I played tennis for as long as I can remember. My father used to go down to the local high school courts to practice with our neighbor, and I would tag along to spend time with my dad – and I secretly think he also took me so that my mom would have some time without me around to pester her! Playing tennis as a weekend diversion eventually turned into taking lessons at the local rec center, lessons at a local club, local tournaments, regional tournaments sanctioned by the USTA, and training over the summers and school vacations at various tennis academies. After progressing up the ladder through the tennis world, when it came time to apply to college the next logical step for me was to continue playing in college.
During the spring of my junior year of high school I began to focus on which colleges I was interested in, and looked more closely at their tennis programs. Our mailbox was flooded with college brochures and letters from coaches, and I took the time to look through most of them just to educate myself and make sure I was considering all my options. I knew that I wanted a school with a strong academic reputation, but also a women’s tennis program where I could play beginning in my freshman year. I spent a lot of time talking to other tennis players I knew who were older than me and had experience with the coaches and teams through their recruiting experiences. I found that I learned a lot more by speaking to other players and coaches at local clubs than I could from brochures or the coaches themselves.
Despite all the phone calls and letters from coaches at various schools trying to convince me to visit and apply to their school, I knew only I could choose what was right for me. I thought a lot about what I wanted not only from college, but also from the tennis program. Since I knew that I was certainly not good enough to become a pro, academics and future career potential were very important to me. Eventually I whittled down my list of potential schools to Columbia University, Georgetown University, Tulane University, and Yale University.
Columbia University was my first choice at that point, so I decided to visit and meet the coach and team in October. I remember walking onto the campus for the first time and realizing that this was the place I wanted to spend the next four years. I loved the school, the people, and of course I loved Manhattan! Everything about Columbia University just felt right to me, and after meeting the team, seeing the tennis facilities, and talking with the coaches, I applied under the early decision program. I decided to hold off on visiting the other schools since I knew that I would be attending Columbia University if I were accepted early.
In mid-December, I was accepted to Columbia University. The recruiting and application process was finally over! That spring I went back for a weekend to meet other recruits and incoming freshmen. In the fall of 1995, I began my freshman year at Columbia University and my first year playing Division I tennis.
Pay attention to your instincts. If something about a school, team, players or coaches doesn’t seem right for you, don’t apply just because you feel as though you should. There are plenty of schools out there that won’t make you second-guess your choice.
Don’t rule out any schools just because you never thought you’d apply there. The time it will take you to research the school and talk to the coaches and players is so minor compared to four years of college. Make sure you always think you made the right choice.
Talk to anyone and everyone you can about the schools and athletic programs you’re considering. The most unbiased advice and information won’t come from the coaches or players, but from others who aren’t affiliated with the school.
Make sure you would like the school even without the athletics. I stopped playing on the team halfway through my sophomore year, and had I not loved Columbia as a school, I would have spent the rest of my time there being pretty unhappy.
I am currently a senior right-handed pitcher on the baseball team. In addition, I am the President of the Student-Athlete Leadership Committee (SALC), Richmond representative on the Atlantic 10 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SSAC), and sit on the Division I National SAAC for the Atlantic 10. I was able to be involved in all of these facets because of the hard work I put into the recruiting process many years ago.
The process is by no means an easy one, but the rewards in the end are priceless if you can make it work. My recruiting experience took place a long time ago and many things have changed, but I recently mentored my brother through the process. He now plays baseball at William & Mary.
Furthermore, I recently began interviewing for jobs and will begin working in New York City as an investment banker this coming summer. I was prepared for the job interview process because of my experiences being recruited to play college baseball. While the processes have their differences, your attitude and effort during the process should not change.
Here are some points I encourage you to remember during the recruiting process:
Be proactive. Don't wait for things to happen
Initiate the conversation
Don't be afraid to call, write, or e-mail coaches
Ask questions. If you don't ask, you will never know
Research the schools you want to be recruited by. Do your homework and show the coach you want to be at their school. (Know who some of their players are, know who they are playing that week, etc.)
Let them know where you will be playing (Give them a schedule of when/where)
Highlight your strengths
Make a video for coaches to use as an evaluation tool
Ask for feedback. ("Hey Coach, what should I be doing now? Is there anything I need to do to make this process easier for you? How can I improve myself as a player?")
Respond quickly to all e-mails, letters, or phone calls
Don't give up if one school says no. Everything happens for a reason
Hope this helps and best of luck in the recruiting process.
I decided my freshman year that I wanted to play lacrosse in college and worked hard on achieving that goal for the next four years. So, when my junior year rolled around I was ready to start the process and achieve my goal of signing at a D-1 school to play lacrosse. To my delight I received letters and phone calls from several college coaches and eventually ended up going on several official visits.
My first trip was to Penn State University, which was my first choice because my sister went there and I loved the idea of going to a big school. The recruiting trip was a great time and I left feeling like I had found my school, but I wanted to go on other visits to make sure. Next, I visited James Madison University. It was a great school and the girls on the team were really great to me. However, I knew it was not the right fit for me. For my final trip I went to Loyola College, which was really the opposite of what I was looking for in a college. I was attracted to big schools with big name football teams and large fraternities and Loyola College was a small, private, liberal arts school and not really where I pictured myself going. However, they were ranked top five in the nation for lacrosse at the time and that really appealed to me so I went on the trip with an open mind. When I arrived, I met the team and coaches and I immediately noticed that they had an amazing bond with each other. The team went beyond the lacrosse field and the girls were true friends that looked out for each other. Also, they were serious about winning a National Championship which I was all about, so I left Loyola College with a bittersweet feeling. I was buzzing from the vibe of the trip but now I was facing a really tough decision.
