LIST POTENTIAL SCHOOLS
The players needs to make a list of around 20 schools (e.g 10 academically and 10 athletically) and this list should have some schools that are unrealistic, realistic and easily achievable. When making this list you need to also think about what kind/type of school you want to attend;
Soccer team needs/playing time potential
Do your research. Take your time. Go and visit different types of schools to figure out what you like.
Coaches expect players to have done their research on both the school and the soccer program. Coaches do not want to be in discussions with a player only to find out, for example, that the school doesn’t offer what the player wants to study.
MEET WITH YOUR DOC
Once you and your child have developed a list of schools, your child needs to set-up a time to meet with your coach, DOC or the STA College Director. At the meeting the player and staff will review the list of schools and discuss appropriate division of play for the player. The coach’s role at this point is to help guide your child to realistically achieve their goal to play soccer in college. The college coaches count on the club coaches to be realistic about the division where a player can have the biggest impact for a team be it DI, DII or DIII.
INTRODUCTION TO COLLEGE COACHES
The next step is to develop an email to introduce yourself to the college coaches from your list.
For more information on emailing college coaches go back and click on the templates & docs tab.
In this email you can include a soccer resume and your upcoming game and showcase tournament schedule.
The most important things to remember are; it must come from the player not the parent, be personal and specific to the school (be careful when copy and pasting), and make sure your details (email, team, jersey number and graduation year) are correct and included.
Once the letter, resume and team schedule has been sent, now what…
The majority of surveyed coaches encourage follow-up while some indicated if they are interested, they will follow-up. Due to NCAA rules this may be through your club coach or by inviting you to a ID clinic of camp. Your follow up email should be before and after every showcase tournament you compete in. This is to remind them, ask if they are attending and to send them your game schedule for that tournament. Then, after the tournament, email them to see if they came or to thank them for coming. Give them a little recap of your highlights/successes.
It is helpful to understand that some schools will receive hundreds of emails a week. Patience and persistence is key.
The majority of schools host camps and clinics throughout the year. The camps serve a couple of purposes for the schools and their soccer programs: source of income for the program, recruiting and awareness building for the school.
Attending the camps of the schools your child has on their list is not mandatory, but it can be very helpful. For your child, it gives them an opportunity to experience the school and to interact with the coaching staff. For the coaches, it is an opportunity to better assess a player’s skills, attitude and team fit.
According to the coaches surveyed, many actually recruit players who they saw at camp.
Something else to keep in mind about attending a camp is that coaches from other schools often work at the camp for their own recruiting purposes. So, your child is exposed to multiple opportunities. And if your child attends a camp(s), they need to make sure that at some point during camp, they introduce themselves to the coaches. During registration/arrival and departure, coaches are inundated by parents trying to make an impression on behalf of their child but it is the player that the coaches will remember.
UNOFFICIAL AND OFFICIAL VISITS
An unofficial visit is any visit to a school that is paid for by the player or parents. There are no limitations on when you can visit or how many visits can be made. The only expense a school may offer to pay is for three complimentary tickets to a school’s sporting event.
There are more regulations pertaining to an official visit. Briefly, an official visit occurs at the invitation of a coach and is paid for by the school. Please go to the NCAA website for the specifics on unofficial and official visits.
A helpful tip for official visits to DI schools:
keep multiple copies of the player’s high school transcript
have SAT and/or ACT scores handy
register with NCAA Eligibility Center (formerly known as NCAA Clearinghouse)
The player will be asked to provide the coaches with transcripts and test scores as well as confirm registration with the Eligibility Center.
During a visit, how can the player best represent themselves?
“When the recruit speaks more than the parents do”
“When they come prepared with questions and have clearly put some thought into this very important decision”
“If the player is educated on your school or not”
“Can talk to you and not parents, how easy is he to talk to and how he treats his parents”
“The players character, manners and maturity.”
“Ability to communicate and ask questions, mainly.”
“I am impressed by kids rather than their parents asking the questions”
“When they can represent themselves in a well-spoken and confident manner, rather than have their parents do all the talking for them and when they have a good idea of what they are looking for in a college, academically, socially and geographically.”
REMEMBER, COACHES ARE WATCHING
Players need to be mindful that coaches will be watching – you never know when and they see more than a player might think.
Coaches were asked besides skills, what are they looking for when they watch a player;
“Work ethic, attitude and coachability are also attributes that we look for.”
“Speed, athleticism, ability to deal with conditions, poor refereeing, yelling coaches, etc.”
“Clues that give us an idea of what type of person they are.”