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softballdad1

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Posts: 15
Reply with quote  #1 

Some questions for those of you that have been through this.

 

My daughter is s sophomore, lives on the East Coast and will be playing some of the bigger tournaments this year, Colo, New Jersey, Rising Stars...

 

We have researched the UCS Forum, and also read Cathi’s Book, so I understand the importance of researching colleges and writing letters. But I still have a lot of questions.

 

 Now to the questions:

 

1. When letters are sent, do you send email, written letter typed, and mail it, or both?

 

2. If you do send an email including game schedules stats... do you send as an attachment, (MS Word, PDF...) or do you just include all the info in the body of the email?

 

3. I have notice most colleges have questionnaires on the web sites. Most ask specific questions GPA, SAT, Interest, stats, schedules. If one is filled out are do you still send letters?

 

4. Given the low cost of DVD's today do you send one to every coach or wait until the selection gets narrowed down some?

 

5. Has anyone used a link to a web site with video clips instead of sending a DVD/tape.

 

I know this is a lot of questions, but I am sure I will have many more.

 

Thanks

 

Canadian

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Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #2 
What we learned through the whole experience was that communication was the most important aspect of the whole process.
 
1. Don't mail a package without a DVD. The coaches receive so many mailers that we were told they can't read all of them and the DVD was like a short cut through the mountain of mail.
 
2. Follow up with email and put your schedule in it. Let them know your package has been sent and that it includes a DVD.
 
3. YES. After they receive your package many schools will send their questionnaire in the mail. Fill them out right away and send them back. Again, we were told this is another tool they use to weed out the girls that aren't very interested in their school and program. They want kids excited about their school.
 
4. We didn't use on line site but know of a few players that did. Neither girl received a  scholarship from it but it must work for some?
 
5. Go to as many NFCA camps as you can and notify the schools via email that you'll be in the camp and your tournament schedule. We were told they come with a list in hand of who they want to see. If they don't know about you they may not find you.
 
6. Go visit schools that you're interested in on your own and let them know you're coming. The coaches will make time to see your daughter. If any school ask your daughter to come on an unofficial visit GO! If you're willing to spend your money to visit they'll take a really good look at her. She can also ask the players what the school and the coach  is really like. My daughter got 2 scholarship offers this way and she's very happy with the one she picked. We also went to a few that we wouldn't want her to go to and a few that she didn't like.
 
7. Once the schools start to communicate have your daughter phone the coaches and talk to them. You'll find out alot this way. Also keeps them front of mind.
 
8. Check their rosters out and see how many players they have that play her position and what year they are.
 
9. Go to winter camps that have a number of coaches in attendance. UNLV puts one on and they have around 15 schools working it.
 
10.This site is full of information and I'd suggest reading all the recruiting information available.
 
It's a big job but it's so important to get the right fit.
Good luck.
randomclam

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Posts: 116
Reply with quote  #3 
also
make sure that you keep a copy of what you have sent to each college
If they ask which colleges you are interested in, whether you are sure or not, LIST THEM FIRST...if you show high interest they are more likely to continue contact with you
noclu13

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Posts: 89
Reply with quote  #4 
As for the on line sites, I think they work really well    ........... for the people who own the site. 
I don't know anyone who hs had much success from these types of sites.  That doesn't mean that no one ever has but this is just a weak attempt at mass marketing.
vcaldwell

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Posts: 717
Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian
What we learned through the whole experience was that communication was the most important aspect of the whole process. DITTO!!! Most important thing mentioned.

1. Don't mail a package without a DVD. The coaches receive so many mailers that we were told they can't read all of them and the DVD was like a short cut through the mountain of mail. I think this depends on the program. My daughter visited 8 schools and not one cared about video. They all want to see a kid in person. Smaller programs with limited budgets utilize video MUCH more. I suspect this will become even more so with the new fall observations rules reducing the number of days in the fall coaches can go to tournaments.

We used the video question as another reason to call the coach. Worked every time.

2. Follow up with email and put your schedule in it. Let them know your package has been sent and that it includes a DVD. We put the schedule as part of the text of the email. You never know what may cause an email to be blocked. We also mailed schedule to make sure it arrived. (Had one school approach daughter during nationals that we had dropped off list because they never replied to emails. Turns out they were all being blocked because our domain was on a blacklist). Follow EVERYTHING up with a phone call. Even if all you do is leave a voicemail it shows interest.

