D3 NESCAC womens volleyball vs softball...any advice?

<p>So now that DS is done with his successful D3 sports career at Midd, we turn our thoughts and attention to DD. She is currently playing volleyball and softball in school, and travel softball. She pitches and plays SS. It is not physically possible-or advisable in my opinion- for her to play club VB as well.
She loves both sports. The HS VB coach thinks she is promising and has asked her to play club, but at least for this year(rising freshman), she is committed to softball.
It is pretty clear to me that she won't be playing varsity VB if she doesn't play club. Softball, she could probably still make our HS team as she is a real standout already.
I know some may think I am too calculating but she really wants to play a sport in college. Any thoughts on which is "easier" to get recruited for? What age do VB/SB stars need to shine? If she doesn't do "camps" etc is she unlikely to be recruited?
All I know is men's swimming...

<p>PM me. I can offer some insights.</p>

<p>OBD: </p>

<p>I’m living your nightmare with the DD’15…she does both club softball & field hockey along with playing both sports for school…not easy as she is a P/OF and she needs to pitch all winter to be ready for the season, which she does diligently. If DD were to play softball in college, she would be an OF; she’s a good pitcher but at 5’5" 117 lbs. with her spikes and helmet on holding her bat, she isn’t the stereotypical picture of the collegiate fastpitch softball pitcher.</p>

<p>Field hockey is a bit easier for recruiting…outside of school and summer clinics, there are only two big recruiting events - Festival which is Thanksgiving weekend in either West Palm Beach or Palm Springs and Disney in early February. Prep for those 2 events and then on to spring sports, unlike softball which is most of the year. FH has generated lots of looks and interest from the NESCAC/NEWMAC/Centennial schools for DD. She knows what she needs GPA/Test score wise for admissions.</p>

<p>Where do you live? I don’t recall. </p>

<p>DD’s club softball coach focuses his efforts at placing his players in the D III’s here back east (200 mile radius of Times Square) - the bigger DI’s and lots of the Ivy’s bring in the kids from the warm weather states (CA, AZ, TX, FL) who play softball year round, which we can’t do here (there’s still 2 feet of snow on the ground & it’ll be zero tonight). Most of the local kids who go on to play softball in college stay and play locally for the state schools, D II if you live in PA or some of the smaller DI’s, though there will be a handfull of premier NLI’s signed every year.</p>

<p>DD had plenty of looks last year at in softball The Pennsbury Academic Camp, held in June, as a sophomore and will be back as a Junior. At the Academic Camp they limit the maximum number of players and you need to provide documentation of GPA -3.5 min. and test scores, if you have them or letters of referral from GC and copies of transcripts. </p>

<p>As an aside, when DD attended last year, there were a fair number of '15 pitchers, but only ONE '15 outfielder…DD was kicking herself as she would have had lots of attention. As you know softball coach wants a SS, they turn them into middlle infielders or CF if someone better comes along.</p>

<p>The good news is you know what DD needs going in academically to be in the running in the NESCAC/NEWMAC, which most parents don’t. </p>

<p>I’m of help and would share what we’ve been through for softball with you - VB is outside of my comfort zone.</p>



<p>My daughter will be a freshman vball player at a Nescac this fall, and we’ve just been through the recruiting process. I can’t comment on the relative difficulty of getting recruited for vball vs softball, but I will say that I don’t know of anyone who has been actively recruited at the Nescac level for vball who hasn’t played a fairly serious amount of club vball. Since the college and high school seasons overlap, the college coaches do their principal recruiting during the winter/spring club season (and like to see how players play against good competition during the club season since many high school teams, especially in the Northeast, are reasonably weak). Some of this may depend on position. If your daughter is a solid 6’3" middle with good athletic ability, she’ll be highly sought after (at least at the Nescac/DIII level) almost no matter what she does. On the other hand, if she is a smaller player (and especially if she plays ds/libero), she is going to need to have fully developed skills in order to be recruited (even at the Nescac/DIII level). The key recruiting season for high academic DIII (Nescac, Carleton, Pomona, Haverford, etc.) is the junior year club season and college recruiting camps during the summer between junior and senior year. </p>

<p>And finally, I would like to thank you for all of you posts. While swimming is different than vball, your recruiting experience with your son and your reports about it really helped us manage through the DIII/Nescac process. While vball isn’t a timed sport like swimming and most of the recruiting happens through observation of play or video, your overall description of the process was very similar to our vball process and it was very helpful to understand things likes slots, prereads, etc. Thanks very much. </p>


<p>Thanks Dads, and CHS.It’s really nice to hear I’ve been helpful! Then I can tell my H this isn’t a waste of time!</p>

<p>I can see this is going to require a decision, probably this year.I hate the fact that kids have to specialize!</p>

<p>We live in upstate NY-350 miles from NYC, and still have 1 foot of frozen snow in our yard, too. I should have trained her up for hockey… My D is a young 8th grader so just moved to U14 this year, and is not fully grown. We are all tall so she’ll likely be 5 8 or taller, but not 6+ and she also weighs about 117# fully clothed in spikes! </p>

<p>She’ll make the academic camp standard or I’ll eat my keyboard…She’s got those NESCAC brothers to live up to! Makes her an insane competitor, which is why coaches like her(and teachers). Can I say DRIVEN?</p>

<p>Anyway, what I see here is she’ll have to chose, which is what I thought anyway. She really loves both sports but they just overlap too much.</p>

<p>chs, do you think the fact that VB is a headcount sport at the D1 level tends to draw more kids into the sport and may create a more competitive talent pool than you would see in an equivalency sport like softball?</p>

