College Baseball is the highest level of amateur baseball before the professional level. The coaching staff in college baseball is in charge of all operations representing the university and the conference that it belongs to. To have the opportunity to be a coach in collegiate baseball means being blessed with having the opportunity to build relationships within this game we love.
Not just are the relationships valuable with the players and their families, but also all the other vital members of the baseball community such as scouts, alumni, fans, and other coaches at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels.
Obviously, coaching would not be possible without players, which in college starts with the recruiting process. College coaches put together a select list of players that they feel would not only meet their on-the-field measures of play, but more importantly also be able to meet the program and school’s requirements in the classroom. The recruiting process includes a period in which the coaches of a program get to know the player and their family.
After this period of visits, evaluations, phone calls, and e-mail correspondence, the college will determine if the player would be a good fit from not only a playing standpoint but also how he would be for team chemistry, available scholarship money, and positional needs. The recruiting process is not one-sided though as the player also decides which of the universities are the best fit for him. Players examine academic factors as well as the team’s style of play, coaching staff, and needed monetary assistance to name a few. If most to all of the factors are a good fit on both sides, than the player usually signs with the college. Recruited and signed players make up the nucleus of the team which can be anywhere from 30 to 40 guys.
In college baseball the job of the coach is to make sure the individual develops as a player, person, and student for the next three to four years while on campus. The coach will take the players existing skill set and see what improvements and adjustments can be made so the player can strive to meet his potential on the field. To help with the learning process certain techniques are taught in conjunction with administering drills in a practice setting.
A college coach is not only responsible for on-the-field progress, but also how to motivate the player, and implement physical and mental training. Off-the-field, a coach can lay the framework and structure to help a players development as a student and person. Stressing the importance of academics, discipline, and proper time-management and nutrition skills are ways the coach can shape the player into a well-rounded individual and complete person.
After countless hours of teaching and motivating the young man has hopefully graduated with a college degree while progressing as a ballplayer and human being because of a coach’s attention. After the coaching a player receives in college some may be seen by a scout and have the opportunity to go on and play professional baseball, while some will not and enter the workforce or family lifestyle.
Whatever the final destination of the college player is, it is the college coach’s job to continue to build a program of quality student-athletes as the recruiting process and baseball cycle begins all over again.