Casey Stangel is a junior pitcher at Lake City High School (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho) who also plays for the SoCal Explosion. Her high school team won the Class 5A state softball championship last season and she has committed to play college softball at the University of Missouri. She will blog for ESPNHS throughout the 2012 season.
In sixth grade I started emailing coaches at the top 50 college programs that I was interested in playing at. I emailed the coaches about every three weeks updating them on my training, school work and travel ball. I recommend starting your recruiting process as early as possible to get yourself out there in the recruiting world. When sending emails to coaches it is very important to remember the following things:
Spelling and grammar
Bolding your name and graduation year in the subject line
Attaching your game schedules
College coaches receive hundreds of emails regularly, and that number doubles before big tournaments in the summer. It is very hard for them to read them all, but as coaches see you play and become more interested in you, they will see that you have been writing them and check for your emails regularly. Don’t be down if you don’t get a response -- just keep on writing. Remember coaches are not allowed to get back to you before your junior year!
Sometimes not getting a response is frustrating, other times it may show you that the school you’re writing to may not even have a softball team. ...
When I was choosing my top 50 schools, USC was high on my list. I loved their football program and thought it would be a cool place to go. As I went online to get an email address, it showed the softball page was “under construction,” but there was an email for assistance. So I started emailing thinking it was the head coach’s email for prospects to get a hold of him/her! For the next year or so I emailed USC every three weeks with high hopes. After never seeing them or hearing much about the program, I was thinking they just were not interested at all. At a recruiting camp in the summer before my eighth grade year I was talking to a coach about schools I had been writing to. When I mentioned USC, the coach gave me an odd look and told me that they had not had a team in many, many years. Super embarrassing! And with that I knew I would never be a USC Trojan!
As you write to schools and take visits, your top 50 will change. You will pick up some new schools and drop schools as well. Below is an example of one of my emails from the seventh grade.
Subject: CASEY STANGEL 2013
Dear Coach Jones,
Hello, My name is Casey Stangel. I am 13 years old and I play pitcher, and 1st base for the 18-Gold Spokane Sliders. We are located in Spokane, Washington and have players from all over the Northwest. I work 5-6 days a week on my softball. This includes hitting, pitching, and personal training focusing mainly on speed, agility, power, and strength. I hope that this upcoming Fall you could attend a tournament, because USC is a school I dream of going to.
This Fall I will be playing 18-gold for the Spokane Sliders. We will be participating in three tournaments in Southern California, and then smaller tournaments in Seattle and other places in the Northwest. Our tournament dates are October 10-12 which is the Surf City Tournament in Huntington Beach. The second is the San Diego Premier Softball Showcase on Oct.24-26, and the third is the Early Thanksgiving Showcase in Huntington Beach on Oct.31-Nov.2nd.
I hope everyone’s high schools seasons are starting off with a bang!! Work hard every day, don’t ever cut it short. Until next time …
Read the previous installment of Casey's blog – how to get noticed by college coaches – here.