Last week we heard from recently committed BeRecruited athlete Robert Kitchen. Today we’ll learn about another athlete’s recruiting story…
Name: Tara Woelfel
College: Gardner-Webb University, Boiling Springs, NC
Q: Did you know all along you wanted to play soccer in college?
A: I played soccer, basketball and tennis, but I’ve known I wanted to play in college since a very young age.
Q: When did you start getting interest from college coaches?
A: I started getting interest as soon as I open my BeRecruited account. I had a lot of coaches contacting me via email and phone but, I also contacted a lot by email, too. If they seemed interested, I would give a call by phone.
Q: How did BeRecruited help you make the connection with your committed college?
A: I first made contact with the assistant coach the previous year when he was coaching at another college. He knew who I was though, because of BeRecruited. When he accepted a job at Gardner Webb University, the school I ended up committing to, he began to follow me at a few tournaments, and ended up making me a scholarship offer.
I choose my college because it felt good when I visited. I had a good feeling when I was with the team and the coach.
Q: Who was pivotal in helping you through the recruiting process and why?
A: My parents helped me a great deal by starting the process very early in high school. They took me on as many college visits as possible, starting in 9th grade, just so I got a feel for the process. They made me speak to the coaches and talk to the girls on the teams to get a feel for the soccer program, the coaches, and the school. It made it much easier to talk to coaches when I was junior. Plus by then, I was down to four or so schools and was only trying to choose between them.
My parents never pushed me. They supported me as I worked though the process.
Q: What role did your club coaches/HS coaches have in helping you get recruited?
A: My club coaches had a great deal of experience with the girls soccer recruiting process, as they had been coaching for a long time and went thought it with the girls before me. My club coach contacted several college coaches for me to let them know what kind of player I was and what my attributes were in school and on the pitch. They also helped me with what types of questions to ask the college coaches and what to expect when I was interacting with them.
Q: What was the most challenging part of the recruiting process, if any?
A: Deciding what level of soccer I wanted to play -- DI, DII, or DIII. And then, worrying if I was actually good enough to play DI. Also, making that first contact with a coach.
Q: To date, what do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your sport career?
A: Being able to play soccer at a high level, and maintaining good grades in high school. Also, I was named to the first-team all conference in three sports for the last two years (soccer, basketball and tennis).
Q: What tips or advice do you have for student-athletes who want to continue their sport past high school?
A: Start early! There are so many colleges to look at and visit. Once you have it narrowed down to a few colleges, attend their camps to get a feel for the coaching, the team, and the school. Use the BeRecruited web site to its fullest; it has so many helpful tools that will help get you started in the right direction.
Q: Any other advice?
A: I believe you should start the recruiting process as early as possible. I started in 9th grade. This allowed me to visit a far greater number of colleges and talk to a lot of coaches, which made it possible for me to find a school that was the best fit for me.
You must show an interest in college, or the coach will just move on to the next recruit. Stay connected to all the coaches you made contact with throughout the process; you never know what school they will be coaching at in the future.