Best Practices For The Recruitment Process
Posted by: Anthony Presnell l College Placement Director
We have all heard it before, or seen it in a high school sports movie; college coaches hear about a player and immediately get on a plane to fly across the country to see this player, or coaches show up at games unannounced only to see a handful of rival coaches sitting in the stands ready to hand a “full-ride” scholarship to this player. Unfortunately, this type of “recruiting” only happens for the 0.0001% of players or universities. For the rest of us, a different type of “recruiting” happens, the type where we brand and promote ourselves to the college programs that we believe fit our needs as a student and an athlete.
The best analogy for earning a college soccer opportunity is to think of it as a job search. And like a job search, it takes work to find the right match. You have to define your companies (in this case, colleges and universities), research them, get the attention of the hiring person (coach), impress that person with a limited initial audition, be persistent in following up, and not get discouraged with the failures. For parents, a fortunate benefit is that you have a fantastic opportunity to teach your student-athlete a valuable skill; that is, how to search for a job.
With more than 2,500 possible college soccer opportunities, and over 1 million high school soccer players in the U.S it is crucial that student-athletes are proactive in their approach to earning a college soccer opportunity. Below we will outline how we can best prepare ourselves to recruit the college for our individual academic and athletic needs.
- Complete your individual College Fit Finder Profile; a service provided by CRYSC to all of our high school teams. This online platform will be crucial in supporting the student-athlete in the college process.
- Using the “College Search” function in College Fit Finder begin to research schools based on location, size, degree options, cost, etc.
- Create a large list of possible schools and include notes on why you believe this school fits your needs. Share this with parents and coaches.
- Begin to gather game footage and clip together a highlight video.
- Create an email account that you can use specifically for communicating with college coaches. Example: [email protected]
- Prepare a rough draft of an email introducing yourself to a potential college soccer program. (See CRYSC College Placement Program Guide on website)
- Review and edit draft for typos, misspellings, grammatical errors, etc.
- Send individual and personalized email introductions to the Head Coach and Assistant Coach at each school on your list.
- Keep track of all emails and responses in organized folders within your inbox
When communicating with college coaches they may have restrictions in place by the NCAA that may affect how they respond, when they respond and if they can respond at all.
Freshman and sophomores will receive content regarding the school and upcoming camps, while juniors and seniors can receive specific details about the program, depending on the time of year.
Showcase Your Talents
- Attend ID Camps
- Attend Summer Camps
- Invite coaches to attend events that you will be participating in. (Local league games and high school games may only be accessible local colleges, where Showcases will provide more games for coaches and will be more frequently attended.)
We will discuss “Camps” in an upcoming blog post. If you have questions please contact your Coach or the College Placement Program Director.
- Follow up as frequently as you feel comfortable. This includes any time there is a major change in your profile (i.e., GPA increase, ACT/SAT test score, new video, etc).
- Re-evaluate your list of colleges and make adjustments.
- Meet with your coaches to discuss where you are at in the process, how they can help you, and where you can improve.
The college recruiting process is much easier to navigate once we are prepared, and the earlier that we prepare our student-athletes the more opportunities that will be available. Each student-athletes process and pathway will be unique, it is important that they are prepare to promote themselves and recruit the right college opportunity for them.
The College Soccer page on the CRYSC website offers a great starting point for parents and players interested in college soccer. For more information, visit our website here. For any questions or concerns, please contact CRYSC’s College Placement Director at [email protected].