When she was a high school softball player and collegiate prospect in 1998, Amanda Smith admits she was blind to ins and outs of the recruiting process.
Smith is now a private softball coach and has committed herself to learning and teaching both parents and players as much as she can about college recruiting in the hope of helping student-athletes find the right fit for them. Especially considering the state of the world and contact-free recruiting during the COVID-19 pandemic, Smith believes educating the next generation of college recruits on the ever-evolving nature of recruiting is now even more important.
To that end, Smith has organized the College Planning 101 Summit for Softball Parents, which is a virtual clinic composed of prominent coaches and recruiting specialists designed to be an educational opportunity for those who need it most. It will take place from June 10-12 and 24 hours of viewing will be free for a limited time.
“Here we are in COVID chaos and it’s a new time for recruiting,” Smith said. “All kinds of new information is coming out and everything is changing as things continue to evolve. Every year, there’s something new to learn in the recruiting world and right now it’s changing on a daily basis. We’re trying to pass on some of the knowledge we’ve learned over our many combined years in athletics.”
One of the main goals of the summit and its 25 speakers spread over 35 sessions will be to hammer home an important concept that might seem obvious but actually isn’t: have a plan in order to enable your goals.
Smith, who played Division-I softball, repeatedly tells the athletes she coaches that just getting out there and playing, and hoping to catch the eye of a coach or recruiter, simply isn’t enough in the digital age and a saturated recruiting market. It’s also important for individuals to be proactive and to make every effort to find the right fit for them.
The summit will feature such names as Ashlie Rowley, who played at Mullen High School and the University of Florida, Samantha Livingstone, former Olympic swimmer, and Steve Springer, former Major League Baseball player and current coach.
Chris Siedem, founder and president of the local student-athlete marketing and mentoring firm Perfect College Match, also contributed to the summit. While the online summit will be focused primarily on softball, Siedem said the lessons and insight it hopes to disseminate are applicable to athletes in any sport.
“She pulled me in and I feel pretty good in the sense that there are a number of Colorado players that are involved,” Siedem said. “This is specifically designed for softball but the process of getting to college is pretty much the same for any sport. So it’s an exciting group of softball and baseball players who are excited to offer their insights and expertise for young players.”
More information can be found at www.collegplanning101summit.com.