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From the Trenches

35 Posts tagged with the recruiting tag

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.

2,282 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

Allison's Story

Posted by saraallent Feb 6, 2008

University of Delaware ‘06 - Women’s Soccer

Playing soccer in college had been a goal for me ever since I joined the EPYSA Olympic Development Program team when I was in middle school. After picking up lacrosse in 8th grade, lacrosse seemed to be another viable option for playing a sport in college but by sophomore year I knew soccer was where I wanted to focus my attention. Soccer was my passion and the obvious choice so once that decision was made the center of attention went to competing in as many soccer tournaments in front of college coaches as possible.

 

After numerous tournaments and reading one huge “guide to colleges” book, I created a list of potential schools. I looked into schools that had good academic reputations but also a women’s soccer team that was in the middle of the pack at the D-1 level.  I put together a packet for coaches which included my resume and a video and waited to hear back. I received a few calls from schools I had sent information to, as well as, additional schools who had seen me play in tournaments over the past year or so. A few of the schools I was not interested in at all but others seemed worth looking into based on my criteria for a college.

 

I received information from San Diego State and being a surfer, thought it would be a fantastic place to go, however, they had never seen me play and I was hoping to receive a scholarship. Other schools I spoke to were Boston College, Boston University, University of Georgia and Georgetown. The one thing I kept in the back of my mind was that I was not going anywhere after college with soccer so I just wanted to go to a school that really wanted me for their program.

 

One summer day I received a call from Scott Grzenda at the University of Delaware. I don’t know exactly why, but I never even looked into the school. I didn’t think that it would be a school I would be thrilled at but my parents began educating me on the school and I soon found out it had a lot to offer and had a great academic reputation, which I was totally unaware of at the time.

 

Another day I received a call from St. Joes University and decided although the school is in my backyard (I went to Episcopal Academy which is right across the street), it might be worth looking into especially because I had heard great things about the coach and team and knew they had a great marketing program which was what I wanted to major in.

 

After having additional conversations with coaches from many schools I decided to take two official visits, one to St. Joes and another to University of Delaware. I only wanted to visit a school I was thoroughly interested in and those two schools seemed like the best fit for me. Interestingly enough I learned that the St. Joes University coach had gone to University of Delaware and that both schools were very similar in their programs and team style. A huge rivalry exists between the teams as coaches from both sides have lost players to the other school.

 

I first visited St. Joes University and had a fantastic time. The team was great as was the coach but I wasn’t a fan of turf and the size of the school was smaller than what I wanted. On the up-side, it was close to home so my parents could come to games and at the time, I had a boyfriend in the area which was something that was in the back of my mind.

 

I had a wonderful visit to St. Joes University but still had a visit to University of Delaware to meet the coach, team and see the school. As soon as I walked onto the campus, I was amazed at how beautiful it was and immediately knew that if I liked the team, I wanted to go. Scott, the head coach, was great and I immediately got the impression that although soccer and academics were top priorities, he wanted the girls to have a life outside of soccer and school - which was the perfect balance I was looking for. When I met the team I immediately got the feeling it was the right place for me and the team was fantastic. The best part was that they seemed so close. Not only were they tight on the field but they were off the field as well. They were good friends with so many teams on campus such as the Men’s Lacrosse, Soccer, Basketball, and Football teams, as well as, the Women’s Lacrosse, Field Hockey, and Volleyball teams. It was like they had an athlete sorority/frat system of their own.

 

After coming back from University of Delaware I knew that it was a great fit and a scholarship sealed the deal. The last thing to evaluate before I committed was what life would be like without soccer. Knowing what the campus was like, and meeting some people who had loved the school who did not play for a sports team, I knew I could be happy there even if for some reason I could not play soccer anymore.

 

I hope this gives a little insight into my experience and the process I went through to end up at the University of Delaware playing Women’s Soccer. Never once do I regret going to the school and my best friends today are from that soccer team.

 

 

 

My Advice:

 

  • Listen to your parents and take into account their thoughts and ideas. They know more than you think and have been there before you. And who knows, you might be surprised with the outcome of a decision because of their recommendation.

  • Never go to a school because of a boyfriend or girlfriend. First and formost, it may not work out, but even more importantly, you need to go to a school that will offer you the best experience and help you grow as a person. There are not many times it's ok to be selfish but this is one of them - so take it.

