Looking for information on college softball recruiting is a frustrating experience. It seems that there are lot more websites out there interested in selling you their recruiting services than providing information. But such informative sites do exist and some of them are actually recruiting services. However, before you decide to hire a recruiting service, use the following sites to educate yourself on the college softball recruiting process.
One Must Read
If you’re only going to read one thing, 10 Burning Questions with Softball Recruiting Consultant Cathi Aradi is it. The interview does an excellent job providing an overview of the college softball recruiting process and includes a list of common mistakes players make.
Two Rules to Know
If you’re serious about playing softball at the college level, you need to know the rules for recruiting. Not knowing the rules is not an acceptable excuse for violations. Knowing the rules will also allow you to make it as easy as possible for coaches to recruit you. You should download the NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete and the Play NAIA publications. And if you have any questions, call the organizations and ask!
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Three Sources of Help
You can pay someone to help you through the college recruiting process or take advantage of the experience of those who have already gone through it. There are multiple softball specific forums but the biggest and most active are DiscussFastPitch.com and Hey Bucket. Both offer forums just for college softball recruiting.
The third place to visit is the Athletic Recruits section of College Confidential. While not specific to softball, it provides a wealth of information on the college selection process.
Four Topics to Ponder
Verbals. There are eighth graders out there who have verbally committed to play for a college. Softball players in general commit much earlier than other sports. There have been proposals before the NCAA to forbid the practice of verbal commitments but so far, no rules have been established. (For more generic information see What You Need to Know About Verbal Commitments.)
The Coaches Perspective. This is a great article from the Willamette softball coach on recruiting from the D3 level. Given that D3 has the most softball programs in the NCAA, this is a perspective worth considering.
Academics. Too often players and families put academics on the back burner to focus on everything softball. This article is a reminder that your GPA can open or close doors before a coach even has a chance to see you play.
Video. Video is a key component of the recruiting process. You don’t have to pay for an expensive video service with Hollywood level production. I’ve listed 8 websites on how to make a recruiting video.
Five Sites to Visit
These are all pages stuffed with information on just about every aspect of the college softball recruiting process. There will be some overlap between the sites, but all are worth a visit.
Junior Olympics Players Association. This site is from the Southern California ASA and includes a sample letter to a college, recruiting calendars, college testing dates, and recruiting definitions.
Team Impact Recruiting Guide. One of the better resource websites by a softball team formally known as Metro Express. It includes time lines, players profile samples, and cover letter samples. Pay attention to Targeting Identifying College and 10 Ways to Chase Away a College Coach.
Fastpitch Recruiting Web Source. This is a FAQ with Cathi Aradi, the person in the interview I listed in the Must Read section. She answers questions on everything from college summer camps to early signing to specific skills for a college catcher.
Cindy Bristow’s Softball Excellence. The Dugout section offers a variety of information and resources. Many of the questions in the Softball Q&A section are oriented to coaching but you can find a few references to college. There is a recruiting category under Articles that includes information on speeds and times.
Athletic Recruiting and the Financial Aid Pre-Read. Yes, this is one of my posts and I think it’s important information. Since the majority of college athletes are not going to receive athletic scholarships, families need to understand the financial aid process.
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Find the schools that will recruit you using the DIY College Rankings Softball Spreadsheet.