Welcome back to Koa’s second installment of how to become a collegiate-level student athlete! While this collection of blog posts is found within the Field Hockey section of our Koa notes, these college tips are applicable to most sports, so if you play baseball, soccer, basketball or badminton, don’t be afraid to tune in and read on! You will definitely find some pretty beneficial stuff in here.
Now onto this week’s post. This week we will focus specifically on recruiting, which can be thought of as your real first step into the world of becoming a college athlete!
Important Recruiting Tips
The recruiting process can be extremely stressful for young athletes. Once you select the schools that you are interested in, you need to start getting yourself seen by coaches. The best way to do this is to join camps, clinics and tournaments that coaches plan to attend.
Attending a college’s specific camp is a great way to learn the coaching style as well as to meet some of the current players. Speak with the current players as much as possible because you will get honest opinions about the school and field hockey program from those who have already experienced it first hand. You also want to attend outside camps, clinics and tournaments that coaches from schools you like are attending. If you are currently on a travel field hockey team, your team’s coaches will most likely try to find college showcase tournaments for you to attend, but if you are only on your high school’s team make sure you find out on your own exactly where the schools that you are interested in are going to be recruiting and make sure you attend those events!
Highlight videos are another wonderful way to get your name and face out to a school’s coaches. No need to make a fancy highlight video or a video of an entire game. Coaches want to see quick clips of you performing technical skills and making smart and beneficial decisions on the field. After completing a highlight reel, pick the colleges and teams that interest you most and send each coach your video along with a letter of interest in their program.
Creating a highlight reel can sound intimidating, especially if you don’t consider your movie production talents akin to those of Martin Scorsese, however all you really need is a parent or close friend who is willing to video tape between 4 and 6 games of yours and the patience to sit through and watch every game while making note of your favorite parts. After that, plug the films into a movie making app (like iMovie) and splice away! It’s much easier than one might think. Additionally, there are many companies that can create highlight reels for you. In that instance, all you need is to pick your favorite company, tell them which games you would like filmed, watch the dvds while making note of your best moments and the company will create the video from there!
Once you get to the point where coaches are reaching out to you, it is important to figure out how you measure up to the other recruits that the coach might be interested it. You can’t be afraid to be upfront with a coach and ask where you fall in their recruiting pool. It is perfectly fine to ask a coach if you fall in their top 5, 10 or 15 recruits. Additionally, a good thing to determine before ultimately deciding on what college you are going to attend is how involved you want to be on your team.
An important question to ask yourself is if you want to commit to a college based on your position on its sports team or based on how much you like the general atmosphere of the school. To explain this notion further, it might happen that you fall in love with a school, but the coach informs you that you might not get much playing time on the team in respect to other recruits. Or, on the opposing end, you might be so-so on a school, but you love the team and the coach has guaranteed you a starting spot. There isn’t necessarily a right or better option between these two scenarios—we only suggest you be aware of these possibilities and how they may affect your ultimate decision.