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Colin's Story

Posted by saraallent Mar 3, 2008

University of Richmond ‘06 - Men's Soccer

I knew pretty early on that I wanted to play soccer in college and potentially pursue a career in the sport after graduation.  Unlike most student-athletes looking to play a collegiate sport however, I did not start my school search until my senior year of high school.  I knew of the top programs throughout the country because I heard the same names making it to the NCAA tournament year in and year out, but it was not until October of my senior year that I began contacting programs and receiving interest from other schools as well.

 

Playing for an elite club team in the Washington, DC area, we played in several tournaments known as “College Showcase Tournaments.”  Only the best teams applying are accepted based on previous regular season and tournament records, and several dozen scouts and coaches show up to watch the games over the weekend.  Through these tournaments I began talking with several schools that I previously would not have considered, such as University of California San Diego, College of the Holy Cross, Georgetown University, and George Washington University.  It was not until later that the University of Richmond came into the mix. 

 

I took official visits to College of the Holy Cross, Georgetown University, and George Washington University; reluctantly, I went to the University of Richmond at the request of my mother.  I had a different experience at each school and received different feelings from each school’s coaching staff and team, which is why it is very important to visit any place you are seriously considering.  Out of my top three choices, I eliminated Georgetown University almost immediately after I returned home because I did not feel it was the right fit for me.  I had a great time at George Washington University, but I was very impressed with the coaches and players at the University of Richmond and even though I visited on a blistering cold day in March, I still thought the campus was beautiful. 

 

To the chagrin of the Georgetown University and George Washington University coaches, I signed with the University of Richmond.  I remained laid back throughout the whole process, and signed because the University of Richmond had the complete package for me: a Division I school that was both academically and athletically strong, a quality soccer program, and a chance for me to make a major impact in my freshman year.  

 

Of course, everyone wants to win championships, but I wanted to be a major contributing factor towards that, so I said no to several top quality programs that showed interest, such as the University of Virginia and Wake Forest University.  I had a very productive four years at the University of Richmond, both on the field and in the classroom, and am very happy with the decision I made to attend.  I even got to spend a year living my dream and playing in Europe after graduation. 

 

As long as you know what complete package you are looking for in a school and program, there is no need to stress your final decision.  You won’t regret it.

 

My Advice:

 

  • Start your school search early!  While the right school eventually came knocking for me, I am sure several opportunities were missed by waiting so long.  Most athletes tend to have their schools finalized before winter break of their senior year of high school.

  • Do not be selective in your initial school search.  You may find that a dream school you have had for years just isn’t the right fit for you.  Be sure to have several different options to pursue.

  • Know what you want before you go after it.  I wanted to be an impact freshman, not just to be on a perennial championship team, so that helped me narrow down my list of potentials.

  • Academics come first, for good reason.  Your opportunities will expand with how well you do in the classroom, and you won’t have to worry about not being accepted to play for your dream program for academic reasons.  Also, if a school cannot offer you an athletic scholarship, you may be able to earn it through academics.

  • Dream big, always work hard, and never give up. 

 

Best of luck!

 

Colin

 

 

 

 

 

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

1,155 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: ncaa, soccer, recruiting, college, virginia, richmond, recruit, recruiting-101

Lauren's Story

Posted by saraallent Mar 3, 2008

Villanova University '02 - Women's Lacrosse

The best piece of advice that I have ever received while being recruited came from my high school lacrosse coach.  It is something every athlete needs to ask themselves. “But, what if I get hurt and can’t play, would I still want to go to this college without being on the team?”

