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College Recruiting Assistance

Gateway is proud to say that we have assisted over 400 athletes and families continue their playing career  at the D1, D2, and D3 collegiate levels over the years! Being a part of the U-16 and U-19 Gateway Elite Club team provides you complimentary resources you need to understand and navigate the college recruiting process.  The Gateway staff has great relations with the collegiate coaches and is here to help bridge the gap between the colleges and the athletes.

We are happy to assist with your college recruiting process in the following ways... 

  1. Communication and recommendations in regards to our athletes with college coaches.
  2. Recommendations to athletes and parents about which schools they should focus on as well as communicate with them as they navigate the recruiting process.
  3. Providing exposure for athletes on top level teams at national and regional level tournaments. 
  4. Recommend camps, clinics, and other programs that will help facilitate an athletes recruiting process.
  5. Maintain excellent relationships with college coaches to help promote our athletes.
  6. Provide the latest recruiting information from NCAA and information to help navigate the process.
  7. Gateway is proud to partner with local videographers and highlight video producers to best assist our athletes.

Gateway Elite Club athletes, please fill out the recruiting survey below to help us best assist you in your efforts!

Recruiting Blogs

Written by a longtime Gateway parent, with the hopes of assisting you in the daunting process of college recruiting!

Recruiting 101-1 -- Where do we start?

So your daughter wants to play field hockey in college. Great! There are numerous options ranging from club to top tier Division I programs so there is a place for everyone. I was in your shoes very recently and, while I am no expert, there are some pointers and tips that I have gathered along the way that you may find useful on your journey. The first piece of advice is to be realistic. Of course, we all think our daughters are amazing (and they are!), so it is hard to be objective and realistic about what type of program might be the best fit for her. One place to start is the website of the team of a school you are considering. On every team’s website is a roster with mini-biographies of each team member. Compare the accomplishments of the team members with the activities your daughter has been involved in. Having numerous accolades as a high schooler does not guarantee playing time in college just like not having as many as the current players doesn’t mean you could never play there; however, the mini-biographies give you a general picture of the playing level of the team and what types of players the coaches are recruiting.   

Another good resource is your high school or club coach, especially if she played college field hockey in the division you are considering. The coaches have seen many players from all skill levels and know which girls have gone on to play collegiate hockey and what it takes both mentally and physically. Ask your coach for an honest, objective analysis and be prepared for what they tell you. If they do not think your daughter is at the level for the types of schools you are considering, that doesn’t mean that she will never be. It just might take more work to improve her skills. In the meantime, exploring other options would be a prudent step. 

Skills and ability are important but the desire and mental preparedness are just as vital. For many Division I schools, the training/practice schedules are intense. It’s like having a full-time job on top of the schoolwork. And it’s not just the practices to consider; there is also travel to and from games which requires missing school. The farther the schools in the conference you are looking at are from each other, the more time is spent on the road. Does your daughter have the self-motivation to stay on top of her schoolwork and the advocacy skills to work with professors when a class is missed due to hockey? Hard work is not limited to DI schools. Find out what type of time commitment is expected from the programs you are considering and realistically decide if your daughter wants that type of commitment. Some girls may want to eat, sleep, and breathe hockey but others may want to continue playing just for fun in a more noncompetitive setting like a club team. There is no one best option. 

Being realistic about what types of programs would be a good fit for your daughter will help you focus your college search and guide you to the types of camps and clinics she may want to consider. If there is a school that your daughter absolutely loves but may be a reach athletically, by all means, go for it. Just be sure that you are not limiting your options and be willing to look at a variety of other programs. While it is never too early to think about future plans, realistically, college coaches are predominantly looking at freshmen to juniors (U16 mainly but it depends on the school/division). That doesn’t mean some coaches aren’t looking at other groups because they are, just maybe not to the same degree. So don’t be discouraged if you are in eighth or ninth grade and have not had any coach interest and don’t compare your daughter’s experience to someone else’s. Everyone is unique and at different points on the journey. Basically, don’t let the recruiting process make you crazy! Remember this is a sport and playing is supposed to be fun!

Recruiting 101-2 -- Rules, Rules, Rules! NCAA Eligibility and Athletic Scholarships

If your daughter wants to play field hockey in college, there are certain academic requirements that must be met during her high school years. The college counselors at her school should be up-to-date about any changes to the rules. It is important that she meet with her college counselor in her freshman year to let them know that she wants to play sports in college so that they will make sure she is on the right track academically. If she does not know what division she wants to play in yet, aim to fulfill the DI requirements because they are the strictest and if she fulfills them, then she will have fulfilled the requirements for DII and DIII as well. 

