Introducing Mid Fairfield Education Blog...with a Hockey Angle
Mid Fairfield Education Blog (with a hockey angle!)
What’s the number one thing you don’t want the admission committee at prep school or college to say about you, the hockey student-athlete?
What is the number one thing you never want the admission committee to say about you when discussing your application for admission? Many answers rush to mind: “lacks work ethic”, “character/sportsmanship is a question”, “doesn’t seek to challenge him/herself academically”, “doesn’t seem goal oriented enough”, “un-coachable/teachable” or the dreaded: “the application is sloppy or not well done”. Hmmm, all of these are in the running, and many more, but I argue there is one thing a hockey player, or one who plays hockey, should seek to never have uttered about him or her when an admission committee is discussing one’s candidacy: “this kid is all about hockey”.
Too many times as a former Director of Admission, and with knowledge as former hockey player & coach sitting in the back of my head, I would review, with my admission team, a candidate for admission and that dreaded commentary would emerge. I would read, and read, and slowly begin to dread that this could be the candidate that my fellow committee members have come to label as “it’s all about hockey”.
Now don’t get me wrong, we love commitment to a sport, art, science, or any endeavor, but particularly when it comes to athletics, admission professionals are looking for more than one dimension. Why? Quite simply because schools and people are multi-dimensional, but quite practically, we develop or learn better when we ‘cross-train” our brains, and bodies. Let’s face it too…you’re going to be and have a roommate, ideally there’d be more to talk about than the one thing you do. And after all, the candidate presumably seeks to go to school at the institution, not just “play for the school”.
If you’re reading this and you think, oh no, this could be me. Have no fear. There is plenty of time to develop this in yourself. In fact, often times it is already there, but you fail to see yourself this way, and sometimes then you fatally (if you think rejection is fatal) PRESENT yourself this way to the school considering your application.
What’s the number one way to avoid this pitfall? Read. Read something unrelated to hockey, or if it is related to hockey, how about the physics behind puck or body movement? Read a lot, and talk about your reading in interviews and in essays. I theorize that if all hockey players read for just a 1/3 of each commute to the rink, hockey team GPA’s would rise to the top, and the (sometimes) perception would naturally increase. As a first step, keep a book in the car, you might just find yourself reading more before you know it.
Ray Diffley currently serves as the Director of the Leadership Center for Admission & Enrollment Management professionals for AISAP, a global association that provides leadership and professional development for Pk-12 admission professionals worldwide. He also serves as adviser to an international student management company (3W International) and an Educational Consulting group (VJB & Associates). Ray is former Director of Admission at Choate and has coached boys prep school hockey (alongside current Mid Fairfield U16 coach Bill Maniscalco) and had the privilege of admitting (to Choate) and watching the journey of 5 women’s hockey Olympians.
Mid Fairfield is proud to participate in the US/NYS Hockey Players Support Our Troops Campaign
Mid Fairfield is proud to participate in the US/NYS Hockey Players Support Our Troops Campaign. This grass-roots program, started by a hockey coach on Long Island, raises funds to help military families in the area who have lost family members serving in the armed forces of the United States. Participating Mid Fairfield teams will wear the campaign’s flying eagle patch on their uniforms in recognition of their support for our troops.
Further information about the campaign, including recent press information and thank you letters from military families, is available on the campaign website at http://nyshockeyplayerssupportourtroops.com/ or by contacting Charlie Gili at