College and Team Search
Category: Advice for Players
There are many college playing opportunities for high school graduates. Colleges and universities vary widely in terms of size, location, and academic offering and soccer programs range from moderate to highly competitive.
- Prepare both academically and athletically
- Complete all eligibility requirements
- Research colleges and teams
- Contact coaches
- Make a selection and sign a commitment
Preparing both academically and athletically for college is very important. The NCAA, as well as many colleges and universities, are becoming very strict on who can be considered a college student-athlete.
Completing all of the eligibility requirements are essential. Fill out all required forms carefully and return them promptly. Follow up by email and phone. Return phone calls immediately, and remember that the coach cannot usually call more than once a week. If you have a message, call back and continue to call until you get through.
Doing research on the college and team will help in your decision-making process. Your high school guidance counselor and the internet are both great sources to do research on both the college and team you are considering. Do you feel more comfortable in the city or in a suburb? Do you want a large school of 20,000 students or a small school with only 2,000 students? What kind of team do you want to play for? These are all valid questions to think about when deciding on a college and team.
Contact coaches. Don’t wait for them to contact you! Be proactive, call, e-mail and visit the school and coaches. Many athletes and their parents believe that talented high school athletes are always actively recruited by Division I college coaches. The reality is that only about 2% of these athletes are “actively recruited” by college coaches, leaving the remaining 98% of athletes to recruit themselves. When you first talk to or meet a coach, be prepared to answer questions and to ask some of your own. If you fail to return phone calls or paperwork promptly, the coach may move on, giving your playing opportunity and financial aid to another player.
Finally, after much research, visits and speaking to the coach and players, you’ll be able to make a decision of a college and team that best fits you!