The rules can also be found on the NCAA website (http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future). Currently, the rules for DI are: 

16 core courses: 4 yr English, 3 yr math (algebra 1 or higher), 2 yr natural/physical science (including 1 yr lab if your school offers), 1 additional yr of English, math, or natural/physical science, 2 yr social science, 4 additional years of English, math, natural/physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion, or philosophy.

Of these, she must complete 10 core courses including 7 in English, math, or natural/physical science before her seventh semester. Once she begins her seventh semester, she may not repeat one of these classes to improve her core course GPA. She must earn at least a 2.3 in her core course GPA. The score she needs to get on her ACT or SAT depends on how high her GPA is. The higher the GPA, the lower her standardized test score can be. When she takes the ACT or SAT, she needs to enter the code “9999” when it asks where to send her report. This will ensure that her score gets sent to the NCAA. 

During high school, your daughter also needs to apply for an NCAA certification account if she wants to play DI or DII (https://web3.ncaa.org/ecwr3/). DIII schools do not require it but may still look at it. Before she can play in college, the NCAA must certify her amateur status and confirm that she meets the academic requirements. She does not need to apply until after July 1 of her junior year but there is no limitation on how early she can apply. She cannot make any official visits before she has an eligibility number and some require it for an unofficial visit. 

The NCAA also has rules about when and how college coaches can contact your daughter. These rules have recently changed in an attempt to slow down the recruiting process. The most restrictive rules are for DI coaches. DI coaches can send your daughter questionnaires or camp invitations at any time but may not call her or send her personal emails/letters until June 15 after her sophomore year. She cannot go on any official or unofficial visits until August 1 of her junior year and there can be no off-campus contact until August 1 of her junior year. Until then, if she sees a coach at an event off-campus, don’t be discouraged if the coach does not talk to her because they are not allowed to. No verbal offers or commitments can be made until June 15 after her sophomore year. For DII, official visits can begin June 15 after her sophomore year but are otherwise similar.  

So if coaches can’t contact your daughter, how were all these girls committing so early? There were loopholes that the coaches could use. The coaches were allowed to talk to the recruit if SHE initiated the phone call and could see her on campus during unofficial visits. Coaches could also contact her club or high school coach and send messages in that way. However, with the new rules, college coaches can only tell a high school or club coach if they are interested in an athlete and nothing more prior to June 15 after her sophomore year. In addition, college coaches are no longer allowed to meet with athletes during a school tour or on-campus camp or clinic prior to June 15. 

The NCAA also has rules about athletic scholarships. Only about 2% of high school athletes will receive athletic scholarships. Only DI and DII schools can award athletic scholarships. Field hockey is an equivalency sport. This means that the college can distribute the total amount of scholarship money as they want among the team members. They do not have to give only full ride scholarships. For DI programs, the field hockey team can award the equivalent of 12 full scholarships. For DII, its 6.3. Ivy League and DIII/NAIA do not award athletic scholarships. Colleges are very happy if your daughter can get academic scholarships. This means that they do not have to give as much athletic scholarship money to her so they have more to give to others. Academic scholarships are good to have for your daughter, too. If she decides not to continue with field hockey, she will not lose her academic awards. 

The NCAA rules can be confusing, especially if you don’t know where to find them, and they don’t make for very interesting reading. In addition, the rules may change every year. That is why it is a good idea to check out the latest updates. The NCAA puts out an eligibility guide every year:

http://www.ncaapublications.com/p-4508-2017-18-ncaa-guide-for-the-college-bound-student-athlete-sold-as-a-package-of-25.aspx?CategoryID=0&SectionID=0&ManufacturerID=0&DistributorID=0&GenreID=0&VectorID=0& 

This can be downloaded for free and contains a lot of useful information to make sure your daughter is on the right track. I would highly recommend this.

Recruiting 101-3 -- Target Schools

Once you have decided what level of program would be the best fit for your daughter, it is time to start thinking about what type of college your daughter would prefer. The good news is that if she wants to play field hockey, your list is already narrowed down considerably since there are only 281 schools that have varsity field hockey teams. Depending on the division, that number can become much smaller. In 2019, there were 77 DI, 36 DII, and 168 DIII programs.  Having a list of must-haves in a school will make your process easier and keep you on the right track. You won’t be tempted by a fabulous offer at a school that may not tick all your boxes and you won’t waste time looking at schools where your daughter would not be happy. 

