The ECS Process
The ECS Processtm provides an easy to understand framework for conducting your college field hockey search. The ECS Process is easy to follow, but securing a roster spot on a NCAA varsity team still takes proactive effort and diligence - you have to provide the effort. And most important, you, the player, have to provide the initiative.
One of the primary objectives is to differentiate yourself in the mind of your targeted coaches. There are over 400,000 female high school players in the U.S., with just over 90,000 graduating each year. For those hoping to play in college, they are chasing around 6,500 freshman roster spots.
The competition for ECS college and university roster positions is even more intense, as those schools comprise some of the most desirable schools in the U.S. On average, there are hundreds of girls vying for each of those ECS coach's precious attention. One of our goals is to help you target the right group of colleges (a primary focus during your freshman and sophomore years) and better understand how to differentiate yourself in the coach's mind (mostly in the sophomore and junior years). The ECS Process is organized by class year (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior). If you're just now starting and are a sophomore or junior, work hard to catch up.
First, a couple of ground rules that will greatly increase your chances of successfully getting a roster spot at one of the academically elite colleges covered by ECS:
- The search should be led by the player, not the parent. Parents who inappropriately insert themselves into the process can cause a coach to walk away. Each coach has their own definition as to what is appropriate parent interaction. Our suggestion is that only the player engage in the initial and early stages of contact. Once a coach shows some interest, the player can then broach the subject as to what participation the coach would like from the parents.
- Don't approach the process thinking that you'll be recruited; only a small minority of players are proactively recruited by coaches (typically those in a national pool or some other regionally recognized pool). You are recruiting coaches, and unless you are proactive, the coaches will never know you exist.