks that will make a coach red line (cross off) a recruit on the spot. The previously mentioned social media and academics are among these important questions, but even those provide more wiggle room than the teammate question.
In a sport where team culture is talked about almost as much as launch angle, there simply is no room for guys who are going to give anything less than 100% support for the guys next to them on the bench and in the field. Do bad teammates slip through the cracks and end up on college rosters? Sure. Do they get as much out of the college baseball experience? Definitely not. Baseball is a team game, and there is nothing more detrimental to the success of the team than an “I” guy. Coaches seek out energy giving players and there is a place on every college baseball roster for a player whose skills may be a tick below par, but who is a phenomenal team guy, brings positive energy and work ethic every day, and is loved by his teammates. You also won’t have to look far to find examples of college baseball teams performing beyond their capabilities because they love being around each other, pick each other up, and simply don’t want the season and experience to end. A tweet by former William Jessup Head Coach, Jake McKinley captures this idea to perfection after leading their team to the best season in program history.
He posted a team picture and said, " Teamwork driven by love creates unique momentum that can’t be quantified. Truly an honor to be a part of @Jessup_BASE and @JessupAthletics."
When the wins and losses are tallied up at the end of the season, all you are left with are the relationships that you created and the lessons learned. College baseball is about creating this unquantifiable synergy with teammates. If you aren’t being the best teammate you can be, the time to change that is now. Not just because it will help you get recruited or help your team win, but because on the most important level, it’s what will give you the most out of this great game and allow you to create meaningful relationships and memories that last a lifetime.
37| Virgil Vasquez: Former MLB Pitcher and Current Twins Class A Pitching Coach
On this episode...
"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." -Bruce Lee
In this episode, we take a deep dive into the mental game, mindset, and preparation of successful baseball players with former Big League pitcher Virgil Vasquez. Our first conversation with a Big Leaguer on the KPB podcast will not disappoint, as we pick the brain of someone who has had success at the highest level of the game. Someone who is passionate about helping people and improving the game, Vasquez is passing his experiences on to his players as a minor league pitching coach and now you get the same advice and insight! Vasquez is entering his 5 season as a pitching coach in the Minnesota Twins organization. For the 2019 season, Vasquez will be the pitching coach for the Class A affiliate, Cedar Rapids Kernels. A graduate of Santa Barbara High School, Vasquez was drafted in the 7th round as a high schooler. He decided to play in college at UC Santa Barbara and was drafted again in the 7th round as a junior. After signing, Vasquez pitched for over a decade in professional baseball, including two Big League seasons, one each with the Tigers and Pirates. His journey in baseball has included stops at every single level from Little League to the Big Leagues and legendary status in the Australian Baseball League. On this episode, we pick his brain about the draft process for high school players, his baseball career, coaching, the mental game, and much, much more. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from one of the game's great minds!
Contact Virgil Vasquez
Website: www.revolutionthrowing.com (coming soon)
Mindset, Mental Game, Meditation, Process, Draft, Agent, Advisor, Throwing, Arm Path, Mechanics, Training, Pitching, MLB, College, D1
We Need Your Support on Big Day of Giving!
Thursday, May 2nd is Big Day of Giving (BDOG) and we are asking all of our friends who can afford it to make a donation to support our work helping youth baseball players and families through the college search and recruiting process free of charge! You can make your donation HERE. Read below to find out more about what Big Day of Giving is and why your support is so important!
What is Big Day of Giving?
Big Day of Giving is the Sacramento Regional Community Foundation capacity building program that helps local nonprofits like KPB hone their skills in marketing, social media, and board and donor engagement. The program culminates on Thursday, May 2nd with the 24-hour fundraiser and provides an opportunity for KPB users and supporters all over the country step up to the plate to support our organization with a donation .
Why is it important I give on Big Day of Giving?
Our goal for our first year of participation in BDOG is to get as many unique donations of any amount as possible, and here’s why: Each donation that we receive on May 2ndenters KPB into the running for “prize money boosts”. These boosts can mean as much as $1,000 added on to your donation, thanks to Western Health Advantage and the Sacramento Regional Community Fund. That means for one day and one day only, your $15 donation could turn into a $1,015 donation! Visit our BDOG profile HERE to make a donation.
What will my donation support?
Keep Playing Baseball doesn’t believe in passing the cost of its resources on to players or families. We never want money to dictate who has access to necessary information and resources that they need to make educated and informed decisions in the college search and recruiting process. We want all players to have what they need to play college baseball and earn a college degree. That’s why we aren’t setting up a pay wall to block information to hard working players just because they can’t afford it. We are only asking you to donate if you can and to only donate what you can. To give you an idea of just how much you can make a difference, if each person who used our website during the month of May donated just $10, it would fund our resources for an entire year.
Hopefully you are beginning to see why your donation makes a huge difference in allowing us to improve our free resources and reach more players and families in need of affordable help. Learn about our work and the educational programming that your donation will support in this short video!
How can I make a donation for Big Day of Giving?
Online: To make an online donation to Keep Playing Baseball Click HERE. Prior to May 2nd, donations can be scheduled. On May 2nd, donations can be made in real time!
In-Person: Come visit our table at Sudwerk Brewery in Davis, CA between 6-9 pm on Big Day of Giving (Thursday, May 2nd) to make your donation in person! We will accept credit cards, checks, and cash at the Big Day at the Dock event and look forward to seeing you there!