There are the usual factors that everyone needs to consider when looking for a school such as size, location, cost, setting (urban, suburban, small town), and majors offered. In addition, your athlete has other issues to think about. One of the biggest is playing time. If your daughter is using field hockey as a way to get into a certain school, playing time may not matter as much to her. Some girls may not mind sitting on the bench for the first year or two if there is a good chance that she would play a lot in her later years for her dream team. Other girls may not be happy unless they are playing from their first year on. Only you and your daughter know what will make her happy. 

No coach can guarantee you how much or what position your daughter will play. Once you receive an offer, then you can talk more specifically about what role the coach sees your daughter in. Until then, you may be able to get a good idea of what is possible by looking at the current team and their website. There is usually a breakdown by game of who started and which players went in as subs. Often you can also find number of minutes played as well. At one of the schools we looked at, the freshmen who did play, played a lot. The others not at all. Some of the other schools on our list seemed to rotate everyone into most games. The playing times were not equal between players but at least almost everyone got some action. If the current freshmen bios aren’t up to date with number of minutes played, you can look at the older girls’ bios for their freshmen years. Past performance is no guarantee of what will happen in the future but it can give you a general idea.  

Another aspect to consider is what the team makeup is now and what it will be when your daughter starts. On the team’s website, you can see how many spots on the roster will need to be filled her freshman year. Will the school be losing a lot of seniors or will there only be a need for just a few players? Are they losing no starters so the potential for a lot of freshman playing time is limited? Does it look like your daughter could be one of ten or more freshman recruits or one of only a few? Does that matter to her? One good tip I heard from several other parents is to look at how many girls started as freshmen and how many are still there as seniors. There may be any number of reasons why a girl may not return that have nothing to do with hockey but a low number of returning players may be a red flag. The number of foreign players on a team is also something to consider. Often the foreign players that come over to play are very good and very likely to play a lot. 

Probably the best resource and the one that may be the most difficult to find is the girls who are playing or have played there. They can tell you what they perceive about the team atmosphere, coaching style, collegiate support for the team, and other factors that you may not be able to tell from the website. Remember though that what matters to one person may not have the same weight for you and an isolated bad experience for one person may make their assessment less than objective. 

Have an honest discussion with your daughter about finances at the start of your search if that is an issue. If she knows ahead of time what the budget for college is, she can be realistic in choosing schools to look at and not be disappointed later if she falls in love with a school that is out of reach. Very few girls get full athletic scholarships to school. Some colleges work very hard with the families to make their school affordable whereas others have more limited options. If you have your budget set, then you can realistically consider every offer to see how acceptable it is. 

First and foremost, your daughter is going to college to get an education. Very few girls go on to play on the national team and even if they do, that career is short-lived so be sure the college she chooses fulfills her academic needs. Some majors are extremely hard to do with busy field hockey schedule. Be sure to ask if any majors are prohibited for the athletes. None of the schools we looked at absolutely forbade a major. Some said that nursing and engineering were particularly hard to do. One suggested that if nursing was a possibility, a student should major in something else and plan on getting a master’s degree in nursing. Having a supportive faculty and academic advisors for athletes is a must with the amount of time that the student athlete will miss due to games and road trips. 

Only you and your family can decide what and how important the other factors on your list are. Keep in mind that, if your daughter wants you to come to many of her games, distance and ease of traveling to the school are also considerations. Remember parents, although we can guide and offer advice, this is ultimately your daughter’s choice. What makes her happy may not be the same as what you would want in a school. And after all, don’t we all want our daughters to be happy? 

Recruiting 101-4 -- Look at Me! How to Get a Coach’s Attention

Now that you have a list of colleges you are considering, how do you get a coach to notice your daughter? Don’t worry if your daughter has not totally decided what type of school she wants (size, location, etc). It is ok to cast a wide net at first. You can always narrow it down later. Our daughter knew she wanted to play at the highest level she could-specifically in the ACC or Big 10 Conference. So, although she wasn’t sure about the size and location she wanted, we had a good list to start with. We also looked at a school that was not in either of those conferences because she loved the coach. There may be other factors that make you include certain schools in your initial list.  

