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February 27, 2008

Brynn's Story

Posted by saraallent Feb 27, 2008

UCLA '05 - Women's Volleyball

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 didn’t 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 didn’t 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 wasn’t questioning my decision at all. I knew I had made the right one. 

 

My Advice:

 

  • Keep your options open

  • Narrow down schools – make a list – 30 to 20 to 10 to 5

  • If coaches are not contacting you, don’t be afraid to contact them – MARKET YOURSELF

  • Make unofficial visits to campuses – make sure school is in session 

 

Enjoy the process!

 

Brynn

 

 

 

 

 

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

750 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: volleyball, recruiting, california, recruit, recruiting-101, ucla

Kevin's Story

Posted by saraallent Feb 27, 2008

University of Richmond ‘06 - Men's Basketball

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.

 

My Advice:

  • 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.

 

Good luck!

 

Kevin

 

 

 

 

 

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

774 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: basketball, ncaa, recruiting, college, university-of-richmond, richmond, recruit, spiders, recruiting-101

Blake's Story

Posted by saraallent Feb 27, 2008

Cal State University ‘01 - Men's Soccer

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.

 

Best of luck in the process!

 

Regards,

 

Blake

 

 

 

 

 

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

672 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: ncaa, soccer, recruiting, college, california, recruit, recruiting-101