I found myself truly torn between Penn State University and Loyola College. I needed to give Loyola College my answer by the next weekend and I was in a constant tug of war between the two schools. Even worse, my parents were away that weekend so I was left to make the decision alone. After hours of making pro and con lists, pacing in my room and pulling my hair out I knew exactly what to do to finally make my decision. I went to the phone and called the psychic hot line. Yes, I turned to a higher power to find my college destiny. Well, after an hour on the phone and a $59.95 bill, all the stars told me was I was still stuck with a major decision.
Finally, I decided that the vibe I got from the coaches and team at Loyola College was exactly what I was looking for in a lacrosse program and that was more important than going to a big football school. So, I went to Loyola and it was the best four years of my life. I guess the moral of my story is to always keep an open mind when choosing your college because you never know what college is going to work for you until you meet the team, coaches and college personally. Also, psychic hot lines are for the birds.
I wanted to play baseball in college, but in terms of being recruited I had to get myself out there and do the work. I had to market myself so to speak so coaches would know who I was whether it be going to summer baseball clinics held by the teams I was interested in, or sending the coaches letters through the mail. I was fortunate enough to be able to do that and play for a very well known coach around my area, which was an all-star team so to speak, consisting of great talented players from Pennsylvania.
We played in tournaments every week and college coaches attended these games. We also went to showcases, which were held by Perfect Game, a baseball tool that enables players nationally to showcase their talent in front of MLB and college scouts. These were held all over the nation. The showcases consisted of infield and outfield drills, a timed 60 yard dash and then games where the pitchers could display their talent. There was anywhere from 30 to 100 scouts there if not more depending on the talent level. Also, I attended national tournaments with this same team where teams from around the nation competed against each other. One was held in Marietta, Georgia and the other in Jupiter, Florida. Playing well in any of these tournaments was sure to get you recognized instantly, and for me, it turned out great because I performed very well in front of the scouts who attended. Once I got noticed, coaches would come talk to me in person, call me on the phone, and/or send me letters through the mail showing their interest in me.
The whole process is intimidating and emotionally draining, but the end result was well worth it for me. After my junior, I began getting dozens of calls from schools around the nation telling me they saw me play and were interested in talking to me more about joining their program. It was a tremendous feeling and definitely helped my confidence.
I narrowed my list down to University of Virginia, University of Richmond, James Madison University, University of Louisiana, Lafayette College, Boston College, and University of Rhode Island, Clemson University, and University of Maryland. After a lot of consideration I decided to take official visits at Clemson University, University of Maryland, and University of Virginia. I wanted to get a great education and play for a well known Atlantic Coast Conference program.
I verbally committed to University of Virginia in September of my senior year after taking my three official visits. I was thrilled by my choice and couldn’t wait to get started playing college baseball. It was such an amazing feeling knowing that I was going to be playing D-1 baseball at one of the top schools in the country.
Market yourself. Go to every camp and play on every team possible in order to put yourself in a position to be seen.
Just play your best and stay confident, there will be someone who is interested in you.
Enjoy the process. It can be very overwhelming, but remember to stay calm and focused.
Growing up, I always knew I wanted to receive a college scholarship for athletics. I was an avid tennis player but thought I would give volleyball a shot. I tried out for the 7th grade volleyball team and made it. And surprisingly, I was really good at volleyball! Now came the hard part. Tennis and volleyball were in the same season. In order to be successful and achieve my goal of being a college athlete, I had to choose one sport to focus on. I opted for volleyball and went from there.
I played high school and club volleyball. The club volleyball was where I was introduced to the world of college volleyball recruiting. I was very fortunate to have played on the top teams in the nation, surrounded by stellar players. During tournaments, our court would be surrounded with college coaches who were watching and taking note of potential athletes. I can remember after my first major club tournament my freshman year in high school, my mailbox was filled with generic introduction letters from college volleyball coaches complete with questioners to be filled out. I didnt care what schools the letters were from and I took the time to fill out the questioners so the schools could start an athlete profile on me. I didnt know what the future would bring so I made a point to keep my options open. No matter what school it was, I was honored that somebody wanted me to be a part of their volleyball program.
The most hectic time of the college recruiting process was the summer of my junior year. This is when college coaches could actually call. I enjoyed getting to know the coaches on a one on one basis. I narrowed my choices down to 10 schools and let those 10 schools know that they were my top choices. It was great to hear from some of the schools that they were still interested in me, but it was also great to hear from some schools that they could not use me on their team. This helped me narrow my choices down. I was down to five schools that wanted me and who I in turn wanted to consider. My top five schools were University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California, University of Hawaii, University of Michigan, and University of Virginia. The first three schools were all top 10 programs, while the others were pushing to get into the top 25.
I continued to keep in contact with the schools and scheduled unofficial visits to the campuses. I was able to meet the entire coaching staff, players, and possibly view a practice at each school. By my senior year I had let USC, Michigan, and University of Virginia know that I had moved on in the recruiting process. I emailed each school thanking them for the opportunity and wished them luck in their upcoming seasons. I then went on official visits to University of California Los Angeles and University of Hawaii. Official visits are when the university pays for your entire trip and sell you on their school and athletic program. I loved everything about both schools, but had to make the most important decision of my life.
I choose to attend UCLA on a full volleyball scholarship. The coaching staff was everything I was looking for in a staff and the girls on the team were a great group with the same volleyball goals as I had. I felt a strong connection with the program. I wasnt questioning my decision at all. I knew I had made the right one.
Keep your options open
Narrow down schools make a list 30 to 20 to 10 to 5
If coaches are not contacting you, dont be afraid to contact them MARKET YOURSELF
Make unofficial visits to campuses make sure school is in session
Every kid in the United States seems to grow up with at least some knowledge of college basketball. I was no different than most kids, I loved college basketball and from as early as I could hold a ball I wanted to be a part of it. So, when I was heading towards the end of my sophomore year of high school and interest started being shown by a few schools I couldn't have been happier. I thought maybe I could go to a D-III program and play my way through school in order to at least experience being a part of that next level of competition.
