Many families are unsure of how to get recruited for softball because the recruiting process is difficult. In fact, only about 8% of high school softball players will go on to play college softball, and only about 1% will play Division 1 ball. Also, not all softball players will be awarded sports scholarships.
To put it another way, how to get recruited for college softball—and so receiving a softball scholarship—is not simple. So, what are the requirements for playing college softball? Athletes with academic credentials, athletic talent, drive, and recruiting knowledge can advance to the next level.
We’ve made the following softball recruiting guide to assist you through the collegiate softball recruiting process, complete with all of the main milestones you’ll need to reach along the way as well as useful softball recruiting tips and tricks.
Remember the most crucial softball recruitment tip: Be proactive! You don’t want coaches to “find you.” Taking ownership of your own recruiting path is the only way to ensure you are recruited by softball coaches.
How To Get Recruited For College Softball
Let’s start with the basics: How do you get recruited for softball? While no two recruiting journeys will be exactly the same, there are specific milestones that every softball player will need to achieve.
Review The Softball Recruiting Guidelines For Your Position
We’ve developed a series of standards based on comments from former college softball coaches and athletes to help you choose which division level is ideal for you athletically. Use these concepts as a guideline in the recruitment process to ensure you’re on track.
Get To Know The Softball Rules And The Recruiting Calender.
When and how college coaches can communicate with recruits is governed by NCAA softball recruiting guidelines. Brush up on the fundamentals to understand when to expect various notifications from coaches.
Find NAIA And JUCO Softball Colleges In Division 1, Division 2, And Division 3.
Softball programmes are available in thousands of schools across the United States. What’s the catch? Choosing the best school for you. This is one of the more difficult aspects of the softball recruiting process, so we’ve broken down the divisions and some of the top institutions.
Make A Video Of Your Skills
Softball is a little different than other sports in that it does not require a highlight movie including game footage. Most college coaches want to see a skills film that shows how well you field your position and bat. College softball coaches use film to assess prospects’ athleticism and skill level, as well as to make early assessments of athletes. To put it another way, you must make your video count!
Choose The Best Camp, Combination, Tournament, Or Showcase For You.
Attending an event in softball recruiting can be a fantastic chance to compete in front of college coaches, receive updated softball numbers, and enhance your skills. However, depending on where you are in your softball recruiting process, you must choose the best activities to attend.
When Does Recruiting Start For Softball?
Softball was known for starting the recruiting process as early as middle school, with many prospective student-athletes receiving offers as early as eighth grade. Division 1 softball coaches routinely evaluated athletes as early as 7th and 8th grade, and it was not uncommon for these athletes to get an offer. However, in order to reduce early recruiting, the NCAA adopted and enforced new rules in 2018 that prohibited this early communication—and early offers. What does this mean for aspiring softball players?
Before September 1 of an athlete’s junior year, the NCAA restricts any forms of communication and interaction between D1 college coaches and prospective recruits. While recruits were always urged to contact coaches as soon as possible, college coaches at the D1 level are no longer allowed to finalise their rosters, hold recruiting conversations, or make verbal offers to any recruits before this day. Private correspondence such as emails, social DM’s, text messages, and recruiting letters, as well as phone calls, off-campus interaction at a recruit’s school, home, or softball activities, and even unofficial and formal visits, are all examples of this.
While this may appear to be the end of early recruitment, D1 softball coaches will continue to look for and evaluate prospective softball prospects in other ways. A robust online profile, complete with a softball highlight video and academic stats, can help younger softball recruits stand out from the crowd and get noticed by D1 college coaches—because, despite the new rules, by September 1 of junior year, D1 softball college coaches will almost certainly have lists of prospective athletes they want to reach out to—and potentially extend offers to.
D2 coaches used to begin recruiting slightly later than D1 coaches, but the timelines are now more aligned than ever. The earlier they begin scouting athletes, the more competitive the D2 programme. In fact, starting June 15 after a recruit’s sophomore year, D2 college coaches can send out emails, texts, and social media direct messages, call prospective athletes, and conduct off-campus contact. This offers D2 coaches two and a half months more recruiting time than D1 coaches.
