College Softball Scholarships Information
On a windy winter day in Chicago, Illinois, at the end of the year 1887, a group of Harvard and Yale alumni inadvertently invented the game of softball. Then, defined as a game of ‘indoor baseball’, softball has come a long way to become a game that more than 40 million people play in the summer time.
Just like baseball and most other sports, softball players also hope to earn scholarships based on their softball prowess. There are many different kinds of softball scholarships that young athletes can hope to score. The two basic types of scholarships are NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and college based ones. College based scholarships are run on college funds and therefore, they do not fall under NCAA regulations. It is important to remember that college based scholarships will require players to maintain a reasonably good track record in the game as well as a minimum GPA to be eligible for scholarships.
- NCAA Softball Scholarships
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a non-profit organization that organizes the athletic programs of most of the colleges and universities in the United States. The NCAA offers a variety of scholarships for more than 20 different sports. Both full-ride and partial NCAA softball scholarships are offered to more than 126,000 student athletes in D1 and D2 schools across the country. The monetary benefit of these scholarships totals to more than $1 billion! These scholarships are funded by the NCAA but are awarded separately by each academic university/college. The NCAA has a list of eligibility requirements if athletes want to qualify for student-athlete status. These include a minimum GPA, minimum scores on standardized tests and more.
Athletes need to prepare for these scholarships in advance as the competition is quite high. Summer softball camps in the US offer players a chance to get noticed by the top college softball coaches. There are innumerable college and university summer softball camp options to choose from like Cornell University Sports School, Cal Berkeley Athletics Camps and Iowa State University Softball Camps among others.
- College Scholarships for Softball Players
If you have your sights set on playing varsity or club level softball in college, you can also hope to score a college based scholarship. These scholarships are in place owing to the generosity of alumni, in honor of their relatives and other important figures. Each of the college based scholarships offer different benefits at different terms and athletes will have to check with their college athletics department for more information.
How to Get a Softball Scholarship
Serious softball players dream of transforming their passion for the game into a career option. The first step to do this is to get a softball scholarship and play for the college softball team. These are a few tips that can help you get a softball scholarship:
- Knowing NCAA requirements: The NCAA plays a very major role in every softball players’ life. Understand NCAA rules, requirements and eligibility so you take up the right core courses and steer your scholarship game plan in the right direction.
- Verification: While this is not mandatory, gaining verification from national recruiting bodies like NCSA will go a long way in increasing your credibility and visibility in the eyes of college coaches. An athlete’s academic as well as athletic aptitude can be assessed and verified though means like the NCSA.
- Highlight Video: The importance of a highlight video cannot be overstressed. Unlike high revenue sports like football, softball coaches do have the kind of funding needed to look for players from all over the country. This means that the responsibility of being “discovered” falls onto the player. Create and load your highlight video as well as a full game footage online so prospective college coaches can find it easily.
- Contact Colleges: While contacting colleges, it is very important for athletes to be realistic about their playing abilities and academic achievements. This will help them contact the right colleges. 225 Division I, 289 Division II and 412 Division III colleges/universities offer NCAA softball scholarships. However, athletes cannot wait for the colleges to contact them. You need to contact the coaches if you want to get recruited!
- Summer Camps: At every offseason juncture, it is a great idea to attend summer softball camps. You can choose private camps like US Baseball Academy, AL, any of the USSportsCamps NIKE Softball Camps across the country. Alternately, athletes can also opt for university/college softball camps like University of Oklahoma Softball Camp and Florida State University Softball Camp amongst others. This will make your resume stronger and help you get noticed by college coaches.
Getting a softball college scholarship involves merit as well as conscious effort on the athlete’s part. Put your best foot forward and get noticed by college coaches. Scoring a scholarship is not easy but it isn’t impossible either – start early, get trained and get recruited!