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  • Writer's pictureWayne Mazzoni

How To Market Yourself To Colleges

Ok, here is your situation: You have a big party booked for this weekend. You saved up money to have it catered, decorated and you have a guy coming in to play guitar who is great. He can play Dave Matthews, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica. All of a sudden, you get a call from him … he’s sick and can’t do the party. To late to reschedule because people are coming, food is coming. What do you do? You have the money, you need to musician.

Well, what if I tell you, you are in luck. I, Wayne Mazzoni, college baseball coach, writer, all around good dude, is free this weekend to play guitar at your party and I charge just what you were paying the other guy. Just by me telling you I play guitar, would you hire me without knowing more? If so, you take a big risk. I might stink. What if I back up how good I am by telling you all the songs I know, the guitars I have, the lessons I have taken, that my mom thinks I am really good? Does that win you over? If your answer is “yes,” you might not be ready to be a party host.

So how do you find out if I am good or not? Unless I am missing something, there are only three things you can do. Watch me play live and decide for yourself. Watch me on video or listen to an audio and make a decision. Or if your best friend in the world, whom you trust to no end tells you he has heard me and that I am great and you must hire me, then I’ll probably get the gig.

OK, now let’s flip it around. You are the unknown baseball player trying to sell yourself to the college coach. You are working against thousands of kids trying to do the same thing, most of whom don’t have the talent to play at the next level. You try to tell the coach about your lessons and your stats and how good mom thinks you are, but really does that do anything? Of course not. So what do you do?

1. Get a coach to see you play live.

Send out your schedule for high school and summer, and go to the right camps for you. High school ball can be tough because coaches are in season when you are. Summer can work, but at the same time there are a thousand AAU and Legion teams. Tournaments are OK, but you don’t exactly know which coaches might come. Camps can work provided the coaches you are interested in are going to attend. Regardless, do all you can to get someone to see you play live and in person.

2. Video.

No one is going to throw money at you off of a video, but it can get the ball rolling. I could write a magazine’s worth about what to put in your video, but the answer is this: Get anything. Practice, skills, game footage, etc. Just get it on tape, upload it to You- Tube and email it out.

3. Get a reference to support you.

High school or summer coach, alumnus, opposing coach, college coach , scout, instructor. Someone whom the college coach knows and trusts. Again no one is going to sign you based on someone else’s word, but it can separate you from the page of other kids trying to do the same. Lastly, when you do contact a college coach via mail, email or phone, you should have done some research on the college itself and the baseball program. We wouldn’t call you without knowing something about you, so you should do the same. Be able to speak about the school, why you like it and know something about the location, size, academics, etc. Same with the baseball program — know about its conference, its record, any big wins, anything about the players on the team, etc. This shows you have done your homework and are a legitimate college-bound, motivated student-athlete.

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