We all know that it is important to be a good student along with being a quality soccer player. There are many high school students who want to play in college and it is a fact that coaches prefer players that they can trust to attend class, stay focused on their studies, stay academically eligible and most of all staying out of trouble.
A good move is that if you have that dream to play in college, stay in contact, let the coaches know you are serious about their college soccer program and that you are someone that can help their soccer program, not only on the field, but also on the sideline! It’s important that you see the team play, Youtube is a powerful tool as most teams stream games and not only on video sharing platforms, but some colleges have their own streaming TV station. However if the college is close enough, then go watch in person. If you can attend an ID clinic or camp, that can help let you know if you are the right fit as well.
The best chances of your kids playing in college is that to do well in high school academically, to compete on the highest level of club team you can and to be seen by playing in club tournaments where college coaches attend and I’m not talking about the barrel scraping “25 coaches present at our ID camp $299”.. Example: ESPN World of Sports soccer tournaments are swarming with college soccer program coaches looking for the next best goalkeeper or Striker they’ve ever had!Some will come forward, others will sit among the parents. In a 2 day tournament weekend. I spoke with seven of them and must have identified another 15 to say the least. Their not invited and paid to attend, they’re there because they’re looking!!!
* Research & start a list of colleges you’re interested in, don’t jump straight at UCLA or Stanford, be a little more humble and start from the smaller fish. Start writing college coaches your freshman year, so this term just snoop around.
* Character matters, make the very best choices in school, at home and out with your friends. Learn to be very careful of what you put on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.
* Play at the highest level of club team you can. Ask your coach what you need to do athletically to compete well at a college level. Most coaches have no clue, but some college coaches are coaching also at a club level and if you’re lucky enough to have one as your coach, then peck their brain to Mars and Back!
Continue your research a large list of schools you’re interested in and that have your best choice of academics and not just the soccer program, that way you can start ranking schools based on the attributes that are most important for yourself.
* Begin writing nicely written letters to the coaches of schools you’re interested in, get on their radar by inviting them to check out your game and training videos, I have many of my students game videos on my Youtube channel, most high school and youth soccer clubs don’t have them, it’s not profitable, why would they!… so start one right away!
* Look for College camps and clinics to attend, suggested is to try out a local smaller college ID camp first, just to see the surroundings, then take a longer step and enter a camp of one of the colleges you may be interested in.
* Good grades are critical all the way through high school hit the ground running freshman year, because college coaches will backdate and see how you did not only at your senior year/graduation!
* Consider being a part of an academy, many parents send their goalkeepers to me at this age. Usually academies will teach you things you will not go over at high school and club training, so it is a good investment if you can identify an academy that will push your kids to do more!
* You need to register with NCAA – NJCAA – NAIA eligibility Centers, fill out recruiting questionnaires for every single schools on your list.
* Parents it’s time to get a lot more of them highlight & game videos on YouTube, lets have at least 10 game videos and as many training/scrimmage videos as we can.
* At the ID camps make a good first impression when you talk to the coaches, don’t be shy, don’t be vague, be firm, strong and very polite.
* It’s time to begin making phone calls to coaches, let them know your game schedule, give them your GotSoccer ID so that they can follow you as well.
* Stay focused and keep your grades up!
* Have a good attitude and remember always to show it. Keep in mind and let the coaches know that nothing is owed to you just because you’re a good Goalkeeper.
* Continue to research schools but now it is time to narrow that long list to 8/12 schools.
* Remember to keep in contact with the coaches more often , let them know that you’re very interested in their program but also if you’re no longer interested. Keep in mind that college coaches are a small ring, they know many other college coaches and it takes just one bad decision to get out there the way you don’t want to.
* Continue to send videos but now also grades to schools you’re interested in!
* Don’t be shy to ask coaches where you stand on their recruiting list, in most cases they won’t hold back.
* Continue to play at the highest level of club/High school team you can. Attend an soccer academy.
* You can start making visits to schools you’re interested in.
* Now lets narrow our list of colleges to 3/4 at the most, stay in close contact with coaches, make it on a weekly basis now. Ask coaches for the timeline when they’ll start to make offers.
* Like stated above, be very sure to let coaches know if you’re no longer interested in their school program.
* Contact college players of the schools you’re hoping to commit to, get their feedback on the school and program. College players are really happy to share, so don’t be shy, call them!
* Now it is time to take official visits to schools on your short list, meet coaches and players.
* It’s important to get college applications in early and apply to all schools on your remaining short list.
* Keep your grades up keep them up, don’t get distracted!
* Keep making good choices every day, at school, home and in public. Ask yourself also: Who are you when no one is looking?.. And what can I do to improve myself!
* Post nothing on Social Media you may later regret, college coaching staff will be watching. Don’t let a rough tweet cost you a 4 year scholarship!
* Respond right away to all written offers from schools
* If you’re lucky to have more than one offer, then make a decision make sure it’s your decision and not Mom’s and Dad’s!