As I headed into what would ultimately be the most exciting summer of my life, I had no idea just how insane my life would become over the next 15 months or just how many important and life changing decisions I would make. By summers end I was not just getting looks from local D-III programs; I was receiving mail and calls from some of the biggest names in college basketball and perhaps in all of sports.
I think the first few weeks of the real recruiting process taught me a lot about life. I realized that all that glitters isn't necessarily gold and that your gut is way more intelligent than your brain. I found myself getting caught up in the madness of calls from UNC and UCLA and if I had been talked to by Kentucky I would have had the trifecta of basketball royalty. I also found myself talking with a ton of so called mid-majors, the schools that may not headline Sports Center daily but that tend to be most exciting come March.
With the help of my parents, friends, coaches and anyone else who was willing to listen or give advice I quickly pushed aside the powerhouse programs. I had to be real with myself. I wasn't going to play at those schools and more than likely I would red-shirt, sit for two years then maybe see the court if I hadn't been recruited over. At the mid-majors I had a spot right away and saw myself as an integral part of what these programs could become over my four years and beyond.
Once I had narrowed down my search I decided on a conference. I made my last three schools, the University of Dayton, Saint Joseph's University and the University of Richmond. All three of these schools were in the Atlantic 10 and athletically offered what I wanted. I unofficially visited each school during my junior year in accordance with NCAA rules which don't allow for official visits until senior year. Each school was great at displaying its positives and really great at hiding its negatives. Still undecided I headed into my senior year hoping that a choice would be clear and ultimately the correct one would be made.
My first official visit was all that I needed to make my choice. I walked onto the University of Richmond campus and something felt right. I know it sounds ridiculous and cliché but I felt at home. I had a small sense of this in my other visits to the campus but I had always brushed it off as just being excited. I didn't feel as if I was forcing myself in to a role at Richmond, rather that the slot for me was there and I could just fit right in. That night I committed to the University of Richmond and had a new home.
I was asked throughout my years at Richmond if I ever regretted my choice of school. People would point out that Dayton was winning conference championships and Saint Joseph's was going undefeated and achieving top five national rankings. I could always and will always be able to look at them and honestly say that I have no regrets. Even though we may not have won as many games at Richmond as I could have elsewhere it doesn't matter. College was so much more than wins and losses. College was an adventure and an opportunity to explore who I was and really begin to forge my life.
Make the choice for you. No one else will have to live with the decision you make like you will. The school you choose and program you become a part of will become a part of you, make sure that it represents the type of person you are and the type of person you want to become.
Listen. There are a lot of people who may want to give you advice and the vast majority of them are willing to do so because they really do care about you. Take the opportunity to listen to others ideas and perspectives and use them not as a replacement for your own but as a supplement.
Trust yourself. When you are going through the recruiting process you are at an age where the world isn't ready to trust you very often. Take that opportunity to trust yourself, if something feels right it likely is. Remember, your gut is far more intelligent than your brain.
As a soccer player coming from a high school where football was king it was imperative for me to make contact with the coaches of the colleges that I wanted to attend. I went to a high school that was not considered a soccer powerhouse. My coach did not have the same connections within the soccer community as other coaches had. He was definitely out of the soccer loop, and while his heart was in the right place and he was a good coach, his lack of soccer ties was not helpful in the recruiting process.
As a result, all hope of getting recruited came from playing with my club team and exposing my skills to college coaches at tournaments. Therefore, playing for a reputable club soccer team, the California Heat, was my primary medium to have my talent showcased for prospective schools.
In the end I narrowed my soccer choices down to two schools, a good D-I program and great D-II program with a phenomenal coach. My intention to graduate from school in four years was the determining factor as to what school I wanted to attend. At the D-I school I would have been red-shirted my freshman year while playing for the B team and serving as cannon fodder for a varsity squad that consisted mostly of juniors and a couple of seniors. If attending school for five or six years were a possibility for me this might have worked. At the D-II school, I would get the opportunity to see playing time on the field during my freshman year.
Ultimately my decision was an easy one, I chose to play right away and I think it was the right choice for me. By the end of the season I was even able to earn a spot as a starter, including starting a playoff game in the western regional. I would eventually become a four-year starter and serve as captain for two years, all while graduating on time.
When I first picked up a lacrosse stick in the 4th grade, I had no idea how many doors it would open. My parents, on the other hand, knew exactly what they were doing when they signed me up for my first lacrosse clinic. Every year they heard of more and more girls going to college on lacrosse scholarships and wanted to get in on the action. Luckily for them, I fell in love with the sport.
Summer camps and winter clinics dominated my free time. Not only was I getting better at lacrosse, I was being seen and taught by coaches from some of the most dominant lacrosse schools in the country. By my sophomore year in high school, letters began arriving from coaches. I sent countless emails and letters to every D-I and D-III program I had even the slightest interest in. My junior year was a whirlwind of questionnaires and emails, but during the summer before my senior year I had narrowed my list down to three schools.
I was offered official visits at Duke, James Madison University, Cornell and the University of Richmond. I declined the official visit to Cornell (too cold!), and packed my bags for my big trip South. James Madison was my first visit and one I made primarily to please my father who had fallen in love with the school and was convinced that I would too. He was wrong. I meshed well with the team and with the coaching staff, but something didnt feel right. Plus, I secretly knew I was going to commit to Duke and be a Blue Devil and a Cameron Crazy and live it up in Durham for four amazing years. Wrong again. After building it up for four years, my visit to Duke was a complete disappointment and I felt confused and frustrated at the end of my visit. I was running out of schools! Why had I turned down Cornell? Richmond had been my last choice, and I begrudgingly left my high school friends for one last weekend to visit the school. Even though the campus had just been decimated by a hurricane, it was beautiful. The team was amazing and the students were unbelievably nice. Everything just felt right. I gave my verbal commitment before leaving the campus.
