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The chances of earning an NCAA I softball scholarship are small.  There are only about 300 NCAA I softball programs, and they only have 12 scholarships.  With hundreds of thousands of high school softball players across the United States, the odds are less than 5%. 

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TOP 5 RECRUITING THINGS TO DO


1. Develop a recruiting plan and get evaluated by a third party.

What are you currently doing to get evaluated for college softball scholarships?  What results has your current plan produced?  If you are not currently being contacted by college coaches at least once per week, then you are not being actively recruited.   

You need to be evaluated by as many college coaches nationwide as possible to maximize your scholarship opportunities and securing a college roster spot immediately!   

Utilizing a third party like AASR is an important first step in the recruiting process.

Attending several softball camps and showcases also increases your evaluation exposure to coaches.


 2. Create your FREE MyScoutingReport NOW! 

Online profiles are the fastest way for college coaches to evaluate a prospects academic qualifications, athletic attributes, highlight/game videos, review game schedules, news articles and how to contact you.   Create your FREE MyScoutingReport immediately for scholarship evaluation by college coaches nationwide!

 

3. Take charge of your game, highlight, or skills video!

DO NOT wait around for someone else to burn game DVD's or edit a highlight video for you!  Take control of your recruiting process by taking action each day until your video(s) are complete and accessible by college coaches.  

When making a highlight video, separate yourself from other softball recruits by including plays that highlight your foot speed, weight shift, arm strength and accuracy.  For batting, hit line drives to all fields. 



4. Be realistic about your projected college level. 

Too many college prospects get focused on playing ONLY for major NCAA Division I programs, that they miss out on opportunities to play at a lower level and possibly on a scholarship.  


5. DO NOT LIMIT YOURSELF! 

Time and again college prospects limit themselves to only wanting to play at a certain level, local area, in-state, U.S. region or certain conferences.  The fact of the matter is that college coaches get to choose which players they want on their roster and which to offer scholarships to.  It's not the players or parents that choose...once again, it's the college coaches.  By limiting yourself to only certain areas for recruitment, you can bet your life that there will be some college coach around the country that could use a student-athlete like you!   

SOFTBALL RECRUITING FAQ 


1. When does the softball recruiting process begin?

The first day a student-athlete attends a high school class, they are considered a college prospect by the NCAA.  In particular, softball recruiting starts early because competition for softball scholarships is extremely high.   


2.  How do I get discovered?

College coaches can recruit prospects on third-party evaluations from a trusted neutral source like AASR.  If you don't have a discoverable or marketable profile for college coaches to evaluate, then they won't know about you.  Remember, if college coaches are not calling you at least once per week, then  YOU ARE NOT BEING ACTIVELY RECRUITED!  Whatever you have been doing to get evaluated by college coaches has not been working, then it's time to change your strategy!


3. How do coaches evaluate prospects?

The fastest way to get a college coaches attention is with a tryout skills video for them to evaluate your raw skills while at their desk or on their mobile device.  Online skills and highlight videos can speed up the recruiting process for both you and college coaches.

 

4. Where am I qualified to play?

With nearly half a million high school softball players, less than 5% will play at the NCAA I level. Most of the college baseball programs compete at the NCAA II, NCAA III, NAIA or JUCO levels. 

 

5.  What is my high school or travel coach’s role?

Most high school coaches also teach classes, coach other sports, teach classes and have families, so earning a baseball scholarship is your responsibility.  High school coaches that are fortunate to have established relationships with college programs, are usually with a handful of college coaches within their local area or U.S. region.  

 WHAT ARE COLLEGE SOFTBALL COACHES LOOKING FOR BY?

 

Grades: 3.0 GPA + 24 ACT + 1000 SAT

 

 

SOFTBALL RECRUITING CALENDAR

Freshmen Year

  • Research 2-3 schools per week
  • Create a list of college programs you are interested in

  • Film skills video 
  • Pick 2-3 camps and 1-2 showcases to attend after the season


Rules/Tips to Remember:

  • Coaches are watching your development throughout high school at camps, in school and on the field
  • DI and DII coaches can’t personally contact you until Junior year 
  • DIII and NAIA coaches can contact you at anytime
  • Important to do be familiar with the school both athletically and academically

 

Sophomore Year

  • Film skills video 
  • Get an evaluation of your skills tape
  • Continue to research prospective schools
  • Fill out questionnaires
  • Narrow your top schools list


