The following are “Frequently Asked Questions” that we’ve encountered from parents, players & coaches over the past several years. Please refer to these, but if your specific question is not addressed do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a “College Bus Tour”?
At the core, a CBT is a research trip. College is one of the biggest decisions of a kid’s life and simultaneously one of their family’s largest investments. We think big decisions & large investments deserve lots of research.
What is the goal of a College Bus Tour?
Our goal is to educate the players. Ask a normal 14 to 16 year old “besides baseball & a good education, what are the next 5 most important things you are looking for from your college?” – and they simply cannot answer the question. It’s not their fault. They simply lack life experience. We want to give them live experience by putting them in class rooms, dorm rooms, cafeterias, libraries, etc AND show them locker rooms, weight rooms, training rooms, dugouts and fields at A LOT of schools in a short amount of time. They’ll come home with real life information about their likes, dislikes, what’s important to them and what is not.
We’ve played at all of those colleges. Why go on a College Bus Tour?
The current format of showcase/travel ball has created endless opportunities for college coaches to evaluate high school players. We have created the best way for high school players to evaluate the colleges! These tours ARE NOT baseball field tours! We take private tours of colleges WITH THE COACHES of each college. We also run 2 private workouts.
How do they work?
We load a charter bus with high school ball players. Our bus stops at 15-20 colleges over the course of 4 days. The coaching staff from each college gives us a PRIVATE tour of the academic facilities AND the athletic facilities. We’ll be on a campus for about 90 minutes then its on to the next school. We’ll also run a private workout in front of college coaches on the 1st and 3rd day of each tour. The end result is the equivalent of doing 15-20 mini unofficial visits.
When are they?
Tours are scheduled at the end of July and beginning of August and run Monday through Thursday. We schedule them like that to avoid conflict with your travel ball schedule. Most tours will start late enough in the day on Monday and end early enough on Thursday to allow for travel in and out. Depending on where you are coming from you may choose to travel in on Sunday and out on Friday. Check our website for exact dates for each tour. Travel to and from the tours is not included in the price of the tour.
Who should go? What age group?
Trips are open to rising 9th to 12th graders. Remember at the core, these are research trips. We think it’s a good idea to begin researching as early as possible. We really want kids who are at the front end of their recruiting process. That differs for every kid. But with the speed of today’s recruiting process I’d encourage you to consider a tour sooner vs later because when colleges begin making offers you want to be as well informed as possible!
Where are the tours?
We will be offering tours across the country. Stay tuned to our website for information on which states and regions we’ll be running tours in.
What colleges do you visit?
We do our best to visit a cross section of each state or region we are in. We generally hit most of the D1’s in the state then add some D2, D3 and JUCO’s. Each tour varies, but our goal is expose the players to a diverse selection that includes big state schools, small private schools, various geographies, various academic levels, etc.
Tours retail for $1,495. We hope that parents realize how much time and money we are saving them in the long run. I live in Virginia, so lets use that as example. If you wanted to visit JMU, Va Tech & ODU that would require 3 separate trips, most likely on weekends. 1st of all, what baseball family has 3 open weekends?! What would it cost to drive to those schools, stay the night, add meals, etc. And you’ve only seen 3 schools! Not to mention there is no guarantee you’d meet the coaches or get behind the scenes access to academic and athletic facilities. And what if you drive all the way to school only to arrive and the player looks around for 1 second and knows he hates it? Waste of a weekend! You’ll need to take more in depth visits. We hope our tours provide each kid with enough information to prequalify schools so you are only visiting schools in their “sweet spot”.
What is included?
Private tours of 15-20 colleges with the coaches. 2 private workouts. Apparel for the workouts. 3 nights of hotels. Breakfast & dinner. Player portfolio with notes on each school and a survey/questionnaire on each school.
Do they play baseball? How much?
Yes! We run 2 private workouts on each tour. These workouts are unique because only the players on the bus are on the field. These are not cattle calls! If there are 20 kids on tour, there are 20 kids on field! We invite coaches from surrounding colleges to come to the workouts. We’ve had great attendance in the past. The beauty of it is that these kids are not 1 of 300 or 1 of 5000 like at many showcases or tournaments.
What has been your success rate?
People who are not familiar with our goals assume that “success” is if a kid signs to a school because of the tour. That is not my measuring stick! Our goal is to educate these players so that they can make the best, most informed college choice. The information crosses state lines. With that in mind, I’d say quite confidently that we’ve had 100% success rate. Every kid has learned about colleges and what they are looking for from their “best fit”. 100%!
What are the logistics of a tour?
Parents will drop players off with us at the 1st school on the itinerary of their tour. Travel to & from the tours is your responsibility. Each day will involve several private tours of colleges. Private workouts will be held on Day 1 & Day 3 of each tour. We’ll stay in hotels on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday nights. Those hotels are usually in the town of the 1st stop of the following day. Breakfast will be at the hotel. Lunch is usually going to involve us pulling off the highway where there are several options close to each other. Depending on time, we may ask kids to eat their lunch on the bus. Dinner is prior to the workouts if it’s a night workout. Tuesday is usually a sit down dinner (can you say Golden Coral?!). We try hard to get the players back to their parents prior to dinner on Thursday. Most tours work as circles, meaning we start & end in the same town. That isn’t always the case, but we make every attempt to make pick up convenient.
Do out of state kids ever go on tours?
