For soccer players looking to be recruited by college coaches, college showcases are a critical part of the recruitment process. Attending these events will give many college soccer coaches the opportunity to watch potential recruits play. College showcases are essentially a tournament designed entirely to give soccer players the chance to play in front of college coaches from around the country in an effort to be recruited. These tournaments are instrumental for college coaches to scout youth soccer players for potential recruits. Coaches prefer to attend these tournaments over a single prospective player’s game because it gives them the ability to watch a number of soccer games and players in a small time frame. At these events, college soccer coaches sometimes outnumber parents on the sidelines. Attending these showcases with your club team is often how soccer players get recognized and recruited. Choosing which youth soccer club team to tryout for may be determined by figuring out which team attends the best tournaments.

Inform coaches which tournaments you will be attending: College soccer coaches often plan what showcases they will be sending a member of the staff to at the beginning of each year. By visiting the tournament website, you can view the coaches that are planning on attending. Even if you do not see the school you are interested in on that list, be sure to inform them as well that you will be attending. If a coach is interested in you as a potential recruit, they will most likely make the trip out. A few weeks before the tournament, email the schools you are interested in and let the coach know that you will be attending that particular tournament. In this email, include any specifics that you know about your soccer games, including the time, location and who you are playing. If a coach is also planning to scout someone from the opposing team, this will make it easy for them to watch one game instead of two. Providing specifics makes it easier for coaches to find your game and makes it more likely they will attend.

Guest-play if necessary: If your club team is not attending any college showcases, it is a good idea to look into becoming a guest player. College showcase websites usually have information on how you can register to be a guest player for that event. Once you register, you will be placed on a team. Many soccer players shy away from this opportunity because it is more challenging to play with a team that you are not familiar with. However, this opportunity may be the deciding factor in whether or not a school decides to recruit you. Even if your club team is playing in a few tournaments, college coaches may still ask to see you play once more before making their decision. While it is an option to give them a game tape, it is much more beneficial for you to have them watch you play live. If you are looking at schools that are farther from home, it is going to be more difficult for a coach to watch you play. This makes guest playing the perfect option for you in your recruitment process. You can inquire what other showcases the college coach will be attending, and try to become a guest player for that tournament.

Coping with the price: Attending college showcases and tournaments can often be a bit expensive. For parents, it is important to keep in mind that while it may not be cheap, if your child is looking to play college soccer, attending these tournaments during the recruitment process will hopefully pay off in the long run. You can think of it as an investment in your child’s future. The more quality opportunities your soccer player has to be seen by college coaches, the more likely it is that they will be recruited by a school and given an athletic scholarship. For more soccer tips on the college recruitment process, visit CoachUp’s soccer resources.

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