Senior athletes commit to collegiate sports teams

Q&A with recruited athletes

Arul Gnanasivam, Photo Editor

From long nights to early mornings, athletes dedicate countless hours to succeed at their sport. For a select few, their hard work pays off as colleges recognize and recruit them for their talents. Long days in the gym earned senior Amy Steinmetz a spot on the UC Irvine volleyball team; senior Nathan Lee’s hard work in the pool secured him a position on the UC San Diego swimming team; senior Andrew Shao was selected to be on the roster of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s track and field team.  



Q: When did you first realize that coaches were scouting you?

A: My sophomore year, I joined a travelling club team that’s super popular. People who join this club team usually get recruited. This helped me out, because we’re the number one club team in NorCal, so once I started playing more competitively, I got a lot of offers and I had to start trying to figure out what type of school I wanted to go to.

Q: When did you find out you got recruited and what was your reaction?

A: In the summer between my sophomore and junior year. The recruiting process is a long time, but that’s when they gave me the official offer. UC Irvine was not my first offer, but they were the biggest offer because I’d always wanted to go there. I was pretty surprised; I didn’t know what to say to the coach. I was just shocked after it happened.

Q: What is it like transitioning from high school volleyball to college level volleyball?

A: I like having the competitive aspect, and having to keep on working harder and harder to get playing time on the team. In high school, it seems a lot more laid back; in college, they expect you to be doing your best every single time, which is harder.

Q: How long have you been playing club volleyball?

A: I’ve been playing club volleyball since the 7th grade. This is my 6th year playing club.

Q: How have your parents helped you in the recruitment process?

A: My parents played a large role in my recruiting process. They helped film my games, edit highlight clips, read over my emails to coaches and supported me regardless of what happened. They were always there for me!

My sister, Angela, also supported me throughout the process. She saw me emailing coaches very late at night, and told me to keep pushing through. When I finally got recruited, she was just as happy and excited for me. I’ve never seen it before that moment, but she seemed so proud to have me as a sister.

Q: What were your parents’ impact on you during your athletic career?

A: My parents have always pushed me to do better, and expected me to keep pushing to improve. They would be on the sidelines cheering me on, critiquing me, and just giving me great support. My parents always believe that I can improve, so they put their standards very high for me.

Q: What were your parents’ reaction to you getting recruited?

A: My parents have always known UCI was my dream school, so when I called them about the news of getting recruited, they were just as happy as I was! They were very proud of me and happy to see that all my hard work had paid off.



Q: How long have you been running track and field?

A: I’ve been running since fourth grade.

Q: When did you first realize that there was a chance you would be recruited?

A: Probably my freshman year, maybe sophomore year. I’ve been in contact with MIT coaches since the summer between my freshman and sophomore year. But I never thought it would actually happen until last year, when I actually met the qualifying standards that the coach wanted me to hit to get recruited.

Q: How have your parents helped you with the recruitment process?

My mom helped me a lot by encouraging me to contact coaches early on and always reminding me to respond to emails and calls that I might have forgotten about.

Q: How have your parents impacted you on your athletic journey?

I was lucky, because my parents were always really supportive of all the time that I put into track, even though they knew that it wasn’t something I was going to pursue past college.

Q: When did you get your first offer, and what was your reaction?

A: Since MIT is a Division III school, the individual sports teams can’t offer acceptances, but they can offer support for the admissions. I got the letter at the same time as everybody else [who applied early action], which was Dec. 14. Obviously, I was very happy.

Q: How do you expect the leap to be from high school track to college track?

A: Unless you’re actually really good, you have to realize that you’re not going to be able to run forever. That’s not going to be the goal to base your life on, even though that’s what I used to think when I was younger. The time commitment and overall intensity will be a lot higher, but I’m looking forward to it as it will help me improve and become faster.



Q: When did you first learn that there was a chance that you would get recruited?

A: I started learning about this late junior year. A lot of coaches started contacting me about wanting to meet me.

Q: How have your parents helped you during the recruitment process?

A: My parents really let me do it all myself since this was really new to them and they trusted me. I always asked them for reassurance on a school or advice but overall it was ultimately my choice.

Q: How have your parents impacted you on your athletic journey?

A:  The way I started swimming was pretty funny. I asked my mom if I could go down to Rancho and chill in the pool and hang out with my friends during summer vacation. She took it upon herself to then sign me up for competitive swimming in 2012. I didn’t do much at the swim club and it later got disbanded, but she wanted me to continue staying in shape, so I decided to swim in high school as well.

Q: When did you get your recruitment notice and what was your reaction?

A: Well, for UC San Diego, I was in SoCal for vacation and visiting schools, when one of the swimming coaches called me. I was incredibly shocked yet excited to finally be in contact with one my top schools. After the call, we met up and discussed the possibility of me swimming there. I was hesitant at first, but after meeting the team and hanging out with the Triton family, I knew this was the place for me.

Q: What were your parents reaction to you getting recruited?

When I told them that colleges wanted me, they were, at first, in disbelief, but then were extremely excited and so happy that hours of swim practice paid off.

Q: How do you expect the transition to be from Lynbrook’s swim team to a college swim team?

A: Being on the Lynbrook’s swimming team is a lot easier. Transitioning from Lynbrook to a college level team was a huge leap. I honestly almost drowned a couple of times because I couldn’t withstand it. But I just kept on going, because I had this idea that I really wanted to be good at something, and eventually it just worked out. Originally at Lynbrook, our practices were around 3000 yards, a daily practice. On a regular day at my club team, it would be around 6000 yards, and a hard day would be like 8000 to 9000 yards.

Q: Do you believe that you will fit in with the rest of their team?

A: So, I went down for a recruiting trip. It was for me and for the team to get a feel for me, and I really bonded with some of them; in fact, I keep some Snapchat streaks with a couple of them and have stayed in contact. They were just really welcoming, and it really felt like a good family to be in. It’s also co-ed, and I talked a lot with and was really chill with the girl’s team as well.