For the Players Seeking College Recruitment
EACT are committed to providing information and resources to all players who have aspirations to continue to play competitive soccer at the collegiate level. There are a variety of options available to the scholar-athlete. Many schools have soccer programs, and colleges and universities vary widely in size, location, and academic offering, and the soccer programs sponsored range from moderately to very competitive.
Steps in the process include these points
- Plan Early and Be Aware of what you should be doing year-on-year. Waiting until you’re a senior or even a junior to start applying is too late!. Start as early as their first year in high school. Recruiting is about building relationships with coaches and with players/families.
- Make a list of potential schools of interest. Make sure the schools match the talent level of the athlete. The list should also include positives and negatives for each. There should also be a secondary list of schools in case the first list does not work out.
- Grades matter - It doesn’t matter how much talent or skill you have, if you can’t stay eligible academically. It’s in your best interest to prove, during high school, that you can take care of academics as well as athletics. Taking care of business in the classroom helps open up more opportunities during the recruiting process. All else being equal, having better academics than another recruit just may be the factor that sets you apart from other student-athletes. Grades are the most important. Don’t slack in the classroom.
- Attitude counts - Just one player with a bad attitude can infect the entire team. Most coaches would rather have a team full of decent players who work hard, who play together as a team, and know how to pull together when it counts than a team full of all-stars incapable of playing together. You need to demonstrate your ability to work hard, support your teammates, be a leader, and most of all be coachable!
- Attend soccer camps and showcase tournaments. These camps are a great way to get exposure and judge the athlete’s talent against other good competition at the camp. Recruiters do not have time to spend going to each individual soccer game so a camp provides an ideal opportunity to view a plethora of athletes in one place.
- Make a personal connection with each school’s coaching staff. Even if it is just a phone call, a recruiter will be more likely to open recruiting information sent to them if they recognize the name. So go to the school’s web site and get the coach’s direct number. Always call ahead of the information sent to a recruiter.
- Compile a video of the athlete playing the sport. To be recruited by a college team takes a marketing effort on the athletes’ part. Production values are not that important to recruiters, so unless money is no object, do not pay for professionally made videos. The recruiter just wants a visual of the athlete playing soccer. Remember it doesn’t matter if your team wins every game, it is how talented YOU are that counts.
- Test Early - If you plan on going to a school that has SAT/ACT requirements, try to take these tests during your Junior Year in high school (if not earlier). The colleges will take your best scores from each section of each test. Most students see a 5% or more increase in their score when taking the test again. If you’ve already gotten your tests taken care of and they know you’ll be able to get into their school, it’s that much easier for them to decide that you’re a recruit they want.
- Check out scholarships yourself. Many players have the false impression that they will be scouted and offered a scholarship, but that’s true of only a very few.
- Write to the coach of your chosen school and ask what money is available. Do this immediately upon applying for a college.
- Know the limitations of scholarships depending upon divisions, locations, fininacial situations and a wide variety of other factors They have conditions that you should be sure you can meet.
Players be aware the coaches are watching you both on and off the field.
Coaches want players who are mature and who will represent their school well. Losing your temper on the field will not help you get a scholarship. Acting irresponsible off the field could hurt you as well. Communicate with the coaches in advance, play hard, play well, do your best, and behave like a responsible young adult on and off the field.