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What Aspiring College Players Should Know After September 1

(Photo courtesy of Rawlings Softball)

For current high school juniors, Sunday marked the first day that communication could permissibly take place between them and NCAA Division I softball coaches. As a result, many aspiring college softball student-athletes repeatedly refreshed their email accounts and kept their phones in tow during Labor Day weekend in hopes that they would receive a call, text or email from a college coach.

Whether or not you heard from a college coach over the weekend, below are a few tips to keep in mind when navigating the post-September 1 softball recruiting season.

September 1 is just the start

With the 2021 class being the first that was significantly impacted by the NCAA's new recruiting rules, it is understandable why softball student-athletes across the country may have had Sunday circled on their calendars for quite some time.

But now that the day has come and gone, it's important for student-athletes not to base their recruiting prospects, or even their self-worth, on the communication that may or may not have taken place between them and college coaches over the weekend. There is so much softball to be played this fall, and for college coaches who may have learned from the follies of last September 1, many decisions about the 2021 recruiting class likely won't be made until after they have the chance to see student-athletes in action during the fall season.

So, hang in there.

Make an informed decision

Just like college coaches often take their time when deciding on which players to recruit for their programs, you should also carefully weigh your options when choosing the college you will attend.

And keep in mind, your decision about college shouldn't just be about softball. While softball will certainly be a huge part of your overall college experience, especially at the Division I level, it definitely should not be the only important factor in your decision.

Get to know colleges and universities outside of their softball programs and spend time researching what will be available to you—academically, socially and otherwise—as a student at those particular institutions.

Also, as a pro tip, when you take your visits, be sure to pick the brains of the people in and around the softball program. Do they seem happy? Are the players able to manage their majors and softball responsibilities simultaneously? What is the dynamic like between the players and the coaching staff? These are all important questions to have answered before you make one of the most important decisions of your life.

Long story short, do your homework.

Ignore the noise

We live in a social media age, and that's not changing. While many student-athletes may have recently posted on their social media accounts about the coaches they were in contact with over the weekend, try not to pay too much attention to that. Everyone has a unique journey through the recruiting process, and yours may look a little bit different from a friend's or a teammate's. That is perfectly fine. In fact, that is a good thing because it makes your softball story yours.

Don't get so caught up in the social media aspect of recruiting that you forget about what actually matters: finding the right college and college softball program for you.

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