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College recruiting and showcases

Feb 17, 2014
6,810
38
Orlando, FL
This is about baseball and the recruiting process for softball is a bit different. That said much is very applicable. Softball requires a much more active approach.
 

NEF

May 16, 2012
90
6
New England
I think its all about targeting schools that are a good match for your player and then going to the appropriate college camps, Please look at what region a school recruits from, and have an honest approach to where your DD stands both academically and athletically. I was told by a hall of fame D1 coach at a honors camp that had some very decent talent attending, that everyone in attendance can play college ball, it was just finding the right fit.
 
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Jul 21, 2017
48
6
This is about baseball and the recruiting process for softball is a bit different. That said much is very applicable. Softball requires a much more active approach.
Wondering if the softball world might be changing a bit? Seeing Oregon implode has me rethinking. We have a high-school coach that pushes “college coaches will love this”. For my kid, college softball isn’t the goal. Playing her best right now is and should be. I know you’ve been through it all. Just feel like there is a lot of unnecessary pressure on the parents and girls.


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Jul 21, 2017
48
6
I think its all about targeting schools that are a good match for your player and then going to the appropriate college camps, Please look at what region a school recruits from, and have an honest approach to where your DD stands both academically and athletically. I was told by a hall of fame D1 coach at a honors camp that had some very decent talent attending, that everyone in attendance can play college ball, it was just finding the right fit.
Makes sense to me! Too much money spent on trying to find the scholarship to a school that may not be a great fit.


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Jul 16, 2013
2,836
48
Pennsylvania
I think its all about targeting schools that are a good match for your player and then going to the appropriate college camps, Please look at what region a school recruits from, and have an honest approach to where your DD stands both academically and athletically. I was told by a hall of fame D1 coach at a honors camp that had some very decent talent attending, that everyone in attendance can play college ball, it was just finding the right fit.
Sometimes this is the toughest thing for parents to understand. Some have an unrealistic view of their son or daughter. Some really don't realize the difference in talent around the country.

* One of my best friends has a daughter the same age as mine. When she was at 12u and 14u, they were constantly talking about Florida, Alabama, Washington, etc. While she was a great kid and a decent player, she wasn't at that level. They took her to several camps at SEC schools and placed her on a travel team that traveled all over the east coast. By junior year in high school, she was no longer playing softball.

* A local team was very competitive at B level tournaments in our area. They were nearly always either 1st or 2nd at the end of the weekend. Several of their parents were always talking about big P5 schools. But they rarely traveled outside the local area. They decided to attend a bigger tournament in a neighboring state that my team was also playing in. I had an opportunity to see them play while our team was on a break, and watched them completely implode to a double digit loss. Many of these same parents looked like they saw a ghost. They couldn't understand what happened. What happened is simple. They finally had an opportunity to play against a solid opponent and found out that they were not on the same level.

Early on I wanted to see what level DD was going to be able to handle. Our first team was 12u. We were B level and played mostly local tournaments. But each year we always scheduled 1 or 2 tournaments outside the area. We referred to these as "measuring stick" tournaments. We entered these with few expectations other than performing better than we did the previous year. The first year was ugly... But each year after that we continually improved. Eventually we started traveling more and playing more A level type tournaments. It was a gradual process, but we were able all along to see the level of talent around the North East / East Coast and were able to measure DD's ability against those other players. We also took her to several camps at various schools to gauge the talent level there. Ultimately, DD's college choice came down to academic fit. Yes, she is playing softball in college, but her choice in schools was made due to academic reasons.

One mistake I do see a lot of people make is that the level of school determines the quality of the program. D1 is where it's at. D2 is 2nd place. D3 is only for those not capable of playing at the other two. I have found this type of thinking to be ridiculous. Obviously the major P5 schools are going to have a stronger program than some D3 school in the northeast with a total enrollment of 800 students. However, I have seen quality programs at each level, and weak programs at each level. It really varies. Choose the school based on academic and athletic fit and don't worry about the level of the program.
 
Jun 11, 2012
359
18
DD is a freshman at a D3 that is frequently at the top of their league. The coach is great, they train harder than most D3s but more than that the school is the perfect fit.
We were lucky because she knew what she wanted to major in, knew she wanted city instead of suburban and fell in love with the school early on.
Another factor to consider is how many current players (or players that will still be there when your DD gets there) play her position/s. Is her goal to be on a D1 team with the possibility of minimal playing time or to be an impact player right away on a solid D2/3 team.

