Getting recruited to play hockey at a university is a competitive process, but there are several steps you can take to increase your chances. Here are a few things you can do to help you improve your chances of getting recruited:
- Develop Your Skills: Focus on improving your hockey skills, including skating, shooting, passing, and hockey IQ. Consider working with a coach or attending specialized hockey camps to enhance your abilities.
- Maintain Academic Excellence: Universities often look for well-rounded student-athletes. Maintain a strong academic record to increase your chances of not only being admitted to a university, but earning academic scholarships.
- Create a Highlight Reel: Record and edit a highlight video of your best plays and performances. Share this with university coaches, especially if you can showcase your skills in game situations.
- Attend Showcases and Tournaments: Participate in high-profile showcases and tournaments where university coaches scout for talent. This is a great way to get noticed.
- Contact University Coaches: Start reaching out to college coaches early in your high school career. Send them your highlight reel, your sports resume, and academic information. Express your interest in their program and ask about their recruiting process.
- Attend University Camps and Clinics: Many universities offer hockey camps and clinics during the summer. Attending these can give you an opportunity to work with university coaches directly.
- Stay in Shape and Work on Fitness: Maintain your physical fitness and conditioning. University coaches want athletes who are not only skilled but also in great shape.
- Join a Competitive Team: Playing for a competitive travel team can expose you to higher levels of competition and increase your visibility to university coaches.
- Network with Current University Players: Try to connect with current university hockey players. They might have insights into the recruiting process and can provide guidance.
- Attend Recruiting Events: Participate in recruiting events (camps/showcases) where university coaches are present. These events are often organized by various companies or youth hockey organizations.
- Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center: If you’re aiming for NCAA Division I schools, you’ll need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center to ensure you meet academic and amateurism requirements.
- Be Persistent and Patient: The recruiting process can be long and sometimes frustrating. Stay patient and persistent in your pursuit of a university hockey career.
- Consider Different Levels of Play: Be open to opportunities at various levels of university hockey, including U Sports, NCAA Division 1 and 3, as well as ACHA and ACAC programs.
- Prepare for Phone Calls and Visits: Be ready to talk to coaches during phone calls or visits. Be clear about your goals, what you can bring to their team, and why you’re a good fit for their program.
- Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated about changes in the recruiting process, scholarship opportunities, and admission requirements for the universities you’re interested in.
Remember that recruiting can be a highly individualized process, and there are no guarantees. It’s essential to be persistent and flexible while keeping your long-term goals in mind. Your dedication to both your academics and athletics will make you a more attractive prospect for university coaches.
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