Hockey scholarship opportunities are extremely limited because hockey is offered at significantly fewer colleges than most sports. That’s why learning exactly how the hockey recruiting process works from a trusted resource like NCSA is essential.
When does the hockey recruiting process start?
1. The hockey recruiting process starts in middle school. Hockey recruiting starts early because the competition for scholarships for hockey is extremely high. There are fewer than 500 men’s hockey programs, and nearly 350 of those are ACHA (American Collegiate Hockey Association) teams, which don’t offer scholarships. Schools are very selective and preparing for a hockey scholarship has to start early.
How do I get discovered?
2. A third-party evaluation from a trusted neutral source like NCSA is essential and it’s important to make sure you’re playing in the summer. When college hockey coaches can identify you as a prospect using online tools from a trusted resource like NCSA, you gain instant exposure and credibility. In the process to get a hockey scholarship, summer camps and junior showcases are also essential ways to show off your skills. And, if your game needs developing and you want added exposure, a year or two in junior hockey might be a good idea.
How do coaches evaluate prospects?
3. The Internet is your best tool when trying to earn a hockey scholarship. Budgets for college hockey teams aren’t as big as they are for basketball or football, so the best way that a college hockey coach can evaluate you, without spending money on travel, is the Internet. Easy access to video highlights and statistics from a third-party evaluator like NCSA helps hockey coaches find players that fit their system.
Where am I qualified to play?
4. Less than 60 colleges offer men’s hockey at the Division I level. The majority of college hockey programs aren’t in DI, so set your expectations accordingly. Nearly 90% of men’s hockey players compete at the ACHA, Division II, Division III or junior college level. NCSA is an experienced neutral talent evaluator, and can tell you what level your skills are best suited for and where you’re likely to find the most success.
What is my coach’s role?
5. Your coach can help with your development on the ice, but getting a scholarship for hockey is your responsibility. Your hockey coach is likely very busy and has too many responsibilities to be able to dedicate the time that the hockey recruiting process requires. There’s a good chance that you’re not the only one on your team hoping to earn a hockey scholarship, and relying on your hockey coach to manage the recruiting process for several athletes at once is asking too much.
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