Ultimate College Softball
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Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #1 
This is our first recruiting experience.  We've read a lot of advice, read Cathy's book, and started early.

My DD (2010 graduate) started sending intro letters and emails to prospective programs last year (after her freshman year) and has added schools that have been attending events she was playing in.  She continues to update these coaches with her schedule, updated player profiles etc.

We have a bankers box of information sent from colleges at this point.  Is this normal?  Any school that has requested that she complete a recruiting form, got one. 

She has recently started getting information about summer camps.  Some in the mail, and some in her email.  Since she's still too young for the coaches to recruit (contact), how do you know who is really interested, and who is just sending mail (camp information etc) to their mailing list?

I suggested she call these coaches to ask about their camps, but she is very hesitant (afraid) to talk to coaches (and most other adults).

Posts: 1,938
Reply with quote  #2 
It's so hard to tell.  And I understand how many players (your dd is a sophomore) will not call a coach.  I know my dd would have flat out refused to do it.  The schools do use these camps as fund-raisers.  They look at prospects there but going to a camp does not necessarily mean the coaching staff is going to evaluate you or 'is interested'.

Usually you have some kind of interest or feeler to give you an indication that a coach is interested (for example, when my dd was going through this, we got a call from another coach that it would be a real good idea if she attended this camp, sure enough, they showed specific interest in her once we got there).  Or something will come through the travel coach.  Maybe pick out one or two camps nearby that are school that seem likely.

Interest comes early....and it also comes late

--Read my personal blog at http://azure-turquoise.blogspot.com

Posts: 1,632
Reply with quote  #3 

At this age would really encourage going to a camp or two at schools where she is interested.  It might be easier if a friend or two attends as well (being alone can be intimidating).  It is the easiest way to get to see how the coaches and team operates.  They may not recruit but they will notice if she has the basic requisite skills to play at Div I.  If she stands out there, you can expect further interest and contact. 

Requests to attend camps are probably money makers.  Asst coaches earn some of their salary by conducting these camps. 

Exposure tournaments are also good.  Obviously the Colorado ones are best known and well attended. 


Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #4 
That brings up another question/point...

She's a pitcher.  Most camps require that pitchers bring their own catchers.  It's one thing to shell out the money for your own DD.  It's another thing to convince a catchers parents to shell out money for a camp they may or may not be interested in... and NO - I don't like to catch her any more.  Too much speed and movement for my old bones.  Will most coaches provide a catcher for camps?  I know that (at a couple of local camps) there were usually enough catchers to share.

As far as exposure events;  She will attended the CO Fireworks for the third time this summer.  He summer teams is also scheduled for some local exposure events.

Posts: 718
Reply with quote  #5 
As mentioned summer camps are mainly a way for asst's to make some money. I prefer to send kids to fall/winter camps as they tend to be smaller in size and you get more 1-1 time. Also, it's easier to stand out and by going you show real interest vs. just looking for something to do during the summer. Many coaches tie in a recruit day as part of fall camps.

Nothing is better than a phone call. Even if you get voicemail. I disagree with those that say don't leave a message because they can't call back. They keep a log of who calls, when they call and how many times they call. It shows legitimate interest when you call.


Posts: 1,112
Reply with quote  #6 
Be on a good Travel Program with coaches experienced at recruiting. they will know the seriousness in the  interest of colleges in your DD. Play the game all summer like she has all her life, and with the letter writing, the rest takes care of itself.

Self help following Cathis book is good advice and spend time each day researching schools and rosters to find the openings, target those schools first.

I agree with Vic. fall and Winter camps are best. Summer, she should be with her travel team helping them compete.

Posts: 708
Reply with quote  #7 

Hey Statman, don't kid yourself, coaches talk to playas your DDs age, make offers & she can verbal too!  Check out some of the many UCS posts about early verbals...but ya better hope she/they don't change their minds, or the coach leaves or a multitude of other 'things' don't happen along the way.


Posts: 98
Reply with quote  #8 
I agree that:

1.  Fall/winter camps are better than summer because they do not consume as much of valuable your time, smaller groups, and are usually on weekends.

2. Having a person (often the club coach) that can do your "behind the scenes" inquiring for you is very helpful. Being in a program where the coach has significant experience with the recruiting process is a tremendous help.

It sounds like you are doing a lot of the right things. Going to Fireworks would indicate she is playing for a club program that has some degree of stature and a mind towards exposure.

I recognize the trepidation a 15 year old faces when calling a college coach. However, it takes a special person to be successful in college softball so the earlier she starts her "assertiveness training" perhaps the better. If she does not make the call then she is spotting a recruiting advantage to those kids who are willing to make the call.

These days college coaches are getting word to the kids they are really interested in earlier and earlier. Sometimes its based on seeing the player in live competition during the summer but it could also be based on performance at a winter camp. Just make sure you keep your ears to the ground and ask for help from someone experienced in the process that knows your player's skills such as her club coach. Knowing what level a player's skills fit at is also an important trait for your chief adviser so you can aim appropriately.  Don't be afraid to ask or have others ask what a coach thinks of your player once they have had an adequate chance to see her skills. Sometimes you learn a player's weaknesses early enough in the process for her to address them. In recruiting, information - good or bad - is the key.

Posts: 326
Reply with quote  #9 
I would agree with what has been said. The majority of summer camps are money makers. With that said, that is also a place to get noticed and have them put a face with a name, especially if you have been making contact. However, you have to understand that, as everyone else has mentioned, you are more likely to get one-on-one coaching during a fall or winter camp. But that doesn't mean you won't get it during the summer, just might get much less of it.

As far as catchers, it doesn't hurt to have one (if you know one already going or one that may be interested), but usually is not required. There are usually enough catchers.

Originally Posted by vcaldwell

Even if you get voicemail. I disagree with those that say don't leave a message because they can't call back. They keep a log of who calls, when they call and how many times they call. It shows legitimate interest when you call.

While I am not saying it doesn't happen, I have never heard this message. The message is usually "If you are a junior or the parent of a junior, I cannot return your phone until July 1, 2008." You are still more than welcome to leave a message and they will be happy to take your call. They just want you to know that just because they don't call you back, it doesn't mean they aren't interested. It just means they can't call you back.

Posts: 116
Reply with quote  #10 
Playa said: "Hey Statman, don't kid yourself, coaches talk to playas your DDs age, make offers & she can verbal too! "

If your daughter is a 2010, then only way coaches can legally speak with her is if she 1) calls them herself or 2) speaks with them in person on campus. Sure, a coach can call her summer ball coach and say, "Have ::insert DD's name:: call me in ten minutes." But, do not be mislead by Playa's comments. If acting within the bylaws of the NCAA, it will have to be on your daughter's assertion (phone call, campus visit) to personally correspond with a coach. A coach can begin recruiting your daughter with emails and letters beginning on July 1st of this year. Playa makes it seem like coaches put on a circus and do absolutely whatever it takes without regard to the governing rules. That is not the case.
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