Question:   I have been told by various coaches to email my daughter's profile and video to college coaches now, she is in 8th grade.  Is this accurate and should the email come from me or my daughter, if true?  Thank you. 

Answer: Unfortunately, you may have asked the wrong person this question because I am not (personally) a fan of toddlers being asked to know what they want from the college experience and to commit to a school when they're 14 or 15.  The earliest I tend to suggest players reach out to coaches is when they're freshmen in high school.  And even then, unless they play on one of the top teams in the country with a proven track record of attracting coaches from Div. I schools (because they are the only ones looking at very young players), I don't suggest they do more than send coaches a post card introducing themselves.

I'm sure you're wondering why send a post card?  Well, if I had $100 for every college coach who tells me how many emails he or she dumps--usually unread--every week (particularly at Div. I colleges), I could buy a nice new car for Christmas.  Email is fine once a college coach demonstrates that he or she will use this as an efficient means of communication.  But since D-I coaches can't email kids for recruiting purposes until they are juniors, all you're likely to get--if you get a response at all--is acknowledgment of your email and/or a camp flyer.  At least with a post card, you know it's a) going to get there and b) probably be read (even if it doesn't generate a helpful response.)

So, if your player is on one of the top 14/U or 16/U teams in the country, and if she's exceptionally mature socially and psychologically so that she can have (at least) a provisional understanding of the commitment it takes to play college ball (at any level, but especially at the Div. I level), then sure...go ahead an do up a little post card telling coaches who she is, who she plays for and what her summer schedule will be.  If you do this on the computer you can easily update it next year as well or if her situation changes, when she makes a skills video (as a freshman or sophomore), and so on.

If she's just a regular kid (in the 85-90% of player who won't commit to a college before their junior year) and she's still developing, I wouldn't put too much effort into letting coaches know she's there.  There will be time for that in the future, and you'll be a lot less crazy by the time you get there.  Best wishes!

UPDATE NOTE:  As of April 2018, the NCAA approved strict new Div. I recruiting guidelines.  Div. I coaches may not have any recruiting related contact with prospects until Sept. 1 of the junior year.  For a full explanation of these new rules, visit my Recruiting News page or contact the NCAA.

                                                                             © Collegiate Softball Connection 2016