College Recruiting

16
Oct

Preparing yourself for the recruitment process is serious business. As you begin you need to realistically look at the numbers you are going to be dealing with. I’m not sharing the numbers so that you freak out and give up. I’m sharing them to help you understand just how hard you need to work this process.

There are roughly 300 Division I schools in the country that have softball teams and can offer money. Each year those schools will offer some form of a scholarship to about 5 freshman players. That is a total of about 1,500 scholarships for Division I schools.

In the state of GA alone there are roughly 400 High Schools. Assuming that each of those schools has a softball team that graduates 5 seniors per year, that comes to about 2,000 graduating softball players in the state. If you multiply that out for the country that means that there about 100,000 softball players who are going to be graduating next spring.

In other words, there are 100,000 girls just like you who want to get a part of 1,500 scholarships of some form. That means that only 1.5% of the seniors that are graduating are going to make it to a Division I school with any form of athletic scholarship.

As you look at the players you compete against regularly where do you stack up in regards to playing ability? Are you in the top 1.5% based on your skills. Guess what? I really don’t care. The top 1.5% of the players in regards to ability are not necessarily the 1.5% of the overall pool that will get the scholarships. Those that get the scholarships are going to have talent for sure, but they are going to be the top 1.5% who put the effort in to advertising themselves and working the recruiting process.

Regardless of your ability, the numbers are stacked against you if you don’t put the same effort in to trying to be recruited that you’ve put in to making yourself a college ready softball player. So start making the time through whatever means is necessary to make those contacts with coaches and keep in touch with them. Outwork your opponents on the field, and on the computer.

Category : College Recruiting | Blog
15
Oct

As you begin the recruiting process you do have something in common with each and every coach your write to. You both want to ensure that it is a win-win situation. They need to know you are right for the program, but it is your job to find out if the program is a right fit for you. This is the area where most players fail. They are so worried about selling themselves, that they forget to hit pause, and find out if the program is really going to be a good fit for them.

This coach is going to be like your father/mother for the next 4 years. Do you really want them? Their assistants and your teammates are going to be all up in your business nearly every waking hour of every day. Are they the people you want in your face all of the time?

Your job is to ensure that you find the right “family” to be a part of for this crucial time of your life. In order to do that you have to ask questions as you get deeper and deeper into the process.

1. Ask them specifically what they are looking for in terms of positions and or abilities?

2. Ask them if they are looking for impact players who can come in with a chance to start right away or if they already have depth for the first year or two and are looking for development players? Attend their practices/games and see where you fit. If they tell you that you have a chance to start, and clearly you wouldn’t because they are stacked with studs, that might not be the place for you if you want to start your first year.

3. Ask them what their greatest strengths are as a coach?

4. Ask them what things about themselves their players would likely grumble/complain about if you were to talk to them?

5. Go back through your career and think about the way different coaches treated you, and think through how you responded in your level of play. Figure out the questions to ask that will let you know which one of those people in your past they are most like, and you can pretty well guess how you will play for them. Some players play horrible if they aren’t treated well by their coach, while others consider it a challenge and play their best. They might be unhappy around the coach, but on the field they play their best. Others like being treated with kindness and do great because they are internally motivated. While others slack off if they aren’t challenged enough. You should be able to be honest with yourself about where you fit, and what kind of coaches bring out the best in you. Then you need to find out what type of coach this one is.

6. As you get along in the process and are perhaps in your Junior/Senior year just ask them point blank “Am I even on your radar or would I be better suited spending my energy elsewhere?”

7. Ask them for batting/pitching statistics on the team for the past several years. Then review the data to see if players tend to stay the same, get better, or get worse the longer that they are there. If they boast that they have great hitting instruction at the school but the numbers don’t reflect that then there is a problem. Same goes for pitching. Obviously not every player will get better each and every year, but you should see a team wide trend upwards the longer players are there.

Don’t just take the coaches word for things, speak with multiple players and find out what they think. Not just at some recruiting event. Ask to attend classes with them. Spend the night with them if possible. Hang out and eat a meal with them if possible. You want to find out about the coach, but you also want to find out about them individually and how they treat/talk about each other off of the field. Are they the kind of players off the field that you’ll want to hang out with, or are they the kind of people that you’ve generally tried to start far away from? Be honest with their players as well about who you are. No sense pretending to be something you aren’t or else you will end up in a situation you are miserable in.

