For nearly as long as I can remember I have been participating in sports. I grew up playing baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, tennis and hockey in various leagues in the St. Louis area and continued doing so after moving to Virginia. In middle school I no longer had time to keep up with all of them and focused on soccer and baseball, my stronger two sports. In high school, playing on the Virginia Olympic Development Team, club team, high school team and traveling for all of them became too much, thus baseball fell by the wayside.
I traveled around the United States and even Europe a few times for various soccer tournaments and showcases so adjusted quickly to seeing the sidelines not only covered with parents, but with numerous recruiters as well. While it was certainly nerve-racking and intimidating at first, it soon gave me extra motivation to perform my best every time I stepped on the pitch. Soon after that I started receiving letters from various D-1, D-2 and D-3 schools up and down the east coast. At first I just collected the letters since I hadn't yet started thinking about college.
When I started looking into schools, I considered colleges completely independent of soccer since I knew that I didn't want to attend a school solely based on that. I listed out my prospects and those that I had also heard from for soccer were then moved to the top of my list. I did not immediately dismiss schools that didn't fit both criteria, but eventually narrowed it down to three which did: University of Richmond, University of Kentucky and University of Notre Dame. That's when the real work started.
I went on visits to each school, touring the campus, meeting with coaches, experiencing the lifestyle, and talking with current students and players. After those visits, I was slightly leaning toward University of Kentucky and University of Richmond, but I still couldn't decide. I then turned to my parents for advice, and although they didn't push me toward one, I soon realized my choice. After all the money, time and travel they had put into my 15 years of soccer, I wanted to give them a chance to see it had paid off. They were my biggest fans and never wanted to miss a game. That was the slight edge that put University of Richmond over the top.
Don't limit your choices to colleges only for your sport.
Consider anything and everything since little things may ultimately help you decide.
Be honest and open with players you stay with and meet. They will often give you honest advice since they have gone through the same process.
Talk with the coaches about academics. You'll get an idea of how they feel about classes and how much they will support you academically.
Consider how you fit in with and like the players and coaches. You will spend an enormous amount of time with them.
When I decided that I wanted to play lacrosse in college the entire college search process changed. Not only did I need to find a school that fit what I was looking for academically, I also needed to find one that had a lacrosse program I was interested in and that was interested in me. I had not idea what schools would want me to play for them or if any even would, which was completely overwhelming. I found out on July 1st, the day coaches are aloud to call you according to NCAA rules, that I had options.
In starting the college search I looked at everything and eventually decided that I did not want a small school so anything under about 4,000 students was not for me. I knew I wanted a campus that was active and friendly and had the academics that I was interested in.
Luckily I had initial lacrosse interest from a variety of schools and realized I had an opportunity to play at some pretty decent D-1 lacrosse programs. I then started speaking with a lot of schools and taking trips, some official and others unofficial, to get a better idea of what I wanted in a program and school.
Personally, I was not a big fan of speaking to coaches on the phone and the recruiting process stressed me out. It is tough to make a decision when you are not really sure what exactly you want, but you will figure it out. I looked at schools as different as Ohio State University and Brown University, but eventually after my visit to James Madison University I decided I had found the place that fit me. I really enjoyed my four years there and was lucky to have the opportunity to play a sport in college.
I would recommend using all your official visits if you are offered them and taking unofficial ones if you are not. Being able to meet the team and see the school when it is full of students is invaluable in helping you decide.
It wasnt until my sophomore year of high school when I realized I was capable of playing basketball at the Division 1 level. I remember distinctly creating three new goals for my basketball career that year. The first of which was to play basketball at the Division 1 level. Second, I wanted to become a member of the Canadian National Basketball Team. Third, was to continue on after college to play professional basketball. Once I established these three major goals, I needed to make sure I attended the college that would put me in the best possible position to accomplish all three of my goals.
I was fortunate enough to display some of my talents at a few well-known showcase tournaments and I began to be contacted by Division 1 schools. Some programs just sent letters; others phone calls, and some both letters and phone calls. After researching all the schools that had contacted me, which included location, history, academic background, coaching history, athletic departments history and so on, I was able to narrow it down to the four schools for official visits. At the time I thought that I would be visiting the University of Montana, University of Richmond, Boston College, and Notre Dame.
