Tom Myers 2015-11-16 04:08:35
Area Scout, Chicago Cubs Santa Barbara Grizzlies Development Worldwide Baseball Prospects mentor For 11 years I was the recruiting coordinator at the University of California at Santa Barbara and for three years I was heavily involved in the recruiting process at Santa Clara University. Both baseball programs entertained the top student athletes across the country. My daily job detail involved identifying the top high school and junior college baseball players that fit our specific academic and baseball criteria. It was important that I gathered information from every resource available and foster relationships with high school and junior college coaches, area scouts, and travel team coaches. Information and time are considered currency as a recruiter. It is important to use your hours constructively and utilize today’s technology, which is always changing. As a family of a potential student-athlete, it is very important to be organized and have a concise plan when dealing with college recruiters. The following steps will aid with the information gathering process and provide a guideline. • Create a checklist of schools and their baseball programs that may be of interest to the student-athlete. • Learn about each school’s coaching staff and its development philosophy. • Have an efficient plan in place regarding the communication process with coaching staffs. • Attend team camps of the colleges that appear to be the best potential fit for the student-athlete. • Utilize outside resources (such as recruiting agencies), attend showcases, and play for a local scout-team. As a college prospect it is critical to have a concise plan when selecting a college. Before communication begins with the coaching staff, it is imperative to create a checklist of importance. For each family the categories will vary, based on what the student-athlete hopes to get from the college experience. Regardless of those desires, I believe the following two categories are the most significant when deciding on a school and baseball program: Understand the school’s academic standards and make sure your academic and baseball resume fit admission standards. Does the school provide your major of emphasis? Does your academic background favor scholastic achievement? College coaches do not have time to be academic counselors and do not want to have to be concerned about a student-athlete’s eligibility. In other words, it has to be the right fit for both parties. Research the history of the baseball program and its current coaching staff. As a player it is important to understand the program’s developmental philosophy. How many players does the coaching staff recruit and bring into the program on an annual basis? How many players transfer and leave annually due to a lack of playing time or poor performance? What is the stability of the coaching staff? The last thing you want to do as a prospective student-athlete is to walk into an environment that does not develop its players inside and out. Sitting the bench is part of the development process for most athletes; at the same time, you must have the opportunity to compete for a position on the roster and playing time. Gain an understanding of the roster size as well as how many players play your likely position. If the numbers do not stack up in your favor, you need to look at other options. It is imperative to ask the correct questions and have a proper plan of attack. Initial contact should start with an introduction letter or email. Both should include a brief letter of introduction with a one-page resume highlighting academic and athletic marks along with references from the high school baseball coach, summer baseball coach and an area scout. Coaches will make phone calls and build a running biography on players of interest. Video should also be provided for the coaches. A DVD with three or four short clips of baseball activity is recommended. Music and fancy production value is highly overrated. The easiest form would be to create a YouTube account and provide a link for the coach to view. On the YouTube site would be baseball-only video that is short in duration. Simplicity with precise information is appreciated. This method will help create a snapshot and foundation for the coach. Make a point of attending the college of choice team camp. This is an important tool for both parties. Most school camps create an environment where players and coaches interact during drills and competition. This will give the player the opportunity to ask questions, discover how the coaches communicate, and learn more about the program’s on-field development philosophies. By the end of that particular camp, most players will have a good understanding of what is needed to play at that specific school and what the program’s future plans entail. Parents and student-athletes must learn how to utilize outside resources. It is advised to research the school and the program online. Consider attending local showcase camps that have various college recruiters in attendance. If you are not playing multiple high school sports, try out for the area scout team. Showcases and scout teams provide college recruiters with the opportunity to see multiple players in one setting. This is an efficient way for colleges to build their recruiting base and evaluate the players in a competitive environment. Many of the scouts and organizers of showcases have connections with various college coaches throughout the country. It is also worthwhile to look into recruiting resources online. Many companies, such as Worldwide Baseball Prospects, assist with college placement and provide important information regarding the recruiting process for players and families. In summary, it is important to have a concise plan. Gather information about the academic program and the coaching staff at the institutions of interest. Prepare a concise resume with video clips and solid references. Attend school camps and showcases and play for an area scout team. Examine and utilize online resources and recruiting resources such as Worldwide Baseball Prospects. These tools will help broaden the scope of college baseball recruiting and enable the student-athlete and his family to discover the best place to continue his athletic and academic career. About the Author: Tom Myers began his baseball career as a junior college player for San Jose City College in 1988 and 1989. He proceeded to compete at the University of Arizona in 1990 and the University of California Santa Barbara in 1991. Following his college career, he was drafted in 1991 by the Oakland A’s. His minor League playing career consisted of five seasons (1991-1996) and included stints with the Oakland A’s, Baltimore Orioles and St Louis Cardinals organizations. He started coaching with the Dutch Professional League in Haarlem, Holland, in 1997, prior to becoming a Division I assistant coach at UCSB and Santa Clara University from 1998-2011 (UCSB, Santa Clara University) and an associate head coach from 2010-2011. He also managed the Kenai Oilers in the Alaskan League in 2008 and the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod League from 2009-2011. Coach Myers currently serves as an Area Scout for the Chicago Cubs by covering Central California, Hawaii, and Las Vegas, a role he has enjoyed since 2011. Coach Myers is also the owner of the Santa Barbara Grizzlies Development Group, which can be accessed by visiting SBGrizzliesBaseball
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