3. YES. After they receive your package many schools will send their questionnaire in the mail. Fill them out right away and send them back. Again, we were told this is another tool they use to weed out the girls that aren't very interested in their school and program. They want kids excited about their school. Make sure you keep a copy of everything you send. Before visits review everything, especially the questionnaire. Daughter had two coaches ask her questions, during her visit, that were on the form.

4. We didn't use on line site but know of a few players that did. Neither girl received a scholarship from it but it must work for some? Don't know of ANYONE who has had this work.

5. Go to as many NFCA camps as you can and notify the schools via email that you'll be in the camp and your tournament schedule. We were told they come with a list in hand of who they want to see. If they don't know about you they may not find you. My observation is that exposure camps are cattle calls at best and only good for pitchers and catchers. All other positions get only cursory attention. Of all the camps I feel the NFCA run camps (only 5) are better attended and run. Of course the exception is the Vegas Showcase but if your kid has been invited there you aren't worrying about how to attract a coaches eye. LOL

6. Go visit schools that you're interested in on your own and let them know you're coming. The coaches will make time to see your daughter. If any school ask your daughter to come on an unofficial visit GO! If you're willing to spend your money to visit they'll take a really good look at her. She can also ask the players what the school and the coach is really like. My daughter got 2 scholarship offers this way and she's very happy with the one she picked. We also went to a few that we wouldn't want her to go to and a few that she didn't like. Unofficials are GREAT if you can afford them. My advice is start them early. Soph year. You get a feel for the school and it will help daughter decide what type/size of school she is looking for. It also is a pretty good way to get on a coaches watch list.

7. Once the schools start to communicate have your daughter phone the coaches and talk to them. You'll find out alot this way. Also keeps them front of mind. Ask for cell phone number. If you get it that's a really good sign.

8. Check their rosters out and see how many players they have that play her position and what year they are. As you get along in the process ask the coach what they are looking for in your class (incoming group your daughters freshman year of college)

9. Go to winter camps that have a number of coaches in attendance. UNLV puts one on and they have around 15 schools working it. Ditto the winter camp. BEST piece of advice I could anyone who isn't a Bluechipper. It is like a mini tryout. Try and tie it to an unofficial visit so that you get to spend some time with the coaches and get a campus tour. The problem with the UNLV camp is that you can only visit with Coach Alameda. The other coaches can't talk to you about coming to play for them. I prefer going to camps held at the school you are interested in. That way you can talk to the coach all you want. Most early commitments are made during winter camps of a players Junior year.

During the camp don't be afraid to ask a coach what they think about your ability. They know. If you aren't PAC10 caliber it doesn't mean you aren't good enough to play. It takes guts but this is a great way to find out if you are looking at the right level of play. I worked with a girl who only contacted top 25 schools. Pretty good 2B with fair speed and an ok stick. I told her to broaden her search to include some D2 and even NAIA or good JC. She was convinced she was top 25 caliber. Took her to a winter camp at a top 10 school. Coach told her many positive things but that she would have some very tough competition trying to make a top 25. Maybe as a walk-on. (coach-speak for I'm not interested/your not good enough for my program) He steered her toward a good D2 where he thought she could contribute. Even offered to call the coach. (rare offer but it told me she had some talent) She politely said no thanks. Two years later she is attending local state school and not playing ball at all.

10.This site is full of information and I'd suggest reading all the recruiting information available.

It's a big job but it's so important to get the right fit.
Good luck.
sbmom23

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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #6 
Hi,
My daughter is a Junior and will be attending the Rising Stars Showcase this month.  We sent out letters and emails to inform the schools she is interested in of that fact. We received a few acknowledgments, but not from the some schools that she is really interested in.  Can we make phone calls to those coaches, or is that too much/not allowed? 
gosaints

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Posts: 94
Reply with quote  #7 
sbmom: 
She can contact the coaches as often as she would like (via email / via phone / via letter). 

