Access Sport put on its first annual The Next Level athlete recruiting event just a couple short weeks ago! The goal of this is a brand new event was to educate and inspire Canadian athletes about their future in sport while providing them with information that will assist them in identifying, pursuing and getting prepared for post secondary opportunities in their sport.
This first event was hosted at Sutton Place Hotel, Vancouver and welcomed athletes, parents and coaches from across the lower mainland and Vancouver Island.
The day began with three time Paralympian Matt Hallat sharing his experiences and handing out advice
“The most valuable lessons i’ve learned in sport were not things I learned on the field of play, I learned how to manage my time, I learned to set a goal and dedicate myself to it, and I learned when you think you know what you are doing and you’re on your way to it, and you start to perform but you don’t get the result that you think you should have gotten, that you really need to re-think the way you see things, and re-think the way you do things and those are incredibly hard lessons to learn, but they are incredibly valuable and will be helpful throughout the rest of your life.”
Access Sport Owner and recruiting expert Jenn Beagan then took the stage to talk about some of the most important steps to take to start out your recruiting journey on the right foot.
We broke those into three distinct steps. 1. Identifying what your goals are, what your priorities are and researching what options will fit best with your individual needs. 2. Pursuing your opportunities, including initiating contact with coaches, developing relationships and putting yourself in a position to be seen and evaluated by coaches and finally 3. Preparing for the transition to the next level of sport, which includes being mentally, physically and emotionally ready to take the leap to higher education, varsity athletics and living on your own for the first time.
The day continued with some fabulous presentations and top notch advice from notable athlete and sport professionals:
Lisa Northrup Spoke on nutrition for performance, including the importance of always having recovery snacks with you at training
“You haven’t finished training until you’ve refueled”
SFU Strength and Conditioning coach Faolan Dunphy shared some great incites about the importance of strength training, and incorporating active rest into your routine
“If all your training is high intensity, none of your training is high intensity”
Engineered Bodies owner and FMS specialist Anthony Agtarap showed us the performance pyramid and spoke about how your functional movement is your foundation and without a solid foundation you are 3x more likely to get injured. We had Brian Melnyk and Liza Randolph presented yoga sessions to keep us moving, active and share some tips for using yoga and movement practices in cross training.
We welcomed NCAA coach Gina Schmidt and CIS coach Leah Pezer to present the differences between NCAA and CIS recruiting and developing recruiting relationships with coaches, highlight video, email contacting a coach, NCAA options, regulations and things to know when pursuing an NCAA institution.
“The reason you send video to a coach is so that they can see if you are good enough that they want to see you live. We will never take a person that we haven’t seen play live because we want to see the intangibles. How you react when you get subbed out, how you react after a bad play. The video is just to catch our attention”
“Generally the CIS tends to recruit a little bit later, NCAA a little bit earlier, and that is because int he NCAA recruiting is a business. Coaches jobs depend on winning and losing so they want the best talent, and they usually have people on staff whose job is solely to recruit”
The most popular sessions of the day were our athlete panel discussions. Moderated by Steve Bell-Irving, former UBC and University of Hawaii baseball athlete, and owner of Athlete Evolution Services the panel featured advice, tips, and anecdotes from three former college athletes. Sydney Sawa (UCLA gymnastics), Laura Thompson (UBC Swimming) and Alex Thicke (UofT field hockey, and current Team Canada athlete)
Overall, The Next Level was an awesome and successful event and we are thoroughly looking forward to the second annual in fall of 2016!
Did you miss out? Watch our social media accounts over the next little while and we just might share some video with key advice and tips from some of the sessions!