The journey from aspiring high school soccer player to a committed collegiate athlete is a path paved with dedication, dreams, and often, a few curveballs. Because of this, it’s crucial for both athletes and their parents to comprehend the intricacies of the college soccer recruitment process.
It’s not just about the game on the field; it’s about navigating through a myriad of choices, making informed decisions, and striving for success both athletically and academically.
In this two-part series, The Wire will dive into the world of college soccer recruitment, offering valuable insights and advice gleaned from someone who’s been through it. Return for part two of this series tomorrow for applicable, specific goals and tasks that will maximize your chances at reaching signing day.
For the insight into the recruiting process, The Wire referred to a blog written by a soccer mom whose daughter recently was able to commit to a collegiate soccer program. She was asked to share information about what she learned throughout her daughter’s recruitment. She ended up sharing things that she wished she knew prior to her daughter participating in high school soccer.
Begin the Process with Honesty
As a parent, your ultimate goal is to ensure the best opportunities for your child. However, honesty is the cornerstone of a successful recruitment process. It’s important to transparently assess your player’s abilities on the field and in the classroom.
While dreams of certain universities may capture your imagination, it’s essential to align aspirations with realistic prospects. This is a difficult line to walk – and one that many parents are not able to do successfully.
“As parents, we want what’s best for our kids. Without honesty at the start of the recruiting process, you are setting your player up for failure. Honestly assess your players’ abilities both on the field and in the classroom.” – Soccer Mom
Finding the Perfect Fit
Research is the backbone of successful recruitment. Getting to know schools, their coaching styles, and the composition of their rosters can save you from unnecessary disappointments.
“Get to know the schools and coaching style before your athlete starts writing letters. A lot can be learned by just looking at the roster.” – Soccer Mom
Take a close look at the style of play a college team adopts. Is it compatible with your player’s strengths? Another crucial aspect is communication. The process of reaching out to coaches, expressing interest, and maintaining a consistent correspondence is a pivotal part of the journey.
College Visits and Clinics
Showcases and ID clinics offer invaluable platforms for players to shine and catch the eye of recruiters. These events allow college coaches to assess multiple players at once, which can be both an advantage and a challenge.
“ID Clinics are the best way to show abilities for 4-6 hours in front the coaches you want to recruit you. When should you go to the ID clinics? Start early.” – Soccer Mom
When attending showcases, keep in mind that coaches might not have ample time to observe every player, and first impressions count.
Inevitably, players will encounter rejection along the way. This reality, though tough, is something you must prepare your child for. Not every ‘no’ is a reflection of their worth.
One of the most profound lessons the Soccer Mom writes about was to guide her daughter through understanding that rejection doesn’t equate to a lack of appreciation by coaches. It’s a matter of finding the right fit and fulfilling the team’s requirements.
“Unless your child is on the U14 national team…it’s inevitable. Your player will hear ‘NO’ more often than ‘YES.’ Prepare them early by taking the emotional aspects of recruiting out of the picture.” – Soccer Mom
Guiding the Pathway to Success
The recruiting process is a dynamic journey that demands dedication, honesty, and strategic decision-making. As we’ve seen from real experiences, embracing these principles not only makes the journey smoother but also paves the way for a rewarding collegiate soccer experience.
Our commitment at Signing Day Sports is to provide invaluable insights that empower young athletes and their families as they embark on this transformative journey. In the next part of this series, we’ll delve into the timeline and logistics of the recruitment process, ensuring that players and parents have actionable steps to take and a guideline to follow.