Beginning the Process
Before embarking on this path, it’s important for high school players to determine their goals and priorities. There are many levels of college soccer that can be played, from the most rigorous programs, to Club soccer, to recreational. Each player needs to make choices based on these overall goals. It’s essential to do thorough research to define priorities (education vs. soccer, school size, school division, distance from home, cost, etc). Once these priorities are set, then the process of narrowing schools and camps can begin.
College coaches are restricted from contacting recruits during certain periods of the year. In contrast, the NCAA’s rules for recruits contacting coaches are not as strict. Therefore, it is important for athletes to directly contact coaches early and often to promote interest and form relationships.
When to start
Initial contact can be made as early as Sophomore Year.
- First Step Visit the team website and complete the questionnaire. Research the program and roster.
- Second Step Prepare a personal email or letter to introduce yourself. This letter should be personalized for each coach and include your team name, squad number, upcoming tournaments with game times and fields if available. Familiarize yourself with the program and provide program specific references in your letter.
- Follow-Up Prior to tournaments, you should reconnect with the coach either by phone or email to confirm playing times and field information. Take time to prepare your talking points. Speak to your club coach and make sure you are playing in the game that your are asking a coach to watch.
- Post Tournament If possible, upload tournament highlightsvia youtube and send the coach a link
- Common Mistakes Do not send generic emails with “Dear Coach”. Do not CC multiple programs in one email. Do not have your parents call or write for you. Coaches want to learn about you and know that you are capable and mature.
Remember that coaches are being contacted by 100s of prospects. Be persistent and creative in how you reach out to coaches. Start contacting coaches early and follow-up.
Summer Camps for Recruiting Help
If time or resources are limited, you may wonder if it’s worthwhile attending a summer soccer camp. Recruiting soccer camps offer participants playing exposure to college coaches.
- For incoming freshmen and sophomores, some recruiting camps can provide a head start on understanding the recruiting process and becoming comfortable with the idea of playing in college.
- For juniors and seniors, these camps can offer a much more intimate recruiting environment than tournaments.
- If you haven’t been recruited by college coaches yet, consider using a recruiting camp as your opportunity to gain professional feedback on your playing potential and maximize your recruiting exposure.
Make sure to choose a camp that includes coaches from a range of colleges so you can find your fit.
Some Camps You may Want to Consider