Depending on the school, college coaches can receive hundreds and sometimes thousands of emails of parents and players wanting the coaches to see them play. Sometimes it is difficult to get through simply through email, but it never hurts to try….a lot! It is difficult for coaches to sort through who is the best, who to spend the time on, what budget they have for traveling to see players and scholarships they can offer, and who has already committed to other schools.
If a player is looking for a soccer scholarship, there are a couple of things to know.
1. For Men’s Division I Soccer, there are a maximum of 9.9 Soccer Scholarships to be divided among the entire team. Some teams have 18 players and others have as many as 30 players so it is difficult to determine who gets what and how much to save for recruiting. Also, despite having a maximum of 9.9 soccer scholarships, not every school can afford to even offer that many among a team.
2. For Women’s Division I Soccer, there are a maximum of 12 Soccer Scholarships to be divided amongst the team. This would allow the starting 11 to be on full athletic scholarships and one bench player, but it is difficult to determine the allotment as it is for the men.
The difference between the two is from Title IX. Under this, there must be the same number of men’s and women’s sports as well as an equity when it comes to scholarships. This is the reasons why some men’s and women’s sports have a different number of athletic scholarships.
Here are a few ways to attract college soccer coaches and opportunities for them to see you play.
1. Attend the college’s soccer camp
>Most college soccer camps are run by not only the coaching staff of the men’s and women’s teams, but also by the players themselves as well as coaches from other colleges as well. Each college, especially the larger ones, have camps for young players as well as elite recruiting camps or college prep camps as they are sometimes referred to. This gives a soccer player the opportunity to play in front of the coaches as well as the current players.
>One way to attract college soccer coaches is by emailing and calling them. If a player lives relatively close to the school that they would like to attend, it is worth asking the soccer coach to come and want him or her play. If a player lives further away but has a tournament that is relatively close or is a large national tournament, then ask the coach to attend. It is also a good idea to have a club soccer coach or high school soccer coach call and email themselves as a reference to the college soccer coach. College soccer coaches are accustomed to talking to many club and high school coaches about their players especially if the high school or club team is renowned for having talented soccer players come through the ranks.
3. Send film of the player to the Soccer Coach
>Just as email is a popular way to contact coaches, many college soccer coaches receive highlight video after highlight video. If a player plans to send in film of themselves, here are a few tips to consider:
a. Do not simply send a highlight video of great plays, goals scored, goals saved, etc for the coach. It is easy to look good when there are small clips of everything a player does right.
b. Expand the parameters so that the film shows what leads up to great plays made by the player. Coaches want to see not only good control of the ball, but a good Soccer IQ or knowledge on the field. They want to see good movement off the ball and players who can get their teammates involved effectively. They want to see how a player thinks on the field if they are unable to see them in person.
4. Be Gracious when meeting with College Soccer Coaches
>When given the chance to meet with college soccer coaches it is important to be gracious and appreciative. Soccer coaches will see hundreds of players before making decisions about who to recruit and offer a slot on the team or even a soccer scholarship. Soccer coaches not only judge a player by his or her talent on the soccer field, but by their character as well. Coaches look for talented players who are willing to contribute to the team more than what they take away. Having a great soccer player who is also a good teammate will only make the team better.
Tell coaches what your goals are individually on the soccer field as well as in the classroom. Tell them about your interests off the field and about your family. Coaches do want to learn about their players during the recruitment process. Mention to them what you would add to the team and goals you would have for the team if you were a member. Coaches look for leaders in the recruitment process and showing leadership traits goes a long way.