As a youth soccer player, the dream of playing at the college level is one that can be achieved with hard work and dedication. However, the recruiting process can be overwhelming and confusing.
To increase your chances of getting recruited, it’s essential to understand the process and take the necessary steps to showcase your talents to college coaches. Here are some tips to help guide you through the process:
Start the recruiting process early: Don’t wait until your senior year to start the recruiting process. Start early and stay consistent throughout the process. The earlier you start, the more opportunities you will have to showcase your talents. Although NCAA Division I and Division II coaches aren’t able to contact potential recruits until June 15 of their sophomore year, players can reach out to coaches before that date. Starting the process early also means doing your own extensive research on the type of college you want to attend, academic programs, campus life, private vs. public, and other important factors. You should also have a deep and realistic understanding of where you fit in the overall pool of youth soccer players, and the level of college soccer that will most likely be your best fit.
Perform well in the classroom: College coaches are looking for student-athletes who excel both on and off the field. Make sure to maintain a high GPA and take challenging classes to demonstrate your academic abilities. In addition to academic excellence, college soccer coaches like to see that you’re well-rounded as student-athlete. Extra curricular activities, charity work or other ways of giving back to your community can go a long way in helping you stand out from the crowd.
Reach out to college coaches: Don’t be afraid to contact college coaches directly. Send them an email introducing yourself and attaching your resume. Also, make sure to include a highlight video showcasing your skills. Creating a personal YouTube Channel is a great way to compile your highlights and easily share links to the videos. Players who maintain a social media presence on platforms like Twitter and Instagram can also dramatically increase their presence in the college recruiting scene. (Social Media Do’s and Dont’s for College Soccer Recruits)
Attend college camps and showcases: These events provide an opportunity for you to showcase your talents in front of college coaches. Make sure to research the camps and showcases that align with your goals and level of play. For more specific advice on ID camps, read our Five Tips on How to Pick the Right College Soccer ID Camp.
Build a strong athletic resume: This includes your statistics, awards, and accolades. Make sure to list your club, high school, and other teams you have played for. Don’t forget to include your position, height, and any other relevant information. Many players benefit from creating a personal website with their soccer resume and various links. Linktree (https://linktr.ee/) is a popular and easy-to-use option for this.
Create a recruiting profile: Many college coaches use online recruiting platforms to search for potential recruits. Creating a profile on these platforms allows coaches to view your information, watch your highlights and even contact you directly. Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) is one of the most popular platforms used for direct communication between coaches and recruits. SoccerWire Featured Player profiles can be a useful supplementary option for recruits who want to increase their reach.
Network and build relationships with coaches: Building relationships with coaches is key. Attend camps and showcases hosted by coaches you are interested in playing for. Follow their teams and programs on social media, and reach out to them with updates on your progress. A quick and sincere ‘Thank You’ post on Twitter is a great way to show your appreciation to the coaches who put in the hard work to host and conduct a camp. See below for an example from SoccerWire Featured Player Olivia Geller:
Thanks Coach Bell, Coach Higgenbotham & Coach Serratore for a great weekend at the @TCUSoccer ID camp! @ericbellsoccer @Coach_Higgi @tserratore00 pic.twitter.com/pDmsMoHUu6
— Olivia Geller (@Liv1Keeper) February 13, 2023
By following these tips, you can increase your chances of getting recruited to play college soccer. Remember to be proactive, stay organized, and maintain a positive attitude throughout the process. With hard work and dedication, you can achieve your goal of playing at the collegiate level.