Question: My daughter has decided very late that she would like to continue on with softball after high school.  She is graduating in 2020 and is looking to start at the community college level.  It appears that most schools at that level and beyond have obviously recruited players for their teams for next year.  Based on my research, most schools that we have looked at have had letters of intent signed this past December with incoming new recruits.  My questions is how do we get her an opportunity with a team at this late date?  Where should we start? What about a walk-on opportunity as an option?     

Answer:  I'm not quite clear if she hopes to find a spot on a community college team or a 4 year team, so I'll touch on both issues.  In a normal year, it would be tough to get a scholarship from a 4 year school this late, although occasionally it happens, especially if you're a pitcher.  Getting recruited after graduation by a 4 year depends a lot on exposure opportunities, being willing to go almost anywhere, and having all your ducks in a row academically and with financial aid. 

However, this year, it could be next to impossible with summer ball competition questionable and spring sports players being granted an extra year of eligibility. If a late-starting senior athlete really wants to play in college, starting at a JC would make more sense because it would allow her get lower division college courses out of the way while strengthening her softball skills and giving her time to find a 4 year school she can transfer to after completing her 2 years at the JC.

If you're asking about finding a community college, that should be very possible.  JC coaches often don't finish recruiting until summer, and many welcome walk ons.  Since coaches can't really be out scouting now, it would be helpful if your daughter has a skills video she can put on YouTube and email to coaches at all the schools she'd consider attending.  You can find NJCAA, Calif. Comm College and Northwest Comm College athletic organization links below.  She should follow the guidelines in my book for creating a resume or profile and send each coach an email packet, then follow that up with a phone call. (Note: If you don't have a skills video, it may be difficult to get more than the offer of a walk on tryout from most coaches.)

I hope this is helpful.  Best of luck!

Calif Comm Colleges
Northwest Comm Colleges