A College Coach's Recruiting Tips
With summer camps and training coming up in the near future, I think it is a good time to give some tips on how the college recruiting process works. For those of you interested in continuing your hockey career in college it is important to get the process started early. Every coach you speak to will have a different idea of how the recruiting process should go so these, of course, are only my recommendations.
1. Write a field hockey resume. Some of you will already have a resume, but you can build on it.
I recommend including:
· Year of HS graduation (critical).
· An email address where you and/or your parents can be contacted. Many people create a separate email address for recruiting purposes.
· Address, Date of Birth, phone number. Do NOT include a Social Security Number. It isn't necessary until very late in the process and opens you up to identity fraud issues.
· A photo showing your face
· Name of School
· Class Rank
· PSAT/SAT or ACT scores. For PSAT/SAT give the individual scores, not a total
· Academic awards or honors
· Academic Interest ("undecided" is perfectly acceptable)
· HS Coach’s name, email address, and phone number (be sure you have permission to share your coaches info)
· Club: Name of club, coach(es) name, email address, phone number. If you have played for more than one club or team, may want to list them all
· Your position (especially important if you are a GK)
· Hockey awards/honors (all conference, all state, team mvp, most improved, captain, etc.)
· Stats if you have them. Most important are HS competition goals/assists if you are a forward or attacking mid and GK goals against average and save percentage
· US participation. Include all USFHA Futures participation (site, level, NFC, JOs, Olympic Development Select, etc.)
· Names of camps/clinics you have attended, tournaments you have played in and any team awards won
· Other interests (community service, religious service, academic groups, hobbies)
· Other sport participation and awards/honors
· Letters of recommendation from teachers/coaches are optional (unless its someone I know I prefer to form my own opinion about a player)
· Newspaper clippings are optional - quality, not quantity is a good rule.
2. Make a video. USE A TRIPOD :) The best videos include skills demonstration sections and game clips (not entire games) where the player is CLEARLY identified. Important to explain which season each clip is from if they are from more than one season. It is not necessary to hire a company to put the video together as long as your player is easily identifiable in play.
Distribute the video. 85% come to us by DVD and 15% are posted online. I like having a DVD in hand because it’s easier to take another look later. I recognize the advantage to online videos and will look at them as well. Sites used are YouTube, your own website, recruiting service website. If you send a DVD be sure that your name, email address, HS and grad year are on the DVD and case.
3. Contact the programs you think you may have an interest in. I personally don't like getting a mass email where I can see all the other colleges the prospect is writing to. Also be sure to be careful if you are copy/pasting, not that exciting for me to receive an email that says "I am interested in playing for Colgate" when I’m the coach at West Texas State (not really)! I do understand that mistakes happen but first impressions are important.
Send an email to the head coach and attach your resume (try to make the attachments a reasonable size).
Complete the institution's online prospect form - every institution will have this link on their athletic home page or sport page
To see the final rankings of all of the NCAA programs visit http://www.ncaa.com/sports/w-fieldh/ncaa-w-fieldh-body.html. The "rankings" are a poll of all of the head coaches in the division and is an opinion poll. "RPI" is a ranking based on a mathematical formula which includes your win/loss, win/loss of your opponents, strength of schedule and other categories.
Send a video to the ones you are most interested in. If money is an issue then you can let them know you have a video and will send upon request.
4. Miscellaneous Tips
ALWAYS mention your graduation year. I often get emails from prospects and can't respond because I don't know if I'm allowed to. I also cannot put them in my recruiting database without a grad year.
PLEASE don't send college coaches attachments that clog up their mailboxes. We get so many emails it is frustrating when we go over our mailbox size limit because of recruiting attachments
I don't mind getting an email or two from a parent but after the initial contact I prefer to hear directly from the player. This doesn't mean you shouldn't monitor communication between coaches and your daughter but even if you help write the reply I'd rather it come from the player. Many players contact college coaches through a parents email address. I believe the best practice is to create a new gmail or yahoo or other email account that both the athlete and parent can access.
It is never too early. We get many emails and videos from 2011 and 2012 players. We are lucky and our recruiting process at “West Texas State” has gone earlier and earlier. We have already made junior offers and have a verbal commitment from a junior already. This doesn't mean we won't continue to consider juniors but the earlier you start to get in the door the better, especially if you are interested in a top 20 program.
It is never too late. We took a player in March of her senior year and she started for us and made 1st team all conference as a sophomore.
If you are interested in a particular school attend a camp or clinic they are offering or try to attend a summer camp where the coaches will be working.
Recruiting rules are different for each NCAA Division and are different depending on what grade you are in school. The NCAA publishes a guide for college bound athletes at http://www.ncaa.org/wps/ncaa?ContentID=263. Most of it is complicated and relates to academic standards but the recruiting section in the back includes an easy to read chart that is helpful.
I could write pages and pages on the topic but really wanted to give you a quick overview on the beginning of the process. There are many, many more topics to cover including unofficial visits, official visits, junior days, scholarship offers.
Events designed specifically for recruitment.
These events/camps are primarily round robin play with some or no teaching portion. College coaches are invited to attend these events and will receive a player information guide. I am sure there are many of them out there but these are the ones I am aware of. This is not a personal endorsement, just providing options. SOME HAVE AGE REQUIREMENTS SO PLEASE READ CAREFULLY!
Showcase Field Hockey: www.showcasefieldhockey.com-- PA/NJ/CT events
Focus Field Hockey: www.focusfieldhockey.com-- VA events
College Quest: www.cqsport.net-- PA events
College Connection: www.WhiteMountainSports.com-- PA/MA events This one is a multiple day "camp" that also provides videotaping services
Head to Toe: www.headtotoehockey.com-- MO/PA events
Keystone State Games: www.keystonegames.com-- PA eventPlayer Info Guides are sold to college coaches for all USA Field Hockey events, including Festival, Disney Showcase, Regional Rumble, some regional futures tournaments, National Futures Championships, NIT’s.This article as an MS Word Document HERE