Anytime: You can make a donation to KPB through our website any day or any time of the year. Just click HERE.
Daily KPB| Reverse Engineering the Recruiting Process: Seeing it From the Recruiter's Perspective (2019)
Daily KPB Episode
What does it take to play college baseball? That’s a question we get asked a lot. We get asked because unless you are familiar with the various levels of college baseball, the answer is not very clear. Unlike a multiple-choice test where you know the exact grade you will receive according to how many questions you get right, projecting a high school baseball player’s success at the next level is far more subjective. The thing that most high school players want to do to show they belong at the next level is line up a list of accomplishments, dust off the old stats, and tell college coaches everything about themselves and what they can do. While this approach may seem logical, college coaches simply do not have the time to sort through mass amounts of information to find what they are looking for. Any additional time they have to spend searching (the more you waste their time), the less likely it is that they will follow up and actively recruit you.
By now you may be starting to figure out what we are hinting at. The recruiting process is not about what you want to show college coaches, it’s about what they want to see. What we are talking about is reverse engineering the recruiting process. That means the best way to get interest from college coaches is to work backwards and think about what makes college coaches interested in a player. From there, you can go about showing them that you fit that mold. If you need hints about what they are looking for, we asked a few dozen college coaches that very question and wrote about it in What Qualities College Coaches Look for in Recruits Part 1 and Part 2. Be sure to check those out, then keep listening for a more comprehensive overview of how to reverse engineer the recruiting process using the following 3 steps:
Step 1: Start General and Work Towards the Specific
While every college coach has slightly different preferences and each level of college baseball has a different standard of play, there are common characteristics that all coaches value. Start by demonstrating that you are a strong candidate in these 4 core areas:Baseball Tools and Physical Skills The Mental Game Strong Grades and Quality Character Positive Attitude and Great Effort
Coaches will also value your ability to show intangible traits like honesty, trustworthiness, the ability to communicate clearly, and attention to detail, among others.
Step 2: Break down what it means to be good in each core area
There’s a lot that goes into being a college player and each of the 4 core areas listed above have many components. Breaking such big parts of your game down into more manageable chunks is important. The following articles break each core area into 4 actionable steps:
Baseball Tools and Physical Skills
Strong Grades and Quality Character
Positive Attitude and Great Effort
Step 3: Make it Specific to Each Level, Conference, and School
Want more of this written article? Click HERE.
Daily KPB| Learn How to Study Before You Get to College
*Daily KPB Pilot Episode*
This is the audio version of the the article Learn How to Study Before You Get to College. Academics should be a focus of the serious recruit at all times and will help ease the transition to college. Here's more:
In college, you’ll be expected to do a lot of studying and homework, and you will have no one to hold you responsible for it except for yourself. If you don’t turn in assignments, the professors won’t get mad at you; they’ll just fail you. It’s tough going from a high school system where you always have someone badgering you to do your work to a college system in which the responsibility is only yours. But without good study skills, you won’t pass your classes, and you definitely won’t be eligible to play ball.
The biggest thing to learn now is how to prioritize. Start learning time management skills in high school so that by the time college rolls around, it’s second nature. Keep track of which assignments are due the soonest, which ones are going to be the hardest, and which are going to take the most time. Don’t be ashamed or afraid to start on things early. It’s a great feeling having a paper ready a few days before it’s even due. A lot of teachers will tell you that it is a good idea to take enough time to revise your work. You always want to turn in a polished product in college (rough drafts won’t cut it), but if you’re comfortable with what you’ve got, even if you have a few days left, just leave it be and move on. What you don’t want is to be rushing an important assignment at the last minute and turning something in that you know is not your best work.
Start working your study schedule around your baseball schedule. If you know that you’re going to have games all day over the weekend, don’t leave your homework for Sunday night. You’ll be exhausted by the time you get to it. It will not be your best work, and it will only drain you more. Figure out your baseball schedule for the week, and be smart about when you’ll have opportunities to study.
If you are someone who procrastinates, work to break that habit now. It seems tough to get motivated to start things early, but the more time management skills you have by the time you get to college, the better off you’ll be.
If nothing else, just remember, the most valuable asset you have in college is your time. You can choose to spend it in whatever way you want. Start learning how to manage your study time in high school. You’ll be able to use those skills in college to become a successful student and athlete.
" You’ll do better in school by not procrastinating. I had a big problem with that in high school. Stay on top of your work. School work has to come first. We don’t have mandatory study hall but our coach pays attention to grades. Keep in contact with your professors. You are usually not going to be the first athlete in class. Staying on top of your work will give you time for other things too. There is a lot of work in DI baseball and a lot of expectations. It’s a pretty heavy workload. – Active D1 Pitcher, PA "
Daily KPB| Considering Playing Multiple Sports or Specializing in Baseball During High School?
*Daily KPB Pilot Episode*
This is the audio version for our website article, Multiple Sports or Single-Sport Specialization? You Decide! Here's what it's all about:
In this podcast and the corresponding article, we try to present a responsible view of the specialization versus multi-sport participation decision as it may actually unfold for a high school baseball player. Doing so requires looking at both options adequately, and that is what we will try to do.
We look at the opinions of some of the top D1 coaches in college baseball as well as weigh some of the bias that exists when this debate isn't contextualized. The truth is, there is no sweeping answer for all high school players and individual factors and circumstances should be carefully weighed.
