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Calling Coach

2

Replies to: Calling Coach

  • GKparent2019GKparent2019 Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    Thanks everyone for your input.
    Believe me I know my D is too young to figure out where she wants to go to college.I understand that there is a good chance she doesn't play in College. This is why I push her and all my kids to get great grades. As the NCAA said, most of us go pro in something other than sports. So I understand this all sounds crazy, it sounds crazy to me.
    For now, she will keep emailing coaches. Maybe next year we will revisit calling a coach again.
  • lubbublubbub Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    Good luck. Hope I didn't sound too harsh, it wasn't my intention. Communicating through your club coach sounds like the right answer to me.

    Focus on the grades! I have 2 in college playing D1 sports, and one in Med school who got a lot of academic money. Going through college is much easier on academic scholarships than being an athlete. And good grades make you much more valuable as a recruited athlete.
  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase Registered User Posts: 472 Member
    GKParent,

    I think that is a good call. I agree with you that the vast majority of athletes who are at a level to play college sports need to be aggressive with recruiting by calling and emailing coaches. There are a few who don't -- and those exceptions are spotted at a tournament or recruiting camp, or there is just a loud buzz around them. I also suspect that those are the ones who are recruited early.

    For the vast majority of athletes that do need to be aggressive in recruiting, it may pay for them to wait and to be a bit more mature for coach calls. I don't think it is easy for a high schooler to make that telephone call, but I am guessing it would be very hard for an eighth grader. I know it would have been for my kids.

    On the issue of early recruiting, as I understand it, nobody likes it. I suppose it is just a matter of time before the NCAA steps in. Yes, girls mature early, but they also peak early. Sometimes the uber fast 7th grade field player will slow down as maturity settles in. When you think about it, as much can happen in the 5 years between 8th and 12th grade as can happen in the 5 years between 3rd and 8th grades. Finally, remember that the earlies are only verbals, which is another way of saying that the athlete has committed to the school, not vice versa. So if something happens to the athlete, like injury, the coach will disappear pretty quickly.
  • takeitallintakeitallin Registered User Posts: 3,378 Senior Member
    edited February 2015
    GKparent- you should check out a lengthy post by KeeperDad from a couple of years ago. His D was recruited for D1 soccer, and he gives a great narrative of the process they went through. The comments are still applicable and you will get a lot of info by reading through his posts! He was very helpful about answering questions also if he is still around on these boards. http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/athletic-recruits/1291234-college-recruiting-tips-for-soccer-p1.html
  • GKparent2019GKparent2019 Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    Ok I feel like my D should revisit calling coaches now. I was thinking beginning next year would be a good time. It will be 1/2 through her freshman year in HS. she is not a national team player but does play on an ECNL team. She did start for her HS and played the whole season of club ball too. With the year change coming next year, she will skip U15 and go right to U16. In case you cant tell she is a Gk so not every team will recruit a GK every year. College teams usually only carry 2,3, or 4 GKs so I feel trying to setup relationships with coaches would benefit her in the long run.
    Her Academics are on point. ( AP and Honors) She is a very smart kid. Still worried about calling coaches. I am not sure that is unusual, with todays technology. If she could text a coach, there would be no problem. :)
    Just was looking for everyone's opinions now.
  • rgwrjsrgwrjs Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    GKparent2019,
    As was noted earlier, women's soccer starts recruiting early. A number of teams are starting to sign 2019 recruits. Often these early recruits are on national teams, with contact made through the national team or club coaches. So IMO, soon is to the time for your daughter to start developing relationships with coaches at the potential schools she may want to attend. Particularly since she is affected any the new rule change and will jump to U-16.
    My daughter is also a keeper, played for a ECNL team, and started the recruiting process at the beginning of her sophomore year. I think there are advantages of a recruited keeper (less competition) and disadvantages (not every school needs a keeper in a particular year). It has been a long process for my daughter and she has verbally committed to a top academic D3 school, spring of her junior year. Coaches can not return phone calls and can not initiate phone calls until September junior year. I suggest, as has been said earlier, continue to focus on her academic and athletic excellence. Get a good, short video clip highlighting her performance and email it to a number of coaches. Probably next summer go to a few ID camps to see a range of schools. Definitely next academic year emailing coaches about the showcases and tournaments she will play in. Being in ENCL helps tremendously because a lot of coaches go the games.
  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase Registered User Posts: 472 Member
    GK,

