Recruiting Success: In These COVID/Quarantine Times, Junior Gianna Russo’s Impressive Self-Marketing Gets Her a Scholarship! – Extra Inning Softball
When handed lemons, make lemonade.
You have to feel bad for the Classes of 2021 and ’22 as their opportunities to be recruiting has diminished over the last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, both for college coaches and athletes trying to impress them on the field.
Fortunately, innovative people always find solutions; for example, live streaming of events has become the new go-to for college coaches a la national systems such as AthletesGoLive and regional like what is done by the Arizona Hotshots.
It’s made it tougher on players to get their name and skills out to be recognized, but a successful blueprint has been established by several self-starters including 2022 infielder Gianna Russo, who created a website that any Marketing executive would be proud of!
In May, we did a spotlight on Gianna and her website site (see the article below) and we’re happy to report that it worked out very well.
Click HERE to go to the home page of Gianna’s recruiting website
“I committed on Friday, December 4th,” she wrote us this week. “I will be receiving a scholarship to attend Detroit Mercy and play softball. It was truly amazing because, after speaking to Coach (Marc) Gillis, I actually received a personal email from President Antoine Garibaldi of UDM expressing how much he loved my website.”
She continues, “Ultimately, I chose UDM because they have strong academics, they are the 2019 Horizon League conference champions and Coach Gills is a great person! Also, I did not know this at first but did you know that UDM is ranked #25 in the U.S. for their Business Management program, #1 in the USA for CPA pass rate in 2018,and is an AACSB accredited top 5% Business School in the world?”
“I was blown away because I will be pursuing a Human Resource Management Business degree and am planning on entering the five-year BS/MBA Accelerated program. Competitive softball and strong academics… UDM is a perfect fit for me!”
Gianna said that she took an admissions tour of the Horizon League program and liked how “the campus is a very nice gated property.” She was unable to meet with Coach Gillis, but was fortunate enough to have a special meeting with President Garibaldi and then the Dean of the College of Business.
“To top it off, it was explained that I could actually start a dual-enrollment program free of charge. I will start taking classes this January and will have nine credits before I start UDM if I take one class for two more semesters of my senior year. My parents and I were seriously surprised at all of this!”
Having already done her homework on what she wanted in a university, Gianna added: “My family and I went over the “college fits” categories: academic, financial, feel, spiritual and athletic fit. Detroit Mercy is definitely the correct fit for me! I’m super excited to attend UDM and will work hard to make a positive impact on and off the field!
And she’s already being proactive, as is her nature, in trying to build her future program stating: “If you know some awesome softball players that would like UDM…send them our way!”
She’s also aware of how big of an impact her website had in attracting attention and strongly recommends her peers do something similar to market themselves to coaches.
“It allowed the college coaches that were recruiting me to see everything they needed to know about me in one central place so that they could determine if I was a good fit for their softball program and college,” she explains.
“They were able to assess my skill level by checking out my profile, watch offensive hitting/ base running videos, watch defensive middle infield/ catcher position videos, view all of my tournament videos, and verify that I am a power hitter by watching the grand slams on my home run video. I received very positive feedback and was told that the website was especially helpful because of the pandemic issues and the dead period extensions.”
Does she recommend others in the recruiting process follow her example? Oh yea!
“This free website helped me a ton so I thought it would be a good idea to help others, suggests the 2022 grad who attends Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, Illinois. “I hope my website can be a good resource example or used as a template for anyone who would like some ideas for their own recruiting website.”
— Brentt Eads, Extra Inning Softball
Softball Recruiting: Gianna Russo Creates Her Own Free Softball Profile Website (4.39 GPA & Power Hitter…Interested?)
Originally published May 24, 2020 on Extra Inning Softball
I never cease to be amazed at the talent, creativity and ingenuity of the softball community.
One such example literally popped up in my email box last month when I got a well-written note from softball player Gianna Russo, an incoming junior at Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox, Illinois.
Gianna plays travel softball for the 16U Nationals – Berg/ Brzezinski Team in Joliet, Illinois and was recently ranked as a Top 300 prospect in our Class of 2022 rankings.
Let me interject that almost every day we get emails asking our staff at Extra Inning Softball how a player can get evaluated or receive exposure to be considered for our rankings and also to be recruited by college coaches.
Gianna cleverly showed one brilliant way she “grabbed the bull by the horns” during the quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic: the talented prospect created the Gianna Russo Softball softball site promoting herself and organizing her accomplishments in once central place.
“I have watched the news and know many people are suffering financially because they are not working,” Gianna explained in her initial email.
“However, what we do have is free time and lots of it! I’m writing to share my free website recruiting idea to help others so they showcase their talents for free too. I think it is very important to let you know that (my site) was made with Google sites and it was made completely free.”
The reason she did it, Gianna explained, was so coaches could “see everything they need to know about me all in one place without separate e-mails.”
Below is what she sent us which we’re sure will impress you like it did us and, as an update, Gianna wrote us this week to say she is continuing to add to the site.
“On the bright side, I am still training for softball at our house and was recently able to go to a batting cage in my friends ‘barn.’ I was so excited to be there that I even added a very short video to my site! I am really looking forward to going to our first softball tournament! I was recently chosen to be in an 18U tournament in Chattanooga, Tennessee in June and I honestly can’t wait to play!”
One thing is for sure: after her softball career is over, Gianna will have a very bright future in Marketing, PR, Communications, Sales. Entrepreneurship or whatever she wants to do!
— Brentt Eads, Extra Inning Softball
Currently, in Illinois, we have a “stay at home order” in place so we are doing e-school online and our high school softball season was just cancelled. During my extra time at home, I am still working hard at my studies and with my softball training. I am doing a good job with remote learning but honestly, I definitely prefer going to actual school!
For my softball training, because everything is currently closed, we set up a hitting station in our garage and I work on my batting by hitting at least six buckets of balls each day. I also work on catching and throwing with my dad, work out in my basement gym and run a mile almost every day.
On the bright side, staying at home has allowed me to research many college websites. While reviewing them, I thought about creating my own personal recruiting site that would help coaches’ identity if I was a good fit for their college too.
I’m happy to say that I have completed a personal recruiting website, so now they can see everything they need to know about me all in one place without separate e-mails.
The site will help them get a snapshot of who I am in my profile, learn about who I am as a softball player, provide details about my high school academics/ activities, detail my club affiliations / training experience, provide schedule updates and allow them to watch videos to see how I play offense and defense.
For example, in the site, you will see that I am a Christian, I am an above average student at a very tough college prep high school with a recent 3rd quarter GPA of 4.39 and I enjoy volunteering.
I am also on an elite travel softball team, I’m considered a power hitter, and I’m a trained softball shortstop and catcher but can also play 2nd base, 3rd base and outfield. You will see this past fall that I had a .418 batting average and watch videos of me:
Finally, you will know that last year my high school batting average was .454 with 44 RBI’s and can watch videos which include hitting two Grand Slams, two over the fence home runs in 2 innings, and other home runs.
I’m very excited to reveal my “Gianna Russo Softball” recruiting site because I know that after I send out an email with the link, I will have given access to everything a college coach will need to know about recruiting me… all in one place.
You can access the site by clicking on this main link: Gianna Russo Softball and navigate the website by clicking on the page headings or multiple page links.
For your convenience, below my name, there are individual page links allowing you to access each site page directly. I think it looks best on the computer, but you can also access the site by tablet or cell phone.
I sure hope that you like the site and are interested in viewing it.
— Gianna Russo, Class of 2022
This content was originally published here.
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