When it comes to deciding between playing multiple sports or single sport specialization in high school, our advice is to make a personal decision based on the following:Make sure you understand what college baseball coaches are looking for in a recruit and the skills you will need to be able to demonstrate Take an objective look at how your skills measure up against these college standards and what it will take to meet or exceed what coaches are looking for Think about your goals and aspirations as a ballplayer Take the time to learn about how your different options will impact your goals and aspirations Make the decision that will give you the best chance to achieve your goals
Much more in this podcast episode to consider so give it a listen!
Daily KPB| Don't Be a Know it All!
*Daily KPB Pilot Episode*
This is the audio version for our website article of the same title. Here's what it is all about!
Back in college, my coach gave our team some great advice. If someone is talking to you, shut up, listen to what they say, evaluate the feedback, and decide what to do based on the quality of the advice, not who is giving it. Regardless of who is giving and receiving suggestions, Coach Rushing’s policy is sound advice that allows an individual to learn from even the least assuming of sources. It’s also a key to maintaining a growth mindset, becoming a lifelong learner, and being a better teammate. If a freshman is sharing sound advice with a senior captain, the senior should listen and respond accordingly. End of story.
This open feedback policy helps to create a more cohesive team with less hierarchy and cliques. Oh yeah, and it’s backed by research. Here’s why you should drop the ‘know it all’ tag:
In the first episode of Hidden Brain podcast, host Shankar Vedantam discusses a study by Vanderbilt University researcher, Max Gunther and his colleagues. In the study, Gunther and his colleagues analyze the brains of men when receiving advice. When the advice was on a subject where the men receiving the suggestion felt they were an expert, it activated a part of the brain used when we try to guess what other people are thinking. Gunther’s team suggests this means when receiving advice in an area we feel we already have expertise, our first reaction is to question the motives of the advice rather than evaluating it for what it’s worth. In other words, we immediately start thinking of reasons why the advice would be wrong.
Based on the study’s conclusions, we can agree there are two main ways we react to advice. We can either question the motives behind it, or as Vedantam says, “evaluate the advice on its own terms.” Being aware of these two reactions and what they mean for your baseball career is important. Think about receiving baseball related advice or feedback on something you believe strongly from a coach or teammate, maybe your approach to hitting or pitching. What does it mean for your relationship with the advice-giver and your development as a player when you immediately question the motive or validity behind the advice? Learning to deal with constructive criticism and feedback is essential to success at the college level. By knowing the way your brain is conditioned to think in these situations, you can work to be more open and become an even better player and teammate.
Evaluating the feedback you receive on the basis of its merit will benefit you in several ways. By fully processing and evaluating the information, you will either strengthen the conviction you have in your current beliefs (thanks for the advice, but it doesn’t work for me), or it will cause you to change your opinion based on the new evidence. It will also give you the opportunity to learn from people you otherwise might ignore, and improve your coachability and critical thinking skills. Now that you are aware of the way your brain works to protect your existing beliefs, you can get to work shedding the ‘know it all’ attitude and improve your growth mindset!
Article Link: https://keepplayingbaseball.org/dont-be-a-know-it-all-2019/
Daily KPB| Understanding Student Loans and Financial Planning in Recruitment
*Pilot Episode: The Daily KPB
This podcast is the audio version of our blog article, Understanding Student Loans and College Debt During Recruitment.
The uncertainty and excitement of the recruiting process can lead parents and recruits to make some short-sighted decisions. College coaches are often eager to close the deal and get a player committed once they make an offer. As a parent or recruit, it’s easy to get carried away by the excitement of the moment and make a hasty or poorly thought-out decision. When the recruiting process starts to pick up steam, that’s when you must slow it down and make sure you are thinking things through. While it may seem like many stages of the recruiting process require an immediate answer, there are few decisions that must be made right away. Be comfortable taking time to think things over appropriately. Remember, your son’s college decision is about much more than what baseball team he will play with for the next 4 years. The long-term financial ramifications of college student loan debt can burden graduated players for years after they graduate. Coming up with a practical financial plan is an incredibly important part of the recruiting process. In this podcast, we will discuss how to do a basic budget exercise on the costs of attending college so that your son can chase his baseball dreams, get a college education, and graduate with a manageable amount of student loan debt.
Step 1: Understanding Your Budget
If you are familiar with our website, you already know that college baseball is not a full-ride sport. That means even if your son is lucky enough to earn a baseball scholarship, it’s likely to only cover a portion of his total costs to attend college. The first thing you need to do is sit down and figure out how much money your family can afford to pay out of pocket each year for your son’s college expenses. For this example, we'll say your family can afford to pay $5,000 out of pocket each year towards your son’s college costs.
Step 2: Understand the Cost of Attendance for Each School of Interest
The total cost of attendance is the amount of money it will cost for your son to attend a college or university for 1 academic year and it includes tuition, room and board, books, and some other student fees. For example, Big Time University ("BTU") may have a cost of attendance totaling $20,000 per academic year.
Step 3: Understanding Out of Pocket Costs
Out of pocket costs are the amount of money you will be expected to pay once academic and baseball scholarships and grant money are taken into account. Out of pocket costs are the amount of money you will have to come up with on your own for your son to attend a college for a year. For example, if BTU offers your son a $5,000 yearly baseball scholarship, a $2,000 academic scholarship on top of that, and you qualify for a $5,000 in federal grant money based on your FAFSA submission, out of pocket costs would be $8,000, which you would reach by subtracting your scholarship and grant money from the total cost of attendance ($20,000—$12,000= $8,000).
