One of the best ways to accomplish something is to listen to others’ experiences who have accomplished the thing that you are aspiring accomplish.
So if you want to be recruited to play your sport in college, you won’t want to miss out on reading Katie Wick’s Athlete Success Story.
In her story, Katie discusses the good and bad ways to contact college coaches, how to be organized and successful as a student athlete, and what the most helpful aspects of CaptainU were for her.
Take it from her, as she’s been successfully recruited to play college soccer and has verbally committed.
Best of luck in college, Katie!
Create your free CaptainU profile here to get your recruitment process started and access tools to take your game to the next level!
Katie Wick, Senior, Midfield/Forward
When did you start playing your sport? How did you decide to play your sport as opposed to another?
I started playing soccer as a tiny tot, age 4. I knew it was the right sport for me because I love running and using my feet. I’m a natural left footed kicker, so I have been able to use that to my advantage. Softball and basketball proved to be too slow paced for me. The club program I became involved in has tremendous coaches, that encouraged me along the way.
What do you like most about your sport?
I like being able to be physical, and being able get away with it (most of the time). I also like how it engages so many athletes, with 18 players often stepping on the field at some point during a game. I love the fact that it is played at every level, from pre-k up to middle aged people. I think that some of the most athletic people I know, have played soccer at some point in their life.
What are the biggest obstacles in your sport that you’ve overcome? How did you overcome it?
I tore my ACL when I was a freshman. Having been through surgery and rehab, it was a total of 8 months of no sports. I was told I may want to “reconsider” playing soccer, but that wasn’t in my plan. Through a fantastic support group, I went through rehab and was able to join my high school soccer team and it was our first trip to the state soccer tournament in our high school’s history. Also, girls soccer wasn’t that big of a deal 8 years ago as it is now, so that makes it even more exciting to be a part of.
What are the biggest obstacles in the recruitment process that you’ve encountered and/or overcome? How did you overcome it (if you did yet?)
Sometimes it seemed like coaches just didn’t care. I forgot how busy they are with all they have to do. I just never gave up by either emailing or calling them. I never ended a conversation with them, I made them end it with me, so then I knew it wasn’t going to work for me to attend the school they were coaching at. I stayed positive and knew I’d find the right fit for my academic and athletic strengths and goals. I’m not an athlete that is really good at promoting myself, so this is where the CaptainU profile really helped me..
How do you balance being a good athlete with being a good student?
I have to admit it can be exhausting at times, but it is so worth it. It takes a lot of self discipline and scheduling. I know what I have to do and when. School of course takes priority, but it’s easy to do just by being organized. Being flexible is huge too. Sometimes I had to miss practice for a final, and sometimes my school work may have taken back seat for a tournament, but it all evens out in the end.
When did you realize you wanted to play college sports?
I really think I realized it when I was recovering from my injury. I have been playing sports since pre-K and when I was unable to do anything, I realized how much I missed it and couldn’t imagine not playing at a competitive level after high school. I also decided it would be fun to continue to belong to a group or team in college. It will help me get to know people and make some quick and lifelong friends!
Where did you first turn for recruitment tools, platforms, strategies, etc.?
My soccer club coaches were extremely helpful in conducting seminars that helped start the process. Creating a profile and having it on hand to send to coaches was necessary. CaptainU was a sponsor of one of the first showcases I played in, so it was so helpful in getting my name and profile “out there” for coaches to see, and gave them an easy way to contact me.
What things have worked and what things haven’t/didn’t work when trying to get in touch with coaches?
Blanket, non personal emails will never work. Recruits have to take the time to research the college and coach and send an individual email or letter to them and all the schools you are interested in. If an athlete is interested in attending a school far away, getting CaptainU to do a highlight video is a must to upload on to the profile.
How was your family involved & how was this helpful?
My mom drove me around everywhere. We looked at so many schools! Anytime we played in a tournament or went on a family vacation, we looked at colleges in the area we were at. Me liking the campus was the most important thing when my college search began. I wanted to make sure I liked the size and location, then if I did, I moved forward by looking at their academic programs, tuition, retention and job hire rate, and soccer program, and my family helped me through each of these steps. I’m the oldest of four, so I’m ready to help my sisters and brother through their recruitment process now!
What tools, platforms, strategies did you use throughout the whole process?
Again, starting with doing the homework on the CaptainU profile page was easy and amazing. Being able to narrow the college search by size, location, cost, etc, was incredibly helpful and saved a ton of time. In most cases the current coach was listed, along with the contact email address. I also believe starting early and being patient is necessary when trying to plan your college future.
What worked best for you on CaptainU / what was your favorite CaptainU tool?
I think endorsements from coaches and teammates was helpful. It gave college coaches the knowledge that I am a respectful, hardworking student-athlete without them even knowing me. Researching colleges on my CaptainU page was great. Being able to list events I’d be participating in was really helpful too. My favorite tool is getting to see which coaches viewed my profile and read my emails!
What would be three recommendations you have to athletes trying to play in college?
Well, every coach is different, but I strongly encourage athletes to participate in other sports besides the one they want to be recruited in, and also to get involved in school and community activities. Most coaches I came across loved versatility. Keep up a strong GPA and work ethic in high school. NEVER give up; not everyone will play a Division 1 sport, and not everyone wants to, there is a college out there for you that also needs/wants you as a college athlete!
Finally, what are your goals for the coming year in your sport? How are you currently doing in your sport? Have you been recruited yet?
I want to continue working hard on and off the field. I hope to learn even more in college than what I all ready know about soccer now. I hope to peak at being the most fit I have ever been in college. I hope to get to play during my first year, but if I don’t I’ll obviously support my team through the entire season. Right now, I’m actually playing basketball while doing some indoor training in prep for high school. I know I’ll be getting my workout packet from my college coach soon. I have been recruited and have verbally committed.