Q. Am I good enough to play field hockey in college?
A. Yes. There is a school for everyone. Whether that school is Division I, II or III there is a level that will suit your playing style. The question is how committed to field hockey are you? There are also various levels of hockey between a division as well. Some of the bigger schools in Division I are more intense than other Division I schools. Ask the coach as well as do some research as to which school is more time consuming than others.
Q. How much help can my high school coaches give me?
A. We do know a lot about the recruiting process, and we are more than willing to help, but the majority of the recruiting process needs to be completed by the player. College coaches do not want to hear from us. You need to advertise and promote yourself and our team. Again, we are always willing to help but we will rarely contact coaches on your behalf unless they ask. We will also not contact coaches and tell them about you. You need to initiate your desire to play in college and then follow through with contacting those college coaches.
Q. Will a college coach come to my high school game?
A. Not usually-coaches will go to Leagues, Districts or States, but not typically an individual high school game. Coaches will go to large tournaments and club events like the National Field Hockey Festival. This is why it is so important to be a part of a club team.
Q. Should I be upfront with a coach during the recruiting process?
A. Absolutely-let them know if your main concern is financial aid and scholarship-coaches want to help you and you need to know what they can and cannot do for you! Be honest. On the other hand, there is a time and a place to ask coaches about money. You might not want to ask about dollars and cents on your first contact. You can mention if a college is totally out of your academic level or budget, but asking for a specific offer should be negotiated later in the process when you are closer to committing.
Q. A college is interested in me, but I am not really interested in them-what do I do?
A. Be kind and inform them via email, phone call, or snail mail that the school is not a good fit for you. Do this in a timely fashion.
Q. The coach is insisting that I red shirt my freshman year, am I just not good enough?
A. Red shirting has nothing to do with your ability or level of play. It is rather to help you grow as an athlete without the major pressure of having to be ready for game play. Keep in mind-picture yourself when you were a freshman in high school-now picture yourself as a senior in high school. Did you improve? I certainly hope so! By red shirting, you are allowing yourself to basically be a fifth year senior which is a whole extra year to play in games. Freshman year is a lot to take in-new friends, new home, you have to motivate yourself to get your work done, new team and new expectations! It is sometimes better to train for one year and get comfortable with the coach and college life first.
Q. How do college coaches typically find players?
A. By you/someone contacting them! This is not typically the high school coach.
Q. I want to make a video-what should I put on it?
A. First off, keep it simple! Remember that coaches have a lot going on-if you give them a 90 minute video I am sure they will not have time to review it all. You definitely want the first 5 minutes to be the best and most "eye-catching"-you are selling yourself, make the coach want to see more of you! On the video include highlighted game plays (show multiple options of play) and show practice time. Coaches want to be able to see your techniques too. It shouldn't be longer than 10 minutes. 5 minutes is probably more than enough.
Q. Can coaches send me camp brochures my sophomore year?
A. Yes than can-coaches typically send brochures to those they are interested in. I recommend going to the college camp that you are interested in-it will make you more comfortable to be on campus and you will get to know the team as well. This will also give you an opportunity to meet the team. If a coach does not respond to your calls or emails and only sends a brochure, they probably are unable to speak with you but are interested. Going to their camps is the best way for you to contact them before they are able.
Q. How do scholarships work and do most athletes receive full scholarships?
A. Scholarships depend on which division school you are going to and if it is private versus public. DI public schools are allowed 12 full scholarship for field hockey-the coach can divide that any way they want. Therefore some players can have full scholarships but that only means that other players receive none. A scholarship is a gift-do not expect it. Other divisions have other options-merit scholarships, leadership scholarship etc. Coaches can give players other non-athletic scholarships too!
Q. Is it really that important to check out the field hockey team to make sure that my level of play is congruent with theirs?
A. Absolutely! You need to be realistic with your talent and the teams. The best way to figure this out is go watch them play way before you contact anyone.
Q. I signed a National Letter of Intent; do I need to keep my grades up or can I just fluff it off?
A. Keep the grades up-you signed it with requirements, so if you do not fulfill them, NLI can be taken away.
Q. I signed a National Letter of Intent, but now I don't really want to go because my top choice has sparked an interest in me. What should I do?
A. Too late-you have agreed to participate with that college for 1 full academic year. This requires you to be sure of your decision before you make any commitments.
Q. How do I know if I want a large or small college?
A. Keep in mind if you go to a large school that your class sizes will be larger too. Make sure to go to a variety of college campuses-urban versus rural, up north versus down south, large versus small, far versus close. If you are unsure of what you want to major in make sure to go to a school that offers a variety of majors!
Q. I signed a National Letter of Intent-do I really need to play field hockey off season?
A. Yes! Imagine not running for 9 months-do you think you will be out of shape? You must not only continue but you also need to improve your field hockey skills. Remain in programs/clubs that push you and help you learn more. Once a week games will not do the trick-keep up your stick work by being enrolled in a program/club.