Showcase Ages

Discussion in 'Coaches' Corner - Coaching Softball' started by SheThrowsHeat, Feb 21, 2015.

  1. SheThrowsHeat

    SheThrowsHeat Member

    What is the optimum age group to start participating in showcase tournaments? What about the various "clinics"? Is 12U too young? Have you missed out if you don't start until 16U? Curious to hear your thoughts.
  2. brownsfan

    brownsfan Member

    DD started when she was 11U to hit camps. She started emailing at 12U. Though camps and clinics are considered a fundraiser and a waste of money in some people's eyes, it's also the best chance to get placed on radar.

    As for 16U being too late to start, in my opinion...depends. More 8th graders and freshman are committing at an earlier age. HOWEVER, that's the top recruits and not set in stone. It depends on what your dd's aspirations are compared to her abilities.
  3. tjsmize3

    tjsmize3 Active Member

    Clearly there are no true 12u "showcases" since as of yet there is no real recruiting done at that age. However, if you are talking about the 12u tournaments (in Ohio) like Stingrays or Lasers where they are set up like a showcase with many "top level" teams participating but no berth on the line, then I think the earlier you play these events the better. As a general rule the longer you wait to face top-level competition, the farther behind you will be when (and if) you actually take that step.... doesn't mean it can't be done though. In regards to camps and clinics I agree with brownsfan. 12u is the optimal time to start getting face-to-face time with the D1/D2 coaches. Nobody is going to make an offer to a 12u, but don't think they aren't starting to take note of the standouts at that age. Taking some time at that age group to start attending a few D1/D2 camps and "plugging in to the system" is a great idea in my opinion.
  4. coachjwb

    coachjwb Well-Known Member

    Enter good tournaments at 12U to get good experience. At 14U, the showcasing can and probably should be part of the equation for the truly committed and talented. Keeping in mind that relatively few players play D1, 16U is not too late.
  5. wvanalmsick

    wvanalmsick Member

    This is the part that many parents do not look at, or refuse to look at. Parents have the rose colored glasses on and they let potential dollar signs blind them of the simple facts.

    At what college level does/can your DD want to participate? What does she want academically? How far from home does she want to be? Those are the 3 big questions which will decide when to start showcasing.

    The collegiate level of play will work itself out as she gets older and she realizes just what her potential will be. Academics will play a part in which schools have her area of interest.

    You can attend college camps beginning at 10U. These are great for development and learning. As she gets older, it is a free look by a potential college.

    Showcase tournaments....D1 colleges are looking at 13U and 14U for their recruits, little at 16U, and they look at 18U to check up on their verbals and potential recruits that they are still communicating with. D2 colleges are looking at 13U and up. D3 is looking at 16U and 18U. This is just a general guideline.

    So, have you missed anything if she doesn't start until 16U....depends on where she wants to play (what are her desires?). Can she still get on at a D1 school? Yes, but she needs to attend their camps and get that coach looking at her. If she is a studette, then any coach, regardless of college division, would want her. It is just that the scholly money might not be there for her first year (D1 and D2).
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
  6. SheThrowsHeat

    SheThrowsHeat Member

    Thanks for all the advice!
  7. Fairman

    Fairman Member

    Most of our DD's will NOT play D1 and most won't ever play in a national showcase. Those guidelines are different.

    At Regional Showcases Tournaments I see most College Coaches follow the 18U A Level games. You'll find the better 16U teams playing up for the competition, the experience and the exposure.

    Most Regional D2, D3, NAIA, etc.....coaches do not recruit 12 year olds. These coaches are not stable enough in their jobs to go after someone that won't show up for another 6 years. These coaches are worried about this year and maybe next.
  8. Ri-domination

    Ri-domination Member

    Please, do tell. Would like to hear that explanation on different guidelines.
  9. Fairman

    Fairman Member

    I have absolutely zero experience at a national showcase full of D1 Coaches and made up of elite teams playing a national schedule featuring elite players such as Denver's Sparkler Tourney. So you will have to find someone else to advise your elite athlete. Maybe they do recruit babies. I suspect that a Denison doesn't have much chance at recruiting a player going up against Stanford and a trip to Denver is not in their budget......but again that is only a suspicion.

    For the remaining 99% of the dd's in the area I believe that my observations are valid. The regional coaches are not recruiting young players. They are watching the 18U A games with a few attending the 16U A games. I've been a TD for a decade and we had 40 colleges (only three D1s) attend last year's showcase. I know where they went to watch players.

    Denver's Sparkler Tourney Coaches Attending
  10. WWolff

    WWolff "Suck A Little Less Today"

    That list is compiled over many years and is not a reflection of what is there every year by any means. The sparkler is there lower end event. There best event is the firecracker but still not in the same class as the Independence Day Tournament IDT. There is a step up from each event as far as competition and coaches.
  11. Ri-domination

    Ri-domination Member

    I am simply open to hearing about experiences and knowledge learned from others, I always keep an open mind and am more than willing to expand my knowledge. By the "different guidelines" comment I simply thought maybe there was some info or perspective that I could read about. I was in no way asking for my elite athlete to be advised. Just trying to soak in what others may have to offer. thanks.

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