Absolutely. We’ve had players from NY to FL to CA join us on the VA tour as an example. Travel to and from the tour is your responsibility. We do our best to start late enough on Monday and end early enough on Thursday to allow for travel those days. But depending on where you are coming from and flight schedules you may need to plan on traveling on the Sunday prior to the start of the tour and Friday the day after the tour. Lodging on those days is your responsibility.
Who chaperones? How many chaperones?
Each trip will have main chaperone & point of contact. We’ll have some of the best baseball guys representing the College Bus Tours. For specific names for each tour please visit the website. Please know that every chaperone will have had to pass a background check. Each chaperone will have to also follow our Code of Conduct just like the players. The number of chaperones will be determined by the number of players on each tour. The more players, the more chaperones.
Seems like a lot of schools. How will they remember everything?
Each tour consists of a very aggressive schedule. We call it “information overload by design”. Seeing so many schools in so little time is what makes these trips so powerful. To combat the information overload we give each player a tour book that includes write-ups and a survey/questionnaire on every school. These books are used to capture the player’s real time thoughts and feelings about anything & everything they see. They should note all the positives & the negatives. This book will be like gold for mom & dad once the tour ends. The responses found here can be used to look for trends, both negative & positive, that will help zero in on what a players “best fit” looks like. In addition to the books we’ll compile photos & videos that we & the players take on the tour as visual reminders of each stop.
Can I offset the fee?
Yes. If you refer a player that signs we’ll take $100 off your balance. Refer as many players as you’d like! On the registration form there is a spot to note if someone referred them. That is how we’ll track it. You must already be registered to begin receiving the referral discounts.
How many players go?
35 players maximum. Period. This is not a cattle call! The minimum number of players for the tour to take place is 15. So be sure to recruit (and refer) your friends to join you to ensure your trip runs.
What about the transportation?
Each tour utilizes chartered transportation with professional drivers. We’ll use a large “Mini Coach” for smaller groups up to a 55-passenger charter bus for larger groups.
Do parents go?
Perhaps the most asked question in the last few years. The answer has always been NO. This year, for the first time, I am going to say YES. Well, more like MAYBE. I’ll look at it on a case by case basis. Parents will be required to pass a background check and be expected to pay in full as well. And they will have to adhere to the code of conduct PLUS remember that they are to act like a fly on the wall. The tours are for the kids. I’ve found that lots of parents enjoy their mini vacation away from their kid, but many would like to share this experience with them. If you are interested please contact me directly.
Are there payment plans?
A lot of people will pay in full at time of registration. But we do give options to those that want to split payments. Exact details can be found on the registration page. Remember, $100 OFF for every referral!
Trips are 4 days. Where do they stay each night?
We stay in hotels Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday night. We generally attempt to stay close to the first stop of the next day. We always stay at hotels with hot breakfasts, not just a continental breakfast. That gives you an idea of the type of place we target. Players will eat breakfast at the hotel in the morning. We’ll stay either 2 or 3 players to a room. I try my best to find rooms that have pull out couches so that we can stay 3 to a room comfortably. We generally arrive at hotels pretty late. Our expectation is to pass out keys, make any last announcements, then go to the room, shower and right to sleep. There is to be no wandering the halls, visiting the front desk, leaving the hotel, swimming in the pool, etc. Any of those is grounds for removal from tour.
What do they eat?
We do not skip meals! Feed them before dropping them with us on Monday. Breakfast is at the hotel. Lunch is generally fast food and often ordered “to go” to be eaten on the bus. We encourage them to order healthy options. Dinner is generally at the ball park if we are doing a night workout. We order subs or pizza usually. Busses are stocked with snacks & water. The players will be well fed. It is important to keep their calories up because we’ll be on foot for 4 straight days. One note is that we’ll pay for dinner, you’ll pay for lunch. That is a logistical decision. It is much faster to have players spread out between 4 fast food joints and jump back on the bus vs all of us standing in line with the chaperone paying at the end of the line. That would take all day. $10 to $15 per day should cover them. Otherwise they should not need any additional money.
What trips have you done in the past?
We’ve run very successful College Bus Tours in VA & NC for the last 3 years. We’ve seen nothing but positive response from the players, parents & college coaches. That is why we are offering more trips each year.
We play showcase or travel ball. What is the difference?
Great question. There is no bigger fan of the current version of travel ball and showcases. Right now you can literally play in front of 20+ coaches every weekend from June 1st to January 1st assuming you’ve signed up for the right events and you play for the right teams. That’s fantastic. That gives the college coaches unlimited opportunity to evaluate the players. And keep in mind they are evaluating thousands of players! What our College Bus Tour do if finally give the players an opportunity to evaluate the colleges. That is a huge difference. And we’re talking about evaluating the COLLEGE, not just a baseball field. Last time I checked, baseball field are all just about the same, 90ft from base to base & 60 ft 6 in to the mound. A lot of parents will say “we played at XYZ University so we don’t need to go there.” I respond by asking did you see the library? Did you see a dorm room? Did you see a classroom? Did you see a cafeteria? No. No. No. No. You saw a baseball field. You didn’t see a college. Our College Bus Tours see colleges!
What is the bottom line?
Consider this, lets say players spend 4 hrs a day on baseball activities (practice, lifting, training room, etc). That leaves 20 hrs per day of non-baseball activities. That’s 5/6 of the college experience that will be spent somewhere between a dorm room, classroom, cafeteria, library or main grounds of campus. We think researching the things beyond the foul lines is pretty important and we want to provide the most efficient way possible for players to see as much as possible in a short amount of time while spending quality time with the coaching staff.