Snider will be attending Ithaca College in New York to play field hockey this upcoming season. Snider picked Ithaca College because it had everything she was looking for in a school. "After going on several tours, I realized I wanted a smaller campus that wasn’t inside a city. It is the perfect distance from where I live, close enough to come home if I need to, but far enough to be independent. The campus is beautiful, and downtown Ithaca is adorable. I love that it is close to Cornell, to make the area a college town."
Brooke also loved that Ithaca is a D3 school with a D1 attitude. "With a large population of student athletes, I will be around like-minded people. The first time I visited the campus, it was fall of my junior year and I fell in love with it. I immediately knew I wanted to go to Ithaca. Me, my mom and my brother were just walking around, and three different people asked us if we were lost or wanted a tour. Random students showed us their classes, gave us a mini tour around campus, and directed us to the athletic facilities. Everyone was so nice and welcoming, and only had positive things to say about Ithaca." Brooke left her visit knowing she was going to go to Ithaca.
Brooke was also attracted to what they coaches and players at Ithaca said: it is a family. Everyone on the team wants to be there. "I’ve heard that adjusting from high school to college is really difficult, but the team makes it so much better. Coach Wah and Coach Mo are also really invested in you as a person. They care about each and every person on the field as player and a person. I am so excited to be apart of the family."
Brooke is planning on going into Ithaca's Exploratory Program for Humanities and Social Sciences. "I am not positive what I want to major in, so I’m excited to take different classes to help me decide. As of now, I’m interested in studying political science, but I’m keeping my options open."
Brooke started the recruitment process her sophomore year of high school, so it took her two years to get to where I she is today. "I made a spreadsheet of all the schools I was interested in, the coaches names and contact information, details of their school, and a list of the emails I’ve sent. It is a tedious and grueling process, sending out emails with every update. Part of the recruitment process is setting yourself up for success, and still getting rejected. Not getting emails back or being told that you’re not a fit for a program can be really discouraging. But, sometimes its incredibly exciting and rewarding." Brooke indicated that the recruitment process was stressful, but looking back, she so grateful for everything that happened.
High School/GRIT History
Snider's biggest strength as a field hockey player is her versatility. "If I had to choose a position, I would pick midfield. But between my high school team and my club team, I play every position equally. Depending on the team we are playing, the players on my team, or position I’m in, I am able to adjust." Brooke felt that being able to have different skill sets strengthens her in every area on the field. "Having a defensive skill set makes me a better forward, and having a midfield skill set makes me a better defender."
Brooke tends to take a leadership role on and off the field. For her high school team, she loved running practices over the summer to keep her team playing together in the off season. If the opportunity presents itself, Brooke is always happy to help someone with a skill or positioning. "But being a leader goes beyond field hockey skill sets. I try to bring a lot of energy to the team and create an environment where people feel supported and want to play. I love organizing team bonding and helping communication on and off the field."
As far as further development, Brooke indicated she would like to develop her shots on goal and find more opportunities to score. "Sometimes I am hesitant to shoot the ball because I don’t think I will make it. But I would like to work on creating more scoring opportunities."
"Over this past year, I have learned a lot more about the strategy of the sport. I’ve been practicing my physical skills for years, but recently I’ve been working on understanding the game more. I have a much better understanding of different positioning and how to adjust to different types of teams. I’ve gotten better at recognizing situations when it's better to carry the ball or pass, swing the ball back or lift forward, and being able to make these decisions quicker. I’ve also developed a lot more composure when I play, and became more confident on the field."
"I am so thankful for my parents who have been so supportive. They have become my number one fans since I’ve started playing. Millburn Field Hockey is their favorite sports team, and I know they will feel the same about Ithaca. Their confidence in me and excitement makes me so happy. The girls at Millburn Field Hockey have also played a huge part in this process. They are the reason I fell in love with field hockey. We like to say “play for the girls next to you,” so if there ever was a time I felt discouraged, playing with them made me remember why I loved field hockey in the first place."
Brooke is looking forward to being in an environment with people similar to her. "I can’t wait to be apart of the Ithaca Field Hockey team and be surrounded by people who love the sport just as much as I do. I’m excited to join the Exploratory Program at Ithaca and start to figure out my interests. I can’t wait to live on campus and feel independent. But, I’m nervous to start a new chapter in my life. It is going to be hard moving away from my best friends and family."
"Although I’m excited to meet new people, it is going to be a really big change. In 8th grade, my best friend convinced me to join a spring field hockey league. I started to love the sport and kept playing over the summer. For the past four years, my best friend and I have played field hockey together."