Since I was in High School I had the idea of playing abroad at a great level, in a big university and getting the degree I wanted at the same time. I always put it off saying things like "I'm not good enough", "We can't afford it", "How will I do it" and so on.
Things started getting more serious with field hockey and I got the chance to represent my country at the Junior World Cup, which was going to be held in Boston, United States. I realized this was my opportunity if I ever wanted to get a scholarship and play for an American university. This was the best way to showcase my abilities, learn about the schools and make my initial contacts.
I was scared because I didn't know which kind of response I was going to get or if I was going to get any!!! But I wasn't going to let that stop me, worst case the answer was a "No thanks, we are not interested". So I sat down and wrote an email to the 10 schools I could think of at the top of my mind. In hindsight, there were a lot of things I could have done better, starting for informing myself about schools, the admission process and their Field Hockey level. Nevertheless I went for it and got an amazing response! Turns out most of them were interested in having me on their roster and were willing to give me a scholarship. Although not everyone is so lucky.
The initial communication with coaches had started and now it was just a matter of time before I packed my bags and showed them what I could do on the field. Once I got there I realized the response was even better than I thought and different schools wanted to talk to me. At that time I wished I had someone to guide me, especially about rules and procedures, which at the time I didn't have knowledge of. So all in all, at the start of my trip to play in the Junior World Cup I still didn't know what information was important, and how I should proceed with communicating to the coaches I had emailed, once the tournament began.
All in all, the beginning of my recruiting process showed it was going to be an interesting ride.
Part 1/3 ...