From Coach Tory: Pat Moyer and I go way back. He started Fury while I was still coaching at Tennessee Tech. Fury has always been about the kids! Really!!!!
I’ve been coaching travel ball teams for almost 20 years, and have seen our recruiting rules and recruiting calendar change several times during the past 2 decades. There are always unique challenges anytime new legislation is passed, and as a travel ball community we should always try and keep our focus on what is best for our players & families while operating within the current NCAA rules.
First, let me say that I don’t begrudge any player who has verballed early. We have had players in my own Fury organization who have committed early, and I am happy that they feel they have found the perfect fit for them. Having said that, I am in favor of the new NCAA rules, and look forward to slowing down the recruiting process.
For the past several years, I have coached our 18U Fury teams. It was easy to coach these teams, because they were all committed to colleges, and our focus was about competing, and preparing them to contribute at the next level. This year I chose to drop down and coach our 14U team (2022 Grads) because I really missed the opportunity to focus on player development, fundamentals, and helping them learn and improve their softball IQ’s.
What I found was that many of our 14U parents & players were overly concerned about scheduling unofficial visits, exposure camps, and being preoccupied with the entire recruiting process. Several players on both our 14U teams were in near “panic mode” because they had friends that had already verballed, and they had not even been extended an offer. Hopefully, this new legislation will allow them to now take a breath, and to focus their efforts on developing both athletically and emotionally.
I am looking forward to practicing more as a team, focusing more on development, and maybe even skipping a tournament every now and then.
My hope is that by slowing down this process a little bit, our players and their families will be able to make better decisions together. This will allow them to have the time to dig deeper into every college they are interested in, and to have a better chance to find the perfect fit.