The first step would be to fill out the recruiting questionnaire on the colleges’ websites. These are usually on the team page under a tab for recruits or “more information”. There were a few that were exceedingly difficult to find. Filling out the questionnaire puts you on the mailing list for camps and clinics that the school may offer. It will also put you on a list of potential recruits for the coach. Being on the list does not guarantee that a coach will come watch you but at least they may be aware that you are interested. 

Before your daughter plays in any national tournament, she should write coaches to let them know that she will be there. Usually the organization will put out a list before the tournament of which college coaches will be there. It may not be the head coach so address your letters accordingly. Your daughter should put her name and year of graduation in the subject line. Keep the body of the letter short but polite. These coaches may get hundreds of emails. They do not have time to read your whole life story. She should tell the coach what tournament she will be at, name of team, and number of jersey. The coaches usually have the most up-to-date schedule so putting the game times is not crucial. Plus, the game times might change. She should also write a short paragraph about why she is interested in the school. Each letter should be unique to the program. NO form letters! As much as we parents want to help, the letters should be written by the athlete in her words. We can give advice, check grammar, and encourage them but that’s it. With her signature (for any correspondence), she should also include year of graduation, club team name and jersey number, phone number, and email even if she is not of the age a coach can contact her directly. Also include the name(s), number, and email of your high school or club coach so that they have someone to contact if they want to find out more. 

After a tournament, if your daughter knows a coach was specifically watching her, she should write a brief note thanking them and asking for feedback, keeping in mind the rules regarding coach contact dates. All of our recruiting experience was prior to the new rules so there was a lot of conversations between college coaches and our daughter’s club and high school coaches. Now, since a college coach cannot really have those types of conversations with the club or high school coach until they are allowed to directly contact the athlete, there may be less of these “behind-the scenes” conversations. Even though there is very limited coach contact prior to June 15, it doesn’t mean they aren’t evaluating freshmen and sophomores as potential recruits so let them know you are interested. 

Living in the Midwest has some disadvantages for recruiting. Unlike the east coast, there aren’t as many coaches in our area that are able to watch girls during high school games or in local tournaments. Plus, coaches want to see your daughter play with and against other high-level potential recruits so they have a better basis for comparison. The National Club Championship offers good competition against some of the best club teams but a team must qualify to go to that. Other national tournaments like Festival, NFHCA Top Recruit, or Disney offer varying levels of competition against teams outside our area and are well-attended by coaches. 

I would also highly recommend the USAFH Futures program. In my opinion, this was one of the most beneficial individual things that our daughter did. Your daughter has to try out with the club coaches to be recommended to the program. The program involves multiple 3-hour training sessions in the Spring with college coaches and players. Once in the program, a girl can be evaluated by USAFH at one of the national tournaments to be placed in level 1, which is a higher level of training. At the end of the training, there is a regional tournament. From this tournament, girls may be picked to participate in the national tournament (NFC). The NFC is an excellent opportunity to be seen playing with and against some of the best girls in the country. From the NFC, girls can be picked for the Elite Stars and Stripes game, the Junior National Camp, Junior Olympics, and the National Team Training Camp, from which the Junior National Teams are chosen. Even if a girl is not picked for NFC, the training is still beneficial. 

All of these tournaments require a big time and money commitment and may not be possible for everyone. If your daughter cannot go to all of these, it would be important for her to have video that she can share with coaches so they have the opportunity to see her play. Videos should be short (around 3 minutes but no longer than 5) with the best clips in the beginning. All field players should show shots and assists, outletting, tackling and pressing, receiving and passing under pressure, self-starts, and corner plays. In addition, there are position-specific skills that the clips should demonstrate. There are professional companies that can help with creating a video. However, you can do them yourself with desktop editing/movie making software on your home computer. The content is what is important-not how fancy it looks. The completed videos can be posted on YouTube, Vimeo, or other video sharing sites or may be emailed to the coaches. If your daughter’s high school posts on HUDL, there are very easy and intuitive tools to make videos on their site. If your daughter is emailing a link to her videos, ensure the link works before she sends it. Make it as easy as possible for a coach to see the video. 

Recruiting 101-5 -- Recruiting Websites, Who Needs Them?

