Question: Question : How do you think recruiting will change for summer 2021? Will college coaches still travel to showcase events in CA (and elsewhere) or will colleges restrict travel and/or budgets? ?
Answer: Great question, but one that tempts me to say, "Do you have a crystal ball?" The reason for that response has to do with the diverse ways people, businesses, counties and states are reacting to the pandemic. Unfortunately, we can't factor that out of the equation just yet.
So, my answer to your question as of mid-March is this. IF people get vaccinated, if people continue to be smart, and if the rate of coronavirus infections continues to decline, I think summer travel ball could be back at about 75-85% of normal---albeit with a few restrictions!
Fan attendance might be limited, seating could be different---e.g., social distancing---and masks may still be required. But IF people are SMART, I really do believe teams will be able to play--in California and elsewhere---by summer.
As for whether or not coaches will be out scouting, here again, if things keep improving healthwise, I expect they will be---certainly Div. II, III and NAIA coaches. And assuming Div. I coaches are released from their dead period in June, I imagine they'll be out in good numbers as well.
But there are a couple of caveats to the scouting/recruiting issue. YES, I do think reduced budgets will impact how much traveling some coaches can do. There is no question the pandemic has affected college budgets and probably will continue to do so for a number of years. And this is likely to trickle down to athletics where cuts in everything from field maintence to traveling for recruiting to scholarships could come into play.
Also, because---in general---Div. I teams are more likely to have players using their extra year of eligibility and because Div. I coaches often try to lock down new recruits during their junior year in high school, I would expect that a lot of the Div. I coaches who do get out to scout will be looking at 2023, 2024, 2025 grads rather than 2022. (That's just my 2 cents worth!)
My advice---especially to 2022 grads---is to be sure you've done your homework. (Read my book for the most effective approach to your college search). Get your letters on coaches' desks followed up by emails by May 1. Embrace diverse collegiate opportunities---e.g., don't limit yourself to California where competition for spots on college teams is FIERCE! 90% of all college teams are at schools EAST of Colorado, so be open to all types of schools all around the U.S.
Reach out to a LOT of college coaches because getting seen at a tournament isn't the only way to get recruited, and if by some chance, the state or the country ends up with pandemic related restrictions shutting down tournaments, you can still find a college and a team. Despite the pandemic, over 90% of my 2021 grad class (CSC clients) have found colleges and teams they'll be able to call home! So can you!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RECRUITING www.fastpitchrecruiting.com