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Soccer ID camps

cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 277 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
My son is in 10th grade, and his coaches project him to be a high D3, low D1 level player. He will attend some one day camps at 2-3 D3 schools this summer. My question is, what about a couple of d1 camps? On the one hand, it would be great to be on the D1 school's radar screen. On the other, he might be a stronger player in another year; given that he's borderline, I would guess that the d1's might write him off. On the other hand the d1 timeline is ahead of d3.

Guidance please?

Also is there a big(ish) difference between schools at Ivy soccer? Harvard and Dartmouth are strong, but how do Brown and Cornell and uPenn stack up? Can anyone compare Tufts (very top d3) to Ivy?
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Replies to: Soccer ID camps

  • eb23282eb23282 475 replies14 postsRegistered User Member
  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 277 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @eb23282 thanks! Of course I read that thread already; however it doesn't answer my very specific question about D1 camps for a borderline D1 player. Unless I missed that advice; I'd be happy to be corrected.
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  • cupugucupugu 51 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    If you go on the NCAA website you will see there are 206 D1 programs. The Ivy school rankings after last season. range from 41 for Dartmouth to 112 for Penn. Harvard (ranked 141) was affected by a scandal resulting in player suspensions. So no Ivy is a "lower" D1 program (bottom third of the D1 rankings). In that sense your son is probably unlikely to be recruited by an Ivy if his coach is accurate about his level of talent.

    On the other hand, if your son has time and money to spend on ID camps, an Ivy league camp with more competitive players may better prepare him for the experience of high D3 camps at schools where he is much more likely to be recruited.
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  • cupugucupugu 51 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I should have added that my DD was in a similar situation as you describe. She went to a couple of Ivy ID camps (no interest from the coaches) a low D1 ID camp (walk-on only interest), and a couple of academically strong D3 ID camps where the coaches showed interest. After considering her options, she applied and was accepted ED at an Ivy and will play club soccer there. As someone else on CC has said, Ivy schools are looking for great soccer players who are good students. They are not looking for great students who are good soccer players.
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 277 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @cupugu thank you! Now that you have made the suggestion to look at NCAA rankings it seems blindingly obvious:-) However I hadn't thought of that. Very helpful.

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  • eb23282eb23282 475 replies14 postsRegistered User Member
    No, your specific question was not answered in that thread, but I sure it would be helpful to keep soccer ID Camp questions to one thread rather than have multiple threads around the same basic concept.

    As for your question about top D3 teams vs D1, it's not at all uncommon for D3 teams to scrimmage D1 teams in the spring - and they often win against middle-low D1 teams.
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 277 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @cupugu that's a great outcome for your daughter! I'm afraid my son is a good athlete and a good -- not great -- student, so unless he is a recruited athlete an ivy would be too much of a reach.

    I think we will focus on one day ID clinics at some D3's this summer (he is already corresponding with some NESCAC etc coaches). Thanks.
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  • AmBuddhaAmBuddha 27 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Going into junior year is "in the zone" for men's soccer so your timing is on track. Waiting until two summers (after his junior year) risks being too late. Most D1 schools, Ivies included, like to have most of the recruiting class done by the summer before senior year. (Note: "most"; there are always circumstances when a coach is filling a spot late but no one wants to target that situation.)

    I don't see much difference between the Ivies. None will likely go past the first round of the tournament, but if you're a student at an Ivy, soccer probably isn't your first priority (and that's a good thing in my book). If you can play at one, you're pretty much at the league level and the differences will be coach-specific.

    I live in New England, and haven't heard of any Ivy soccer teams scrimmaging D3 teams, or even NESCAC ones. I'll be curious to see if any come up, but I suspect there's NO upside in it for an Ivy coach to scrimmage a NESCAC or AAU team. FWIW, I'd wager Harvard and Tufts split hypothetical games pretty evenly. With last year's teams I might even give the nod to Tufts (D3 champs) over Harvard (think it was a down year). Top to bottom, Ivy is very likely stronger than NESCAC/AAU but most Ivies have more students etc.

    tl;dr: give them all a whirl (however much time and resources allow), the soccer isn't going to be that much of a discriminator. But I'd say go to camps this summer and during junior year (if geographically feasible) and start contacting coaches to come to games/showcases.
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  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys 3985 replies27 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    My D3 kid did not do it, so I don't know how the experience actually is, but Amherst's Peak Performance camp brings in a range of D1 and D3 coaches over 2-3 different summer sessions.

    To get a sense of competitiveness of D3 Men's Soccer programs outside the top 25 (which is as far as the NCAA D3 rankings go, though there are regional rankings as well ) -- while imperfect and subject to critique, you can look at the Massey ratings. Another ratings system is Hero Sports, though it seems to be less reliable/less relied on than Massey. Another online resource for getting a handle on D3 soccer conferences is the site d3boards -- there is a message board on D3 Men's soccer where there is lots of discussion and sometimes debate about styles of play, coaches etc.
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  • AmBuddhaAmBuddha 27 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Amherst's Peak Performance camp is not a bad compromised between a single-college camp and the larger EXACT camps. You might want to scrutinize the camp sessions to see which college coaches are attending and see what role the coach has within his team (HC, assistant, recruiting, operations).

    That all said, my son got "noticed" at a showcase later in the year by a couple coaches who didn't pick him out of the crowd at when they were at Peak. Go figure. Recruiting soccer players seems very random and inefficient so I suppose it's best to have as many bites at the apple (I was going to write "at bats" but that would be mixing up sports).
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 277 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thanks guys. My son did the Amherst camp last year; I didn't love it.

    I feel like we have a better handle on the D3 side of things; because the coaches can reply my son is in conversations with several, and several have told him they've seen him play and that they are watching him.