This is one topic I have been asked about frequently-does my daughter need to have a recruiting website? If your daughter is the next Katie Bam, then no, coaches will be knocking down your door. If not, then the answer is –it depends. You can do many of the things a recruiting website can do yourself but it just takes more work, time, and organization. There are multiple companies that offer recruiting websites. The ones I am most familiar with are NCSA.com, BeRecruited.com, and CaptainU.com. All of them offer a very basic free service but also tiered levels of service for a fee. For NCSA, it is a one-time fee and you can use it as much or as little for as you long as you want. For CaptainU, there is a monthly fee and you can decide how long you want to keep it. At least, these were the options when we were looking and they might have changed since then so, if you are interested, check them out. We paid for the NCSA one and did the free profiles on BeRecruited and CaptainU. If your daughter is involved in any USA Field Hockey events, she will have a profile on RecruitSpot, which is free. It is up to you to activate the account, add the personal information, and confirm each event. You should definitely do that. The log on for that site is the same email you use for her USA Field Hockey account. 

So what can a recruiting website do for you? A recruiting website allows you a place to present your daughter and all of her accomplishments in one place. You can upload videos, press releases, events, awards, and academic information to name a few. They also keep a database on college information and coach emails that are up-to-date most of the time. You can email coaches directly from the site. Some sites also have videos and power points about different recruiting topics that you can look at any time and templates for coach letters. One aspect we liked when we were first starting out is that on NCSA, you could see who looked at your videos, who followed your profile, and who opened your emails. That was reassuring as we were starting out that we were reaching some coaches. Other services they provide vary according to what level of membership you are. One of those services was that NCSA can evaluate your profile/videos and the criteria that you indicate are important to you and recommend schools that might be a good fit, tell you where you rank compared to other girls on their site in that graduation year, or let you know if a particular school would be a reach athletically or academically. We were assigned a coach who was our primary liaison. She would email the programs our daughter matched with to tell them about her. Our coach was always available by phone, email, or text to help us with any questions. We didn’t use her too much. We relied more on our high school and club coaches to contact college coaches. 

Before we signed up for a recruiting website, I did a lot of research and read many reviews. The reviews were mixed. Some thought it was a great resource that they couldn’t do without. Some reviewers said that those notifications about who looked at what, etc were bogus because they asked coaches who supposedly looked at their profile or opened an email and the coaches said they didn’t. However, some of the reviews I read were from a number of years ago though so hopefully, those issues don’t happen anymore. I never had any reason to doubt that the notifications were not genuine but I also never asked coaches to confirm. The subject of recruiting websites has come up at several of the coach panels that I have attended. The responses were as varied as the coaches. Some use them, some don’t. Occasionally a coach would say that they would specifically not look at an email if it came from a recruiting website. After we heard that, we decided that all emails would come from our daughter’s own personal email address. Caveat emptor!

If you decide not to use a recruiting website, you can do all of the same things but it just might take more work. I would suggest having a YouTube channel for just your daughter’s field hockey videos so that she can send coaches the link for them to check out. Other social media platforms are ok as long as your daughter does not post anything that may reflect poorly on herself. I don’t know how prevalent coaches following recruits on social media is. Our daughter only had two follow her Instagram account but she did not give out her social media handles in her emails/recruiting questionnaires or seek coach followers. All of the coach emails can be found on the schools’ websites. Some may take more digging than others but they are all current. It would be a good idea to keep a separate file for all the emails your daughter sends and receives related to recruiting to help her stay organized. I would also keep a current CV of your daughter’s accomplishments, activities, awards, etc that she can attach to her emails. If you have a Facebook account, you can follow NCSA, and many of the educational features they have on their recruiting website are also on their Facebook page and the information about colleges they have can be found on the college websites.

I don’t regret having the recruiting website. It was reassuring in the beginning. Could we have gotten where we are without it? I think it is probably very likely. Other parents I have spoken to who used NCSA or CaptainU were not disappointed with their experiences and thought they were useful. Bottom line-if you can afford it and don’t have much time to commit to doing it yourself, I think the websites can be a good deal. However, I do not think that they are essential to your recruiting process. I am happy to show anyone our daughter’s profile if you want to have a better idea of what they can offer.

Recruiting 101-6 -- Camps and Clinics

If you had unlimited time and money, you could take your daughter to a different camp or clinic nearly every day in the summer and frequently throughout the year as well. Even if you could, I wouldn’t recommend it. Your daughter could get burnt out or injured. Everyone needs downtime and to be active in other sports besides field hockey.

