US Squash and the College Squash Association (CSA) hosted two round table discussions addressing the college recruitment process on August 27 and September 2.
The discussions featured panels of college coaches and administrators in hopes of providing players and parents with the most up to date information on the recruitment process for the upcoming season and the impact of the pandemic on the process.
The first round table on August 27 had a specialized focus on players entering their junior year of high school. Panelists included Paul Assaiante (Trinity), Mark Allen (Virginia), Shona Kerr (Wesleyan) Jack Wyant (Penn), Theo Woodward (Bowdoin), David Poolman (CSA) and Kim Clearkin (US Squash).
The September 2 round table provided a broader focus on the recruitment process, including timelines and procedures. Panelists included Niki Clement (Haverford), Dylan Cunningham (Drexel), Mark Lewis (Middlebury), Mike MacDonald (Conn College), Gail Ramsay (Princeton), David Poolman (CSA) and Kim Clearkin (US Squash).
Throughout both discussions, the panelists emphasized important points about the recruiting process and impact of the pandemic:
- Schools and coaches are all different in how they approach athletics recruiting. Players should research all of the schools in which they are interested and reach out to the coaches directly (within allowed recruiting contact dates) for added guidance. The differences include, but are not limited to, application deadlines and testing requirements; researching procedures for individual institutions is important.
- Recruiting during COVID-19 is uncharted territory. That said, coaches are still actively searching for players who are a good fit for their college/university and team, and the process and timelines will remain generally in line with previous years.
- First contacts with coaches are often best made via email by the player not the parent. Video of full match play will be valuable to coaches to evaluate skill level, work ethic and style of play.
- Rankings and ratings are not the be-all-and-end-all of college recruiting. There are many factors that coaches take into account when evaluating if a player is the right fit for their program.
- Players are reminded to make sure their information is updated on their Club Locker profile as college coaches will use this to guide them during the recruitment process.
Watch replays of both round tables below via YouTube: