Timeline and Checklist for Baseball and Softball Scholarships

The journey for baseball and softball players wishing to continue their careers at the college level begins on the first day of High School freshman year (9th Grade). Here is a timeline and checklist for players from The Baseball Resource for players to follow on the road to NCAA eligibility.

BASIC PRINCIPLES

  • Concentrate on academic performance.
  • Develop good study habits.
  • Budget time between academics, baseball & social life.
  • Take classes from your school’s list of NCAA-approved core courses.
  • Play multiple sports to develop the athleticism required for college baseball and softball.
  • Avoid drugs, alcohol & choose friends wisely.
  • Avoid problems with police, coaches, teachers, umpires & teammates.
  • Stay involved in volunteer & extracurricular activities.
  • Save & organize all awards and media articles to create an academic & athletic resume for college coaches.
  • Video all games to create a skill & highlight video for college coaches.
  • Save & organize all materials received from college coaches.
  • Contact baseball coaches at multiple programs to determine playing opportunities.

9TH GRADE (Freshman Year)

FALL

  • College baseball scholarship planning begins on 1st day of freshmen year.
  • Student-athlete & family should meet with high school coach & guidance counselor to assess academic progress towards NCAA eligibility.
  • Take classes that match school’s approved core courses & continue working in classroom.
  • Write attainable athletic & academic goals for season & year.
  • Play fall baseball.

WINTER  

  • Take classes that match school’s approved core courses & continue working in classroom.
  • Attend winter work-outs to prepare for high school team tryouts.
  • Locate indoor baseball facility if not living in warm weather state.
  • Attend holiday baseball camp at preferred college. 
  • Send initial contact letter to preferred college baseball programs.
  •  Student-athlete & family allowed to visit preferred colleges at own expense.

 SPRING

  • Take classes that match school’s approved core courses & continue working hard in classroom.
  • Play high school baseball.
  •  Continue practicing baseball skills until summer league if cut from high school team.
  • Video games and edit skill & highlight video for college coaches.
  • Asses athletic & academic goal progress following school year.

SUMMER

  • Schedule evaluations with training coaches and scouts to identify mechanical problems & help determine appropriate college baseball division level.
  • Play in most competitive baseball summer league available.
  • Video games & edit skill / highlight video for college coaches.
  • Attend college baseball camp at preferred college.
  •  Send contact letters to college baseball coaches.
  • Include fall baseball schedule & reference letter from summer league or high school coach.

10TH GRADE (Sophmore Year)

FALL

  •  Student-athlete & family should meet with high school coach & guidance counselor to assess academic progress towards NCAA eligibility.
  • Take classes that match school’s approved core courses & continue working in classroom.
  • Write attainable athletic & academic goals for season & year.
  • Play fall baseball.
  • Meet with high school guidance counselor to maintain academic progress for NCAA eligibility.

WINTER

  • Take classes that match school’s approved core courses & continue working in classroom.
  • Attend winter workouts to prepare for high school team tryouts.
  • Locate indoor baseball facility if not living in warm weather state.
  • Attend holiday baseball camp at preferred college.
  •  Student-athlete & family allowed to visit preferred colleges at own expense.
  • Send follow up letters & spring schedule to college coaches.

SPRING

  • Take classes that match school’s approved core courses & continue working hard in classroom.
  • Play high school baseball.
  •  Continue practicing baseball skills until summer league if cut from high school team.
  • Video games & edit skill & highlight video for college coaches.
  • Asses athletic & academic goal progress following school year.

SUMMER

  • Schedule evaluations with training coaches and scouts to identify mechanical problems & help determine appropriate college baseball division level.
  • Graduate on schedule.
  • Attend summer school sessions to catch up if behind schedule.
  • Play in most competitive, baseball summer league available.
  • Video games & edit skill / highlight video for college coaches.
  • Attend college baseball camp at preferred college.
  •  Attend local professional baseball try-out camp.
  •  Attend national showcase event.
  •  Send contact letter & fall schedule to college baseball coaches.

11th GRADE (Junior Year)

FALL

  •  Student-athlete & family should meet with high school coach & guidance counselor to assess academic progress towards NCAA eligibility.
  • Take classes that match school’s approved core courses & continue working in classroom.
  • Register for ACT & SAT standardized tests.
  • Select fall test date to avoid conflicting dates during high school season.
  • Register with NCAA Eligibility Center.
  • Write measurable, attainable athletic & academic goals for season & year.
  • Play fall baseball.
  • Send contact letter & updated fall schedule to college baseball coaches.