Step 4: Determining Amount of Borrowed Money
The amount of money your son would need to borrow or take out in loans would be the Out of Pocket Costs—Your Annual Budget. In the case of the BTU example, if your son wanted to attend BTU, he would need to take out loans totaling at least $3,000/year after subtracting the amount your family can afford to pay ($5,000) from the out of pocket costs ($8,000). If your son is able to maintain his scholarship and grant money each year and graduate in 4 years, he will need to borrow a minimum of $12,000 in student loans.
36| Owen Reid (Founder of Reid Baseball)
In This Episode
We are taking the podcast international, connecting with Singapore-based baseball coach Owen Reid of Reid Baseball. Reid is an international baseball consultant originally from Missouri. The founder of Reid Baseball, Owen has more than 15 years of experience as a player and coach. He played Division I baseball at Baylor University and Winthrop University, and upon graduating took his game overseas and hasn't looked back. He played 2 professional seasons in Europe, a season in New Zealand, and 3 seasons in Australia. In his post-playing career, Reid has spent time as a strength and conditioning coach for the Baltimore Orioles, the director of The Hit Factory in Singapore, and taken on numerous other coaching opportunities. He currently serves as a coach on the Austrian National Team where he has helped the country move up to the European A Division, in addition to doing baseball coaching and consulting work in multiple countries and continents.
Over the last decade, Reid's baseball expertise has taken him to more than 50 countries on five continents. Through Reid Baseball, Owen maintains a baseball coaching presence throughout Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East, working with players and coaches from beginner to elite athletes and Senior National Team players.
In our conversation, we discuss Reid's college and professional baseball experiences, as well as break down his work as a baseball coach and consultant. We dive into Reid's coaching philosophy and core values, two discussions that we are sure will bring a ton of value to players striving to play college baseball, and coaches looking to help players get there. Reid's discipline and consistency has helped him build a program with values that would help any player prepare for college baseball. Don't miss on the opportunity to apply them to your game!
Where to Connect with Owen
D1, Transferring, Recruiting Process, Confidence, Coaching, Mental Game, Control the Controllables, Effort, Consistency, Competing, International Baseball, MLB
35| John Soteropulos (Japanese Independent Baseball and Driveline Employee)
"It's your job to take all the information that the coaches give you, synthesize that information and apply it to yourself in a way that works best for you." -John Soteropulos on Coachablity
When you are talking to a student of the game, you just know it. That's always the case when John Soteropulos jumps on the mic with us. On this episode, we catch back up with Soteropulos, who was our guest on the popular Episode 4. A cage rat and avid student of the game, this conversation covers a lot of topics that are relevant to high school players looking to play at the next level. Among the topics discussed are off-season training, refining your swing, using data and technology in training, learning to observe with purpose and become a student of the game, the role college plays in preparing players for life when college is over, and some less serious discussions like world series predictions. A theme throughout our discussion is relating high level concepts to high school players, making this episode a great listen for aspiring college players and their parents.
Coaching, Coachability, Confidence, College Baseball, Studying the Game, Technology in Training, Intent, Off-Season, Recruiting
We Need Your Help for Big Day of Giving!
In a departure from our regular scheduling, in this episode we turn the tables and ask for your help and support! We are very conscious about making access to our informational content as frictionless as possible for our web users. We don't want anything interfering with you getting free access to the information and resources you need to keep playing baseball at the college level. Our resources are free and will always remain free, but there are a few times each year when we do ask for your support and this is one of those times!
We are asking that all our supporters help us out by creating a peer-to-peer campaign to support Keep Playing Baseball for Big Day of Giving. The generous people from the Sacramento Region Community Foundation who run Big Day of Giving have made it easy for you to support and will walk you, step-by-step through the campaign creation process. Here's how it works:
1. Visit the KPB Big Day of Giving Profile at https://www.bigdayofgiving.org/KPB.
2. Click on the "Fundraise" button at the top of the page.
3. Log in or create a free account.
4. Follow the steps and create your campaign. Be sure to explain why KPB is important to you and why you want people donate! Feel free to use the KPB Fundraising Video as your video using this URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQmSR6qw2eM&t=11s.
5. Once your campaign is created, it will be sent to us for approval. Once approved, your campaign will be linked to KPB's page and you can leverage your social network to help Keep Playing Baseball! Just remember you can't start collecting or make a donation until Monday, April 15th! Starting on Monday, April 15th, make sure you share, share, share your campaign!
You can watch a 1 minute video to help you make your campaign right here.
For more information on Big Day of Giving and why KPB needs your support, visit our website here: https://keepplayingbaseball.org/bdog2019/ or our Big Day of Giving profile here: https://www.bigdayofgiving.org/KPB
Every dollar raised will be used by Keep Playing Baseball to continue to support ballplayers as they chase their college baseball drams with the best free resources around. Thank you in advance for your support!