<p>^^I don’t think so. I think the kids play the sports they want to play. I do think more kids from head count sports consider D-2 and D-3 schools if they aren’t at the top of their game (or don’t get a scholarship offer) but are still good enough to play in college. For a sport like lacrosse (women’s)), a D-1 school has 12 scholarships to split up, and a lot of schools split them among up to 40 players, so those are 28 extra players who aren’t going to D-2 or D-3 but playing D-1 and hoping for playing time. For a head count sport that has 12 full scholarships that must go only to 12 players, the other 28 are going to consider a D-2 to get a 1/4 or even 1/2 scholarship, or a D-3 school with more merit than the D-1. </p>

<p>And really, do most parents know which sports are head count or equivalency when they are signing up their 8 year old for gymnastics or hockey?</p>

<p>^"And really, do most parents know which sports are head count or equivalency when they are signing up their 8 year old for gymnastics or hockey? " </p>

<p>Ha, around here there are some very, shall we say, ‘savvy’ parents. :)</p>

<p>Thanks for the info. I didn’t know about “head count” versus equivalency.
I’d welcome more comments on that.</p>

<p>And I’ve been toasted for this opinion before, but “kids play what they want to play” is true, but they also are capable of making some complex decisions and putting more time into activities likely to benefit them the most.They also aren’t immune to parental advise/support. I’d train my daughter up to play squash if there was any way to do it around where we live.Or fencing. Or crew.</p>

<p>It’s very hard to get into a NESCAC school, even with near perfect grades and test scores. If you are from the NE it’s even harder. An applicant needs something to distinguish them. My oldest son, near perfect SATs, 4.0 IB diploma, head of student government and editor of an award winning HS paper in NY state was rejected or wait-listed at all the Ivies and NESCACs he applied to. My second son, grades as good but tests scores not, was a recruited athlete in a niche sport with little competion for “slots”. That’s the way it works right now. My children are not particularly musical, so as I see it, sports are the way to go for them.</p>

<p>The only students accepted at Harvard from our public upstate NY school in the past five years were…you guessed it…recruited athletes. Princeton…recruited athletes…Dartmouth…recruited athletes.</p>

<p>There are many excellent schools that are not NESCACs or Ivies. Our children would have been happy at them. But if their ambition is one of the above, best to be prepared and get every advantage you can. </p>

<p>OBD: If I’m reading your sign in name properly, your alma mater is one of the schools interested in D for FH. D’s school sends a handful of grads to the school every year.</p>

<p>14U for softball is kind of the breaking point, especially 2 nd year 14’s or 1 st year 16’s. the girls who are serious about the game really practice on their own outside of team practice, and know that this is what they want to focus on. Others, even if they are very good, develop other interests ( sports, shopping at the mall with friends, boys, driving, etc). You’ll see the fallout with your D’s team mates over the next 12-18 months.</p>

<p>D had lots of team mates over the past 12 months who just want to play for their school team since softball takes up so much time.</p>

<p>There is a big recruiting event each summer in Binghamton much like Pennsbury. That’s much closer to you than the Philly suburbs.</p>


<p>I’m not sure what role head count vs equivalency plays. I will say that, while a few of the kids my daughter has played with were focused on D1 and potential scholarship opportunities, most of the kids she has played with that are (or will be) playing in college were focused on the DIII level. For what it’s worth, I’ve never heard any parents or kids mention head count vs. equivalency as a basis for gravitating to vball (although that, of course, doesn’t mean they haven’t considered it).</p>

<p>OBD, I agree with you that it is unfortunate kids have to specialize early. Depending on your daughter’s interest and ability, it may be possible to avoid club vball through her freshman year in high school if she’d like to continue playing softball and have more time to decide where she wants to concentrate. If she goes that route, I would advise her to do a couple of summer vball camps both this summer and next and/or some private lessons. She also may be able to play in a summer league (with relatively little commitment, but still with getting her hands on the ball, which is key). It’s very important that she get early instruction and reps in the proper fundamentals (and, given variability in coaching experience and other factors in the school environment, the teaching and reps on fundamentals sometimes don’t get sufficient emphasis in that setting). I think this route is most doable if your daughter is a naturally strong player. Ultimately, she wants to be on a strong club team both her sophomore and junior years, and the later you start in the club programs, the harder it is to make the top teams (both from a developed skill standpoint and because clubs are often loyal to players that have been in the program for a while). My daughter was fortunate to get on a very strong club team her junior year – a team that is well known to the NESCAC coaches. While no coach said this to us directly, our sense is that she got more looks and had more credibility with coaches simply because of the club team she played on.</p>

<p>In any event, I do think it’s really too bad to need to specialize so early. However, I certainly see the great majority of kids that are going to play a sport in college (even at the DIII/NESCAC level) having one principal sport by freshman/sophomore year in high school – and, in one fashion or another (high school, club, camps, etc.), they are playing that sport a big chunk of the year (9-10 months). These kids may play a second sport at the high school level if they are decent athletes, but they do very little on the second sport outside of the high school season. My daughter loved vball for the game and wasn’t focused on playing in college or how it might help her with admissions until fairly late in the game. However, there is no denying that it provided meaningful help. She would have been a credible candidate (given grades, test scores, etc.) even without vball, but with vball (and assuming coaches and prereads are to be believed), she ended up with likely opportunities at several of the toughest admissions schools at NESCAC. Our high school is like yours – there’s just no denying that most of the kids getting into the Ivies, NESCACS or similar (especially on an early action/early decision basis) are getting a meaningful boost because of the sport.</p>


<p>Thanks everyone, this is very helpful.Lots of new info, and I’m sure it will help other readers.</p>