Here is VolleyballRecruits.net's Part 4 of Get to Know a College Program! Periodically, we are going to share with you interviews with college vballers, who are here to tell you how they chose their program and what it's like to be a part of their college team.
Our fourth player is Christie Kubik, a member of the Northeastern University team. She chatted with us about what it's like to be a Huskie and the path that took her there. Kubik has been a defensive specialist for the Huskies for the past 4 seasons. Here's what she had to say!
On the Recruiting Process
In what ways did you make yourself accessible to coaches?
I played club volleyball for 6 years. My junior year my mom and I made a skills tape with the help of my coaches. It was short and sweet and covered all of the basic volleyball skills. The video also had me talking about myself and my aspirations for a few seconds. Near the end of my junior year (and I was behind in recruiting due to an injury) I went on fastweb.com. This site allowed me to do a search on the database and filter everything one can imagine about college. Once I found the best 100 schools that fit me I started looking at their volleyball programs. If it seemed like a fit I sent an email out to the coach. I briefly introduced myself and if they responded and seemed interested I sent out my tape in hard copy form. I also got letters from other schools from playing in club by playing in Colorado and out of state tournaments.
When did you first receive personalized contact from coaches from your program? If I remember correctly, they replied to my email soon after I sent it in the beginning of my senior year requesting the tape I had previously mentioned.
How often were you contacted by coaches from your program?
My coaches were very strict on following the NCAA rules so we spoke when necessary. We emailed back and forth and then when appropriate I got a call from our assistant coach offering me an official visit and a spot on the team.
When did you go on campus visits? And what other schools did you visit?
I believe my visit to Northeastern was in March of my senior year. Before Northeastern, I went on an official visit to Temple University.
What separated your school from the rest of your top choices?
Academics. Northeastern is a GREAT school with some amazing career oriented programs. I was amazed by the opportunities I would have at Northeastern. Compared to Philadelphia, Boston was a beautiful and young city. It was comforting to know that once I was done with volleyball I would have a great degree. Not to mention, Northeastern was one of the top volleyball programs in the CAA and had great potential for the near future with the age and talent of our team.
Do you have any suggestions for future athletes’ visits?
Visit the schools that are not near home. Home will always be there, but you will grow as an athlete, a student, and an individual if you experience the new responsibilities of living on your own. Also, don’t be afraid to visit as many schools as you possibly can. My number one advice would be to talk to your potential future coach. Really get the feel of how he or she is a person and what their coaching ways are. It is extremely tough, mentally, when you expect something and what you get is the opposite. So really talk to them and get an honest feel if you fit in!
What relationship, if any, did you have with current players on the team during the recruiting process?
I knew one girl on the team that I played against in club. Once I found out she was going to Northeastern I introduced myself. We, and all 6 of us in our grade, remain the best of friends. Besides my class, I went on my visit alone and did not know anyone going to school at Northeastern.
When did you verbally commit? When did you sign the National Letter of Intent?
I verbally committed in April of my senior year. I was a recruited walk on with a possibility of a scholarship so I did not need to sign anything. I did end up getting a full ride scholarship my 3rd year.
If anything, what would you have done differently in your recruiting process?
Start earlier and ask my club coaches for more help. I wish I would have done my video sometime during my sophomore or early junior year before my injury, that way I could have reached out to more coaches. I love Northeastern, but my volleyball career could have been very different.
On Being a Student-Athlete
What were some things that you discovered about your school once you began attending that you think it would be important for recruits to know?
Study, Study, Study! When coaches give you time on trips, take it! You no longer have your parents to bug you and you are trying to meet new people. School can unintentionally take a back seat. Most programs have required study hall, so just stay on top of your school work because freshman year can be shocking and you don’t want to spend your next 3-4 years playing catch up!
Describe your campus’ location.
Northeastern’s campus is in South Boston. The school is very big and has a great campus feel with small and well-taken care of quads. It is very close to the Museum of Fine Arts, public transportation stops at our school (the MBTA), and you are in walking distance of the entire city of Boston. Everything about Northeastern’s campus is a pro. The architecture is one of a kind, it is a very well educated school that gives you great connections, and it is near dozens of other colleges. The only con is that there is no Walmart, Target, etc in walking distance.
