9th grade – If you decide you are serious about playing in college, then this is an important year for you in terms of development.
Continue to play with your club. Talk with your club coach about which tournaments would be beneficial for you to attend. It is not necessary to attend all events, especially if family finances are limited. Some D-I coaches are beginning to identify players in 9th grade.
If you know you are definitely interested in playing NCAA field hockey, then you may want to attend the Super Sixty December Freshman Camp. Here you would have an opportunity to meet and work with college coaches, learning skills and being coached in games. The seminar will provide an overview to the recruiting process and important items to consider in the coming year. Exposure during Freshman year can offer an advantage to players by giving them a head start in the identification process.
Since the implementation of the new NCAA recruiting rules, coaches can no longer communiacte with players prior to June 15 after the Sophomore year. For this reason, coaches are eager for opportunities to work with players and gain familiarity to help them identify players to recruit.
Play on your high school team. Play Indoor field hockey if you can afford it - Indoor hockey will help develop your stick skills, vision, and awareness, not to mention, it is extremely fun to play.
Work on athleticism. You can find good examples of exercises for sprint training, agilities, plyometrics and core work on YouTube.com.
Work on stick skills. Practicing stick skills at home in your driveway, garage or basement requires only an investment of some balls and cones, but will return many benefits in the future.
Attend local college clinics, if available.
Devote sufficient time to academics. Better academic performance will translate into increased opportunities.
Rising Sophomore Summer - The rising sophomore and rising junior summers are critically important for exposure, and should be made the most of. Most D-I programs will be identifying players during their rising sophomore summers and sophomore school years.
If there is a particular college program you are especially interested in, attend its summer camp, play days, or clinics. However, it quickly becomes very expensive to attend more than a couple of these.
The best use of your summer camp funds is to attend the Summer Super Sixty Camp. With so many coaches at one camp, the exposure is both efficient and reliable, since every camper works with every coach. The level of play is consistently high amongst campers, making it easier for coaches to identify players.
Continue to work on athleticism and stick skills. The summer is an ideal time to develop these, since academics, sports and activities consume so much time during the school year.