Category : College Recruiting | Blog
11
Oct

Once you have created a profile the next step in the recruiting process is to put that profile into college coaches hands. Many girls often ask “How many schools should I write to?” I wish there was a numerical answer, but in fact there are really two lines of thought:

1. If you are focused on your career, then softball is simply one of many ways to pay for that education. So the best plan of attack is to identify the schools that contain the major you are interested in and try to get into one of them. If you can’t play for one of your top picks (academically) then attend the school anyway and just show up and see if you can make the team as a walk on.

2. If you are in a situation where you really don’t know what you want to be when you grow up, and your absolute highest priority is playing softball in college then you don’t have to as selective. Then it becomes a matter of identifying how far you are willing to travel to school (will you get homesick) and how big of a school you will be comfortable with. Then you write to those schools.

Based on either of the plans above you want to write to as many schools as you need to in order to get in, and don’t stop your search at just your favorite pick. While you may be one of the greatest pitchers in the country, it could be that your “favorite” school has 4 great pitchers that are 1-2 years ahead of you and they aren’t looking for a pitcher the year you graduate. Think of it this way … If you were really hungary and wanted to eat, you could either drop 1 fishing pole into the water and hope you get lucky. Or you could prop up multiple fishing poles, the choice is yours. Odds are good that the more poles you drop in the water, the better your odds of finding a fish.

So how do you find out what schools offer your major, or fit your requirements? How do you find out who to email? Both of those questions are answered very easily by clicking on the Resources link and then choosing College Prep. There are links available to search by major, school size, region of the country etc and it will come back with a list of the schools that match your criteria. Another link lets you search by the conference and shows you the schools in that conference, shows you their field and gives you their head coaches email. As with anything on the web, some of their information may be out of date. But if all else fails, look up the school name using Bing or Google, go to their site, find softball or contact their Athletic Director.

The easiest way to begin the process, is to BEGIN THE PROCESS. That means quit sitting around dreaming about it, look somebody up, and send that first email. While it may be nerve racking, the only worse is sitting around worrying about it. You will learn and gain confidence as you go forward.

Category : College Recruiting | Blog
9
Oct

You are dreaming of playing softball in college, but where do you begin? The very first step you need to do is create a Player Profile.

A “Player Profile” is nothing more than a short biography of you as a player. It should tell prospective college coaches:
When you will graduate
Photo of you
What your primary position(s) are
How to reach you and your parents
What your academic history is
Potential college major(s)
The team(s) you are on (both travel and high school)
Accomplishments: Awards you’ve won, national level/exposure tournaments your team has done well in
How to contact your coaches: travel, high school, pitching/batting/catching etc.
Special training you’ve taken like large softball camps/clinics etc.

Your “profile” should take three different forms:
1. You should have a printed copy of your profile available whenever you participate in exposure tournaments, visit colleges or go to camps/clinics with college coaches. While they are more expensive to produce in color, a full color copy will help your profile stand out if coaches obtain a copy.

2. You should retain an electronic copy of your profile so that you can attach it to any/all correspondance with potential college coaches. Your profile is the first thing that prospective coaches will need in order to begin a prospect file about you.

3. You should create an online profile site that is available to any potential coach who is searching for specific players, from specific regions of the country who play particular positions. There are many sites available online which you can use, and some like Recruit Me Now offer you the chance to maintain an online profile completely free of charge.

Optionally you will want to take your marketing efforts to the top level. For a fee many sites, Recruit Me Now included, offer you the opportunity to upload action photos of yourself as well as a skills video. All potential coaches will want to see a skills video of you and having it online provides you the opportunity to simply email a link to the video and provides them a chance to watch it wherever they may be, at anytime they’d like to.

Just click here to review a sample player profile that I have available to help you get started. Once you have completed your profile, don’t hesitate to email me and I would be happy to review it and provide feedback for you before you make the profile public. So stop reading, and get started.

Category : College Recruiting | Blog