As Director of Recruiting for the Franklin & Marshall Men’s Soccer Program, I am constantly watching, evaluating, and communicating with potential recruits. “College Soccer” is a very broad term, as there are many different levels and even greater variety of institutions, at which you as a high school soccer player may some day find yourself competing. However, I believe that there are five basic principles that you personally can do to enhance your chances of playing at the right level and at the right institution for you. Over the next couple of months, I will be sending emails with these “recruiting tips” with the hope that I can assist you in getting to your goal of potentially playing college soccer.
Soccer in the United States is taking off and more and more quality players are graduating high school and entering the college scene. We believe that there are countless players out there that fit the type of player we are looking for in our recruiting classes. Out of this massive pool of players, we find that there are hundreds that have an interest in attending our institution. Finally, out of these hundreds of players, we generally take between eight and twelve players into our program every year.
So how do you get noticed and give yourself the best chance of gaining a roster spot on the college team that you want to attend? The first thing you need to do is “Be Seen”. Depending on the level at which you want to play, Division 1,2, or 3, this may start as early as your sophomore year and may continue right up until the spring of your senior year of high school.
Here are three easy things you can do to get the coaches of the colleges you are interested in to see you play:
- Attend Tournaments: With your club team, attend high level tournaments. It is tough for coaches to get out to every tournament, so they have to choose the tournaments they feel will produce the best results for their recruiting efforts. However don’t be discouraged if your team is in a “lower” bracket. We have found great players in all brackets at tournaments we attend.
- Communicate: Not only do you want to attend tournaments, but you also need to communicate with the coaches you want to see you play. Simply attending the tournaments IS NOT ENOUGH. You have to make sure the coaches know you are interested in them seeing you play. Contacting them ahead of time will allow them to have a better chance of adding you to their recruiting schedule for that tournament. Each staff may have a different procedure to how they determine their recruiting schedules for each tournament, so be sure to ask them what you can personally do to make sure you get on their schedule.
- Attend Camps and Clinics: Most college programs either host or attend ID camps and clinics. Contact the coaching staffs to see if they host any of their own or if they are attending any. Tournaments are convenient for both players and coaches, but ID camps and clinics allow coaches to interact with the players and to see them in different training environments so that they can get a better evaluation.
I hope you found this helpful. I’ll be emailing in 2 weeks on what “Good Communication” looks like. Good luck on the pitch!