So what should you do? Not all camps are created equal. Some camps have hundreds of girls and are run predominantly by the team members with little coach interaction. While there is nothing wrong with camps like that, it is probably not the best recruiting option. Smaller camps give your daughter more of a chance to be seen. However, we found that at many of the camps, big and small, there was a group of girls who were invited or previously identified as recruits who played in groups with already committed players led by the main coaches and another group that did not get as much attention. 

If your daughter has filled out the recruiting questionnaire or is on the college’s mailing list, then she will automatically get camp and clinic announcements and invitations. Prior to the rule changes, a college coach could reach out to an athlete’s high school or club coach and make personal invitations. Based on the new rules, I do not think that is allowed any more until June 15 after the sophomore year.

If your daughter has not narrowed down her college choices yet, one good option is a camp in which many coaches from lots of different schools attend such as Super 60. At Super 60, for example, the girls are all from the same graduation year and the number of girls who attend is limited so they can be seen by a number of coaches. There are other types of camps that have coaches from only a single division or a single geographic area. These may be the most value for the cost until you have a better idea of her top schools. If your daughter particularly connected with certain coaches at a camp, she should send a thank you note and show her (genuine) interest in that school. Good manners is never a bad decision!

If your daughter does have a certain school at the top of her list and that school offers a clinic, I would recommend it. The clinics may be only one day so the cost for getting there may not make it practical unless you can combine it with other visits or a vacation. Clinics are usually small and your daughter has a better chance to be seen by the coaches. In addition, in our experience, many girls who attend clinics are more serious about playing and may be particularly interested in that school. It’s a good chance to check out the competition! Seriously, your daughter can gauge the playing level of the players and recruits to see if she thinks she would be a good fit athletically. If a clinic is not available or practical, camps at the school she is interested in are another possibility.  Usually camps have a larger number of girls so the chances to be seen are less but she can show her interest. She could email the coaches before the camp to let them know that she will be there and why she is interested in that school and ask for feedback after the camp is over, keeping in mind the coach contact rules. This doesn’t guarantee that any coach will be watching her specifically but it can’t hurt. Camps are a good opportunity for your daughter to interact with and observe girls who are already on the team. She can learn a lot about the team’s attitudes and how the team members get along with each other. We were able to eliminate two schools from our daughter’s top ten list because she did not like the team atmosphere, which we may not have known if she had not been at the camps. 

Camps and clinics are not mandatory but can be very helpful. If your daughter cannot make it to any camps or clinics, it will be very important for her to be seen at multiple national tournament events and have videos that she can share with coaches. She will definitely need to contact coaches before she goes so they know she is interested and they can have the option of watching her if they are interested as well. 

Recruiting 101-7 -- The Visit

Since all of our recruiting experience was prior to the rule changes and our daughter did not do any official visits, we do not have any firsthand knowledge of official visits; however, I believe our unofficial visits were very similar except who paid for them! With the current DI rules, recruits can only have a total of five official visits and visit a school once. DII and DIII visits are limited to one per school but the total is not limited. The school can pay for the athlete and parents’ transportation, lodging, three meals per day, and three tickets to a sporting event. The visits are limited to 48 hours. Visits can begin August 1 of a recruit’s junior year and may not be taken during dead periods. Dead periods are the Monday through Thursday of the initial week for the fall signing of the National Letter of Intent. Official visits are a good way for an athlete to evaluate her top choices and make a final decision. 

We had no idea what to expect on our daughter’s first unofficial visit. She only went on five unofficial visits and had brief meetings with another coach after two of their clinics so we do not have a lot of experience. If our unofficial visits are representative of official visits, your daughter may be the only one or she may be with a group of 3-5 other recruits. The visits include a tour of the campus and facilities and meetings with the coaches and may also involve attending sporting events and meetings with the academic support staff, the training staff, representatives from an academic department depending on interest, and the team. The time your daughter spends hanging out with the team is invaluable. She can get to know them and see if she feels like she fits in and can get a very good understanding of the experience. Our daughter was able to exclude one of her top ten schools because she did not feel that she fit in with the team after spending the afternoon with them even though she liked them all and they seemed to like each other. 

When to schedule the visits is up to you and your family’s schedules as well as the college coach. Even if your daughter has not been invited on an official visit yet, it’s still valuable to tour the school itself and make sure it is the right academic fit. If you can visit during the fall, watching a hockey game is a good idea. Visits during the school year allow your daughter to see school is session and may give her a better idea of what the school is like. However, it may be hard to get away during the school year so summers are fine. You may be able to incorporate a visit into a vacation. You can always go back during the school year if your daughter has strong interest.

