Looking back on the recruiting process....

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

  1. cam.p22

    cam.p22 Member

    I thought that I verbally committed very early in my career as a freshman in HS, boy was I wrong!! This is something I have been asked my opinion on many times since this happened and it has been consistent each time. Everyone has their own path/journey or whatever you want to call it, but the vision stays the same: playing softball in college.

    Yes, IMO I do believe 6th and 7th grade is too early. No, I do not think there should be an exact limit on the age, but I do believe that coaches should wait until the athlete starts to mature and develop further (which is different for everyone). I am not a person that believes that an athlete has to be a certain size, but these 7th graders look very matured (physically) for their age. From what I can recall about reading about the first girl that verbaled to FLA was that both of her parents were D1 athletes (which also helped the daughter during the recruiting process). Having uber athletic parents defiantly helps the college coach foresee the future through a very athletic family. I do believe this would be a completely different case if both parents were not athletic or knew nothing about recruiting.

    I do hope that the NCAA passes the new recruiting laws about waiting until later in the athletes' HS careers to commit to schools. I strongly believe this would help a lot of athletes/teams/families who hope to reach their goals by playing softball at the next level. The athletes would be able to focus more on development and playing softball correctly rather than playing in 100+ games per summer at all of these "showcases".

    In this new era of softball, teams are way more concerned about playing to many games and not get better in between. Look at college teams for instance: in division 1 we are allowed 20 hours of practice per week and then play anywhere from 3-5 games over the weekend. Why in travel softball is this the complete opposite? We play in 6-10 games per weekend and do not practice one time during the week?! How do we expect the team to get better without practicing? Yes I understand that some teams cannot practice together because everyone is so spread out, but this is a very small number of teams that fall in this category.

    Coaches: work on developing your players as athletes, not your win/loss record! Im not saying that winning isn't important, but if we can focus on making the athletes better and creating great work ethic the winning will take care of itself!

    Be passionate about the sport you play, obsessed with getting better, and grateful you have the opportunity!
    3ballbratz and Shane like this.
  2. Run26

    Run26 Active Member

    We've been through this twice and both players went D2 (GLIAC). The recruiting process in softball is the same as it is in any other sport. For the most part, parents are driving the kids to play post HS ball and the players just love the game. My daughters love TB but college ball becomes a job and you need to make them aware of this.
    Here's my list of what I think you should know while heading down this path:
    1. Put your kid on the right TB team. I know people like to pretend that organization doesn't matter but it does. If you want to play D1 you better be on a high level TB team.
    2. Validate that your team has a proven recruiting coordinator. Don't just slap your binder up on the backstop and hope for coaches to show up.
    3. Understand the required travel schedule - monetarily, time wise and vacation wise
    4. Speak with your daughter candidly about where she wants to play and why
    5. Leave the initial recruiting conversations to your team's RC or head coach. Do not interfere or try to insert yourself into the conversation
    6. Do not make your daughter aware that colleges are there to see her or team. They have eyes and I'm sure they work.
    7. Allow your player to decompress after a tough game weekend. Do not debrief her on who was in attendance especially if she made a mistake.
    8. Take your player to college camps. This enables her to get her feet on the campus, specialized instruction along with 1 on 1 recruiting.
    9. Keep positive. Do not say things like.....I wonder why we haven't heard from.....? Trust me, they are thinking the same thing.
    10. Be patient. These things take time and it will happen. Creating a pressure filled environment does not help your daughter.

    I can say that there's nothing like watching your daughter(s) play a college doubleheader. The field is stacked with common athletes all playing a game they truly love and they are VERY good at it. Parents are much more chilled out and we all just sit back and enjoy the ride. Nothing went quicker than my oldest daughter's 4 years of college ball. I'm slowing down to take it all in with the youngest.
  3. Shane

    Shane Member

    Thank you for taking time in sharing information from your experiences. I was hoping to generate this type of response when I submitted the original post. #spoton
  4. Shane

    Shane Member

    Thank you cam.p22, a lot of good stuff but your last sentence I will be to share with my DD. #3greatpoints
  5. Shane

    Shane Member

    What NAIA are you at?
  6. Shane

    Shane Member

    I see that "problem" rearing its ugly head already at 12U. Like your mention about everyone taking a different path. Thanks for the comments WOW.
  7. Shane

    Shane Member

    Good stuff Softball Zone, thank you.
  8. Hilliarddad3

    Hilliarddad3 Active Member

    Also, when you drive them to visits, it's their visit, let them do the talking.... The best comment a coach made was if you had a catastphic injury, could you see yourself going here still..... Of all the visits, that stuck the most. And if the school doesn't have her major, don't look there! Just to say you played college ball for some money, but didn't get the major she really wants deep down, is a waste.....

