College Soccer Recruiting Experts Discuss The Pros And Cons Of Id Camps
For prospective college soccer players looking to be recruited, one of the more common ways to get in front of college coaches is to attend an ID camp.
ID camps are typically hosted by college coaches on the campus of their universities, or they are run by youth soccer organizations on a neutral location where coaches from numerous college programs are able to attend.
Attending an ID camp can be a major investment of both time and money, so its crucial for players to pick a camp thats the best fit for them, where theyll be seen by coaches from schools that are a good fit for both soccer and academics.
With so many camps to choose from, the process of deciding which ones to attend can be daunting for student-athletes and their families. On Episode 7 of The SoccerWire Podcast, recruiting experts Renee Lopez and Nate Kish shared their advice for how high school athletes should approach ID camps.
Lopez coached college soccer for 14 years, and now serves as a recruiting educator and consultant. She travels the country as a speaker sharing knowledge from her book Looking For A Full Ride? An Insiders Guide to Recruiting, which includes information from her research and interviews with over 65 college coaches and athletic directors.
See below for advice from Lopez and Kish on how student-athletes should approach college ID camps:
Communicating With College Coaches
Its important to understand the rules around what your player can and cannot do when communicating with a college coach. First, you should know that your player can absolutely communicate with soccer coaches at any age. D1 and D2 college coaches cant return the communication, but players can still get on their radar even as a freshman or sophomore by sending them emails or moments from their games. D3 and NAIA coaches can communicate with players at any time. Its also essential that your child is leading the communication. College reciters want to hear from the players, not their parents. Here is a players guide to emailing college soccer coaches.
I hope this information helps with your soccer recruitment process. Its challenging but can be incredibly beneficial to your players future. If you have any additional questions, feel free to join our The Soccer Parent Life Facebook Group. We cant wait to meet you and help you and your player through their soccer journey!
How To Get College Coaches To Watch Your Matches
Getting college coaches to your high school matches is not easy. Because of small recruiting budgets, many soccer coaches require you to come to them. In fact, for the top schools in the country it is mandatory that athletic prospects attend their summer soccer camps for further consideration. Find out what else you can do by following our tips.
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What Division Level Is Right For Me
Even though there are thousands of available roster spots across the Division 1, Division 2, Division 3, NAIA and junior college levels, earning one is no easy task. Potential recruits have to do a fair amount of self-assessment and confer with their current coach to determine the level of competition thats right for them. A third party such as NCSA can also help in setting proper expectations.
S To Get Recruited To Play Soccer In College
There is more to the college soccer recruiting process than simply performing well on the soccer field. The truth is that both womens and mens college soccer teams at the NCAA D1, D2, or D3 levels have a lot of prospective soccer players to select. Depending on the college and NCAA division, you can be competing with hundreds of recruits for only 4 10 roster spots per team. In fact, NCAA states that only 5.6% of high school soccer players make a college roster. This means that as a prospective student athlete, it cant be stressed enough how important it is to be proactive and assertive in the college soccer recruiting process. Below are 7 simple ways that you can increase your chances of a successful outcome:
Step 1: Complete each Soccer Questionnaire
Almost every college soccer team in NCAA Division 1, 2 and 3 has a soccer questionnaire that is available for prospective students to fill out on their team website. A completed questionnaire allows potential recruits to put themselves in the college coachs system of communication. Once you have identified the college soccer programs of your choice, go to their websites and fill out their soccer questionnaires immediately.
Step 2. Attend College ID Camps
Step 3: Make your Highlight Video
Step 4. Give Coaches your showcase tournament schedule .
Step 5. Be Consistent and Responsive
Step 6. YOU need to communicatenot your parents
Step 7. Make academics just as important
From the Blog
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Uniting Sportsrecruits And Connectsports Consolidates What Our Customers Love
Building tools that help student-athletes reach their dreams is incredibly rewarding and joining with SportsRecruits enables us to support more families on the leading sports recruiting network. When you build something youre proud of, you naturally want to share it and the connected ecosystem of student-athletes, club staff and college coaches on SportsRecruits provides that reach.
Uniting with SportsRecruits helps our partners consolidate more solutions under one umbrella and provides a consistent, centralized experience for all stakeholders in the recruiting process. In sports, you can develop great respect for your competition, especially when they share the same passion for the sport you love. Were excited to continue our mission on the SportsRecruits platform.
