School me on D3 softball

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Jul 9, 2010
289
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Looking back over this thread, it has certainly been awhile.

My DD reports to school in a week. As it turns out, they have 13 freshmen committed in this recruiting class - their biggest ever. Of the 13, about half had mid-major D1 or top third D2 offers that they declined, because they all like the school, the coach, and the idea of playing together at this school to try to elevate this program.

She has her shots, classes scheduled, spent all summer working out and playing her brains out, working to make some spending money for the upcoming year, and has planned and replanned her degree a 100 times. The academic advising dean knows her cell number - she has called that poor woman about 20 times begging for particular classes to make her degree plans work out.

She is too excited for words, and can not wait to get to school, start Fall practice, and put on the uniform of her new team. I have never seen her so excited.

It was hard for me to end conversations with bigger schools, I have to be honest. Two D1's offered a spot on the team (the dreaded preferred walk-on) and was trying to find some money. Some D2's contacted us after she committed in the Fall of her senior year to this D3, and we had to tell them she had committed.

Her senior year, she made the best grades of her whole HS career. Over the summer, she has locked in and focused, has done everything she can to prepare herself, academically and athletically, and I couldn't be more proud of her.

I'll be honest, some of her peers made fun of her for picking a D3 school. 5 of her HS teammates signed in D1, 3 in D2, and 3 in D3. The peer pressure for her was immense to change her plans and pick a bigger school. Her value was diminshed in the eyes of some of her friends because she chose a D3.

For her career and athletic goals, this is the right move for her.

This recruiting process is tough, and we had lots of late nights, long trips, a few heartbreaks when schools told her they weren't going to offer, high points when others said they would, grief from peers, college visits, etc, etc. In between, we worked in lots of school and lots of softball.

Fast forward a year, and she is too excited for words. She looks so forward to waking up each day, so she can mark another day off the calendar that gets her closer to reporting.

For those in the process - it is hard, but if you can fast forward a year, you'd have to say it was worth it.
 
Sep 16, 2013
9
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If you like the ideas of D3 schools, do not rule out NAIA schools.

1) NAIA schools are able to give out both academic and athletic scholarships

2) They are as competitive, if not more competitive then many D3 schools and some D2 schools. They even take on a few D1 schools and win time to time.

3) I compare NAIA and NCAA like Powerade and Gatorade. One is a a little more popular then the other, but they are both the same idea.
 
May 17, 2012
2,806
113
With 12 years experience as a DIII head softball coach.... I will give you my perspective.

"7. Stafford loans... all freshman qualify, amount increases each year... interest paid by Feds until 6 months after graduation. Free money for 4.5 years.. Everyone should take it..."

I nearly choked on my bagel when I read this. Hands down the worst advice ever on this board.

The rest of the information was great though.
 
Sep 28, 2015
109
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Great post! My dd (a jr) is also in contact with a D3 school that makes it very clear in her email communications that they "want her". However, the word verbal has never been said on either side. I still want her to look at other schools and retake her SAT/ACT. Her GPA is a lot more impressive than her first try at those tests. I hope we can keep this thread going on as everyone's recruiting process progresses.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Oct 19, 2009
1,277
38
beyond the fences
Wow! talk about resurrecting an old thread.......
Fast forward to 2016-My DD is playing at a prominent D3
for the education. There has been some great advice here, most important-
go to the school's financial aid calculator and find out if the school is
within reach financially. Don't let DD become a statistic of a six figure debt
on a 4 year education. If DD has good grades look into merit based incentives
in the NEWMAC conference. There are some great private schools that have huge endowments
 
Jul 4, 2014
141
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This is an invaluable thread. I still find myself coming back to it every so often - picking up tips that I may have missed previously.

I do have one question.... how does one evaluate "want"? DD heard from a D3 coach who told her that based on her performance on and off the field, he is interested in speaking with her and having her visit his school. This sounds like "want". But to what degree?

Not that I have any experience in any recruiting, but I"m finding that D3 tends to be a little grayer when it comes to determining a coaches' interest. Am I mistaken?
 
May 12, 2008
2,210
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Good thread. You can use softball to help pay for school, to get into a school you couldn't get into otherwise or you can just use it to add to the quality of your college experience. All are valid. One addition to the advice in this thread is, if you are being recruited D1 but thinking of D3 in order to be able to pursue a difficult major, consider the Ivy League. You can be premed or what have you and still play against name D1 schools and have a chance to play in a D1 regionals. You won't likely make it to a Super Regionals but you may knock some others out of the tourney first. Having said that, the D3 softball experience can be very rewarding. Enjoy the ride and for you parents, don't miss a game. You will find yourself standing on the field with your daughter on senior day wondering how it went by so fast.
 

Greenmonsters

Wannabe Duck Boat Owner
Feb 21, 2009
6,167
38
New England
This is an invaluable thread. I still find myself coming back to it every so often - picking up tips that I may have missed previously.

I do have one question.... how does one evaluate "want"? DD heard from a D3 coach who told her that based on her performance on and off the field, he is interested in speaking with her and having her visit his school. This sounds like "want". But to what degree?

Not that I have any experience in any recruiting, but I"m finding that D3 tends to be a little grayer when it comes to determining a coaches' interest. Am I mistaken?

Not sure if this is what you are experiencing, but IMO/IME the inability to offer athletic scholarships creates a unique situation for a D3 coach. When a D1 or D2 coach gives a kid a scholarship, you can be assured that that kid will get the benefit of the doubt over any non-scholarship player of comparable ability. However, in D3 every player a coach is recruiting effectively is a walk on who doesn't cost the coach anything (if you don't count recruiting time and effort!) and the more recruits they line up, the more selective they can be when making final roster decisions - every year! Given this, except for a top pitcher or super stud hitter, a D3 coach who may have a real interest in a player may come across as somewhat reserved when they don't offer specific roles or playing time assessments because oftentimes a) they don't know who will end up actually coming to school (especially true at schools where the academic bar is set high and admission uncertain or an accepted recruit's enrollment is contingent on the financial aid package offer); and/or, b) they haven't the recruiting resources to have seen recruits play enough to accurately evaluate their capabilities and assess their potential. No long-term coach wants to develop a reputation for over recruiting/over promising.
 
Oct 12, 2015
120
0
All Over I Coach TB
I don't know your financial position, but it's never too soon to start researching non-athletic scholarship funding options, even though she hasn't picked a school yet.

Once she selects her school, then she can compete for school-specific scholarships.

D3 coaches aren't out actively recruiting players. My friend said she selected the school and then let the coach know she was coming at which point she was invited to try out. Other situations may be similar or not.

Not correct. We had 2 graduated HS kids signed by a D3 school in the lobby of our hotel last summer. They recruit just like everyone else. Just got back from Fort Lauderdale 2 weeks ago. Could not turn around with tripping on a D3 coach. They do everything the same as D1, D2 coaches. Similar rules apply. They doe recruit, but most of the questions they ask us as coaches are about grades and test scores. They are at showcases to confirm that the kids can play. I would suggest looking up the schools and looking at the scholarships they offer to students. This will give you a good idea of monies available.
 

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