At this stage of the game only college softball coaches at the top level programs are looking to build their early watch lists. These will only be the perennial contenders for conference championships, programs that make the postseason and of course CWS regulars. Very few D1 programs outside of that elite class will be forming early watch lists and looking at players in this age group. However if you aspire to play for a top program like a Oklahoma, UCLA, Alabama, etc., you need to take early action. If you aren’t playing at a high level in State-Wide Elite Travel Programs or haven’t been invited to try out for programs like the ASA/Junior Olympic Program and believe you are a high level prospect you have a lot of work to do if you want to get on those watch lists. Even if you have these types of accomplishments on your resume and you don’t get recruiting mail in the fall of your freshman year, the right college coaches definitely aren’t aware of you and your best first step is to film a Skill Video.
Even if you get some initial mail, all advanced players should have a skill video and send it to as many high level programs as possible to open up more options. Remember, you may dream of playing at Alabama, and you may be good enough, but they may not recruit your position when you’re a senior or they might not offer you a great scholarship package. Elite youth players can really create options and leverage by getting in front of a lot of coaches early on.
For more information on how to film skill videos by position click here.
Once you film your video you can add it to your profile for free here. The key is to submit your profile along with a viewership-enabled copy to college coaches. Viewership-enabled simply means that you’ll be notified once a college coach actually views your video. Sending any video or information to a college coach without being able to verify viewership is ultimately a waste of your time. You need to know once that video has been seen so you can follow up. The most common recruiting mistake softball recruits make early on the process is that they don’t use video at all. Even if use video, many times they use the wrong video, or they send unsolicited links or DVDs and have no idea if it’s been watched by coaches. Or worst of all they start going to camps or showcases without having sent viewership-enabled video in advance.
Don’t waste your time or money walking into camps and showcases as an unknown commodity. None of these actions will increase their odds of recruiting success. Start at a young age and use viewership-enabled skill video to help drive which camps and showcases you attend. Get viewership-enabled video out to coaches as a first step. Once you know they’ve watched it communicate to them prior to camping or going to a showcase in their area. Make sure coaches have seen your video and know you prior to attending their camp or know which showcases you’ll attend, what field you’re playing on and what times your games are scheduled for that day.
Here are tips for getting the most out of your video: