Deciding on Colleges
Think about where you want to live, you will be there for four years or more. Broaden your scope, there are many DI colleges, but some may not be as good as some DIII colleges in different parts of the country. For example. UCLA can probably turn down plenty of quality players, but a DI college in Montana or Wyoming may jump at the chance to get a california soccer player. Think about what level you can to play at and look for colleges that offer a course of study you are interested in. The NCAA website is a good place to start identifying colleges.
- DI colleges - up to full scholarship, large time commitment. SAT of 820+ (not including essay) or ACT of 68+
- DII colleges - Partial scholarships, less time commitment
- DIII colleges - No scholarships
- NAIA colleges - Private schools may offer some scholarships
- Junior Colleges - No scholarships, but a good place to start
Getting Noticed (You will not be discovered at a tournament)
Contact college coaches with an introduction letter. Do not send a form letter where you substitute the coaches name or college in each one. Coaches receive lots of these and do not look at them. Make each letter specific to the coach and college and inform the coach about your character.
Make a viedo. It should be 8 - 10 minutes long. Show training in practice and actual game playing that demonstrates the skills from training. Post it on YouTube and send the link to the coaches you have contacted.
Contact the coach about once a month and give them your game schediule so they can come see you play. If a coach hears from a player a lot, they will make an effort to see that player.
What Coaches are looking for when they see you play
Coaches are not necessarily looking to see a player score. Mostly, they will be looking at how that player reads the game and what they do "off the ball". They will be looking at your movement when you don't have the ball and the decisions you make. They will be looking at your eyes and they will be looking to see if you run and where you run when you don't have the ball.
High School Preparation
- Freshman - Focus on your grades (must be above 2.0)
- Sophmore - Grades. Contact 25 college coaches (a mix of DI, DII, DIII and NAIA colleges) and send them your league and tournament schedule.
- Junior - Narrow down your contacts to 15 colleges. Contact the coach about once a month.
- Senior - Sign your letter of intent.