University of Michigan 06 - Softball
My whole life I knew I wanted to go to Notre Dame. I researched other schools but it was only to please my mom; I knew Notre Dame was the place for me. I started my recruiting process by throwing my eggs all into one basket big mistake! One thing I didnt realize that I know now, recruiting is based on having what the team needs. If youre a pitcher and the school already has 3 stud pitchers, start looking at others squads that need pitching in the next few years. In my case, Notre Dame didnt need a catcher so I wasnt a high priority. It didnt work out there.
Pay attention to your gut when youre on visits. I visited Hillsdale College in Southeastern Michigan. It is a small D-2 school with extremely nice facilities. The date was September 11, 2001. I watched the second plane collide into the towers from a computer lab, surrounded by college students, none of whom I knew. Bless their hearts, they tried to make the visit continue, doing their best to sell the school, but there was nothing they could do, I couldnt attend there because it was such a traumatic day.
My next visit was destiny. After my quest for Notre Dame crumbled in the summer before my senior year I sent out letters to any school I had time to research. On all my letters I had copied the schools emblem and put it right in the middle on top, making it look like official business. The coaches loved it! The school I fell in love with was Loyola University Chicago. I was looking for a program that would help me improve but where I could also have an impact in my first year and beyond. I truly loved my future teammates and that is crucial; youll be spending an enormous amount of time with them. The coach was genuine and even though she did tell me she was recruiting another catcher to make me hurry my decision process, I later found out there was no other girl. The school had the program I wanted and the location as well. All in all, there were many ways in which I clicked with this program.
If I had rested my decision only on the head coach, I would have been lost when I found out that the coach took an assistant coaching position at Michigan State University weeks before I was to begin my freshman year. I eventually did transfer to the University of Michigan because too many things started changing at Loyola. I no longer fit there and I needed a place to belong. Its a scary leap, transferring, but it isnt the end of the world. I helped win a National Championship and was an All-American my senior year.
Do your research
Listen to your gut
Have faith that everything will work out in the end
For more information check out the Active Recruiting 101 special section.