I had been in close contact with all four of these schools and their basketball programs for a number of months before taking my first visit, which was to University of Montana. I took this visit with my entire family because I wanted them to all share this first experience with me. We had a great visit and I loved the school and the surrounding atmosphere. University of Montana was a school that I was familiar with because I had attended a few of their summer basketball camps so I was comfortable with the coaching staff and players. Attending University of Montana would also allow me to stay close to home and the ability to drive home on occasion was appealing to me.
My next visit was to the University of Richmond. The second that I stepped onto the campus I had an extraordinary feeling of comfort and security. I loved the campus and the arena where the basketball team played. After having the opportunity to meet the coaching staff and my potential future teammates, I knew Richmond was the school for me. There was a sense of family and unity within the program, which was important to me, especially since I was going to be so far away from home. I met with the academic adviser on my visit and figured out what field of studies might be of interest to me if I decided to attend the school.
I had a great visit to University of Richmond and after returning home; and speaking with my family along with a lot of prayer I knew that I wasnt going to take up the offers on my other two visits. University of Richmond was the school for me. I thanked University of Montana, Boston College and Notre Dame University for their strong interest and continued forward with my vision of attending University of Richmond. I weighed all of the positives and the negatives and realized that University of Richmond would be the best place to help me achieve all of my goals with basketball and at the same time I would be receiving a top-notch education.
After my visit I committed to the University of Richmond. I continued to build a relationship with not only the coach, but also the players. I kept in consistent contact with two players over the remaining months of my senior year of high school and the summer leading into my freshman year of college. The following fall, upon arriving to the University of Richmond I was only a freshman but because of my previous communication I felt like I had been a member of the team and program for much longer.
I feel extremely blessed to have been given the opportunity to attend the University of Richmond and to be a Division 1 athlete. I was able to achieve all three of my goals by playing basketball at the University of Richmond. I was also able to receive a great education and meet some outstanding life long friends.
Seek advice from your family and those close to you who have gone through the decision making process before you
Make a choice that will make you happy! You can always transfer but it is a difficult process. Dont make a decision on your school because you are trying to please someone else. You have to live with it for the next 4-5 years
If you are serious and passionate about your sport, then go to a school that is going to allow you to play and become a better athlete
Make sure that the school you go to allows you to have a life outside of your sport
Make sure that you get along with your teammates! You will be spending more time with these people then you have ever spent with anyone in your life other than maybe your immediate family. You want to be able to enjoy your time around these people and build strong, firm relationships.
Throughout high school, I never had any dreams or visions of playing a college sport. I had always been a pretty good basketball player because of my size, but had never played football until my freshman year. I never imagined that it would be my eventual ticket to a free education and the best experience of my life.
Though I enjoyed basketball the most, I just seemed to be a natural at football, because of my leadership and my never-quit attitude. My team always seemed to thrive on the energy that I brought into each and every game. After my junior year, I all of a sudden started receiving awards and recognition from out of nowhere, which was the first time that the thought crossed my mind of potentially playing at the next level. Though I was definitely not the strongest or fastest player on the field, I never ever quit on any play and kept my intensity and my team's energy up for the entire game. I had a solid work ethic and that is one of the main things that college coaches look for in their recruits.
I was very excited when all of the recruiting letters began pouring in, but it was very overwhelming. I received letters from top programs like Penn State University, all the way down to small D-3 schools. I never wanted to count any schools out however, because things in the recruiting world can change very quickly.
The whole recruiting process was the most stressful time in my life. I lost a lot of sleep at night. I saw the University of Richmond, and new that it was a perfect fit for me. The players, the coaches, the school, everything about it was just right. However, at the time I had a high school girlfriend, and was very close to settling on Towson University, because it was much closer to home. However, I never got the same sense of team, or sense that I belonged at Towson, like I did at Richmond. I realized that Richmond was where I needed to be, and it turned out to be the best decision I have ever made.
Whatever you do, don't look at the immediate impact of your decision. Odds are that you will get homesick; you will be overwhelmed with work, and the speed of the game, and the pressure from the coaches. Getting through all of these things will shape who you are as a person, and will make you into a much stronger individual. You will be able to handle life's challenges more easily having been a college athlete, and you will have no regrets.
