Softball Camps & Combines
Which softball camps should you attend for your recruiting?
If you Google “softball camps,” thousands of results will pop up, which leaves a lot of families wondering what events their athlete should attend to help her recruiting. There are a few different types of events that softball players can go to, and each one has a specific purpose. We’ll go over the three main types of events, their purpose, and how they can impact your recruiting.
Before we launch into the different softball events, it’s important to know that, in most cases, softball camps alone are not going to get you recruited. Coaches rarely go to softball events to find new talent; their main priority is to watch athletes who they are already recruiting compete in person. You might hear about a standout athlete who got recruited from a softball camp, but you don’t want to rely on chance in your recruiting! Use softball camps as a way to build on your current recruiting efforts and develop a relationship with the coaches you’re interested in playing for.
When you’re ready to start looking for softball camps, combines and showcases in your area, use our softball camp search feature. You can type in your zip code and easily see what camps are taking place near you.
College softball camps
Colleges host softball camps for two specific reasons: to make money for their program and to watch recruits compete in person. A lot of camps will have more than one college softball coach in attendance, so do your research to make sure you’re going to camps where there will be multiple coaches you’re interested in. Typically, these softball camps attract a lot of athletes, so it’s tough to stand out from the crowd—unless the coach already knows who you are.
Softball showcases are typically large tournaments where athletes compete for themselves, not as part of a specific travel or club team. While the emphasis is more on the individual rather than the team, the best, winningest teams attract more college coaches to their games. While there’s no guarantee you’re going to be playing on the team that attracts the most coaches, let the coaches know which field you’ll be at when ahead of time, so they make an effort to come watch you. “Do all the work ahead of time,” Coach Winters recommends. “That way, you don’t have to worry about being on a back field and not getting seen.”
Combines are relatively new to the softball recruiting world. During these events, athletes are tested on key softball measurables. Here’s an example of what you’d be tested on during a softball combine:
- Right grip
- Left grip
- Ball exit speed
- 20-yard dash
- Pro-agility shuttle
- Overhand throw velocity
- Pop time for catchers
College softball coaches do not normally attend softball combines—the event is strictly for getting your verified softball data. Once you get your verified data, this is a great reason to reach out to the coaches that you’re interested in and give them your stats. You should also add them to your online recruiting profile, to give college coaches searching you another metric to use in their initial evaluation of you.
2017-2018 softball camps
Check back soon for our full list of softball camps, showcases and combines.