    Half-way through ninth grade doesn't seem outrageously early to me, but at this early age as a parent I would be careful to support rather than to push. As you well know, the life of a goalkeeper is more difficult than a field player in many ways. Wherever she goes, chances are she won't start as a freshman and likely will see very little (and perhaps no) playing time if she doesn't start -- but you know all that.

    I would suggest a plan with more of a strategy than just calling coaches. Calling coaches is great, don't get me wrong but what is the purpose? I would suggest starting by calling a D1 near to your house. Have your daughter tell the coach of her interest, and ask the coach if she can watch a practice. Then watch and be honest. The thing most athletes don't realize is how high the playing level is at the D3 level. It is significantly faster and the girls are bigger than high school. It goes without saying that D1 is even more of a challenge. I would take this time as an opportunity to learn about college soccer. Personally, I think that approach is more helpful than "making contact" with coaches, although it also allows for that. It would be a waste of time to "touch" a D3 coach so that he or she will remember your daughter's name when it is clear that she wants (and is good enough for) D1. Of course, the reverse scenario is equally true.

    I would focus on the skills video now. You may want to ask a coach directly, but I believe college coaches would prefer a "skills" video as opposed to a game highlights video for a keeper. Once you have a video, you can attach it to a coach email and that will give your daughter something to talk to the coach about when she does start calling (What do you think of my tape? What should I work on? what additional skills would you like to see?).

    It goes without saying that there are way (and I mean way) more academic scholarships than athletic scholarships. Working hard and doing well academically in high school is always a calling card for recruits. As the others have noted, encourage your daughter do her best academically every day.
  • DreadpiritDreadpirit Registered User Posts: 491 Member
    Here's the question you have do answer in order to decide if now is the time to contact coaches on teams you are serious about:

    Are you ready to be seen during the spring ECNL showcases? vs
    Are you waiting too long to be seen next winter / spring?

    You only have one chance to make a first impression. But, by waiting to the u16 year you are only giving yourself one bite at the apple for most schools. By the u17 year, most of the better d1 schools will be done.

    D contacted coaches early, right after she had joined an ECNL team and had a few really bad tournaments as she worked through the growing pains. She was seen by a few coaches of schools she was interested in and by the time she got he momentum back, the next spring, she was never able to get those coaches to come see her again.

    Things worked out, and she was seen by many good fit schools, but the list was narrowed by her being a bit too early.

    It is a delicate balance though, the time window isn't very big.
  • GKparent2019GKparent2019 Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    Thanks everyone fro your insights.
    At this stage of her life I probably harp more on her getting good grades then anything that she does on the soccer field.
    goingthruapahse - The closest D1 schools near us are in a big city. That is not the type of college that my D wants to go to. I feel it would be wrong to contact those coaches and talk to them if she has no interest in going there. Her feeling on that could change.

    I think with the new Birth Year Change it is confusing to people. U16 , next year, will be made up of Soph's and Freshman class. So we are told and fully expect college coaches to change their recruiting but you never know.
    As far been seen at ECNL showcases goes, her team does do a few but they are the youngest team at U14 right now. Her team is made up on 01/02 girls ( 3 freshman and the rest are 8th graders) so I am not sure how many coaches are coming to watch them. I would assume the youngest group the coaches would watch are the u15's right now.

    For now we will work on getting a video of her skills together and out there to use as a starting point.

    Thanks again
  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase Registered User Posts: 472 Member
    GK,

    I see nothing dishonest in taking a look at a college you think it is highly unlikely that your daughter would attend. I have been through this rodeo several times and my biggest surprise for each has been that the end result looks nothing like the original path. I suspect others on this site may have had a similar experience. That is why we use the mantra "cast a wide net."

    Believe me, the coach is casting an even wider net if you include all the potential recruits. One D3 coach has explained that he starts with 1800 recruits and starts narrowing.

    I get it if your daughter would feel uncomfortable saying "I am really interested in attending this particular urban D1 college" because right now she isn't. How about saying "I'm really interested in playing collegiate soccer. I would like to watch a practice. Are your practices open. Would you let me watch?"

    My point is that -- for most people (not everyone) -- recruiting is a very long and difficult process. It also can be expensive. The best advice here is Dread's: You don't want coaches to watch your daughter play willy nilly. You do want them to watch her when she is peaking. Maybe if she is a superstar (and very tall) she can catch someone's eye before she peaks. But, more than likely, you will want a few "throw away" experiences for her to dispense with the jitters so she is prepared when the real thing comes along.

    The role of the parent here is to support and guide. It will provide countless lessons for your child. But that also means the parent needs to be brutally honest with him or herself. What marketing approach works best given my kid's individual skills. How would my kid best fit into the landscape of college soccer. In my view, watching a college practice can be a valuable first step to understanding the demands of college soccer, particularly for a keeper who may have to ride the pine for a couple of years.



  • GKparent2019GKparent2019 Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    gointhruaphase - I understand what you are saying. It is all so tough to wrap your mind around at times.
    There are asst college coaches at her club that she might be able to talk to about showing up to watch a spring practice.

    As far as making sure she is ready to be seen by a coach, not a lot I can do there. Do I think she is ready, sometimes I do and sometimes I dont. I do know that she has a lot of improving to do. From what I have read GKs do not peak until they are in their 20's if they make it that far.
    Coaches will come around because of the league she plays in. Some of her games are better then others. There are 2 Gks on the team and the split halves, so she only gets a half on the field to show anything.

    Thanks again for your input
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,201 Senior Member
    I think sometimes you just have to have a little faith in the process. Soccer is like lacrosse in that the girls are recruited and commit at a very early age. If one wants one of the elite D1 programs, you have to be on that recruiting schedule. And I think that it is fine to have a top D1 program as your early goal, to work toward that goal and not worry about all the othe programs oUT there because. I know a lot of sophomores who committed. That means they never went on an official overnight visit, haven't been admitted to the school, don't have a financial aid package. What if the d1 program doesn't work out, what if the grades aren't as good as Stanford needs them or if the athlete gets hurt? All the other programs that recruit juniors and seniors will still be there. The D3 are happy to look as a spring semester junior or even a fall semester senior.

    It sounds like you/daughter really want a chance at a top D1 program. Now is the time for that. Seems ridiculous, but it is not in girls soccer to get on it this year, especially for the summer tournaments. At this point she should target the schools (or type of school) she wants. Why not go for it? It will soon become clear if she has no shot at those schools, then she'll need to decide if she'd like a smaller, less urban D1 or perhaps a d2 or d3. Other things can happen too, like a coach at a college she never heard of approaching her (through a club coach). It feels great to be wanted, and suddenly a school she'd never considered looks pretty good.

    Most of the girls I know who were recruited to the big d1 programs as sophomores are at those programs. Grades and scores worked out, financing worked out, same coaches wanted them as seniors as recruited them as sophomores. Their parents were 'on' it when they were freshmen, they travel to the summer tournaments, kept up the chatter in the fall of sophomore year, and committed in the spring. Many, many, many of us did not do that. My daughter did not want to play in college (she was tiny as freshman and sophomore). She did not go to the Maximum Exposure camp where many are recruited, especially those btwn sophisticated and junior year. She did not play on a club team the summer after sophisticated year. When she did decide to play in college, those D1 opportunities were gone. That worked out fine for her (she plays D2), but you should be aware that once those elite D1 schools fill the rosters, your chances of getting on those teams are gone, usually before junior year starts. There are plenty of other options, but the big elite teams are gone.

