Kathleen Humphries, Field Hockey Defender
When did you start playing your sport? How did you decide to play your sport as opposed to another?
I started playing field hockey in 8th grade. I had thoughts of wanting to play in college starting my freshman year in high school, but I did not fully commit myself to trying to get recruited until my junior year. I chose to play field hockey over other sports because I am the most passionate for this sport and having passion and dedication are two of the most important assets one needs to drive their success in a sport. I developed a strong connection to both my team and the sport which also helped to keep me interested.
What do you like most about your sport?
What I enjoy most about my sport are my teammates. Over the years, I have created a strong bond with my teammates on and off the field. Being on a team gives me a feeling of purpose and I consider my teammates my “second family”. The other thing I enjoy about my sport are the game days. Game days are a time to show off the hard work I put into at practice. Game days also help to further develop my skills for field hockey.
What are the biggest obstacles in your sport that you’ve overcome? How did you overcome it?
I think the most challenging obstacle I have faced in my sport is the amount of time commitment I have sacrificed to train during season and during the off season. Having to say to my friends “Sorry I can’t hang out because I have field hockey” took away a lot of time from my social life. I do not think I would ever say though that I regret playing field hockey. Field hockey has shaped who I am today and has made me into a more hard working and dedicated person. Field hockey has also motivated me to try harder in my academics. The sport has had a tremendous impact on my high school career.
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?)
The biggest obstacle in my recruitment process was doubting myself and questioning myself if I was good enough to be recruited. In addition to that, trying to talk to college coaches and keep up through email was hard. My advice to other players is do not doubt yourself! Have confidence, but stay humble. Confidence is what gives you the ability to put yourself out there for other college coaches to see you. Keep working hard at training because there is always more you can do to improve your skills. I became more confident in my playing as I worked harder in training and demonstrated my game on the field.
How do you balance being a good athlete with being a good student?
To get recruited for any sport there must be an even balance between good grades and being a great player. With that being said, it is very important that one keeps up their grades so that when they are looking to get recruited, (usually in their junior year) college coaches will look at you seriously. For myself, I balanced out both my academics and my sport by working hard to make sure I kept up both my grades as well as working diligently to train for field hockey.
When did you realize you wanted to play college sports?
I started thinking about the possibility of playing field hokey in college my freshman year of high school but did not start to contact coaches until my sophomore and junior year.
Where did you first turn for recruitment tools, platforms, strategies, etc.?
The recruitment process can be quite complex and complicated as a high school student. Having to manage this part of my life as well as keeping up with my school work was difficult, but I turned to resources such as CaptainU, my coach/players, and past recruited players to learn more about the recruitment process.
What things have worked and what things haven’t/didn’t work when trying to get in touch with coaches?
Things which worked when trying to get recruited was constantly updating college coaches through email when my next upcoming tournaments were and where I was at in the recruitment process. I was late in creating my individual highlight video, but I would most certainly recommend creating one. Another tip to know is that just because a college coach does not always reply to your messages it does not mean you should stop emailing updates about yourself and the tournaments you will be at. There are dozens of people all like you emailing these coaches too and the coaches cannot always respond to your email. So my advice is keep working hard to get their attention!
How was your family involved & how was this helpful?
Throughout this whole recruitment process I cannot thank my mom more for everything she has done for me. She contributed to my success being recruited by financially supporting all of my tournaments and always was encouraging me to keep working hard! She helped provide the tools for getting recruited, but when it came down to playing in front of coaches or emailing them, it was my responsibility to be in charge of that.
What tools, platforms, strategies did you use throughout the whole process?
Strategies I used in the process were having a positive attitude, confidence in approaching college coaches, and knowing that there is always room for improvement in my game. This helped me to not give up whenever I felt discouraged.
What worked best for you on CaptainU / what was your favorite CaptainU tool?
My favorite CaptainU tool was the email feature that had connections to all college coaches and notified me when a coach had opened or sent me an email. This was extremely helpful in the process. It also allowed me to see which coaches were looking at my profile or that were possibly interested.
What would be three recommendations you have to athletes trying to play in college?
My recommendations for student-athletes trying to get recruited are:
1. Keep working hard! Don’t give up.
2. Have confidence, but stay humble.
3. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Keep emailing coaches. Involve yourself in as many playing opportunities as you can.
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?
This past month I verbally committed to Division1 field hockey at UC Davis for the Class of
2015. This upcoming fall I will be entering my senior year in high school. My goals for this season of field hockey are to keep working to further improve my skills, start training for next year at the DI University I committed to, and to have fun and enjoy my last season with my high school team!