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Full Send or No Send Soccer?

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Replies to: Full Send or No Send Soccer?

  • TS0104TS0104 825 replies26 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 851 Member
    Here's what I'm thinking...you're not sure that you can balance soccer and academics in high school. Yet if you "use" soccer to increase your chances at an Ivy, and it works, you then have to play soccer in college...a world where balancing academics and sports is much, much harder, at an Ivy no less. Your current concerns should show you that playing soccer at an Ivy is not a great fit for you. So play soccer if you want, but not solely to help you get into an Ivy, and seriously consider 1) If an Ivy is a good match for you and 2) if you could handle soccer and academics in college, if it is tough now.
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  • dadof4kidsdadof4kids 599 replies58 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 657 Member
    Lots of thoughts bouncing in my head, here are a few. Also, I don't know men's soccer specifically. My comments are for college athletes and hopefuls generally.

    If you are truly recruitable, you get some slack cut on your academics. Not a lot, but a legit D1 starter with a few B's gets the Ivy coach's slot over the 1600 SAT, 4.0 student who is a solid off the bench player. I don't know exactly where the line is, and soccer is a sport with lots of smart kids. But I know my kid was recruited hard in a different non-helmet sport by several Ivies with a sub 30 ACT and a few B's. Without coach help it would have been a waste of money to apply, he isn't even a 1% chance, he is an automatic deny. All of the coaches basically said that the better you are, the less academics matter, within reason. All also had some absolute floors they couldn't go below, no matter how athletically talented you are. My point here is if your academics suffer but just a very little bit, you are probably ok.

    A smart Asian kid interested in CS is a brutal demographic to apply with if you don't have a hook. The reality is that every Ivy could fill up a class with that demographic and still turn talented kids away. I'm not saying that you couldn't get into a top school, many do. But you are competing for a limited number of slots with a large group of very talented and accomplished peers.

    If you don't love it though, it probably isn't worth it. Your sport will consume your life to an extent, both is HS and college. My S couldn't conceive of a different way to do it. But 99% of people (including me) couldn't handle that lifestyle. There are MANY sacrifices that will be made.

    My understanding of CS is that it is a very "results" oriented field. If you are from podunk Community College but you can code, you can get a job over a Harvard grad.

    Good luck.


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  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 324 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 347 Member
    @GKUnion I really appreciate your reply. I'm not sure I could do that for so long...4 hours of sleep just isn't healthy. Transportation is not an issue; my dad stays home. It's all about whether or not I have the dedication to do so, and I'm not sure I have it.
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  • SevenDadSevenDad 4236 replies135 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,371 Senior Member
    I have a D1 athlete in her first year at an academically selective U. Here's what I tell everyone who thinks they/their kid should do a sport "to help with college admissions". If that is the sole or primary reason you are doing/encouraging your kid to do the sport...stop.

    Because what if, in the Fall/Spring of your Senior year in HS, you haven't been recruited to the schools you have been targeting? Or at all? What if doing that sport hasn't made a difference in your college admission results? Will you have considered all the time and money spent on it over the past few years a waste? I would hate to think that.

    As others have chimed in above...you have to do it because you love it.
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  • recruitparentrecruitparent 41 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 43 Junior Member
    I agree with @SevenDad's advice. If the sole purpose of playing is to get into college, stop.
    I have seen parents and kids put too much into specialization and club teams that they gave up and lost out on other benefits and memories from HS. They may end up playing in college and feel good announcing the commitment but the school is often a school they could have got into even without the sports and sometimes could even have walked onto the team.
    Your college opportunities including for playing a sport are exponentially increased if you have good grades.

    Very good advice at the end from @GKUnion too.
    Side note, not sure how to put that genie back in the bottle but what @GKUnion describes I feel this is of one of the problems with youth sports and confirms my feeling that soccer is one the worst culprits My experience is that soccer coaches and the soccer community often promote and encourage soccer players to specialize in just soccer. I even question how much measurable impact playing soccer 10 months a yr. makes vs.playing in-season and mixing in some lighter off season league or training.
    I may be old school and I understand each sport is different but I feel a lot of coaches notice the naturally gifted athletes (some even like multi-sport athletes) and they can coach up the skills but can't coach athleticism.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41317 replies445 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 41,762 Senior Member
    edited April 11
    Be aware that geography in college has NOTHING to do with geography bee, just like being good at multiplication is unrelated to being a math major. Have you taken AP HumanGeo? It's a tiny glimpse into what a light freshman geography course would be like. AP HumanGeo and APES would give you an idea of what geography is like.