Have questions? Email us! firstname.lastname@example.org
34| Andrew Kreiling: Kansas City Kansas CC Assistant Coach
On This Episode
If you want to understand why you should consider playing JUCO baseball, this episode is for you! We dive into JUCO recruiting, a day in the life of a JUCO player, and insight into the way a JUCO practice is structured at Kansas City Kansas CC with assistant coach Andrew Kreiling. Kreiling was a standout player and Academic All-American at KCKCC before transferring to Pittsburg State University, where he played the outfield and was named an All-Conference player as a senior. After interning with Pitt State’s strength and conditioning program, Kreiling joined the staff at Avila University in Kansas City, where he served as a volunteer and graduate assistant over 3 seasons. On the field for Avila, he worked with the outfielders and served a year as the hitting coach. Off the field, he earned a Master’s of Business Administration. When a position opened up at Kansas City Kansas CC after he graduated, Kreiling jumped on the opportunity to coach and work at his alma mater. A family man, Kreiling credits his wife, Kramer for supporting him as he pursues his passion for coaching and adds that any success and joy he has on the diamond starts at home.
Coach Kreiling and KCKCC on Twitter
JUCO, Recruiting, Offense, Outfielders, Defense, Scholarships, Day in the Life, Culture, Expectations, Academics
4 Reasons to Consider JUCO Baseball
33| Talking D1 Baseball and Recruiting with KPB's Eric Johnson and Tom Briner
Don't be confused by the laid back nature of this conversation between 3 of KPB's Board Members and Co-Founders. This episode with former college teammates Eric Johnson and Tom Briner (UC Davis, D1, California) is packed with great insight and helpful tips on navigating the recruiting process and what it takes to play college baseball at the D1 level. Eric and Tom talk about their recruitment, how they ended up playing for the Aggies, balancing school with the demands of D1 baseball, and much more. With stories about Trevor Bauer, Garrett Cole, and a Mitch Haniger home run that is still in orbit, this episode is a great mix of fun stories and great info.
D1 Baseball, Academics, Student Life, On Campus, Recruiting Process, Recruitment, Adversity, Daily Schedule, Big Leaguers in College
32| Parents' Role in the Recruiting Process with Tom Briner
In This Episode
Your son's college search will culminate with one of the biggest decisions of his life. Where he decides to go to school (and play baseball) will impact his life for the rest of his life. There are huge athletic, financial, social, and career ramifications that come with his decision, so of course you want to be involved in helping him make the right choice. We don't blame you and we want to help you find the appropriate role in the recruiting process!
Parents are in a tricky position in the recruiting process. College Coaches overwhelmingly want the recruit to take charge of the recruiting process and be the main point of contact. College coaches want to get to know your son and whether he fits in their program and whether he can take ownership over his decision. At the same time, most 17 or 18 year-olds are ill-equipped to choose a college baseball program and school on their own. Ask yourself this: would you let your son make a $50K investment on his own? What about $250K? Often times, that's exactly what the college decision is!
As a parent, you need to find balance. That balance comes in the form of being active behind the scenes and making sure you and your son are on the same page, while letting him take control of the process and lead communications with coaches. In this podcast, we discuss 5 important roles for you as a parent (1. Source of Knowledge; 2. Academic Advisor; 3. Financial Advisor; 4. Great Teammate; and 5. Source of Stability and Support) that will allow you to be involved without over-stepping your boundaries, irritating coaches, and hijacking the process from your son.
Bottom line: if you are trying to figure out how you can help your son find a college baseball fit, this episode is for you!
Parents' Role, Academics, Financial Planning, College Search, Recruiting Process, Communication, Leadership, Ownership, Research
Financial Planning: Running a Basic Budget Exercise
College Board College Search Tool
31| Talking D3 Baseball with Eric del Prado and Ethan Guevin
In This Episode
In a departure from our normal interview-style episodes, two of KPB's own, Ethan Guevin and Eric del Prado, jumped on a call to talk about D3 baseball and their experiences playing at that level. This episode aims to educate players and families about why they should be open to D3 opportunities, but also interjects with some personal anecdotes and stories. If you want to learn about what D3 baseball has to offer, plug in to this casual conversation!
D3, Academics, D3 Life, College Baseball, Recruiting, Player-to-Player, Academic Recruiting, College Life
30| Chris Fletcher: Assistant Coach, William Woods University (NAIA, Missouri)
On This Episode:
We take a deep dive into NAIA baseball and are joined by William Woods University (Fulton, MO) coach Chris Fletcher. Fletcher is entering his 4th season as a coach with his alma mater, where he works with the hitters, infielders, leads recruiting efforts, and coaches 3rd base. No stranger to the NAIA program, Fletcher was also a standout infielder for the Owls during his playing career. Prior to returning to his alma mater, Fletcher’s 7 year college coaching career included a trip to the D2 World Series as a coach for Truman State University and coaching in the Northwoods League, among other stops.
We dive into new and familiar topics during this interview, which again delivers great information on college baseball and what it takes to play at the next level, directly from college baseball's gatekeepers who know the game best. Click play to hear us debate whether the NAIA remains the Wild, Wild West of college baseball, discuss recruiting at a high level, and compare differences between the NAIA and NCAA. Most of all, you'll get free insight into an under-explored level of college baseball and broaden your horizons about the opportunities out there that are available to you. As coach Fletcher says in this episode, "There is a college out there for every type of baseball player."
Contact Coach Fletcher:
NAIA, Recruiting, Offense, Defense, Contacting Coaches, Video, Scholarships, Academics
29| Talking College Academics with Christine Ho (Learning Specialist Coordinator- UC Berkeley)
In this episode, you'll learn the questions to ask and steps to take to ensure the college baseball program you are considering have the academic support and academic culture that you need to be successful. We also take a deep dive into how student-athletes with learning disabilities can navigate the recruiting process and make sure programs have access to the resources and accommodations they need.
