From their own experience, CSA's founders Sam Sharf and Mark DeSalvo know that family is at the center of a successful college recruitment experience. Sam has helped secure college placements for hundreds of student-athletes throughout his career, working closely with each family and player along the way; Mark went through the process firsthand as the father of two baseball recruits who played at WashU and Georgetown.
The following questions come up the most frequently from the countless conversations they've had with parents at every stage of the recruiting process. Now, Sam and Mark share their collective experiences to give you a better sense of what you can expect in the months and years to come.
Is my child a D1, D2, or D3 player? How can you tell?
Player evaluation is at the heart of what we do at CSA. To properly implement a recruiting strategy, we must first understand the players' skill set. Based on metric testing (60-yard dash, exit velo, arm velo, etc.), physicality, and baseball skill work, we can begin to target each player's appropriate level. Our many years of experience evaluating players and working within the recruiting world provide us insight into this process. Ultimately having a proper evaluation is the most critical factor for any player to target good fit schools. If a recruiting service is not evaluating the player before signing up ...run.
When do we start the recruiting process?
The timing of recruiting is different for every player. It is not a “one size fits all” situation and relies on player evaluation to determine where your game fits at the college level. For example, ACC/SEC type programs are already recruiting freshman and, in some cases, 8th-grade students.
In general, D1, D2, and D3 colleges will recruit most high school players from October - August of their junior year into senior year; this is a general timeline subject to change depending on the school, conference, and size of the recruiting class. We evaluate and advise our players on all the steps needed before starting the exposure part of the process and help players with every aspect to make sure they are ready!
What College Camps or Showcase should we attend?
That depends on the player and the timeline of their recruiting process. Most families and players have limited time and financial resources, so picking the right events and avoiding the “money grabs” is crucial, and that is why the player evaluation is so critical. If you're not likely to play Division I, it's a waste of time and money to attend a camp at a D1 school or attend a similar top recruit showcase. We recommend using that time and family resources for strength training in addition to sport-specific skill work. Getting bigger, faster, and stronger will lead to a more recruitable player as you become an upperclassman.
What travel ball team should I play for?
For the younger players, the simple answer is a team where you'll be able to get on the field and play as much as possible with quality coaching. For players getting ready to enter the recruiting process, make sure you are on a team that plays a competitive schedule with the most exposure to college coaches.
How do we find the right academic and athletic fit?
Finding the right fit is the final part of the process that involves many factors leading up to contact with the college coaches. When determining academic fits a player's current high school GPA, course load, and ACT/SAT scores are major factors. Overall finding a place with the right coaching staff where you can excel as a player, student, and person is most important.