Fusion coaches understand the importance of recruiting and what it takes to get your student athlete to the next level. Our coaches are continuously networking with college coaches from all over the country and establishing relationships promoting our student athletes. It is our due diligence as dedicated coaches to equip your student athlete with the necessary tools required to compete on the field as well as in the classroom. In addition, we’ll assist your student athlete in completing the necessary steps that will help them connect with the right college coaches/recruiters to fulfill their dream of being a college softball player.
Timeline – An honest, but flexible look
2nd year 12u
Decide if playing College softball is something the player might want to do. It doesn’t have to be “set in stone”. It’s just a thought the player needs to have. Deciding not to is not a forever thing or the end of the world.
“Okay, college softball is something I think I want to do”.
Start looking at colleges that have curriculum of the majors you may be interested in. At 14u a player should get a list together of anywhere from 10-25 schools. In that list, should be all levels of college ball. DI, DII, DIII, NAIA, NJCAA and also should include 2 or 3 “Dream Schools”. But to make that list is going to require investigation. So now the work is beginning. FYI, 95% of all student\athletes attend a school within a 250 mile radius of mom and dad. But some want to get away from home.
“College ball isn’t something I think I want”.
But, continue to work hard, get good coaching and play ball.
Decision time. “College ball is what I want to do”
The player needs to start trimming down that college list. The list needs to be reduced down to 5-10 schools and 1 “Dream School”.
“I don’t want to play in college”
Still, No Problem.
Questions you may want to ask.
How much do I love the sport of softball?
How much do I want to play during a season?
What level am I honestly able to play?
What level do I want to play at?
The answer to these questions affect the team.
It’s time to make a life decision.
Where do you want to attend college?
So how does a player get recruited?
The most common thought is that College coaches are attracted to games just because... False
College coaches were invited to a specific tournament\games by player\players looking to be recruited. While they may walk around and watch, the odds are they are not going to see you. But they will see the player\players that made an effort to contact them.
What to do is the player and parents responsibility.
(A little note for email contact. The player will need an email address and make it something simple with your name included. The idea here is to have your name stick into the coaches mind)
Make sure you visit the schools athletics website and fill out the recruitment form. After this email the coach to let him\her know that you filled it out and are interested in the program.
Attend softball camps at schools you are interested in attending.
When planning on attending a school camp email the college coach and let him know that you are going to be attending. Inform your select coach and ask him\her to contact the college coach, and to try and set up a campus tour. After attending, email the college coach with a small thank you note.
Include some basic contact information and a headshot photo.
Email frequently. But these emails need to come from the player, not the parent. And if possible, emails should include personal knowledge of the college team. (i.e. “That was a really great win over your conference rival last weekend”) This is going to require an investment in time and energy. You are going to have to learn about the college team. But continue to email even in the offseason.
After the player has started emailing the coach or has attended a camp\clinic, it’s time to step it up and give the coach a phone call.
(Remember, the coach can answer the call but can’t call you back. So don’t take offense.) Leave a voice mail if no answer.
Send college coaches your tournament and game schedules. This should include both high school and summer. If a college coach attends, be sure and thank them for attending, regardless if it was a school on your list or not. You may also want to include them on your list if they have a major you are interested in. Include things like complex location, times, field designation, address, tournament webpage, etc. Things to make finding you easier and for you to be helpful.
Standout. Ask yourself how many emails a coach receives in a day, a week? Be a little different. YouTube video, webpage, anything that will help get you attention.
Things to remember:
You always have eyes on you at any given time. Your coach has probably said to “represent” the team\club. That means how you act in the dugout, on the field, in line at the concession stand or even going to the bathroom, is being watched and evaluated. Be a good teammate. Be respectful of everyone, umpires, other teams, other coaches, your coaches and team, your parents, even just the spectator that bumped into you while watching.
College coaches will check you out. Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Be smart. You don’t want to turn off a college coach because in the heat of the moment you “posted” some inappropriate comments.
Softball is a game of mistakes. They will happen. You will have a strike out, bobble a ball or some other of a 1000 things. It’s how you handle them and how you react to them that will be watched very closely. Jog to the dugout with your chin up on a strike out. Bobble or miss a ball, but continue to finish the play. Don’t let 1 thing dictate the game. The college coach is looking to see how these things will be handled by the player. These things will show the college coach how mentally tough you are. They don’t want to see a player that is self-destructive, that can’t face adversity but collapses. These are what winners are made of and that is what college coaches want.
Do not yell or belittle a teammate. Ask yourself, have I ever made a mistake? That answer will be yes. Then, did I do that on purpose? And that answer should be no. Remember how you felt. How you wanted your teammates to treat you. Then treat your teammate that same way. That college coach could not care any less about who wins or loses. They care about the teammate and leader you are. How you react and deal with real game situations is what they are watching.
This is a small sample of what you as a player and parent will need to know. You can ask your coaches or Fusion alumni any questions and they will do their best to help.