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Help for sophomore soccer player!

havenoideahavenoidea Registered User Posts: 173 Junior Member
S21 has been playing since 3. Naturally talented, he played up for many yrs until other boys hit puberty. We live where there are no DAs (and on neither coast), but through an affiliation with his old club, he did some training and tournaments with one. DA noticed he wasn’t growing at the rate of his peers. Turned out to be growth hormone deficient. Started treatment and has grown vertically but not filling out yet (~2 yrs behind physically). Didn’t make varsity this past year (broke ankle during preseason/GHD can demineralize bones (on supplements now). Plays for a club that practices ~ 5 days/wk and travels/plays in prestigious tournaments.

S is bright, very advanced in math (will take multivariable calc jr yr), scored national merit level on psat this yr (hasn’t prepped yet) so assume he’ll do well on psat and SAT, gets high As.. Does other ECs (science bowl, instrument/All State level, helps in an elementary school music program), Manages all this, with many hrs of soccer, and goes to bed early (needs tons of sleep).

Question: Want him to go to an academic match school. How does he go about getting attention of top academic D3 schools, especially taking into account he’s physically behind his peers? For example, if he went to a school's camp this summer, he’ll be much lighter/thinner than all the others his age. Will that matter? Does he wait until summer of junior yr? Or, should he give up his dream of playing in college? I can’t imagine what he’d do with all those extra hrs in his day!

Thanks for reading this ridiculously long post and giving us some help!!

Replies to: Help for sophomore soccer player!

  • anon145anon145 Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    edited January 10
    top academic D3s, Amherst, Williams, MIT, Chicago, Carnegie mellon need kids to hit certain test scores. MIT kid needs to make it into the final selection for coach to have impact. Needless to say 0.001% of kids who play soccer can get to that pool. Top NESCACs need kids with range of test scores for each recruiting class. eg. they will have 29-36 ACT kids on their roster. Better athletes lower scores, worse athletes higher scores. These schools still go after athletically talented kids though, so be honest about ability. end of junior year showcase or better camp at school is not too late for all D3s. It is possible for some of them for a particular class that some may be full before end of junior year. Only one school (which happened to have 12 kids in previous class) was basically full before end of junior year in our experience. UAA schools can do admissions read at any time of junior year; NESCAC july 1 after junior year - but coaches that have been there for a while know the scores needed for each player in their class.

    (added note: do know of one 2 sport kid with a 28ACT top NESCAC for parents reading)
  • dogsmama1997dogsmama1997 Registered User Posts: 245 Junior Member
    Does he need financial aid or can you pay? The rush for early recruitment is partly because of scholarship money. If he will be happy at a top D3 school he can have a great time playing soccer and get a great education. It is my understanding that there are still spots, not necessarily money left later in the recruitment process.
  • havenoideahavenoidea Registered User Posts: 173 Junior Member
    We can pay. I guess we need to tour some schools and he should start contacting coaches of the schools he likes. Thanks!
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,729 Senior Member
    Parent of late-blooming D3 Men's soccer player here (also, not on coast and no DA within 2-3 hour drive) -- if the goal is good LAC and to keep playing, he will be able to do so, keep a wide "funnel" of options and keep talking with programs. On the other hand, if the view were something like "a roster spot at Amherst, Williams or Swat or nothing" then it will be trickier. Broadly, our experience was that D3 recruiting accelerated the college application and decision process by about 6 months so that, by spring of sophomore year, he was making preliminary inquiries/introductions and by summer/early fall of senior year, he was done, since most (there are always exceptions) will expect ED in order to hold a roster spot.

    As a sophomore playing major tournaments, he can start to reach out to programs of interest, with an email introducing himself, his academic and soccer profile (you can do google or CC search to see what to put into the email and an accompanying soccer resume). It probably doesn't hurt to fill out the recruiting questionnaires at schools because that is usually a way to get on the mailing list for recruiting events etc. If he has major tournaments coming up, there is usually a link for the list of college coaches in attendance. He can email them in advance of the tournament to introduce himself, identify his matches/field numbers/jersey number so that coaches can come watch some of the match. Our sense was that coaches know boys develop at wildly different times, and are often are looking at other tangible, and intangible, skills, such as technical skill, vision, acceleration, grit, etc. since they know that the 16 year old string bean might be the 6' 190 guy by freshman year of college.

    So I would definitely encourage you and your son to keep exploring schools and soccer programs. There is a d3 mens soccer board -- google it -- which can be a useful resource on the style of play at specific schools, as well as on coaches, recruiting etc. Hang in there! I felt like there were so many moving pieces, but I had a blast watching my kid mature through the recruiting process and enjoy getting to watch him to continue to compete at the game he loves.

  • havenoideahavenoidea Registered User Posts: 173 Junior Member
    @Midwestmomofboys thank you, that’s very helpful!
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,729 Senior Member
    @havenoidea I'll pm you
  • 2022soon2022soon Registered User Posts: 59 Junior Member
    Get film of your son and have him use iMovie to make a short 2-3 minute highlight video. Next have your son email coaches at tournaments a couple weeks ahead of the games and put his name, “highlight video link”(not the link itself but just the title) grad year in the subject line. Then put the link later in the email. My son had the best luck getting coaches there sending video ahead of the showcase. Same with camps. He also sent reminders before and followed up after. Always changing the subject line. It’s a ton of work, but he had fun with it.
    As far as all the growth he also has to get used to playing with a bigger body. It takes time. I’m sure he is already supplementing, but he should add in a high calorie high protein shake. Good luck.
  • dogsmama1997dogsmama1997 Registered User Posts: 245 Junior Member
    If you need help with iMovie you can PM me.

    Just an FYI, you need to publish the movie to youtube (unlisted) and then send the youtube link. You cannot just send the iMovie in an email - the quality is horrendous.

    If you have no idea how to use iMovie I suggest you take a class at apple. Kids claim to know how to use it, and maybe the older kids do. My kid's friends all said they did but they had zero idea how to do what I needed to make highlight films (they tried to help me).
  • havenoideahavenoidea Registered User Posts: 173 Junior Member
    Thanks @ dogsmama1997, that is very helpful!! My daughter (his twin) is great with iMovie (she’s been making first trailers then films for years now). I have no idea how some kids can do these things with no training. My brain does not work that way.
  • dogsmama1997dogsmama1997 Registered User Posts: 245 Junior Member
    @havenoidea Perfect! Hopefully she likes making movies for her brother!
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