Recruiting Tips for Parents Just Starting the Process

Discussion in 'College Recruiting' started by MakeAPlay, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. MakeAPlay

    MakeAPlay Silver Elite

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    I figured that I would create a place for parents that have been through the process to share insights and answer questions for parents just starting the process or looking ahead to the start of the process. With so much misinformation out there I thought that having a thread to sort it out might be useful.
     
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  2. Azzurri

    Azzurri Bronze

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    Don't get your kid pigeonholed into playing one position. My son was always tall and fast, played center back from u8 to u16. College coaches want kids that can play multiple positions.

    If you have a coach that only plays your kid at 1 position, better to go down a level or move teams, then lose this opportunity. Especially at the younger ages!
     
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  3. MakeAPlay

    MakeAPlay Silver Elite

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    Tip #2

    Start the process early. I recommend that you start the process the fall of her freshman year of high school. i know that sounds really early especially since they are just starting high school and making decisions that are 5 years away seems too early but it isn't. Start getting an idea of what type of school she wants to go to. Does she want to go to a big school or a small one? Urban, rural or college town setting. Power 5 conference, mid major or D2/3. This is where she should start getting a general idea of 20-30 schools that you can start to whittle down. Also make sure that she remains flexible. I know plenty of girls that committed to schools that weren't initially on their list but fit their criteria and wanted them for the soccer team.
     
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  4. MakeAPlay

    MakeAPlay Silver Elite

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    Great advice! My player will be playing a different position in college than she started off playing in U1o club. We were always big on her playing every field position. She switched over to her current position at U14 and although she will play the other position when needed she has never looked back. Also the position that she played in ODP is different than her college position but the coaches at her top 3 schools all loved the fact that she had at least 3 other positions that she could play at a high level.

    Versatility is highly valued. I was told by a coach of a top 5 program that he likes to get his best 10 field players on the field and having players that play multiple positions allows that.
     
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  5. Flojo

    Flojo Bronze

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    When committing to a school, never commit solely for the soccer program or a coach. It should be obvious, but some people have a soccer mind only. If your kid gets hurt, will the school honor their scholarship? Will your kid be happy off the soccer field? Would they like the school if they weren't playing soccer? Are they committing for the coach alone, knowing that he or she can change schools at any given moment? Just some things we took into account in my DD's process!
     
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  6. NoGoal

    NoGoal

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    Make sure it's your DD who is contacting and speaking to the college coaches. The only time my wife and I spoke to my DDs college coach was when they specifically asked for us, to begin negotiating her athletic scholarship. They shared with us that it was a breath of fresh air only having to speak with the player during the process.

    Also watch the college team play and observe if the college coach is a yeller or joysticker. You will get a good idea, if the style of coaching and style of play fits your DD.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
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  7. espola

    espola Silver Elite

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    I encountered a local college coach in the stands at a high school game back when both my boys were playing HS. I knew him from other venues, so I went over to greet him, and starting filling him in on the strengths of the current players. He politely thanked me for the information, and them told me "I already know about the one I am here to look at".
     
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  8. gkrent

    gkrent

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    I second this suggestion. Its good for the players to learn to talk to adults on the phone (not something that happens much these days!) and most of the college coaches are used to talking to teenagers, so it makes it easier for the kids.
     
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  9. mirage

    mirage Silver

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    What would you do????

    Many excellent academic institutions (e.g., MIT, CalTech, Johns Hopkins, Claremont, Uof Chicago, Carnegie Mellon, ...) are all D3 - no athletic scholarship. They all say its needs based but threshold is different for each institution.

    Many almost unheard of institutions (e.g., regional east coast private universities) have D1 programs and offers scholarship but academically meh.

    Some excellent academic institutions require very high scores/grades, in addition to soccer skills and is D1 (e.g., Ivys) but offer no athletic scholarship - only needs based.

    Picking school based on what? College soccer offer? If D1, 2, 3 or NAIA? Life after soccer? Solely on affordability?

    And of course coaches change and injuries happen so what's the plan-B if soccer is shortened unexpectedly?

    What are you, as a parent, willing to live with and for the player, willing to do.

    Unfortunately, there is no simple solution and each kid's situation is unique and has a different outcome.

    The point is, if one buys into potential outcomes before starting the recruiting journey, the likelihood of successful transition to college (with or without soccer) will be greater.
     
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  10. NoGoal

    NoGoal

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    My DD stated, if it was D2, NAIA or D3....she would commit to a prestigious academic D3 university (if admitted). She even said, she would choose D3 over a D1 mid-major university soccer program not academically ranked. Example: Claremont Colleges D3 over Fresno State D1.
     
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  11. CaliKlines

    CaliKlines Well-Known Member

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    Here is a good jumping off point for parents and players to help source which colleges/universities could be right for them. I found these websites to be very beneficial when comparing colleges and getting reviews from actual students on a variety of subjects (academics, housing, food, security, etc.)