    A couple of D1's have replied with of course camp info but also seemingly more personalized (though none have reached out to his club coach). I know he won't be wasting his time at D3 camps, but he very well could be at D1 ones. One of his club coaches (he has several) is an ivy coach, I guess I should really focus on getting his assessment.
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  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys 3985 replies27 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Interesting to hear about Peak.

    Future 500 might be worth investigating as a way to test D1 prospects. The format is all games, with minimal training outside of games and little in the way of player development or team bonding. Every match has several coaches assigned to watch, and players can ask coaches who are not assigned to come see them. At least in my kid's experience, the all-game format rewarded individual play over team work -- great for a kid who can dominate, especially a goal-scorer but not so great for set-up-the play kind of guys. It's a high risk/high reward setting that did not work for my kid, but it was the only way to be seen by some programs of interest since we live in the midwest and are 2-3 hours from Academy programs.
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 277 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Midwestmomofboys yeah, my son is a defender so might not stand out in the way an amazing striker does :-)

    His club is a one-off, not really like others, and it focuses heavily on college placement (does things like go to Players Cup, and Jeff Cup, and college coaches coach their teams) -- so I'm less focused on the big camps. So I know he is getting seen. And I know top programs like UVa, Wake etc are nonstarters. But unsure about the Patriot or Ivy league. He plays with kids who are committed to all those leagues, and he is a starter. But no d1's have reached out to his coaches.

    I suppose in 6 months all will be clearer, and he/we will know where he stands. But I don't now!
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  • AmBuddhaAmBuddha 27 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    If he's in 10th grade, there's no reason to sweat timing now with most of the focus on juniors. Having been seen and on radar screens already is very good. It sounds like he's tracking just fine.

    Coordinating with club coaches is probably something we could have done more so...we'd hear about conversations but didn't press for details. I didn't feel comfortable using up the coaches' bandwidth but in retrospect I kind of wish I had in order to dispel some of the uncertainty of where my son stood with various colleges.

    I think we (parents/players) try to come at the process with logic and analysis, not to mention common sense. I'm just not sure there's a whole lot of that coming from the other end, though! To be fair to the coaches, player evaluation is tough and especially so in soccer. D3 coaches also must have more limited resources so I suspect they rely on word of mouth more than I thought at the outset.
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 277 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @AmBuddha thank you so much for your hand holding, clearly much needed!
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  • AmBuddhaAmBuddha 27 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Over the last year+ I read a lot of posts from folks like @Midwestmomofboys and that helped enormously with getting a grip on the situation. If by sharing bits about our experiences I pay it back a little that'd be great. And I'm just now figuring out to click all the buttons to say thanks but also wanted to directly say thanks to @Midwestmomofboys.
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 277 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Anyone want to comment on how trustworthy college coaches are?

    I've spoken to a few players (and parents) who have been through it, and the consensus seems to be don't trust what they say ("you are our top recruit!"). Thoughts?
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  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys 3985 replies27 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited March 28
    Hey, @AmBuddha happy to help! I learned so much, in turn, from @KeeperDad and others here, so it's all about paying it forward! Thanks for continuing the tradition!

    @cinnamon1212 I think of coach communication less in terms of "trustworthiness" and more in terms of understanding the coach's process. Coaches start with a wide funnel of prospects, and have to keep it open as long as possible -- really, until their class is committed/admitted/has signed NLI. As a result, they may continue to encourage players who may not actually be high up on their list so that the coach has alternatives if everyone els evaporates and that kid becomes the best that's left. Families do it too, to keep the funnel of prospective schools open, saying a program is "one of kid's top choices" when it may be somewhere between 5-10, but until kid has offer, we don't want to say it really isn't a top favorite. At least in D3 recruiting, for the most part, we found coaches would be straightforward when asked the direct questions -- what number am I on your list, are you supporting me for admissions, what percentage of players with this level of coach support and my academic portfolio have been admitted/deferred/rejected over the last 5 years? It takes some practice to develop an ear to distinguish the general encouragement, "we'd love you to come to camp, let us know if you plan a visit to campus and we'll sit down with you" from specific recruiting from "We're offering you a roster spot, it is yours if you apply ED1."

    That being said, coaches sometimes can be opaque, confusing, inexplicable. Sometimes it is unintentional, sometimes intentional. We were all a little heartbroken when kid's favorite school, where coach had said he was in the top 5 recruits, just stopped responding to emails. We picked up the pieces, moved on, and spent more time learning more about the schools that were seriously interested in him.
    edited March 28
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 277 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @CCD4S21 would it make a difference if he went to a camp where he has no intention of going? Or if he went to a one day camp? My son did the former last year, and it was really good for his confidence. He went into his first camp thinking he would be one of the worst players, and that wasn't the case -- even though the school's actual team is way above his level (uConn).

    Dartmouth's camp (which is a large multi school camp) had a terrible level of soccer. I think because it was open to 8th graders -- those little boys just could not keep up/compete with the older boys. It was an achievement if my son's team strung together 3 passes. All this is to say your son shouldn't be intimidated by the soccer level.

    Obviously he doesn't need to go to an ID camp this year. But it's not a bad thing to get the jitters out and be familiar with what they are like.
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  • AmBuddhaAmBuddha 27 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I'll hazard that most coaches are truthful, or at least truthy. They can't overtly yank a player around because word will spread (in line with my thought that coaches rely on the grapevine). BUT, situations change. I've read about Cornell's coach "rescinding" an offer but without a paper trail, it's hard to tell if the player just heard what he wanted. It's reported in the NESJ back in Dec-ish. And the player admitted to slacking so there's that.

    and h/t to @KeeperDad! I will have to go back and tag everyone.
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