Do not turn down a school just cause. I am still kicking myself for turning down Northwestern University three time defending National Champions - simply because I had never heard of them and they were from Illinois (everyone knows the only good teams are on the East Coast!).
I highly recommend taking all of your official visits. If I had had it my way, I would have committed to Duke before even taking an official visit and it would have been the biggest mistake of my life.
Lastly, go into each visit with an open mind and be polite to the people who are hosting you. Being courteous and respectful will get you far in life, and in the recruiting process.
Have fun, and good luck! Its a crazy time, but its definitely worth it in the end.
Ice hockey was my main sport and Radnor High School had a great up and coming team with a great coach so I was excited and hopeful that my hard work with the team would one day allow me to play at the collegiate level. As it turned out, in my senior year of high school the University of West Chester's Ice hockey coach contacted me and asked me if I was interested in applying and coming out to play for the team. It was an incredible experience to get recruited and having someone want you to come play for there team. I had only applied to a few other colleges but what made my decision a lot easier was the fact that the coach called and had me come out to a few practices meet the guys.
West Chester is a D-1 club team and they play some of the best competition in the world. My freshmen year was so much fun with all the traveling we do and be able to visit some of the top schools in the country such as The Naval Academy, Penn State, Ohio State, and West Virginia. Navy was my favorite trip and I especially enjoyed seeing all the ships and all the security they had on campus. It's something that I will never forget.
The last three years were great and I'll forever remember the championships, heartbreaking losses, bus trips to Michigan, New York, Rhode Island, Pittsburgh, they are something I will treasure forever and it's not because of the success of the team but the memories that were created in those games, and on those trips. I am very thankful I was able to play on a team in college. It made me a better student and person in the end and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
If I had to do it all over again I wouldn't change a thing. The friends that I have made over my four years at West Chester have become a family to me and it's been a great time.
Put yourself out there to get noticed even if it's not somewhere you want to go opportunities will come arise from it.
If you decide to go to a school for a sport it doesn't mean you have to play but you should give it a chance even if you decide later that it's not for you.
When I was in eighth grade I decided that I wanted to get a basketball scholarship to college. At that point, I had read about high school girls from my city that had received full basketball scholarships, so I assumed it wasn't a difficult process. I started watching a lot more women's basketball games. I went to UC Santa Barbara games, and watched the big college teams play on TV, like UConn, Duke, Tennessee. I watched players like Sue Bird, Chamique Holdsclaw and Diana Taurasi play. I then found out that if you weren't a top 10 player in the nation, college coaches weren't begging you, it was a much more involved process than I had imagined.
In my sophomore year of high school, with the help of my AAU coach, I started making lists of my target schools. First, I decided what areas (cities/regions) I was interested in. Then I looked into the conferences and schools in those areas. I was sure to be very realistic about the conferences and schools that I looked into. I knew that if I sent game tapes to Tennessee, Duke, or Stanford, I wasn't going to get any responses so I wasn't going to waste time and money doing that. I also took the time to look at teams' rosters. As a point guard, I liked to read about each teams' point guard. Then I sent out letters, my basketball schedules and a game tape to those targeted schools. Some schools showed interest after watching game film and others never responded, but I continued this process throughout my junior year.
The summer before my senior year in high school, I spent traveling to NCAA sanctioned tournaments with my AAU basketball team. There were college coaches from all divisions and all areas of the United States present at these tournaments. To my surprise, several D-I college coaches expressed interest in me. Most of those schools were at the lower end of their conferences, but I didn't care.
In the fall of my senior year, I started narrowing down my targeted schools. The NCAA allows prospective student-athletes to take five official visits to college campuses. They also allow "home visits" in which a college coach is allowed to visit the recruit's home. I had about four different coaches visit my home. This was great because it gave my family an opportunity to meet those coaches and ask questions also. In addition, I scheduled five official visits and had planned on taking all of those visits.
My first visit was to the University of Richmond in Virginia. I had the opportunity to tour the athletic facilities, play pick-up basketball with the team, and socialize with the coaches and players for a weekend. I enjoyed everything the school had to offer. My next visit was to the University of Pacific in Northern California. It was the same itinerary as my last visit and I enjoyed everything the school had to offer.
After taking my second visit, I realized early that the University of Richmond was the "right fit" for me. It's tough to say what I especially liked about the school, the team or the coaching staff, but this is where I wanted to go. I canceled my three remaining official visits and a year later started my freshman year at the University of Richmond, where I spent four great years as a student-athlete.
Always maintain a very good relationship with any and all coaches that you talk to, even if you don't choose to play for that coach, you never know when you may want to contact him/her again.
Being what one would consider a competitive individual and having been involved in sports my entire life, I knew when I entered high school, every practice and competition would in some shape or form affect my future. It had always been a dream of mine to be a collegiate athlete, and ever since I was younger, being an avid soccer player, and admiring the success stories of accomplished athletes, I had hoped to play soccer in college. I was very involved with my club organization in Maryland and played for my high school team in D.C which competed in the fall. When the spring season of my freshman year approached, I had to make a decision about what sport to play. The majority of my friends were trying out for lacrosse, and my desire to spend an extra few hours with them after school ultimately influenced me to try out as well despite the fact that it was something entirely new to me.
