Hi there! The road to playing college ball varies greatly from person to person. I played baseball from 4-10 years old, and then made the switch to softball, so I’ve been playing for the vast majority of my life. I have a friend that started in high school, though, and worked extremely hard and is now playing at BYU. So it really depends!
A couple key things that I would suggest to anyone wanting to play college ball:
- Work hard in the classroom. A stud athlete isn’t much use if they are academically ineligible- and proving you can balance school with sports demonstrates that you are likely to do so and be successful at the collegiate level.
- Be an athlete. The ability to be coached and respond to direction is critical, especially since in college you might be needed to play a position you’ve never tried before. The more versatile you are, the better. You want your coach (and team) to feel comfortable with you anywhere on the field.
- Find something that sets yourself apart and capitalize on it. For me, being noticed on the field wasn’t too difficult since I’m 5’11”. But it comes down to so much more than that. Whether it’s your academics, leadership on the field, coachability, passion for a certain subject, or random talent, make it clear that you are different! This can be shown through your presence on the field or by putting something unique on a recruiting flier.
- You may have your heart set on a big D1 school, and while that is an awesome dream, don’t give up on other opportunities just because they don’t fit exactly what you had in mind. Take the time to read up about the academic programs you are interested in, what schools (D1, D2, D3) would be best for your academic goals, what kind of balance you’re looking for (socially/academically/athletically), etc. You’d be surprised by what’s out there.
- Do your homework. And by this, I don’t mean school work (you should do that, too, of course.). Write letters to schools. Write more letters to schools. Write until you run out of schools to write to. Call and leave voicemails telling those schools you wrote to them. Send physical letters to them. Show them that you are more interested in their program than any other athlete out there.
- Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
Feel free to ask any other questions you have- it’s hard to be super helpful with no real context, so if you’re comfortable to come off of anonymous I could probably be a better help.