Rules/Tips to Remember:

  • Coaches will being to make offers Sophomore year
  • September 1st of Junior year DI and DII coaches can send you more personalized letters and emails


Junior Year

  • Film skills video 
  • Ask coaches where you stand on their recruits list
  • Fill out questionnaires
  • Respond to EVERY coach
  • Make unofficial visits to schools
  • Narrow down your prospective schools list


Rules/Tips to Remember:

  • DI and DII schools will start to make offers
  • Contact coaches at least once a week
  • DIII, NAIA some DII and Junior Colleges still recruit during Senior year - set-up tryouts and invite coaches


Senior Year

  • Make official visits  
  • Follow-up with coaches and respond in a TIMELY manner
  • Apply to the schools- applications
  • Apply for Financial aid – FAFSA.ed.gov starting January 1st
  • Sign and Commit to a school and program (Early Signing Period is in November of senior year.  Last day to sign during the regular period is August 1st).
  • Find out the summer workout schedule 

 SOFTBALL SCHOLARSHIPS


Softball is an equivalency sport which means all scholarships are not full scholarships. For example, in NCAA I, coaches can divide the value of the 12 scholarships available between as many players as they see fit.


                    Programs     Scholarships

NCAA I:            286                  12

NCAA II:           264                  7.2

NCAA III:          392                   0      

NAIA:               205                  10

NJCAA:            470                  24

TOTAL:          1617   


NCAA III do not offer athletic scholarships, but offer academic scholarships and financial aid.  

      FILMING YOUR SOFTBALL SKILLS VIDEO


Softball Skill Video Guidelines

A well-made recruiting skill video is an essential tool for high school softball players trying to earn college softball scholarships.

College coaches don’t have the time to see softball recruits in person. That’s why a good skills video is one of the most important parts of your online resume.

It takes just a few minutes for a recruiting video to show softball coaches what a high school recruit has to offer.

For your skills video to be effective, you need to know specifically what softball coaches are looking for. In terms of recruiting videos, every sport is different. For example, a softball skills video should show skills clips specific to your position, but doesn’t require any in-game footage.

If you follow the guidelines you’ll create a solid skill video.


How to Film/Edit

  • A tripod is highly recommended.
  • Ideally station the camera 5 feet off the ground.
  • The camera view should not be obstructed (backstop or fence).
  • Do not move the camera back and forth. Get the angle from a wide view if necessary.
  • Focus on the player being taped so that they are clear and in focus, but not too close!
  • Skills footage only. Do not send game footage
  • You only need to send footage of yourself playing your primary position. If you are not sure what position you will play in college and you film yourself playing multiple positions, cut all the numbers below in half.
  • Dress in spikes, pants or shorts, a tucked in shirt and helmet when hitting. (A uniform is preferred – NO cut-off shirts).

A few initial tips:

  • Always put your best plays first! Your best plays show you at your most athletic, making your biggest hits or blocks. Remember college coaches spend hundreds of hours watching video, so if you don’t show well in the first 2 or 3 snaps, they may just move on.
  • Remember this is an evaluation tool for college coaches, not your personal music video for MTV. Don’t worry about the music, scrolling stats, or slo-mo, because the people that matter don’t care about that stuff. If you want to make a separate highlight video for entertainment purposes or with friends and family that’s fine, but that’s not the one college coaches want to see.
  • Focus your time and energy on proper play selection, sequencing and perfect spot shadowing. 

Pitchers:

  • Begin recording these pitches AFTER a complete warm-up.
  • RHP camera angle should be set up 3 ft. to the right and 5 ft. behind the mound to be able to see ball movement. LHP should be to the left.
  • We must be able to see the catcher catch the ball at all times.
  • With camera angle positioned 3 ft. directly behind catcher for half AND from the open side of the pitcher for half.
    • Log 20 varied pitches, with fastball at least 5 of them.
    • Go through each pitch: Rise, Drop, Curve, etc. (approx. 5-6 each pitch).
    • 20 mix your pitches, with fastball being at least 5 of them.

Hitting:

  • The pitcher should throw batting practice type fastballs OR use a pitching machine.
  • Footage should be filmed either outside on a diamond or in a cage.
  • With camera angle behind the catcher area film
  • 30 swings
  • With camera angle 5 ft. directly to the right of the plate for right-handed hitters or left of the plate for left handed hitters.
    • 15 swings

Base Running:

  • Footage should be filmed either outside on a diamond or in a cage.
  • With Camera angle from 3B side of home plate (to show running form)
    • Take a swing and run through 1B.
    • Take a swing and run for home run. (Sliding into home is optional).