My fondness for the sport of lacrosse grew following my freshman year, as did my commitment. As my level of seriousness increased, my drive for soccer lessened. I chose to focus my attention on lacrosse, and therefore joined a club team whose main purpose was to get their players recruited to play in college. This team opened my eyes to the world of lacrosse, and made me increasingly excited about the opportunities I was about to experience.
The college recruiting process is a difficult one, and something that is easy to get wrapped up in. As a junior in high school I received a lot of attention from college programs, and at first found myself completely overwhelmed. I knew I had to set some standards as to what was important to me in a university. First and foremost, I wanted to go to a school where I could develop not only athletically, but academically. The social scene was an important factor as well, as was location. I knew I wanted to go south, and take advantage of the warm weather and southern hospitality that that particular culture possesses.
After narrowing down my options based on the above classifications, I ended up accepting 5 official visits. I traveled to Georgetown University, University of Richmond, University of Virginia, James Madison University and Vanderbilt University my junior year of high school. Each of the first four schools I visited had specific qualities that I could relate to and that I really admired. I found myself in an unfamiliar state of mind one of utter confusion. I knew I would be happy at any of the schools I visited, and did not know how to differentiate between them. At first I was apprehensive about adding another school to the mix, however figured I should finish the process out and take my last official visit to Vanderbilt. The minute I stepped on the campus in Nashville, Tennessee everything felt right. I not only loved the team and the coaching staff, but I felt that Vanderbilt was a school where I would enjoy myself outside of lacrosse. I was right and I really enjoyed my experience at Vanderbilt.
You never know what can happen from an athletic stand point injuries ail individuals and programs deteriorate. You have to make sure the school itself is a right fit for your personality, rather than completely base your decision on whether or not you like the team and coaches.
From the beginning I was a competitive swimmer and I knew that I wanted to swim in college. For swimming, and many sports, your junior year is the most important year. I cannot stress that enough. It is the year that colleges really start to take notice of who are the standout athletes.
Fortunately for me, I swam for a fantastic High School team where college coaches visited our program on a weekly basis. Once July came around coaches started calling and the process became very exciting. These calls were long, but gave me good insight into which schools were really interested. Coaches flew down to see me perform, eat dinner at my house and try to win me over. All of this attention was fantastic; however what it really came down to was what did I want? Where did I want to go to school? Where would I feel most comfortable? What program would take me the furthest? Being selective is very important as you do not want to waste the coach or your time. My advice is to also notice what coach is constantly contacting you, is it the assistant or is it the head coach?
I took my trips to University of Tennessee, Auburn University, University of Florida, Villanova University and Southern Methodist University. My first trip was to University of Tennessee very early on. For anyone going through recruitment make sure that you keep your eyes and mind open and dont let other programs no where you stand. Many programs assumed I was going to choose University of Tennessee, however I ended up deciding to go to Auburn University. I chose Auburn University because of my experience there, the great letter I received days after my visit, the fact that one of my high school teammates was in the program and of course that I new they would be a top program.
On a side note, Villanova University was amazing. I loved the small environment and that it was right outside of Philadelphia. The coach showed me an amazing trip and it was hard to inform him that I chose Auburn. Therefore, I made it a point to be friendly every time I saw him at a competition because you never know what lies in the future. Therefore, you should always be kind and considerate to the programs that you turn down and for me it paid off as a year after being at Auburn University, I decided it wasnt the right fit for me.
Once released, which is a process, I was able to start the school search and visiting process all over again. I looked at Notre Dame University, University of Virginia, Syracuse University and Villanova University. I was now one year older and wiser so to look at the academics first then the program. As it turned out, Villanova University was the perfect fit and I never to this day regret the decision I made to become a Wildcat.
As a high school athlete thinking of being a collegiate athlete you must weigh your pros and cons, think about now but also think about the future and open your mind to new locations and new experience. For me moving from Florida to the North East was an adjustment but one that allowed me to grow as a person as I explored a new cultural experiences. Also, look at the team and ask yourself if you would consider these people as family one day, because that is one college teammates end up being like.
The recruiting process is a blast, trust me, but do bring a journal and take notes. Be yourself, not someone else and listen to your heart and your head.
My experience with the recruiting process for college lacrosse began at an early age. My destiny was written by the high school I chose to attend: St. Mary's of Annapolis. This school had a legacy of producing fantastic, talented women's lacrosse players, and was arguably one of the best programs in the country. I had been playing lacrosse since the early age of seven years old; always played above my year, and always played with girls that were years older than me.
My high school coach was also my club lacrosse coach, Sue Chittim. Chittim, as we lovingly referred to her as, was one of the best coaches in the Anne Arundel Area, and had a lot of history and connections with college coaches. Early on in my sophomore year fall, I began to write letters expressing my interest in different college lacrosse programs. I sent my letters EVERYWHERE! I sent letters to every Ivy League school, to Hopkins, Maryland, Notre Dame, Stanford, basically every college or university across the nation I could ever be interested in to play Division I lacrosse. I included academic information about myself and expressed interest in their lacrosse programs. I immediately began a correspondence with these schools, and invited them to watch me play in tournaments and game throughout the rest of my career.
By the end of my junior year of high school, I began to stand out as one of the best high school lacrosse players in the area. I was named All-County, All-Metro, and All-American. This was the most important recruiting time of my life: Junior year summer. I went to as many tournaments as I could, played lacrosse all through the year, and tried my best to stand out as an all-around talented athlete. This time in my life could have been severely stressful, although I never perceived it to be. To me, I was just playing the sport I loved and having the time of my life with my teammates, who were also my best friends.
On July 1st, I began to receive phone calls from various coaches around the country who had seen me play. I was recruited by Yale University, University of Notre Dame, Penn State University, Dartmouth College, Georgetown University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Delaware, University of Richmond, Princeton University, and Loyola College, among various other schools. I was also recruited by many D-III schools, but was uninterested in pursuing that venue.