    Many kids want to play in college when they are 12.... But the constant grind of every weekend travel ball can change that by the time they are 16/17.... Read your daughters well being....not your own phsyce....
    Pacerdad57 likes this.
  9. manitoudan

    manitoudan Active Member

    Shane -- I'm at Shawnee St in Portsmouth Oh . We play in what most consider the strongest NAIA conference in America , The Mid South .
  10. Pacerdad57

    Pacerdad57 Member

    Couldn’t agree moreHilliardDad! College choice should most definitely be about getting the major you truly desire, looking at softball is secondary in thi search as far as I’m concerned. The degree is what gets you through life
    Hilliarddad3 likes this.
  11. CARDS

    CARDS Active Member

    Lots of good points and perspectives...

    My 2 cents for what its worth....A lot of times parents and coaches do a disservice to their student athlete because they themselves struggle understanding that the process starts "before" High School.
    In the quest for an athletic scholarships (that honestly are minimal for most); parents and coaches pass on other available scholarship opportunities that can actually help their athlete in the process and fail to utilize the information provided to them to help guide the student athlete

    I attended an educational and coaches clinic in N.C. back in 2008 that was eye opening.
    I had no idea America had so many secondary graduate issues that resulted in such a high college dropout rate in the U.S. I am sure the numbers have changed but,back then,some 60% of college freshman failed out or dropped out of college and of the ones that stayed only slightly more than 60% actually earned a degree.

    The good news was those that attended college "playing a sport" was more likely to stay in school and complete a degree. The bad news was over 30% of male and over 40% of female athletes never fulfilled their scholarship obligations at the various levels of play collectively and ended up leaving or changing school and or, major.
    The percentage breakdown got a "little higher" as you worked down the percentages of scholarship and those with 75% or more tuition assistance were "more likely" to stay in college and complete than those receiving less tuition assistance.

    When process does it start?
    Most agree the quest for higher education starts at the beginning of the education process as students start developing the habits needed to be able to handle challenging workloads and schedules while keeping the spark for creativity and to obtain higher learning.
    At 7th grade it starts to become more clear what the level of rigor a student can handle and after the 8th grade career assessments (that most parents never see or understand) it helps to guide the student as they start the HS years and beyond.

    Once a post secondary direction is made 9th grade ish, make sure to check out in-state and out of state differences. Sometimes a lady/family can make out better at an in state school at a higher level with limited or no scholarship than attending a pricy DIII or NAIA program. Also,many colleges offer club sports with a limited schedule generally under 20 games where the lady can represent their school, enjoy a sport they love and meet academic demands.

    U.K.Club team: https://www.facebook.com/pg/UKClubSoftball/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1464901910251995

    Get the school that is the best fit for your degree desired and one that financially the family can handle. Be very cautious of coaches promising the world requesting the lady change their major or, schools that have 50 players Varsity /JV programs.
    This is a growing problem area in college sports where a family is recruited for minimal or no assistance only to find DD is number 13 on the JV team that plays less than 20 games a season.
    We passed on several offers and had coaches back off because my DD wanted to play Golf and Softball. We ended up finding a school where she could do both and receive a little assistance for both so if you want to be a two sport athlete you can especially at DII,DIII,NAIA or J.C.

    There are playing spots at "most schools" and parents need to understand most NAIA, DIII, J.C. programs are at a level at or below your top level 16/18U travel/club teams (some would struggle vs. the top State HS programs).
    There are even some very bad D1 programs so do not think I am not good enough for that level if the school has everything you are looking for in a college you can be surprised with a role to help the team... So go out and watch them play...This also helps one understand how the coach coaches...
    Shane likes this.
  12. mike_dyer

    mike_dyer Member

    Scores of d2 in my area --- northwest Ohio --- came with their checkbooks out, they all have 40 kids on their roster.

    Avoid that.
    Shane likes this.

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