College Softball Recruiting and Scouting
If you want to play college softball, it is essential that you understand what it takes to be successful in the recruiting process. The softball recruiting process involves setting your expectations athletically, achieving your goals academically, and letting a coach get to know you personally.
Finding the Right Fit Athletically
With five different division levels and over 1,600 college programs, there are opportunities for almost every softball player looking to play college softball if you know where to look. Understanding what division level will be right for you is about being honest with your current abilities and finding coaches who can help you understand what your potential might be and guide you through the college softball recruiting process.
Coaches are always on the lookout for a potential star pitcher who could make an immediate impact on their program. It’s critical that if you are looking to get recruited as a pitcher, you show an ability to have command of several pitches and a keen understanding of how to manage a game. If you aren’t a fully developed pitcher, it might be better to look at DII, NAIA, or maybe sometime at the junior college level.
It’s critical to have a great catcher at the college level. You have to show a consistent ability to play mistake-free defense and handle yourself at the plate. College softball coaches are going to want to see the way you can manage several different pitchers. You will provide more value to a program if you can also play any additional positions.
These are largely the utility players for a college program. Coaches don’t often give much scholarship money to their outfielders unless you are a critical hitter. As an outfielder, you will typically bat early in the lineup and be a person they count on to get on base and be able to show dominance in running the bases.
Playing infield at the college level, you will need excellent hands and an ability to understand game situations. Additionally, every college player is expected to be able to bat as well. If you are going to be a liability at the plate, it might be worth your time to spend a couple years at the junior college level developing your skills more.
3B and 1B
The corner positions of the infield are usually reserved for the power hitters of the team; there is very little room for a corner infielder if you aren’t able to hit as well. Additionally, college hitters and slappers in particular at the college level are so good; you will need to show great hands and ability to make accurate throws on the run when charging the ball.
How Your Grades Will Impact Your Recruiting
You can be the best softball player in history, but if you don’t meet the academic minimums for a particular program, there is nothing a coach can do about getting you into the school. Beyond just meeting the minimums, coaches use a players academic standing to get a better understanding of their character. Having low grades shows a coach that you aren’t working hard in the classroom, and they might question your dedication to their team. Given a choice between two similar athletes, a coach will take the girl with the higher grades every time.
Personality Matters in College Softball Recruiting
When picking a university to play for, you are making a four-year decision. During the recruiting process, it is critical you make a visit to the college, speak with the coach several times, and, if possible, get the chance to meet the other girls on the team. Just as you will be learning about a program, they will be learning about you. Coaches want to see how you like the school and if your personality will fit with their program. Make sure you ask as many questions as you answer during this time and show a genuine interest in the school, and you will be fine.
Softball recruiting is an exciting time for any young softball player. If you go in with the right expectations and stay on top of your responsibilities, you will find the opportunity to play college softball.
Author: David Frank