This was a process of mutual selection. The schools that were interested in me had to want me due to my criterion as a player, and respectively, I had to want them due to their criterion as a college. I talked with countless coaches, assistant coaches, and consulted my parents as much as possible. I finally narrowed it down to the following: Penn State University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Richmond and Princeton University. As an athlete, you can only take five official visits to various colleges. I decided four was enough for me.
My first visit to Penn State University was unreal. I got to be on the same football field as Joe Paterno, one of the most admired football coaches of his time. The lacrosse coaches were very nice and welcoming. My mom came with me, and we were both blown away. Penn State University was enormous and despite its size, I was still able to meet with the President of the entire school. Everyone loved being apart of the chaos. It was overwhelming. But, it wasn't truly me.
The next visit I went to was University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution, extremely impressive. Everyone I met was incredibly intelligent. I was blown away by the prestige and the dignity that this institution was known for. The coach was very classy and the team seemed very together and dedicated. To be honest, I was intimidated. I doubted myself, was I really Ivy League material? I had no idea.
My last visit was to the University of Richmond. I was unsure of what to expect. I knew it was small, I knew the South wasn't so up to date on lacrosse culture and I knew they didn't have a boy's lacrosse team, which I wasn't thrilled about.
However, the moment I arrived in Richmond, I knew something was different about this school. I walked onto campus and it just felt right. I loved the close knit feel of the university. I loved the fact that I could walk the entire campus in under 45 minutes. I hung out with the team, and felt the immediate chemistry you feel when you stumble into something truly real, truly unique. I loved the camaraderie between the teammates, from the senior class down to the freshman class as everyone was treated equal on this team. Something clicked in my heart and in my head; I knew I was at home.
I've been at the University of Richmond for four years now. It's the end of my senior year, and I am finally forced to look back on the four years I've spent on my academics, athletics, and interpersonal relationships.
Well, time has certainly flown. The recruiting process made me follow my heart. I've learned that when you follow your instincts, you can't go wrong.
Listen to your parents; accept their advice, but ultimately: decide for yourself. Life will not be over if you choose to go against their wishes. In fact, life is just beginning for you.
Don't discount yourself. If you think you deserve more credit, more recognition, more accountability, then ask for it! What do you have to lose, if you never inquire?
Don't settle for second best. Push yourself, just like you would on the field, until you know you can truly be happy.
Be real. Honestly, if a coach treats you like "all that" when she is recruiting you that doesn't mean you will be when you are on the team. You are going to be at the bottom of the totem pole when you get to college and you are the 'freshmen' and the 'youngest' again. Don't be fooled into thinking you are going to start for college coaches the moment you walk on campus, you'll have to prove yourself to your coaches and teammates.
Don't sweat the small stuff. In the beginning of the recruiting process, you might get ultra frustrated, but it will be fine. There are bumps in the road that is life. Just keep putting the effort in.
I was recruited to numerous schools to play soccer, but the hardest option was picking which one. I have played soccer all my life and knew this was definitely the path I wanted to pursue in college. I had plenty of experience, playing varsity for four years in high school and also playing club ball with one of the most prestigious clubs in the nation.
Even with the honors that I received in high school, I didn't get many coaches knocking down my door to have me. Instead, I attended different showcases to, well, showcase my talents. It is there that recruiters were able to see me play and I would later get to talk to them after the game and determine their interest.
I started to get letters from all types of schools, D-III, D-II, and D-, but I was really looking for a school that would fit my needs both academically and athletically. I was like any other kid out there, confused, and just wanting to find something. All I can say is don't settle for anything. I had offers from West Chester University, Rutgers University, Quinnipiac University, and Delaware University. These were the few, of many schools, where the head coach either called me or came to a couple games to see me play.
I then started to play the field; I wanted to see exactly what the offers were and then weigh it on a scale to see if the shoe fit so to speak. For me, Rutgers and Quinnipiac became the top two schools real quick and I focused from there. Rutgers had an amazing soccer program, but the location wasn't ideal for me. I then visited Quinnipiac; it was a real small school, tucked away in the mountains of Connecticut. The campus was really nice, it was D-I (known more for ice hockey than soccer), and they had the academic program I was looking for. The coach was able to throw some scholarship money my way, and that was it, I decided to attend Quinnipiac.
Don't settle, do your research and really take the time to see schools before making a decision.
Don't sell yourself short - the difference between high school sports and college sports is like the difference between an 8th grade mixer and a senior prom.
The recruiting process began rather suddenly for me. I got my first letter my sophomore year when I played both JV and Varsity. I got a few more letters during the offseason from other programs and fall of my junior season they started coming in about 10-15 letters a day.
Football is a little different than other sports because high school football is where it all happens there is no club or AAU teams that help you in recruiting, just camps at different schools where you can showcase your abilities. Although I never went to this type of camp, I recommend attending if you're serious about going to one of the schools. It's a good way to see how you match up with others and for the coaching staff to take a look at you in person as well as get your name out there.
A few things to consider when you're being recruited, regardless of what sport, is that you're selling yourself just as much as the recruiter is selling the school. Be respectful and humble to all recruiters regardless of your interest level in their school. If someone takes the time to talk to you about playing for them, you should at least take the time to hear them out.
I was injured during my senior year which heavily hurt me being recruited by big time D-I schools. However, I was still able to get a scholarship because I listened to smaller schools even though I never thought I'd end up at one (which I did). There is no such thing as "that will never happen to me" because whatever "that" is CAN happen. So you want to give yourself options and NEVER burn a bridge unless you know for sure that it is not the school for you. College sports are a business and recruiters will tell you everything you want to hear, but until you sign a letter of intent it is all just talk. Recruiters have no loyalty to you until they offer you a scholarship and/or you commit and sign that letter of intent. Therefore you have to lookout for yourself and not get too caught up in your own hype.
