I've been involved at some level with kids playing baseball at the next level for over twenty years. I wasn't sure of the value in this service until I decided to send my son on the NC trip. After his return I quickly realized there is no way a parent, showcase coach or high school coach could come close to providing the type of insight that this trip provided. The total access of the individual schools and information provided was priceless.
The bus tour is absolutely one of the best investments we have ever made. Not only did it provide our son with a real hands on experience at each college but it helped him learn what he likes and dislikes in a college and what fit may be the best for him. A week after the tour and we're still processing all the information! There's no way we can even put a price on the knowledge that he's gained. Due to the tour, we've narrowed our college list down to 6 schools and all are ones that he's seen with Play in School. Hopefully he continues to improve academically and athletically and ends up at one of these locations. Thank you again for this opportunity, we really appreciate it.
As a parent, we know how important the college selection process is. Choosing the right college is a huge decision. This single decision will help determine who your child becomes and what career path they take for the next 30-40 years. If done incorrectly, your child’s college experience could be disastrous and expensive.
The challenge I had was my son Kade had no idea what type of college (big, small, urban, rural, etc.) he wanted to attend. Last year we visited 4 different types of colleges/universities to get the campus feel. This became costly, time consuming and done with no college representative to tour around with.
Not knowing the full value of the bus tour but eager to find out, Kade signed up for the bus tour. After his return, Kade now knows what type of school he wants to attend. As a parent, we all want what’s best for our kids, spending the $$ for the tour was a good financial decision for us. I would recommend this to anyone even without baseball involvement.
Simply put, your Virginia bus tour was excellent! Both my boys came home with valuable information and a sense of what they wanted and didn’t want out of a college experience. Although we are still figuring out strategy for both, this tour was instrumental in putting the pieces together.
Thank you for offering an experience like this one!
Before the bus tour, my son (rising Junior) had a hard time sharing any meaningful opinions regarding the type of college experience he will be seeking. For him, college still seemed a long way off. After the tour, he has opinions about the type of campus, the mix of students, the size of school, the age of the school and the type of baseball program. Amazing! The trip helped him "turn the page," see himself beyond high school and look forward to making an educated choice about what's next.
Thanks for taking JH on your tour! He returned from that trip with a sense of purpose regarding his college selection process and baseball. I also very much appreciate the time that you have spent educating me on college baseball recruiting and college selection in general. You have been an invaluable source of information and encouragement, and I have needed plenty of both!
Rich - you asked for honest feedback about the tour, so here it is: Nicholas got a lot out of the tour. Before the tour, he was somewhat aimless when it came to thinking about what type of school he wanted to attend. Visiting 16 colleges and universities in 4 days provided him a wonderful hands on understanding of the choices out there. Of course, it was made even better because of the various coaches and baseball facilities to which he was exposed. He returned to Atlanta invigorated about both baseball and his future college life. It was a fun way for him to end the summer before the demands of his high school
Junior year begin.
Great job, and thanks for all your good work.
Andy and Sandy Hopkins
We couldn't be happier with the experience and knowledge Hunter brought back from the trip. All of the thanks goes to you and the Play In School team. The Va College Bus tour was by far one the best investments we made this summer for our son. His pre and post trip rankings of the 18 schools visited changed considerably, which means the trip had the desired effect. Some schools not considered before are now on his radar, and that's the power of knowledge. The value of the tour extends beyond the players to the parents as well. It enables us to help our children find the best possible fit for their education, athletics and well being. You've hit the bullseye with the tours and I look forward to getting the word out to other players and families.
