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Full Send or No Send Soccer?

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Replies to: Full Send or No Send Soccer?

  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys 3954 replies27 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,981 Senior Member
    Strong D1 programs are going to be 30-40 hours a week from early August until mid November, depending on post-season tournament play. Then there is a regular spring season, with practice and matches. D3 -- regardless of competitiveness of team -- is likely to be in the 20-30 hour range per week during the season, with some variation in dependent on the distance between schools in-conference. My kid had a range of recruiting schools, from recruiting "safeties" to recruiting "reaches" and they all followed a pretty similar schedule: practice about 2 hours a day Mon-Fri, 2 matches a week, plus lifting, film, recovery sessions with the trainer, team meetings. The recruiting safeties did the same work as the recruiting reaches but didn't have the results on the field or play in as competitive a conference.

    As the responses above agree, high school students should pursue interests because they enjoy them, not because it will get them into college, whether that is quiz bowl, debate or sports.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 1909 replies25 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,934 Senior Member
    We don't have to guess at the relative commitments of NCAA sports by division. NCAA does a student survey every 3 years---2018 results aren't in yet, but here are the 2015 results, as reported by the students themselves.

    https://www.ncaa.org/sites/default/files/GOALS_convention_slidebank_jan2016_public.pdf
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  • dadof4kidsdadof4kids 599 replies58 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 657 Member
    edited April 12
    I think that somewhat confirms what both sides are saying. D1 is a bigger commitment, with bigger sacrifices. But all divisions are big commitments with big sacrifices. Also like everything else in life, there is variation within the divisions too.

    On what a few of you said about your kid being wired differently, that's certainly my experience. I thought my kid was off the charts unhealthy competitive.... until he started competing seriously at the national level. There he is average. I said to an assistant coach (who is a current world team prospect and still competes) that was recruiting S "You know that you are all crazy right? No sane person would do what you guys do." He just smiled and said, "yeah, probably."

    They wear it as a badge of honor. Even if you have the talent, if you don't have that attitude I think college sports could be a pretty long 4-5 years unless you're playing for a team that is not really trying hard to win titles and has a more healthy balance. They are out there, but the unhealthy balance, at least for normal individuals, is probably more common.
    edited April 12
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  • SevenDadSevenDad 4236 replies135 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,371 Senior Member
    @twoinanddone: Based on my daughter's experience at a Power 5 (albeit in an "equivalency" sport) conference, there are plenty of bus rides in D1. Plenty of loooonnng bus rides. :-)
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22135 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,149 Senior Member
    I always suggest people look at the prior year's schedule to determine how much travel the sport really takes. My D's first year they had 3 really long (10+ hours each way) bus trips, to tiny little towns, three weekends in a row and they were in April, right before finals. The entire team was exhausted.

    After that, the coach smartened up and they did one long bus trip in February, and then the rest of their games were either at home or just a few hours away, just a day trip. They usually played 11 games at home, 2 OOS on that early road trip, and the other 3-4 close to home. She rarely missed a class.
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  • AmBuddhaAmBuddha 25 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
    @squ1rrel Something to consider as a likely CS major: playing a sport with that major is going to be a challenge, especially at a top program (either soccer or CS). I suspect CMU, MIT etc don't make any allowances for their athletes. Many (most?) coaches have an aversion to players with "lab" requirements so keep CS to yourself. My son expressed interest in engineering to a couple coaches and you could see a palpable reaction. It wasn't exactly negative, but more like, "ok then...", maybe just say "econ" (kidding not really). Just look through a roster such as Michigan (big time sports and academics). I don't guess there are 1 or 2 engineers and if so, probably civil or ops, not CS/EE.

