Recruiting: how it all works

Advanced Fastpitch Academy is committed to providing our players with maximum college exposure by playing in high profile tournaments, either local or nationally, and promoting athletes via our social media pages, recruiting software, emails, and direct calls. It's important that our players know that the recruiting coordinator is here to help them make a connection to their choice of 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 our players get into schools that are a good academic and athletic fit. 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 athlete who plays for our 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 as 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.

Although recruiting is a big part of our program, not all athletes who play at AFA have the desire to go on to play college softball - and that's okay. They can still learn to be a great softball player for their high school team, or club team, and also learn how to become a better human being from our character development and team camaraderie.

the recruiting system

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, etc.

Send a potential recruit information about the school and softball program.

Make contact with the player - up until August 1st of their junior year of high school when coaches can send athletes emails, college coaches will go through the club coach to make contact.

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 August 1st of the athletes 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.

take action

*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 player, NOT THE PARENTS! In time, coaches will talk to the parents if needed.

*Do your homework. Learn about the school, town, softball program, and campus life. See if it is a place you want to live for 4+ years.

*Visit the school. you want to meet the team, coaches, athletic department and department staff. Take a tour of the campus and check out the facilities. This happens after August 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.

recruiting terms

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 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, their parents, watch student-athletes compete and visit their high schools, and write or call 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 call 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 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 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 call college-bound student-athlete 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 not write or call student-athletes or their parents during a dead period. Coaches can however, respond to questions via email and/or phone calls.

Official Visits: A visit made to an NCAA institution where all expenses are paid by the school. Official visits are only permitted after your junior year has begun. A player can only take 5 total visits and only 1 visit 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 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 make.

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 a 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.

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NAIA Recruiting

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