This is a time of year when I often get asked a lot of questions about college recruiting. There are several reasons for this. Fall is typically full of showcases, and colleges generally have information out about their winter camps and clinics this time of year. Finally, with the early signing period rapidly approaching, many athletes are realizing that they need to kick their recruiting efforts into high gear. So what should you be doing this time of year to improve your chances of being recruited?

1. Know what you are looking for: Consider your potential major, school demographics, location, softball program, and level of academic competitiveness. Use Naviance to help you with your search criteria. If you don’t know what your looking for, then you might be targeting the wrong schools and wasting a lot of valuable time.

2. Get educated about the process: There are several organizations out there that take advantage of athletes who are trying to get recruited. If you don’t know about the collegiate process, it is very easy to spend a lot of money “getting help” from one of these organizations. Read Empowered Recruiting to understand more about the recruiting process. Then familiarize yourself with the new recruiting guidelines.

3. Write to college coaches and CALL college coaches: One email is typically not enough to generate any interest. Write personalized emails, letters (that’s right: snail mail) or make personalized phone calls to any schools you might have interest in. If you keep trying to contact the head coach and aren’t getting any response, try the assistant coach or even the hitting or pitching coach. Not sure how to initiate contact? There’s a whole chapter on it in Empowered Recruiting.

4. Make a list of the camps and clinics you want to attend this winter: Once you know which camps and clinics you will be attending, contact those coaches and inform them of your upcoming attendance. After attending the clinic(s), write a “thank you” email telling the coaches what you learned. If you want to take it up a notch, you can call them and thank them over the phone.

5. Make the most of the last few weekends of the fall: If your team isn’t doing anything substantive over the next few weekends, guest play on other teams that are going to be playing on the better fields at the better showcases.

6. Develop your recruiting team: If you have read my other blog posts, you know that I always stress this. You can’t maximize your recruiting efforts on your own. Get your parents involved, get your coaches involved, schedule an A-Game Consultation and do a little bit every day so that you don’t feel stressed and overwhelmed come your senior year.

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