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Recently Committed Athlete Q & A: Robert Kitchen

Over the last few weeks, we’ve brought you recruiting Q&A’s from some of the country’s top professional athletes. After hearing their stories, we thought it might be helpful to hear from some of beRecruited’s own recently committed athletes.

This week we’ll be hearing from lacrosse player Robert Kitchen…

Recently Committed Athlete Q & A

Name: Robert Kitchen
Sport: Lacrosse
College: Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, VA
Signed: 9/20/2011

Q: While in high school, what teams and/or sports were you playing? Did you know all along you wanted to play lacrosse in college?
A: Besides lacrosse, I also played basketball and lettered in football.
Prior to my freshmen year of high school, I signed up for a Tim Soudan lacrosse camp -- I knew then that lacrosse was something I enjoyed. When I made the varsity team as a freshmen, I knew this was a sport I wanted to play in college.

Q: When did you start getting interest from college coaches?
A: The e-mails started after my sophomore season. At one time I had over 30 schools interested in me. Most were DIII, some DII, and a few DI programs. I wouldn’t say they were busting down the door, but the bookmarks from and e-mails were fairly consistent.

After my junior year the coaches became very aggressive. Coaches were at all the major camps and tournaments. At the Top 205 there were more than 50 coaches on the sidelines watching my All-Star game. One tip: I posted my tournament schedule on and updated it as necessary.

I went on official visits to Limestone and Stevenson. I traveled to Florida with my mom over spring break to Jacksonville and Florida Tech. I was at Mount St. Mary’s twice,Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and lastly Virginia Military Institute (VMI).

VMI had the total package -- the academics, a division I program, strong alumni support, and a great atmosphere. At the end of my official visit I had a one-on-one with Coach Anken and my parents. We left the meeting feeling good about going there. VMI is the opportunity of a lifetime. As they say at VMI…”Don’t do ordinary.”

Q: Who was pivotal in helping you through the recruiting process and why?
A: I hate to admit it, but it was my dad. He was basically my agent. He handled everything. I knew I could trust him and that he had my back. It was like a partnership. Having someone close to assist me with the details also allowed me extra time to concentrate on school and lacrosse. We would both review the video, e-mails, and were on the same page. There was not a day that passed that my dad and I didn’t talk about school and/or lacrosse. Ask my mom.

Q: What role did you club and/or high school coaches have in helping you get recruited? How active were your parents in the process?
A: The club teams provided quality tournaments to showcase my talents and that of my teammates. Greg Scott (FCA) and Tom Emmick (Rochester Blaze) were both very good coaches. My H.S. coach, Kevin McMaster, came over to the house and sat down with my parents and me. He was very supportive and assisted with the coach contacts’. As I said before, there was not a game that my mom and father missed. My dad watched over every detail.

Q: What was the most challenging part of the recruiting process, if any?
A: I have to say making the video. We did our own. My dad taught himself how to edit and burn DVDs. Video is important in order to reach out to coaches on a more personal level. When a coach is evaluating you at a game, he may only see you play a few minutes. A video is a collection of events to show your talents that the coach may not see during a tournament.

Q: To date, what do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your sport career?
A: That would be verbally committing, and being awarded a scholarship, to play lacrosse at VMI.

Q: What tips or advice do you have for student-athletes who want to continue their sport past high school?
A: First off, make sure your grades are the best they can be. I can’t stress enough that each and every coach wants to see the transcript and your SAT scores. I also highly suggest playing club lacrosse and get to the big camps. Overnight camps allow you to get a feel for the school and the coaching. You can also see where you compare against other players outside of your home area.
I also recommend signing up for the deluxe package…and use it. Lastly, be patient and believe in yourself.

1. Do your best in school. Your classroom status is as important as your athletic ability. Coaches generally look there first.
2. Sign-up for the deluxe membership. The cost is minimal compared to the benefits.
3. Be patient. Every student-athlete has a school out there that is the right match. Good luck and work hard!!

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