Article Taken from All About Fastpitch
Are Showcase Tournament an effective way to be seen by college coaches?
Are camps more effective if know what college you want to attend?
Are you more likely to be seen during the Summer or Fall by coaches?
I do feel that Showcase Tournaments and camp can BOTH be good ways of getting seen, HOWEVER, simply showing up isn’t enough. Yes, you *may* get “discovered” just by going, but chances of that a much lower than if you do some preliminary work FIRST!
All players should be contacting colleges they are interested in within their first two years of high school (the earlier the better). Getting in and staying in touch with college coaches at least possibly puts your name in front of a coach on that staff.
Many coaches go to showcase tournaments with a “list” already in hand of players they want to look at. Not all will go just “hoping” to find “someone.” Remember, making the trip to showcases or recruiting camps usually costs them money too, so they will no go in unprepared. Chances are they already have a core list of players they will be looking at and how will you be one of those players if all you do is show up to the tournament, clinic, or camp?
As far as when you are more likely to be seen, I think it’s more a matter of when you’re more likely to be seen by the right coaches. Look at who will be in attendance. Which events have more of the coaches you are already in touch with? The level of play you are going for and the program you are looking at also plays a part in “when” is an optimal time to be seen. College programs are NOT all on the same timeline. Some have a big recruiting budget. Coaches from those schools can send out more pamphlets and probably attend more events than others. They usually try to identify potential recruits as early as possible. Other coaches prefer to wait until the “big fish” go after their favorites and wait to see who’s left. Then there are the coaches who NEVER attend events because their budget doesn’t allow it. Where are the coaches of the programs you are interested going to be? If you limit yourself ONLY to coaches a a showcase or two, you are severely limiting your opportunities!
So while I do believe attending events can be a great way of being seen, I think that action ALONE is not even close to being enough when it comes to giving yourself the best chance of furthering both your education and your softball career. Too many families think that they are doing “enough” just by going to these recruiting events. Often times, they are mistaken and it’s tough to see because they spend a LOT of hard earned money to be there!
Go through to recruiting process smarter, don’t work harder and spend more. Get educated and get informed so that you can take the necessary steps to maximize your opportunities!
Here are some great places to learn more about college recruiting…
1. NCAA – they put out a guide each year for families. It says $11, but that’s only if you want a hard copy sent to you. There is also a link to download the file for free.
2. College Recruiting Articles - I have posted a number of college recruiting articles here on the blog that are free for you to read
3. College Recruiting Reports and Webinar – I also have some resources up on our Fastpitch Resources page that you might be interested in (5 Common College Recruiting Mistakes, 25 College Recruiting Facts, $1 College Recruiting Webinar).
In addition, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and want to make sure you make the best possible decisions throughout the college recruiting process, you can also talk to the experts at NCSA. They work with families just like yours every day. BUT, you have to be serious about this journey (that means working hard on and off the field). If that’s you, you can have a live person from NCSA give you a call to discuss and help you with your college recruiting plan.
photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcadams/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0