Question: Is It Too Late For Me To Be Recruited? I'm a senior in high school and have been giving collegiate softball some thought. I had planned on having schools come watch me during my junior year. I was out most of the season with a shoulder injury and was unable to have college coaches come watch. Because of this injury I was also unable to play on a summer ball team to get noticed that way. I really don't want to give up on my chances of playing but I'm at a loss as to what to do. I've heard many people tell me its too late, others say it's almost impossible now... Is this true? I really don't want to give up on my dream. Is there any advice or guidance you could give me as to what to do?
Answer: Is It Too Late For Me To Be Recruited?
It IS very late to be getting started, but, it's not an impossible task. You need to learn all about the college search and then begin to market your skills and experience to college coaches around the country. It's much like finding a job. You CANNOT wait for them to come to you--you have to go out and find them. Your best bet is to get a copy of my book, Preparing to Play Softball at the Collegiate Level. It is published by the Natl Fastpitch Coaches Assoc. (the college coaches' organization). You can call them at 502-409-4600.or email www.nfca.org to order the book. I will also be glad to email you a brochure (if you send me a email address).
The book will take you and your family step by step through the college search process and tell you everything you need to know and to do to find the college and team that are right for you. Recruiting is extremely competitive and there is no "magic bullet" for most kids. Hard work, dedication, a determination to play in college and the willingness to look at lots of different kinds of college teams is the best way to ensure you find a school that wants you. This process includes playing very competitive travel ball, writing lots of letters, sending out skills videos, making follow up phone calls and showing coaches how serious you are about playing at the college level.
However, since most coaches won't offer money to kids they can't see in person, I would suggest that you consider focusing on either local colleges that might see you play fall ball OR on Div. II and NAIA schools. You should rush to get a good video shot, edited and copied and then put together packets with the video, an intro letter and a resume. (You may also want to mention your injury and that you are completely recovered.) Then send these out ASAP and follow up with phone calls within two weeks after mailing the packet.
The benefit of focusing on D-II and NAIA schools is that THEY are allowed to have you come on campus and work out or tryout with their teams in the fall--and for NAIA's all year. So a coach who likes your video won't necessarily ignore you just because he/she can't see you play in person. If they like the tape--and get it soon enough--they can invite you on campus for a tryout. That's why these schools are great for kids who may not have had the exposure they need over the junior to senior summer. My book will enable you to do all these things--if you are willing to go for it, you should be able to find a team. Best of luck!
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