 

At the invincible age of 17, many do not give this question enough consideration. After the endless hours of practice, letter writing, camps, college visits and flipping through more pamphlets of schools that you did not know even existed – being injured is normally the last thing on your mind. You are still debating who has the best program, what year will you touch the grass on the field, scholarship potential, and will I get along with the girls on the team.  However, deciding on a college is a decision that is going to impact you for the next four years and beyond. Granted no one goes into their decision thinking, if I tear my ACL this is exactly the school I would want to be at.  Rather, make sure you are taking it all in. It is so easy to wear blinders as a recruit especially because the coach, team and whatever activities are lined up during your trip are all there to sway you into deciding to come to that school.  Buyer be warned, this could all be taken away with a career ending injury. Then you have more free time on your hands then you know what to do with and you are amongst the pool of regular students.  So make sure that you like the school, its climate, its student body, extra activities and most importantly, that you leave with the education you came there to earn.

 

Good luck!

 

Lauren

 

 

 

 

 

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

1,206 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: ncaa, recruiting, college, lacrosse, recruit, recruiting-101, villanova, pennsylvania

Rob's Story

Posted by saraallent Mar 3, 2008

Millersville University '04 - Men's Soccer

I have experienced college athletics from several different perspectives.  The high school senior trying to find the best fit, the collegiate athlete experiencing things first hand, and now I am a college coach.  Of course with "hinds sight always being 20/20" I would love to do it all again but in the opposite order.  Going into my college experience knowing what I know now would have made some big differences in my story.  That is not to say I did not enjoy myself, or have any regrets with the route I chose. 

 

I graduated high school with several options, I could go to a mid-level Division I school and play soccer which was something I always wanted to do, however I was also being recruited at the Division II and III levels for basketball and lacrosse.  I knew for a long time that soccer was what I wanted to pursue in college, so that decision wasn't the hard part, although putting down the basketball for good after high school did prove to be difficult.  The hard part as it is for most high school seniors was choosing the school that was best for me. 

 

Coming from the Philadelphia area, I wanted to stay relatively close to home.  In the beginning I was talking to St. Joe's University, Villanova University, Drexel University, Lasalle University, and University of Delaware.  As time went on I added some schools and dropped some others.  My final selection came down to University of Delaware and Villanova University, both of which are Division I.  Also, some Division II schools including West Chester University, East Stroudsburg University, and Millersville University.  I had given some serious thought to two D-III schools in Virginia, but decided it was too far from home for me.

 

I went on my five official visits and narrowed the selection down even more.  I ended up attending Millersville University in Lancaster County.  It was a big change from my home town, and I went through a really tough adjustment period my first semester.  I was looking at transferring about mid-way through the season when I wasn't starting and wasn't particularly happy with my playing time.  However, I decided to give it another shot and stick it out and see what became of it and I was really glad I did.  The campus was pretty big, and very nice.  The school had about 8,000 students and there were always things to do, and good people to hang out with.  While playing Division II lacked a lot of the perks and glamour of playing Division, the level was still remarkably high.  I would say with the exception of my first year, I had an amazing experience playing at Millersville University, and it was because of the great teammates I had along the way.

 

My Advice:

 

  • Go on an overnight visit to whatever school you want to go to before you enroll!  Whether you are looking to play sports, or just looking for a good education, the most important part of finding the right school for you, is finding a place where you can see yourself for the next 4-5 years of your life.  Finding a place where you can fit in and feel at home is very important for your happiness.

  • Make sure you get a good impression from the coach of your particular school.  Unfortunately there are a lot of players out there who do not like their coaches much.  Many of them are justified in doing so.  If you get a chance to talk to the players about the coach, do so!  Learn as much as you can, you will find that a lot of the coaches out there are past their time, or really just don't know much about the game.  Finding a school where you can respect the coach is important.

  • Choose a good academic fit.  At the end of the day most of us probably aren't going pro in our sports.  So chose a school that is going to accommodate your academic needs, because the bigger picture is more important in the long run than anything!

 

Good luck! 

 

Rob

 

 

 

 

 

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

775 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: ncaa, soccer, recruiting, college, recruit, recruiting-101, pennsylvania, division-ii

Erin's Story

Posted by saraallent Mar 3, 2008

University of Richmond ‘08 - Women's Lacrosse

Lacrosse for me began in fourth grade. All of my friends had just signed up to play for a Green Hornets team, our local sports organization, and I decided I didn’t want to miss out. From then on I began to realize how popular of a sport it was within my area and how big a part it was going to play in the rest of my life.

