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Interview with Cathi Aradi - College Softball Connection

Our guest was Cathi Aradi from College Softball Connection. We had a steady 23-25 people in our room during the hour. Over 100 people stopped by for last week's chat. I have included a transcript of the questions and answers in this week's newsletter for those of you who couldn't make it. I'd like to give a very special thanks to Cathi for giving us his time for this interview. Here is the transcript:

Cathi: I am the the head of the Collegiate Softball Connection which is a recruiting information service. I'm also a recruiting columnist for Fastpitch World magazine and the author of "Preparing To Play Softball at the Collegiate Level". My book is published by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and can be directly ordered from the NFCA. I work with athletes and colleges all over the country and also do clinics on the college search process.

Cyfairslam: Cathi, with all the new colleges starting programs, do you think the amount of recruitable pitchers (talented) will keep up with the demand? It would appear that pitchers would have an easier time of scholarships than ever before?

Cathi: The amount of recruitable pitchers should be able to keep up with the demand caused created by the additional programs largely because more kids than ever are playing softball. The available pool of top 10 Division 1 caliber pitchers may not get a whole lot bigger, so competition for those types of pitchers might be a little tougher.

SB Bandits: Does Cathy have a list of colleges adding softball programs? I am a coach at the JC level and want to move up!!!

Cathi: SB are you looking for a job?

SB Bandits: Yes!! I have been extremely successful at the HS level in CA, CA state coach of the year in 1995.

Cathi: SB, you should contact the National Fastpitch Coaches Association for job opportunities. While a few individual colleges will be adding softball, there is no time frame for a specific number of programs being added each year. So the numbers will be random for increases.

SB Bandits: How????? E-mail or snail mail or Telephone numbers???

Cathi: Call the NFCA at 573-875-3033.

AbeeAbee: How do you subscribe to the Magazine that you were talking about, FastPitch World??

Cathi: Call Windmill Publishing at 630-377-7917

TxJcoach: At what age do you enter a girl in the national clearinghouse?

Cathi: I recommend starting the NCAA clearinghouse process at the end of the junior year, but no later than the start of the senior year, (if possible).

MFetter706: Do TPS bats dent easily or are they bad bats to have?

Cathi: I have my own opinions about bats, BUT I would recommend contacting a couple of college coaches to get input from them for what bats they might recommend.

Cyfairslam: Do left handed pitchers have a better chance of being recruited when compared with a right handed pitcher of equal ability?

Cathi: I would say if all other factors are equal, the left handed pitcher would probably have a bit of an edge but just being left handed isn't enough by itself to guarantee recruitment.

Pjobjr: Do coaches from different regions look for different things in the players they recruit?

Cathi: Many coaches look for different things in their players, but it's not necessarily's (probably) based more on the kinds of competition they face.

Peach74944: Cathi, how is a lefty power hitter with power to all fields and also a power hitter rated by colleges? How do colleges rate lefty power hitters and would you pay for a recruitment service for college ball?

Cathi: First part (of your question)...Coaches will always find a spot for a truly great hitter and power is always an asset, but it's also important for the athlete to have faced lots of different types of pitching. Second part...Based on my experience, college coaches are much more likely to respond to players who contact them personally and express interest in their schools. If you do choose to use a recruiting service, make sure this is only a starting place and that you know what next steps to take and how to keep yourself visible to coaches. How to do this is described in my book, "Preparing to Play Softball at the Collegiate Level". This is a comprehensive guide to the college search process for the softball player.

Peach74944: How do I get your book?

Cathi: Call the NFCA at 573-875-3033.

MRKARL 2: At what point is a contracted NCAA player eligible to play ASA SP?

Cathi: The NCAA has specific guidelines for athletes competing on teams other than the college team. Call the NCAA to find out exactly when college athletes are allowed to play club ball. The NCAA phone number is 913-339-1906.

Wpjkkk: Hi Cathi, Do you think funding for scholarships will go up or down in the next 5 years?

Cathi: I don't think it will increase significantly because there is only so much money available for all sports. I know of many schools--including Division 1 programs-that have no softball scholarship money available at all.

SB Bandits: Cathi, do you have the total numbers of Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3 programs and the total number of scholarships available?? I have heard that many schools are considering starting programs, too!!

Cathi: There are over 950 colleges with teams. Approximately 220 are Division 1; approximately 230 are Division 2; and the balance is divided between Division 3 and NAIA schools. Fewer than 50% of colleges offer softball scholarships but most schools have financial aid of one kind or another. Division 1 schools are allowed a maximum of 12 total scholarships (and most Division 1 programs are not fully funded.) Division 2 schools are allowed around 7 total scholarships and Division 3 schools have none in any sport.

Mammacoog: I have a question regarding skills, batting averages and attitude. Which do you consider the most important skills, averages or attitude? How much of an average do most college coaches feel is good? We have a couple of girls from Austin who have been overlooked for scholarships because attitude problems.

Cathi: Coaches look for different things in their players and because the caliber of competition varies enormously at the college level, the player who might not have the skills to make the team at Fresno State, for example, might become a Division 3 All-American. Competitive travel ball experience is the best training for competitive college ball but the bottom line is hustle, drive and the desire to play the game. If a player is willing to look at different types of college programs, there's a good chance she can find a team to recruit her.

Ec24sb: If you lived on the East coast and want to go to the West coast, do you get recruited by the same schools as those who lived on the West coast????

Cathi: Over 80% of colleges with softball teams are east of Colorado. West coast players often have to go east just to find a team. Competition for available spots on the west coast teams is very tough. However, there are a number of smaller colleges--Division 2, Division 3, NAIA and small Division 1schools--on the West coast with limited scholarship dollars who are always looking for good players. Private schools are particularly good to investigate because it costs them the same for in-state or out-of-state students. High out-of-state tuition and the number of good in-state players may keep the coaches at Calif. state schools from recruiting out-of-state players.

IceT13: Oh, I was just wondering what chance I would have at getting a scholarship to University of Arizona?

Cathi: Roughly 3 to 6 players every year will make the team or be recruited by the University of Arizona. If you play on one of the top travel teams in the nation, you have a good chance of being noticed by the Arizona coaching staff. For the average player, making a team like Arizona's can be pretty tough.

ELeising: Cathi, any tips on making a team brochure? Are they worth the work?

Cathi: It's critical for teams to have a simple background sheet or brochure to take to tourneys with them and to have available for any college coaches who may be at those tourneys. That said, you don't have to spend $500 or $1000 to have spiral-bound, full-color, glossy 8x10 book with photos of your players. I recommend teams put together a 2 or 3 page profile that includes the info that coaches need--for example, each players name, jersey number, position, address and phone number, year of graduation, grade point average, and SAT or ACT score. These are the basics. Even teams on a budget can put together a simple, but effective team profile.

Cathi: For more information about the college search process, visit my website at

To order my book, call the NFCA at 573-875-3033 or visit their website at Readers can also e-mail me directly at

Collegiate Softball Connection -


Rich Rosa


Thanks to Rich Rosa for sharing this information!

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