The recruiting process for young female hockey players can be puzzling and overwhelming, but many families and athletes alike have successfully been through the process. No ones journey is perfect or better than the other and we put together a few strategies to keep in mind to help you stand out. After sitting down with Dwayne Gylywoychuk, former Canadian Women's National Team Assistant Coach and current RINK Hockey Academy Player and Coach Consultant he gave insight into the recruiting process and things to be aware of when exploring future options.
1. ACADEMICS ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS HOCKEY ABILITIES
It is important to keep in mind that your academics are just as important as your hockey abilities, when looking to get noticed. Balancing school and elite level hockey is not an easy job and coaches understand that - keeping up with academics positively impacts a coach's impression of you. We recommend keeping the mindset that someone is ALWAYS watching you whether it is in the classroom, the dressing room, on the bench, extracurriculars and social media. Schools always check social channels and will ask coaches and peers about your life away from the rink and school.
2. RESEARCH SCHOOLS OF INTEREST
Prior to reaching out to schools ensure that you research the schools to make sure they offer courses and programs that interest you and align with your career path. It is key to do this as different schools have different specializations and offerings. Many athletes can cut their lists of schools of interest down after this step. There have been many situations where student-athletes go through a lengthy process of talking with schools to realize later they do not have their program of interest.
3. BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE
Did you know that NCAA and USports schools feature recruitment sections on their websites? After determining your schools of interest and making sure their programs align with your career path, fill out their team's 'Player Questionnaire'. Many 'player questionnaires' allow players to drop box video of their play. This leads us to your 'highlight section' - it is good for players to have a highlight tape of themselves, whether it is game tape or practice sessions. This allows coaches a 'taste' of your game play - following this they may want to come watch you.
With these tips and tricks, we hope to help YOU have the best post-secondary experience. If you are struggling with navigating this process and need guidance don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Words by: Dwyane Gylywoychuk