you have plans on playing soccer in college?
Do you want to play soccer in college but are not sure what to do?
are a few helpful hints along with some websites to provide you with some
additional information to guide you in this process. This is the distillation of comments from many college
recruiters, soccer trainers, recruitment professionals, and club coaches of
high school age players.
- College selection
should always be based on your academic plans and interests or
essentially, your college major.
In other words, select the college on the basis of what the college
can provide you academically first. After all, you are going to college
“to go to college” and of course, receive an education. Think of it this way. If you were playing soccer at a
particular college and an event occurred which no longer permitted you to
play soccer, would you remain at this institution without soccer? If the answer is yes, you made the
right choice for the right reason.
- The college environment
– urban, suburban, or rural; small, medium, or large; enclosed or
dispersed campus. For example, NYU
is a dispersed campus and Rider University is an enclosed campus.
- The soccer program best
suited for you. For example,
Division 1, 2, or 3. Division 1
and 2 can offer athletic scholarships (although not all do) and Division
3, which does not offer any athletic scholarships.
- When should begin this
process? Some say it is never too
early. However, you should begin
the process as a Sophomore although no contact between you and the
college can occur (see the NCAA rules).
You should be much more active in this process during the late
Winter or early Spring of your Junior year. Don’t worry, there should be still opportunities in your Senior
- Based on the criteria
above, you should be contacting college coaches of prospective
colleges. You do this by writing
to them (emailing of course should be satisfactory).
- Contents of the letter
may vary but should address the following:
- Introduction of
yourself to the college coach indicating your interest to attend their
academic institution and desire to play soccer. Introduce yourself as a “student-athlete” versus a
- Description of your
academic prowess, your outside interests or additional activities you are
involved with to demonstrate how well-rounded you are (i.e., activities
involving music, civic, volunteer work, church, leadership experience,
- Your abilities as a
soccer player (clubs, high school, etc.).
- Lastly, your soccer
schedule should be included so that the college coach can watch you
play. Since in New Jersey,
college soccer and high school are played at the same time, the schedule
that is probably most important is the club soccer schedule since that is
generally played in the Spring when college coaches are “not coaching
their team” and are available to more actively recruit. Of course an exception may be a local
- To this end, your
competitive soccer club coach should have provided you with a detailed
tournament schedule well in advance so that you can provide this to the
prospective college coach.
- The Central Jersey
Soccer Association – River City AC Devils have regularly participated in
tournaments attended by college recruiters over the last 3 years. In the last 2 years, the focus has been
to participate in very competitive tournaments as well as continue play in
a very competitive league (JAGS).
- You may have heard that
the tournaments that are frequented by college recruiters are college
showcase tournaments. Yes, that is
true (since that is why the tournaments are referred to as college
showcases). However there are many
competitive tournaments that do not necessarily bill themselves as college
showcases but have college recruiters attend anyway. Quite often this may be attributed to
the fact that a high school player wrote a letter to prospective coaches
asking them to watch them play and determine if there is any interest.
- Why would a college
recruiter or college coach go to a tournament to see a prospective
student-athlete versus any other single game? Logically and mathematically it is simple. Although a prospective student-athlete
contacted the college recruiter to watch them play, it would be a more
prudent use of the recruiter’s time to attend an event where not only can
they review the prospective student-athlete who contacted them, but also
scout out players from 10 other teams who may be playing in the adjacent
fields 20 yards away. The college
recruiter could literally scout out over a hundred players in a short
amount of time. This would be
particularly advantageous if the student who contacted the college
recruiter was not exactly what they were looking for. Again, attend a singular event with
maybe 30 potential players or attend a tournament and scout out 100 or
more players in a very competitive environment?
During the last 2 years, the Devils have been
contacted by college coaches - both local and not so local - who have attended
one of the tournaments the Devils competed in.
The interest by the college coach was unsolicited by the player
involved. In other words, the college
coach contacted the team about a player after watching the player compete in a
tournament. In each case, the player
was advised of a college coach’s interest.
We fully expect this scenario will continue. It will be the policy of the team that all future interests by
colleges will be immediately forwarded to the player for follow up if the
interest is mutual. This information
will not be made public to the team as a whole but will be communicated between
the Devils’ coaches, college coach, and respective player.
Links of Possible Importance.
Recruiting Agency (for professional guidance).
– Women’s Soccer Administration. Need
Division 1 College Soccer. http://www.soccercoachingnotes.com/college/NCAA_D1_college_soccer.html
Division 2 College Soccer. http://www.soccercoachingnotes.com/college/NCAA_D2_college_soccer.html
Division 3 College Soccer. http://www.soccercoachingnotes.com/college/NCAA_D3_college_soccer.html
and College Soccer. http://www.nscaa.com/faq.php#PlayCollegeSoccer
Women’s College Soccer. http://naia.cstv.com/sports/w-soccer/naia-w-soccer-body.html
– UK Elite (trainers the Devils have been using the last several years. http://www.ukelite.com/