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Thread: Question about college showcases...

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    Checking out the clubhouse fpmom's Avatar
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    Default Question about college showcases...

    Hi all,
    I am a fellow fastpitch parent and new to this site, so I apologize if this topic has been covered, but would like some input from those that have been there/done that. My dd is a birth year 99, on a team that just moved up to
    14U. These girls have been playing together for 2-3 years, team has good chemistry. Not a superstar in the bunch, but several very good players, and the team does well. We travel at least once a month within state, and occasionally to neighboring states.
    Half of the girls are eighth graders, and the other half are seventh graders (being born late 99). Should we be starting showcases this early??? The parents of the older girls, obviously think its time to jump in, while some of us are enjoying where we are at, as long as the girls are progressing and having fun. I have heard many parents say that once you reach "showcase age", this ceases to be fun. At that point, it becomes a stressful, self-centered battle for attention. (I would say dd centered, but the egos really seem to be about the parents). We all want what's best for our dd's, obviously, but I am of the mindset that freshman year would be a good time to be looking at and contacting schools. (my family personally has Div 2 or 3 in mind, with realistic goals that playing college ball would be an awesome opportunity, but not the end of the world if it doesn't happen - dd has the grades and drive to achieve her goals through many avenues).
    How many 7th graders (grad year 2018) really even know what course of study they will go into? Or what schools interest them?
    Any advice? Thanks!

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball GOINGDEEP's Avatar
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    Welcome.

    Most of our girls are 2013 grads with a couple of 2014. I'd say 95% didn't get hot and heavy into showcases until 2011 ( sophomore year ). I will say 100% of the girls who WANTED to play at the college level will do so.

    We've had 2 more sign this week. A D1 ( big east conf ) and one NAIA, more to come.

    I've really learned that their are PLENTY of college opportunities for decent players. But you have to place realistic goals and not live in Disneyland for 99% of our girls who will not be playing the championship game in the WCWS's.
    Arrive, raise hell, leave. - Steve Austin

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    Crazy Daddy Coach-n-Dad's Avatar
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    Assuming what you say is true that there are no TRUE SUPERSTARS involved.......

    There is nothing wrong with starting the recruiting process at 7th or 8th grade. Start going to camps and start building a list of colleges that your DD may be interested in attending. We started contacting schools and going to 1-2 camps per year as a sophomore. If you are easily stressed by the idea of your DD getting a deal, it may be a good idea to wait for a year or so before you start

    Of the 10 2013 grads on the team that my DD just played for in summer and fall, all of them started the recruiting process as a freshman or sophomore. None of their 14U teams played in "showcase" tournaments, all of their 16U teams did play in them. None of them got a deal until this fall (4 of them during the last 2 weeks of fall season) and a few of them still do not, but have good interest from a couple of schools each. Every one of them will play college softball at some level

    I do not agree that it is no longer fun once the girls start showcasing!!!!!!! It may not be fun for that parent's who are hardcore "My Daughter deserves nothing less than DI" types, but I have met very few of them (fortunately).

    My DD, DW and I have had a blast through the years. For us, the journey has been many great years that we got to spend with our kid; the end result is the bonus. We talked as a family at the end of every year to make sure that DD is still having fun and we were still willing to fund it. We decided early in the process that if DD were to quit for whatever reason, we would be OK with it.

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    JAD
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    I would not get to worked up about playing showcases in 7th or 8th grade. Most recruiters will not look at your DD until she is at least a freshman in high school. Showcases are expensive, typically 2-3X a regular tournament, and they are a 5GG and played in a 'friendly format' (bat everyone, equal playing time, drop dead clock, free substitutions). If money is not a concern it is probably a good experience for your DD and her teammates, so they will not have first time 'butterflies' when it really counts!

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    Softball Junkie 29dad's Avatar
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    DD is a 98 birthdate and plays on a second year 14U team. Last year, as a 13U team, they played in two showcases. Lots of college coaches in attendance, but almost ZERO came to see us play. This fall, as a second year 14U team, we played in two more showcases. Again, hardly any coaches watched us. DD played in another showcase as she got invited to play with the 16 year old team and it was a world of difference. All of a sudden a TON of coaches were on hand. So my advice, FWIW, is absolutely don't go to showcases and play in the 14U division. It's VERY expensive, and nobody sees you play. If you're good enough to compete at 16U, then by all means have at it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 29dad View Post
    DD is a 98 birthdate and plays on a second year 14U team. Last year, as a 13U team, they played in two showcases. Lots of college coaches in attendance, but almost ZERO came to see us play. This fall, as a second year 14U team, we played in two more showcases. Again, hardly any coaches watched us. DD played in another showcase as she got invited to play with the 16 year old team and it was a world of difference. All of a sudden a TON of coaches were on hand. So my advice, FWIW, is absolutely don't go to showcases and play in the 14U division. It's VERY expensive, and nobody sees you play. If you're good enough to compete at 16U, then by all means have at it.
    This was our experience as well. Dd's team played in the Colorado Freedom Invitational in Broomfield this summer as 13u-this tournament overlapped several days with Boulder IDT. Great competition but we didn't see any coaches watching 14u. When they played up 16u at Orland Sparks in Chicago a few weeks later, there were a ton of college coaches and several watching their games.

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    I can talk softball all day PGSAKen's Avatar
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    If you are starting CE now then theyll work out the butterflies in the spring (8th grade) and be good to go their freshman year (fall of same year). CE is a bit laid back and you have to play 16U. Its good exposure and does not consume the full season.

    Inshortyou can have the best of both worlds. As long as you look at it as exposure and experience-not life and death.

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    My DD played all summer as a 13 yoa for a 16U "exposure" team. They played almost exclusively showcase tournaments. To be honest, very few college coaches recruiting our girls. When they found out my DD was in 8th grade, they would comment that she has a bright future and a few wrote her name down. She played up on the 18U team twice in the fall. Many more coaches at the games. Several college coaches talked to the head coach, inquiring about my DD. Again, when they found out she was in 8th grade, it was more of a write the name down sort of thing. She was invited to several camps, but I am sure they invite a ton of girls. One thing I have discovered is that most colleges offer some type of "Elite" camp for recruits. The problem with that is almost all of them, you need to be in the 9th grade to attend the camp.

    As a '99 team, you have all 7th and 8th graders. I would think you would be better served saving the money you would pay for exposure tournaments. I bet if you saved that money, and attempted to qualify for ASA 14U Nationals, you would get more exposure in that one tournament, than an entire year of playing in 14U exposure events. Don't be in a hurry to go to exposure tournaments. You have a ton of time for that. I would think if you had a team that could compete nationally, it would serve the girls better on their profile. Most top players include where their teams finished at nationals in their profile.

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    I have been to ONE "showcase" where I thought it was worth the money = Orland Sparks.

    The rest have been a huge money sponge......

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    Thanks all. My main concern is I guess I don't want dd growing up too fast. She has been offered spots on older teams in the past, I we feel strongly about keeping her with her age group,as long as she is on a team with solid coaching and good group of girls. We have been blessed that this has been the case. Softball has been great for our her and we just love every minute of watching her and team play. With differing opinions amongst parents, I fear the team will fragment, with a few feeling they need the "highest level", aggressive decisions made right now.
    With my dd being a 7th grader, I'd like the extra year to enjoy things as they are. Thanks for the suggestions of camps. They sound like a great experience. Hopefully, the team will "ease" into the showcases!

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