Question: Small-town Players and Recruiting?
My daughter is in her Grade 11 year in a small town in British Columbia.  She has been playing competitive ball for the last 5 years and would like to pursue college ball in the U.S.   In our small town we aren't sure if there will be enough girls to carry an 18u travel team.  The girls don't get the exposure the bigger centers get.  My question is does this have great bearing on college recruiting?  We keep stats on my daughter who is a pitcher.  We are in the process of compiling a resume and video.   I would appreciate any advice.

Answer: Small-town Players and Recruiting

Basically most recruiting decisions college coaches make are based on (grades and work ethic aside) a player's performance when the coach is watching.  This may be through a skills video.  But more often, that's only a starting place, and coaches prefer to recruit a player based on seeing her in person.  Since Div. I and Div. III coaches cannot have players try out for them or work out with their teams, most of those coaches will need to see a player with her travel ball team.  It's not just whether you have a small travel ball club, but even what tournaments they attend.  It's not fair, but it just is the way it is. (Note: Many D-III coaches will recruit a player based on her video if they can't see her in action.)

If an athlete is unlikely to attend many tournaments where college coaches will be scouting, I usually encourage her to send her resume packet and video to Div. II and NAIA programs because these coaches are allowed to have players try out on campus (under certain conditions for D-II.)  This makes them more likely to pursue a player whose tape they really like even though they know they won't be able to see her at any tournaments.
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