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From the Trenches

3 Posts tagged with the division-1 tag

John's Story

Posted by saraallent Mar 4, 2008

Dartmouth College '01 - Men's Lacrosse

I remember my recruiting period as being a total blast. I was behind the ball in getting to know colleges and gathering an idea of where’d I’d like to go to school. So through recruiting camps, and receiving letters from different colleges, it opened up a whole world of colleges I had never thought of.


My recruiting process began by mailing out letters and resumes to the coaches of the schools I was initially interested in my junior spring. I was pretty certain I wanted to attend a bigger school in an urban atmosphere. After a few weeks of correspondence and speaking with different coaches that summer, I had a sizeable list of schools where both I and the coach there shared a mutual interest. As a recruit you’re only allowed five official visits to D-I schools, so I had to make some early choices.


Initially, my list included schools of every size and shape, from Washington College to the Naval Academy. I had a wide range of choices. I quickly narrowed down my choices to three schools, Boston College, Dartmouth College, and Brown University. Though Dartmouth College didn’t fit my initial criteria, it was recommended to me by one of my high school coaches whom I had a lot of respect for, so I figured I would at least explore the idea.


My interest in Boston College stemmed from the fact that my older brother had played there. I had already spent a lot of time there and didn’t really need to take an official recruiting trip. I had essentially been taking recruiting trips there since I was 14. I knew what the school was about and knew I would really like it there.


The only two official visits I took were to Brown University and Dartmouth College, on consecutive weekends my senior fall, and I couldn’t have visited two schools that were more different from each other. I enjoyed my weekend at Brown University. I got along great with the coaching staff, was really impressed by the athletic and academic facilities, and definitely felt like I could have gone there. However, the one catch was that socially, I didn’t really click with anyone I met there outside of the lacrosse team. I came away weighing the pros and cons – it was a top caliber lacrosse program, but would I enjoy my time there off the lacrosse field?


The following week I traveled to Hanover to visit Dartmouth College – small school, remote, and not anywhere near anything resembling a city. I figured there was no chance this school was for me, but I figured, “What the heck? At least it will be a weekend away from home.” My first impressions were that it was one of the most beautifully classic campuses I had ever seen. It was small, pastoral, with the central green surrounded by the old brick and tin roof buildings, and the clock tower crowning the far end of the green. It also didn’t hurt that it was the peak of the fall foliage season.


I met with the coaches after my arrival and got a tour of the athletic facilities. Right off the bat, I knew that the head coach and I would never have a great relationship – his style of coaching was very different from the style I best responded to. On top of that, the facilities at Dartmouth College at the time were pretty poor, especially next to those at Brown University and Boston College. My first afternoon there didn’t do much to change my initial lack of interest in the school. I then spent the weekend with some guys from the team, and I was immediately struck at how happy everyone was at this school. The more I spoke with people, both athletes and non-athletes; I was amazed how almost no one had a bad thing to say about their experiences there. And the more time I spent in social settings there, the more comfortable I was with the people around me, especially compared to my time at Brown University.


I spent a weekend at Dartmouth College and came away with essentially the opposite impression of my time at Brown University – I wasn’t thrilled with the athletic side of the college, but I was enamored by the academic and social structures.


Now came the hard part – the decision. Generally, college coaches will require a commitment from you before they will take your name through the admissions process. Both of the staffs at Brown University and Dartmouth College were pretty clear, I wasn’t being admitted without committing to play. I was offered an academic scholarship by Boston College, so I knew I was in there. I agonized for a week over my choices, pouring over each college’s information package, plowing through college selection books. I was trying to find a very hard, quantifiable reason why I should choose one over the other.


Each had something I liked, as well as things I didn’t like. I loved that Boston College was in a big city with a big time sports program and was offering me a full academic ride, but I felt compelled to get out from under my brother’s shadow and blaze my own path. I loved the lacrosse program at Brown University and its campus in Providence. At Dartmouth College, I knew I’d love my time there socially and in classes, but was not excited to play in a lacrosse program with those facilities and a coach I had a bad feeling about.


In the end, I made probably the most mature decision I’ve ever made. In a moment of unexpected clarity, I simply asked myself, “If I get hurt and cannot continue to play lacrosse, where will I be happiest?” When I looked at it from this angle, it was such a simple decision for me. Against my initial requirements of a bigger school in a big city, I chose the small, rural college in New Hampshire. For once, I put my academics ahead of my athletics. It was the best decision I ever made. As fate would have it, I ended up sustaining a career ending injury my sophomore year and I loved every single day I spent on that campus for four years.