    If you're stellar academically, you'll be limiting yourself if you fully immerse in the recruiting process. In some ways, you'll be abdicating the decision to whichever coach(es) want you. If that matches your academic goals, great, because then you take a set of colleges where you have maybe 50-85% chances of acceptance up to nearly 100% as a recruit. If CS and soccer (coach) lines up at your perfect college, awesome. But I suspect your academic list is narrow. Leaving it to the collective soccer coach universe is...likely to be sub-optimal. By getting your grades to their highest means you'll be perhaps working at the 80-95% acceptance range and then you get to decide where to apply with multiple shots on goal (and on goals of *your* choosing, not subject to what a soccer coach thinks of your game relative to his projected needs and all the other recruits he's scouting).

    Even if you're BNT material, or *could* get to that level in 6 months (think about that, it's a big country), you'll have almost played yourself out of the appropriate academic schools. Or you'll have the tough choice of leaving a national team "career" behind to go to college instead of doing everything necessary to become a professional player and leading the USMNT to a World Cup victory (ok, back to the finals, little steps).

    Venturing into entirely speculative territory: every dad is a son's strongest and most insane supporter, as he should be. There's a likelihood that he and you have over-estimated your soccering skills especially after your hiatus. My son played in those national futsal tourneys. One of his teams won the nationals and not at the U-little level. That all means nothing to college soccer coaches. On the other hand, if your growth spurt put you well over 6 feet, and you're a chiseled stud ATH-e-lete, then go for it. But if you're a highly technical ball wizard, you'd better score buckets of goals, and be able to demonstrate the ability to absorb copious amounts of physical punishment. And be blindingly quick if not quick and fast.

    tl;dr: focus on academics. You're trying to figure out if the juice is worth the squeeze, and for most it's all about the squeeze and the juice is happy by-product. Let the coulda shoulda woulda thoughts behind. Nobody cares that you could have been a contender (that maybe reads harsher than I intend - it's just not productive to dwell on what might have been). Also, there's a lot more money for merit scholarships though you said that wasn't an issue. Ask your dad to buy you a car if you get a merit scholarship!
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  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 324 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 347 Member
    @AmBuddha Wow. Not gonna lie, that was probably the most helpful reply I've received. I don't think I've received my growth spurt despite my growth plate issues...I'm only 5'5''. Most consider me as that "highly technical ball wizard" except I haven't regained my sense for the back of the net. Our school is very large and isn't technically allowed to bring freshman up to any teams but I went from freshman -> JV A -> Varsity because of my skill and my vision. I do need to work on my speed.

    But yes, I agree; I should focus on my academics. And it's true; I loathe dwelling on what I could have been.
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  • AmBuddhaAmBuddha 25 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
    I'm glad you found my comment helpful (my thoughts reflect MANY other's input here). Enjoy your soccer. Playing high-level club soccer in the spring, even if not DA, can still lead to being recruited for college (though more likely at D3). Keep academics first, and let the soccer follow. If that means you have a great high school career and don't enter the recruiting process then that's fine. If you enjoy soccer you will always be able to find a team, even as an adult - my local league has over 60 teams (granted, not too many of them but still). You're on the right track, asking the questions and willing to be honest with yourself and that is always a good thing.

    And for your dad - take him to a local game (KC?). He won't have as much fun watching you on the field, but it'll still be a good outing ;).
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  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 324 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 347 Member
    @AmBuddha and other—today, I just received a letter from my school, and it was from the University of South Carolina. They're interested in recruiting me and want me to attend some ID thing...that's strange, could anyone explain this? How could they know about me?
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41317 replies445 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 41,762 Senior Member
    Because you've been on their radar since 7-8th grade.
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  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 324 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 347 Member
    @MYOS1634 The last time I played club soccer was 6th grade.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5397 replies10 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,407 Senior Member
    ID camps are also money makers for schools and a way for them to cast a wide net with less travel. It sounds like you are a player they'd like to look at. But know that ID camps are the biggest end of the funnel.
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  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 324 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 347 Member
    @gardenstategal I understand that—my father gets emails for ID camps all the time. But how does some random college in South Carolina know about me??? And why would they travel up to the northeast...
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41317 replies445 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 41,762 Senior Member
    Is it USC Columbia (with it's top notch honoes college) or "a random college in SC"? Very different.

