In his 5th season as the University of Georgia’s Head Baseball Coach, coach Scott Stricklin has done an excellent job of recruiting the top baseball players in the country, with his 2017 class being ranked the 3rd best in the nation. With an in season record in 2018, 39 – 21 and 18 -12 SEC record puts them in a tie for the second best team in the SEC. This subsequently brought the team to the NCAA Athens regional finalists and all the while the team maintained a high academic standards. Despite the grueling schedule, 15 bulldogs were on the SEC honor roll, which speaks to the team’s culture Coach Stricklin is building. This coming year, coach Stricklin will most certainly look to expand upon his already stellar team, and clench the championship. The bulldog coach offers some great advice to those who are looking to play at the next level.
LRT Sports: What is the most important quality you look for in a recruit?
Coach Stricklin: Obviously, they need to have the skill set to be able to compete at this level. A player that can play in the SEC will really stand out among his high school peers. I call it the “wow” factor. A player that can play at the high D1 level will be able to “wow” you somehow. After that, it is character and work ethic. A good teammate and a player that wants to always get better.
LRT Sports: What is the best way for a recruit to get on your radar?
Coach Stricklin: Summer baseball is when we see most of our recruits play. Due to our schedule, it is difficult for us to see much high school baseball. Being on a good summer team that competes in major tournaments is the best way to be seen.
LRT Sports: When should an athlete contact you, what is the best way? (age, grade, time of year, email, phone, or other).
Coach Stricklin: Athletes should get in contact with a coach when they enter high school by email. We cannot respond unless it’s about camp but that is when a player should get his name out.
LRT Sports: What are your expectations for incoming players in the classroom, in the weight room, and on the field?
Coach Stricklin: For them to be prepared mentally. Too understand that what they are about to get into is difficult and be prepared to handle what is being thrown at them. It’s supposed to be hard. They need to be able to handle the adversity that is thrown at them.
LRT Sports: What are the do’s and don’ts of being recruited?
Coach Stricklin:A good player recruits himself. Be on time, be respectful, and play hard. Those are the things that are just expected. If an athlete puts off a negative vibe with his body language, communication or overall appearance, coaches will not want to recruit that player. Present yourself in a positive way.
LRT Sports: What is the best advice you can offer a recruit?
Coach Stricklin: Your effort level and commitment should never be questioned. If you love to play, that will come through in the way you present yourself. Play hard and love what you do.
LRT Sports: What really jumps out to you when reviewing a recruit’s highlight tape?
Coach Stricklin: His skill set, bat speed, hand quickness, and overall athleticism.
LRT Sports: What are the main do’s and don’ts for a recruit’s highlight tape?
Coach Stricklin: Get to the point. Don’t make it too long. We don’t need to hear a five-minute speech as an introduction. A highlight video shouldn’t be much longer than two minutes. Highlight your skill set and end it with contact info at the end.
LRT Sports: When do you recommend recruits put together and share their highlight reels? Is it best to make their highlight reel during offseason, in the middle of season, or after each game?
Coach Stricklin: I don’t think there is a right time to do it. Having some live game footage helps but make sure it is edited and not too long in between pitches. Having a skill set portion and live at bat/live play portion is good.
LRT Sports: What advice do you have for recruits who get turned down by their dream schools? What are their options if they don’t gain the recruiting attention they desire?
Coach Stricklin: There is always a place to play for players that really want to play at the next level. Not everyone can play at the D1 level. If a player is set on a certain school and it doesn’t workout, the junior college option is always there. Plenty of players develop into D1 players after spending a year or two at the junior college level. If a player has a “dream school” I always recommend that they attend a camp at that school and look for feedback on whether the coaching staff thinks they can play there.
LRT Sports: How big a factor is social media when recruiting players? What advice do you have for athletes regarding social media?
Coach Stricklin: Once we see a player that we like on the field, one of the first things we do is look them up on social media. What that player is saying, liking, retweeting, etc tells us a lot about that particular person. A player that wants to be recruited by any college needs to be very conscious of what they are putting out there.
Edited by Brandon Sires
Posted on January 16, 2019 in Coach Advice
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The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
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