For any parent who has a student/athlete that desires to use both skills when evaluating appropriate college choices, I cannot recommend Rich Prado’s Play In School College Bus Tours high enough. My son, Johnny, went through the application process and found himself down at Elon University this past August boarding the North Carolina bus tour that would take him to 16 of the top Division 1, 2 and 3 colleges in North Carolina over the next four days. The group of 20, or so, toured of each school and was offered an inside look at the baseball program led by the school’s Head Baseball Coach. Rich also scheduled workouts at Wake Forrest and Duke which were open to many college coaches to observe. If this wasn’t enough for anyone, I can also say that my son not only returned home with colleges he liked and showed interest in him but he enjoyed the camaraderie and made strong friendships with his fellow bus mates along the way. Great program, Rich. We look forward to sending Johnny on the Virginia Play In School Bus Tour next Summer!
I don't even know where to start.....my son came home last night after 4 days on PIS's VA College Bus Tour exhausted but an absolute chatter-box about the coaches, schools and academic programs. This was exactly what my youngest son needed and when he needed it. He (now) realizes this is his major (life) focus.
Son is not a blue-chipper by any stretch of the imagination (he's my late bloomer), but he has the tools to play at the next level given the right opportunity. This VA Bus Tour opened his eyes to new schools as well as schools he had already visited. In almost all cases his opinions & priorities changed on the 20+ schools he visited. He followed many baseball head coaches (or their staff) across their campuses and facilities and listened to their presentations. Hint - Bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes as my son swears he walked 50 miles. The tour bus was very comfortable with connectivity and entertainment...my son worried about this. Every day we talked on the phone late at night he would tell me about this school or that school is now his number one choice. The great thing about it is that he is thinking about college baseball and ALSO thinking about academics, alumni networks, facilities, student to teacher ratios, total cost of attendance, location, and those things that most interest him. He came back with a totally different and more mature perspective.
I had initial reservations about the amount of baseball scheduled. As it turns out, my son said it was the perfect amount of baseball showcasing because he was so busy seeing schools from early AM to late night dinners. He'd rather see 2-3 more schools than schedule an additional baseball stop. He really surprised me with that response.
It was well worth the time, and resources. I highly recommend this if you are in a similar situation with your son. We're reviewing his Bus Tour school list and following with coaches as well as Admissions departments. He's motivated and bugging me to help him with this....that is a total 180 degree change for us.
My two cents.....if you are thinking about going..call Rich. He'll tell you everything you need to know.
As discussed, just a tremendous trip for Will…worth every penny of it! 18 schools in 4 days are you kidding me. Will now knows exactly the kind of school he’s interested in….and what great exposure for the players to 18 NC baseball programs.
I have been mentioning your tour to other baseball parents I know and will continue to do so next March when the season kicks in again. Brandon found himself being offered a position on the baseball team at Fordham University in New York back in September. Without your tour, he would have never have been able to comfortably accept this offer recently. Your tour gave him the opportunity to see many campuses and baseball programs first hand. Thankfully Brandon was able to compare what he was being offered, to all the colleges you presented to him. I am very grateful to you for offering the service you do for the boys. The wonderful opportunity Brandon was offered came totally unexpected and had Brandon not been involved with your tour, he would have been unprepared to even seriously entertain the offer so soon. I will continue to share our story of how invaluable your tour was to Brandon and his college selection. I know he is very grateful as well, as he can now get back to concentrating on just playing baseball.
I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Hey Rich, it's Shawn Moore- JoJo's Dad from your 2014 Virginia Bus Tour. I just wanted to let you know that JoJo (Glen Allen 2015) has committed to CNU to play under Coach Harvell next year. We credit the bus tour with getting him the exposure he needed to make an informed decision. He made CNU his first choice soon after he went on the Tour, and having been there first hand made for an easy decision when the call came in. Thanks for all that you did, and I have definitely talked you up to the parents of all the 2016 kids that we know! It was truly a great experience.
Drew learned a lot and definitely benefited from the trip. Washington and Lee and Hampden Sydney may have never known who he was had he not participated.