Coaches are limited in their contact with juniors.  They can respond to her emails.  However, coaches can not return her phone calls.  Coaches cannot return phone calls of prospective athletes until after she completes her junior year.  They can contact her via phone (returning call or initiating it) starting  June 15th for Div. 2 and July 1 for Div 1 after she completes her junior year.  The exceptions are NCAA Div 3, NAIA, & JUCO's which can call her whenever and as frequently as they wish.

Most recommend that she make phone contact with the schools she's really interested in as well as attend any camps they might be hosting.  Since she's sent her letter of interest/resume, she can follow-up via phone to ensure they received her packet, let them know of her interest, and tell them about her upcoming schedule.



fpfan

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Posts: 138
Reply with quote  #8 

My advice is to VISIT the campuses.  Visit many.  Call about two weeks in advance to the admissions office, and they will set up a private or semi-private tour for you.  Most tours last about three hours.  Tour the campus, talk to  current students, have a meal and talk with an instructor.  An admissions adviser  will tell you what they look for in a student-athlete.         They will ask what things you are interested in.  Most likely, if at all possible, they will set up a meeting with the coach.  There is nothing better than being on campus and seeing "how it feels".  I cannot emphasize enough how much you will learn about colleges and universities through these meetings.

phiten7

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Posts: 116
Reply with quote  #9 
In my experience, if you call the coach a week or so in advance of when you want to come check out the campus, they can at least find time to sit down with you in their office and talk to you about the program. And, that's your opportunity to hand deliver your DVD or questionnaire or whatever else.

Some schools are less open to that. And some, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how much it can be like an official visit, aside from the fact that you'll have to pay for lunch out of your own pocket.



Peacekeeper

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Posts: 603
Reply with quote  #10 
7. Once the schools start to communicate have your daughter phone the coaches and talk to them. You'll find out alot this way. Also keeps them front of mind. Ask for cell phone number. If you get it that's a really good sign.

8. Check their rosters out and see how many players they have that play her position and what year they are. As you get along in the process ask the coach what they are looking for in your class (incoming group your daughters freshman year of college)
===========================================

 

And be wary  of phrases like
 
I can always add money, but will NEVER take money away (unless you earn an academic scholarship)
 
I will ONLY have XXX amount of girls on the team.
 
Education comes FIRST at XXX and there is no problem with the major you're going into.
 
There are so many questions to ask and so much to learn in a short time, but it looks like time is on your side. The above are problems I have heard of girls running into with programs.
 
Peacekeeper



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Pudge

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Posts: 4,188
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by softballdad1

Some questions for those of you that have been through this.

 

My daughter is s sophomore, lives on the East Coast and will be playing some of the bigger tournaments this year, Colo, New Jersey, Rising Stars...

 

We have researched the UCS Forum, and also read Cathi’s Book, so I understand the importance of researching colleges and writing letters. But I still have a lot of questions.

 

 Now to the questions:

 

1. When letters are sent, do you send email, written letter typed, and mail it, or both?
 
Both

 

2. If you do send an email including game schedules stats... do you send as an attachment, (MS Word, PDF...) or do you just include all the info in the body of the email?
 
Both - I like them as attachments. But, sometimes they are sent in a format that I can't open up.

 

3. I have notice most colleges have questionnaires on the web sites. Most ask specific questions GPA, SAT, Interest, stats, schedules. If one is filled out are do you still send letters?

 
Yes - sometimes those computer generated questionaires don't go directly to the softball office. Better safe than sorry. Send letters too.
 

4. Given the low cost of DVD's today do you send one to every coach or wait until the selection gets narrowed down some?

 

That is a budget question for yourself. Send out as many as you can afford. The more coaches that see your daughter the better. But there is no point going broke trying to send one out to every school in the country.

 

5. Has anyone used a link to a web site with video clips instead of sending a DVD/tape.

 
HasN'T quite taken off yet. But, it will be the wave of the future (IMO). If you can do it, put it online and send the link to those schools you can't afford to send DVD's to.
 

I know this is a lot of questions, but I am sure I will have many more.

 

Thanks

I hope I helped!


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frequentflyr

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Posts: 59
Reply with quote  #12 
Was talking today to a friend of mine who is a college coach - as she's getting ready to head out to the Pre-Thanksgiving Tournament this week-end - while listening to her prep work thought I'd share some helpful hints that may seem obvious - but based on what she was telling me - guess they are not be that obvious.

