Question:  My daughter is a pitcher, but she is small.  How hard will it be to get her a look and not be judged just on her stature, but on her performance?

Answer:  This is an excellent question, but not an easy one to answer.  The reason is that college coaches differ tremendously in what I call their recruiting "prejudices."  For example, some coaches will only consider pitchers who are a certain size/weight or throw at a certain speed.  And it may be next to impossible to get them to change their perceptions/recruiting patterns.  On the other hand, some coaches look at what the pitcher does rather than her size. 

There is no question that a 5' 10" pitcher who weighs 165 lbs probably has a longer reach and may have the potential to throw harder than a pitcher who is 5' 2" and weighs 110 lbs.  Yet there are competitive pitchers throwing successfully---even at the Div. I level---who aren't tall or who are slight in stature. Put another way
, there are 5' 11" pitchers who throw 60 mph and hold their own, but who aren't necessarily All Americans, just as there are 5' 4" Div. I pitchers who are quite successful and lead their teams to conference titles.

My best advice to your family is to be sure to reach out to a variety of colleges and teams.  Don't just look at Top 25 Div. I colleges. Her size may be a factor in whether or not some college coaches consider her seriously, but ultimately her performance will be more of a deciding factor.  So, follow the guidelines in my book, Preparing to Play Softball at the Collegiate Level, and contact Div. II, III and NAIA colleges as well as Div. I schools.  The key to finding the college and team that are right for any player is not limiting your options and staying open to all possibilities!

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