RECRUITING 101 SOFTBALL
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4 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW RECRUITING STATS TO KNOW RECRUITING GUIDELINES RECRUITING TIMELINE HIGHLIGHT VIDEO WHAT FAMILIES ARE SAYING
4 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW When it comes to navigating the complicated college recruiting process, there is the preconceived notion that dozens of softball coaches will come pounding on your door and offer you full-ride scholarships to DI programs. Although we wish it were true, that’s simply not the case. Here are some important things you need to know before you begin.
RECRUITING FOR SOFTBALL STARTS EARLIER THAN YOU THINK Competition for softball scholarships is extremely tough. College coaches start to identify recruits in middle school. The earlier you start reaching out to college coaches and building relationships, the better your chances of being recruited. Waiting just one extra day to start recruiting can mean missing out on 20 or more roster spots.
RECRUITING IS A FULL-TIME JOB Researching hundreds of schools and contacting dozens of coaches can easily take 40 hours a week or more. And that’s on top of the time you spend in practice, on the field, and in school. Professionally edited skills videos start at $300 and can cost $1,000 or more. Softball camps, travel teams, standardized test prep, and private skills training can also cost thousands of dollars. Consider all of these expenses as an investment. The money is well spent if it eventually results in scholarship dollars.
RECRUITING STARTS ONLINE College softball coaches are extremely busy, follow hundreds of recruits, and have limited travel budgets. It is important to provide them with easy access to your resume and highlight videos. An online profile on a reputable site like NCSA is an essential recruiting tool and helps you connect with coaches. NCSA Recruit-Match technology allows college softball coaches to find athletes whose profiles have the features they are looking for like varsity experience, position, height, throwing velocity, base running speed, GPA and more. The more you stand out among other recruits, the more successful you will be.
COLLEGE COACHES WON’T SHOW UP AT YOUR DOOR You must be proactive and reach out to college softball coaches to let them know who you are. Even if your high school coach does everything they can to help you, between coaching, teaching, and their own family, your coach simply does not have the time to do the work for you. College softball coaches need to see commitment and passion in their recruits, and only you can show it to them. Taking charge of the recruiting process is a good start.
*Page content provided by NCSA Athletic Recruiting
NCSA’s softball recruiting guidelines show a recruit exactly what level of competition she’s best suited for based upon position, height, speed to
first base, throwing velocity and more. Knowing where you stand helps you create a realistic list of possible schools, which can save time when
trying to earn a softball scholarship. NCSA’s recruiting guidelines explain what coaches at every collegiate level are looking for.
Developing relationships with college coaches is essential. Don’t wait until junior or senior year to gain your spot on the roster. Freshmen and sophomores should focus on approaching coaches, evaluating skills and developing strengths. Stay in touch with coaches and anticipate calls during your junior year.
Research 2-3 schools per week. Create a list of 50 to 100 prospective schools and consider both athletics and academics. Be proactive and send introduction letters and emails to coaches to start building relationships. Fill out questionnaires received in the mail and return them immediately. Attend summer camps. Start planning your highlight/skills video. Take at least 3 unofficial visits to colleges.
Follow up with coaches through calls, emails and letters to find out where you stand on their list of recruits. Compile your highlight/skills video. Attend camps and clinics. Make unofficial visits to schools. DI coaches can call twice a week starting Aug. 1, and DII can call once a week staring July 1. If you haven’t heard from DI coaches, start reaching out to DII, DIII and NAIA programs.
Sep. 1 of junior year coaches can send recruiting materials. Apr. 15 through May 31 of junior year coaches are allowed one call. Start of the senior school year you can begin making official visits.
Division I and II schools can’t contact you personally until you are a junior, but high-level DI schools stat making offers during the summer after your sophomore year. Call, and send emails and letters to coaches at programs you’re interested in. Schedule more unofficial visits. Continue to research prospective schools and narrow down the list of schools you’re most interested in. Fill out questionnaires. Make more unofficial visits. DIII and NAIA coaches can contact you at any time.
