Wall of text coming. ...
My daughter is a solid player. She could play at a D1 team if she put in the work, but so far she hasn't shown any interest in doing anything "extra." She's a high school freshman. Streaky bat. Catcher.
So here's the thing about her catching. When she's in a game, she's really really good. Fantastic framing. Blocks like a wall. Quick and steady throws to second in under two seconds. Sometimes 1.8, but usually a touch slower. 1.85 or 1.9. Just great numbers. But when she's not in a game situation, she doesn't look that impressive. If there's not actually a runner going in a game, her whole pop-time routine lacks intensity. In drills, she pops at 2.2 or so. Similarly, if she's not in a game, she lets more balls get by her. You've got to see her in a real game to see her at her best.
So as a result of that whole dynamic, the real elite organizations in our area have passed on her. She's finally on a good travel team, and the only reason she's on the team is one of the parents who has the coach's ear saw he play pick-up last year where she was just awesome behind the plate.
Daughter "thinks" she wants to play college softball. My wife and I have good jobs, and we've planned for college with our 529 plan. Also, daughter is very smart and goes to a fantastic private school. I'm on the board of an area university's honor's college with tons of academic contacts. So we don't NEED a softball scholarship. It would certainly be nice, but its not something we need.
A guy who works for the organization called ScoutU (scoutu.org is their website) has given some recruiting talks to her travel team. He says that every player on the team could play in college (probably true). His deal is he acts as a liaison between the kid and the schools. He helps with the communications. He does video editing. He supposedly will contact coaches and help get you kid in front of them in showcases and camps.
He's expensive. All-in cost is a hair over $3K. This is a one-time fee and "buys" you hand-holding all the way to college. He will supposedly work with you until you're happy.
We can afford the fee, but I have reservations about the amount here. It seems like a lot. But my daughter hasn't been motivated to write the first email to any coach (even to prospect camps where she's been). My wife s very organized, but she has no interest in being the motivator for college prospecting.
The ScoutU guy talked to her, and she seems to be motivated, but I suspect this is more a product of him being a good sales closer.