When emailing a coach - you need to specifiy exactly which team you play for - in otherwords - the exact team with the coaches name if this is an organization with multiple teams (ie Batbusters) - there's a gazillion teams with similar names - so make sure it matches the name that's listed on the tournament site.  She got a bunch of emails and doesn't know which teams these girls are on so she won't see these girls play. 

She got 0 emails with an actual schedule attached - guess the players think coaches have nothing better to do than sit there and look up all the times and fields that Susie will be playing on. 

She actually received emails from girls with no team name attached - guess where those emails ended up???  You got it - in the garbage can.

She flies out tomorrow morning and she got 80% of the emails tonight.  I guess I would understand that better if these girls were waiting till the last minute because they wanted to attach their actual playing times - but no schedule is included with the emails. Anybody who emails her tomorrow won't be on her "list."

I'm sharing this with you because I have heard the concerns about the shortened recruiting window and how many are afraid of not being seen.  These mistakes listed above are compounding the problem. 

Good luck to all the girls this week-end - and I would encourage all the girls still looking for a good fit to take the time to market themselves effectively!
MHSDad2009

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Posts: 218
Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by softballdad1

5. Has anyone used a link to a web site with video clips instead of sending a DVD/tape.



There are many athlete's posting skills videos on YouTube, and elsewhere.

With all respect to the Pudge, DVDs are going away and online is already here.

Here are some examples:
http://tinyurl.com/3bgnaa

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vcaldwell

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Posts: 717
Reply with quote  #14 
Posting video online and being watched by coaches are two very different things.

I have been helping young players get recruited for a while now and I started seriously asking coaches about online vs hard copy about three years ago. Most recently I was asking at Gold Nationals, Rising Stars and Diamond Sports-Texas Elite Showcase. The response I get from the VAST majority of coaches is that they  still prefer DVD/VHS over online. Top 10 Reasons why: (in no particular order)
1) Not always at a PC
2) Easier to use DVD/VHS;  Can't use slo-mo to really look at video
3) When I use DVD I know how long the video is. On YouTube I may get three minutes of game footage that is absolutely useless to me.
4) Picture quality is poor often making it tough to see if the player in the video is really who they say they are (Yes this has happened)
5) DVD/VHS are portable (one coach uses a portable DVD player to evaluate video when she is traveling)
6) Often is a hassle to get to the video (too many teams have everything password protected or coaches are required to register to gain access. If it isn't click-click easy coaches will move on)
7) Don't always have access to broadband internet
8) Hard to refer back to
9) Harder to keep track of  "I get 200-300 emails a day, it would be a major task to try and keep track of all those links in an efficient way. I don't have that kind of time. "
10) I just got used to using a DVD player to watch video.  LOL :-)

While the day that online video will eventually arrive. I believe that right now it is still not widely accepted by coaches. I advise my players to use DVD and VHS (yes it is still used) and they are getting recruited just fine. The way I look at it is this. I don't want to do anything that might dissuade the coach from watching my video. e.g. If I send out 10 emails with a link to my online video and only 6 go look I failed with 4 potential programs. If I send out 10 DVD/VHS, pretty good chance all will review it. Do you want to take the chance that one of the 4 was the prefect fit but you lost the chance?

I do believe that someday, once ease of use, quality, speed control, ease of access, etc... are made simpler and as younger coaches enter the field, Online video clips will become more widely used. However, that day isn't now. Do you really want to take that chance?

If you want to use online video than at least hedge your bet and send a DVD/VHS to your top 20 programs. Also, post a skills video NOT 15 seconds of game footage.

JMHO,
Vic
Pudge

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Posts: 4,188
Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHSDad2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by softballdad1

5. Has anyone used a link to a web site with video clips instead of sending a DVD/tape.



There are many athlete's posting skills videos on YouTube, and elsewhere.

With all respect to the Pudge, DVDs are going away and online is already here.

Here are some examples:
http://tinyurl.com/3bgnaa

They are here. But, it is NOT the norm for college coaches just yet. But, it IS the way of the future.


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TwoToSix

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Posts: 528
Reply with quote  #16 
It is the norm, we old folks just do not realize it.
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