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The huddle

November 28, 2018 Samantha Nemirov

Recruiting Horror Story: Did the Coach Really Just ask me That?

When I started my recruiting process, I knew it was going to be an uphill battle. Standing at only 5 foot tall, on a good day, I knew that my lacrosse skills had to make up for the lack of height. Most people will tell you that size does matter in the game of lacrosse. You need to be bigger, stronger, faster than the opposing team, that’s if you want to win. For me, I put all my focus on what I could control, and that is being stronger and faster than anyone else on the field. I was without a doubt the smallest player on my club team, at camps, and at tournaments all over the country, and yet I was still getting recruited.

I kept my options open to play for DI and DIII schools. I also had the opportunity to play field hockey as well. When the official and unofficial visits came around, I decided that I was going to look at schools every other weekend. My family and I were used to driving to upstate New York every summer for my brother’s lacrosse camps. So naturally, I fell in love with the schools there. I contacted a coach after a tournament and asked to meet with her and get a tour of the school. I was excited and nervous all at the same time.  Despite already knowing the fields and where to get the best bagels in town while I waited for my brothers.

After the coach showed my dad and me around the facilities, we proceeded to go to her office to talk more.  We discussed my grades, and she was very pleased with my GPA, and I was on target if I were to apply to the school. We spoke about my lacrosse ability, and she was ecstatic with my intensity on the field. She mentioned that she has never seen a player run so fast to a ground ball or shoot so hard from the eight meters. Everything was going great, and I felt truly confident that she wanted me to come to play for her in two years. She started the next part of our conversation with, “My only concern is your size.” I looked at my dad, and then I looked back at her knowing that this moment was inevitable. She continued with a question that I would never forget.

“Do you think you will grow any more?”

At first, I thought she was making fun of my height, but I soon noticed she was not smiling and all I saw was a grimace. I quickly glanced at my dad and responded with a quick giggle and a blunt, “No, I’m 16 years old”. She expressed that they do not usually take girls under 5’5’’ and she will be in touch. She thanked my dad and me for coming and walked us out to the bitter cold parking lot.

I decided to take this rejection and use it as fuel to motivate me to work harder and never to take no for an answer. Long story short, I am going into my senior year playing DI lacrosse for Colorado Buffaloes and coach that I love. My teammates are the best, and I could not ask for a better college experience. And yes, I am still 5 feet tall.

YOUR JOURNEY STARTS HERE