• College Athlete Advantage

Why going to a local school to play your college sport may be a bad idea

The geographic region of a school is one of the most important factors that an athlete must look at when they are looking at potential college fits. One of the questions we ask our players is "How far are you willing to go away from home for college?" And, "If you could choose the part of the country where you would attend college, where would it be?" We realize that it may be easy to say any answer to us while knowing the act of moving away from home is difficult for most people. This is where a parent knowing their child is a factor in helping guide them. Most parents have a feel if their son/daughter could make the transition to a school away from home. We also know that for most players, it would be ideal to go to a D-1 school and have it be down the street from their house. Unfortunately, for most, that is not a realistic option. A player should ONLY go local if the school fits. A player should NOT go local because it is the closest and the path of least resistance. There is a difference. It is ideal for a family to look at fit first, then see if there are schools that make sense in the geographic region desired by their son/daughter. They should not look at local schools first and then see if it fits. Why? Because we believe that 95% of the athletes that we work with are attending their school because of their sport and because they want to PLAY. And knowing that many colleges are recruiting from a bigger region than their city, the odds of a player going local at a school they can play at is low. Even when a player is willing to leave home and go far away for college, it can be difficult for a couple of reasons. A college coach may be reluctant to recruit that player based on previous experiences. A coach doesn't want to waste time recruiting a player if they feel like that player will get homesick and want to leave after the first semester. They may have a history of seeing kids who have shown to have a difficult time going away for college. They don't want to spend 18 months recruiting a kid and then have them last only a few months. The second issue is that coaches see the local players so much more than they do players that are not in their area. So, if there are 2 relatively similar players that they are recruiting, odds are they will offer the player they have seen more. That's why we encourage players that if they want to go away to school, they need to be super aggressive and possibly get in front of that particular school multiple times. Sometimes, the college coach also takes the easiest path of resistance. They do this by recruiting the kid that is in the area , expresses a strong interest and can easily be recruited to their school. Oftentimes, this may not be the best player, but more of- what is right in front of them. This also lessens the chance of an out of area kid getting an opportunity. We say all of this because we have seen kids that could have a great 4 years of playing baseball / softball at the right fit, but they will default to the school that is close to home and then not play. Geographic location of a college is hurdle for those 2 reasons. 1) Local is likely not best fit. 2) It may be difficult to get a coach from out of the area to spend the time and effort getting to know a player that may take some extra work to recruit. However, if the family takes the extra time to understand this and helps get to the right location, we believe the athlete will have a much higher rate of success. As always, we are here to guide and assist our families to the best of our ability.

For more information about the College Athlete Advantage Recruiting Program please call Mike Orchard @ 407-489-7509 or email:

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