Looking back on the recruiting process....

Discussion in 'General Softball Discussions' started by Shane, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. Shane

    Shane Member

    I begin this thread looking to learn of some intel from those who have 'been there done that'. Coaching an 05' squad and a father to a 05' daughter. Throughout life we always have opportunity to reflect and give thought to handling a situation differently. Parents/coaches of players who have graduated from the youth and high school ranks, let me know if there is anything you missed or would have done differently when it came to the recruitment process. I like to learn from others experiences whenever possible.
    EDGE MARCHINY likes this.
  2. lewam3

    lewam3 Active Member

    If your DD is a pitcher, she has to throw hard.
    If your DD is an outfielder she needs to hit
    If your DD is an infielder she needs to hit.
    If your DD is a catcher she needs to hit.
    DLamb, AkronCarPro and Shane like this.
  3. Understand what it takes to play D1, D2, D3, or NAIA.

    Then understand which category your daughter falls in.

    Then find the schools that have the major she wants in that category and start contacting them.

    When they're getting on the bus after a great weekend of softball to head back to campus, it doesn't matter the size, the conference, or the division of school they going back to. It's all good. :)
    DLamb, AkronCarPro, Shane and 2 others like this.
  4. Doom Leader

    Doom Leader Active Member

    Getting caught up in only wanting to play D1, very over rated. Go where you can play and enjoy doing it!
    DLamb, AkronCarPro, coachjwb and 6 others like this.
  5. manitoudan

    manitoudan Active Member

    Try to be realistic , I helped a kid learn to hit at 11u , partly by taking her to someone far smart than me . She goes on to play a few B level travel teams , does very well , starts as a freshman at her d2 level HS team ... so I ask her " do you have hopes to play in college" and she says " Yes I've been to Marshall's camp and thinking about them and if that doesnt work out then maybe Ohio St " This kid is a wonderful young lady but is a stretch to play NAIA . You must be realistic . Usually unless you are a total star , with a few exceptions , you are not D1 material.
    Shane and KillingMeSmalls like this.
  6. Pacerdad57

    Pacerdad57 Member

    And the main thing to me as stated by mayday Malone is that you have to find the school that has your desired major first!!! This is what’s going to get them theough life, not a softball team. If they have your major and you can make their team, you’re golden
    Hilliarddad3 and Shane like this.
  7. 0203bbmom

    0203bbmom Member

    Currently in the heart of the recruiting process. After talking to many others and coaches as well, have an idea of your desired major, hit those schools hard with camps, emails, visits to see if the school is somewhere your daughter would still want to attend if her softball career would end, then see if the team/coaches are a fit. Forget the numbers after the Ds..... focus on the education.
    Shane likes this.
  8. Fairman

    Fairman Member

    Not sure where to start. There is a book in here, mostly mistakes I have made raising two dd's that pitched through college. I'll start with an obvious one.

    D1 vs all the others.
    In my region of Western PA we have only a half dozen D1 programs that will recruit nationally for about 20 slots. We have over 200 college teams within two hours of my front door that will recruit 800 kids regionally. We probably have more softball programs per capita than most of the rest of the country. (There are just not many schools in OK or MO) 80% of your dd's will attend a college within two hours of home. Your chances are significantly higher of playing on a D2, D3, NAIA et al team than a D1 team. Your DD's chances of getting a signifiant scholarship (academic) improve significantly in the lower classifications, add a little athletic money in the NAIA or D2 and you can cobble together a decent package.

    The D1 life style is brutal in the training, travel, practice and play. You must make certain that your DD wants to devote so much time and effort to this sport at the expense of her classes and social life. This is not intended to take away from D1 but the other programs do tend to be less intense. Finally look at playing time, there is no-tomorrow in softball they become seniors and they are done. You take your final cut and leave your spikes on home plate (except for a very small number of semi-professional players) It is important that your dd actually gets to play. The lower classifications may offer your dd that option.

    A cautionary tail of two pitchers. Pitcher one is 5'-8 throws 58 with spins exceeding 25 on her breaking balls. Has a successful high school experience and selects a school based on her academic needs that is not a D1. She gets a combination package that pays about 2/3 of her expenses. She plays her freshman year and makes all-conference her junior and senior year pitching into the playoffs each year. Pitcher Two is 6'-0 and threw 62 at 14. Has a successful high school experience and selects a school based on a great D1 financial package. She never learns a breaking pitch and gets lite up. She doesn't pitch until her junior year and then only a few innings. Doesn't come back her senior year. Which player had a better college experience?

    There are great D3 programs with great players and the competition can be very stiff and certainly some excellent softball is played at all these levels. Please DO NOT put all your eggs in the D1 basket. Keep your options open, look at the school, the education then the coaching staff and team chemistry.

    Maybe there is a NAIA school that would be a perfect fit but you are so focused on playing nationals in front of 100 D1 schools that you miss it.

