To navigate this process, you’ll need to understand how to update your recruiting profile, research prospective schools and effectively communicate with college coaches. You’ll also need to have a good grasp on the NCAA recruiting rules and calendar, as well as the NCAA eligibility requirements.
While there are many great resources to help you through this process, NCSA experts have built a comprehensive guide to college field hockey recruiting.
When asked about their college recruiting experience, 70 percent of Division 1 field hockey players who participated in a 2017 NCAA survey reported that their first contact with a college coach happened prior to their junior year of high school. This trend of early recruiting was echoed across a handful of NCAA sports, which led to significant changes to the NCAA recruiting rules and calendar. As of May 2019, college coaches cannot contact recruits until after June 15 of the athlete’s sophomore year. The NCAA also announced that recruits could not meet with coaches on campus until August 1 of their junior year.
Visit our guide to the NCAA field hockey recruiting rules and calendar.
Generally speaking, college coaches want athletes with a high field hockey IQ, versatility and athleticism, but coaches also have position-specific expectations for each of the four field hockey positions. For example, Division 1 college coaches look for goalies that perform well under pressure, are confident when making saves and have strong hand-eye coordination. Discover what experience level and skillset college coaches look for in goalies, defenders, midfielders and forwards in our field hockey recruiting guidelines.
Don’t wait until June 15 of your sophomore year to start the college recruiting process. Kickstart your efforts as early as freshman year with the following steps:
• Research field hockey programs: With 281 college field hockey programs spanning the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern and Midwest regions, it’s important to start by identifying which programs best fit your academic, athletic, financial and social needs.
• Build a recruiting profile: College coaches want to see your stats and evaluate your skillset, and the best way share that information is on a recruiting profile that can be updated on a regular basis with your latest achievements.
• Create a recruiting video: Show off your versatility, field hockey IQ and athleticism, as well as position-specific skills in a recruiting video for college coaches to review on their own time.
• Attend field hockey camps: To get noticed by college coaches you have to find ways to increase your exposure. Start by attending a clinic, camp or showcase, where college coaches will be present and actively evaluating talent.
• Contact college coaches: College coaches build their list of prospective recruits long before contact is permitted, so be proactive and introduce yourself in an introductory email.
Do you demonstrate strong leadership ability and understand how to be a team player? If so, you have two traits that college coaches look for in scholarship candidates.
NCAA Division 1 and 2 field hockey is an equivalency sport, which means fully funded programs are allotted 12 and 6.3 full-ride equivalent scholarships, respectively. College coaches running programs that aren’t fully funded have an even smaller scholarship budget. In these cases, coaches are most likely to award partial scholarships, rather than full rides. The good news is, partial athletic scholarship can be combined with alternative forms of financial aid to cover costs.
Like we said above, you should begin your recruiting journey by evaluating the 281 college field hockey programs to find which meet your needs academically, athletically, socially and financially. To help you through this process, we’ve ranked the top colleges and universities with field hockey programs, taking into consideration cost, size, location and academics. View a complete list of colleges offering field hockey.