Almost every college program offers some sort of camp in the summer. This is basically a legal way for coaches to see what players can do up close, though they are very limited by NCAA regulations. If there are any schools that you are really interested in, make a great effort to get to their camp. This will let the coaches know that you are interested in them, just as they are interested in you.
You should also make every effort possible to get your name out into the recruiting world. Join recruiting websites, make video tapes, and call coaches. It is okay to brag as much as you possibly can; it will only help you out in the long run. Treat your senior season as an audition, as every game could be your ticket to a free ride. If you make a mistake on the field, don't feel like scouts are going to pack it up and give up on you. Everybody makes mistakes, just make up for it on the next play or in the next game. As I said, there is NO replacement for hustle on the field.
Recruiting trips after the season are one of the most fun times that you are going to have throughout the whole journey. You are only allowed five official visits so be sure to pick schools that you would legitimately want to consider going to.
Some things to consider on your official visit:
School. Odds are you will not go pro. Will you end up with a degree that you will be proud of once you graduate?
Location. Is it too far from home? Too close? This is important, as many freshmen will get homesick and a weekend trip home can be enough to help you make the gradual transition.
Coaches. These are your new parents. Be sure that they are honest and truly care about their players. Don't fall for the old "come here, and you will play right away" line, which is used frequently to lure in recruits. If you are good enough, you will prove that you can play right away on the field, not through promises.
Players. These are your new brothers and will become the closest friends that you will ever make. You will go through the toughest few years of your life with them. Be sure that there is a sense of team among the players. Ask them all the questions that you can, about coaches, school, social life, etc.
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 schools 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 wont regret it.
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 isnt 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 wont 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.
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 didnt 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 schools 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 didnt 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 coachs 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 youll 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 Womens 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.
Start early. Its 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 didnt attend their last official visit which actually ended up being the school they attended.
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 wanted to play baseball in college, but in terms of being recruited I had to get myself out there and do the work. I had to market myself so to speak so coaches would know who I was whether it be going to summer baseball clinics held by the teams I was interested in, or sending the coaches letters through the mail. I was fortunate enough to be able to do that and play for a very well known coach around my area, which was an all-star team so to speak, consisting of great talented players from Pennsylvania.
We played in tournaments every week and college coaches attended these games. We also went to showcases, which were held by Perfect Game, a baseball tool that enables players nationally to showcase their talent in front of MLB and college scouts. These were held all over the nation. The showcases consisted of infield and outfield drills, a timed 60 yard dash and then games where the pitchers could display their talent. There was anywhere from 30 to 100 scouts there if not more depending on the talent level. Also, I attended national tournaments with this same team where teams from around the nation competed against each other. One was held in Marietta, Georgia and the other in Jupiter, Florida. Playing well in any of these tournaments was sure to get you recognized instantly, and for me, it turned out great because I performed very well in front of the scouts who attended. Once I got noticed, coaches would come talk to me in person, call me on the phone, and/or send me letters through the mail showing their interest in me.
The whole process is intimidating and emotionally draining, but the end result was well worth it for me. After my junior, I began getting dozens of calls from schools around the nation telling me they saw me play and were interested in talking to me more about joining their program. It was a tremendous feeling and definitely helped my confidence.
I narrowed my list down to University of Virginia, University of Richmond, James Madison University, University of Louisiana, Lafayette College, Boston College, and University of Rhode Island, Clemson University, and University of Maryland. After a lot of consideration I decided to take official visits at Clemson University, University of Maryland, and University of Virginia. I wanted to get a great education and play for a well known Atlantic Coast Conference program.
I verbally committed to University of Virginia in September of my senior year after taking my three official visits. I was thrilled by my choice and couldn’t wait to get started playing college baseball. It was such an amazing feeling knowing that I was going to be playing D-1 baseball at one of the top schools in the country.
Market yourself. Go to every camp and play on every team possible in order to put yourself in a position to be seen.
Just play your best and stay confident, there will be someone who is interested in you.
Enjoy the process. It can be very overwhelming, but remember to stay calm and focused.
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.
My experience with the recruiting process for college lacrosse began at an early age. My destiny was written by the high school I chose to attend: St. Mary's of Annapolis. This school had a legacy of producing fantastic, talented women's lacrosse players, and was arguably one of the best programs in the country. I had been playing lacrosse since the early age of seven years old; always played above my year, and always played with girls that were years older than me.