As far as the price, it sounds like a lot of money… and it is a lot of money, but for us it was a great alternative since our family’s schedule is so crammed. It works out to about $75 per school, plus they get great exposure, some hats and t-shirts, some food and a great experience away from home. It was organized and connected the boys to the baseball programs and college coaches in a way that we could never have done for Drew. I was glad we could afford to send him and I think it helped him tremendously to understand the different campus styles and what is available. It was well worth the expense and we could never have duplicated it on our own at any price.
I looked at Drew’s surveys, and separated them into two piles based on the answer to the last question… Can you see yourself at this school for 4 years? I made a yes pile and a no pile, and now we have a good starting point for family discussion.
Drew had a blast and is a little more focused on what he needs to do to move forward. This whole process can be very overwhelming... college searching academically and athletically is tough. The guidance Drew was offered from the trip and the staff was very helpful.
Best of luck to future bus tours. It was great!
The college bus tours is a great idea and a worthwhile investment. It was a great opportunity for our son to get a good feel for lots of different schools over a short period of time. Rich does a nice job of getting the kids exposed to big schools, small schools, D1 to D3, etc.. The baseball workouts on 2 of the 4 days is a bonus. Regardless of how serious your kid is about playing baseball in college, if they're serious about attending college and you want to expose them to personal guided tours of 16-20 colleges so that they can see what it's like on campus and get a better gauge of what they like and don't like in various schools then that alone is worth the trip. Meeting coaches and touring baseball facilities is great but they also focus on showing & talking about campus living and visiting academic facilities, cafeterias, dorms, etc.. 9 months after taking the NC tour Jared still refers back to the log book that he used during the tour to answer questions and make notes about each school visited during the tour. Thanks Rich for providing the college bus tours service!
Hayden had such a great time. I really thought he would have some gripe about long bus rides or something, but he says the whole trip was awesome. He likes you a lot. He also loved the boys on the trip, and, of course, Bob (the bus driver!). He had a blast and I feel like he has some direction, which is what he desperately needed. Finding schools he disliked was just as helpful as finding the ones he liked or loved.
As for suggestions, I don't really have any because I don't think there's anything Hayden would change. I'd say it's pretty impressive that you nailed it on the first try. I'm happy to be a reference for you or this trip. I guess the only thing I'd say is that I wish he'd had the opportunity last year. I have a 2017 who also wants to play in college and I'd be inclined to send him after Sophomore year instead of Junior. That way he would have a better idea of what he would need to do to get in or establish contact with coaches. So maybe you have this in mind but I'd push it on 10th graders. And reserve us a spot on the 2015 tour!
I would like to thank you very much for offering this opportunity to Austin. He gathered a lot of good information on the 20 colleges visited and just about what kind of college he wants to go to. It was a great success in our book. I have already been spreading the word about the bus tour.
I just wanted to say that while lessons, camps, and tournaments are great learning tools in any sport, your video and bus tour were so valuable. I highly encourage all parents of athletes to get a video and get on the bus! Our son knew so much about all of the available colleges because of the bus tour. He was able to obtain great contacts and even during an injury, he was able to email coaches with his video. Best thing that we ever did!!!
As a coach that is active in his players recruiting process, i have been waiting a long time for someone to provide an opportunity such as the college bus tour. I had a player go on the first one and honestly i was amazed at the feed back my player gave me, on the workouts, the tours of campus and coaches he was able to speak to. There is only one word describe something like this, invaluable. The chance to see a variety of schools, my player was able to add some to his list and mark some off his list, he got to know some coaches and even got to make some friends in the process. I would recommend this to any coach for his players and i hope there is more trips to come for my future players.
I just wanted to say thank you for putting on the bus tour and inviting me to come along. I really enjoyed visiting all of the campuses and appreciated all of the advice, information, and tips that you gave us. It has made the college recruiting process a little bit easier because now I know what I'm looking for in a college and their program. I would also like to thank you for putting on those workouts during the bus tours as well because after the tour was over I got an email from one of the schools, saying that he liked what he saw and that they are interested in me. Overall, I really enjoyed the whole experience and it will be something that I will never forget.
Thank you again,