Navigating the world of softball recruiting is hard. There are so many things and so much information that we simply do not know. Having been through the recruiting process, today we share our open letter to our daughter’s softball recruiter.
Dear Cheri; (Yes. we are calling out Cheri Naudin today!)
Today, I wanted to let you know first and foremost that I appreciate all the help that you have given us in regard to getting our daughter to play softball at the next level. Dreams really do come true, and despite the fact that I thought I could do without your help, the reality is that I likely could not have.
Secondly, I would like to apologize.
Because truth be told, you drove me a little nuts.
My daughter is a BALLER…. and I told you at the very beginning of the journey where I wanted her to attend college. And even though you had connections at those schools, and knew the behind the scenes situations with the coaches and teams at these schools – you immediately shut me down on a few of them.
I did not like that one bit. My daughter is a baller, and I felt pretty confident that she could play at those schools, and for the life of me could not understand why you kept telling me to stop pursuing these specific schools.
I ignored you when you told me that the rosters were full and that those coaches were not looking for a middle infielder.
When you suggested other schools, I wasted my money and signed her up for those camps where I WANTED her to go anyways. You warned me that those camps were fundraisers. You told me that the rosters were already full beyond my daughter’s graduation year. You gave me all the information I neeed, and yet I was still working from the narrative that “my daughter was a good enough ball player that once they watched her play, they would drop anything and everything to find her a roster spot”
Let me repeat that for those in the back
I felt certain that my daughter was a good enough ball player that once these coaches watched her play, they would drop anything and everything to find her a roster spot”
I am sorry that I did not listen. We did walk away with a pretty cool t-shirt, that cost us over $100. And actually, we walked away with a few too many over $100 dollar shirts
The thing was, I didn’t get that there is more to recruiting and team placement than just finding the best players. As you told me all along, college coaches have a plethora of kids to choose from, but they also have to abide by rules and roster sizes set by their schools. And these coaches start early finding the talent they want and need because like you told me, they are responsible for not just fielding a team, but for fielding future teams as well.
I will admit that when you texted my player a time or two and asked her to remove a social media post, I thought you were overstepping boundaries. I am a good mom, and I keep an eye on their social media. When you got on to her for not following up, or following through or not doing exactly what you asked her to do, I wanted to ‘protect’ her and make excuses.
What I see now is that you were just making HER accountable. After all, she is nearly an adult.
What I see now is that you were just trying to protect my player, and regardless of how innocent that beach bikini picture was, she was knee deep in the recruiting process and social media has made it super easy for coaches and recruiting teams at colleges to find ways to cross people off their lists. And with lists as long as theirs, they are actively looking for ways to weed out players, parents and families that give off the wrong vibe.
YOU know this because you have the experience that us regular peeps do not. YOU talk to the coaches every day, they talk to you, you have seen it happen over and over again – kids who get a little to froggy with social media and coaches stop communicating with them.
Just like you knew what colleges were in need of, and looking for a daughter with my skill set. SO maybe my feelings were a little hurt that you didn’t agree that my daughter was good enough to play for Tim Walton. When you started seeking out leads for D2, and D3 schools – I was a little like “WHAT….my daughter is better than that!”
See, all along you were just trying to protect what my daughter had worked so hard to build since she was a little girl, and ensure that her path to playing after college would be successful.
Maybe, just maybe this is why you call your company Collegiate Sports ADVOCATE because all along you were advocating for my daughter.
While it would have been easier for me to sit behind a computer and do everything FOR my daughter, because she was busy you made me realize that coaches see right through this and that if these kids cannot handle communication and responsibility NOW because they are busy, they certainly would not be able to handle being a BUSY COLLEGE PLAYER.
When I finally let go, followed your lead, went to the camps that you told us would be beneficial for my kid – things started working out. Suddenly every camp she went to, a coach followed up and invited her back. Suddenly, she had more opportunities to play collegiately than I thought possible. Suddenly, she was finding the right fit. She was getting offers. She had choices. She was finding her niche at the collegiate level. You were right all along.
Why? Because all along you knew. You knew what college coaches around the country needed. You knew which colleges were booked solid through 2024 verbals, and which were still in need of players. You did the legwork, talking to and emailing coaches so that I could stop wasting my money on frivolous camps.
SO many of us, I know I did believe that if a college is holding a prospect camp it means they are looking. You told me over and over again that is not, never, ever the case – that these are fundraisers and that the mass emails with camp invites were just marketing ploys. You helped me to see the difference between a real college prospect camp with a real invite and one that is just intended to bring some cash flow into the program.
So I guess today what I want to say is that I am sorry. For being hard-headed and for thinking I knew more than you, and for being stubborn because I didn’t always LIKE what you told me. Maybe this is why you promote your organization as “TRUTH RECRUITING.”
But Mostly, I want to thank you. Through your guidance and hard work and patience with my family, we have blessed to find a great fit for my daughter once she graduates high school. Not only a great fit, but one that before your guidance we would have never explored. Had it not been for you, this opportunity would have not been possible. So thank you for supporting our entire family, and for not giving up on us.
When it comes to recruiting, we want everyone to know – there is much more to it than meets the eye. It seems simple. But the reality is that there are a ton of behind the scenes situations and scenarios that the average person is not privy to that can make navigating it alone not only a massive waste of money but extremely difficult and frustrating as well.
If you are anything like us, we urge you to reach out to Cheri Naudin. She is truly the best. You can find her online, or at https://www.collegesportsadvocate.com/