Meanwhile, D3 and NAIA programmes, which used to start the recruiting process later by reaching out to sophomores and juniors, now have the most lax recruiting timeline—they can contact athletes at any age and conduct off-campus contact immediately after an athlete’s sophomore year. D3 college coaches, on the other hand, must wait until January 1 of a recruit’s junior year before issuing an invitation for an official visit. D3 and NAIA programmes also have a slightly longer recruiting cycle since they spend more time ensuring that their school is a good fit for the athlete academically, socially, and athletically.
Softball recruiting tip: If you are a late bloomer or get a late start in your recruiting, concentrate your efforts on D3, NAIA, and NCJAA colleges. You might get some last-minute D1 or D2 attention, but D3 and NAIA institutions are considerably more likely to have some available roster spaces.
Level Before You Begin, Determine Your Talent And Expectations.
Softball recruiting begins with you, your family, and your current coach. Sit down with your parents and answer the following questions as honestly as you can:
Are I prepared for the rigours of college softball?
Softball will consume a significant amount of your time regardless of division level. On top of your lectures and schoolwork, you will have early practices, training sessions, games, and travel. Before you begin the recruiting process, be sure you’re prepared for this degree of commitment.
Is it possible for me to play college softball?
To respond to this question, you must critically evaluate your current skill set and athleticism, as well as project how much you will be able to grow by the time you are a freshman in college.
This is an excellent time to contact your current coach and discuss your aspirations for playing college softball as well as an honest discussion regarding your ability level.
You can also be evaluated by a third party, such as the NCSA. Our staff of former college softball coaches and athletes understand what it takes to compete at the collegiate level and can provide you with important softball recruiting advice to help you find your best college match.
What division(s) am I qualified to play in?
Softball players have hundreds of chances in the Division 1, Division 2, Division 3, NAIA, and junior college levels. Inquire with your present coach, a certified third party such as NCSA, or college coaches themselves about which division levels you could be eligible to compete in. Discover more about the various division levels.
For many ambitious athletes, the world of collegiate softball provides a special combination of athleticism, camaraderie, and competitive spirit. Even if the hiring process may feel overwhelming, it’s crucial to keep in mind that you may improve your chances of success with commitment, tenacity, and the appropriate strategy.
You may achieve your ambition by concentrating on honing your abilities, exhibiting your capabilities, and actively interacting with college coaches. It’s important to keep in mind that achieving success in collegiate softball requires more than just physical skill; it also requires showcasing your love for the game, your dedication to teamwork, and your capacity for success both on and off the field.
As you set out on this thrilling adventure, remember to accept the difficulties, rejoice in the victories, and never lose sight of your softball love. You’ll be well-prepared to handle the recruiting process and land a position on the collegiate softball pitch, where you can continue to develop, succeed, and follow your ambitions, if you have the correct tactics in place and an unbreakable commitment to success.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I contact colleges?
The winter of your sophomore year. It is never too early to start the recruiting process.
How do I start the process?
Begin by making a list of colleges you are interested in attending; make it a broad list. There are many
opportunities to play softball in college, so don’t limit yourself. Do your homework and send an
introductory letter to those colleges. Make sure to include: Your return address, your graduation year, a
brief introduction about yourself, your summer team’s name, and your high school.
Make sure each letter is personalised (e.g., goes to the current head coach and that you have proofread
it carefully). Additional items to include are your player profile, transcript, game schedule and skills video
DVD or internet video link. Make sure you register with the NCAA Eligibility Centre; see your guidance
counsellor for assistance. Make sure you take the SAT and ACT early in your junior year.
What should be in my skills video?
Your video should be five to ten minutes long. It should include an introduction that says who you are
and: Hitting off a tee, machine, front toss, or pitcher; video from the side and behind. Field your position from the front and the side. Make sure to show fielding and throwing. Pitchers should throw all of their pitches, and the video should include shots from behind the catcher, behind the pitcher and from the side
There is no need to get fancy or include game footage; keep it short and simple. Remember, coaches have a lot of of videos to watch. Make sure your graduation year is clearly marked on the video.