We are very excited to begin a series of interviews with professionals who are (or were) involved in college coaching and recruiting. Our questions focus on areas that can help players (and parents) know what is important to finding the best fit for your college experience. Thanks to Pat Rigsby for getting this great information for our players!
Pat Rigsby: Can you share an example of something you have seen at a game that either eliminated OR added a player from consideration? This can either be an action by the player OR by a parent.
D1 Coach: I am big on how the athlete treats those around him especially his parents. Is he polite? Respectful to Mom and Dad, Coaches, teammates? Does he pick up after himself following the game? Does he carry his own gear or does he have parents carry it? I want to see signs of maturity and that he is appreciative of those around him. I am not sure if I have totally eliminated a kid from consideration but definitely have second thoughts. I also want to see that his behavior is not fake; it is not a show. That won’t work either.
Does he carry his own gear or does he have parents carry it? I want to see signs of maturity and that he is appreciative of those around him.
Pat: Similar question about social media. What do you look for relative to a player's social media habits (good or bad)?
D1 Coach: With social media, I just look to see what the kid is interested in. Does he have a feel for what he should publicize or not? What is important to these guys? I am unsure if activity has helped a guys chances; only maybe allowed you more information as to who you are recruiting.
Pat: What is the most effective way for players to express their interest in your program and let you know about them?
D1 Coach: Send out a personalized email to individual schools with a video included. The video needs to show abilities preferably in a game. If not, no worries. Ground ball work, hitting off a live arm or machine. From the side or behind both work. Want to see the ball off the bat. From a pitching standpoint, side or behind catcher. Action on the ball is as important as anything. Defensively, want to see the fielding side as well as arm strength. Video doesn’t need to last more than 2 minutes and can be done with your iPhone. Attending camps at schools in which you have a genuine interest is important. We see a lot of kids on the road but sometimes lack the time to see all. Our camps become a great way for us to see a bunch of kids compete against each other who have the genuine interest in our program.
Pat: What is your biggest advice for parents role in the recruiting process?
D1 Coach: This process is a great experience for everybody involved. However, it is the one time in your son’s life that HE HAS this experience. Be as objective as possible within your family's priorities (finances, education, etc.). Allow him to have his own thoughts and opinions. Make it about him and what place will allow him to have a great experience while getting his education and grow into a man over the next several years. Throughout the process, he needs to communicate with the coaches, set up the visits, be a man about making a decision and communicate to the other coaches.
Allow him to have his own thoughts and opinions. Make it about him and what place will allow him to have a great experience while getting his education and grow into a man over the next several years.
Pat: What do you most want to know from a player's high school coach?
D1 Coach: HS coaches have a great view of the kid and his family. What is he really like on an everyday basis. Although, their time is limited during the off-season; they see him in his comfort zone. You can truly find out the real side of the kid in this environment. HS coaches also do the same with the parents. I want to know what kind of kid we are recruiting. Is he a leader in the classroom? Does he treat others with respect? Is he conscientious in the classroom? Is he part of any clubs? Obviously, the HS coaches are familiar with the athletic side of it as well. Is he the leader of your team? Does he have those attributes? Does he try to fit in or does he have goals he wants to accomplish? How does he handle adversity? Difficult tasks such as conditioning/weight room?
Pat: What do you most want to know from a player's Summer coach?
D1 Coach: Some similar things as the HS coach. However, many times, the summer coach sees more of the athlete in the baseball environment. How does this kid work with others? On his own when nobody is around? How does he handle adversity? Facing tough competition? Does he lead the team or tries to fit in?
Pat: What do you think the most important action is for a player to FIND the right college FIT (athletically, socially and academically)?
D1 Coach: It’s on an individual basis. I recommend to all athletes to make a pros/cons list (major, cost, distance from home, what does residence life look like, playing time, tradition, etc.) of each school they have interest. Also, create a priority list of what is important to the athlete and family. These 2 lists will begin to form what the right fit looks like.
Pat: Last, what is your favorite and most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing kids reach their potential and blow through their preconceived opinions of themselves. The guys who work and work and see the fruit of their labor. It is also rewarding when you hear from former players when they get married, have children, have a milestone in their lives. As I get older, those things are far more rewarding than some of the achievements on the field.