My DD and a few of her teammates lift weights at an area D1 school three nights a week. The school softball team was just finishing up when we got there, and the assistant was watching them work out. We struck up a conversation with him, since we were on campus.
He had a lot to say about the recruiting process, and what our team, mostly 2015 class, should be doing. Basically, it was exposure, exposure, exposure. For him, his top three were:
1. Exposure tournaments.....making contact with coaches, repeatedly, to let them know you would be there, and try to get to as many in late October and November tourneys as you can, since that's their main recruiting time.
2. School camps..... If you're really interested in a school....get to their camp(s), and let the coach know you will be there.
3. Unofficial school visits..... Go to campus and let them know you will be there, try to meet at least with the assistant.
Bottom line, it was be persistent, but don't be afraid of rejection. At the D1 level its a business, it's not personal.
He stressed that whenever the team goes out of town for a tourney, exposure or not, we should be making time to visit whatever colleges are in the area, softball program or not. Get a feel for the type of campus a player might be interested in. Big, small? Rural, urban? Do you like the school colors? Have the player make a list of the things that she likes and dislikes about different types of schools, so she can narrow the list before she starts broadcasting emails and making phone calls. I thought this was great advice.
One of the things that we found interesting was he discussed how all the coaches talk. For instance, he knows the needs of most all the teams in his conference....if he doesn't need a second baseman, but happens to watch a stud playing that position at some tourney, he'll contact the school that is in need of a player like that and let them know. He said that for him, it's all the schools in our area, from D1 all the way down to NAIA/D3.
Finally the biggest thing was that they are focused on 2014's right now (HS sophomores) and just got their first verbal from that class. They are certainly making notes and keeping track of 2015's; especially since his program will need a pretty large recruiting class next year. This was an eye opener for our girls.
Good conversation for the girls....we coaches have been saying pretty much the same thing over and over again for the last 4 months, but now they got to hear it right from the real thing. I think it sunk in this time.