We were asked by Softball is for Girls.... Cheri Naudin CSA, YOU'RE THE EXPERT! In your experience what are some factors that set the successful student athlete being recruited to college apart from those that do not make it?!?
In no particular order of importance.
1. You have to be a really goooooood athlete. Usually some God given talent here, to be Elite at your sport. Train like the athlete you want to be. I'm not sure most that play the game understand how good and how hard you have to work really to be at any level of the sport and be to be successful.
2. I really believe in good nutrition. Eat healthy food that is fuel for your body. I see too many unhealthy eating habits that makes it harder on your body to perform at the level necessary to make it. It makes training harder to overcome the bad eating habits. The whole family should eat like Athletes.
3. Mental health is so important. Can you handle the commitment and the pressure. Do you have people that can support you and encourage you through the tough times? Do you love your game and enjoy it enough to live and breathe it?
4. Are you dedicated to your grades and your education too? Be a top student and get the highest grades as this will earn you more scholarship and take you farther in life. Are you quitting your travel team frequently? There is lots of quitting going on once they get to college too, stop the trend and work our YOUR issues.
5. Does your family support you and are they able to give you the foundational support while in college without blaming the coaches, the teachers, the administrators? It is not a right it is a privilege so you'll need to be able to respect it. I hear lots of people saying that they can't afford travel ball and recruiting costs, how are you going to pay for college? It is expensive and college is even more expensive. Maybe trying to earn an athletic scholarship is too costly as it is not for everyone. It is not cheap earning an elite opportunity to play this sport or others in college. The work out is free. The training is free. Eating healthier is free. A good attitude is free. Stop building up the excuses to why they can't make it and do what helps them make it and have a strategic plan that you can afford. The experience and the reward is priceless.
6. Do you really understand the game. It takes more than 9 players to play the game. Minimally, it takes 4-5 pitchers, 2-3 catchers, 4-6 infielders, 4-5 outfielders, that's 14-23 players. Is your travel team really playing the game? Understand the game and stop complaining about playing time. You develop your skill in your individual workouts and in trainings with top clinicians and coaches. Your team practice is to learn to play as a team not to learn your individual batting, fielding and basic skills. Bring those with you to the team practice.
7. Approx 33,000 play in college each year. That's 8,000 in each class. Everyone has a travel ball T shirt on thinking that they just write letters and go to camps and then they get to pick off the menu of colleges and wow, they play. Guess what? the numbers don't dictate EVERYONE will play. That's idealistic and the numbers clearly dictate otherwise. I was at a PGF qualifier in Dallas this past weekend and there were great teams with great players and all want the experience. That was just over 1,000 at one tournament.
8. Do your research on the travel ball clubs and teams. Don't just believe what they say. They all say they get you recruited. Look at their history. Really uncover the truth and if that experience translates over to YOU. Do the college coaches really have time to talk to these 25,000 travel ball coaches? They have to have credibility to PREPARE you for the next level and if they haven't done it before they have a steep mountain in front of them. Their number one job is to make the highest competing team and yes, win games in big tournaments to earn credibility as a team, as a coach. Then coaches will find them more interesting and the process begins. Trust no one till you do your research. We see them promising you the moon. If they're advertising on Facebook dig a little deeper. If they have to travel all over the country chasing berths, dig a little deeper, if they stay local then you'll be valuable in a local environment. Will you still be playing for that coach next season if not then you put your recruiting trust into the wrong person. Pick the right coach that has the track record that is verified not just told to you. Look for their failures or casualties because they're surely not advertising that. They all want to help you get recruited but can they? Look at their track record. Ask others in the community that played for them or against them.
9. The College coach is the decision maker, not the travel coach or the recruiting service or a scout. They know where and when to spend their scholarship money and they only have one pie. So there are only so many pieces of that pie and they spend it when they want to. Do your research and watch them coach their teams. Ask what their goals are. Why are players leaving their programs. How long will they be at that college. Soooo many components here. You verbal to the college and the program so consider the college as much as the team and plan to stay even of the coaches change. It is about the education
10. Camps and clinics. If you're going to learn and train go to as many as you'd like. If you're going to get recruited, are you being seen when they're ready to see your class? Do they need your position in that class? Do they value you and if so how many times are you going to go before they offer you? If they don't come see you play in a competitive tournaments and calling your coach or your Advocate they're probably not recruiting you they're just enjoying your attendance at their camp. They believe many times you're coming for the training. They honestly don't understand why you don't understand the level of talent that is necessary to play for them. So do they tell you the truth about you're opportunities or are you just a camper? Oh please come to our camp next year we really would love to see you. Mmmmm. Get the correct answer or you better have enough money to visit 1650 approximate colleges that have a team. Get better advise about your level of play and your academic ability to compete in that program. .
11. Social media is the biggest mistake parents and student athletes make. Self promoting and posting every breath they take. You'll never know how many coaches saw it or not and it only hurts the student athlete. They ready your negative comments and political posts too. This young athletes are not perfect and it only creates negative attention. Who are you really promoting it to? Do all the College coaches follow you? If a coach is following you it is because they were introduced to you in the recruiting process. Send them private emails and texts. I promise you they're not scrolling through Facebook looking and they're not logging into recruiting portals trying to find that diamond in the rough. They don't have the time. They go to that social media site after they get someone to tell them to look at the site and then they look to see who you really are. Then they see all your other posts and twitter fights show up. Bah ha ha. We hear this daily. Social media becomes your store front and displays who you really are and who your friends really are. Hellloooo. Parents too! They google your name and go right to your social media they truly don't want the crazy parents. Lol. If your kid is really good then be humble on social media and respect the opportunities. It starts more fights and animosity then it is ever a benefit
Lastly, I could go on for many more pages. This is getting harder and harder every year. Parents go it alone and believe what THEY want to believe and when it doesn't happen they blame the high school coach the travel coach when all they needed to do was LISTEN to the credible mentors that have been doing this with success for years.
Parents, it is you and you alone that will help or allow your child make it and you and you alone that make the bad, late or ignorant decisions that ends your journey. Follow the leaders in this sport. The parents that have had the success before. Realize your child has their own path as they have their own talent and grades.
It is not easy and the price is expensive and the prize is priceless for the few that make it.
Not EVERYONE 'gets' to play.
Exceptional people get exceptional opportunities because they do exceptional things.