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Walk on student?

bksoccer7bksoccer7 Registered User Posts: 213 Junior Member
I am a current high school sophomore and I want to know the process of walking on to soccer. I am not good enough to get recruited for D1 schools. Maybe D2 or D3 but I have no interest in those schools academically. I am looking at top schools such as ivy league, duke, state flagships, etc. How do you bring about your interest to walk onto a team and how does it affect the admissions process?

Replies to: Walk on student?

  • DreadpiritDreadpirit Registered User Posts: 491 Member
    At most of these schools even the walk-ons (ie non-scholarship athletes) are recruited. Certainly at schools of the Duke/Penn State soccer caliber. For example Duke and Penn State each have 5 verbal commitments for the class of 2018 already, that is likely most of what they are looking for. Maybe 2-3 more slots if someone interesting comes along - they don't typically roster practice players that are just along for the ride.

    You might have better luck with the Ivys but even there the vast majority of the players are recruited by the coaches.

    Being a recruited athlete will help you with admissions, but intending to walk-on will not likely be a help there.

    Your best hope would be to get recruited by some of the weaker soccer schools on the list. Most soccer recruiting is done at showcase tournaments during club season. The first step is to contact coaches that will be attending showcases that your club will be playing in via email and let them know you are interested in playing for them ask them to come watch you play.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 14,079 Senior Member
    Most of the top schools (and top in the sport) do not have any non-recruited players. In fact, the club teams at those schools may be full of students who could be recruited at other D1 schools be chose not to play varsity sports in college.

    Many D2 and D3 schools also have top level athletes who chose their level of sports participation to go to those schools rather than D1.
  • 8bagels8bagels Registered User Posts: 401 Member
    edited January 2016
    "I am not good enough to get recruited for D1 schools. Maybe D2 or D3 but I have no interest in those schools academically."

    You must be a heck of a student if Williams, Amherst, MIT, U Chicago, Emory, NYU, Pomona, Tufts, Swarthmore etc. aren't academically "top" enough for you to have any interest in.

    There aren't many, even here on CC, that find those schools to be so academically beneath them to be unworthy of even considering.
  • DreadpiritDreadpirit Registered User Posts: 491 Member
    To be fair, he didn't say they weren't good enough academically, he said he wasn't interested in them academically.
  • bksoccer7bksoccer7 Registered User Posts: 213 Junior Member
    @8bagels I didn't say that they were not "top" enough. The schools that I am interested in are D1. Trust me, I am not that good of a student to consider those schools not good enough. Those schools are just not on my list.
  • 8bagels8bagels Registered User Posts: 401 Member
    edited January 2016
    At Ivy, Duke and top state flagships, your interest as a walk on won't help you with admissions at all.
  • otispotisp Registered User Posts: 292 Junior Member
    I know you say you're not interested in D3ish schools, but in case somebody who is interested in them reads this, being a prospective walk-on also won't help you at selective colleges like the ones mentioned by @8bagels. And, as an example of what @twoinanddone notes in terms of ability, D was recruited by D1s, but chose to play at a D3, as did most of her teammates - who were also almost all all-something (league, conference, state) in high school. If you really want to play in college, fill out the recruiting questionnaire on the colleges' website and follow the advice of @Dreadpirit (and the sooner the better).
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 14,079 Senior Member
    So I'm assuming that you want a big D1 school, big in soccer, big in size, academically strong? You need to realize that the stronger the school in soccer, the higher the D1 ranking, the lower your chances to be a walk on. In fact, the stronger the program, the less likely they team will even have walk-ons. It is likely at a big powerhouse school that even the club team will have competitive try outs.

    If you don't think you are good enough to be recruited to a D1 team, you are limiting yourself by excluding D2 and D3. My daughter could have 'played' D1, but if she went to a top team she'd be on the bench, and not playing at all. A mid D1 team, she'd have gotten more playing time, and on a lower D1 team she could have been a superstar on a team that never wins. Any of those might have been fine depending on whether she really wanted to play or really liked the school. She instead went D2 and couldn't be happier. Loves the school, starts, and plays almost every second of every game. You have to find the right fit for you, and if it is a big D1 school, you might have to pick one that isn't very competitive in soccer if you want to walk on.
  • bksoccer7bksoccer7 Registered User Posts: 213 Junior Member
    @twoinanddone I am just interested in playing soccer. However, academics are most important to me and I can go without playing. I am currently looking into schools like Duke and UNC. Do you have any imput on the club soccer teams there or in general? I think club soccer would be a better fit to balance school and activities. Will expressing my interest in soccer on the common app by checking "plans to continue in college" help get in?
  • DreadpiritDreadpirit Registered User Posts: 491 Member
    No, "plans to continue in college" will have zero impact on your application.

    UNC won the Open division Men's National Club Championship, the Women made the championship bracket and lost in the first round 1-0 to the eventual champion.

    Duke tied UNC during on the men's side in September 1-1 so I'd guess they are also good.

    Can't speak for exactly how good these club teams are, but based on what I know about other sports I would guess they are very good (most players would probably start on d3 teams).
  • bksoccer7bksoccer7 Registered User Posts: 213 Junior Member
    @Dreadpirit I play 4A varsity soccer for my school in NC. Our school is very competitive for soccer and is known to produce D1 soccer players. I am not one of those players but I am a starter and important to the team. Would I face any problem in getting on the club teams? I assume there are tryouts since they are very good.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 14,079 Senior Member
    You just need to realize that most of the club players could have been lower ranked D1 recruits, or D2 or D3 starters, but chose not to in college. My niece played club lacrosse but she could have gone D1 to a school rated #20 or below or any D2 or D3 - she just wanted to go to a certain college that didn't have a team so played club Probably 10 on her team were D1 level players, and the others pretty decent high school players.

    It may be different if the college also has a D1 team and a club team, but look at the size of the school too. UCLA has a varsity team, so there are 40 or so really good recruited players on that team. Now figure there are 20,000 other men, maybe 2000 who just want to play club level. What are your chances?

    I think the message is that planning to be a walk-on or try out for the club team is not going to help you with admissions to college at a big school, and walking on is very hard to do (if the coach even takes walk-ons).
  • VanOschVanOsch Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
    I believe "walking on" the soccer team is very difficult even at D3 level. A boy from my D's school was told by the Amherst College coach that he wouldn't be recruited, but if he got in, he could walk-on. Turns out enough kids had that plan, and he didn't make the cut. That is one unhappy boy at Amherst, since with his academic credentials he could have gone anywhere. On a side note, they have around 30 on the roster and won the NCAA championship this Fall.
  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase Registered User Posts: 352 Member

    I totally agree with your comments about walking on. Sure, you hear stories here and there, but in real life it is pretty rare. Let's face it if you tried to get recruited at a given college and did not get traction (i.e., coach says if you get in, you can try out), in a sense you have been "cut" already. Part of a coach's job is to increase applications at a college (thereby lowering admit rates), so the coach wants to encourage the kid (and every kid) to apply but understand that he is not a recruit. Enter the "you can try out if you get in" line.

    Also, negative stories abound on the web and via word of mouth about recruits who were cut. If I were a coach, I would want to avoid that situation if at all possible. Therefore, if a recruit and a walk-on were dead even in ability on the soccer field (or even if the walk-on was slightly better), I suspect the recruit would "win" every time. Put differently, tryouts are not tryouts in the true sense of the word.

This discussion has been closed.