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The huddle

September 2, 2019

How to Prepare for Women’s College Ice Hockey

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Photo by Women’s Hockey Life

Recruiting for college hockey begins at a young age. I understand this because I worked hard to be a member of the Yale women’s ice hockey team so that I can speak from experience. I started noticing the arenas filling up with scouts in ninth grade, so I decided to begin the recruiting process early myself. I first contacted college coaches the summer heading into 10th grade to introduce myself and express my interest in playing in the NCAA. I did this so I would be prepared to make the jump to college hockey, as well as showcase my abilities to college coaches, I played on one of the top Under-21 travel teams in North America. I also attended a skating and on-ice skills session once a week to fine-tune my hockey skills.

Off-ice physical preparation is equally as important, especially if you want to prepare for a faster and stronger collegiate game. When you get to college, one of the first team activities you will have is fitness testing, so it is crucial to make an excellent first impression to both your coaches and teammates. Additionally, strength and conditioning sessions will become a daily part of your schedule. 

Academically, I began focusing on my studies early on. I did this so I would become a more attractive recruit for the top-level DI and Ivy league schools. This meant that I needed to start taking practice SAT/ACTs tests. I was lucky that many of my older teammates had the same goal as me, and this was to play in the NCAA. I was motivated by them and followed a similar timeline, which was taking the actual SAT/ACTs in the winter of my sophomore year.

What is becoming clear is that high school athletes need to understand college athletics and how they work. One very important aspect is that you need to follow the NCAA hockey rules. You and your family also need to educate yourselves on head coaches. You can do this by going through the coach ratings on LRT Sports. Here are the NCAA guidelines for playing at the DI level for women’s ice hockey. 

Sophomore in High School

  • You can receive camp brochures and questionnaires.
  • You are allowed to call the coach, but coaches cannot call you – the exception is an international recruit to which a coach can make one call, and this call is during July 7-31 this is following your sophomore year. 
  • Off-Campus Contact and Official Visits are not permitted.
  • Unofficial Visits are unlimited if scheduled without the assistance of the coaching staff & not coordinated to meet with the coaching staff on campus.
  • Athletic departments cannot participate in a prospect’s unofficial visit until September 1st of prospect’s junior year.

Junior in High School

  • You can begin to receive recruiting material and information from the coach on September 1st.
  • You can call the coach at your own expense.
  • A coach can call you starting September 1st of your Junior year
  • All forms of electronic Correspondence are allowed beginning September 1st of your Junior Year.
  • Correspondence can only be between the athlete and the coach.
  • Off-Campus Contact is allowed July 7th after your Junior year.
  • Official Visits are allowed beginning 9/1 of Junior Year.
  • Prospects are allowed one visit per college and a maximum of 5 visits to DI schools, and unlimited for D2, D3 and NAIA schools.
  • Unofficial Visits are  Unlimited – beginning September 1st.

Senior in High School 

  • You can receive material and information from the coach
  • You can call the coach.
  • A coach can call you.
  • All forms of electronic Correspondence are allowed starting September 1st of your Junior Year.
  • Correspondence must be private between athlete & coach.
  • Off-Campus Contact    Allowed but no more than 3 times.
  • Official Visits    Allowed beginning 9/1 of Junior Year.
  • Prospects are allowed one visit per college and a maximum of 5 visits to D1 schools, and unlimited for D2, D3 and NAIA schools.
  • Unofficial visits are unlimited

NCAA Tips

  • During your senior year a college coaches can evaluate or contact you no more than 7 times.
  • A college coach cannot contact you more than 3 times during your senior year.

Source: ncaa.org

Updated: 8/29/19

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