CREATING YOUR LIST OF SCHOOLS
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
The larger the school (Division I) and the more successful the school (WCWS participants – Florida, Arizona, UCLA etc.) the earlier/ younger they will start looking at athletes to consider. These schools typically began looking at athletes in 14U and around the 8th grade – 9th grade years. If you have aspirations of going to these types of schools, you need to have your skills videos and communication outreach in motion at this time for a better likelihood of consideration.
The smaller the school (D2, D3, Junior College etc.) you have a little more time. These schools will typically begin looking at athletes of consideration sophomore to junior year.
A good rule of thumb is – you can never start the process too early! If the school you’re considering isn’t looking at your class yet, they will let you know. You can then earmark when you should reach back out to them.
You DO NOT have to declare your major or select your school RIGHT NOW! This should help you refine your interests. It will change and evolve.
**You must consider area’s of study above anything else! At the end of the day, you will get a degree from this institution that will set you up for a successful career!
WHERE TO BEGIN
“There will be many people who tell you where you ‘should’ go, or where you would be a good fit. There are companies that will offer to assess your skills and direct you to the best schools that coincide with your ‘skill level’. We DON’T SUBSCRIBE TO THAT! YOU are the only person that gets determine your next step. If you have big dreams, NO ONE gets to tell you ‘no’. YOU determine where you want to go, then be prepared to work really hard to get there!
- Make a list of 20 schools you think you may like to attend.
Excel or Google Sheets are great tools to organize this information. Create columns for the following information:
- School Name
- School Location
- School Size
- Academic Majors/ Areas of Study Offered
- Coaches Name(s)
- Coaches Contact Information (phone number and email)
- Pros (why you want to go there)
- Cons (what don’t you like about the school)
**When researching schools, it’s important to keep in mind:
- What are you interested in studying? You aren’t declaring your major right now nor will you until you junior year in college BUT you should target schools that offer degrees in subjects you are interested in (i.e. nursing, math, veterinarian, english etc.) If for some reason you no longer played softball, could you still attend this school and be happy?
- It is important to note, if you are interested in Ivy League Schools or schools with higher academic demands, your commitment level, GPA and test scores must reflect this aspiration. Challenge your self, but also be realistic when considering your goals. I was recruited by Notre Dame but knew that may not be the best fit for me.
- Size of the school – The University of Florida had 50,000 students when I attended. I had a class that had 500 students, was a live lecture and 4 tests that were your grade. I didn’t do well in that class! Are you a student that likes a large school environment, or do you thrive in a smaller, more intimate setting?
- Geographic Location – Are you a kiddo that likes to stay close to home? Would you like the comfort of driving home on the weekends for mom to do laundry? OR are you a kiddo that is dying for adventure and is okay with coming home a few times a year on holiday/ summer breaks? Additionally, consider the climate!
- Your list should have schools of all sizes and Divisions (I – III etc.). Give yourself options! A college degree from a Division III school is just as valuable as a degree from a Division I school.