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action plan

As you review the information there are four things to keep in mind:

  1. The process is very similar to looking for a job.

  2. The process operates on two parallel tracks: soccer and academic.

  3. Approach the process with a team mentality: player, parents, coach and school guidance counselor. Everyone has certain responsibilities, but, the player, your child needs to lead the team.

  4. A positive attitude and persistence will go a long way during your child’s journey to play collegiate soccer.

WHEN TO GET STARTED?

To understand when to get started, you need to work backwards. Coaches build their annual recruiting process around the official signing date, February 1st (of your Senior year).

 

With the above in mind, it is recommended that your child begin the process during the;

BOYS – fall of their sophomore year of high school.

GIRLS – spring of their freshman year of high school.

The process starts earlier for female players because schools (DI especially) look to get verbal commitments and their future classes locked in a few years in advance.

 

Note: NCAA regulations permit coaches to respond to prospective student-athlete inquiries, but the coaches cannot initiate contact until [September 1 of your child’s Junior year.]

FRESHMAN YEAR (9TH GRADE)

You never get a second chance to make a first impression! Make an effort to make a good impression on your teachers as you begin a new phase in your life.

Realize that your grades from this year matter! Colleges will see the grades you receive in ALL four years of high school. Start off strong! Get involved in extracurricular activities in and outside of school.

CHECKLIST

  • Begin to discuss and research colleges with your parents. Identify 20/30 potential colleges for your list.

  • Sit down with a school counselor and create an academic graduation plan.

  • Find a local organization to volunteer.

  • Work on your academic potential - maintain your GPA and class rank.

  • Go watch college games at all levels, and if possible take campus tours.

  • Create a player resume and cover letter.

  • When selecting classes for sophomore year, select the most challenging classes you will be able to succeed in. You want to take as many honors and AP classes as possible while maintaining a high GPA.

  • Summer before sophomore year – visit some local colleges or colleges near locations you will be on vacation. Do this to get some sense of what a college campus is like.

SOPHOMORE YEAR (10TH GRADE)

Sophomore year can be a challenging one. Remain focused, stay on track academically and keep up your grades.

CHECKLIST

  • Take the PSAT’s in fall.

  • Attend the STA College Night.

  • Meet with the STA College Director.

  • Learn the basic recruiting regulations, so you know what to expect from coaches and how and when you can communicate with them.

  • Update your list, you will have made some changes and the list will be down to 12/20 schools.

  • Update your resume and then begin sending them out to as many coaches as you can, especially before any showcase events you are attending or before you attend one of their camps.

  • Attend college camps for schools that you are interested in. You may want to attend 2/3 camps this summer.

JUNIOR YEAR (11TH GRADE)

This is an important year for your academic record. Make it count!!

CHECKLIST

  • Take PSAT’s for National Merit scholar potential.

  • Continue to stay active in extracurricular activities.

  • Take SAT’s and ACT’s - as early as January, no later than March for the first time.

  • Register with NCAA Eligibility Center.

  • Keep your STA coach updated as to your status

  • You should have an idea of which schools are interested in you and so have a better idea of where to narrow your focus. By the end of the school year, you should try to have 6/10 schools identified that you are seriously considering.

  • Update your resume and cover letter and send to any schools that you are interested in.

  • Before each event where you could be scouted by college coaches, re-send your information along with your competition schedule, including times and locations you can be seen competing.

  • Plan college visits.

SENIOR YEAR (12TH GRADE)

Don’t let down in your class work. Finish strong.  It is important you stay focused, organized, and manage your time so that your hard work will pay off.

CHECKLIST

  • Take the SAT/ ACT again.

  • Submit all applications by deadlines – know your school’s deadline!

  • Check status with the NCAA Eligibility Center and have your transcript sent at conclusion of senior year.

  • Complete FAFSA form with recent tax information. March is the deadline, but do it as early as possible – After January 1.

  • Schedule and complete official visits. Meet with the coach and the team and stay overnight if possible, see the team play.

  • Stay in touch with your STA coach, copying them on all communication with college coaches.

  • Stay in touch with your high school guidance counselor.

  • Keep college coaches updated on your achievements by sending them your updated info through the fall and play in high level tournaments in the late fall and spring.

  • Update your resume and cover letter.

  • Contact college coaches before any event where you could get scouted.

  • In your senior year you are eligible to go on Official Visits, where a college will pay for your visit. Try to plan these visits during the fall so you can be there on a game day and before Athletic Scholarships are awarded. Gather as much information as you can on each college.

  • At the beginning of your senior year you should be able to narrow your college search down to 2-5 schools. 

  • Verify your eligibility status with the NCAA and NAIA.

  • Follow up with college coaches so that you know where you stand.

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