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Recruiting Younger Players

Presented at UWH Symposium, U.S. National Championships, Gainesville Florida, July 2008, by Paul Wittekind

“Recruiting is like breathing; you must do it every day in order to survive.” -Pete Gillen, former Xavier University men’s basketball coach

Advantages of recruiting junior/high school players

  • Institutional structure and support (from a high school or a YMCA).
    Name recognition of a school or YMCA.
    Part of a larger community (i.e., the school’s alumni base).
    Access to school’s public relations efforts (i.e., open houses, website).
    Young UWH Players

    Young UWH Players at the annual US Juniors Tournament

  • Advantage of being a coach/teacher in the building.
  • The pool of possible candidates is larger than those teenagers who are active on school or YMCA swim teams; many young people can swim and enjoy swimming.
  • The student team members are the team’s best ambassadors and best recruiters.

Difficulties of recruiting junior/high school players

  • Conflicts with a student’s commitments to other extra-curricular activities.
  • Conflicts with a student’s commitment to a part-time job.
  • Lack of knowledge about underwater hockey among young people and their parents.

Requirements of recruiting junior/high school players

  • Coaches must be professional and mature.
  • The team must promote itself with consistent public relations efforts through the local media to gain name recognition in the wider community.