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From the Trenches

February 11, 2008

Chris's Story

Posted by saraallent Feb 11, 2008

University of Richmond ‘04 - Football

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. 

 

My Advice:

 

- 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.

 

Good luck and enjoy the recruiting process!!!

 

Chris

 

 

 

 

 

For more information check out the Active Recruiting 101 special section.

2,281 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: football, recruiting, virginia, richmond, recruit, recruiting-101

Trish's Story

Posted by saraallent Feb 11, 2008

Loyola University Chicago ‘06 - Softball

I had known for a long time I wanted to play softball at the next level—I just wasn’t 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, I’d 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 options—Missouri 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 didn’t 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 couldn’t 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 parents—things didn’t 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 wouldn’t 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 you’re looking for in a prospective school and what you hope to get out of your student-athlete experience. Explore several options in case things don’t work out with your first choice. Take the initiative to send videos, write letters, make phone calls and return questionnaires yourself—it 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. Don’t 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!

 

Trish

 

 

 

 

 

For more information check out the Active Recruiting 101 special section.

809 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: chicago, softball, recruiting, recruit, recruiting-101