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The huddle

October 14, 2016

Tips to Get Recruited for Field Hockey

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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 coaches accordingly to see if they will be attending. Additionally, provide them with as much information as possible so the coach can attend and easily find you while playing. For example, you could provide information as follows:

Attending: The NFHCA Winter College Coach Showcase

Playing on: Field #7

Wearing: Jersey #9

Team: Spirit Eagles FH team.

Also, don’t be afraid to email a coach if you have any exciting field hockey news to share if you win a big game or receive an individual award!

Visit campuses, attend college field hockey camps and clinics at schools that you are interested in.

The NCAA is now allowing juniors in high school to go on official visits beginning January 1st. Players should take advantage of this opportunity and start going on official visits sooner, rather than waiting until senior year. These visits allow recruits to get a feel for the school itself by attending classes as well as experiencing the team dynamic firsthand. 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 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 give coaches the chance to see if you are a coachable player who is open to learn and grow further as an athlete. Ultimately, it’s an opportunity for both coaches and prospective athletes to be able to narrow down their search for the right player or the right college.

Why do you love field hockey?

Coaches do not want players who love field hockey because they like having a group of friends. Coaches want their players to love field hockey because they can’t live without it or they want to achieve their individual goals. They want you to be hungry for the game and winning. You can frame the friend’s 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. Be clear on why it is that you want to play at the college level. You should also, be able to identify what makes field hockey standout at a particular college. Do you love the team, the coaching style, the competition, or the school?

What do you need to improve on to move up to the next level?

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, particularly at the collegiate level. And let’s be honest… We all look back at our high school athlete selves during and after college and wish we could change some things. Chances are, improving will be the majority of what you do in college sports coming from the high school level, and this is normal! You could be the best field hockey recruit, and you still have plenty of room to fine-tune. For example, “I think something I could work on when transitioning from high school to college field hockey is my fitness level. I want to train to have more endurance and agility in a game setting. Currently, I practice stick skills a lot on my own time, and it’s something I’m confident in, but I want to improve on.”

Get to know that 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 will attend an official practice, have meals, and sleep in the dorms with the girls who could one day become your lifelong friends and teammates. The following day (GAME DAY!) you will have the opportunity to experience pre-game rituals and an actual game, this will be fun, exciting and can influence a player’s decision on which college they want to attend.

YOUR JOURNEY STARTS HERE