Recruiting, business, life theyre all about relationships you develop. Thats why we know every student-athlete will grow as a person regardless of the school they commit to. This belief drove us to combine with SportsRecruits to create more opportunities for student-athletes across all backgrounds while streamlining the experience for club staff and college coaches that make these connections happen.
-Gage Mersereau, Co-founder and CEO of ConnectSports
Do College Soccer Camp Increase Your Chances Of Playing At A School
There are 205 Division 1 Mens Soccer programs, each recruiting roughly six players a year, depending on the teams numbers.
So roughly, that will be around 1,200 new spots for incoming freshman this year.
There are spots to be had, but you have to go out there and set yourself apart to claim a place for yourself. To do that youll have to go out there and give 110% percent!
Most parents and youth players feel that there is no better way to showcase their abilities in front of a coach, than to attend their soccer camp.
And theyre right!
Going to soccer camps is a great recruiting tool, and one I took plenty advantage of. Doing so helped to make sure I left no stone un-turned. I used camps as a way to show coaches I could play and would be a great addition to their program.
I know a lot of players who went on to play soccer in college, and credit there being recruited to attending their schools soccer camp.
A huge reason for the high number of high school soccer players that are recruited to colleges that they attended soccer camps is because soccer camps allow you quality time around head and assistant coaches. Not only that but you can get to see the school itself, speak to current students, team members and get an overall feel for the school too.
Attending soccer camps is one potential part of the recruiting process, and needs to be packaged in a way that coaches know youre going to be at their camps BEFORHAND.
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Am I Ready For The Demands Of Being A College Mens Soccer Player
Regardless of division level, playing college sports is a major time commitmentand thats why college coaches make it a priority to evaluate recruits commitment. There will be early practices, training sessions at odd times and plenty of travelall in addition to classes and homework. Before student-athletes take the next steps in their recruiting process, they need to be certain that theyre prepared to take their game to the next level and are ready to manage the demanding schedule of a collegiate student-athlete.
Be Patient And Stick With It
Most coaches count on the one hundred or so recruits they begin recruiting, in one way or another, to remove themselves from the recruitment process. Recruits dont attend camps, stop replying to emails, or forget to follow up. You can get ahead of 75 percent of your competition just by staying in touch with a coach and constantly updating them on your progress. You might not get a response every time but keep at it, getting a soccer scholarship doesnt come easy.
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Give Coaches Your Showcase Tournament Schedule
Let coaches know what soccer tournaments and showcases you are playing in. Coaches have limited resources and need to prioritize what tournaments to go to and who they will be seeing. Factor yourself into the coachs decisions by giving them your soccer schedule early on in the process. It will increase the likelihood of them seeing you play if they are already going to the tournament.
Curious about how Future 500 ID Camps compare to showcase tournaments? Read more on our latest blog!
Make A Good First Impression
Once you have a few schools at which youre seriously interested in becoming a recruit, reach out to those coaches to introduce yourself and express your interest in joining the team.
As the adage goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it a good one! If you call, be ready with your GPA, team record, and other crucial factors. If you email, be polite and brief attach an athletic resume and transcript. Make sure you show genuine interest in the team and the school. You want them to be aware that theyre a top choice for you.
Finally, if theres a recruitment form or questionnaire on the schools website, which there almost always is, be sure to fill it out! There may be important questions about your results, goals, experiences, and other physical stats that coaches need to know.
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Make Your Highlight Video
This is extremely important and can be a great asset in the college soccer recruiting process. With so many prospective student athletes and so few college soccer coaches, it is almost impossible for coaches to make it out to see everyone play across the USA. A soccer highlight video will give the coach a chance to see you play early in the recruiting process and could put you on the short list for that team. Coaches will rarely make a trip out to see one individual player play so in many cases a highlight video is your way of getting your foot in the door. I have heard many college coaches explain it this way, a soccer highlight video is a lot like a movie trailer, you never go see the movie unless you have watched the trailer first. Attending a Future 500 ID Camp and selecting the Film option will get you professional quality clips, shot from elevation, to use to make a great highlight video.
