Athlete Success Story: How to stand out to college softball coaches

Dominique Little Softball, 2nd base & shortstop

dominique

When did you start playing your sport? How did you decide to play your sport as opposed to another?

I started playing softball when I was 5 years old. No other sport really interested me the way softball did. My parents realized I had a natural talent when it came to softball.

What do you like most about your sport?

I love everything about it! I like the team spirit and the friends I have made. I love the competition and tournaments.

What are the biggest obstacles in your sport that you’ve overcome? How did you overcome it?

The biggest obstacles in my sport was to not take decisions made by coaches personal. You may not get to play where or how often you want. There was also a point when things just became overwhelming. Sometimes a coach would push me to a point where I didn’t even want to play anymore; but I just had to remember it’s just a game and coaches push you because they see a lot of potential in you. I became a better player by accepting and rising to the challenge of whatever was thrown at me.

What are the biggest obstacles in the recruitment process that you’ve encountered and/or overcome? How did you overcome it (if you did yet?)

The biggest obstacle in getting recruited is getting noticed. Coaches are looking at hundreds of different players everyday. To get noticed you really have to do something that make you stand out. I started contacting coaches through CaptianU and attending college camps. You have to let the college coaches know that you want to play for them then keep letting them know.

How do you balance being a good athlete with being a good student?

I balance being a good athlete with being a good student by managing my time and always getting my work done early so I have time for sports without having homework to worry about. I also only played one sport and I did not have a part-time job which gave me the time to just focus on school and softball.

When did you realize you wanted to play college sports?

I realized that I wanted to play college softball when I first started high school. I saw all my other teammates committing to schools and I wanted to also. Plus I realized that I would miss softball if I stopped playing because it has been part of my life since I was 5 years old. It would also help pay for my college!

Where did you first turn for recruitment tools, platforms, strategies, etc.?

I attended camps and played in showcases through my travel team. I also signed up for CaptianU because I heard that it was a great tool. It’s also important to have a skills/game video because most coaches want to see you in action in case they cannot get to your games or tournaments.

What things have worked and what things haven’t/didn’t work when trying to get in touch with coaches?

It’s always a hit or miss. You never know if the coaches will read your emails or if they will show up when you invite them to games. I also do not think the very big camps work when there are hundreds of girls. It’s hard to get noticed when there are so many other girls.

How was your family involved & how was this helpful?

My family was very involved in everything I did for softball. They helped me contact coaches. It’s intimidating to walk up to college coaches but my parents helped me to overcome that. They drove me to all my tournaments. Travel ball is expensive but they paid for whatever I needed. They were extremely helpful because I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for them.

What tools, platforms, strategies did you use throughout the whole process?

I mostly used CaptianU throughout my whole recruiting process. I tried to keep in touch with all the schools I was interested in and I would send coaches emails of the tournaments.

What worked best for you on CaptainU / what was your favorite CaptainU tool?

What worked best through CaptianU was being able to directly contact college coaches and loading my video footage on the site. It also helped to know which coaches viewed my profile and who looked at my videos. The tracking system on CaptainU is awesome!

What would be three recommendations you have to athletes trying to play in college?

The 3 recommendations I would give to athletes trying to play in college is to always keep in contact with the schools you are interested in. Never give up! Attend camps that your college is hosting. Keep good grades because you have to put academics before sports.

Finally, what are your goals for the coming year in your sport? How are you currently doing in your sport? Have you been recruited yet?

My goal for the coming year is to have an overall amazing season with a good batting average and no fielding errors. I am currently doing very good this year. I ended my high school year with 4 homeruns, no fielding errors, and a good batting average. I have been recruited. I committed and will be attending a DI University on the east coast in the fall.

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