Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Observations/Tips from 2015 College Softball Showcase

Softball can be a grind...lots of games, travel, and hotel stays.  This goes for the college coaches as well.  They cannot be at every game in multiple locations.  Depending on the size of the school and their recruiting budget, they may have one person trying to visit as many locations as they can fit into their schedule.   So what does that mean for the player?

Do your research on the schools that you would choose based on academics.  Would you attend that school even if you were not playing softball? When the opportunity presents itself, being prepared with a well thought out answer will impress any coach.

Players need to be proactive and reach out to a coach by email before their tournaments or games are played. Let them know your schedule, a little bit of information about you such as positions you play, that you hit left/right/switch, throw left/right, and most importantly your GPA.  In the competitive environment for college positions, students with a higher GPA reduce the risks to the schools.  Said another way - players that put in the time to take care of their grades in high school are projected to do the same in college when time management is much more of a priority.  Colleges do not want to commit time and resources into a player only to have that player ruled academically ineligible.  So the bottom line is provide the information to the coaches so that they feel comfortable to recruit you.

College coaches want to be successful.  They want to have players that want to be successful.  When you are on the field, run the bases hard every time, know the situation in the game and be a good teammate.  Remember you normally only bat maybe three or four times a game so you can run hard four times to first or maybe even take an extra base, you need to be able to bunt when it is appropriate or have all the skills to do what is called for at the time, and always be a part of the team with encouragement, enthusiasm and 100% effort.  The speed of the game increases from high school to college and you must project to the coach that you can make that adjustment. 

"From the moment you get out of your car at the diamond until the time that you get back into the car to leave, your actions are being watched." - Coach Craig Faulkner (High School Coach and Four Time Florida State Champion)  It is not going to always be obvious that a coach is watching you play.  Not all coaches are dressed in collegiate apparel when they are at the park.  Some coaches rely on other trusted individuals besides themselves and their coaches to provide feedback about a prospective college player.  You do not know who is sitting in the stands, walking around the diamond, or parking next to you in the parking lot.  Be mindful of what you say and what you do. This goes for players and their families.

The harsh reality is that not every high school player will make it to play in college.  No one owes you anything. You make our own luck. "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." -Roman philosopher Seneca.  Put the time in to constantly get better, work on your weaknesses, ask questions, be a student of the game and grind your way to your goals!

Best of Luck!

Additional information and resources 
There are many different levels of college softball to play.  Do not close any door or opportunity. Each college or university softball program falls into a collegiate athletic category.  

The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) has three divisions D1, D2 and D3. The NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics)(
The NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) has three divisions D1, D2 and D3 (

Athletic Scholarship Opportunities
Division I (per school) 11.7
Division II (per school) 9
Division III (per school) 0
NAIA (per school) 12
NJCAA (*varies per school) 24

Academic Scholarships Opportunities can be added or are available based on the school.

DivisionNJCAA Scholarship Guidelines
Division IColleges may grant full athletic scholarships (tuition, books, fees, room & board), up to $250 in course required supplies and transportation costs one time per academic year to and from the college by direct route. Each sport has limits on the number of scholarships that can be granted. 
Division IIColleges may grant athletic scholarships, but scholarships are limited to tuition, books, fees and up to $250 in course required supplies. Each sport has limits on the number of scholarships that can be granted. 
Division IIIColleges are not permitted to offer any athletic scholarships
NOTE: If a sport does not have the numbers to break into separate divisions, it operates under the Division I scholarship guidelines.