HOMEWORK: Know some information about the institution and hockey program you are writing to; compliments are not a bad thing!
RESEARCH: Start doing this early in your high school career for college and early in your middle school years for H.S. Prep. Look for what you want in your overall college and/or H.S. Prep experience.
MAKE THE INITIAL CONTACT: Introduce yourself with name, year of graduation, positions(s), potential major, high school and travel teams with applicable schedules, GPA, test scores, and contact information. Utilize the schools online questionaires for prospects when you can.
STAY IN CONTACT: Making initial contact is extremely important, but keeping connected is paramount! Putting together a sports resume will help you get initial interest, but it is your job to continue to update coaches with your progress, both athletically and academically.
ATTEND CAMPS: These are great ways to make contact with a coach, get recognized and allow them to evaluate your skill set.
ALWAYS PLAY LIKE 'SOMEONE IS WATCHING': You never know when a coach is going to show up to a game unannounced and not even let you know that they are/were there! You will be surprised at how often this happens. Many coaches, especially at the DII and DI level want to see the "real you", the player you are on a regular, every day basis. Not the one who knows a coach is watching and is on their 'best behavoir'. Many of you will likely have a coach say to you "I have seen you play a few times" during your recruiting process. It will be the first you will know about it. Don't have any regrets, don't ever leave anything on the ice, show everything you have both as an athlete and as a leader every second of every shift of every game and in practices too! It may very well be the difference on whether you are in a recruiting class or not!
CREATE AN EMAIL ACCOUNT TO BE USED ONLY FOR CONTACT WITH COACHES: The email address should be something as simple as your name and year of graduation, i.e.
. Once the email account is created, create your "signature line". This should read as: Sally Smith, 2015, your email address, your home phone, your cell phone, twitter acount and any links to recruiting profile pages you may have set up online. Include your Player Profile document to every email you send when making initial contact. Check your email regularly and respond to every coach who responds or contacts you.
WAIT UNTIL YOUR SENIOR YEAR HAS STARTED: One of the most common problems schools come across are athletes waiting too long to start looking for college opportunities. By your Sophomore year, you should have at least a preliminary list of colleges you may be interested in attending.
TALK TO A COACH LIKE HE/SHE IS YOUR FRIEND: Finding a collegiate hockey program is similar to finding a job. Pretend the coaches you are talking to are potential employers. Make sure to edit all of your correspondence with them and use spell check! Be professional and polite when you speak on the phone - it will go a long way!
POST INAPPOPRIATE THINGS ON SOCIAL MEDIA: You always want to paint a good self-portrait. Again, college recruiting is like looking for a job; and college cooaches recruit based on an athletes character more than you think! Some coaches will ask you for your Facebook, Twitter and other social media account information. They WILL check them. They WILL "follow" you. Be smart online, it could be a difference maker!