If you’re in the middle of your recruiting process, you know things can get complicated. That’s why we’ve narrowed it down to five simple tips to help you out. If you want to play field hockey at the highest level, read on for smart tips to help make that happen.
1. Keep coaches updated on everything “field hockey” you do!
As a prospective collegiate field hockey player, you must be proactive when speaking with coaches throughout the recruiting process. Notify coaches in advance about which showcase tournaments you will be at, then follow up with them accordingly to see if they will be attending. Additionally, provide them with as much information as possible so that the coach can attend and easily find you while playing.
For example, you could provide information as follows:
Attending: The NFHCA Winter College coaches Showcase
Playing on: Field #7
Wearing: Jersey #9
Team: Spirit Eagles FH team
Related: How to Balance Being a Student and a Coach with Villanova Field Hockey Coach, Carrera Lucas
2. Visit campuses and attend college field hockey camps and clinics at schools that you’re seriously interested in.
The NCAA is now allowing juniors in high school to go on official visits beginning January 1st. Players should definitely take advantage of this opportunity and start going on official visits sooner, rather than waiting until senior year. Clinics and camps are a great way to see if you enjoy a particular coach’s style of coaching. It also allows coaches to see you play on a personal level as well as see how you handle certain situations. For example, they can see your personal stick skills that you may not get a chance to showcase if they attend just one of your games (or none of your games!). Clinics are also a chance for coaches to see if you are a coachable player who is open to learn more and grow further as an athlete. Ultimately, it’s a chance for both coaches and prospective athletes to be able to narrow down their search for the right player or the right college respectively.
Related: Dos and Don’ts of Campus Overnight Visits
3. Ask yourself: Why do you love field hockey?
Why do you want to play field hockey in college? Collegiate sports require copious amounts of time and dedication. Come to visits prepared with the answer to this question. Coaches don’t want players who love field hockey because they like having a group of friends. Yes- that is a part of the experience but coaches want players to love field hockey because they can’t live without it or they want to achieve certain goals by playing in college. You can frame the friends aspect of being on a team in a positive way by explaining how you like working collectively as a unit with others or you like being a part of something bigger than yourself- players all hold each other accountable etc., but be able to clearly speak about why you want to play in college.
Related: Life’s a Ball: 3 Ways College Athletes Benefit From Having Fun Playing Their Sport
4. Ask yourself: What is something you need to improve on moving from high school to college field hockey?
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, know yours! You could preface this question by stating something you know you could work on- but balance it with something you are confident about. This is key when talking to coaches! It is very telling of an athlete and a person when someone can identify strengths and weaknesses. It makes a coach’s job infinitely easier. There’s always room for improvement, especially at the collegiate level. And let’s be honest…We all look back at our high school athlete selves during and after college and laugh. Chances are, improving will be the majority of what you do in college sports coming from the high school level, and that’s normal! You could be the best field hockey recruit and you still have plenty of room to fine-tune.
An example would be: “I think something I could work on transitioning from high school to college field hockey is my fitness level for games. I want to train to have more endurance and agility in games. Currently, I practice stick skills a lot on my own time and it’s something I’m confident in but I want to improve more.”
5. Get to know the team.
You want to see if you get along with the coach but it’s also crucial to see how you get along with your potential teammates. Overnight visits are great because you get to see the team culture in action. You get to attend an official practice, have meals, and sleep in the dorms with the girls who could one day become your life long friends and teammates. The following day (GAME DAY!) you get to see pre-game rituals (which probably seem really weird at the time….) and an actual game, which is fun and exciting and can really influence a player’s decision on which college they want to attend.
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* Originally published on March 2, 2023, by 2aDays Staff