After years of working with high school players and their families, Spirit of Liverpool USA has realized many high school players and parents were overwhelmed by the college recruiting process. SLFC has designed a series of recruiting seminars, with the goal of bringing college coaches and players together in a friendly and informative environment.
Our director of College Recruitment offers education segments to help them improve the players understand of the college recruiting process and how their player may fit within it.
College recruiting is guided by a specific timeline. Each athlete has their own specific recruiting timeline. Recruiting is dictated by skill level, physical maturity, planning, interests from universities, and more.
Each university and collegiate coaching staff work on their own self-guided recruiting timelines. Some of these timelines are dictated by governing rules (NCAA, NAIA, university) that the college coaches have to adhere too. The governing bodies recruiting calendar dictates when athletes and coaches can attend events, The recruiting landscape is forever changing and evolving. With every game and tournament, both athletes and coaches can make assumptions on what is the best fit!
If coaches view an athlete and deem that their athletic skils are a fit and their academics are also a fit. The coaches may offer the athlete. Obviously, if the athlete likes the school and coaches, they possibly have a match. Sometimes, sort after athletes may delay schools because they are trying to wait for their ideal school to make an offer. This back and forth can last for months. The key for recruits is to have an idea or a plan before the offers come in.
Athletes have to have an understanding of the NCAA rules. As a potential soccer recruit, you are responsible for knowing some recruiting dates. One of the most important is to understand when coaches can email or respond to you! Too often coaches hear, "I sent an email to a coach and I did not hear back from them." This is a common discussion between parents and athletes on the club and high school sidelines. Quite often, it is because the coaches cannot respond due to NCAA rules.
Review the timeline above to review what you could be doing to help yourself in the recruiting game!
Which School is right for you?
There are approximately 800 NCAA men's soccer programs—206 NCAA Division I, 207 Division II, and 408 Division III. There are 959 NCAA women's soccer teams—310 Division I, 225 Division II, and 424 Division III.
So how do decide which one is right for you?
Realistically, there are many schools within the US that are ideal fits. Here are a few categories you can review to breakdown the process:
Let's delve a little deeper into the four categorize.
Nationwide college graduation rates over a six-year period are just over 50%. It is especially important for you as a student-athlete to research options, know the questions to ask and take the time to find the right fit so that you are in the graduating 50% and invest in the right athletic program from the start. If successful, the right choice can save you money, frustration, and put you on a fast-track to a successful and rewarding career path. Consider these four categories. Click here for more...
High school students and their families choose many paths through the recruiting process. Some families will choose to utilize recruit companies to help guide their path, while others will research and complete the process under their own steam. Neither process is right or wrong. It is all relative to what are you prepared to do to help your college search and do you need help along the way.
At SLFC we have devised a four-step approach:
EDUCATE- Within our four-yearly workshops (September, November, January & March), beginning in September, we will focus on the key components of reaching out to coaches and how to get people to the games.
PLAN- Following our SLFC recruiting timeline, we will guide our players through a detailed planned approach relative to their year in high school.
PREPARE- Your preparation in training backs up the recruiting letters you are sending to coaches. Continue to train and develop your game with the guidance of our coaching staff. Preparing and developing on the field gets you ready for when the coaches are at the fields.
CONCLUDE- Have open and frequent communication with coaches, so they are not tracking and chasing you. But in turn, you are showing timely, frequent, and insightful communication in regards to your games, academic transcripts, etc.
The simplest way to start the college process is to visit college campuses. As discussed with self recruiting, you can review academic areas of interest online. Visiting a college campus will allow you to get a feel for what that feels like. In Boston, we have dozens of colleges and universities. Many next door to one another. Each college is very different.
When comparing some of the college campuses you will get a very different sense. Some of the colleges have a very open and urban city feel. Others have an enclosed and traditional quad with a wall perimeter geography.
You can only truly get a sense of what is potentially right for you when you activate your senses. The feel of the landscape, the noises, and sounds as you travel the campus. The movement of students between classes. These are very real factors in what makes you choose a college and graduate from that college.
One day in Boston could lead to multiple trips to schools and a better sense of what feels right for you!
What is the difference between an official visit and an unofficial visit?
Any visit to a college campus by a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents paid for by the college is an official visit. Visits paid for by college-bound student-athletes or their parents are unofficial visits.
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