Over the years, I have worked with all kinds of kids in soccer and the comments that I overhear at times are surprising. Many feel that they are on their way to professional careers in soccer. The «big show» if you will. Nothing is wrong with dreaming. And if you’re going to dream you might as well dream big. Yes some players are good but it goes far beyond that to play at the next level. In terms of planning your soccer future it is so very cliché but one must have other career options in their back pocket and that can start with a solid academic base. And if you don’t have that academic base it’s not the end of the world either. There are always options.
A reader from Brazil recently asked about the process required to land a soccer scholarship to an American university. We encourage you to take a look through some of our other blogs regarding college scholarships and the recruitment process. We go into more detail there. But for starters you need to focus and decide what area of the country/schools you are looking to be recruited to, decide what division you are going to concentrate on (DI, DI, DIII, NAIA) and decide how the coaches who make the decisions will see you play.
After finishing with college soccer and understanding the entire process the way I do now there are a number of things I would change if I got to do it all over again. Many people have gone through the recruitment process, each slightly differently. The good news is you don’t have to invent the wheel. Instead, you can copy the same steps others have to taken to achieve this goal of theirs. In part 1 of this series I discuss some of the changes I would stress all soccer players looking to play at the college should be aware of. The sooner you put these into practice, the more likely they will benefit you.
To participate in Division I or Division II athletics, students must register and be certified by the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse. Students can get information on registering on the NCAA website at http://www.ncaaclearinghouse.net/.
NCAA Division III schools are generally the smallest in the NCAA, although some larger schools, such as New York University, are in DIII. Many of the four hundred twenty schools are private and high quality. The competition level of D III schools varies widely. Catholic University, Kenyon College, Transylvania University, Amherst, and Messiah College are examples of DIII schools.
Several organizations govern college athletics. These groups establish the rules for sports programs at the schools that belong to their associations. They also run championships and establish eligibility requirements for the student athletes attending member schools.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is the oldest and largest national sports organization in the United States. This is the group many think of when considering college sports. The schools in the NCAA range from the largest universities to small colleges. They are grouped into three divisions.
If you want to play soccer in college, you can’t sit back and wait for coaches to contact you. Only the top few percent of players are recruited without promoting themselves. The rest (which is almost all players) need to market themselves in order to catch a coach’s attention.
If you’re a high school soccer player and want to play in college, start planning early, as early as your freshman year. It might seem like you have plenty of time before you need to think about college, but the months will go by quickly. There are things you can do, even before entering high school, that will get you started on your college search and position you so that you can best promote yourself as you enter your junior and senior years.
Many soccer players spend hours training on the field perfecting their skills hoping to one day receive a scholarship so they can play varsity soccer. They put together highlight videos and market themselves to coaches across the country. Then they have the attention of several different varsity coaches. However, despite all of their efforts many athletes put aside the importance of education, more specifically preparing for the SAT exam.
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.
If your goal is to one day play College soccer there are a number of questions you should ask yourself before embarking on this journey. Knowing the answers to these questions will help you target the schools and area you’d like to play. In the end, it will make things a lot easier and clearer for yourself.
If you want to play soccer in college, obviously the best situation is to be recruited by a top school, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Whether due to injury or not getting in front of the right coach, some players just don’t make a connection with the coaches at a school they want to attend, yet they want to play soccer in college.
In that case, the player might try walking on.
What Does “Walking On” Mean?…