 

After I made my high school’s junior varsity lacrosse team my freshman year, I began to notice that almost all of the seniors on both the girls and guys varsity teams had been offered the chance to play in college, with many of them being for Division I teams. I wanted to have this same chance.

 

I started to attend overnight lacrosse camps the summer after my freshman year. Attending the camps was advantageous in several ways; they allowed you to visit different campuses, learn from experienced players and coaches, and gain valuable recruiting visibility. Many of the camps offered today not only have coaches from the school where they are hosted, but they also have coaches from other schools so you are able to meet a variety of different coaches.

 

The next three summers were filled with camps and tournaments. I was doing everything I could so that I could be seen by any coach that saw potential in me. I had no idea where I wanted to go, all I knew was that I didn’t want to go anywhere that was going to be too cold and I wanted to play lacrosse; so needless to say my mind was wide open to any option.

 

During my sophomore year I put together a player profile, sort of like a resume but for sports. I included my contact information, GPA, SATs, position, awards, and any camps or tournaments I had attended or was planning to attend. I sent these profiles to any college coach’s email address I could get my hands on; I just wanted to get my name out there. After a while I began to get a lot of correspondence through the mail. Schools would send their information along with a questionnaire for me to fill out. When July 1st of my senior summer finally approached, I just remember being so nervous to see if any coaches would actually call me. I received a couple of calls and decided to take three of them up on their offers for me to attend official visits.

 

My first visit was to Penn State University. I remember driving onto the campus and being in awe of how big the school was. The team was nice and I had met the assistant coaches several times at various camps so I felt comfortable and ready to learn more about the school. My next visit was to the University of Richmond. This visit was the weekend directly following my Penn State University visit so I was feeling a little stressed, but that all changed when I pulled up on the campus.  My Mom and Dad drove me down for the visit. We got to the school a little early so we were able to drive around and take a look at the campus. Everyone told me that you’ll know which school is right for you the moment you step on the campus. I thought that was ridiculous and that would never happen, but to my surprise I was wrong. The campus was gorgeous, the coaches made me feel wanted and important, and the team seemed like such a cohesive group. I was sold, but I still had one more visit to take. My last visit was to Loyola College in Maryland. It was a short trip from my house and I ended up going at the same time as two of my friends. The school was very similar to the University of Richmond and I loved the housing situation and their food services, but I decided that it was just a little too close to home and at the time, many girls from my high school already played there and I wanted more of a change.

 

I left Loyola College on a Sunday night and by Tuesday I had made my decision. I called Sue Murphy; the Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach at the University of Richmond and told her I wanted to be a part of her team. She was very excited and helpful; she told me how to handle the other coaches that I was turning down. She said to be very kind and to send them a thank you note in the mail; with coaching changes and all conference nominations you never know who will have a say in your future lacrosse career. As soon as I hung up the phone I felt like a thousand pounds had been lifted off my chest, all my hard work had paid off. It was the beginning of October and my college decisions were already made, when everyone else was stressing I was able to sit back and enjoy the rest of my senior year, it was a great feeling.

 

My Advice:

 

  • Start early. It’s never too soon to get your name out there and start communication with different coaches.

  • Attend Camps and Tournaments. Not only do they give you visibility, but they also give you valuable playing and learning experience.

  • Attend any Junior Days or Unofficial Visits you can. Take advantage of any chance you get to see a college campus or meet the coach or team.

  • Attend all of your Official Visits you have committed to. I have heard so many stories of players who almost didn’t attend their last official visit – which actually ended up being the school they attended.

 

Erin

 

 

 

 

 

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

1,041 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: ncaa, recruiting, college, lacrosse, virginia, richmond, recruit, recruiting-101