This is a great article about why kids should wait until they are in their junior year to make a decision about going to college. Coaches, parents, and athletes need to educate themselves about the process and take time to compare programs. Athletes should be open to looking at all levels and types of schools to find a good fit. So many kids say they want to go play in college yet they do not have a clear understanding of what the demands are to play at that level. It has to be a passion and you have to be prepared for it to consume your life. I encourage parents and athletes to talk to as many college athletes and coaches as they can to find out the level of commitment it will take to go down that path. https://www.flosoftball.com/article...icle&utm_term=gracemarsalo&rtid=&coverage_id= The athlete needs to create a clear picture of what is important for them to be happy. Here are some areas and questions that athletes should be considering when looking at schools: Academic areas of interest Size of classes, study tables, tutoring Level of competition and opportunities to get on the field Philosophies of the coaching staff Culture of the team, what does the team value and what are their priorities on and off the field? Do you fit in with the other personalities on the team? Distance from home, how important is it your family get to see you play? Where do you travel to for your schedule? Athletic training staff and coverage Scholarship opportunities Cost and will you have to take out loans? Practice and playing demands, schedules When do they workout? Early a.m., mid-afternoon, late at night? Facilities Housing Would you go to school there if you were not playing softball? Take the time to educate yourself about the process and the different types of schools and opportunities that are available to you before you commit to the first opportunity that presents itself. Finding the right fit takes time and effort and unless you are in the top 2% talent wise, you will have to seek out schools. Start looking and visiting schools as a freshman or sophomore but you don't have to make a decision until your junior or senior year unless a coach has given you a deadline. As a minimum you should visit at least 3 schools and make sure you talk to people at those schools. You get a feel when you are on a college campus and the more visits you make will help you identify if a big or small, state or private, far away or close to home school will work for you. Having coached in college for 33 years at the DI, II, and NAIA levels , I do recruiting education presentations for teams and organizations through my business Aspire Higher Sports. I have created a 20 page booklet that helps parents understand the college recruiting process. Anyone interested in learning more can contact me at 330-221-5197 or email me at email@example.com. My goal is to help families become more educated about the process so that you can make good decisions that will allow your daughter to have a joyful and successful college experience.