A few tips for the athlete looking to be recruited.
By MNU Head Coach Kelly Latendresse
Being recruited to play in college is the dream of many young girls on the softball field, but the whole process can be very overwhelming for both athlete and parents. When should we start thinking about college? What level will be right? How do I get in contact with coaches? When can I contact coaches? I could go on and on, but the process should not be a stressful and scary time.
There are steps that you can take as an athlete to make the process less stressful. Yes, I said YOU as an ATHLETE! Don’t get me wrong, parents need to be fully involved in the recruiting process. They need to be a support system for their child, but this is your life. Mom and dad will not be living with you, attending class with you or going to practices with you. When reaching out to coaches through phone calls and emails you need to show that you are a strong athlete but also a responsible individual who is excited about the opportunity to be a part of that specific colleges program. You need to be the one reaching out to coaches, writing emails and placing the phone calls. Trust me, a coach can tell when your parents are writing your emails for you!
There are so many different opportunities when looking at playing softball in college, how does a player decide? Each athlete is different, with different academic and athletic goals, and you need to decide what yours are. Do your homework before sending emails and letters. Ask yourself the following questions and you will save yourself and coaches who may be recruiting you a lot of time.
- What academic major (or majors) are you interested in pursuing in college?
- How far away from home are you willing to be?
- Do you like the town/area this school is located in?
- Can you afford the cost of tuition and living at that particular school?
- Do you have the grades and test scores to get into this college?
- How many current members of the roster play the same position(s) as you and what year are they?
- Do you like the coach’s personality/coaching style?
Remember you are not the only player looking to be recruited, there are hundreds of thousands of players with the same goal. So, with all those athletes out there, how do you stand out to a coach? First, you need to create a personal athletic resume. This resume needs some basic but essential information on you. You will need to have this resume set up in a way that you can print it out as well as email it out to colleges you have interest in.
Include information such as:
- Contact information (address, phone, email)
- Your parent’s names
- Your graduation year
- Your jersey number for your high school and competitive team
- A photo of yourself
- Your current high school GPA, ACT and SAT scores
- Stats from your most recent season, include defensive and offensive as well as pitching and catching if applicable
- A short statement from you that describes the type of player you are and what you are looking for in your future college and your goals and reasons for choosing to play college ball
Once you have your resume and list of schools you are interested in it is time to start making contact with those coaches. YOU need to reach out and express your interest in that coach and their program. Let them know specifically why you like the university and softball program. Do not be upset if you do not hear back right away, remember there are so many young ladies just like yourself and each coach will get hundreds of emails per day. If you are persistent and continue to make contact they will get back to you. Do not be afraid to send a coach your playing schedule and if you do see them out at a tournament do not be afraid to say hello. A coach is looking for players with more than just the talent on the field. It is easy to find an athletically talented player, but what makes an All American different from a great player is personality, work ethic and dedication to self, team and goals. It is often times what you do off the field that makes you stand out to a recruiter.
Getting the opportunity to be recruited by a collegiate coach is the result of years of hard work and dedication to yourself and your sport! Enjoy it!