What It's Like To Be In The College Softball Transfer Portal
Erin Scott was a 2020 summer intern for Softball America. Since entering the transfer portal earlier this year as a Division I softball student-athlete at Lafayette College, she has committed to New York University to continue her academic and softball career.
Read below to learn about her experience in the college softball transfer portal.
In March, when the country was starting to come to terms with the severity of COVID-19, I decided to leave a secure and comfortable college life in search of a different experience. My decision to leave was calculated and far from impulsive.
Once I played the high-stakes game of entering the college softball transfer portal and notified my coach and athletic director about my desire to transfer schools, I was allowed to get in touch with other college softball programs. And thus, my new journey began.
At the time, I had a spreadsheet of about 25 to 30 schools I had planned on reaching out to. My first month in the transfer portal was a busy one. Every day I fired off emails to different college softball coaches and left messages in their seemingly full voicemail boxes. The extra year of college softball eligibility granted by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to roster jams and increased numbers of softball players with eligibility across the board. Although I was fortunate enough to receive interest from several schools, the unknown of what college softball would look like in coming seasons created uncertainty within me.
During that span of two months when I was in a state of in-between, it was easy to look back and question my decision to leave the security of my old school and softball team during a time in the world when nothing seemed certain. I only had one way out of that uncertainty, though, and that was to land on another roster.
After about eight weeks of apprehension, back and forth calls, emails and text messages with college softball coaches, I received strong interest from my future home and applied there. Finally, I could breathe a sigh of relief.
Transferring, in general, is a high-risk, high-reward move, and COVID-19 made that all the more challenging this summer. However, I knew that I did not want to look back after four years and wonder what could have been for my college experience. So I took the jump and landed with a new opportunity at a great school and program. If the long and tedious road of college softball recruiting taught me anything, it was to keep pushing forward. And that's just what I did.
My message to college softball recruits is this: The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Go out on a limb and call that coach again, send another email, go to their office. You never know what could come of it.
To my fellow college softball student-athletes: Complacency is comfortable, but college is the time to demand what is best for yourself. At the end of the day, how will you know what's best if you never go looking for it?