In episode 29, we are excited to welcome a true expert in the academic side of college athletics. Christine Ho is a Learning Specialist Coordinator at UC Berkeley and has been working in academic support services for student-athletes for 7 years at UC Berkeley (Cal). Ho also acts as the Athletic Study Center liaison with the Disabled Students’ Program (DSP) and supports student-athletes in time-management, organization, reading, writing, test-taking strategies, note-taking and learning strategies through individual weekly meetings. She leads incoming skills assessments for new students to measure learning styles, strengths, and areas of concern and creates learning plans for students based on their academic needs and personal goals. Ho provides a ton of insight into the research that needs to be done and questions that need to be asked during the recruiting process and on campus to ensure that your college baseball program has what you need to be a successful STUDENT-athlete.
Academics, Academic Support Services, Learning Specialists, Academic Advisors, Learning Disabilities, Education-Impacting Disabilities, Recruiting Process, Student-athletes
1. College Baseball Academics Part 1: An Intro to Academic Support Services for College Baseball Players
2. College Baseball Academics Part 2: The NCAA and Learning Disabilities Defined
3. College Baseball Academics Part 3: Recruiting Success with Learning Disabilities
4. College Baseball Academics Part 4: Effectively Transitioning to College and Achieving Academic Success with an Education-Impacting Disability
1| Recruiting and More with Tony Arnerich (Seattle Mariners)
In This Episode
Keep Playing Baseball talks shop with Seattle Mariners Assistant Hitting and Catching Coordinator, Tony Arnerich. Covering everything from catching specific drills and instruction to player evaluation and what Arnerich looked for as a recruiter in the Pac-12, you'll want a pen and notepad for all the info in this 40 minute interview. Arnerich's baseball career has seen success at every level from Little League to the Pros. That resume includes a trip to the College World Series in 2011 as a coach with Cal, Northwoods Collegiate Summer League titles as a player (2000) and coach (2007), a 5 season professional career in the Royals and Marlins organizations, and minor league managing experience. Don't miss the opportunity to learn from one of baseball's brightest minds, as Arnerich helps you figure out what to do to improve and keep playing baseball!
Find Tony on Twitter: @TonyArnerich
Catching, Leadership, Mental Game, Training, Recruiting, Player Evaluation, Winning Culture
28| Mitchell Kranson (AA Catcher, Twins)
In this episode we sit down with Minnesota Twins AA Catcher, Mitchell Kranson. Kranson, a former standout with Cal Baseball and graduate of UC Berkeley had a great career for the Golden Bears, including this walk-off home run in the 2015 Regional in College Station. We pick Kranson's brain about the recruiting process, what it takes to play at the highest level of college baseball, preparing for a season, game day routine, and much more. Not only is Kranson one of the good guys in baseball, but you won't want to miss his advice and insight into what it takes to be a successful recruit, college player, and professional. Listen in!
Mitchell Kranson on Twitter: @mkranson20
Recruiting, Academics, Pac-12, D1, Power 5, Preparation, Routine, Off-Season, Catching
27| Demetre Kokoris (Pitching Coach- Toronto Blue Jays Class A Short Season)
We are excited to bring back Demetre Kokoris, who now serves as the pitching coach for the Vancouver Canadians, the Class A Short Season affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. You may remember Coach K from episodes 8 and 9, when he was the pitching coach at D2 Point Loma Nazarene. Now that he's in pro baseball, Coach K really opens up and shares an honest view of the college baseball recruiting process. The enthusiasm for helping players and parents through the recruiting process is still there and the information is even better. Listen in for an insider's look at the recruiting process in our wide ranging conversation which gets into the college baseball information at around the 12 minute mark.
If you want to connect with Coach Kokoris or have questions, he encourages you to send him a DM on Twitter where you can find him @CoachKokoris.
Projectability, Finding a College Fit, Recruiting, Red Flags in Recruiting, Junior College, JUCO, D1, D2, D3, Offer Deadlines, Social Media, Program Research, College Visits, Scholarship Offers, Decision Making
26| Matt Kosderka: Head Coach, Lewis & Clark College (D3, Oregon)
In this episode, we sit down and talk shop with Lewis and Clark College Head Coach Matt Kosderka. The hour-long episode goes quickly as Coach Kosderka drops all kinds of informational nuggets and knowledge about D3 baseball, how to find a college program, recruiting at an academic school, player development, and much more.
A standout pitcher at Willamette University, Kosderka was the NWC Player of the Year and drafted by the Texas Rangers. After his pro baseball career ended, Kosderka returned to the Pacific Northwest, where he was elected to the Willamette Athletics Hall of Fame and has found coaching success in the high school and college ranks. Kosderka took over as head coach for the Lewis and Clark College in 2017, and after listening to this episode, you'll see why the future is bright for the Pioneers.
We found ourselves nodding in agreement as Coach Kosderka shared his knowledge and you won't miss this episode with the founder of the Twitter catching development group, #MaskUpMonday!
Coach Kosderka on Twitter: @Kosderka18
Recruiting, D3 Baseball, Catching, Pitching, Hitting, Player Development, High Academic Schools, Culture, Strength & Conditioning
25| Max Dutto (Minor League Infielder and Driveline Baseball Hitting Trainer)
Dutto's college career started at Cal where he played 3 season in the Pac-12. Dutto transferred to Cal State East Bay where he planned to finish his college career with the Pioneers, but a scheduling mistake left him ineligible to play just before his senior season. Taking quick action, Dutto transferred to Menlo College where he was immediately eligible to play for the up and coming NAIA program.
