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Please help me to de-code the soccer recruiting process

SoccerMom2018SoccerMom2018 Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
Hi - I'm new to CC but I'm hoping I can get some advice. My son is a sophomore in an IB school. His goal is to play college soccer for a top division 1 program . His is a good soccer player but an average student. Here are his stats

Unweighted gpa - 3.5
Weighted gpa 3.9
No SAT or ACT yet

Since he is only a sophomore, he cannot officially get recruited but he does get a lot of return emails from coaches he's emailed. Of course they are always inviting him to camp and all that... Which I gather is pretty normal for any kid. In one of his tournaments when he was a rising sophomore, 4 coaches came to watch him play - 1 ivy, 2 div 1s and 1 div 3. They are all in the top 30 schools in US.

He has received a lot of accolades including getting MVP at a UC camp, all stars at one of his top D1 schools (the one who came to see him play). He's also on the state ODP team and won league champions the last two years. His team also won CIF championship with him as a freshman player. He played at the professional academy level in England.

Can you give me some advice on how to better his chances of getting recruited. Is his GPA going to hold him back? Any advice is greatly appreciated as we've never gone through this process before. Does it mean anything that the coaches came to see him play? Thanks!

Soccer mom

Replies to: Please help me to de-code the soccer recruiting process

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 19,584 Senior Member
    His gpa is not awful, but he'll need good scores to get into an ivy. Schools can set their own requirements. It sounds like he's a good athlete, so coaches may require less academically, but still, the best grade are important. Good luck.
  • TyberiusTyberius Registered User Posts: 176 Junior Member
    Outside of the Ivy League and other high end schools like Stanford his GPA should not be an issue if the coach really wants him. I know some players who got into NESCAC schools through soccer that they were very unlikely to get into otherwise. Is he playing Club or DAP? Although college coaches cannot contact him directly at this age a lot of recruiting goes on behind the scenes through the club coaches. College coaches communicate interest to the club coach who then relays it to the player. If the club coach is well established, or preferably a college coach himself, the club coach can reach out to the coaches at schools your son is interested in. DI soccer is very competitive, so your son needs to be aggressive in marketing himself. E-mailing the coaches himself usually gets better results than going through a recruiting company. ID camps also tend to be money makers more than vehicles for exposure. Your son should keep college coaches up to date on what tournaments he is playing in and what his regular season schedule is. Start getting video of his games so that you can put a highlight video on youtube and send the link to coaches. Good luck.
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,691 Senior Member
    Parent of D3 recruit, a current high school senior. Although my son was never interested in the D1 route, even with D3 this past summer, it became apparent at a number of school's recruiting camps that coaches had been watching most of the players at camp for at least a season if not more, before the kid showed up at camp. We are in the midwest, and he was looking at some east coast schools so, unlike players within the same region of the schools he was looking at, he had not been seen at Academy matches nor had his club played Disney etc. At various camps for D3 programs in the top 50 or so, he was already "behind" before he stepped on the field at camp because coaches were already watching and talking to most of the other campers. If that is going on at D3, then it is accelerated with D1. My kid has attended a top D1 program summer camp because we live not far, and the rising juniors are the kids of interest for D1 coaches. So start working on your kid's soccer resume, highlight film, and start researching camps at target schools. Sounds like your son has made a great impression, and could have some great opportunities. Search this Athletic board for threads on soccer recruiting as there are several parents who have written a lot about D1 steps.

    Good luck to your son!
  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase Registered User Posts: 461 Member
    SoccerMom,

    I am sure that you have already done some of this. This, IMHO, is the best way to get considered for recruiting. Be proactive. Do not wait for the schools to come to your son. Some may come for him, but he will eliminate some options if he does not take the initiative. More options, in my view, are better than fewer options.

    The first step is for you and your son to think about what he wants to get out of college and collegiate soccer. If you browse the various posts on CC, I think you will find a number of different perspectives. Some kids want to make an immediate impact and play 4 years, some want the challenge and intensity of a D1 program, some want the most challenging academic program -- perhaps in a specific area -- like engineering, still others are looking for the best price tag. Give your son permission to change his objectives, but there is still value to discussing and setting goals early on.

    The second step is to go take a look at some local schools that fall into the category of school that your son thinks he might want to pursue. At this point, I would not necessarily meet with the coaches, but rather visit a school close to home for this part of your investigation. For example, say son wants D1 soccer at the big state flagship university. Go take a look at one and watch a practice. You need to be very honest with yourself. Your son may well be a star, but I am going to bet that every single player on that flagship unIversity team also is a star. Discuss the size of the players, speed, etc. and how your son could fit in. Then take a look at a lower D1 (like the Patriot League), an IVY, a D2 and D3 school. This will give you some idea of where your son would fit in and further help define your son's objectives.

    Make a college resume, and keep adding the awards and stats to the resume. This will help your son for the next step.

    The next step is to fill out the recruit data questionnaire for each college that he might have an interest in. This sounds easy, but I will say that it is a time-consuming venture. Cast a wide net and keep an open mind. While there is no certainty in this process, it is almost certain that your son will have at least one change of heart during the process. So if there is an off chance that your son will want to go to Stanford, fill out the questionnaire.