Catchers

  • Framing Pitches (5 pitches on each corner).
  • With camera angle positioned 2 ft. to the left and 5 ft. in front of the mound.
    • Blocking Pitches (5 directly in front of you, 5 to your left, 5 to your right).
  • With camera angle positioned 3ft. behind the 2B for half AND 2 ft. behind the catcher for half.
    • Pop and Throws to 2B (8 throws).
  • With camera angle positioned 3ft. behind the 3B for 4 throws AND 2 ft. behind the catcher for 2 throws.
    • Pop and Throws to 3B (6 throws).
  • With camera angle positioned 3 ft. behind the plate for 2 throws AND 3 ft. to the right of the 1B for 2 throws.
    • Mock Bunts and Throws to 1B (4 balls up the 1B line, 4 balls up the 3B line).

Infielders (SS & 2B)

  • Regardless if you are a SS or 2B, you will need to take your groundballs at SS in order to maximize range and arm strength.
  • With camera angle positioned 4 ft. to the left of the mound for half AND 4 ft. behind 1B for half.
    • 8 Groundballs hit directly at you.
    • 8 Groundballs hit 8-10 feet to your left.
    • 8 Ground balls hit 8-10 feet to your right.
    • 6 Slow Choppers hit directly at you.
    • With camera angle positioned 2 ft. behind the mound for the first 4 shots AND 4 ft. behind 1B for last 2 shots
      • Double plays - 6 Feeds from the 2B coming across the bag and making the throw to 1B.
      • With camera angle positioned 2ft. behind the mound show fielding from SS position & throw to the 2B.
      • 2 ground balls hit directly at you.
      • 2 ground balls hit 4 ft. to your right.
      • 2 ground balls hit 4 ft. to your left.

Infielders (1B & 3B)

First Base

  • With the camera angle positioned 4 ft. to the left of the plate (half of the groundballs should be off the bag and half should be holding a runner on).
    • 4 Groundballs hit directly at you.
    • 2 Groundballs hit directly to your left.
    • 2 Groundballs hit directly to your backhand.
    • 2 Slow Choppers hit directly at you.
  • With the camera angle positioned 4 ft. behind the 1B (half should off the bag and half should be holding a runner on). When throwing to 2B - must see 2B catch the ball in the camera angle.
    • 4 Groundballs hit directly at you.
    • 2 Groundballs hit directly to your left.
    • 2 Groundballs hit directly to your backhand.
    • 2 Slow Choppers hit directly at you.
  • Do not forget to include your feeds to the pitcher in some of the above actions.


Third Base

  • With camera angle positioned 4 ft. to the left of the mound for half AND 4 ft. behind 1B for half.
    • 8 Groundballs hit directly at you.
    • 8 Groundballs hit directly to your left.
    • 6 Groundballs hit directly to your right/backhand.
    • 6 Slow Choppers hit directly at you.

Outfielders

  • For all outfielders, regardless of whether you are a CF, RF, or LF, you will need to take your groundballs and fly balls in centerfield.
  • With camera angle positioned halfway between 2B and the mound.
    • 4 ground balls hit directly at you and thrown to 2B.
    • 4 fly balls hit directly at you and thrown to 2B.
    • 4 ground balls hit to your left and thrown to 2B.
    • 4 fly balls hit directly to your left and thrown to 2B.
    • 4 ground balls hit to your right and thrown to 2B.
    • 4 fly balls hit directly to your right and thrown to 2B.
  • Camera angle should be positioned directly behind 3B
    • 4 ground balls hit directly at you and thrown to 3B.
    • 4 fly balls hit directly at you and thrown to 3B.
    • 4 ground balls hit to your left and thrown to 3B.
    • 4 fly balls hit directly to your left and thrown to 3B.
    • 4 ground balls hit to your right and thrown to 3B.
    • 4 fly balls hit directly to your right and thrown to 3B.
  • Camera angle should be directly behind the catcher.
    • 4 ground balls hit directly at you and thrown to home plate.
    • 4 fly balls hit directly at you and thrown to home plate.

  SAMPLE SOFTBALL RECRUITING VIDEO