A softball player may decide at a young age that they want to play college softball one day. That is the first step in the recruiting process, making the initial decision. College softball is a four-year commitment, and many will compare being a collegiate student-athlete to that of a full-time job. At the Division I college softball level, athletes will be required to attend 20 hours of practice a week on top of being a full-time student in the fall months. The softball load goes down to eight hours a week in the winter portion of the season, before resuming back to the full 20 hours and travel during the spring season.
College softball is a four-year commitment. The difference between Division I, II, III, NAIA, and NJCAA is often the softball load. The practice amount, travel schedule, and level of play are the most significant differences at these collegiate levels. Whereas, the academic load will be similar.
Softball is only a small part of the college experience. When you start the recruiting process with your athlete, the softball program shouldn’t even be the main thought right away. There is a checklist that needs to be completed before exploring the softball part of the process.
Brainstorm a Major/Career Path: This has to be the first item on any college list. It’s important that going into college your athlete has an idea of what they want to study or pursue as a career one day. College softball is only four years, your career after softball is the rest of your life. Often athletes make their college decision based on the softball program and get put into a major they aren’t interested in. Many of these athletes will complete their four-year college softball career and go back to school after to study and pursue the career they want. Save yourself the extra schooling and costs by doing some research before you commit.
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