My high school coach was also my club lacrosse coach, Sue Chittim. Chittim, as we lovingly referred to her as, was one of the best coaches in the Anne Arundel Area, and had a lot of history and connections with college coaches. Early on in my sophomore year fall, I began to write letters expressing my interest in different college lacrosse programs. I sent my letters EVERYWHERE! I sent letters to every Ivy League school, to Hopkins, Maryland, Notre Dame, Stanford, basically every college or university across the nation I could ever be interested in to play Division I lacrosse. I included academic information about myself and expressed interest in their lacrosse programs. I immediately began a correspondence with these schools, and invited them to watch me play in tournaments and game throughout the rest of my career.
By the end of my junior year of high school, I began to stand out as one of the best high school lacrosse players in the area. I was named All-County, All-Metro, and All-American. This was the most important recruiting time of my life: Junior year summer. I went to as many tournaments as I could, played lacrosse all through the year, and tried my best to stand out as an all-around talented athlete. This time in my life could have been severely stressful, although I never perceived it to be. To me, I was just playing the sport I loved and having the time of my life with my teammates, who were also my best friends.
On July 1st, I began to receive phone calls from various coaches around the country who had seen me play. I was recruited by Yale University, University of Notre Dame, Penn State University, Dartmouth College, Georgetown University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Delaware, University of Richmond, Princeton University, and Loyola College, among various other schools. I was also recruited by many D-III schools, but was uninterested in pursuing that venue.
This was a process of mutual selection. The schools that were interested in me had to want me due to my criterion as a player, and respectively, I had to want them due to their criterion as a college. I talked with countless coaches, assistant coaches, and consulted my parents as much as possible. I finally narrowed it down to the following: Penn State University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Richmond and Princeton University. As an athlete, you can only take five official visits to various colleges. I decided four was enough for me.
My first visit to Penn State University was unreal. I got to be on the same football field as Joe Paterno, one of the most admired football coaches of his time. The lacrosse coaches were very nice and welcoming. My mom came with me, and we were both blown away. Penn State University was enormous and despite its size, I was still able to meet with the President of the entire school. Everyone loved being apart of the chaos. It was overwhelming. But, it wasn't truly me.
The next visit I went to was University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution, extremely impressive. Everyone I met was incredibly intelligent. I was blown away by the prestige and the dignity that this institution was known for. The coach was very classy and the team seemed very together and dedicated. To be honest, I was intimidated. I doubted myself, was I really Ivy League material? I had no idea.
My last visit was to the University of Richmond. I was unsure of what to expect. I knew it was small, I knew the South wasn't so up to date on lacrosse culture and I knew they didn't have a boy's lacrosse team, which I wasn't thrilled about.
However, the moment I arrived in Richmond, I knew something was different about this school. I walked onto campus and it just felt right. I loved the close knit feel of the university. I loved the fact that I could walk the entire campus in under 45 minutes. I hung out with the team, and felt the immediate chemistry you feel when you stumble into something truly real, truly unique. I loved the camaraderie between the teammates, from the senior class down to the freshman class as everyone was treated equal on this team. Something clicked in my heart and in my head; I knew I was at home.
I've been at the University of Richmond for four years now. It's the end of my senior year, and I am finally forced to look back on the four years I've spent on my academics, athletics, and interpersonal relationships.
Well, time has certainly flown. The recruiting process made me follow my heart. I've learned that when you follow your instincts, you can't go wrong.
Listen to your parents; accept their advice, but ultimately: decide for yourself. Life will not be over if you choose to go against their wishes. In fact, life is just beginning for you.
Don't discount yourself. If you think you deserve more credit, more recognition, more accountability, then ask for it! What do you have to lose, if you never inquire?
Don't settle for second best. Push yourself, just like you would on the field, until you know you can truly be happy.
Be real. Honestly, if a coach treats you like "all that" when she is recruiting you that doesn't mean you will be when you are on the team. You are going to be at the bottom of the totem pole when you get to college and you are the 'freshmen' and the 'youngest' again. Don't be fooled into thinking you are going to start for college coaches the moment you walk on campus, you'll have to prove yourself to your coaches and teammates.
Don't sweat the small stuff. In the beginning of the recruiting process, you might get ultra frustrated, but it will be fine. There are bumps in the road that is life. Just keep putting the effort in.
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.
- 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.