    Good Luck
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  9. Shane

    Shane Member

    Love this reply to my post!! Thank you
  10. Shane

    Shane Member

    great advice! thank you
    TheSoftballZone and 0203bbmom like this.
  11. Shane

    Shane Member

    Having a firm grasp on reality for sure, thank you.
  12. Shane

    Shane Member

    Seems simple enough : )
  13. Shane

    Shane Member

    This is great stuff and exactly the kind of intel I was looking for in creating the original post. Thanks for sharing!
  14. allcorners

    allcorners Member

    Great Post by Fairman! You're DD will have to do a lot of soul searching. She will need to decide what it is that she wants to get out of her college experience. These will be some of the best 4-5 years of her life, she will need to decide what she would like to take away from her time there. Some girls want to keep the rugged pace of training, practicing and everything that goes along with playing at a D1 level. Other girls are ready to slow down some and experience other things that college has to offer. Most of all be realistic. I see girls struggling in high school with keeping thier grades up. Keep in mind that it will be no easier in college. Once again.....Be Realistic, dont get your D1 blinders on. There are MANY OPTIONS!
    TheSoftballZone, Shane and 0203bbmom like this.
  15. Shane

    Shane Member

    As a dad of a 12 year old DD this is the kind of input I was looking for, thank you!
  16. cam.p22

    cam.p22 Member

    When I was going through the recruiting process it was a tough yet rewarding time of my life. I feel (for the most part) that my family and I took all the 'right' steps in order to get me recruited: emailing coaches, going to camps, attending showcases, emailing coaches again, calling coaches, asking LOTS of questions, going on visits, taking lessons/instruction. My family and I did all of these things and it paid off very well for me.

    There are a couple of things that drive me crazy about the recruiting process now and some things I wish that people had more knowledge about:
    Just because an athlete doesn't play D1 softball does not make them a failure. While doing some research for my own travel organization, I found some crazy statistics about the chances of playing college softball. Out of all the high school softball players in the country, there is a 8.4% chance that they will make it to any division level to play softball. An even smaller number will be playing at the Division 1 level: 1.6% of high school softball players. Just like Fairman mentioned, you have to think about what kind of experience you want. Do you want to be the person that just makes the team at a school like U of M and never plays, or do you want to be the game changer and play every game at a school similar to Ashland?

    Parents: LET YOUR KIDS CHOOSE THEIR OWN DESTINY!!!!!! I know that parents know best, but the athletes are the ones that have to attend the school, not you! Im not saying that you cannot be there as a guideline for your kids, but there is a certain point that they need to be making decisions on what is important to them: Small school vs big school? Do they want their professors to know their name and be personal? Do they want to be close to home or far away?

    Do not expose yourself unless you are ready to be exposed! I see way to many instances of 10u and 12u teams attending 'college showcases'. If you are a parent/coach you need to realize that these so called 'showcases' that you are paying high dollar fees for are not bringing in college coaches to watch your elementary and middle school aged daughters. IMO even some 14u showcases are a money grab and do not attract many coaches. The power 5 conference schools will start to recruit athletes around the freshman year range, if not a little earlier or later. As you go down in division levels, the recruitment begins later. So D2, D3 and NAIA schools usually wait until the athletes junior/senior year. If athletes think they are advanced and start to attend camps/clinics/recruiting events then they must be prepared for this. It looks worse for a 13-15YO athlete to show up to a camp and do miserably bad because they aren't ready rather than waiting another year or season to prepare and increase their playing ability. You do not want to put a bad taste in the coaches mouth the first time you are interacting with them.

    My last piece of advice: do what you love!! If you love to play softball and want to play in college then go out and do it; you are the only one stopping you. Hard work, attitude, and effort are all controllable. Don't just say that you want to play in college, do every little thing in your power to help get yourself there. Don't wait for your opportunity, create it!

    Cammi Prantl ​
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  17. manitoudan

    manitoudan Active Member

    Good post Cami ,I would add at least at my NAIA school we are actively recruiting Freshman and Soph's . Most of our verbal's are juniors but this is active recruitment at the 9th and 1oth grade for sure . I wish there wasnt but waiting too long to get involved doesnt pay off very well.
    Shane likes this.
  18. jt7663

    jt7663 Active Member

    Would be interested to hear Cammi Prantl's thoughts on the 6th & 7th Graders verbally committing!!!
  19. TheSoftballZone

    TheSoftballZone Administrator

    Check out the "Average Athletic Softball Scholarship"

    Shane likes this.
  20. wow

    wow Active Member

    Having been through this process multiple times, one thing is for sure, no two paths are the same. Everyone takes a different path. Yes there are some common traits you must have. For example be in the right events, play for a organization where they work hard for their players, and be surrounded by families who are supportive and have similar goals, get to camps, and develope relationships with coaches where you want to play. Looking back I can say the biggest "problem" is the selfishness. The team concept takes a back seat and it becomes a individual "recruit at all cost environment". I am not one who thinks early recruiting is a bad thing. Having your DD stay focused is what this process is all about. I also believe social media introduces unnecessary expectations and drama. Sure everyone wants to boast about their offer however, and like I stated earlier, it happenes different for everyone. Have your DD stay grounded and understand there is a lot of noise out there and understanding what is real and what is fiction is the key to navigating the ebb and flow of recruiting.
    coachjwb and Shane like this.

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