With nearly 60,000 recruits placed since 2000, NCSA knows exactly what it takes. Here are answers to the top five questions our scouting experts receive on the softball recruiting process—the five things every college softball hopeful must know.
When does the softball recruiting process start?
1. The recruiting process starts in middle school. Softball recruiting starts earlier than almost any other women’s sport. Competition for scholarships is so high—both on the athlete’s side and the school’s—that coaches are now starting to identify recruits in the 7th and 8th grade and have even started to offer scholarships to prospects before their freshman year of high school.
How do I get discovered?
2. College coaches scout based on verified information from neutral, independent sources like NCSA. Play your game well and you’ll be discovered—right? Wrong. College coaches identify softball prospects using online tools and databases well before they attend softball tournaments, games, and camps. Occasionally someone else will catch their eye, but they are primarily there for the prospects they have already identified.
How do coaches evaluate prospects?
3. The Internet is your best recruiting tool. College coaches don’t have time to attend every high school softball game. The majority of them identify top prospects by watching video highlights that they request or receive from a trusted third party. This is what will convince a coach to come out and watch you in person.
Where am I qualified to play?
4. Less than 1% of student athletes get a full ride to a D-1 school. Set your expectations accordingly. There are over 1500 US colleges and universities that sponsor collegiate softball and offer financial aid packages—and more than 80% of these are not DI schools.
What is my coach’s role?
5. Don’t leave your future solely in the hands of your high school coach. Getting recruited is a full-time job, and your coach has a whole team of players who will ask for their help. One coach does not have the time, resources, or relationships to get a scholarship for each of his or her players.
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