How did your kid adjust her freshman year?

Discussion in 'College Recruiting' started by LoveMyCoffee, Oct 5, 2019.

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  1. LoveMyCoffee

    LoveMyCoffee BRONZE

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    My DD just started her freshman year on a D1 soccer program and, not surprisingly, isn't getting a lot of playing time. Her particular team has a lot of talent, most with YNT experience which my daughter doesn't have. As many can relate, she was a "star" on her club team and PDP/ODP team, but is having to adjust to being a bench player. (She's adjusting much better than her parents, lol.) She is doing great in practices and so was rewarded with playing time in a conference game. She did awful. Not due to talent but mental nervousness. For whatever reason this coach doesn't give his freshman a lot of playing time in preseason, preferring to give 80% or more of his time to starters to get them ready for conference. So the conference game she went in was essentially her first game other than one 10 minute and one 15 minute appearance in a pre-season game (which she did very well in). Anyone have some encouraging stories to help me adjust? Players who might have struggled their freshman year but ended up doing great? I'm worried that this one bad game will prevent the coaches from giving her another shot.
     
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  2. LoveMyCoffee

    LoveMyCoffee BRONZE

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    I should rephrase my overly harsh critique of my daughter doing "awful". She didn't play awful, just unnecessary and atypical mistakes due to being so nervous. That seems normal to me and I don't see any way around that except through it. Just curious as to hear how others adjusted.
     
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  3. Justus

    Justus GOLD

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    I waited to respond to see if anyone else with a freshman in college had some real life stories to tell. I guess not. Anyway, thank you for sharing your experience with us :)
     
  4. gkrent

    gkrent

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    There are often lots of growing pains with freshman who have to adjust to the pace of D1 and maybe the coaches style of play. YMMV regarding how coaches handle this, but I know of many players who came in as a freshman getting minimal minutes and now as upperclassmen are getting starts.
     
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  5. LoveMyCoffee

    LoveMyCoffee BRONZE

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    Lol, well I guess I'll just have to share my daughter's story once it's been written. Ultimately I just need to step back and let her work it out...easier said than done but I'm getting there.
     
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  6. LoveMyCoffee

    LoveMyCoffee BRONZE

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    Since I posted this I've talked to a few parents, all with different stories. What I'm gathering is that, for the most part, it's largely up to the coach's style and how the players adjust. Some coaches have a "sink or swim" attitude, others are more hands-on. If it's sink or swim, then do all you can to learn how to swim--fast (train extra on your own, listen to the coach even when he's talking about positions other than yours, you never know when you'll be asked to play a different position). One player gave some great advice which was not to try and imitate the other 11 starters, be yourself and showcase your strengths. If you are imitating someone else then you won't ever feel comfortable out on the field because it's not you. Hadn't thought of it that way but it makes sense.
     
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  7. LadiesMan217

    LadiesMan217 GOLD

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    I am sure it is tough for you having watched the star all those years. Tom Brady sat on the pine his freshman year at the Patriots :). The coaches will gather a lot of feeling for a player in practice, scrimmages, endurance, work ethic, etc. If players in her position are similar skill they will play the know entity unless they are building for later years and not expecting a winning season.
     
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  8. SD_Soccer

    SD_Soccer BRONZE

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    This is a great lesson for kids as they enter college. They are going to play with players who are 2, 3 or 4 years older than them-- and with experience playing at this level and style of play (assuming the same coach has been there). The more you can realistically look at the roster and where your player stands (you mentioned several national team players, and she was not one), or look at the stats from previous years (they are all on the team's websites) to see how much freshman played, or looking at the players at the position she plays and see if they are returning (easy example, if there is a returning goalie who played most of the minutes the previous year on a winning team and made all-league, your player is probably not going to play their first year), etc. to get a realistic preview of what to expect. Heck, if D1, how much money you are getting should serve as a signal to where your players stands-- someone getting a full scholarship versus someone getting a small fraction helps signal a pecking order. And also to ask players on the team about their experiences and the communication they received from their coach.

    I also think it is important as a parent to have the right questions for your child before deciding on a school. If your daughter really wants to play a lot their first year, then going to a team that is not as high a level may be the right choice. Or if a coach rarely plays freshmen, then having that discussion with her (and most will say they are ok with not playing, but very different when it actually takes place for players that are used to being one of the best on their teams) so she walks in with realistic expectations. Our kids will always think they are ready and not plan for the alternative scenario, we should ask the right questions to ensure they consider not just their preferred outcome.

    My daughter spoke with players on the team (players who played a lot as a freshman heard different communications from her coach than players who did not play much), so she had a pretty good idea about where she fit in on her team (and we knew who played the year before, where there were graduating players, etc.). Her coach is very open about where he sees players, and his actions have aligned with his words (I do get there are coaches who are not as honest, hence my recommendation to speak with current players). She is starting on her team as a freshman (D3).

    Going back in time, it was pretty normal for players to go to college, not play much the 1st couple of years, and then contribute as a Jr or Sr. Our kids have different expectations that they should be playing right away, and when they don't, we see a lot of players moving on to a new school. In many of these cases, I believe the mistakes were not made in the 1st year at the school or on the field, but in the selection process and not finding the right school for them and their expectations.

    Good luck to her, hope she keeps putting in the work and the opportunity will come.
     
