May 26, 2021
“How do I stand out to college coaches at camp?” is one of the most frequently-asked – and pressurized – questions that we get from student-athletes attending our events. The good news is that there are a lot of different ways to stand out to coaches at camp, and to grab their attention as a potential fit for their program both on and off the field.
At Honor Roll, not only will you have the opportunity to showcase your on-field skillset, but also unparalleled access to engage directly with college coaches – both of these platforms offer ways to get your name highlighted on a coach’s recruiting list.
There’s no doubt that playing at your best, and showing yourself to be a player who can contribute to your target program on the field is fundamental to your recruiting process – coaches want to recruit players who are going to compete and have success at their level of play, and who can continue to move the program forward. Ultimately, a lot of what determines how much and what type of college interest you receive in the recruiting process will be determined by your on-field performance and recruitability.
But, what escapes some prospective student-athletes about this is that there are a lot of ways to wow coaches with your play – it’s not all about hitting home runs.
Play YOUR Game
After the first episode in this pre-camp curriculum, we asked you to write down your strengths as a player, and how you would define “your game” of softball. This was to remind you and to hold you accountable to these strengths, and to your brand of softball.
We believe that the best way to stand out to a coach is to not try to all of a sudden change your game while the lights are at their brightest – stick to your strengths, and to what makes you the player that you are. If you’re a contact hitter, don’t show up at camp and try to hit 6 home runs – that’s not going to set you up for success!
Ultimately, this is about trusting the hard work that you’ve already put in to get here. You’ve been working hard to develop your game and to be the player that you are, and you can trust and rely on that, even – and especially! – in the pressurized situation of a showcase. All of those hours in the cages, in the weight room, running sprints, studying – those are the hard hours of work that put you in this position. At Honor Roll, it’s time to let that hard work shine – this is the fun part!
“Projectability” & Potential
Coaches are watching you play as a window into the player you are, but more importantly the player that you’re going to become. They’re recruiting the player that they think you can be as a first-year when you step onto campus, and also a senior leader in their program – and they’re projecting out your development as a player. They call this “projectability” or your ceiling as a player – and it is this “upside” that coaches are trying to assess and recruit.
There are two important pieces to coaches evaluation of this: 1. Your physical potential, 2. Your work ethic and “engine” to reach that ceiling
Attitude & Approach
Coaches want to recruit character, and the right types of student-athletes to be in their program, which means they’re also looking not just at how you play, but how you play – your attitude and approach while you’re on the field, how you respond to setbacks, how you interact with teammates, your energy, effort, and engagement.
Control the Controllables
There are a lot of things in softball that you can’t control – as a pitcher you can’t control that ball once it leaves your hand, or after you make contact as a hitter.
But there are some things that are always within your control:
Yes – coaches want to recruit your on-field performance and potential, but they also are looking for and recruiting how you respond when things don’t go your way. Softball is a game where even the best players fail 6 out of 10 times – being able to bounce back from setbacks is a must-have for players who are going to find success at the next level.
We believe that direct engagement with college coaches is crucial to the recruiting process – and is a key way to stand out to coaches when handled well: proactively, thoughtfully and with maturity. The ability and willingness to walk up to a college coach, look them in the eye and introduce yourself is not only a great way to demonstrate interest and allow a coach to put a face to a name, it’s also a way to stand out as the type of mature young adult that they’re looking to recruit into their program.
A few “rules” and notes:
When you’re at camp, we’ll be collecting certain “objective measurements” like your 20 yd. dash, overhand throwing velocity and batted ball velocity and distribute them to coaches on Day 1 of camp. While these aren’t the be-all-end-all of being a good softball player, having some good numbers on paper can stir up early interest, and get you on some coaches’ radars.
We’ll cover some specific prep for these metrics later on in the pre-camp curriculum – stay tuned!
At the kinds of high-academic programs that attend our camps, academics is a crucial piece to the recruiting and admissions process – and you better believe that coaches are looking at your GPA and test scores to see who may prove to be a legitimate recruit for them from an admissions standpoint.
Doing everything that you can between now and camp to put your best foot forward on your academic profile can go a long way in keeping as many doors and opportunities as possible open for you in the recruiting process.
Write down some answers to the following questions regarding what you think you’re looking for in a college experience: