Top Advice: "Be patient, but get yourself out there, and contact as many coaches as possible."
BeRecruited recently had the opportunity to receive thoughts from Claire Salazar regarding her experiences as a high school athlete and additional advice/information for athletes currently searching for the right college fit.
BeRecruited: While in high school, what other teams and/or sports were you playing? Did you know all along you wanted to play your sport in college? Clarie Salazar: I played basketball for my high school my Freshman and Sophomore years, and obviously I also was playing field hockey. I think that playing field hockey in college had always been a dream of mine, I just wasn’t sure that I would be able to reach that goal but I was definitely motivated to work towards it.
BR: Why did you ultimately choose your college? How many other schools were you looking at? When did you start getting interest from college coaches? Were they knocking down your door, or were you reaching out to them? If so, how? CS: I ultimately chose Lindenwood University because Coach Johnson, head coach, was really great and encouraging. She really expressed her interest in me and her coaching philosophy fit exactly what I was looking for. It was always important for me to find a school that I could play field hockey at, but also a school that was a good fit where I could have the best learning and college experience. Including Lindenwood, I was recruited by about 12 schools, and I went to two overnight visits. I also visited and met with coaches at about 7 schools. I first really started getting interest from college coaches after I created my BeRecruited profile and played in the Disney Field Hockey Showcase. I would send out letters through the letter generator on BeRecruited to a lot of schools before a showcase and I would ask them to please come watch me play. After showcases, if the coaches I had contacted came and watched me play they would email me and we would begin talking about their school, but I would also get emails after showcases from schools who I did not originally contact. I would also see that these coaches would visit and view my BeRecruited profile to view my videos.
BR: How did BeRecruited help you make the connection with your committed college? CS: BeRecruited was extremely helpful in the field hockey recruiting process. The letter generator was probably the most help in the process. I was able to have emails that I was sending to college coaches completely formatted for me, when I was unsure of what I should say. It was also great to be able to post my videos on my profile so that I could get more exposure to coaches who were interested in seeing more of me or who were unable to come to one of my showcases. Coach Johnson actually found me through BeRecruited and recruited me off of viewing my profile and watching my videos, and I am so grateful that I created a BeRecruited profile.
BR: Who was pivotal in helping you through the recruiting process and why? (Parents, a coach, a hs counselor?) CS: My parents were definitely pivotal in helping me through the recruiting process. My dad was the one who found BeRecruited and suggested that I create a profile, which really got the ball rolling with the recruiting process. My parents were extremely supportive throughout the entire process and very helpful. They gave me guidance on which colleges would be right for me and they went along with me on my many visits at various locations. Although they were skeptical about how far my future school is, they support and understand why Lindenwood University is right for me and they see why because it is such a great school and the field hockey program has a great future.
BR: What role did you club coaches/hs coaches have in helping you get recruited? How active were your parents in the process? I never played for a club team, but I attended showcases such as the Disney Field Hockey Showcase and played for some great teams and some great coaches, and they were all great opportunities that made me realize that I definitely wanted to continue playing field hockey in college. I learned a lot from the girls I played with and the coaches that I played for at the many showcases I attended. My high school coach was very supportive and was willing to help me and give me advice. My parents were definitely the biggest help throughout the entire process. Their guidance was so helpful and I am so grateful that they are so supportive.
BR: What was the most challenging part of the recruiting process, if any? CS: The most challenging part of the recruiting process was choosing the right school. I visited a lot of great schools and met so many amazing people and it was definitely a tough decision when it came to choosing a school. I ultimately had to choose the school that was the best fit for me all around, academically and athletically. I enjoyed every school that I visited and it was definitely hard to say no to schools, but I ultimately had to choose the school that was the best fit for me. I am very grateful for all of the opportunities that I have been given and offered by each coach.
BR: To date, what do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your sport career? CS: To date, I would consider my biggest accomplishment in my sport career being offered an athletic scholarship and committing to a DII school. This is definitely the greatest opportunity I have ever been given, and I am very proud of myself for reaching my ultimate goal. It feels great to have reached my goal and I couldn’t be more grateful for this amazing opportunity. I never imagined that I could actually accomplish all of this and I definitely believe that all of my hard work has paid off and that feels great.
BR: What tips or advice do you have for student-athletes who want to continue their sport past high school? CS: My advice for student-athletes who want to continue their sport past high school is to be patient, create goals, and don’t give up!
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