It was at Menlo College that Dutto played for current Driveline Baseball Director of Hitting, Jason Ochart. As a professional player, Dutto followed Ochart up to Driveline as a trainee following his 2017 season with the White Sox organization. Since then, Dutto has taken on the dual role of trainee and instructor. He currently trains and works as an employee at Driveline's facility in Kent, Washington.
Dutto's playing career and current work at the forefront of baseball's best player development facility give him the perfect perspective to provide current young players with useful tips and advice. Throughout the converstation, Dutto hits on key themes, like intentional practice, having a plan, being hungry to learn, and much more. You won't want to miss this interview with one of baseball's best young minds!
Max Dutto on Twitter: @MaxDutto_
Topics: College Baseball, Recruiting Process, Player Development, Offense, Hitting, Hitter Training, Constraint Lead Approach to Hitting, NAIA, D2, D1
You can read Dutto's article describing how to use and interpret K-Vest data here: www.drivelinebaseball.com/2018/11/introduction-k-vest/
24| Keynote Address at Catching Academy Camp (12.1.18)
1) Knowledge of self
2) Learning about college baseball and the recruiting process
3) Creating a personal recruiting plan
4) "Controlling the Controllables": Keeping the focus on what you can control and controlling your reaction to what you can't
For more on these 4 ideas in writing, read our blog post on the topic here: keepplayingbaseball.org/4-big-picture-ideas-that-will-help-you-in-recruitment/
Next, we dive into the appropriate role for parents in the recruiting process and talk about how parents can help with an incredibly important life decision without overstepping their boundaries and hijacking the process away from their sons. The five roles we discuss for parents in the recruiting process are:
1) Be a source of knowledge
2) Be an academic advisor
3) Be a source of stability and support
4) Be a financial advisor
5) Be a good teammate
We discuss these ideas at length in writing in a popular blog post, Parents' Role in the Recruiting Process Part 3, which can be read here: www.keepplayingbaseball.org/parents-role-recruiting-process-part-3-2/
Recruiting, Parents in Recruiting, Planning, Learning, Preparation, Academics, Financial Awareness, Teamwork
23| Creating a Personal Recruiting Plan: A Review of Recruiting 101 Step 3
This podcast episode should be used with the resources in Step 3 of Recruiting 101, which can be accessed here: keepplayingbaseball.org/step3/
22| Tyler Jackson (Minor League Pitcher and Former JUCO/D1 Standout)
Topics: Recruiting, Recruiting Process, D1, Power 5 Conferences, Mid-Major D1, JUCO, Transferring, Pro Ball, Strength and Conditioning, Motivation, Work Ethic, Discipline, SEC, ACC
21| A Note of Congratulations on Signing Day!
20| A Conversation About Committing and Signing (with Brian Dempsey)
Don't Commit Until You're 100% Ready: keepplayingbaseball.org/dont-commit-ready-2018/
The Truth About Verbal Commitments: keepplayingbaseball.org/the-truth-about-verbal-commitments-2018/
Investigating College Programs Online: keepplayingbaseball.org/investigating-college-programs-online-2018/
Recruiting 101 Step 8- Evaluating Options and Offers: keepplayingbaseball.org/step8/
Topics: Verbal Commitments, NLI, Signing Periods, Signing, Communication, Development, Patience
A recent NCAA study on the timing of recruitment and commitments for D1 athletes had some interesting findings in favor of handling the recruiting process in the upperclassmen years and waiting until then to commit. You can read the findings and research report here: www.ncaa.org/sites/default/files/2017DIRes_DISAACEarlyRecruitingSurvey_%28Oct2017%29_FINAL_20171013.pdf
19| Tyler Cook (Recruiting Coordinator, University of South Carolina Upstate)
Recruiting, Outfield Defense, Daily Schedule, Communication, D1, Mid-Major Baseball, Hitting, Offense, Program Culture, Program Fit
18| What's Better for Recruiting: High School or Travel Baseball?
Here is some suggested reading on the topic:
The Importance of A Diverse Recruiting Plan- keepplayingbaseball.org/the-importance-of-a-diverse-recruiting-plan/
Proactive Recruits Don't Get Missed- keepplayingbaseball.org/proactive-recruits-dont-get-missed-2018/
KPB Recruiting 101- keepplayingbaseball.org/kpb-recruiting-101/
17| 4 Reasons to Be Open to Community College Baseball
Community college (JUCO, JC, junior college, etc.) baseball gets overlooked as an option by many recruits who either think they are "too good" or have been mislead about the breadth of opportunities that community college baseball provides. In this 12 minute #MoundVisit episode, we offer 4 reasons why we love community college baseball and encourage you to consider it as one of your many options for playing at the next level. Among the reasons we love the JUCO route are affordability, less restricted training opportunities in the fall, a chance to improve academic skill set and grades, and a chance to get drafted each year.
By no means is this quick look at the JUCO route a comprehensive review of all the reasons a high school player should consider community college baseball, but the goal is to get you thinking about community college as an option. Consider looking into our other resources that tackle community college baseball with more depth to continue the conversation! (See Link Below)
Community College Baseball, JUCO, JUCO Route, JC Baseball, Academics, MLB Draft, Affordability, Development
Follow Up Reading: keepplayingbaseball.org/considering-community-college-plan-ahead/
16| Signing Period Changes Take Effect This Year
The NCAA has made big changes to the signing periods for college baseball recruits. One longer signing period extending from November 14 until August 1 will replace the two split signing periods of years past. We discuss the changes and how they will impact recruits and recruiting in Episode 16!
