Archive for July, 2009

The Power of Athletics

Keith Babb on Athletes Wanted

My Athlete’s Wanted Story – Joyce Wellhoefer

The youngest of 4 kids in my family, I was extremely active in sports! I grew up shooting hoops in the barn with my brother on our family’s farm. I was responsible for a lot of chores on the farm and would sometimes get help from my softball teammates so I could be finished in time to get to our games. I played as often as I could, but never thought I would have the chance to do so in college. None of my siblings had attended college and there were very limited opportunities at that time for women in sports.

During high school, I lettered in volleyball, basketball and track. I spent my summers playing softball (after my chores were done of course!) because it was not offered as a sport in high school. Late into my senior year, I realized that I may have an opportunity to attend college. A recruiter from a state school in Wisconsin came to our high school and invited students to come on campus for a visit. Being only an “average” student, I was not all that interested in getting a college degree. However, I had not given much thought to what kind of work I would do after high school. I qualified for financial aid and decided to attend college. I was most excited at the prospect of continuing my sports career. That was definitely my main motivation for going to college.

I had no idea the impact that college sports would have on my life. I learned to manage my time better and became more interested in the classroom and “student” aspect of being a student-athlete. Doors were opened for me to travel overseas and compete with Christian softball and basketball teams. After graduation, I went to Latin America, Europe and even played semi-pro basketball in Vienna, Austria. I have made friends and contacts through sports that I never would have otherwise made.

Being a part of these amazing teams was a great motivation for me to get into coaching. I went on to get my master’s degree as a graduate assistant and coached for over 20 years in various sports. I have had the privilege of giving back and helping other families as a direct result of my experiences and fortunes of being a student-athlete and coach. Being involved in organized sports has been one of the most enriching parts of my life.

Now, as a recruiting coach with NCSA, I have been able to continue my life-long involvement with sports. I thoroughly enjoy playing a role in the recruiting story of hundreds of current student-athletes. Looking back at my days on the family farm, I never dreamed all of this would be possible!

What Could Have Been…

Unlike many student-athletes, I never really thought seriously about playing college baseball during high school.  I did not have grand visions of playing for Arizona St. or Cal State Fullerton so the recruiting process was not a very high priority for me.  I started receiving a few letters my junior year and a couple of phone calls my senior year from various coaches, mostly at the DIII level.  Despite being from a family full of athletes, no one had any clue how the recruiting process worked.   I did not send my information to college coaches or create a highlight tape…I did not market myself at all. 

Ultimately, I decided to attend Dennison University after corresponding with the baseball coach a few times and visiting the campus.  Although I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the baseball team and appreciated the rigorous academic cirriculum, I found myself unhappy with the school socially.  It was smaller than my high school and did not offer the type of atmosphere that I had envisioned when picturing my college experience.   Ater much consideration, I decided to transfer to Indiana University where I would not continue my baseball career.

Even though I loved my three years in Bloomington, I still to this day regret not playing baseball for my entire collegiate career.  I strongly believe that had I understood the recruiting process during high school, I would have been able to open up many more doors and potential opportunities at schools where I might have been happy playing all four years.  If I had a book like Athletes Wanted when I was going through the recruiting process, I am confident I would have found the right college fit academically, socially, and athletically.

- Adam Diorio

Coach Chmiel on Athletes Wanted

Athletes Wanted and Parents

Athletes Wanted is the ultimate guide for student-athletes and families looking to get serious about finding the right academic, athletic, and social college fit. The “Fast Facts” alone are with skimming through and would save high school students and families hours upon hours in their search for a college.

My favorite chapter is chapter 3, “The Parent’s Role.” I could have highlighted almost every sentence in that section. Every single parent and student-athlete should take some time to read this part. Most people don’t realize that finding the right college fit is a PROCESS until they experience it. After reading Athletes Wanted everyone will understand that it takes time and energy to make sure you are making a quality life-long decision, not just a four year choice.