- Have fun with it. Go on your visits and enjoy being celebrated for your hard work.
- Trust and accept advice ONLY from people you already know and trust - like your family and coaches because they are more likely to have your best interest at heart
- Choose a school AND an athletic program, not just an athletic program. Most likely you're not going to go pro in whatever sport you're being recruited to play so you need to make sure you go to a school that meets your academic desires and career aspirations as well (and if you don't have academic desires or career aspirations you may want to give it some thought).
- Become knowledgeable about your choices/considerations. If you're interested in a school do some research and background checking about it on your own. Don't just accept what the recruiter gives and tells you.
- Continue to work hard. You're in this situation because of your hard work at what you do, so don't slack now just because you're being recruited.
- Stay out of trouble. There is no worse label to obtain during recruiting or any time in your life for that matter as a person who has "character problems" which basically means you're probably more of a risk than you're worth. If there's one thing you have absolute control over it's showcasing the fact that you're a good person and not a troublemaker. This will show that you would do a good job representing their school. This factor may be the thing that gives you the edge over someone else that they're recruiting.
I had known for a long time I wanted to play softball at the next levelI just wasnt sure what type of school I wanted to attend. My recruiting experience and how I ended up making my decision was atypical, but if I could go back and do it all over again, Id be more than happy for things to work out the way they did.
I played up a year for almost as long as I had been playing softball. It was great until all of my teammates went on to college and I was left behind for one more summer. Many of them, and other girls I had become friends with from playing against over the years, went on to play ball at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. I knew they had a strong program and the university was only a couple hours away from my home town of St. Louis. When July 1 prior to my senior year rolled around and they expressed interest in signing me, it seemed like a logical option and quickly became the option in which I invested the most interest. In retrospect, I believe this hindered my desire to seek out other opportunities and develop other options.
While I was mostly hoping things would work out with SIUC, I half-heartedly continued exploring my optionsMissouri State University, Washington University and Loyola University Chicago were the leading candidates. I went on a visit to Missouri State sometime near the beginning of my senior year and didnt get a strong impression one way or the other. Washington University seemed like a good choice because of the high academic standard, but because they are Division III they couldnt offer any amount of athletic scholarship and the tuition was too high.
Things got interesting when it came time to schedule a visit to Loyola. Since high school softball in Missouri is played in the fall and my team was heavily favored to make it back to the state playoffs, I explained to the coach I would only be able to visit the weekend she proposed if my team was knocked out of the playoffs. She said that was okay but there was another recruit coming to visit and the scholarship offer would go to the first person that accepted it.
Fearing that the other recruit would take the position on the team before I could even visit, I had to make one of the most important decisions of my life based on a lot of unknowns. I talked things over with my parentsthings didnt seem to be working out with SIUC and the offer from Loyola was too good to pass up. I called one of my long-time teammates from summer ball who signed with Loyola the previous year, asked her a ton of questions, and trusted the answers she gave me. Shortly thereafter, I signed a letter of intent to play for Loyola University Chicago without seeing the campus (other than online) or meeting the team.
I wouldnt advise making your decision without doing either of those things. Luckily, it worked out for me despite two coaching changes and learning that there never was another recruit that was being considered for the spot. I had the opportunity to play with amazing teammates, enjoyed the community and academic challenge Loyola provided, and fell in love with the city of Chicago.
I would suggest being as proactive as possible in the college search. Read as much as you possible early on in the process to get an idea of what youre looking for in a prospective school and what you hope to get out of your student-athlete experience. Explore several options in case things dont work out with your first choice. Take the initiative to send videos, write letters, make phone calls and return questionnaires yourselfit reflects positively on you as being responsible, mature and prepared to make the transition into college life. Make your decision based on the entire package; not just the athletic program. Dont take this opportunity for granted, having the privilege to play sports in college was one of the best experiences of my life. Most of all, good luck to you on your journey!
Playing soccer in college had been a goal for me ever since I joined the EPYSA Olympic Development Program team when I was in middle school. After picking up lacrosse in 8th grade, lacrosse seemed to be another viable option for playing a sport in college but by sophomore year I knew soccer was where I wanted to focus my attention. Soccer was my passion and the obvious choice so once that decision was made the center of attention went to competing in as many soccer tournaments in front of college coaches as possible.
After numerous tournaments and reading one huge guide to colleges book, I created a list of potential schools. I looked into schools that had good academic reputations but also a womens soccer team that was in the middle of the pack at the D-1 level. I put together a packet for coaches which included my resume and a video and waited to hear back. I received a few calls from schools I had sent information to, as well as, additional schools who had seen me play in tournaments over the past year or so. A few of the schools I was not interested in at all but others seemed worth looking into based on my criteria for a college.
I received information from San Diego State and being a surfer, thought it would be a fantastic place to go, however, they had never seen me play and I was hoping to receive a scholarship. Other schools I spoke to were Boston College, Boston University, University of Georgia and Georgetown. The one thing I kept in the back of my mind was that I was not going anywhere after college with soccer so I just wanted to go to a school that really wanted me for their program.
One summer day I received a call from Scott Grzenda at the University of Delaware. I dont know exactly why, but I never even looked into the school. I didnt think that it would be a school I would be thrilled at but my parents began educating me on the school and I soon found out it had a lot to offer and had a great academic reputation, which I was totally unaware of at the time.
Another day I received a call from St. Joes University and decided although the school is in my backyard (I went to Episcopal Academy which is right across the street), it might be worth looking into especially because I had heard great things about the coach and team and knew they had a great marketing program which was what I wanted to major in.
