As the 2021 summer baseball season quickly approaches and the end of the dead period is finally here, recruiting will be back in full swing! There will be many showcase and camp opportunities in the months ahead, so our staff at College Sports Advisors wanted to share our recommendations about how to best approach these events.
First and foremost, make sure you are ready to showcase your skill set. We often talk about how you only get one chance to make a first impression. The recruiting process has specific benchmarks that should be met, and it's best if you understand where you are before signing up for any event. If you’re not sure, seek out coaches, trainers, or other resources to get an evaluation of your game.
Once you’re ready to attend these showcase or camp events, here are 10 tips to help you succeed:
Tip 1: Preparation starts long before you get to the field. Begin hydrating 24 hours before the event, especially in the summer heat. It is very important to eat breakfast or any meals beforehand as well.
Tip 2: Early is on-time - you want to have plenty of time to get settled and be sure you aren’t rushing from the outset. Being relaxed is an essential part of playing well. Stick to any pregame routine that you might have so you are true to your process of being prepared to play.
Tip 3: Stretching will be run by the staff at the event. However, if you have certain things that are important to your preparation, make sure you execute those movements on your own. If you are early, you can start that routine then to ensure you have plenty of time to go through your exercises.
Tip 4: The first part of most events is the 60-yard dash. Make sure you get some sprinting in before your time to run. Also, if it is a large event and you will be waiting (usually in color/number order based on the uniforms), keep moving throughout your down time so you stay loose.
Tip 5: When choosing which defensive position to showcase, more is not always better. Stick to the position(s) that will enable you to excel. Most players are only recruited for one position. Again, seek out good evaluation prior to the event to best understand where your game fits at the college level.
Tip 6: When throwing during the defensive workout, velocity matters, but don’t sacrifice “game actions”. As an outfielder or infielder, doing a “pull-down” will negate your higher velos for most coaches. Specific to infield play, you want to show the ability to throw from different arm slots - for example, as you move to your glove side, be on time with your throwing, and drop your slot to show good feel and actions for the position.
Tip 7: As the BP session begins, do your homework on the coach throwing to hitters. Get your timing down, and also note the speed between pitches. Don’t get rushed with your swings. This setting is about YOU, so slow things down if needed, and don’t be afraid to step out, fix your batting gloves, collect yourself and refocus on your swing.
Andrew Fischer's (Duke commit) batting practice round at the 2020 Perfect Game Junior National Showcase in Hoover, AL.
Tip 8: Your approach during BP is important. Work gap to gap before trying to show some power in the round, if appropriate. Showcasing your barrel accuracy and ability to stay in the middle of the field will stand out with coaches.
Tip 9: On the mound, coaches are looking at a combination of velocity and command. If you try to “light up the radar gun” but are spraying balls all over, you better be in the mid-90s. Highlight your ability to command your fastball in the zone and feel for secondary pitches before maxing out on your velo.
Tip 10: While the play on the field is essential, remember to show great body language. Coaches are examining everything you do throughout the course of the event. If a rep doesn’t go well, be mindful of how you react. Go through the drills with energy, and make sure you move quickly from station to station during the on-field work. Lastly, be mindful of how you interact with the other players, staff, and your parents. Don’t be the player running to the stands for a conference with your parents between each drill, or on his cell phone in the dugout while waiting for your time on the field. Everything matters, so pay attention to details.