Why Nora Campo Transferred To The University Of Maine
Nora Campo spent her first three years of Division I college softball at Georgetown University. After graduating a year early, and with two years of NCAA eligibility left, Campo decided to extend her college softball career at the University of Maine as a catcher for the Black Bears.
Softball America talked with Campo about her travel ball experience, college softball recruiting process, the transfer portal and playing at the Division I level.
Softball America: What was your recruiting process like in high school?
Nora Campo: The recruiting process for me was a lot of fun, but not easy. The people you play with, the coaches you play for and the experiences you have all make the hard work and long hours you put in worthwhile. The recruiting process is a little different for everyone. For me, it consisted of writing a lot of emails and playing in showcase tournaments. I have to give a shout-out to my travel ball coaches. I played under John Biasi and George Coroneos during my time with the New Jersey Gators. Their coaching styles and relationship-building are what allowed me and a lot of other girls to play on the right fields in front of the right coaches.
SA: How does travel ball impact and prepare you to play for a Division 1 softball program?
NC: I believe that travel ball prepares you for a lot of what you are going to see at the D1 level. The practices have a similar setup and they allow you to build a foundation to grow from. The three-hour-long practices and busy weekend schedules make transitioning to a college schedule much easier.
SA: You played your first three years at Georgetown. What made you decide to transfer to Maine?
NC: During my time at Georgetown, I studied psychology and mathematics. I was able to find what interested me most and ultimately define the right career path for myself. I decided to graduate a year early and adjust my career path to pursue engineering. Since Georgetown didn’t offer a program that aligned with my interests, I decided to enter the transfer portal.
SA: What was the transfer process like?
NC: The transfer process was relatively easy. If you decide that your current program is not for you, for whatever reason, the process of getting into the portal is designed to be uncomplicated. Once you get the go-ahead from your compliance office, you can treat it like you’re back in high school and reach out to different programs via email or phone.
SA: As you play through your first season at Maine, what is something that you look forward to?
NC: I look forward to the future of this program. UMaine is taking huge strides in advancing the softball program and the other women's sports programs offered on campus. We had the opportunity to play two top 25 teams during our preseason, among other talented teams, and I feel that this has prepared us to perform well in our conference. We also just christened a new softball field and hitting pavilion. These new facilities will offer a lot for the program and our future, so seeing it come to fruition has been really exciting.
SA: How has your life changed since you transferred to Maine?
NC: In many aspects, my game has stayed the same since transferring. But I have found that the new environment has allowed me to grow immensely in my short time here so far. I feel like the change in scenery and the new team dynamic have allowed me to bring a different version of myself to the surface.
SA: What is a piece of advice you would give to young softball players who aspire to play at the D1 level?
NC: Send your emails before showcase events and camps! Make your emails stand out, whether that be through having a clever sign-off or an eye-catching subject line. It is helpful to have an email address that includes your last name and graduation year as well.
Most importantly, have fun! If you land at a D2 or D3 school, so what? You only get to play this sport for a limited amount of time, and it goes by fast. The last thing you want to do is make it stressful or too serious.
SA: What is some advice you would give to current players looking to potentially transfer programs?
NC: My advice is to be bold in making the decision to transfer. While the uncertainty that comes with big decisions can be frightening, they are often the most rewarding. I was fortunate enough to be able to graduate early, but before I knew that was a possibility, I was afraid of the idea of essentially starting over again. I am a firm believer that we are too young to have regrets, so always do what you know is right for yourself.