After having additional conversations with coaches from many schools I decided to take two official visits, one to St. Joes and another to University of Delaware. I only wanted to visit a school I was thoroughly interested in and those two schools seemed like the best fit for me. Interestingly enough I learned that the St. Joes University coach had gone to University of Delaware and that both schools were very similar in their programs and team style. A huge rivalry exists between the teams as coaches from both sides have lost players to the other school.
I first visited St. Joes University and had a fantastic time. The team was great as was the coach but I wasnt a fan of turf and the size of the school was smaller than what I wanted. On the up-side, it was close to home so my parents could come to games and at the time, I had a boyfriend in the area which was something that was in the back of my mind.
I had a wonderful visit to St. Joes University but still had a visit to University of Delaware to meet the coach, team and see the school. As soon as I walked onto the campus, I was amazed at how beautiful it was and immediately knew that if I liked the team, I wanted to go. Scott, the head coach, was great and I immediately got the impression that although soccer and academics were top priorities, he wanted the girls to have a life outside of soccer and school - which was the perfect balance I was looking for. When I met the team I immediately got the feeling it was the right place for me and the team was fantastic. The best part was that they seemed so close. Not only were they tight on the field but they were off the field as well. They were good friends with so many teams on campus such as the Mens Lacrosse, Soccer, Basketball, and Football teams, as well as, the Womens Lacrosse, Field Hockey, and Volleyball teams. It was like they had an athlete sorority/frat system of their own.
After coming back from University of Delaware I knew that it was a great fit and a scholarship sealed the deal. The last thing to evaluate before I committed was what life would be like without soccer. Knowing what the campus was like, and meeting some people who had loved the school who did not play for a sports team, I knew I could be happy there even if for some reason I could not play soccer anymore.
I hope this gives a little insight into my experience and the process I went through to end up at the University of Delaware playing Womens Soccer. Never once do I regret going to the school and my best friends today are from that soccer team.
Listen to your parents and take into account their thoughts and ideas. They know more than you think and have been there before you. And who knows, you might be surprised with the outcome of a decision because of their recommendation.
Never go to a school because of a boyfriend or girlfriend. First and formost, it may not work out, but even more importantly, you need to go to a school that will offer you the best experience and help you grow as a person. There are not many times it's ok to be selfish but this is one of them - so take it.
Pick a school with a team that you feel comfortable with. You will be seeing these girls or guys everyday and they will be the only ones that really know what you are going through juggling school, sports and a social life. To give you some insight on how close our team was one of the girls on my team got married in November and there were 12 of us there at the wedding.
Pick a school you will be happy at without your sport. You may not think about it now, since all you can think about is playing your favorite sport in college, but things change. At the University of Delaware, there had been a few players who decided not to play anymore but they definitely still had a fantastic experience at school. Make sure you would be able to do the same.
There are so many wonderful schools with amazing programs out there. You'll find some schools with great athletic programs and others with great academic programs, but it is important to find the right balance for you. Take in any and all information you can get from friends and family, but remember that it is your decision to make in the end. You are the one going to the school - not your friends, family or anyone else - so pick the right school for you.
I grew up playing basketball, soccer and baseball year round, but prior to entering high school, as is becoming more and more common these days, I decided to focus most of my efforts on one sport, basketball. While I continued to play baseball and soccer throughout high school, basketball became my central focus and year round activity. When I reached high school I began receiving heavy interest from D-1 and D-3 collegiate basketball coaches and also some moderate interest from local D-1 and D-3 baseball programs.
The beginning of the recruiting process was very new and exciting for me. In my sophomore year of high school I can remember looking forward to going home each day to see what schools I received letters from. As the year went on, the countless letters turned into nightly phone calls from various coaches. Finally, coaches began showing up at my practices and games. All of these happenings were very encouraging and provided me with a lot of confidence.
Since I decided early on to play basketball I focused most of my interest in schools that were recruiting me to play basketball. While I was still considering playing baseball I decided it would only be for a school that was also recruiting me to play basketball. At the beginning of the process my main desire was to play for a D-1 collegiate basketball program. However, even as a teenager I was relatively realistic with myself and knew that my basketball abilities were not going to lead me to the NBA. Thus, I decided it would be in my best interest not to rule out D-3 schools and instead, use basketball to help me get into the best academic school possible.
Much of the recruiting interest I received came from lower level D-1 conferences like the Patriot League (Bucknell, Colgate and Lafayette) and the Ivy League (Cornell, Columbia, Brown, UPenn and Harvard) and from an endless amount of D-3 schools (including Johns Hopkins, Williams and Amherst). At this point in the game, my decision hinged on my D-1 versus D-3 preference, the different commitments involved in both, the location of the schools (proximity to my hometown and urban/rural setting), and the academic prestige of the schools.
Although NCAA regulations allow up to five official visits to D-1 schools and unlimited amount of visits to D-3 schools, by my senior year I was already completely exhausted with the recruiting process and eager to make my decision. As a result I decided to take D-1 visits to Cornell, Colgate, Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, I also took a visit to Johns Hopkins University.
After completing my visits I felt comfortable with all the schools, the coaches and my potential teammates. Ultimately, I wanted to remain close to home but not so close that I felt I had never left. As it turned out, the two-hour drive to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore seemed to be a perfect fit. My decision was made easier by the fact that I felt very comfortable in Baltimore, my teammates were great, and the commitment level was right in line with what I was looking for. I am very thankful for the life experience I received from the recruiting process and my time as a student athlete at Johns Hopkins University.
Map out exactly what you are looking for in a school and an athletic program as soon as possible.
Always be upfront with coaches. It is not rude to be honest and coaches will appreciate you telling them the truth.
Your decision is more then just choosing an athletic program and you should bring academics, location and your general happiness with the school into your decision.