Summer is here; you just finished another year of school! Check out the information below on what you should be doing right now, this summer, to prepare to go to college and play hockey.
The collegiate process is long and you must be pro-active each year to get into college, let alone play for the school’s team. This effort isn’t difficult but it does take organization and effort on your part (not your parent’s part – they can help, but admissions officers and coaches are looking for you to take the lead and put in your own effort).
Doing well in the classroom is critical when preparing to play NCAA Varsity DI, Varsity DIII or ACHA non-varsity hockey. Moreover, you also have to work hard to market yourself, regardless of your skill level, especially when you live on the West Coast.
So, remember these secrets:
You’ve just completed 8th grade and you are heading to high school! This is an exciting (and maybe scary) time! You have a lot of new things going on–here are a few things to work on this summer and during your freshman year of high school.
School – Next year during 9th grade
Hockey – Next year during 9th grade
Start your resume
Hockey over the summer after 9th grade
SAT Subject Tests
ACT/SAT test prep
Hockey over the summer after 10th grade
Typically, if you want to play DI you’ve already registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center last September. Coaches (DI) can contact you in September, but don’t wait for them to do so. Last January you should have sent your resume, YouTube video and coaches’ info (regardless if you are looking at NCAA DI, NCAA DIII or ACHA).
You should market yourself to school regardless of whether they are NCAA DI, NCAA DIII or ACHA. The harder you work to promote yourself to each level, the more options you will have in the end.
If you aren’t being recruited for a DI program, don’t worry – you can work harder to get their attention or focus on NCAA DIII or ACHA non-varsity teams, with the hopes of getting on their roster next year. But, you have to work hard off the ice to get their attention, apply early to schools, and talk to coaches to increase your chances of being selected for their next year’s roster.
To be recruited by ACHA teams go to the ACHA Recruiting page at http://achaconnections.com, click on ‘Recruit Me’, select the Division (Women’s DI or DII – or do both!), enter your information, and check-mark the schools/programs you are interested in (or select all of them!). This is a great way to immediately get on the coaches’ radar.
TIP: NCAA DI and DIII schools have their rosters set by December or January of your senior year in high school; thus, Early Decision / Action is really important (typically apply in November). Otherwise, you will be wondering why there are no roster spots available at a school you really want to attend or a team you really want to play for next year. This timeline is why pro-active, advanced planning is so important.
June: You should be wrapping up your testing
June – Eligibility Center
Hockey over the summer after 11th grade
July before your senior year – Coaches can initiate contact with you via phone (DI).
Zoë M. Harris in Rhode Island and later switched to ice hockey while at the University of Maine (’88-‘92). She has been a coach and administrator in the sport of hockey for over 20 years, most notably for the University of Washington men’s team (‘98 – ‘04) where the coaching staff were the first females to coach men’s college ice hockey. Zoë co-founded the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Women’s Division (‘00) and served as the Vice President for 4 years where members created the ‘Zoë M. Harris Player of the Year’ award in her honor. She was also recently inducted into the ACHA Hall of Fame (‘14) and received the ‘Builder Award.’ Zoë currently serves on the WWFHA Board. In the real world, she works for a high tech start-up in Seattle as the Director of Product Management