After growing up in and around the University of Minnesota volleyball program, I knew at age nine that I wanted to play volleyball for the Golden Gophers. I told my parents at this early age that I was going to play Division I volleyball for the home team and they merely humored me. Little did they know I really was going to join the program of my dreams.
I was very lucky to have an older sister go through the recruiting process before me, in order to learn what to do and what not to do. My sister took her five official visits and toured many colleges and universities, and thought she had found the right fit. She ended up transferring twice during her college career and I was determined not to follow in her footsteps.
I had letters from more volleyball programs around the country than I could count. It was extremely overwhelming because it was difficult to tell from the correspondence whether the coach was genuinely interested in me or if I was part of a mass mailing. After witnessing what my sister had gone through after her recruiting process I was scared that I would follow in her footsteps. In light of this, I decided to completely skip the recruiting process. I wanted to make it as easy as possible and take the safe route. When I turned 16, I took an unofficial visit to the Minnesota campus. They offered me a scholarship that day and I accepted. I was a sophomore in high school and done with the recruiting process.
I feel fortunate and unbelievably lucky to have picked the right university. However, if I would have had a resource like Athlete’s Wanted when I was going through the recruiting process…or avoiding it altogether…I may have felt differently. The recruiting process is very exciting and should be something athletes look forward to instead of trying to avoid, like I did.