    Some questionnaires now allow you to download video. Hopefully, you have tapes. If not consider having a professional video made or make some tapes yourself.

    Then have your son start contacting coaches by email or telephone. You may be surprised by the coaches' responses. They will range from none at all to personal responses to invitations to camps. Do not be wowed by a large number of non-personal responses. As you note, this happens all the time. Better to evaluate what is said and if it is personal to your son. If your son chooses to contact the coaches by email, consider attaching a tape and/or the college resume. Also consider giving the coaches a listing of the tournaments or games that your son will be attending.

    At a certain point in time, you will want to meet the coaches in person. This is a very important part of the process. While often initiated by the coach, your son should initiate some meetings. It gives the student great experience for job interviews later on and also for the coach meetings that really matter. Go with your son. Talk to the coach about your son's athletic ability and whether or not he might be a fit for the team. It is absolutely critical to ask the difficult questions: Can your son get admitted to the school, ask for a pre-read, ask when son can expect to play, ask whether the coach cuts recruits. Usually, the coaches are candid, but of course, they are casting just as wide a net as we recommend that your son cast. Ultimately, this will give you the best information about your son's chances of being recruited.

    If I were you, I would get a baseline ACT score now while he is a sophomore. I think that you can take the ACT 6 times, but taking it as a sophomore gives you more time to identify what he needs to do (if anything) to improve the score and then to raise that score.

    Best of luck to you and your son.
  • ccsouthccsouth Registered User Posts: 205 Junior Member
    You have been given some good advice here. To drive home the point, its your sons responsibility to get recruited. Do not have him wait for something to happen. Once he narrows his list to the ones he feels are a good match he needs to both email and call the coach himself. If he doesnt connect with the coach, have him leave a message with the date and time he will call back to help make the connection happen. He will have to cut through the hundreds if not thousands of emails that the coaches get from half interested players. The coaches have to focus on the real potential recruits and your son needs to make his interest clear.

    Also my DD was told to expect a 20 hours a week commitment at D1 and D3 was around 16. Of course all programs are different and most also have unofficial spring programs as well.
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,691 Senior Member
    I wrote a long response to your related post on parents board. Another thought -- now is the time to assess finances. Ivies do not give athletic scholarships OR merit aid. So it is financial aid eligibility or nothing. For families who cannot write a $65,000 check every year, but are not eligible for much financial aid, the search for athletic and merit aid becomes paramount.

    Now is the time to get last year's tax returns out and run the Net Price Calculators at a few target schools to see if you are eligible for financial aid. Unlike football and basketball where every player gets a full scholarship (head count sports), soccer is an equivalency sport -- the NCAA specifies that a D1 program cannot give more than the equivalent of 9.9 X full scholarship for the whole team -- often a roster of 25 guys. Roughly 10 scholarships spread over 25 guys does not go as far as any one family might hope. Most programs give less to incoming freshman, and increase the amounts as players become more of an impact player over time. So it is possible that an incoming freshman gets a small amount of athletic money. If a family needs more than that to make it financially feasible, the family needs to research non-athletic merit aid.

    Again, good luck to your son, it is an exciting, and long road.
  • SoccerMom2018SoccerMom2018 Registered User Posts: 30 Junior Member
    Thank you for all your advice - this is very helpful as we try to go through this maze. It does sounds complicated but well worth the journey! Man other question please - if a player is in his junior year, when do the conversations really start if there's an interest from the coach? Do they wait to see SAT/ACT results? Thanks again for all your help!
  • takeitallintakeitallin Registered User Posts: 3,378 Senior Member
    You should confirm as this could have changed, but I believe it is still September 1 of junior year. For D1 recruitment will start quickly as most D1 teams form their rosters early. They will not ask for SAT/ACT results at that point but if they are very interested will definitely be interested in grades. You should be putting together a high-light video of play and attending as many of the big tournaments as possible as that is where a lot of soccer coaches recruit. We found that most coaches do not recruit out of camps unless they have invited a player after seeing him play at a tournament. As others have said, don't wait for coaches to contact your son; he should be doing as much outreach as possible, sending his video and inviting coaches to his tournaments. Even though they can't directly contact him at this point, they can still attend tournaments and talk to his Club Coach. Someone else said this, but be sure to look at finances and decide what his priority for soccer and academics might be. My son only looked at schools at which he was interested academically and then looked at the soccer programs, but that is something you will have to look at and decide about. The video is important- some coaches wont even look at an email initially unless there is a video attached. We found the very best recruiting tools was tournaments- Dallas, Surf Cup, IMG, etc. Best of luck!
  • allboyzallboyz Registered User Posts: 179 Junior Member
    My son received the most interest after ID camps. He played an amazing game at IMG and CASL. I think he heard from one Division II coach after those showcases. Then he attended three ID camps and heard back from 4 coaches. I guess it is different for each player. Best of luck to your son!
This discussion has been closed.