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  9. Justus

    Justus GOLD

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    Thank you, thank you, thank you :) So an 8th grader not sure of herself probably made the right decision to wait for new rules to come into place so she can go to the schools and get a lay of the land, team, coach, school and future expectations? That sounds healthier :)
     
  10. LoveMyCoffee

    LoveMyCoffee BRONZE

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    Thanks for all of the advice and input, greatly appreciated. When we visited the school my daughter asked the coach about playing time, especially as she didn't have the pedigree of most of the players on the team. They reassured her they would not be recruiting her if they didn't expect to play her. She had another school very interested in her as well and they told her she would get a lot of playing time as a freshman. Ultimately she chose school #1, the deciding factor being the academics. I think she is overall happy with her decision and I realize it's time to let go and let her figure it out.

    It is interesting, though, to see the different philosophies in playing time for fresh recruits. Some schools give a lot of playing time to their freshman in pre-season, others (like my daughter's) give very little and treat pre-season almost like conference play. That latter part I didn't know was a personality trait of her chosen school until after the season started. But it is what it is and she'll just have to keep fighting. Not a bad life lesson, but still hard sometimes (as a parent) to sit back and let it play out.
     
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  11. LoveMyCoffee

    LoveMyCoffee BRONZE

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    YES! Visiting the schools was absolutely key to my daughter's decision. A very large and successful East Coast college was interested in my daughter so we flew out to visit the college. Almost as soon as we hit the college campus she knew it wasn't right for her. Waaaaay too big for her. Before visiting the campus she thought this would be her dream school, largely due to the success of their soccer program. Conversely, there was another school that she wasn't excited about at all (sight unseen). But we were in the area for a tournament so we decided to visit the campus and meet the coach. Wow...she absolutely loved the campus and the coach, it was completely different than she had envisioned. Ultimately she didn't choose that school because she liked her current school even better, but she would have been happy there as choice #2. So visiting the campus and meeting the coach, watching a practice, etc. is key. This last part, watching a practice, is important because she can see how the team interacts with the coach. Another college visit my daughter got a very bad feeling about the dynamics between the players and the coach. During a team lunch, the girls barely said a word. My daughter said it felt like they were almost afraid to talk. We couldn't get out of there fast enough.
     
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  12. Multi Sport

    Multi Sport DA

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    My DDs coach explained to her during the recruiting process that he does not play freshmen that much. That being said, she was still frustrated. I don't think there is a kid who wouldn't be. The season flies by so just tell her to take it all in.... before you know it her playing days will be behind her.
     
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  13. warrior49

    warrior49 BRONZE

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    I think its a bit shortsighted for a coach to have a hard and fast rule not play Freshmen that much. It should be more, "If you can contribute on the pitch, you will play." And if not, you ride the bench. What if you get a stud Freshman? You sit her just out of principal?
     
  14. SD_Soccer

    SD_Soccer BRONZE

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    To be fair, these coaches stay employed by winning. If a player can help them do that, they will play. But they have to win the confidence of the coach and the other players. So even a coach who says they don’t play a lot of freshmen, I suspect there are ones that do get regular minutes. But that is probably not the norm for some coaches, so easier for them to try to set expectations low and then exceed them if they earn time.
     
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  15. Simisoccerfan

    Simisoccerfan GOLD

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    My dd has had a lot to adjust to so far as a freshmen. First it started with having ACL/meniscus surgery on 2/26 of her senior year. Then working hard to recover. She was fit enough to participate at the start of camp in everything but no contact. So she had to sit out quite a bit of the practices. We figured she was redshirting. Then right after Labor Day she was cleared (passed every test). Still figured she was redshirting. Coaches told her they plan on playing her. She started traveling with the team. Played against Duke and her knee hurt again (luckily it was just part of the recovery process). One week later and she felt fine. Has played in a few more games since but still waiting for the opportunity for some quality minutes to demonstrate her worth (very few freshmen are getting any minutes or are traveling). She has visited/traveled through 8 different states. By the way she now lives in rural Virginia so that is a big change from LA. At least no snow yet. She had to change her major from Nursing to Health Sciences since the clinical classes for Nursing are not compatible with sports (will take an Accelerated BSN program post graduation). Adjusting to life as a D1 athlete with many hours of training (which she loves). Her Freshmen class has a bunch of International students and she already is planning to share an apartment with two of them next year. Also the team has been struggling this year so that is new too.

    Through all this she is loving every minute. Loves the school, loves her teammates, and loves being a student athlete. As you can tell I am proud of her. I can't wait to see her in a few weeks when we fly back to see her team play.
     
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  16. gkrent

    gkrent

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    Kind of off topic but this reminded me of something my player is going through. She has a Mathematics minor and one of the required classes is only in the morning. She hasn't been able to take now for two semesters and its not offered in the summer. Has anyone run into problems completing required classes because of scheduling around sports? How have players worked around these issues?
     
  17. espola

    espola DA

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    Change majors.
     
  18. LoveMyCoffee

    LoveMyCoffee BRONZE

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    At my daughter's school, they have Academic counselors assigned to each sport and they are supposed to help with issues like what you describe So is morning when your daughter's practices are? My daughter's team practices in the afternoon in order to make it easier for the girls to coordinate their class schedules. Hope she is able to work something out.
     

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