Recruiting, NLI, Written Financial Agreement, Signing, Committing, Verbal Commitments, D1, D2
15| Why Proactive Recruits Don't Get Missed by Recruiters
We put a common recruiting concern to rest. There are many reason why a recruit may not get recruited by his top choice or any college baseball program at all, but getting "missed" by college coaches is not one of them. In today's recruiting game, proactive recruits who are educated on the process and exploring all their options will not get missed by every college baseball program. Listen in to find out why in this short but informative episode!
Recruiting, Exposure, Contacting Coaches, College Search, Technology, Email, Recruiting Video
14| Ben Jackson (Associate Head Coach, U of Montevallo)
We talk shop with University of Montevallo Associate Head Coach and Pitching Coach, Ben Jackson. Jackson is entering his 3rd season with the Falcons, where he has been leading the pitchers and recruiting efforts to new heights. Prior to his time in Alabama, Jackson was on the staff at New Mexico State and the University of Kentucky. At both stops, Jackson worked with some of the college game's best coaches and recruiters. In 2012, Jackson helped lead the UK Wildcats to one of the best seasons in program history. A few years later, Jackson coached 2-way phenom and Golden Spikes winner AJ Reed during one of the best individual seasons in college baseball history. Having coached in the SEC, at a mid-major D1, and now at an up and coming D2 program, there's no shortage of information to share. Jackson opens up a wealth of college baseball knowledge you won't want to miss!
Coach Jackson on Twitter: @Ben_Jackson55
Topics: Pitching, Recruiting, Player Development, D1, D2
13| Recruiting Process Step 2: Understand the Entire Process
For more information, visit: kpbrecruiting101.org/step-2-learn-about-the-college-baseball-recruiting-process/
12| Alex Wirta (Director, TAI-Bridle Trails PT)
In this interview, Wirta shares some of the common issues he sees among the baseball players he treats and discusses preventative measures that players can take to improve performance and stay healthy. The discussion serves as a great overview of preventative measures, player health, player performance and much more.
Pre-hab, Rehab, Player Development, Strength and Conditioning, Injury Prevention, Performance Recovery
Before beginning any conditioning or training program, you should talk to your health care provider, coach, and training staff.
11| Recruiting Process Step 1: Learn About College Baseball
This episode looks at Step 1: Learning About College Baseball. We discuss why this ongoing step in the process is the foundation for the recruiting process and what you should be doing to explore the many options out there for you. In 5 minutes, you'll have a better sense for the aspects of college baseball you need to explore and why they are so important.
For more information, visit www.KPBrecruiting101.org/step-1-learn-about-college-baseball/
10| Mike Brown (Assistant Coach, University of Hawaii)
Coach Brown on Twitter: @Mikesbrown5
Topics: College World Series, D1, Recruiting, Player Development, Mental Game, Offensive Philosophy, Weight Lifting, Mental Toughness
9| Demetre Kokoris (Pitching Coach, Point Loma Nazarene)Pt 2
Contact Coach Kokoris...
College Baseball, Recruiting, Finding a Fit, Program Research, Levels of Competition, D1, D2, D3, JUCO, SEC, Big West, Pac 12
8| Demetre Kokoris(Pitching Coach, Point Loma Nazarene) Pt 1
Coach Kokoris on Twitter: @CoachKokoris
Training, Development, Pitching, Arm Care, Throwing Program, College Baseball, D2
7| Brian Dempsey (Owner/Director Power Baseball, Florida)
6| Mound Visit #3- Making the Recruiting Process Manageable
1. Learn About College Baseball
2. Learn About the Recruiting Process
3. Create a Personalized Recruiting Plan
4. Prepare for Contact and Exposure
5. Contact College Coaches and Seek Exposure
6. Ongoing Communication with College Coaches
7. Preparing for Campus Visits and Visiting Schools
8. Comparing Options and Offers
9. Making a Commitment
10. Managing Post-Commitment Responsibilities and Showing Up to Campus Ready to Go
Topics: Recruiting, Recruiting Process, Communication, Recruiters, College Coaches, Campus Visits, Preparation, Planning
5| Mound Visit #2- Start the Recruiting Process Early
Topics: Academics, Eligibility, NCAA Core GPA, Recruiting, Recruiting Process, Planning Ahead
You Need to Know the Rules (https://keepplayingbaseball.org/get-to-know-the-ncaa-requirements-and-rules/)
It's Never Too Early to Start (https://keepplayingbaseball.org/its-never-too-early-to-start/)
Eligibility 101 (https://keepplayingbaseball.org/eligibility-101/)
4| John Soteropulos (Tochigi Golden Braves, Japan)
Recruiting, Recruiting Process, Levels of College Baseball, D1, D2, Physicality, Transferring, Graduate Transfer, Japan, Challenge Baseball League, Student Loans, Baseball/School Balance
3| Mound Visit #1- Doing Program Specific Research
2| Jordan Stampler (Head Coach, Pfeiffer University)
Find Coach Stampler on Twitter: @TheRealJStamp
Recruiting, Recruiting Process, Levels of College Baseball, D1, D2, D3, JUCO, Player Evaluation, Communication, Tools, Player Skill Set