College Recruiting Guide
Advanced Fastpitch Academy is committed to providing our players with maximum college exposure by playing in high profile tournaments and promoting athletes via our website, recruiting software, email, and direct calls. Our Recruiting Coordinator will assist our athletes in contacting the colleges of their choice, creating player profiles and providing college coaches with player information, videos, and schedules. It’s important that our players know that the Recruiting Coordinator is here to help them make a connection to their choice colleges. A Recruiting Clinic will be held to inform players about the recruiting process. This will also allow our Recruiting Coordinator to meet with individual players and parents to understand their goals.
We help get kids into school by finding a good fit academically as well as athletically. There are a number of factors that go into choosing a school and we try to find a school that supports both the student and the athlete. This process is done by our Recruiting Coordinator personally, for each and every athlete who plays for our Prospects Program. We need to have a good sense of who the player is as a person as well as an athlete. We can only give a good recommendation to a coach once we understand what each athlete is looking for and if its a good fit for both.
Recruiting is the process that everyone talks about and no one gets a straight answer. Do you ever wonder why? This is not an easy process and there are many factors to take into consideration. College Recruiting is a system like any other. Each college has a few variations within the system, but for the most part they all operate the same way. Therefore, it is our goal to help our athletes and parents understand the system so they feel confident, competent and capable of navigating it with ease and comfort. Need more info about recruiting or our program, please contact our Recruiting Coordinator
Every college is trying to find and recruit the best softball players possible. Their scouting process is to:
- Talk to club coaches about potential players that might be a good fit for their program.
- Go to club tournaments – local and national – and watch and evaluate players. Coaches will watch players they are interested in MANY times before making any decisions. They are looking for talent, athleticism, potential, work ethic, academics, attitude, team spirit, technique, height, strength…
- Send a potential recruit information about the school and softball program.
- Make contact with the player – up until September 1st of the junior year of high school when coaches can send athletes emails, college coaches will go through the club coach to find out information about the athlete.
- Coaches want to get to know the player, talk to them on the phone, email them, and have them visit the campus if possible after September 1st of your junior year.
- Coaches determine the ranking of players they are interested in by position and then offer a scholarship when they feel they have a good understanding of the player, their goals, and their ability to have a positive impact on the program.
- Establish your goals and desired level of play – Be honest with yourself and encourage your coach to be honest with you, but also believe in yourself and don’t be shy about your aspirations.
- Make a list of schools you’re interested in – More is not always better. Be thoughtful in your selection and remember that you can always take schools off your list and put new ones on.
- Email / Contact the coaches of the schools you’re interested in – You want to get on their radar before your junior year. When coaches are allowed to talk to you, they are very good at talking to perspective athletes and you should feel confident that they will be able to focus the conversation in the right direction. Please understand that coaches want to talk to the players, NOT THE PARENTS! In time, coaches will talk the parents if needed.
- Do your homework – Learn about the school, the town, the softball program, and what campus life is like. See if it is a place you want to live for 4+ years.
- Visit the school – You want to meet the coaches and the team as well as tour the campus and get to know the facilities and athletic department staff. This happens after September 1st of your junior year.
- Compare and contrast the schools that are in your top 3 – Talk with your parents and coaches about the positives and negatives and ultimately listen to yourself about what feels right to you. Be thoughtful and take your time on making your decision.
Contact: contact occurs any time a college coach says more than hello during a face-to-face contact with a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents off the college’s campus.
Contact Period: During a contact period a college coach may have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, watch student-athletes compete and visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents.
Evaluation Period: During an evaluation period a college coach may watch college-bound student-athletes compete, visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents. However, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents off the college’s campus during an evaluation period.
Quiet Period: During a quiet period, a college coach may only have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents on the college’s campus. A coach may not watch student-athletes compete (unless a competition occurs on the college’s campus) or visit their high schools. Coaches may write or telephone college-bound student-athletes or their parents during this time.
Dead Period: During a dead period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period.
Official Visits: Visits made to an NCAA institution where all expenses are paid by the school. Officials are only permitted after your junior year has begun. A player can only take 5 total and only 1 per school.
Unofficial Visits: Visits made to an NCAA institution at the player’s expense. A player can make an unofficial visit at any time to any school but is not allowed to have the athletic department involved if before their junior year, provided it is not during the recruiting dead period. There is no limit to the number of unofficial visits a player can take.
Verbal Commitment: When a prospect verbally commits to attending an NCAA institution upon graduating high school. Verbal commitments are not binding contracts by either the prospect or the institution. They become official when the player signs the National Letter of Intent (NLI).
National Letter of Intent: A National Letter of Intent is signed by a college-bound student-athlete when the student-athlete agrees to attend a Division I or II college or university for one academic year. Participating institutions agree to provide financial aid for one academic year to the student-athlete as long as the student-athlete is admitted to the school and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules. Signing an National Letter of Intent ends the recruiting process since participating schools are prohibited from recruiting student-athletes who have already signed letters with other participating schools. The National Letter of Intent is voluntary and not required for a student-athlete to receive financial aid or participate in sports.