Soccer Recruiting - 101

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Soccer Recruiting - 101 Powered By Docstoc
					Soccer Recruiting - 101
Your are on your high school or club soccer team and you discovered that
you have ability to play the game at a higher level then most of your
teammates. The idea of taking your game to the next level and playing in
college appeals to you, but you are not sure how to make that happen. You
will find the answers to that question in this article.
. Athletic Assessment
You need to get together with your coach or coaches to see exactly at
what level you can play in college. Only about 1% of all high school
soccer athletes are Division l prospects, so be real. There are 201
schools that offer womens soccer and 199 that offer mens soccer. The
problem is that there are only 9 scholarships available per year per
school, so do the math. When they are gone they are gone, and walking on
does not offer you much of a chance to ever hit the field. On the other
hand there are 575 Dll, Dlll, and NAIA combined opportunities for women
and 665 Dll, Dlll and NAIA combined opportunities for men. You can in
fact get all or most of your education paid for at the lower levels if
you are the right kind of athlete.
. Academic Assessment
Get together with your school counselor to make sure you are on track to
meet NCAA academic requirements to compete in athletics in college. What
you should discuss are core class requirements, GPA, and SAT/ACT scores.
I recommend that you take the SAT test no more than 3 times. You can take
the best score from each test to get your best composite score. Do not
put a lot of stock in the essay portion if you don't do well, because
college coaches or the NCAA are not taking that part of the test into
consideration at this point in time. No matter how bright your light
shines on the field, if your academics are not up to par then it's
community college.
. Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse
You must register, under NCAA guidelines, with the NCAA Initial
Eligibility Clearinghouse at the end of your junior year if you intend to
play Dl or Dll soccer in college. Go to The Guide for the
College Bound Student-Athlete will come in very handy. Download it or get
a copy from your high school counselor, and study it as if it were a text
. Exposure
To play club soccer or not is the question. To join a club soccer team is
one way to get exposure and get noticed by college coaches, but it is not
for everyone. There is cost involved here that may or may not return a
dividend. The time and money involved in traveling to tournaments is a
huge commitment.
That is why I suggested to get an athletic assessment from your coach. If
you are not a Dl type of athlete then club soccer is ok for fun and
improving your skills but not to get a scholarship. The coaches that
attend these tournaments are for the most part Dl coaches and are all
looking at athletes that they had previous contact with in many cases.
Club soccer teams and tournaments are not the only way to get exposure,
and not necessarily the best way to get noticed.
. Self Promotion
My suggestion would be to start the process as early as your sophomore
year in high school. Start to contact the coaches of the schools that you
already know you would like to attend. Again, keep in mind at what level
you can play. We discussed earlier on to get with your coach for an
athletic assessment to determined at what rate you can expect to improve
and at what level you can play. The reason that is important because you
don't want to waste your time contacting coaches at a level your talent
is not good enough to be considered as a prospect for their team. Gather
phone numbers and email addresses of 20 or so schools that you think you
would like to attend, and get busy contacting them. You can always call
the coach, but the coach is under NCAA guidelines as to when they can
contact you by phone or email. Have ready a Player Profile, letter of
recommendation from your coach, and a promo DVD to send out if requested
by coach. See my article on "promoting with video" as to what should be
the content of the video or DVD. Keep in touch with college coaches on a
weekly basis once you make contact. Keep coaches updated game by game
when you are in season.
In closing I have a few words of caution so that you can avoid the
pitfalls or recruiting. After many years of experience as a recruiting
director I've had to witness so very unpleasant circumstances.
Regardless of what the college coach is saying, you have to understand
and I want to make it very clear that you DO NOT have a deal until you
have signed a Letter of Intent. It is a very big and competitive game,
and college coaches jobs depend on them getting the best talent possible.
I have seen and heard of things changing on the plane ride over. The next
thing I want to caution you about is not to let your grades slip the last
quarter of your senior year. You may think you have a deal, but it can be
taken away if your grades slip below that schools or NCAA requirements.
Authored by: Tony Passarella - Sports Recruiting Coach

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