Soccer Scholarships. College Soccer Recruiting.
Get Recruited and Play College Soccer
The college recruiting process for soccer scholarships is one of the most competitive in all of college sports. Soccer coaches are evaluating athletes in the eighth and ninth grade, and the top recruits are making their verbal commitments to programs during their sophomore year. This means getting started in the soccer scholarship recruitment process is up to the recruit and their family.
Getting Started With Soccer Recruiting
Soccer coaches aren’t allowed to actively begin contacting athletes and offering them soccer scholarships until near the end of their junior year. That means you need to email and call coaches proactively to find out where they evaluate athletes and what it will take to get evaluated by them. Put together a very simple, athletic, and academic soccer scholarship resume with your highlight tape and send it out to coaches. If you have the money, joining a national soccer recruiting network can make connecting with coaches much easier.
Attend Camps, Showcases and Find the Right Club Team
Soccer recruits don’t get to take the summer off. It is critical you attend the camps of the schools you are most interested in. The next step will be finding the tournaments where you can play in other schools that might be interested in you. If all you are doing is playing in the largest national tournaments, it can be easy to get overlooked. Consider playing in a couple regional or local tournaments where a coach doesn’t have to try and watch hundreds or recruits.
Perhaps the most critical component to your soccer recruitment efforts will be the club team you play for. It isn’t important that a club team promises to get you recruited or will send out your video, you can do those things on your own. What is most important is that you know what tournaments you will be playing in and how much playing time you can expect to get. Don’t join the big name club just to sit the bench. It won’t matter what club you are playing for if the only place the coach can see you is at the bench.
Know How Your Position Gets Recruited
The most highly recruited positions are goalies, scorers (forwards or midfielders), and big defense people. Having an excellent goalie can single-handedly keep you in games as a team; for this fact alone, coaches will recruit that position hard. Being a goal scorer or excellent facilitator is always something next on a coach’s list. If you play defense, you need to show excellent toughness and have the size to own headers. College soccer is played at a higher level, and often times, this means headers are more common. Be someone who can win those contests, and you will be more valuable as a recruit.
Don’t Expect a Full-Ride Soccer Scholarship
One of the most important components to a successful soccer recruitment effort is having the right expectations. It is extremely uncommon to find a soccer player on full athletic scholarships. Even All-Americans are sometimes on a mix of an athletic and academic scholarship. If finances are going to be a major consideration for you when looking at possible schools, then start your list of potential schools where you think you will be able to afford some of the costs of tuition.
Be Patient and Stick With It
Most coaches count on the one hundred or so recruits they begin recruiting, in one way or another, to remove themselves from the recruitment process. Recruits don’t attend camps, stop replying to emails, or forget to follow up. You can get ahead of 75 percent of your competition just by staying in touch with a coach and constantly updating them on your progress. You might not get a response every time but keep at it, getting a soccer scholarship doesn’t come easy.
Author: David Frank