My Advice:


  • Be on your best behavior at all times. College coaches are just as concerned about who you are off the field as on. I received a letter from one coach, essentially terminating their interest in me. I later found out it was because they saw me slam my stick on the ground in frustration during a game. There are so many athletes out there these days that coaches are looking for reasons to cross you off their list.

  • Don’t pigeonhole yourself to one type of school. What you’re interested in as a sophomore or junior in high school can quickly change as you mature.

  • Don’t choose a school based solely on the sport you play. If suddenly you can’t play anymore, you sure don’t want to be stuck at a school you can’t stand outside of your sport.

  • If you are really interested in a school, but are not hearing from the coach, don’t give up. Coaches love players that are persistent and show a real interest and determination to play for their program.

  • Lastly, don’t play one sport in high school. Collegiate coaches want athletes, not specialists.








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

1,635 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: ncaa, recruiting, athlete, college, lacrosse, recruit, recruiting-101, division-1, new-hampshire, dartmouth

Araceli's Story

Posted by saraallent Feb 25, 2008

University of Richmond ‘06 - Women's Basketball

When I was in eighth grade I decided that I wanted to get a basketball scholarship to college. At that point, I had read about high school girls from my city that had received full basketball scholarships, so I assumed it wasn't a difficult process. I started watching a lot more women's basketball games. I went to UC Santa Barbara games, and watched the big college teams play on TV, like UConn, Duke, Tennessee. I watched players like Sue Bird, Chamique Holdsclaw and Diana Taurasi play. I then found out that if you weren't a top 10 player in the nation, college coaches weren't begging you, it was a much more involved process than I had imagined.


In my sophomore year of high school, with the help of my AAU coach, I started making lists of my target schools.  First, I decided what areas (cities/regions) I was interested in.  Then I looked into the conferences and schools in those areas.  I was sure to be very realistic about the conferences and schools that I looked into. I knew that if I sent game tapes to Tennessee, Duke, or Stanford, I wasn't going to get any responses so I wasn't going to waste time and money doing that. I also took the time to look at teams' rosters.  As a point guard, I liked to read about each teams' point guard.  Then I sent out letters, my basketball schedules and a game tape to those targeted schools. Some schools showed interest after watching game film and others never responded, but I continued this process throughout my junior year.


The summer before my senior year in high school, I spent traveling to NCAA sanctioned tournaments with my AAU basketball team. There were college coaches from all divisions and all areas of the United States present at these tournaments. To my surprise, several D-I college coaches expressed interest in me. Most of those schools were at the lower end of their conferences, but I didn't care.


In the fall of my senior year, I started narrowing down my targeted schools. The NCAA allows prospective student-athletes to take five official visits to college campuses. They also allow "home visits" in which a college coach is allowed to visit the recruit's home. I had about four different coaches visit my home. This was great because it gave my family an opportunity to meet those coaches and ask questions also. In addition, I scheduled five official visits and had planned on taking all of those visits.


My first visit was to the University of Richmond in Virginia. I had the opportunity to tour the athletic facilities, play pick-up basketball with the team, and socialize with the coaches and players for a weekend. I enjoyed everything the school had to offer. My next visit was to the University of Pacific in Northern California.  It was the same itinerary as my last visit and I enjoyed everything the school had to offer. 


After taking my second visit, I realized early that the University of Richmond was the "right fit" for me.  It's tough to say what I especially liked about the school, the team or the coaching staff, but this is where I wanted to go.  I canceled my three remaining official visits and a year later started my freshman year at the University of Richmond, where I spent four great years as a student-athlete.


My Advice:


Always maintain a very good relationship with any and all coaches that you talk to, even if you don't choose to play for that coach, you never know when you may want to contact him/her again.








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

976 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: basketball, ncaa, recruiting, university-of-richmond, recruit, recruiting-101, division-1

Cory's Story

Posted by saraallent Feb 19, 2008

Quinnipiac University '06 - Men's Soccer

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.


My advice:


  • 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.










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

1,141 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: ncaa, soccer, recruiting, college, recruit, recruiting-101, rhode-island, quinnipiac, division-1