Private Baseball Lessons in St. Louis - Rick Strickland Baseball

One of the best ways to get noticed by college recruiters is by attending a college baseball camp or skills combine. These events give high school kids a chance to show off their abilities to a number of college coaches and scouts at once, giving them increased exposure. These events are also great for coaches, who get the chance to see players who may not be on their radar.

Our annual Sandlot 2015 College Camp and Skills Combine is scheduled for December 20th and 27th, and we are looking forward to hosting ballplayers from around the region. We already have 15 schools that have to committed to join, and we hope to announce more soon.

The great thing about college baseball camps is that they are the ultimate opportunity to leave a lasting impression on a coach or scout. College coaches will see hundreds of hours of video of potential recruits and while, this is a helpful tool, nothing beats seeing a player in person. If a decision on a scholarship is between an impressive high-schooler they saw at a camp and one they have only seen on tape, the staff will likely go with the player they saw at camp.

Of course, in order to make a good impression and earn that scholarship, you’ll need to do more than just show up to a college camp. A lot of players think attendance is somehow a golden ticket to making a college team. The reality is that coaches are looking for a lot more than someone who simply shows up. Even if you perform well at the camp, that isn’t always enough to impress coaches and scouts, who are looking for the total package. They want students who are not only talented but also hardworking and prepared, and who have a good attitude.

With this in mind, we have four tips to help you prepare for your college baseball camp. It doesn’t matter if you attend the Sandlot 2015 College Camp and Skills Combine or another event this year - if you do these things, good results are likely to follow.

Don’t try too hard
If you have ever listened to a major leaguer who is in slump speak, he will say that he is trying too hard or trying to do too much. This is a common problem for baseball players at all levels. The harder you try, the less likely something good will happen, because you stop focusing on your mechanics and technique and start obsessing with result. We see this all the time at college camps, as participants believe that every pitch or swing will be what earns them a college scholarship.

Don’t try too hard, and don’t overthink things, when you participate at a camp. This is something we can not stress enough. The reason for a college camp consisting of multiple activities over the course of a day is so that coaches and scouts can get a good idea of what you can do. Trust your mechanics and rely on the fundamentals you have been taught. Doing this almost always yields positive results over the course of the camp. Having a bad drill or plate appearance isn’t the end of the world, and how you respond to it is more important to a lot of coaches than the original performance.

Be prepared for the camp
The easiest way to make a bad impression with coaches and scouts is to show up unprepared to a college baseball camp. For many coaches, it’s a sign that you do not take things seriously and might not be able to handle the responsibility of playing baseball at the next level. And while your lack of readiness might simply be an accident, you might not get a chance to explain that to the coaches at the camp.

Most college camps and skills combines will require you to bring certain equipment. Even if it’s not required, there is never any harm in bringing a bat, glove, helmet, hat, and baseball pants with you to every camp you attend. The type of footwear you’ll need might depend on the venue, as indoor facilities or turf fields may not allow the use of cleats. Be sure to check ahead of time to see what type of shoes you’ll need, or bring both cleats and turf shoes just to be safe.

If you’re the kind of person who tends to forget things, it always best to keep a checklist of items you’ll need to bring with you. We recommend keeping a digital checklist on your phone, too, with an alarm set to remind you before leaving the house. It’s also good to put a written list somewhere you’ll notice it as well. Try to take responsibility for this on your own and avoid relying on your parents, as this is not a luxury you will have in college.

Stay positive and be a good teammate
A lot of ballplayers believe the other participants at a camp are competition for a roster spot or scholarship, but this isn’t really the case. For the most part, coaches use these events as a chance to gain more information on players. Rarely, if ever, does a coach or scout make a decision to sign a player based solely on a performance at a camp. However, on the flip side, we have heard of coaches not recruiting someone because they displayed a bad or selfish attitude during a camp.

Baseball is a team game, and coaches and scouts want to see recruits who understand that. Encourage and support the other guys at the camp as if they were your teammates. Respect the game and avoid showboating, taunting, or making negative comments. College recruiters use these camps as a chance to scout a player's intangibles as much as their physical skills.

Follow up with coaches
If you like a particular coach or school at the camp you attended, make sure you follow up with them after the camp. Most camps will have tens, if not hundreds, of players in attendance, and playing well isn’t always enough for a coach to remember you. A simple email thanking him for the chance to meet at the camp, and stating your interest in attending their school, can help set the recruiting process in motion. Not only does this put you apart from other recruits, but it also shows that you actually want to attend their school.

We’d love to see you at the Sandlot 2015 College Camp and Skills Combine. Please click here for more information on the event. And if you are looking for other ways to improve your game, Sandlot Elite Baseball Training has a number of programs that have helped kids raise their skill level and get noticed by colleges all over America.

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