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.
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.
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.
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.