    Have you distinguished yourself in 7-9th grade school varsity games?
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  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 324 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 347 Member
    It's USC Upstate/Spartanburg, apparently it's D1. I'm not too interested in the college, because it seems mediocre:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=usc+upstate&rlz=1CACLSF_enUS835&oq=usc+upstate&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.4313j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&safe=active&ssui=on

    But I am still confused as to why they know who I am. My school has (historically) one of the top soccer programs in the state, but it's NEW HAMPSHIRE. I was the only freshman on the varsity roster this year, but why would they be looking at random rosters from NH? I didn't do anything spectacular.

    There's also a video with approximately ~400,000 views on YT where I mention that I play high level soccer (can't mention what it is, trying to remain anonymous lol). Perhaps someone there saw me? Still, the chances are slim.
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  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys 3954 replies27 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,981 Senior Member
    Programs buy lists of rostered players and then send out letters/emails inviting players to their camps. It usually means that your name/school/club are in a data base somewhere and that program got the list. It is not unusual and unless the coach is talking directly to your club or high school coach, it probably is just marketing. My kid got random communications inviting him to camps at schools he had never expressed interest in, including after he had already started college.

    Coaches use camps to recruit, to build a reputation, and to enhance their income -- a big D1 program might bring in 150 players at $500 each for an ID camp and many of those players think they are "prospects." In many cases, the program has already been in touch with and seen play, their genuine prospective recruits. The other 135 players are just money, thought the possibility of the breaking through at camp and surprising the coaches is technically, a possibility.
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  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 324 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 347 Member
    @Midwestmomofboys Ok, thanks! That answers my question. Not sure what roster I'm on, though.
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  • anon145anon145 610 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 617 Member
    edited May 6
    @squ1rrel none of the kids I know that will/do play for duke or vanderbilt have anywhere near your academic credentials as I understand them. These soccer players are not even in the top 25% of their high schools and come no where near 10 APs when they finish. probably <5 total IF academics are truly more of your passion realistically you are looking at top academic D3s, (CMU, MIT, NESCAC, chicago) - and even for that (except for MIT) where your academics can be average (or below their average if great soccer player) for those schools to get in with coaches support. So the path of 10APs straight As, but being recruitable to Ivies doesn't really exist for many if any. The typical Ivy recruit is a top 5% student but 0.01% soccer player.

    @twoinanddone @MYOS1634 I though at least for williams/amherst NESCAC spring season did not exist at all and even captains practices weren't really allowed ? anyone know? point being off season in NESCAC is very minimal...
    I believe they report only 1 week before school too
    edited May 6
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  • AmBuddhaAmBuddha 25 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
    @squ1rrel like @Midwestmomofboys noted, those databases can be exhaustive and Google knows all anyways. I am kind of impressed that a college in SC puts the effort into culling through all the data out there to find you. That's great hustle by the coaches, lol. I do know USC has put out some big marketing efforts to get kids from New England.

    If you're at all interested in the notion of playing soccer in college (vs using soccer as an edge in and of itself) you can find a club team for next spring or even check out the local DA club. I have been told by a D3 coach that the large ID camps (the one with 500 in the name - not being coy can't think of it right now) are good for D3 coaches to find players (b/c D1 players tend to have already been picked up at DA showcases etc).

    I had thought you might have been in KC earlier from the futsal reference but see that you're in NH...don't take your poor father to see the Revs. They're terrible this year as you might have heard.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41317 replies445 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 41,762 Senior Member
    OK, USC Upstate isn't at your academic level.
    If you do want to play, try to get footage of yourself playing (varsity is fine) and get yourself on coaches' radar at the end of 10th grade with a video from 9th+10th showing different skills, especially passes and technique, so they can start tracking you. UChicago, Vanderbilt, NESCAC etc., might be interested even if you don't play travel club.
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