Don’t waste time going to camps just because they are D1 unless the school would be a good fit. I’ve seen so many girls work hard to get noticed by their “dream school” and then set foot on campus only to discover they hate it or they don’t have the major/s they are thinking about.
 
Jan 7, 2019
17
3
1 minute in I am already having problems with what he's saying. I don't know how it works in baseball but in softball, showcase rules are different and it's not about winning. Most of them are just a set amount of games, winning won't advance you. Coaches will come over, ask a certain player to bat a few times in a row. I've seen a team give another 9 outs in an inning so their pitcher could be looked at.

The 2nd part is mostly true. There's too much pressure. But softball dads not doing showcases, as a rule, are much crazier. I think most parents know if you misbehave or cause a scene around college coaches, their DD is getting crossed off of lists. I feel like if your kid messes up, any reaction other than clapping or not reacting at all is going to be interpreted negatively by a coach, and they are watching the parents if they are watching the kid. Also he is right about the very best 1% who are already projected as D1. However, it's hard to get good competition playing locally in many parts of the country, so going out and playing the best is beneficial. IMO, if a girl can hit off one of the handful of younger players who have been offered by Auburn, FL, LSU, etc, they probably will be able to play in college somewhere. You're only going to see that at the big tournaments where these girls are. But the burnout rate is high, he is right.

Third part, he is right about most showcases being money makers. If your organization isn't playing the best showcases and doesn't get put at the main complexes it's probably not worth it. Even if they do, it's been said here before many times, the chances that a coach happens to see your DD do something special is very slim. However, if she contacts the coach, they will likely come watch her play. Also, he is partly right about the money. Going back to what I said, it's hard to find top competition locally. We parents talk about this all the time, what if we took the 10-20k we will spend every year and put it away? We should be enjoying this too. The whole family should be getting something out of this experience, not just the kid who plays. It keeps her out of trouble, keeps her busy, focused, in shape, etc. An applicant who has a 1300 SAT and can help the school's softball team has a distinct advantage over the typical applicant with a 1500 SAT score. And that's assuming both applicants are in the same financial situation.

Last part is also right, your coach/director will be a factor. However, the coaches with connections are going to cost money and they will want to travel. No such thing as a
"non-profit". Also touching on what others have said, we attended a D3 camp recently and the talent was pretty much all D1. A couple of the local pitchers that were there have dominated some of the best teams in the country. A bunch of the girls came from the west coast out of big time organizations and were solid in every aspect. My kid came away knowing she has a lot of work to do. And lastly, grades, grades, grades. Many of the "academic" schools whether D1 or D3 won't even consider your DD until she gets an ACT or SAT score AND trasncript with a course load that tells them they'd be able to handle the college's workload.

His main point is focus on development, not so much being seen. My opinion is focus on development, but if my DD does something great and a college coach didn't see it, it never happened. No one, our coaches included, are in this for $2 trophies. They're trying to empower these girls to become student athletes at the next level.
 
Dec 2, 2013
881
18
Texas
And lastly, grades, grades, grades. Many of the "academic" schools whether D1 or D3 won't even consider your DD until she gets an ACT or SAT score AND trasncript with a course load that tells them they'd be able to handle the college's workload.
For those schools it's "Firstly" before they will even have you on an visit. The first thing those coaches ask is what are their schools and can they get into my school. My DD will be going to a D3 in Texas and the first thing they wanted to know was scores or class rank. Top 10% get automatic admittance. Once they were comfortable that she could get in, they granted a visit and was offered on that visit. Got to get a 30 ACT or higher to qualify for their merit money. It's all about the score.
 
Nov 27, 2012
185
18
Not everything is set in stone. College recruiting process is very different for different families. Kids get under coaches radar thru many ways, some by playing in big name organizations that are pipeline to some colleges, others by going to camps and few other thru recruiting agencies. Parents need to understand that what works for one person may not work for the next one and vice versa and everyone’s journey is different.

My daughter did not play with a big time organization so she never played in front of big time coaches at the main fields in showcases. We were always put in fields that were 10-20 miles away from fields where the big name teams played. So we hit the camps and small winter clinics and we included only one big time D-1 school in the mix. My daughter loved the D-1 school because of the coach and she felt at home every time we went there and for me it was in state school and was only couple hrs from home. The coach saw something in my daughter that she liked and offered her. It’s a big P-5 school and my daughter knows that she will not make immediate impact, but she loves the school, the program the players and the coaching staff.

The recruiting process is not just one road, there are many ways to the destination. Enjoy the ride, it will be over sooner than you think.
 

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