Field Hockey Recruiting: Skills Field Hockey College Recruiters Look For

A Maryland field hockey player looks to hit the ball during a game.

Summer sports camp is a great place to have fun and prepare for the field hockey season. Every year, Revolution Field Hockey campers learn how to improve their skills on the field while gaining valuable experience that will prepare them should they decide to play at the collegiate level.

Across the board, recruiters are looking for well-rounded field hockey players who are masters at ball control and passing. College programs want players with “Field Hockey IQ.” If you are looking to play in college sports, your IQ will be measured by your ability to think on your feet in a heated game. Sports camp helps you gain more experience playing competitive field hockey, and gives you tools for making quick decisions under high-pressure play. You also get a deeper understanding of the game when you have a chance to play all positions.

College coaches at top tiered field hockey schools look for the following skill sets when recruiting the next student-athlete superstars.

There may be players better than you, but there is no excuse for anyone working harder than you!

— Unknown

Field Hockey Goalie

Unlike other team sports, field hockey doesn’t discriminate based on your size. Goals are protected in NCAA field hockey programs by those who are steely under pressure, with quick decision making skills. To stand out amongst the competition, you need to improve your agility, athleticism, and hand-eye coordination, and learn how to clear the ball with a good, strong kick. College recruiters are looking for field hockey goalies who are natural leaders, in the cage and on the field.

If you think you need to improve your communication skills with your defensive teammates, consider attending a field hockey camp. We give you the feedback and support you need to become a strong competitor — on and off the field — and we even offer camps tailored to leadership.

Field Hockey Defender

Most people associate the best defenders with toughness on the field and formidable upper body strength. When preparing for college, you won’t necessarily need a showy performance, but one-on-one defense skills, shot prevention, and outletting skills are going to be the keys to attracting the attention of college coaches and recruiters. If you show room for improvement, camp experience, and an All-State, All-American or All-Region win under your belt, you’ll improve your chances of finding a place on a college-level team.

Field Hockey Midfielder

Are you an expert at attacking and defending? If so, you won’t have to wait long for tier 1 field hockey recruiters to come looking for you to fill their midfielder positions. If you want to be a college-level midfield player, you need to have excellent stamina, good elimination skills, and a talent for creating scoring opportunities on the field.

Tier 3 recruiters may not necessarily look for you to be the best in all these skills, but if you attend field hockey camp, participate in travel teams, and play for an All-Region or All-Conference high school team, you have a chance at playing for a college team.

Winning means you’re willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else.

— Anonymous

Field Hockey Sweeper

Defense! If this is your shout-out, you are most likely the backbone of your field hockey team. In addition to an imposing presence, competing for a spot at a tier 1 school will require that you have excellent technical skills, along with intercepting deftness and versatility. You will need to learn how to be a reliable ball clearing player with good defensive coverage and effective 1-on-1 moves to fend off attackers. To be considered for any division level in college, you’ll also need to learn how to cover the goalkeeper well and actively communicate with your defensive teammates during play.

If you are having trouble with effective coverage or communication, our summer sports camps can help you improve with practice, drills, and a diverse, experienced coaching staff and teammates to help you get comfortable with competitive field hockey in a fun, inspiring environment.

The Revolution Field Hockey curriculum does a really great job of mimicking a standard collegiate practice. Our campers get a great introduction to what a typical pre-season would look like at the college level, preparing them for the road ahead.

— Britt Walker, Director of Operations, Revolution Field Hockey

College Field Hockey Recruiting Extras

High school athletes interested in taking their game to the college level should take advantage of every opportunity they have to increase visibility and exposure to college coaches. Consider a club field hockey team or a field hockey camp on a university campus. In addition to giving you an opportunity to perform and compete in front of potential recruiters, both camp and club coaches often network with their college-level counterparts, allowing them to advocate for interested players.

If you have hopes of playing for one of the best college field hockey programs, you want to make sure you’re attending showcases and clinics, as this is where other elite field hockey players and college coaches will be. While a highlight video might show off your talented skill set, prospective schools want to see you play in person, especially if there are athletic scholarships on the line.

When preparing for college recruitment you want to make sure your playing style is well-rounded and versatile. You may have superb technique, but if you can’t execute a play or maintain your stamina in a match, this may result in you being passed over for consideration. With tough competition for athletic scholarships, it’s crucial that you stay engaged with the recruiting process, continuously work on your skills, and get as much competitive field hockey experience as possible.

Have you or your children expressed an interest in college-level sports? Register now for Summer 2024, and foster a love for field hockey.

We are partnered with some of the most well known names in the sport, including CaptainU, the United States Field Hockey Association (USAFH), the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA), SISU Mouth Guards, Cranbarry Field Hockey & the Positive Coaching Alliance.

Are you interested in pursuing field hockey at the college or university level? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on preparing for college field hockey and navigating the field hockey recruiting process.