Tips from the Top
Advice from College coaches on the recruitment process
I think the most important piece for prospective players is to focus on three areas when looking at schools. First and foremost Academics – Find a school where you can be successful academically and get a great education in the environment that fits your needs competitively and somewhere that will grow you as a player. Along with meeting the coaches/ players and finding out the culture and philosophies as a group. Lastly, find a school that is going to fit you socially. If soccer was taken out the equation – would you be happy and find success?
(Chad Miller, Head Women’s Coach, Western Carolina University)
Respond to contact emails from college coaches in timely. We have taken the time to watch you pla, assess your abilities, email you with our observations and potebntial to play collegiate soccer, perhaps for our program. This is not just a sales pitch, it is a sign of respect, not only for you as a player, but for our sport. Please have the same respect and respond to the contact. I can honeslty say that while I would like you to come to our university and be a part of our program, I respect the fact trhat you are being recruited by other schools and that you may not even have an interest in my school or soccer program. Please return that respect by letting me know one way or the other about your plans and intentions.
(Lon Pringle, Assistant Women’s Coach, Catholic University)
Address the coach by name. Not ‘hey coach’, ‘Dear Coach’, or ‘Coach!’. Believe it or not, I have seen all 3. How can you be ‘very interested’ when you do not even know, or use if you do the coach’s name? make sure that the coach you are addressing actually coaches at the college/university.
(Frequently, players Mix-Up the names/institutions).
(John Daly, Women’s Soccer Coach, College of William and Mary)
Be honest with coaches – tell them if you are not interested.
(John Byford, Head Coach, Villanova University)
The College Search process can be tough for the majority of young players. Having a plan and being organized in the way you implement it is very important in my opinion. Research and reaching out to coaches gets you started, but detailed follow up and narrowing down to realistic programs makes it easier to end up at the right place for you. Make sure the academics and school setting fit your desire first and ensure that you connect
well with the coaches and believe you can impact the program.
(Marc Reeves, Head Coach, Radford University)
Since recruiting is happening earlier and earlier, one of the best things that a recruit can do is to kee the college coach informed as to their game/tournament schedule but also call the coaches of the schools that they are interested in. As a coach, the only person we are allowed to initiate conversation with is the club or the HS Coach. It makes it difficult to share our interest with a player and know that they are interested in us. The earlier they call coaches and visit campus – the better for us.
(Laura Armstrong, Assistant Women’s Coach, Liberty University)
Getting seen is crucial and making early contact with schools of preference is important. I would advise that if you find out if they have a serious camp and if you so would try to attend in either sophomore or junior year. But before you attend, make sure you have made contact with the with the coach, expressing your interest.
(Bobby Clark, Head Coach, University of Notre Dame)
Make sure you do your homework on the particular school before contacting the coach. If you contact a coach saying you are interested in education, for example if the school does not offer it as a major, it shows a lack of preparation.
(Michael Trudcall, Head Coach, Johnson and Wales University)
Be realistic about how few people play Division 1, let a lone get any money. You play club soccer because you enjoy soccer NOT because you will see significant return on the investment. Virtually every kid on our roster was on ODP or some ‘team of the year’ so please be realistic about where you can play. There are hundreds of great places to have a tremendous experience, so don’t define yourself by few few schools or D1.
(Todd Clark, Head Womens Soccer Coach, Campbell University)
Take your time – be sure you have made the right choice. Study hard – some schools will be out of reach if your academics aren’t good.
(John Byford – Head Coach, Villanova University)