(Updated for 2021) If you want to play on a college softball team, you should probably be looking in California, Pennsylvania, or New York. However, if you’re looking specifically for Junior College teams, you should be focusing on Illinois and Texas. The states with the most D1 softball programs are California, Texas, and New York. The D3 college softball teams are concentrated in Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts.
50–that’s the number of colleges you should target if you’re interested in getting to play at the college level. Too many? Think I might be exaggerating a little? Or maybe I don’t have a clue as to what I’m talking about? Give me a moment and I’ll explain my madness.
Let me set the scene. You might be a freshman who’s smart enough to know that with the way recruiting works today, it’s never too early to start looking at colleges. Or maybe you’re a junior who has realized that since you’ve never been contacted by a D1 coach, your chances of playing at the D1 level are probably about the same as getting into Harvard.
Nobody likes wasting their time and college coaches are no exception. So when you start to contact college coaches, be sure that you are prepared. If nothing else, what sort of impression do you think you make when the coach has to inform you of basic facts regarding the school or finds out that you aren’t qualified to play on his team?
(The list of D2 softball colleges is at the end of the post.) Of the three NCAA divisions, D2 is the smallest for softball. The advantage of playing at a D2 college is that they still offer scholarships unlike D3 schools. While the number of scholarships may be fewer than those in D1, D2 softball college programs will likely have less intense demands on players’ time than D1 schools. This means players may be able to consider doing something else other than playing softball and attending class while in college.
I’ve already listed four of the nine things that you can do that will improve your chances of playing baseball at the college level in a previous post. These tips aren’t going to make a D2 player into a D1 player. They will give the D2 player a better chance at actually playing college baseball on a D2 team. These are the things you can do off the field that will set you apart from other players. It isn’t just about having the best skills; it’s about making it as easy as possible for coaches to know that you have the skills and choose you over another player.
Here are nine things that you can do that will improve your chances of playing college baseball. These aren’t about improving specific baseball skills, although that may happen. It’s about giving you the edge over another player who has the exact same stats and ability ratings as you do. In other words, these suggestions aren’t going to make a D2 player into a D1 player. It is about making it as easy as possible for a college coach to recruit you from the hundreds of other players that he has to choose from.
So your first question is what would a homeschool mom know about how to get recruited to play college baseball? Simple, it’s like everything else in homeschooling–once our son decided that he wanted to play baseball in college we realized that we would have to figure out the process ourselves. A lot of what we learned can be applied to anyone trying to play college sports but the specifics here will be on baseball.
It seems that weekly, if not daily, you’ll come across another story about how today’s generation has been coddled with self-esteem trophies since their first little league game and have been told that their clay pots are special no matter how lumpy and cracked. This has an especially insidious strain in high school sports that can undermine a player’s chances to get recruited to play college baseball.
Think about it, combine the me generation with a standout high school athlete and the too often accompanying egotism, you get a package of entitlement that will keep even the best players off a college baseball team.
(Skip to the end of the post to see the list of all D2 Baseball Schools.) NCAA Division 2 is the smallest for baseball colleges. It has only 265 members compared to 296 for D1 baseball and 380 for D3 baseball. However, unlike D3, D2 baseball schools offer scholarships although not the same amount as D1 schools. D1 schools are limited to 11.7 while D2 have a max of 9. However, an advantage Division 2 baseball colleges have over D1 schools is that they are allowed to have tryouts. What better way to find out where you stand with a coach than by having an actual tryout?