STEP BY STEP PROCESS

What should you be doing, what are the college coaches doing …  A look into a Step-by-Step process through high school.
 

FRESHMAN YEAR
 

What you should be doing:

Academically

  • Download NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete.
  • Meet with your high school guidance counselor, inform them that you want to play at the college level. 
  • Choose a challenging course load 
  • Work hard to do well in all your coursework. 
  • Maintain a minimum 3.0-grade point average. 

Athletically

  • Be committed to being the best soccer player you can be. College coaches will possibly talk to your club coaches about you as player and ask questions about you. 
  • Highly recommended: create a 3-minute highlight video of yourself.
  • Research women’s soccer programs to learn about their coaches, their conference, their roster. 
  • Attend 2-3 college ID camps at some point during the year

Communication / Activity

  • Email coaches in colleges you might be interested in, invite the coaches to come watch you play in your ECNL games and national events. 
  • When you travel out of town, take self-guided visits to colleges in the area. 
  • Talk about your college search, your dreams and goals with your parents. Talk about soccer, academics, size of school, distance to home, financial factors. 
  • Start writing down thoughts and experiences of different college and their soccer programs.
  • Write down questions on areas that are important to you. 

General:

  • Dream BIG! Players develop in different ways, and you will reach your potential only if you believe in yourself. 
  • Perhaps most importantly: Enjoy being a high school student! Go support your varsity teams in different sports, make new friends, hang out, don’t forget to love life! 


What the college coaches are doing:

  • They watch games, they send ID camp invitations, they create databases on players who have expressed interest, they talk with your club coaches … 


What the college coaches are 
NOT allowed to do and why does it matter?

  • They are not allowed to send ANY individualized communication to you. All camp invites have to be generic in nature. All camps have to be open to everyone regardless of the quality, only restricted by gender and age.
  • They are not allowed to bring you on an unofficial visit
  • They are not allowed to meet with you during a showcase or an event
  • They are not allowed to call you, email you, text you, or receive calls from you.
  • They are NOT allowed to offer you scholarships in writing.
  • They can follow you on social media, and many will ask to, as they want to learn more about you. 
  • You should definitely know what the coaches are allowed to do …. Why?
  • So you can set your expectations (why they won’t respond to your emails, for example)
  • So you know if someone is breaking the rules. 


SOPHMORE YEAR
 

What you should be doing:

Academically

  • Take Pre-SAT. 
  • Meet with your high school guidance counselor, review your academic progress and course load to make sure you are headed where you want to. 
  • Be a good student: manage your time well, prioritize homework and quality sleep/rest. 
  • Always work hard to do well in all your coursework. Maintain a minimum 3.0-grade point average. 

Athletically

  • Be committed to being the best soccer player you can be. 
  • Update your highlight video 
  • Start research women’s soccer programs even more carefully: watch games on TV and online (plenty available!), so you learn about the different programs’ levels and style of play.
  • Attend a few more college ID camps at some point during the year

Communication / Activity

  • Keep coaches up-to-date on your progress. Email coaches in colleges you are interested in, invite the coaches to come watch you play in your ECNL games and national events. Email coaches in programs you know you are interested in regularly (once every 2-3 weeks). 
  • Continue to learn as much as you can about available options:
  • Keep taking self-guided visits to colleges in the area. 
  • Continue talk about your college search, your dreams and goals with your parents. Talk about soccer, academics, size of school, distance to home, financial factors. 
  • Keep writing down thoughts and experiences of different college and their soccer programs.
  • Continue to write down questions on areas that are important to you. 
  • Perhaps most importantly: Enjoy being a high school student! Continue to support your varsity teams in different sports, make new friends, hang out, don’t forget to love life! 


What the college coaches are doing:

  • They will continue to watch your games, they will send ID camp invitations, they will continue to talk with your club coaches


What the college coaches are NOT allowed to do and why does it matter?

  • They are still not allowed to do any of the things listed for freshman year!!


JUNIOR YEAR


What you should be doing:

Academically

  • Look up the average scores for SAT/ACT at the colleges you are interested in attending, do more research on the admission requirements of your colleges of interest.
  • Sign up for standardized testing.
  • Request the test scores be sent to the NCAA Eligibility Center by marking “9999” in the code box where indicated.
  • Meet with your high school guidance counselor in the beginning of the school year, review your academic progress and course load to ensure you’re on the right track. 
  • Be a good student: manage your time well … GPA … Time management … Rest

Athletically Continue to

  • Be committed to being the best soccer player you can be. 
  • Keep your highlight video updated
  • Do research on women’s soccer programs even more carefully: watch games on TV and online (plenty available!), so you learn about the different programs’ levels and style of play.
  • Attend college ID camps during the year

Communication / Activity

  • Start narrowing down your college list, but remain open to new options that may arise from your academic or athletic performance.
  • Make an effort to talk with college coaches on the phone – call them, email them and text them. If you do not hear back, email or call again. If a coach reaches out to you, make sure you respond within 48 hours, doesn’t matter which coach it is. Do not close any doors before you are 110% certain that you have legitimate better options.
  • When you talk with the coaches, ask them about how their recruiting for your class is going, how many recruits are they bringing in, how many for your position, and if they have expressed interest in you, it’s perfectly OK to ask where you stand in the recruiting process.
  • Continue all the things you have been doing your freshman and sophomore years.
  • Add more questions to ask coaches, start getting really specifics with the questions you ask the coaches when you are on the phone with them. 


What the college coaches are doing:

  • They will continue to watch your games, they will send ID camp invitations, they will start emailing you directly and calling you.
  • On an unofficial visit, they often discuss possible scholarships with you, most coaches leave it for in-person interaction. It is important for you to know, based on your discussions with your family, how much potential athletic scholarship, academic scholarship, or need-based financial aid matters to you in choosing your college. 


What the college coaches are NOT allowed to do and why does it matter?

  • After June 15 of your sophomore year (the summer before your junior year), 
  • They are allowed to communicate with you directly. 
  • After August 1 before your junior year, 
  • They are allowed to bring you on an unofficial or official visit  
  • They are still allowed to meet with you off campus
  • They are still NOT allowed to offer you scholarships in writing.
     

SENIOR YEAR

Even if you remain uncommitted and a lot of your teammates are already committed, remember, all kinds of things happen. Nowadays, with the changed transfer rules, college coaches often look for players a lot later in the process than prior to 2018.

Continue to work hard in your classes. Take standardized tests again, if needed.


Even when the 
recruiting process and your college search starts to stress you out, remember, it should be a positive experience, it’s about your future, and it should be exciting. If you do what is within your control, you will most likely end up in what will be the best fit for you for a variety of reasons – academically, athletically, financially, socially, geographically….  

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