Please describe a typical class at your school.
The classes are pretty typical. They differ depending on your major. Most of the business classes are in small lecture halls, but classes can be anywhere to 20 to 200 people. Every day has an activities period where there are no classes, but other than that classes can be at any time. There are 65 minute and 100 minute classes. The teachers can range anywhere from doctors to professors to student teachers.
Are there mandatory student-athlete study sessions? Freshman year we are required to complete 5 hours of study hall a week (hours required are different on each team). Northeastern has a lot of student-athlete bbq’s and functions, but they are not required unless said so by a coach.
What kind of academic resources are available to student-athletes? Each team had their own Academic Advisor. They are great resources and are your way to ask for academic and personal help. At our school area in the gym, student athletes had a free computer lab and free printer to use. We had people that did all the work and put together the books that students needed for those on full ride scholarships or scholarships that covered school books.
What did you major in? Are there any well-renown majors at your school?
My major is Business Marketing and I am minoring in Communications. Northeastern is very well known for Business, Engineering, Architecture, and PT/Pharmaceuticals.
What are off season workouts and practices like?
They aren’t too difficult. There are years that we had morning lifts and whatever the rules were we would have practices later on in the day (around 6, which I will explain in question 23).
What was your travel schedule like?
The good thing about going to school in New England is that everything is relatively close. Each school has travel partners and we would bus or fly to our destination. It really depends on the schedule but every team travels a lot. Our coach makes it a goal to travel far on our pre season tournaments to experience different elements and teams. We have traveled to California, Colorado, Florida, Maine and much more.
How did you balance volleyball and academics?
I took advantage of the resources that were available to me. I had some great older teammates who made sure we knew what could happen if we didn’t focus. I studied when I could and got on the Dean’s List my freshman year. It is very difficult, but you will still meet friends and have a good time even when you take out a few hours a day to study. It will just get harder year by year, so practice good habits your first year!
Describe your living options. We got asked if we wanted to live with another volleyball player, an athlete, or just a regular student. I lived with one of my teammates. Freshmen year everyone is required to live on campus. We have very good security where if you don’t have an ID, you will NOT be allowed in the dorms (even if they are your parents). From freshman year on you have the opportunity to enter a housing raffle and once your number is chosen you can choose where you want to live, where ever is left, and with whom you want to live. My 3rd year I lived off campus and have lived off ever since.
Describe the athletic facilities.
They are actually renovating them this summer, but the volleyball locker room was one of the best! We had nice wood lockers and an attached room with couches and a TV. Our gym was not too big and not too small; Obama actually gave a speech on our court! They are now renovating the weight and training room so I am guessing that it will be awesome. The school and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee has made it a great priority to make athletics more well known at Northeastern, so you will now see giant pictures and marketing pieces all over campus.
Was it possible to participate in any extracurricular activities?
Yes, I studied abroad after my 3rd year. I did a dialogue of civilizations, which is a 5 week course that completes 8 credits. I went to Rome in July and was back in time for preseason!
Explain a day in the life of a player during fall season. Every year has been different but last fall I had morning classes, practice from 12-2, some more classes and then a lift either in the morning or late at night. On game days we would get to the gym about 4 hours before the game. We would go to treatment, then watch video, and begin pregame.
Is there any additional information about your school you feel would benefit recruits?
Northeastern is a private, 5 year school. The reason for this is that Northeastern has a co-op program. This means that you can either go on 2-3 6-month internships that are in your major. Here was my curriculum: Freshman year-Fall, Spring…Sophomore year-Fall, Spring…Middler year-Fall, Co-op for 6 months…Junior year-Fall, Co-op for 6 months…Senior year-Fall Spring. Again I did a dialogue in Rome as well. This is a fantastic program, it allows students to create a great resume and get some good real life experience. A lot of people have used the co-op to further their career or change their major based on their experience. Every major is different. There are some that require fall co-ops so our practice was different every year. Sometimes we had to have practice from 6-8/9 at night based on who was working and where. After your junior year NCAA eligibility is up and you can co-op in other states or even in other countries! It’s the program that sold me on Northeastern!
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