Are you trying to get scouted? If you are, you probably have a lot of questions. Below are some of the basic questions and points that are often over-looked and forgotten about in the recruiting process. Educate yourself in the rules, regulations and procedures of the recruiting process and you will benefit greatly from it.
When can a scout contact a potential soccer recruit?
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) have created a specific set of guidelines detailing when a college coach can contact a recruit. Much of it is dependent on if a team is Division I, II or III. Coaches must have written permission of the player’s school in order to speak to him/her. Any contact must fall between a specific recruiting schedule.
What are scouts looking for in a Division I calibre player?
The National College Scouting Association has recommended to scouts to look for athletes who have played at the Olympic Development Program level; ODP is a regional program that brings the best players from different high schools together to raise the level of competition. These players are usually found in elite teams outside of their high schools as well. The elite leagues are made up of teams that play a high quality of soccer, one that is most comparable and most consistent with the fast-paced college game. In addition, these club teams go to regional and national tournaments. It is on this stage that many players are noticed and recruited. As a player, it is important to find a way to expose yourself as much as possible and playing under the requirements mentioned above is the fastest and easiest way to do so.
Do my marks really matter?
Absolutely. Even the best players need to be able to manage their time and perform at an academic level as well. Scouts look for players with a 3.0 grade point average and a score of 24 on the ACT or 1000 on the SAT. Don’t for a second allow yourself to think (as a player) that soccer is more important than school.
What about Division II and III requirements?
There is little to no difference between the Division I recruiting process and the Division II and III recruiting process. If you are being recruited by a Division II or III school, don’t assume that these programs are very far behind the Division I schools. The competition is still very high and there is a great opportunity for you to move from one program to another, or from one division to another.
Knock and the door will be opened for you
All scouts and coaches look for players who return phone calls and letters quickly, who are actively moving through the NCAA Clearinghouse process and who are proactive in the recruiting process. Most players find the school they are interested in, not the other way around.