Our Unique Approach To The College Soccer Recruiting Process
Our daughter, a 17-year-old soccer player with dreams of playing soccer in college….1. is not part of an ECNL club2. is not part of a super club by any stretch of the imagination (her team is perhaps top 15-20 for her age group in our state)3. has never been to Surf Cup, National Cup, Texas Shootout, Disney Showcase, PDA Showcase, WAGS Tournament, Adidas Blue Chip Showcase, Raleigh Shootout, Nomads Thanksgiving Tournament, Score at the Shore, any ECNL events, or most of the other major college showcase tournaments (she did guest play at the Las Vegas College Showcase one year)AND YET during the college recruiting process ….4. she received interest from three former Division 1 national champions; and,5. is verbally committed to a nationally-ranked D1 program (at the school she’s dreamed of playing for since she was nine years old).How did we do it?
Some of the schools we have been interested in post information about their newest recruits from this year. We have found it interesting to see where the players come from and what their background is. This gives us insight as to where the coach is looking for players. It also has given us insight into the things they feel like are important to see on a resume.
Sometimes colleges post recruitment videos sent in by the players to get the coach's attention. This helped me out a lot because I had no idea how my home made iMovies compared to what college coaches are use to seeing. Turns out, I did a halfway respectable job capturing video with my iPhone (no fancy video recorder necessary.) We did learn that shooting video from the top of a five foot ladder does help give field perspective and I did have to figure out how to make a freeze frame and super impose a highlight arrow or circle around my player so that watchers knew who to look at. It took some time, but it saved quite a bit of money from having something professionally made. A teenager could have probably done it in a tenth of the time it took me, but I'm always game for learning something new.
I will try to find the college that posted video of their players so that you can see what helped me out. Right now I can't remember what school it was. Hopefully it will come to me.
Soccer Resume - I usually suggest breaking your resume down into four sections
Personal - a photo, your height, weight, position/s you play as primary and secondary
Academics - GPA, SAT/ACT scores, student involvement in clubs, government, awards, what you want to study in college if you know
Athletics -All the teams you have played on since you were in 9th grade, the division of competition, your coach, any awards/recognitions you have received, major tournaments your team has won, any special teams you have played on such as ODP, high school all region, etc. List your most recent club and/or high school team coach contact information. Make sure you ask permission from your coaches to use them as a reference first.
Leadership/Service - This is where you get to show a little bit about who you are as a person. Include the things that are important to you and the role you have played in making that event, organization, club a better place for having you be a part of it.
This format is modeled after what we used for our older son's resume for the Air Force Academy. The have a pretty high bar, so I figured if it worked for them, then would serve us pretty well for other universities.
Know that mens soccer athletic scholarships are generally not a full ride scholarship. Academic/Merit and Need based scholarships generally are needed to combine with an athletic scholarship to attempt to cover some portion of tuition, room and board. I know one athlete who went out of state and because he was a recruited athlete they offered him in-state tuition as part of the deal. So just because it is out of state, don't cross it off your list. Once you establish a relationship with a coach and it is a mutual "we like each other" situation, then you ask the questions.
Some colleges have an online financial calculator. You enter your parent's tax return information (if they claim you as a dependent) and it calculates what you can expect to receive via financial aid with a click of a button. Kind of cool. At least it gives you an idea of what you are looking at given your specific situation.
Tracy Proulx - blog moderator
I started to make a webpage about searching for a college soccer program, but I'm not an expert on college recruiting. So instead, I decided I would just blog about what we are learning in the process of helping our high school Junior go through this. It has been an interesting journey so far, but I imagine it is not unique in the least. There are definitely things that would have been nice to know if I had known what to ask before this point in time.