John Fleming | Head Coach | Baseball | Neumann University

Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?

Talent is always an important part of the recruiting process when evaluating the tools of an individual player. However, recently we have also made it a point to find the kid with a strong work ethic, because at the DIII level we are not allowed with the Student-Athlete from end of Non-traditional to beginning of the spring season. This is usually 3 months and these three months can be the most important in developing core and physical strength. The player who shows self motivation has a better chance to succeed in our program. The next quality is toughness, and not the kind that is going to be in a campus fight, but the kind that when you walk on a field you are going to battle the other team and are tough enough mentally to find a way to succeed and not allow the other team to out work you. The second and third are sometimes the hardest to find and evaluate and therefore may take a little longer to evaluate. The last part is always size.  Size plays a big part in our process as the 5’11 with broad shoulders will allow for muscle growth, where the 5’9 kid with narrow shoulders will struggle to gain mass.


Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled? 

As I mentioned work ethic is important.  We have a player coming to us in 2013/14, he is a kid who made sure he was at every camp we offered.  However, we had concerns on his athleticism and ability to put on muscle, so we could not guarantee him a roster spot if he came to us.  We did not see him for 3 months and then saw him this past weekend and were very impressed with the work he did in the weight room.  This showed us his commitment to getting better and a work ethic that we can see fitting into the program.  At the end of the day we guaranteed him a roster spot for 13/14 season.

Last comment, too many kids do not understand the in-shape requirement to be able to compete in college athletics. I can not tell you how many showcases I attend that kids look sloppy, out of shape, etc… that just costs them a chance to play.  They pay all this money to attend a camp/showcase and then do not do what they need to do to be in shape for the event.