Q: How does the college recruiting process work?
This question will depend on the level of the college you are looking into as well as the coach's personal preference. There are many rules in place for recruiting, including when college coaches can contact potential student-athletes, what types of contact can be made, etc. All these rules can be found on the NCAA website if you are interested in learning more about them. The way we work the recruiting process out is as follows:
Determine if athlete is a good fit for us (Juniors and Seniors in High School). This includes GPA, test scores, class rank, athletic ability, emotional intelligence, personality, coachability, and if they are a team player. This is usually determined through watching the prospective athlete at games/tournaments/camps and talking to them (at tournaments, camps, over the phone, etc.).
Once we determine the athlete will be a great fit, we invite them to come visit our campus to see if we will be a good fit for them. This is extremely important! Just because someone wants you to go to their school and is offering you money, starting spots, etc. does not mean you have to go there! The school should fit what the athlete is looking for (campus size, classroom size, majors offered, internship opportunities, student life, coaching style, etc.). After the prospective student-athlete has visited the campus and is still interested in us, we invite them to come to a practice and/or game. We like for them to be able to meet the team to determine if they can see themselves fitting in with the type of student-athletes we recruit. We also like for them to see how we interact with the team on and off the field. Again, it is all about determining a good fit here.
If the athlete has done all of the above (visited campus, met the team, watched us practice/play), and if they are still interested in us and we are still interested in them, we extend the offer to commit to our university and softball program. We never put a deadline on a commitment because we believe it is a 4 year commitment and should feel right, not rushed. Again each coach is different and has their own opinion on the recruiting process and how it should go.
Q: How should a recruit let you know he/she wants to play for your college/university?
They can email me via the email listed on our website, but the most effective way will be to both email me and call me. Emails get lost in the shuffle a lot of the time, and it takes a while to get caught up on them. If a recruit emails me some video to review (game clips, skills video) and then calls me to let me know they emailed me and that they are interested in our university, I am more likely to go search for that email and take a look at it. The email needs to include their graduation year, GPA, SAT/ACT test scores if they have them, their game schedule (select ball, high school), and preferably some video. From there they would need to keep in contact with us and send game schedules as soon as they become available with the location of the game(s), game times, team name, jersey number, and positions they play.
Q: What coaches look for on official and unofficial visits
We typically only do unofficial visits, since we are a Division III and do not have academic scholarships. This will also depend on the university and how much they are allotted in their budget to spend on recruits. A lot of schools are not allotted money to pay for official visits, so the majority of visits end up being unofficial. Regardless, I like to see that the recruit has an idea in their head of what they are looking for and what is important to them. I like them to come in prepared with questions that will help them determine if our University will be a good fit for them or not.
Q: 8 ways to get a call from a College Coach
Have skills that we are needing
Have a GPA above a 3.25 preferably, but at least above a 3.0
Continually express interest in that university and WHY you are interested in that university
Call the coach, leave messages, be persistent
Set up a campus visit
Be a good teammate, daughter, student, and overall person
Did I mention be athletic?
Q: When do you start identifying potential recruits?
We typically identify recruits towards the end of their Sophomore year, entering into their Junior year. Usually the summer right before they start their Junior year is when we will start picking them out.
Q: College coaches are reaching out. Now what?
Know what you are looking for. Narrow down what you have to have and what you can live without. VISIT different types of colleges you are interested in and colleges that are interested in you! The only way to determine what you want is to go experience different types of colleges. Visit big, visit small, east, west, just make sure that what you are visiting has what you are looking for academically. You will spend more time working on your degree than you will your college softball career. Lastly, don't rush into anything. Too many times an athlete feels stressed to pick a university and get it over with, that a lot of the time they end up DE committing to go to a different school that they like better. Take your time and make sure the decision feels right and fits what you want (academically, athletically, and financially).
Q: What advice do you have for a high school player not getting much attention from college coaches?If the athlete has been reaching out to colleges consistently and still isn't getting attention, evaluate if they truly feel they have the skills necessary to compete at the college level. If they still feel like they do, ask for advice/feedback from a coach. At a camp is the best time to do this.
Head Softball Coach