Recruitment 101: Volleyball and soccer

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With volleyball and soccer season officially ending at the University of Dallas, it is now time for our coaches to prepare next year’s recruitment for the next incoming batch of freshmen. David Hoffman, the coach for the men’s soccer team, and Kelly Trautmann, the coach for the women’s volleyball team, both shared what recruitment season looks like for them and what they expect from potential student athletes.

For starters, both coaches start scouting for players early on in their high school years. Coach Kelly focuses on players’ club season in their sophomore year and junior year while Coach Hoffman focuses on junior year spring time and senior year fall time.

In order to honor a recruitee’s commitment to their chosen university and to give the fullest collegiate recruitment experience, Coach Hoffman recommended the following deadlines for recruitees:

By Thanksgiving or earlier, the recruitee ought to apply to the University of Dallas. By December, the recruitee would be admitted to the university and have a formal opportunity to review their financial aid package from the university and to re-discuss the opportunity of playing collegiate soccer. By January, the recruitee would give a verbal commitment and receive a “Celebratory Letter.” Finally, by February, the recruitee would be able to participate in the traditional National Signing Day.

Both Coach Trautmann and Coach Hoffman not only take  the recruitee’s passion for their sport into consideration,  but also their major and career direction. After all, a recruitee is committing to a university for the next four years.

“I want to recruit students that we will help to excel academically so finding out what their major(s) are and their career goal early on is essential in the recruiting process,” Coach Trautmann shared. “I want the University of Dallas to be a good fit for them.”

Coach Hoffman’s advice for any recruitee are the following tips: (1) complete the paperwork timely and fully, (2) have a good video and (3) being proactive with the coach themselves.

“I ask prospects to fill it out on the front end.  If they don’t execute that when they are trying to make a positive impression…how are you going to trust them to do what you ask in the offseason or when they are in Rome,” Coach Hoffman commented. “After that…have a good video…update it.  Keep the coach apprised of developments/updates.  Let the coach know when you are playing.  Be proactive…reach out to the coach regularly.  Play at the highest level you can play (not the best team you can make and then sit the bench).”

Raw skills is not the only thing that Coach Hoffman values and looks for in a potential prospect.

Coach Hoffman shared, “Disciplined. Honest. Team above self. Servant leadership goes a long way for me. We value hard work…honest self evaluation…I like guys who like to learn and who like to better themselves. They have to want to compete and embrace the struggle.”  

Similarly, Coach Trautmann searches for character traits that are present on the volleyball court and in the classroom within the UD community.

Coach Trautmann said, “Being a good teammate, have a good attitude and a strong work ethic is something I’ll continue stressing with my team and in the recruiting process. I want them to be on point with all three of them on the court and in the classroom. They want to continue striving to get better and grow as a person.”

Choosing a university to play at a collegiate level is an important step for any prospect. The college experience is one of the most defining years in one’s life. It is important to choose a university that fulfills and balances both the athlete’s academic desires and their passion for their sport—not just one.

“You have to find the right balance between your education, your experience, your networking and your soul,” Coach Hoffman shared. “I don’t recall many tests, but I can remember games, but the relationships and experiences with teammates and classmates are what I really carry with me from my college experience.”

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