THE TRUTH ABOUT COLLEGE BASEBALL How to Select the Right Situation
The result is that most Division I coaches need players to be able to compete and contribute immediately upon arriving at school. They do not have the time for player development. This fact of life definitely skews college recruitment. Coaches are forced into choosing the athlete who will contribute first rather than the athlete who might be considerably better two years from now. As I have alluded to previously, my strong recommendation to parents of an elite baseball player is to choose the college situation in which he feels the most comfortable. First, have a genuine affinity for your coaches and teammates. They will be your family for 2–4 years. If you are lukewarm about them coming in, the chances are great that you will be miserable before the season is over.
It used to be that your very best teachers and developers could be found in the collegiate ranks. Today, the restrictions placed on time spent developing athletes at practice by the NCAA is so strict and severe that true, long-term development really no longer happens at the college level. Recruiting has now become the primary name of the game. As one might imagine, development takes time. In an effort to allow college student athletes more time to devote in the classroom toward academic pursuits, the NCAA began placing practice limitations on coaches in the early 1990s. True development occurs in the off- season. The NCAA has steadily gotten more restrictive since 1990 — not only in terms of hours per week but also in shortening the time available to be spent in the off-season.
Second, be able to play sooner than later. You don’t develop much sitting on the bench.
Third, have a genuine feeling that your coaches like you, believe in you, and are excited to have you. Baseball is a game of failure. If your coaches chose you simply to “round out the team” and not as an absolutely necessary cog in the machinery, chances are great that at the first signs of failure, you will get the hook and be placed on the shelf.
UPCOMING RANCH EVENTS RANCH ON THE ROAD: Feb. 7–9 Minnesota Blizzard camp with coaches clinic Feb. 6 ELITE PITCHERS BOOT CAMPS:
THIS MONTH IN BASEBALL HISTORY A Drastic Winter Meeting Move Annual winter meetings are perhaps professional baseball’s most important off-season event, where deals and negotiations of all types take place. San Diego is hosting the meetings this year, so let’s look back on the last time they hosted, in 2014, when the Los Angeles Dodgers shook things up with unexpected negotiations. In a mere 14-hour period during the 2014 winter meetings, the Dodgers made six major moves involving 19 players with four separate teams and one free agent. CEO Stan Kasten, President Andrew Friedman, and former general manager Farhan Zaidi notoriously revealed they had barely slept during the previous week as they scrambled to make trade plans after being criticized for not doing enough for their team. Within 24 hours, they were being criticized for doing too much. They traded away two of their most popular players at the time, outfielder Matt Kemp and second baseman Dee Gordon, in an effort to build a team they believed could make them World Series contenders. While the Dodgers did clinch their National League West division in 2015, they didn’t make it to the World Series. It seems some plans pay off, and some just don’t.
June 5–7 July 17–19 June 19–21 Aug. 7–9 July 3–5 Sept. 5–7
SUMMER PROGRAM: Session 1 begins June 1 Session 2 begins June 29 Session 3 begins Aug. 3
For more information, go to TexasBaseballRanch.com/events.
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