Make official visits (5 total are allowed) after the first day of class. Start your financial aid planning and register for FAFSA (fafsa. ed.gov) by Jan. 1. Sign and commit to a school and program (the early signing period is in mid-November, and the regular signing period runs from mid-April to Aug. 1). Find out when you need to report to camp. Get ready for an experience of a lifetime.
Jan. 1 of senior year you should apply for financial aid at fafsa.ed.gov November through Aug. 1 sign and commit to a softball program.
A highlight/skills video is an essential part of every softball recruit’s online portfolio. A well-made video will be seen by hundreds and college coaches and show what you have to offer in just a couple of minutes. In order for your highlight video to be effective, you need to know what coaches are looking for. Realize that all sports aren’t the same when it comes to recruiting videos.
SKILLS FOOTAGE ONLY
In-game footage isn’t necessary for softball recruits, but specific skills footage is essential. NCSA knows specifically what college softball coaches want to see, and that it varies by position. For example, middle infielders should show their range fielding ground balls as well as their ability to turn a double play. Outfielders need to prove they can track down fly balls and grounders as well as throwing the ball accurately to a cutoff man or to home plate. Hitting videos should show batters hitting to all areas of the field. If you follow the video guidelines provided by NCSA and create a well-made highlight video, you’re taking a big step toward getting a scholarship.
Ideally, you should use a tripod and position the camera five feet off of the ground. Camera angles vary by position, but be sure that views of the player aren’t obstructed.
SHOWCASE SKILLS CATCHER SHOULD LOG:
Arm Strength Throwing Accuracy Lateral Movements Lower Body Strength SHORTSTOPS SHOULD LOG:
Arm Strength Efficient Weight Transfer Range SECOND BASEMEN SHOULD LOG:
Base Coverage Quickness Range THIRD BASEMEN SHOULD LOG:
Quick Reflexes Reaction Time Aggressiveness Quick First Step Staying Low to the Ball Ability to Field Bunts OUTFIELDERS:
First Step Angles to the Ball (lateral and back) Foot Speed Spatial Awareness Arm Strength Accuracy PITCHERS:
Pitching Fundamentals Fielding Mechanics Arm Strength HITTING:
Mechanics Timing Strike Zone Discipline Ability to Hit to all Fields
FAMILIES ARE SAYING Plenty of student-athletes have found success in softball at the college level thanks to some guidance from NCSA. But don’t just take our word for it. Read what these softball success stories have to say about working with the recruiting experts at NCSA. The recruiting process is difficult but we’re here to make it a little bit easier.
‘12 PARENT OF ALBRIGHT COLLEGE COMMIT “I want to thank NCSA for the wonderful support (i.e. counseling, preparation, information, skills video support and everything else associated with our Membership) which helped [our daughter] from the academic application processes to interacting/ communicating with Head Coaches. As a result, she applied to 6 schools and was accepted to by all 6 schools. As a parent, NCSA’s step-by-step processes provided a tremendous resource for navigating and matching our academic goals to [my daughter’s] desire to play college softball.”
I recommend your group everyday. I coach a competitive travel team that just finished in Orlando last week. Finally met Brittany and was even more sold on the organization. I currently have 5 of my players enrolled. - ‘15 PARENT OF SOFTBALL PLAYER
‘12 CARDINAL STRITCH UNIVERSITY COMMIT “My experience with NCSA began when I was a junior. My family spoke with Todd and he got us to set up an account and we began using it immediately. The things I liked best about being a member was the ability to research what the college coaches were looking for and having all of my important information for the coaches to see in one spot”
50 colleges looked at my profile this week. Without NCSA, I would be lucky to have 5 coaches see me. The website puts everything at my fingertipsand my recritment advisor is always watching my progress. - ‘15 SOFTBALL PLAYER FROM ILLINOIS
‘13 SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA UNIVERSITY COMMIT “I am very excited to get the offer that I did at such a great school. I will get to come in and play my position as a Freshman and my education and housing is paid for…what a great feeling! I never thought I would get everything paid for, but I did and I can’t wait to get started. NCSA hooked me up with Coach K and Coach Pete at SELU, so thank you!”
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