    You don't need to keep up ECs (except volunteering if possible) if you do academy soccer. You will need 6-8 APs (total) including a high level in math for both C's and economics.
    edited April 11
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  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys 3954 replies27 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,981 Senior Member
    @GKUnion Agree -- I realized my D3 kid was different from the rest of the family when he was outside in the middle of Midwest winter at age 6 kicking the ball because he said his left leg wasn't as strong as his right.

    Whether sport, ballet, music -- some kids are wired so that they thrive on the practice, find it exhilarating, or at least deeply satisfying, to put in hours a day, because it is so much a part of who they are.
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  • GKUnionGKUnion 96 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 99 Junior Member
    @Midwestmomofboys I had to laugh at your “D3 kid” comment. People, especially coaches, love to push the D1 narrative. Parents peacock over their child’s D1 commitment, even if they receive minimal athletic money. Simply playing a sport in college, regardless of division, is an accomplishment that should be universally celebrated rather than qualified. I completely understand and appreciate the context you used it in. Regardless, I’m sure your child worked as hard as D1 or D2 kids did during high school then made a college decision that best fit their future goals. That’s what matters in the end.
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  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 324 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 347 Member
    @Midwestmomofboys Honestly, if I had that drive and no injuries I would be on the national team by now. My dad understood the game so clearly, analyzed all my film for hours on end, spent thousand of hours watching YT videos just to help me—and I never really cared. He handed it all to me and I didn't appreciate it...now look at where I am now :neutral:
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 248 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 250 Junior Member
    @squ1rrel your Dad wanted it more than you did. That almost never works out -- the situation isn't unique to you and your Dad. And that's OK. Time to figure out what *you* really want to do.
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  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys 3954 replies27 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,981 Senior Member
    @squ1rrel In your words, "if I had that drive" -- that is what we have seen distinguishes college (and beyond) athletes from the very talented high school athlete. It's not a judgment about choices, just a recognition about what makes people get out of bed in the morning and makes them do what they do. You seem jazzed up by a lot more which is academically themed, that is awesome. I would encourage you to pursue those interests.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41317 replies445 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 41,762 Senior Member
    What about D3? D3 at a decent but not top of the rankings level would likely satisfy your enjoyment of soccer and help you keep your excellent level but without the time commitment required by top level D1/D3.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22135 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,149 Senior Member
    It is a mistake to think top D3 or D2 schools do not require the same time commitment that D1 schools do. NCAA allows 20 hours of practice per week and I don't know of any coaches who don't use every single minute. Some D1 teams have more travel, but often is it more luxurious - planes rather than buses!

    Effort plays a big part in whether you get to see the field or spend most of the time on the bench.

    This is 9th grader. A lot can change in the next 2-3 years.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41317 replies445 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 41,762 Senior Member
    Top D1/D3 will be 30 hours a week. Decent but not top level D3 will be 20 hours and for a shorter season (August-November, roughly).
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22135 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,149 Senior Member
    They will ALL be 30+ hours a week with film,meetings, and games, travel, lifting, etc, but practice is limited to 20 hours a week and they all practice that much in season. D1 can only practice 20 hour a week during the season, 9 hours off season.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 41317 replies445 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 41,762 Senior Member
    ^ we'll have to agree to disagree then. All the kids I've worked with found "decent college but not vyong for championship" D3 soccer much easier than club soccer, with very short seasons. Enough to be fun, not so much that it impacted academics (although it required very good time management). Kids who went into high level college soccer, especially west coast, had to take much lighter academic workloads during season and had to really, really love the sport because it was a near full time commitment. The difference between, say, Luther and SDSU, is night and day.
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  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase 506 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 509 Member
    @MYOS1634, points of agreement and points of disagreement. There is no doubt that the D3 seasons are shorter than D1. That is not hard to show, and it is based on number of games allowable by NCAA. It also is not subject to dispute that certain leagues (i.e., NESCAC) have afternoon times before which athletic events and practices cannot take place. Certainly the D3 captains practices (attendance technically not required) in the off season make the commitment far more endurable. On those points alone, I agree that D1 programs are going to be more intense than D3s.

    But, however, I can't agree that D3 programs are even close to a college club or high school club program. I took a look at a large successful state U club baseball team that had 21 games spread over the spring and fall. That is half of the 40 game NCAA limit for D3. Practices are three to four days a week. In season, D3 teams are going to be six to seven days a week.

    Consider just travel time. In the NESCAC for example, if Hamilton plays Bates, that is going to entail a hefty bus ride (well over five hours one way).

    I think my most important point is that D3 athletics is not a continuation of high school and club athletics, and anyone considering it should look into the nature of the commitment at the school in question.
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