Recruiting 101-8 -- Odds and Ends

If you are still reading, thank you. I hope you have found something helpful. I love field hockey and love talking about it. I am always happy to share our experience if you have additional questions. I think being in the Midwest puts us a slight disadvantage so I believe in helping each other and hope that someone found something useful in these posts. Parents of older girls helped us out with advice and told us about their experiences so I like to pay it forward. 

I do not claim to be an expert or have any insider knowledge. Besides our personal experiences and opinions, all the information in these posts can be found online or in books, often with more detail than what I gave. For us at least, we had no idea where to start or what to do and other parents guided us. Once I had a better idea of the process, I did a lot of reading, which is what much of what I wrote was based on. USA Today has a high school sports section that often has good recruiting articles in it. You just have to weed through the other articles. This is the link 

http://usatodayhss.com

The NCAA is also another great place for all the official information and rules.

 

http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future/recruiting

Max Field Hockey and USAFH have great informative websites. Max Field Hockey also has an app called The Field Hockey Network, which has all sorts of field hockey news. You can choose which topics to follow. 

In summary, I think being realistic and keeping an open mind are the most important ideas to remember. There is no point pursuing a school where your daughter may not have a chance to play (or even be admitted) or where she will be unhappy just because of the name of the school. There are numerous great options in every division. 

High school coaches can help your daughter but often coaching is not their primary job. The club coach may be quite willing to help but she may have close to a hundred high school girls at any time so it is not realistic that she can or will spend hours and hours contacting coaches for your daughter.  It may be better to have your daughter’s coaches become more involved once she has narrowed down her list to some serious possibilities. It is your daughter’s responsibility to do her research, write her emails, and post her videos. As parents, we can help but it is a good learning experience for your daughter to do as much as she can on her own. Calling coaches on the phone was a huge deal for our daughter. It seems that kids rarely actually talk on the phone anymore so she was very uncomfortable doing it but she got through it and it got easier (I think). We want to help as much as we can but there are limits. For example, don’t write her personal statement. I have read some on recruiting websites that really sound like they were written by the parents. You may be able to write a more polished statement than your daughter but then it isn’t a personal statement. The coaches want to hear from your daughter. 

 

While it is never too early to start thinking about college, it should not be all-consuming. Besides practicing and improving, there’s not a lot your daughter can do until college coaches begin recruiting for her year. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. Everyone is at different stages and has different goals, needs, and abilities. This is supposed to be a fun and exciting time so enjoy it! Good luck!

Show Me Sports Recruiting Videos

Show Me Sports

  • Position-specific clip selection to highlight multiple skills
  • I watch hundreds of hours of high school, college, and international field hockey each year to improve my eye and understand the highest level of play
  • Local, so I can give personal attention and work with you to provide the best final product 
  • Flexible pricing depending on your needs

Each video includes:

    • Title page 
    • Clip transitions for better viewing experience
    • Video pause and player highlight so coaches know whom to watch
    • Downloadable video copy that you can send to coaches or post online
    • Your final approval for your satisfaction

May also include:

    • Slow motion action
    • Biographical and contact information with still images
    • Music

Basic services:

You pick the clips you want and the order you want them in-starting at $100

Assistance with ordering clips-additional $25

Advanced services:

I will watch your videos, choose clips, and order clips for most impact

Pricing starts at $100 base plus additional cost per hour game film watched. I can also provide recruiting profile assistance.

Online video production services comparison

All-Star

$350-Client provides video and picks clips (max 6 games)

$550-They film 2 games and choose clips

$850-They film 4 games and choose clips

Recruit Reels

$399-Client provides video and picks up to 30 clips

They film one game ($549), two games ($899), or five games ($1099), client picks up to 30 clips and provides any other video

For additional $199, they will pick up to 30 clips from 5 games

Prodigy

$149-Client provides video and picks up to 10 clips (2-3 min video)

$249-Client provides video and picks up to 20 clips (3-5 min video)

$499-Client provides video and picks up to 40 clips

Call, text, or email for a highlight video quote! Don’t forget to order your video packages from the National tournaments, talk to your teammates to share the cost of the videos.

Email: azcshd@yahoo.com

Phone or text: 314-302-3824