    This first one uses input from the major college comparison sites (Money Magazine, US News and World Reports, Forbes) and combines their rankings into a Smart Ranking. Very helpful.
    http://colleges.startclass.com/
    This one provides helpful information about many different aspects of college life with reviews from the actual attending students.
    https://colleges.niche.com/
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
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  12. KidGretzky25

    KidGretzky25 Bronze

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    I concur on what MakeAPlay said, regarding contacting coaches early, Fresman year. Email coaches and invite them to your dds games. Make the email unique and don't send blast emails. Talk about something specific, such as a new hire, or recent news involving the school. Include a link to their YouTube page or college recruiting profile. Make sure your dd is doing the work. Your dds resume will help when contacting Power 5 conference schools. List their ODP, id2, YNT experiences. In most cases, those are the players that they come watch first. Since the colleges have to contact your club coach to contact you, make sure your following up with your dds coach.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
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  13. Glen

    Glen Bronze

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    No offense NoGoal, but I think your timeline for admission & comitment is screwy (i.e. you commit before you are admitted - that's how you get in to those top academic schools). I don't think what your DD wanted to do is even feasible. Or maybe I'm confused by the way you are using the word committed.
     
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  14. MakeAPlay

    MakeAPlay Silver Elite

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    Some schools want to run your file by admissions before they offer a player a spot/scholarship. They need at least 5 or 6 semesters of academic work plus SAT scores in order to get the thumbs up from admissions. I honestly think Stanford should do the same in order to reduce their 20%+ fallout of committed players. When my player and I were sitting down with Paul Ratcliffe he told us straight up that he loses players to admissions every year. Most of the admissions exceptions there go to revenue sports or individuals of unique ability (like Olympians).
     
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  15. NoGoal

    NoGoal

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    I should have posted verbally committed. Actual committed doesn't happen until a player signs a letter of intent February of their HS Sr year.

    If you have a DD that has a lot of individual soccer accolades. She will be evaluated by college coaches her freshmen year in HS and receive offers her sophomore year. If your DD elects to pass on Power 5 school offers, they will move on to the next player on their recruiting list. Many Power 5 schools are already extending offers and receiving verbal commits from 2019 players. https://sites.google.com/site/soccerrecruits/ Also, if your DD waits until her Junior year to verbally commit. There will be very little to no academic money available. The only exception are YNT players, college coaches will ALWAYS find money or set aside money for those recruits.

    If Ivy League is the destination then yes, Jr and in some cases Sr year is when the player will verbally commit.

    As for grades, my DDs head coach asked for a copy of her freshmen grades and every semester afterwards. This way they can keep track of her academic progress. The college coaches have been doing this for years, so they already have a good idea what is needed to pass admissions at their university.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
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  16. Glen

    Glen Bronze

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    Great link! Thanks for sharing.
     
  17. espola

    espola Silver Elite

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    A coach would be foolish to make verbal commitments beyond what he can legally deliver, or even close to that. There will always be blue chippers uncommitted right up until the middle of their Senior HS year.

    You don't have to listen to my advice, but I think a player and his/her parents should be realistic about what their objective is. Are they looking to play soccer at the highest possible level? To get into what they think is the the best possible school, with soccer as the key to unlock the admissions door? To pay as little as possible for college, with soccer as bait?
     
  18. zebrafish

    zebrafish Silver

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    I have a younger child, but I strongly believe in her learning and being competent to play any position on the field, so I'm happy to hear this philosophy has some long-term merit. Was it difficult to find coaches who would do this? My child's current U9 coach does move the kids around, but I can plainly see there is pressure against doing this because it probably costs you games-- in the short-term anyway.
     
  19. MakeAPlay

    MakeAPlay Silver Elite

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    It wasn't very hard for us to find coaches willing to allow her to play multiple positions. I found that at the younger ages it is usually the parents that don't want their player at his/her less than optimum position. We focused and her skill training, learning how to use her body and her effort to the ball. We were lucky that our player was average sized up until about U13/14 so her coaches didn't pigeonhole her at any particular position.

    I would make sure that the coach is aware that you appreciate your daughter moving around so that he/she is aware that you are okay with it.
     
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  20. CaliKlines

    CaliKlines Well-Known Member

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    Another suggestion is to stay organized. Know to whom you are sending emails and when you sent them. Keep track of phone calls to coaches. Keep track of inbound emails from coaches...hell, I even kept all of the camp invites. Our club provided software called College Fit Finder, which was a huge benefit to being organized. TGS, or Total Global Sports, also provides an outstanding service as well. So if your club is providing this software free of charge, use it and make the most of it. We used her College Fit Finder profile as part of her email signature, which also included team name, jersey number, club coach name/phone number, high school coach name/phone number.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
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