So you want to play college softball? Here’s a guide to give you some insight into softball at the next level and a couple of ideas on what you should think about as you prepare for your education at the next level. This article will give you some of the answers you may be looking for in a way that’s a little different than other things you may have read.
What Do You Really Want as A Softball Player?
What do you really want as a softball player? When considering softball at the next level, you should first decide that you want to go to college and be a college student seeking a higher degree. If you just want to play softball, you’re not going to make it in college and if this is your attitude then what is the point in going to college. There is no NFL , NBA or MLB for softball players. So, you can’t bamboozle your way through college just to get to the next level. For 99.9% of all softball players, college is the final level. But softball can lead to other careers in sports and it can be very rewarding playing at the college level. So remember, your goal should be a college degree and using softball as a tool to help you achieve that goal. If you want to play softball, while pursuing a college degree, your chances of success and enjoyment are much better.
So with that in mind, here are a few things to consider when you’re thinking about trying to get that athletic softball scholarship.
How good are you, really? Rather than listening to your parents, let’s do a quick self examination. This is a guide to help you decide for yourself just how good you are. This is not a perfect test and it does not account for everything, but it’s a way you can decide for yourself if you are good enough to play at the Division 1 (D-1) level.
If you can honestly answer”Yes” to these questions, then you are probably capable of playing at the D-1 level, but if you answer “No” to two or more of these questions, you might consider other alternatives.
A true D-1 player will probably answer yes to all of these questions or at least most of these questions:
- Are you the best player on your high school team?
- Did your high school team make the playoffs? (Note: even the weakest high school team with at least one real D-1 player will somehow find their way into the playoffs)
- Are you the best player on your travel team?
- Is your travel team the best travel team in your area?
(If the answer here is no, then you may be good and possibly D-1, but it really depends.)
- Is your travel team the best travel team in your state?
If you’re the best player on your team and your team is one of the two or three best teams in your state, chances are you are pretty good and possibly D-1 material.
- Is your travel team the best travel team in your region (several surrounding states)?
(If you’re the best player on your team and there’s no question that your team is the best around, then it’s likely that you and at least a couple of your teammates are D-1 caliber.)
If you had to answer No before you go to the end, you may be D-1 material, but there are lots of other factors involved.
Here Are Other Ways to Determine if You Are Capable of Playing Division 1.
Other Ways to Determine to look at it is: How many D-1 schools are in your state? If you multiply the number of D-1 schools by 2 then that’s about how many scholarships are available in any given graduating year at the D-1 level. If you aren’t among those who would be a sure candidate for one of those scholarships, then maybe you should consider other alternatives to obtaining an softball athletic scholarship. At least be realistic about your chances at the D-1 level. But there are other opportunities, at D-2 and D-3 level schools.
Money: Normally, money is one of the primary factors in choosing a college. And the closer you get to college, the more this becomes part of the conversation. Let’s get rid of a few myths. Many young players and parents think that their little child is the best softball player and will definitely get a full ride somewhere. Let’s assume you’re a good player, but even then, it doesn’t mean a full scholarship. It could mean a partial scholarship in some way. But, more than likely, you are going to have to pay for some portion if not all of your academic education.
You academic success and your grades are important, regardless of how good you may be at playing softball. A D-1 coach once said this: “If I have to choose between two players who have equal ability and one makes good grades and the other struggles, I’m taking the player with the good grades, because it’s one less headache I have to worry about.” The only time a college coach is going to overlook weak grades is if you’re so good he/she can’t do without you…..and even then, the coach will probably have to answer to the admissions office. The answer here is: Get the best grades you can and assume you have to get into school on your own without any help from a coaching staff.
College Entrance Exams:
Another eliminator. SAT and ACT tests aren’t the end-all-be-all to getting college scholarship, but they do give an indication of how much you know and how you might do at the next level academically. Your grades need to be at least average and if they’re weak, this is something that could knock you out of contention for a roster spot especially , if you’re being compared to equal talent with better scores and grades.
Do you really want to play college softball? Do you want to work hard at the game in addition to going to college and continuing your education? Or do you just want to go somewhere and play ball. This is important. The way you approach the game is very important to those watching. In addition to looking for talented players, college coaches are also looking at the other factors: Is she a good teammate? Do her teammates like her? Does she make others around her better? Does she hustle all the time or just when she wants to? Does she listen to her coaches and is she “coachable” ? Does she look like she’s having fun or is she doing this to make mom or dad happy? Or better yet, who’s having more fun here, the player or mom and dad?
Summary: (Make Your Own Decision)
If you love the softball and really want to pursue it at the next level, be prepared for hard work. But also be prepared to enjoy the game and take advantage of the opportunities it presents. Just remember that only the tiniest percentage of softball players make a living at it. The rest of the players go on to other careers and other interests. That’s what college should be about. So, your choice of college should be based more on your career after softball, rather than just softball.
If you go to a college that you have never heard of just because they offered you a partial scholarship, at least make sure that school has an academic program that interests you. If you go just for the softball, then that’s all you will get out of college and when all is said and done, you’ll leave without a degree and just a few softball memories.
The best way to be successful is to let softball be a tool to help you achieve your academic goals.