Youâ€™re thinking about playing softball in college, but donâ€™t know where to start? Youâ€™re not alone! Here are a few tips and strategies for playing college softball.
Fortunately, you have resources at your disposal to help you get started. In this guide, youâ€™ll find the top tips and strategies for how to play college softball.
Start Early on Softball Recruitment Planning
If you want to be on a college coachâ€™s radar, preparations cannot start too soon.
D1 coaches canâ€™t contact you until September 1 of your junior year in high school, but D2, D3, and NAIA coaches can contact you sooner.
An essential step for recruitment preparation is making a highlight video of your softball skills. You can find advice about how to make a good video from Carie Dever-Boaz here.
Also, vet your social media profiles. Make sure thereâ€™s nothing online that could be inappropriate or mispresent you to coaches. If youâ€™re a little late to the recruitment process, shoot for D3 and NAIA schools.
They tend to have longer, more flexible recruitment schedules than D2 or D1.
Finally, make a list of colleges youâ€™d be interested in playing softball at â€“ refer to this list often! Include three types of schools â€“ safety, target, and reach.
Safety are the ones you know without a doubt youâ€™d be accepted at, target at the ones you really want to attend and have a decent shot at, and reach are the few that might just be beyond your profile.
Things to Consider When Picking a College to Play Softball
Ask yourself 4 questions when thinking over a school.
First, are you ready to play college softball? College sports are a big commitment â€“ itâ€™s having a job on top of your coursework. Give a lot of consideration to whether thatâ€™s the college experience you want to have.
Second, location. Do you want to be close to home or would you rather move farther away? If you attend a college in a different part of the country, will you be ready to handle the climate and change of lifestyle that comes with it?
Third, does that school have the major youâ€™re interested in? You will be a student-athlete. The studies come first, so make sure the school you pick has a degree program you want to pursue.
You should also visit the campus if you can. Tour the athletic facilities, academic buildings, and dormitories. Ask yourself if you would feel â€œat homeâ€ on this campus.
Finally, research the softball program at the college. Where would you fit in on their roster?
What training facilities do they have, and what sort of program do the coaches run?
Even if youâ€™re dead set on playing college softball, donâ€™t settle for just anywhere.
Ensure youâ€™ll mesh well with that schoolâ€™s program. You can learn more about the college softball recruitment process â€“ and how scholarships work â€“ here.
A Few More Tips for the Recruitment Process
What can you do to attract college coachesâ€™ attention? Donâ€™t focus on â€œstanding outâ€ or "performing well".
Instead, air it out!
Focus on competing with confidence while leaving it out on the fiel.. If you put the work in, your passion for the game will shine through.
Learn to accept mistakes gracefully, and do your best to learn from them, making adjustment quickly.
Always accept criticism from your coaches.
Doing these things will make you coachable, showing off your willingness to learn and grow in the sport. College coaches will take notice of this attribute the most. To that end, practice as much as you can.
Also consider diversfying when and how you compete.
Consider not just playing on your high school team or travel team only; try to play on both. Go to as many tournaments, showcases, and camps that make sense.
D1 coaches find more recruits at travel tournaments, and D2 coaches tend to rely on camps. Check out more stats about college softball recruitment here.
Youâ€™ll also have to be realistic about your softball abilities. Be critical â€“ you just might not be cut out for D1 schools, and thatâ€™s okay.
Talk to your parents and high school coaches about your skills. Determine which college level would be best for you.
One final tip. Donâ€™t forget about your studies! Good grades and higher scores on the ACT or SAT will make you more appealing to college recruiters.
Coaches like to see players who are well-rounded. High achievers also help coaches secure more academic scholarships, meaning they donâ€™t have to dip into their athletic scholarship fund as much.
College Softball Recruitment â€“ You Got This!
The whole recruitment process can seem overwhelming. Remember to stay focused on the process! Plan your strategy, talk to your parents, and above all, identify your weaknesses and work to refine them so that they don't become liabilities.
If playing college softball is your dream, donâ€™t be afraid to put in the effort to chase after it.
We hope you joyed these tips and strategies for playing college softball! If you have any questions, reach out to us on social!
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