Although the holidays are upon us, it’s never a bad time to think about how you can better yourself in the recruiting process. Today Chatham College women’s hockey coach Mike O’Grady tells 2aDays how recruits can be on top of their recruiting game.
What is the most important quality you look for in a recruit?
Desire–this goes for both on the ice and off the ice. The desire to compete on the ice is seen through body language and little battles along the boards. During the recruiting process having an athlete stay in constant contact with us tells me they are genuinely interested in our program which makes us want to recruit them more.
What is the best way for a recruit to get on your radar?
We see thousands of athletes a year and yet we still miss players all the time. If you are interested in our program we recommend you email us letting us know your schedule. If you are a goalie let us know which games you are starting.
When should an athlete contact you, what is the best way?
The earlier the better, although we may not respond as quickly to emails from freshman and sophomores, we do keep track of those who email us. Email is the best way to reach out because this gives us a contact trail and allows us to go back in time and see where our conversations have been.
What are your expectations for incoming players in the classroom, in the weight room, and on the ice?
My expectations are simple: work hard every time. There are 24 hours in the day, ultimately we are asking for you to focus your development for maybe four of those hours. So in that time we expect you to go all out and to have fun training and developing as an athlete. In the classroom we expect our students to be present and to participate in discussion and not just go through the motions.
What are the do’s and don’ts of being recruited?
Do’s: Be yourself, reach out to many coaches and learn to be comfortable talking on the phone.
Don’ts: Do not send emails from your parents’ email. We want to get to know you and your family, but both of those conversations have different purposes and usually the parents ask different questions that do not pertain to the athlete. Lastly, do not be afraid to talk to a coach. Yes there are rules for in-person contacts, but most coaches will answer your questions when they can.
What is the best advice you can offer a recruit?
Focus on your development. This includes getting stronger in the off-season, working on your skating first and then your puck control. Too often I see a play with great hands but they cannot keep up. Ultimately if you cannot skate you cannot play the game at our level.
What really jumps out to you when reviewing a recruit’s highlight tape?
What you did to get the puck to score the goal.
What are the main do’s and don’ts for a recruit’s highlight tape?
Show us more than just your scoring ability, show us your defensive side of the game, Show us you giving up a bad goal but then bouncing back and making the next save. We want to see a little of the bad with the good. This gives us a bigger picture of who you are as a player.
When do you recommend recruits put together and share their highlight reels? Is it best to make their highlight reel during the offseason, in the middle of season, or after each game?
I would update your film in three sections: First, any summer hockey tape you have. Second, after Christmas break. Third, after the end of the season. If a coach is interested in you they may ask for more film or whole games, but this will give the coach a good overview of your season.
What advice do you have for recruits who get turned down by their dream schools? What are their options if they don’t gain the recruiting attention they desire?
Shift your dreams–not everyone is a Division 1 athlete, but that does not mean you cannot play in college. Ask yourself what you want to major in, then chase schools that offer that major. There are now 63 Division 3 women’s ice hockey programs that provide a lot of great opportunities for athletes to fulfill their dream of playing college hockey.
How big a factor is social media when recruiting players? What advice do you have for athletes regarding social media?
Social media is a huge factor. We tend to look you up on social media to get an idea of who you are, so we recommend thinking before you post.
Have an idea for a story or a question you need answered? Want to set up an interview with us? Email us at [email protected]
Image Credit: Chatham University Athletics