    Even if selected for the elite D1 programs, things can still happen-- didn't make the grades or test scores, got hurt, changed her mind. That's fine, she can go to a different program, but she will probably not have the option of moving 'up' in the hierarchy if she doesn't act before or at least during sophomore year.
  • classicalmamaclassicalmama Registered User Posts: 2,261 Senior Member
    Even if rosters are filled by the beginning of junior year (which seems insane, but okay I get it), I don't see why it would be necessary for a potential recruit to start calling coaches midway through 8th grade. My son started the process on the early side for rowing, and that meant calling coaches exactly one year before he and the coach set up the dates for his OV. Wouldn't the summer before 10th grade be early enough? I can see why emailing about camps and showcases would be important at this point, but I just don't see what good the phone call will do. At some point you're just unnecessarily taking up a busy coach's time.

    And as an aside...isn't all of this a recipe for burn-out? How many kids end up quitting collegiate athletics because they've been under this much pressure since they were children? I'm grateful my boys are in a sport that's really not possible to be good at before you're in high school!
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,762 Senior Member
    As the parent of a boy soccer player who will play D3 next year, we learned, sometimes the hard way, that the schedule is dictated by the level of the programs your player is interested in. Though not immersed in the girl side of soccer, we hear it from parents of high school girls -- that by fall of junior year, the competitive D1 programs are filled and there is no more athletic money to be had. Now that seems crazy to me, and an issue for club and college coaches to address, but for kids who want to play in college, it is the current reality. There are a number of families who post here who navigated successful outcomes without being tied to the early 9th-10th grade commitment schedule for girl players. But the more common route is early commitment. Girls mature physically before boys, and the physical player you see at age 14-16 is not going to be much different at 17-18. With boys, there is wild swing, with some boys physically mature in 9th grade, seemingly dominating the field, but then outperformed by the late bloomers in 11th-12th grade.

    In 10th grade, my son started to consider D1 vs D3 and began some broad research to see what kind of academic environment he preferred. By spring of 10th grade, he was leaning towards LAC, so D3, so we visited a few programs that spring to meet with coaches and start to learn about their recruiting process. Fall of 11th grade, he went to watch some matches of target schools to see the level of play, and continued building relationships with coaches in anticipation of summer between 11th-12th ID camps. As it turned out, some of the most competitive D3 programs had a deep list of possible recruits by spring of 11th grade, and he was late to that process. Unavoidable, in his situation, because of his club situation, but a bit of a shock to realize he was late to the party for schools he really liked by March-April of junior year. He has some great offers now, that he is very happy with. His ability to navigate this process was successful, in part, because he had the time to make some mistakes along the way with programs which turned out not to be his preferred choices. If it all had to happen at once, without the opportunity to learn from his missteps, I'm not sure it would have turned out as well for him.

    Long story short -- 1 year before recruiting is finalized is not enough time in the soccer world.
  • ATLMOM98ATLMOM98 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Agree 100% with midwestmomofboys. Daughter signed NLI for golf November 11 to D1 school and numerous friends who will sign in February for Soccer. At most D1 schools in both sports, coaches are working on Class of 2018 and 2019. We found out recruiting is based on relationships not just talent alone. Have her call coaches. They will not call her back but keep calling. Call the assistant coaches also. Keep calling until she reaches someone and ask them how they like for recruits her age to contact them. Email them. Follow the team and coach on twitter. Email them when the team wins and keep the coaches abreast of her schedule, stats and grades. I wouldn't wish the recruiting experience on my worst enemy. It is an emotional rollercoaster for the whole family but when you daughter signs her NLI after working so hard, it will be all worth it. Good luck to you and your daughter and cherish these next few years they go by way too fast!!
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