Have a Plan.
In the beginning of the recruiting process it’s time to make a game plan. In softball, travel season is much more important than school season. You should join a softball program with other likely college prospects. These teams should include some of the best talent in your area and possibly the entire state. College coaches are not interested in how great you look against mediocre players, nor do they have the time to attend a game where you may be the only player at the talent level they are looking for. If you can play with the best and stand out, your chances of being recruited are increased.
Initiate Communication with College Coaches.
Establishing a line of communication between yourself and college coaches is key. There are NCAA recruiting rules that may not allow college coaches to respond depending on your age, but expressing your interest via email or phone (even if it’s a voice- mail) will be heard even if a response is not allowed. There are two things to note when communicating with coaches. First, do not be shy – the first impression you want to make with these coaches is confidence and excitement. Second, make sure that you as the athlete are communicating. Parents should not be communicating with any coaches in this process unless they initiate it.
Attend a Testing Combine.
Testing combines have been around for years in other sports and are now popping up in the softball world. They have been proven in sports like football to help the athlete showcase athleticism through standardized tests that can measure athletes on a level playing the field. Programs like these can break down where you need to improve so you can train correctly as well as show strengths in your games that will stand out to college coaches.
Go to College Camps!
If invited to a summer camp at a university and you think it’s a school you can play at, go! Coaches want to be around a prospect as much as possible. Not only are they looking at you as an athlete, but they want to see how you respond to change and how quickly you pick things up. These are traits that can’t be seen from watching a game behind a fence, looking at a transcript, or highlight video. If a coach offers you information to tweak your swing, try it! You are attending the camp with the understanding that the instructors may be your future college coaches. That should mean that you have enough confidence and trust that their critique and suggestions will help you get better.
| Jennie Ritter is an American former All-American right-handed softball pitcher from Dexter, Michigan. She is a Women's College Series National Champion withe Michigan Wolverines, whom she played for from 2003-2006.
Jennie played on the USA National Team for 3 years. She also played in Japan.
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