How our DDs ended up on college teams

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May 20, 2015
on a related note: at some point once things settle down, is it OK for me to ask the HC exactly what caught her eye with DD1? Why DD1 ended up at her school? To be honest, there had to have been plenty of possibilities with DD's skill level......her academics were very strong, but this is a very good school, too.....we are looking at a lot of aid, so it wasn't because we could write the check lol........I'm just interested in what helped her to stand out, as we are starting the process with DD2 now, and I feel this info would be helpful

Is this something I can tactfully bring up with the new HC without looking like "that guy"?
Sep 9, 2019
on a related note: at some point once things settle down, is it OK for me to ask the HC exactly what caught her eye with DD1? Why DD1 ended up at her school? To be honest, there had to have been plenty of possibilities with DD's skill level......her academics were very strong, but this is a very good school, too.....we are looking at a lot of aid, so it wasn't because we could write the check lol........I'm just interested in what helped her to stand out, as we are starting the process with DD2 now, and I feel this info would be helpful

Is this something I can tactfully bring up with the new HC without looking like "that guy"?
DD had this as a standard question for meetings. Our experience was it was mostly volunteered, not needed to ask
Feb 17, 2014
Orlando, FL
My DD was a standout in TB and HS and was heavily recruited. Her Sophomore year in HS (2011) she earned a National High School Player of the Year award averaging 14+ K's per game and was bringing mid-high 60's speed. Some mid-majors and even some SEC teams had shown serious interest. Only problem was her feet. As the surgeon said "she has the feet of an 80 year old". She had bunions so bad that she would ice after each outing and in TB once she took her shoes off she was done for the day. So we scheduled her for a procedure on 11/11/2011. And yes history buffs, the surgery was around 11:00AM.

The day prior she played in a HS fall ball game at NTC in Clermont FL. In the second game she went down after taking vicious swing and twisting her knee. At the time NTC was run by Dr. Dot Richardson who was familiar with my daughter and took a look at her on the spot. She suggested getting seen ASAP and getting an MRI. Only problem was she was scheduled for surgery the following day so the knee would have to wait. The following day she went into surgery for a bilateral bunionectomy. Which means that both of her feet surgically broken, adjusted, bone shaved, and secured with screws. Like a knee or hip replacement most people elect to do these one at a time due to the pain and so they can still be mobile. But given her softball potential we did not have that time so we did both at the same time. Soon after the surgery we got that MRI that Dr. Dot had recommended. We found she had a partial meniscus tear that would also need to heal. We both wondered if college softball was in her future. She spent months hobbling around at home and school first in a wheelchair, then a walker, and finally crutches. She worked hard at the physical therapy and returned to the circle 6 months later. But she was not herself, the velocity and endurance was gone as the interest from all but a few schools.

Fast forward to September 2012 as a HS Senior and she was back to her old self. Velocity was back as was her signature rise. However, the big schools and their money were long gone so we explored JUCO opportunities. At first she was not keen on the idea, but JUCO in Florida is a bit different than most places. One school in particular showed interest, Chipola College in Marianna Florida. Marianna is a very small town about 1 hour west of Tallahassee. It is one of the smallest D1 JUCO's with an enrollment of about 2,000 students. Her High School had over 4,000 so this was a very small school for her. But they had a very big softball program that had already earned a National Championship in 2007 and was in the hunt every year. As an added bonus their Fall schedule included schools like Florida, LSU, Tennessee, Mississippi State, etc. As I told her, you will get plenty of exposure and you will only get better in college. So I arranged for our TB team to play Chipola in the Fall so they could get a good look at her. Long story short she was lights out. After the game the Head Coach, Belinda Hendrix told her that she wanted to see her in her office. Went to her office with her husband who was also the pitching coach and waited. After a few minutes Coach Hendrix walks in, throws her clipboard on the desk and says to my daughter, "I have never been shut down by a Travel Ball pitcher. I am ready to offer you books, tuition, food, housing, I will even pay for your parking decal.". My daughter did not accept on the spot but made a call 2 days later to accept. I told her to make the most of it, and that by the time she was done at Chipola there will be a school that needs a proven arm.

First year at Chipola she did very well with a 0.56(?) ERA and they just missed out on a trip to the National Championship. All of a sudden all kinds of 4 year schools took interest including Coach Earlywine at Mizzou. She carefully considered the offer, but thought it was too far from home and as she told him "I have unfinished business at Chiploa.". That unfinished business came to fruition the following year with a velocity that topped out at 70mph, a wicked 2 seam fastball, and of course her rise. Out of the blue she took an interest in South Carolina, so Chipola put SC on their Fall schedule. She held her own pitching 5 scoreless innings against an SEC team. Needless to say SC was very interested and made her a very generous offer which she accepted in early November 2014, almost 3 years from the date of her surgery. In the spring Chipola won the 2015 NJCAA National Championship, and my daughter was NJCAA Pitcher of The Year, Tournament MVP, NFCA All American, and some others I do not recall.

She had a great career at SC as a starter during her 2 years as a Gamecock playing in NCAA Regionals both years. She got better as a pitcher developing a nasty flip change and her velocity topped out in a game vs Georgia where she hit 72mph several times and once hit 73mph. She went on to play 1 year of Pro Ball in Europe which was a step down in quality but she spent several months as a paid tourist travelling about.

I tell this story to anyone who will listen. Not to brag on my daughter. Ok maybe a little, but for the takeaways. Everyone has a different path and things happen for a reason. She could have easily thrown in the towel in High School but college softball was her dream. Her story is not typical, but many recruiting stories are not. Softball as with life is about following your dream. Keep your eyes open to the opportunities presented, and let it take you wherever it goes.
Feb 17, 2014
Orlando, FL
Enjoy the time. The worst part is that the travel ball journey and the irreplaceable time spent together is about to end.
The memories you will have from her college career will last a lifetime. Many will be off the field and have little to do with softball. Some of the best times were away games where we stayed in the same hotel as the team.
Jul 27, 2015
Share your story about how your DD was recruited and otherwise ended up on a college team.

There is so much nonsense about recruiting, so let's lift the kilt and let newbie parents see how it is really done!
I will add to my earlier thread. This story involves the DII college my daughter now attends.

So my daughter's old team played in one of the hundreds of World Series. She pitched in 9 of the 10 games we played in over 5 days. I believe she pitched 4 complete games. She was pitched to exhaustion the last 3-4 games. Tournament ended in Sunday.

So that next Saturday we play in a tournament. Her future college coach drove 3.5 hours to watch her pitch. It was the first time this coach was going to see my daughter pitch.

It was over 100 degrees and my daughter had dead arm from the World Series. She was HORRIFIC. She started 2 games with the coach there. WHIP was 3. She did not even last 3 innings in either game - and the competition was weak.

The only saving grace was they had the green tennis-court type netting up behind home plate. The coach could not see much of my daughter's pitching.

I just knew her dream school option was over.

As luck would have it, we had previously signed up for a summer camp with the school a week later. So we went and her arm was no longer as dead. She was not great but did okay. Afterwards, the coach said she was on their short list of pitchers for 2021s grad.

Fast forward 3 months. New team. We are on the main fields at a 100+ team showcase. It was my daughters first time ever on main fields. Pre-Covid. There were 15-20 coaches at every field. It was an awesome experience. The coach came out to watch. My daughter pitched 2 half games against teams full of committed girls. 7 innings total, 15k, 2 hits, 2 bb. 0 runs. She got her offer.
Aug 23, 2017
STL Metro area
My DD had her mind set on the school she wanted since her freshman year and will be going there next year!

My DD met her future college coach (D2) at a camp put on by the Extreme Elite organization her freshman year in the fall. She enjoyed her short time with the coach, started emailing her along with other coaches. In the spring Extreme Elite put on another camp, when my DD stepped into the cages the coach remembered her name and chatted with her. That winter we went on campus for a camp and she greeted my DD at the door and had a 15 min conversation before camp even started. Went to more camps, sent more emails, got asked to take an official visit, verbally committed, and just signed our NLI on the 10th. She was lucky to get the school she's comfortable at and gets to play for a coach that wants her! Proud dad!

We did everything on our own, didn't hire an outside source to help. I hear they are worthwhile if you choose the right research before you just pay anyone! Just my thoughts.

You have to send emails, send the coaches schedule updates, updates how you are doing, videos of game play, videos of workouts, tell them info about you, show them who you fake shirt! Get a list of target schools. Get a list unreachable schools all the way down to reachable schools. Keep records of your emails, email about 10-30 schools, it's lots of work but will be worth it. Go to camps!! The more you get face to face with the coaches the more they get to see you and know you. Tag them in social media post, follow coaches and teams you're interested in. These things help but don't guarantee anything. MOST IMPORTANT INFO I CAN GIVE IS GET GOOD GRADES!!!!! GPA is huge! A coach isn't going to waste their time on you if you can't make it in school. Remember school is the most important thing....softball is just a bonus that helps pay for your schooling. And it doesn't matter if you play D1, NAIA, JUCO, etc., you are going there for an education! The division you play won't help you in the real world, go to a school that has your major, and you feel comfortable at. GOOD LUCK and hope this help.
Oct 5, 2015
DD started attending camps in the fall of her freshman year. First camp she attended was at a small D2 and she loved everything about the school, the coach and the players.

Over the next year and a half, she attended other camps and continued to send emails to prospective coaches, but her heart was always with that first school. Every time she attended a camp at the small D2, the coach was one of the first to have a conversation with her and many of the players knew who she was as well.

June before her junior year, the coach from the small D2 called the first day allowed with an excellent offer and DD was thrilled.

She'll be a sophomore this fall and couldn't be happier with her choice.
Sep 6, 2012
Read through all of these. 2024 DD (why is it called that instead of daughter?) is starting Junior year.
We moved up to an 18U Showcase & 1st tourney interaction with parents, we really learned alot, especially about some of their D2 & D3 visits & subsequent offers.
My question about the process relates to social media and is layered. It almost sounded as if DD's & parents are going by some "keep our offer in your pocket" stuff? Spoke w/ more than 1 set of parents who aren't even publicly announcing offers, no matter the size. I couldn't really "pry" and ask why that is a good thing in their eyes.

What is the justification for keeping offers quiet? Doesn't seem to hold true for the male athletes as they post each announcement of an offer, a thank you and the logo of the school. Then the boys start adding offers & logos to their Twitter or IG bio & momentum grows.

I ask because the ONLY 2 girls I know of in our area who announced their 1st college basketball offers....within weeks were getting offers and invites from other programs, both eventually getting offered and accepted to far bigger schools than their original offered schools.

One of you mentioned a coach who didn't have a need referring a player out to another school. I even spoke w/ an ESPN analyst/Olympic player recently and she confirmed as much...that to have our DD speak to as many coaches on ANY level as they can to get that "referral" to the right fit.

So why would schools or parents NOT announce every single offer via Twitter??? Just learned this week that coaches are lurking on DD accounts 24/7 but aren't allowed to comment, but girls should keep posting content and not be defeated by lack of "engagement" in that arena. Sure as heck seems like a great leverage to announce and see who is lurking.

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