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HS Players getting emails from coaches - How can I help?

Jun 6, 2016
802
18
Chicago
I know there is no simple answer here, but I'm wondering what steps I can take to help my high school players who are getting emails from college coaches.

These are players who are interested in playing in college, but they have little to no travel experience and their parents aren't nearly as involved in their softball careers as what you're used to. I believe a few of these girls have the potential to play somewhere at that level, but until they play better competition now, I'm not sure where their ceilings are.

So, generally, what should I do when a girl comes to me and talks about wanting to play in college? I'm willing to do whatever I can to help them (and, on some level, play the role of the parent since I know in many cases the parents won't be able to do that).

More specifically, one of my players got two emails from a D3 coach in a nearby state. It appears these emails were mass emails, probably scraped from the NCSA site or something. I think it's unlikely this coach has ever even seen clips of her, though he could have if he had searched. The first was an introductory email, and the second was announcing that he was going to be at a local-ish college for a softball combine in June.

So does he actually have interest in her? Is this just a pitch to get girls to spend money on this combine? And are these combines worth money? The one he mentioned costs $100 and will have reps from 8 schools (most of which are on my list of schools whose talent level is about what I think my girls can handle).
 

Nov 27, 2012
185
18
I know there is no simple answer here, but I'm wondering what steps I can take to help my high school players who are getting emails from college coaches.

These are players who are interested in playing in college, but they have little to no travel experience and their parents aren't nearly as involved in their softball careers as what you're used to. I believe a few of these girls have the potential to play somewhere at that level, but until they play better competition now, I'm not sure where their ceilings are.

So, generally, what should I do when a girl comes to me and talks about wanting to play in college? I'm willing to do whatever I can to help them (and, on some level, play the role of the parent since I know in many cases the parents won't be able to do that).

More specifically, one of my players got two emails from a D3 coach in a nearby state. It appears these emails were mass emails, probably scraped from the NCSA site or something. I think it's unlikely this coach has ever even seen clips of her, though he could have if he had searched. The first was an introductory email, and the second was announcing that he was going to be at a local-ish college for a softball combine in June.

So does he actually have interest in her? Is this just a pitch to get girls to spend money on this combine? And are these combines worth money? The one he mentioned costs $100 and will have reps from 8 schools (most of which are on my list of schools whose talent level is about what I think my girls can handle).
You as their HS coach can do a lot to get these girls recruited. HS coaches emails and phone calls carry more weight than some random person so the probability of you getting a replies from college coaches are high. You can contact your local JUCOs and tell them about the kid and have the coaches come out and watch the HS games and see if they are interested in any of the kids.
 

Cannonball

Ex "Expert"
Feb 25, 2009
3,784
48
There are several things that you can do. First, be honest with the young lady and explain that there is a very good probability that the letter she received is simply due to a name being on a list and that the coach has probably not seen her play. You know this because she has not played any significant travel ball where coaches are generally looking for players.

Some ways you can help given your scenario:

  • Have your player go to the various websites of the teams she might be interested in and fill out the "recruitment me" portion of that school's website.
  • Have your player send a brief email letting the coach know of her interest as a simple introduction. Some things she might want to include would be current GPA if known, class rank, and any significant scores on national tests if known. Let the coach know that the player will follow up with either a video or a link to YouTube for video of the player.
  • Help your player make a recruitment video. We do this each year. We don't make the video with all of the bells and whistles. We make a solid video that shows our player's skills but also has an introduction of the player and a closing portions that shows the player's personality.
  • You can create a check list for all that the player wants to do. In fact, there are various websites that you can visit that have checklists for player.
  • You can see what is available for you to assist your players on improving their scores on national tests. For example, I went to our guidance department and asked if they had any disks on the ACT that I could use to prepare my players. In fact, they did. I set up an old computer in my class that players used after school to prepare for the ACT. Our school has progressed to the SAT now and so, I have been unable to get something to help my current players. You need to sit down with the player and parents to see what the possibilities are. In other words, helping one of your students to to xxxx university will not matter if the parents aren't supportive. You need to make sure that the parents are in on this from the start and that they know you CAN'T get your player a scholarship. The parents and players have work to do. (Side note. I recall a couple of years ago where one of my player's parents began telling everyone that what her child did did not matter because Coach was getting that kid a scholarship. Somehow, there was a disconnect between what I said and what they heard.)
  • If you have a school website that you can control, you can put much of the information I just mentioned up on that website. Unfortunately, we don't have control over ours. When I was the head coach in baseball, I had an outstanding site where I controlled everything.
This list is a start. I am sure others can contribute more.
 
Nov 29, 2009
2,773
38
Coach,

The email your player received is geared towards the players with little or no travel experience. Most of the inexperienced non-travel players and parents are naive to these types of emails. Especially when they throw the "combine" out there. Makes it sound like a big deal.

At best I would call this an attempted money maker cattle call for the "Coach" who sent the email. Your player was on a list and got sent the email.

Here is a discussion about the same "combine."

Midwest Fastpitch: is this legit
 
Jun 6, 2016
802
18
Chicago
As always, thanks for the great advice, everybody.

cannonball, I plan to hold a "Are you interested in playing in college?" meeting a couple weeks into the season. I'm going to use some of what you said here as a starter for what they need to do (lists of schools, etc). I don't have access to our school site, but I have some other tools available. I'm setting up a Google classroom where I am going to post different things (drills, practice plans, I don't know... work in progress). I can post some of the college-related info there.

Sparky, that's the email. Seems like maybe it's not quite a scam, but it's also probably not worth the hundred bucks.
 

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