Managing The Mens Soccer Recruiting Process
Once student-athletes have started the recruiting process, theres a lot of maintenance work to do in order to keep the process moving forward. At the beginning of the process, recruits will need to spend a few hours a week researching schools, sending introductory emails, making sure their highlight film is complete and establishing their NCAA and/or NAIA eligibility. After that, recruits might go a few weeks without any recruiting activity. For example, if coaches are in the middle of their season, there might not be a whole lot of recruiting going on. While managing the recruiting process, recruits are going to have peaks and valleys. Here are a few key things to accomplish and prepare for during this phase of your athletes recruiting:
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What You Need To Know About Calling College Soccer Coaches
In a world where we rely heavily on digital forms of communication like email, text and direct messaging, when a coach receives a phone call from a student-athlete, it stands out positively in their mind. And for student-athletes, it gives them an opportunity to learn about the coach, evaluate their interest and ask direct questions. Check out this video where former NCAA and NAIA coaches Lindsey Boldt and Luis Cortell talk about the value of calling coaches and how recruits should prepare beforehand.
Get Support From Your Coach
High school, academy and community league players should first communicate their desire to their coaches the reason this is a first step is because members of the coaching staff often have connections to college programs.
Coaches can also explain the process and level of play expected from players. As far as skills, letting your coach know that you are interested in college soccer may also provide you with a frank assessment about what you need to work for the purpose of being considered as a candidate.
Conversely, FNU Coach Fernando Valenzuela, who was recently named USCAA Coach of the Year insists that the #1 thing coaches need to see in high school students to be taken as a serious candidate for their team is:
Good grades, good test scores. Be a good player, a hard worker and a good person.
They need to know you will pass the test, whether it is as a reliable team member, on the field or in your university studies: a commitment to excelling.
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Getting Started: Setting Talent Level And Expectations
In most cases, the recruiting process starts with research and self-evaluation. In order to reach their goals, athletes and parents need to figure out whats attainable for them athletically and academically. Here are some questions to ask before embarking on the recruiting process:
Am I ready for the demands of being a college womens soccer player?
Regardless of division level, playing college sports is a major time commitmentand thats why college coaches make it a priority to evaluate recruits commitment. There will be early practices, training sessions at odd times, and plenty of travelall in addition to classes and homework. Before student-athletes take the next steps in their recruiting process, they need to be certain that theyre prepared to take their game to the next level and are ready to manage the demanding schedule of a collegiate student-athlete.
Am I good enough to play college womens soccer?
What division level am I qualified to play at?
Even though there are thousands of available roster spots across Division 1, Division 2, Division 3, NAIA and junior college levels, earning one of them is no easy task. Potential recruits have to do a fair amount of self-assessment and confer with their current coach to determine the level of competition thats right for them in college. A third party such as NCSA can also help in setting proper expectations.
How To Contact College Soccer Coaches
Once recruits have contact information for the coaches on their target list, they should start their outreach. Weve created a handy guide for communicating with college mens soccer coaches. For more information, visit the Contacting College Coaches page in our College Recruiting Guide.
- Complete the recruiting questionnaire for every school you are interested in.
- Send an introductory email to each college coach that includes a highlight video and key stats.
- Follow up with a call to each coach, mentioning the introductory email.
- If a coach doesnt answer, leave a voicemail and make sure to tell them when to expect a call next.
- Respond to all correspondence from coaches, including letters, emails, social media direct messages and everything else.
- Continue to follow up with coaches, sending them updated stats and new highlight videos, inviting them to upcoming games and congratulating them on recent wins.
Some college soccer coaches across the country have been furloughed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Recruits should continue to send the coaching staff regular updates on their training progress as a way to maintain their relationship with the coaching staff during this time. For general athletic and academic questions, families can contact the athletic director or college admissions team. Current team members can also be a great resource for recruits to ask specific questions regarding their experience and the team dynamic to get a better feel for the program.
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Can You Play College Sports
Take the 4 minute quiz to see if you have what it takes for NCAA sports.
The recruitment process can be defined as the time period of a high school athlete deciding on which school they will choose to attend and compete for as well as the time period that a college coach pursues a high school athlete to compete for them at the next level. A phrase you may hear thrown around a lot is “I am being recruited”. To be clear, the recruitment process for a specific University begins when the coach of that University reaches out to an athlete to let them know they are interested in having them play for them, or invite the athlete to a recruit visit on their college campus. To be clear, college coaches may invite an athlete to a camp or event without actually beginning the recruiting process, they may simply be interested in seeing you play.
A question we always receive from players and parents is what positions are you recruiting and how many? This is tough to answer because many coaches are different. Some have a systematic approach. If they graduate 3 center-mids then they recruit 3 more to fill their place. Other coaches will take the best players they can find and transform them into the positions they need. This is an important question to ask each coach you speak with upfront so that you can be on the same page and see if you fit into the class they are recruiting and their needs.