We are heading into the fall season where many recruits will be making the choices of schools. The early signing period is just around the corner and this year, more so that any other, is loaded with challenges for the players who want to get recruited and the coaches who are recruiting them.
One absolute truth holds true no matter what the year or circumstance. What is that truth or all truths, you ask?
Go Where You Are Wanted!
Each year there are hundreds of players who have coaches that really want them to attend their school. These are quite often great schools with great programs and great coaches. They are often schools that are offering substantial financial help in the form of athletic scholarship or financial aid. They are schools that have gone above and beyond in the recruiting process to convince the player and her family that they are committed to making the player’s career as successful and happy as they possibly can. And quite often, these are smaller Division I schools, Division II schools, or NAIA schools, or Division 3 schools or junior colleges.
Which means that each year there are a lot of players who ignore the coaches and schools that really want them because they are hoping to convince a bigger school or a more famous school or a school with a higher ESPN rating to recruit them. They have their heart set on the “bigger” or “better” school recruiting them so they stall the smaller school or blow off the smaller school or mislead the smaller school hoping that their “dream” school will come calling.
Why do so many players fall into this trap? Great question, but I guarantee that if you could give a truth serum to many of the players in the transfer portal from the so called “dream” schools they are leaving that they would tell a similar story. That story would sound something like this:
“I had to work really hard to convince coach (fill in the blank) to give me a chance. I called and called until she invited me for a visit. I attended all their camps trying to convince them that I could play for them. My travel ball and high school coach called dozens of times to convince them that I could play for them. Finally, after all that work they decided that I was, in fact, the player they wanted. They showed me how much they wanted me when they offered me a chance to walk on (or very small scholarship). Thank God they finally agreed to give me a chance because all my friends were so impressed when I told them (fibbed) I got a full ride offer to attend such a big school. And my parents were so proud as they told all their friends (and parents of my teammates) that all my hard work paid off with a full ride (fib) to such a great softball program.”
Which then leads to this question. What went wrong? Or why are you transferring?
“Well, it just didn’t work out. I barely played at all and the coaches didn’t seem to be as invested in me as they were in some of the other players.”
Moral of the story. This “fictional” account of a player’s decision-making process is very typical. Just like when you decide to go to Prom with the cool person who treats you like crap instead of the less cool person who would treat you great. We get so caught up in the dessert that we miss the meat and potatoes.
Go Where You are Wanted!