WINTER

  • Take classes that match school’s approved core courses & continue working in classroom.
  • Attend winter workouts to prepare for high school team tryouts.
  • Locate indoor baseball facility if not living in warm weather state.
  • Attend holiday baseball camp at preferred college.
  •  Student-athlete & family allowed to schedule unofficial visits to preferred colleges at own expense.
  • Research NCAA admission & eligibility requirements.
  • Send follow-up letter & spring schedule to college coaches.
  • Take un-official visits to preferred colleges.

SPRING

  •  Student-athlete & family should meet with high school coach & guidance counselor to assess academic progress towards NCAA eligibility.
  • Take classes that match school’s approved core courses & continue working in classroom.
  • Play high school baseball.
  • Video games & edit skill / highlight video for college coaches.
  • At completion of 11th grade, guidance counselor should mail official transcript to NCAA Eligibility Center.
  • Assess athletic & academic goal progress following school year.
  • Make un-official visits to preferred colleges, paid by family.
  • Contact summer showcase directors.

SUMMER (Summer between junior & senior year is CRITICAL)

  • Schedule evaluations with training coaches and scouts to identify mechanical problems & help determine appropriate college baseball division level.
  •  Register with NCAA Eligibilty Center by July 1st after junior year to be eligible for official recruiting visits & qualify for Division I or II baseball scholarship. 
  •  Graduate on schedule.
  • Attend summer school sessions to catch up if behind schedule.
  • Play in most competitive summer league available.
  • Video games & edit skill / highlight-video for college coaches .
  • Attend college baseball camp at preferred college.
  • Attend local professional baseball try-out camp.   
  •  Attend national showcase event.   
  • Send additional contact letter & updated fall schedule to college baseball coaches.
  •  Prepare list of questions for college coaches, who are permitted to call after July 1 of junior year.

12th GRADE (Senior Year)

  •  Take college prep courses.
  • Narrow down preferred school list.
  • Plan to take official visits (5 allowed) when offered by college coaches.
  • Official visits permitted after 1st day of class of senior year.
  •  Student-athlete & family should assess financial costs for college.
  •  Apply for Financial Aid.
  •  Request official transcript, GPA, & class rank from guidance counselor.
  • Complete applications & write essays early to allow time for editing & mailing before deadlines

 FALL

  •  Student-athlete & family should meet with high school coach & guidance counselor to assess academic progress towards graduation & NCAA Eligibility.
  • Write attainable, athletic & academic goals for season & year.
  • Re-take SAT / ACT tests if necessary. NCAA uses best score from each section to determine cumulative score.
  • Complete Amateurism Questionnaire at NCAA Eligibility Center.
  • Take classes that match school’s approved core courses & continue working in classroom.
  • Play fall baseball with team or friends.
  • Send additional contact letters to preferred college coaches.
  • Include updated fall schedule & reference letter from summer league or high school coach.
  • Make unofficial visits to preferred colleges, paid by family.
  • Early Signing Period during November of senior year.
  • Begin unofficial visits to preferred colleges, paid by family.

WINTER

  • Take classes that match school’s approved core courses & continue working in classroom.
  • Attend winter workouts to prepare for high school team tryouts.
  • Locate indoor baseball facility if not living in warm weather state.
  • Attend holiday baseball camp at preferred college.
  • Send follow-up letters to college coaches. (Include spring schedule).
  • Make un-official visits to preferred colleges, paid by family.

SPRING

  • Play high school baseball.
  • Send mid-season follow-up letters to college coaches.
  • Send post-season follow-up letters to college coaches
  • Video games & edit skill / highlight video for college coaches.
  • After graduation, ask guidance counselor to send final transcript & proof of graduation to selected college coaches & NCAA Eligibility Center.

SUMMER  (No Contact from College Coaches)

  • Do not become frustrated. Most high school baseball players are in same boat.
  • Remember that only elite players are receiving offers from top D1 programs.
  • Schedule evaluations with training coaches and scouts to identify mechanical problems & help determine appropriate college baseball division level.
  • Play in most competitive summer league available.
  • After MLB June draft, college coaches fill roster spots created by juniors & recruits that sign professional contracts.
  • Create new college list & be pro-active & contact schools via letter & phone call.
  • Ask high school coach, summer coach, or professional scout to recommend college programs that would be good fit.
  • Focus search on lower division colleges & JUCO programs close to home.
  • Contact coaches on list to gauge interest level.
  • If no interest, ask coach to recommend schools.

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