  • Pick a school with a team that you feel comfortable with. You will be seeing these girls or guys everyday and they will be the only ones that really know what you are going through juggling school, sports and a social life. To give you some insight on how close our team was one of the girls on my team got married in November and there were 12 of us there at the wedding.

  • Pick a school you will be happy at without your sport. You may not think about it now, since all you can think about is playing your favorite sport in college, but things change. At the University of Delaware, there had been a few players who decided not to play anymore but they definitely still had a fantastic experience at school. Make sure you would be able to do the same.

  • There are so many wonderful schools with amazing programs out there. You'll find some schools with great athletic programs and others with great academic programs, but it is important to find the right balance for you. Take in any and all information you can get from friends and family, but remember that it is your decision to make in the end. You are the one going to the school -  not your friends, family or anyone else - so pick the right school for you.

 

Good luck in your search for your perfect school!

 

 

 

Allison

 

 

 

 

 

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

1,297 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: soccer, recruiting, delaware, recruit, recruiting-101, university-of-delaware, from-the-trenches

Marc's Story

Posted by saraallent Feb 6, 2008

Johns Hopkins University '05 - Men's Basketball

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.

 

My Advice:

 

 

  • 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.

 

 

Marc

 

 

 

 

 

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

721 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: basketball, baseball, recruiting, college, advice, recruit, johns-hopkins

Sara's Story

Posted by saraallent Jan 25, 2008

University of Richmond ‘07 - Women’s Lacrosse

I chose to play lacrosse in college because I knew there would be more opportunities for me. It's much more difficult to get noticed playing soccer, my other sport, because of its popularity. I made the decision to focus on lacrosse my freshman year of high school, which meant I would continue to play soccer for my high school but no longer play for my club team.

 

In my freshman year I was completely unaware of the opportunities in store for me. I went from hoping to be considered by D-III schools to being courted by some of the best D-I schools in the country.  After attending numerous camps and tournaments, filling out tons of questionnaires, sending countless emails and talking on the phone with several programs, I finally had it narrowed down to five potential schools. 

 

The NCAA allows high school seniors to go on five official visits.  Each visit allows the student-athlete to spend 48 hours on school property, all-expenses paid.  I accepted visits to James Madison University, University of Richmond, Loyola College, Vanderbilt University and Georgetown University.  I ended up deciding Georgetown University was not the school for me due to its location and canceled the visit, but followed through with the four others during my fall semester senior year of high school.

 

The first trip I went on was to Vanderbilt, so I boarded a plane with my parents and headed to Nashville. Vanderbilt is a fantastic school and I had a wonderful time, but realized while I was there that it was just too far away from home. Next, I went to Loyola which I also really enjoyed. It was a smaller school and closer to where I grew up in Pennsylvania.  My third visit was to James Madison, where I was pretty sure I was going to commit and later sign. As it turns out, I changed my mind and the coaches were very surprised when I decided it wasn’t the right fit for me. 

 

At this point I was so tired of the process and traveling that I was tempted to cancel my Richmond visit.  I just wanted to decide between Loyola and James Madison, but my Mom wouldn’t let me. So I headed south to Richmond for one last visit. As it turns out, I really liked the school, players and coaching staff.  The head coach, Sue Murphy, was new to Richmond and was the United States Developmental team coach. She had just built the Boston University program and came to Richmond to do the same, which was one of the selling points to me. I left Richmond even more confused than before.

 

I was given one week to decide my fate for the next four years of my life.  I declined offers to Vanderbilt and James Madison, but was going back and forth between Loyola and Richmond.  In the end, I decided on Richmond; it was a great fit and I really enjoyed my time there.

 

The recruiting experience can be very overwhelming, but sometimes you just have to take a step back and think about what program fits you the best.  If you trust your instincts, you can’t go wrong.

 

My Advice:

 

After going through the recruiting process, being a player and spending a year as a coach I have several pieces of advice I would like to share.

 

- Coaches are always watching to learn more about you, which means on and off the field. Be on your best behavior at all times. 

- Put time and energy into the process. If coaches don’t come to you – go to them. 

- Do your research. Look into lots of schools and then narrow them down as you go.

- Be honest with coaches and demand the same honesty from them in return.

- Choose a school that you will enjoy even if you aren’t playing a sport.  You never know what could happen.  It’s important to pick a school, not just an athletic program.

 

Good luck!

 

Sara

 

 

 

 

 

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

1,990 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: soccer, recruiting, lacrosse, sara-allen, richmond, active-sara
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