During freshman and sophomore years in high school, most students are still adjusting to high school life, and college seems miles away. But for soccer players who are looking to compete in collegiate athletics, the college process is completely different. If you’re unsure of what to do in the soccer recruitment process it’s easy to fall behind. It is important your freshman year to figure out whether or not you have the desire and ability to compete at the Division I soccer level in college. Talking with your club coaches and mentors can be a good starting point to figure out what level of college soccer and what schools are best for you. If it’s your ultimate goal to play DI soccer but you feel like you might not be there yet, or you would like to play on a higher ranked team, it could be helpful to work with a private soccer coach. Working with a private coach and receiving individualized attention and training can help take your game to another level.
Sophomore year is the big year to be proactive in contacting DI college soccer coaches. Due to NCAA recruiting rules, college coaches are unable to initiate personal contact with you until September 1st of your junior year. Players are able to contact them via email or phone as much as they want, so long as they are the ones to initiate. Coaches can, however, send you invitations to their camps or questionnaires to fill out. This may give you an initial indication of whether or not they are interested in you. Here are some of CoachUp’s tips on how to contact DI soccer coaches.
Send the initial email: In the subject line of the email, write “prospective student athlete” with the option to include your name in there as well. In the email introduce yourself and express your interest in their school’s soccer program. Make sure to keep this brief, as DI coaches receive hundreds of these emails and are extremely busy. Next include your soccer resume and tournament information.
Create a profile or resume: In this, include the basics like your name, age, grade and what high school you attend. Give any important academic information that you may currently have, such as GPA and academic honors (once you take the SAT or ACT, be sure to update your profile to include your scores). Next include what club soccer team you play for, if you play for your state ODP team, or whether or not you are a member of the regional/national teamor pool. List any significant accomplishments, honors or stats that you may have (it is okay to include team accomplishments as well as individual). This should be written like a business resume, meaning it should not include every detail about your soccer career, just highlighting the important stuff. Update this profile whenever possible.
Ask coaches to come to your upcoming tournaments and showcases: College showcases and tournaments are the biggest factors in the D1 soccer recruitment process. If you have any upcoming tournaments or college showcases, include the details and your team’s schedule. If a coach reads over your profile and thinks you are worth checking out, they will most likely try to catch one of your games. DI schools almost always send at least one member of the coaching staff to every major tournament and showcase in the country.
Schedule a visit: Although coaches cannot respond back to your emails when you are a sophomore, that year is still pivotal in your recruitment process to give coaches an early opportunity to see you play. If you are extremely interested in a school, and believe you have the ability to play in their soccer program, you may call the coach. Once you are on the phone with the coach, they are free to talk to you about the potential of you playing there. This may be a good opportunity to ask to schedule an unofficial visit.
The important thing to remember about contacting DI college soccer coaches is that even though they are unable to respond to you when you are a sophomore, it is best to contact as many coaches as possible to come watch you play. The more coaches you contact, the more options you give yourself. If you put in the work both as a soccer player and in the college recruitment process, September 1st of your junior year will feel like Christmas morning when those emails start flowing in! For more information on the college soccer recruitment process, check out CoachUp’s soccer resources.
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