Young ladies around the states prepare every year to reach out to college coaches in hope of the Division I playing opportunity. Many players strive to become the best in the state, however, they fall short of their dreams because of they don't realize what coaches truly want.
While college coaches are, of course, expecting their recruits to have an excellent understanding of the game, there is much more to the recruitment process. I'm going to give you the top 4 things to look out for when trying to get a college softball coach to notice you.
Mechanics are a basic part of softball that recruiters will have expected an athlete to have mastered at this point in their career. Coming into a sport at this level, coaches want to spend their time on polishing abilities to best suit the team, not teaching the basics.
It's the smallest of movements that recruiters will pick up on. They'll ask, was her glove angled correctly? Did she watch the ball all the way into her glove? Does she drop her elbows when she hits?
Having those basics mastered to perfection are what make you stand out among other players. Take the time to break down the process of fielding, throwing, and batting.
(2) Softball IQ
Softball IQ is a silly term in the softball community that references to the knowledge a player has about the sport. This is best demonstrated through communication and instinctual reactions to a play.
This is something that requires experience to learn– coaches cannot teach every last situation that the game will throw you into. There's a different degree of individuality in this sport that requires each player to know enough about their position to make split second decisions that they believe would best benefit the team.
It's not about the outstanding catch, it's about whether or not the player knew what to do with the ball after she caught it. It is more difficult to measure but can make or break an offer.
You could be the best softball player to walk the Earth, however, you'd likely not end up in a Division I and perhaps not even a Division II school if your attitude on the field is poor.
This is something that is completely in the individual player's control. The recruiter will look at the way a player leaves the plate after they strike out, whether or not they brag when hitting a homerun, and how they treat their coaches. If you present yourself as a player with a poor attitude they will consider you uncoachable.
Being uncoachable is an easy way to get rejected from any college team. Coaches also talk amongst themselves and will pass along information about a player that other teams should be wary of.
To not get a bad reputation, ensure that you're always respectful to your teammates, coaches, opponents, and umpires.
Lastly, and most importantly, the amount of effort you give to the game effects the recruiters idea of the type of player you are.
From the moment you put on your cleats to the moment you take them off the energy should be contagious. This can stand out if you are communicating effectively or going out of your way to boost the team morale.
Effort often exposes people in the event of a loss. When your team is down that is when giving your full effort is most needed. Not giving up no matter the circumstance can put you on your way to the big leagues, even if the other team may have beaten yours.
Effort is one way that the individual can control this team oriented game. The amount of effort you put in is the amount you will get out of your teammates as well and it is highly admirable. College coaches can appreciate that in a player and it will excell your chances of being recruited.
Any girl looking to go and play softball in college at any level should follow these four basic rules to get noticed. Recruiters look at your skill as well as your individual personality to ensure that they get the exact type of player that they are looking for.
If you have a dream team, you want to be that perfect player. Perfect doesn't mean never missing a ball or batting 1.000, it means giving it your all and focusing on what you can control to benefit the team.
If you put in the work to improve in these four catagories, results will show and you may even earn yourself a scholarship at your dream school.
Mechanics, softball IQ, attitude, and effort may seem like a lot, but with practice you can achieve all your goals now that you know these tips to being recruited as a softball athlete.