Something very special about NCSA is how often families share their success stories with us and want to share their own recruiting tips from experience with other student athletes. The following is written by Hannah Chew who recently committed to playing DI softball starting in 2014.
A few years ago I told my dad that I wanted to play competitive softball in college after attending a 12U Softball Open World Series in Southern California and seeing some of the top young softball teams in the country play competitive softball. We started doing some research on how student-athletes get college exposure and we searched on the internet for a player profile website would best allow us to plan and manage my college recruiting.
Our first step after heading home from that Southern California Open World Series was stopping at several colleges along the way to see what their campuses and softball fields looked like. Then I tried out for the best team that I could reach with the best coaches that we could find. Then I started training with a private coach on my defense and hitting. It was at that time our neighbor introduced us to the NCSA Sports recruiting player profile website that they used to manage their daughters soccer recruitment to ASU. After seeing all the colleges that had looked at her profile and reading sample emails she sent to college coaches and noticing that the NCSA website had her skills video and athletic as well as academic information all in one place we were convinced this was the way to go for us since we had no previous experience in the recruiting process and felt that NCSA could help us learn all of the steps to take along the way.
The Summer of my 14th year all of my hitting instruction started to pay off and I started getting the big hits. While playing at a top Summer Showcase in Huntington Beach that Summer I hit one over the fence while a group of top college coaches from the Big West Conference, PAC-12, SEC and others were there watching. At that moment I felt that the door was now opening for me to take my game as far as I could push it forward. Getting to the right venues with the right team with good field locations and having experienced travel coaches and then making something happen while coaches were watching was what really got the recruiting process moving for me.
And so I joined NCSA and immediately started populating my profile with as much detail as possible. I filmed my first skills video and had NCSA verify and upload it to my profile page. I immediately starting getting looked at by college coaches and then researched each college to see if they might be a good fit for me academically and with their softball program. I started attending softball camps at the colleges that interested me and I kept sending my top choices emails all along the way. The frustrating part is that often coaches cannot write you back due to NCAA rules except with camp information or to answer certain questions and so it feels like you are sending emails into a huge black hole but what I found out later is many of those colleges were tracking me and printing copies of my emails and putting them into a recruit prospect folder. I made sure to keep my top college choices informed of where I was playing all the time. It was a lot of work but well worth every bit of effort because on June 19, 2014 my dream college just offered me and I have accepted a scholarship to play Division 1 softball and get a great college education when I graduate from high school in 2016.
Advice to student-athletes who are interested in being recruited to play sports in college (note the top two things are about academics):
- Learn to be organized in school and develop great study habits early on so that you are prepared for the level of work they give you in high school.
- Always travel with your schoolwork. I study in the car, on the bus, in the hotel, on the plane, in the airport (everywhere). Academics are always first!
- Get good coaching and tryout for the best team that you can play for.<
- Play with honor and win, lose or tie, ALWAYS respect the game. Never let your emotions get the best of you. Always thank the umpires…you will see them again!
- Consider getting a top quality on line player profile like NCSA Sports offers. Sign up early in the process and keep it updated every week! Post your skills video and post updated videos as your skills improve.
- Email, email, email coaches then email them again!
- Research colleges early on as there are thousands of them so the sooner you learn the best fit for you the sooner you can get to their prospect camps.
- Help your team to win in whatever way your coach needs you to. For example, on my team, my coach may have one of our top pitchers and an infielder or two who can hit with power sit on the bench game after game just watching and staying warm during pool games so that when we get to the championship game we have fresh players to field. That’s how you win games and get your team on the best fields where your more likely to be scouted by college coaches. Be a “Yes Coach” type of player!
- NEVER post inappropriate comments on social media sites. Stay off those sites as much as possible and do extra credit work at school instead and if you do any social media, post only positive comments and appropriate pictures. Colleges are watching these sites and even things that you think will disappear may not!
- My best advise is:
- Be personally responsible for your actions.
- Be the first on the field and the last off.
- Make sure all of your personal gear AND the team gear is put away and always carry your own gear bags everywhere.
- Always talk to your parents, coaches and teammates with respect.
- Build team and family bonds as they will strengthen your team and you will build friendships that may last a lifetime.
- Listen to your parents and find mentors who can help guide you along the way to success as you will need allot of family support to make your dream come true!
Thank you NCSA Sports and special thanks to Coach Duffek!!
All my best in academics and softball,
Hannah Chew 2016
New to the recruiting process? See what college programs you might quality for by creating your free NCSA Athletic Recruiting profile