April 22, 2017

Recruitment

ucla-softballSpring is officially here, and you know what that means: sunny skies, picnics in the park, super blooms, and recruitment. Okay, that last one might not inspire daydreams, but if you want to play softball in college, it’s definitely on your mind!

If you love the game and want to take your skills to the next level after high school, you’ll need to do some prep work.

Determine Your Eligibility

Want to play for a Division I or II school? You’ll need to register with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) during your senior year before you can visit any potential colleges. Start here; you’ll need to provide your education history, basic personal information, and details about your high school sports career. After you send in your ACT/SAT scores and pay a fee, you’ll be granted an Amateurism Certification. You’ll need this to make campus visits or sign a letter of intent. If you’re looking at Division III schools, you can create a profile page at NCAA.com, and they’ll send you helpful tips and information throughout your senior year.

Make a List

There’s nothing quite as exciting as writing out a detailed, thoughtful list, right? Just kidding; this part’s not exactly thrilling, but it’s necessary. Research colleges online, visit campuses, and talk to current students to determine the best fit for you. List your favorites – look into dream schools, but remember to check out realistic choices, too. Make sure to investigate all aspects of the universities you choose, not just their softball programs.

Market Yourself

Make yourself known! Set up a website to flaunt your accomplishments, and include a link to your resume. You’ll also want to display a highlight reel prominently. Ensure that someone’s taping your games, and edit a video that concisely shows your best plays. When you’ve got a cohesive, informative site (be sure to proofread!), send the link to potential coaches and recruiters. Update your site frequently to keep it fresh and current!

Make a Great Impression Online

Be very aware of your presence on social media. Before you post a photo, a status update, or a Tweet, ask yourself if you’d want your parents to see it. If the answer’s “no,” don’t put it online! Your online activity is representative of you, and once you’ve put something online, it’s there forever! If a coach sees something questionable, you might be off her list faster than you can text your bestie a frowny face emoji.

Make an Even Greater Impression In Person

When a coach comes to watch you play, put your best foot forward and show that you’re a team player. Recruiters aren’t just watching your in-game moves. They’re observing your interactions with the rest of your team, your coach, your opponents, and even your parents. Confidence and athletic prowess will only take you so far; coaches want well-rounded, cooperative players who are winners on and off the field.

Enjoy those warm days and picnic lunches this spring, but remember to start thinking about recruitment now – summer’s just around the corner!