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Soccer Recruiting Timeline



Introduction


Playing soccer at the collegiate level can be some of the most memorable four years of your life. Many high school athletes dream of playing at the next level but less than one in twenty are successful.


Why is that?


Many soccer-minded individuals argue that with only a set number of open roster spots available any given year for recruits, it will always be a cumbersome and grueling process. However, we offer a different theory, and that is that athletes are not being held accountable for their own recruiting journey and ultimately not being given the necessary tools required to be successful.


For most, the college soccer recruiting process can be on overwhelming and daunting task. With thousands of potential colleges, across the country, researching and finding the right school for you can become an all but impossible task.


Throughout this guide, you will learn the ins and the outs of the college soccer recruiting process, as well as best practices for researching schools, connecting with college coaches, and how to validate that you are a serious recruit for any given coach.


After reading this guide, you will be up to date on all of the recruiting regulations, better equipped to understand how athletes have been successful in the past and have a thorough understanding of which recruiting tactics can be the most effective when trying to get noticed by college soccer coaches.




When to Start


The college soccer recruiting process can begin as early as your Freshman year of high school. The moment that you walk into the classroom on that first day of school, your recruiting process is underway as academics play such a fundamental part in whether you will be successful. It is imperative to maintain a high GPA right from the outset and therefore starting off strong in your Freshman year will significantly further your chances of playing college soccer.


Throughout the recruiting process, there are certain regulations with when a college coach may respond or contact an athlete. There are no limits of when an athlete can contact a college coach. All of the information presented below are in accordance to NCAA Division I college soccer recruiting regulations, these regulations are much more relaxed in lower divisions.


Below is a suggested timeline of the college soccer recruiting process:


Freshman Year


(Coaches are unable to contact you – only send general information)

· Maintain high grades

· Begin compiling a list of possible colleges or universities that meet your interests and research their academic and athletic programs

o Ensure that this list consists of schools across all divisions

· Play at the highest level possible

· Keep a detailed record of athletic achievements

· Begin to build your athletic resume

· Record game film and create your freshman year highlight tape


Sophomore Year


(Coaches are unable to contact you – only send general information)

· Maintain high grades

· Continue to develop your list of possible colleges or universities that meet your interests and research their academic and athletic programs

· Play at the highest level possible

· Keep a detailed record of athletic achievements

· Form your soccer resume and begin to reach out to certain schools – this can be done directly through RecruitChute or via email

· Review the NCAA and NAIA Clearinghouse eligibility requirements. The summer before your Junior year you can register with the NCAA Clearinghouse

· Select Junior year courses to fulfill these requirements

· Record game film and create your sophomore year highlight tape


Junior Year


(Coaches are now able to contact athletes as of September 1)

· Maintain high GPA

· Keep online resume up to date, this should include:

o Camps and Tournaments that you will attend

o Upcoming Schedule

o Contact information

o Highlight Tape

o Club/High School team and contact information

· Narrow down your list of schools to 10-15 that all would be a good fit for you. It is important to consider whether you would still want to attend the school if you did not play soccer there

· Keep detailed notes on which schools that you are interested in are corresponding with you, and begin to rank them in order of importance

· Attend college showcase events which the coaches of schools you are interested in will be attending

· Attend any recruiting seminars at these tournaments, and ask college coaches any questions that you have

· Consider attending the summer camp on a school of interest, or one of one which has lots of college coaches attending

· Make *unofficial visits (if possible) to selected schools. When attending, meet with the coaches and try to watch the team play – it will give you an idea of the level of that particular college

· Take the SAT or ACT tests and update your online resume with your results. College coaches are able to search through all of our athletes based on academics so make sure yours are up to date

· Check your status with the NCAA Clearinghouse

· Select senior courses to complete Clearinghouse requirements

· Stay in touch with high school counselor

· Obtain financial form (FAFSA)

· Record game film and create your junior year highlight tape

*An unofficial visit is when a recruit attends a school on their own expense. These visits can be taken at any time and do not require the athletes to be invited by a college coach.


Senior Year


(Coaches can begin conducting off-campus contact with athletes at their residence or school.)

· Maintain high GPA. Finish Strong!

· Keep online resume up to date, this should include:

o Camps and Tournaments that you will attend

o Upcoming Schedule

o Contact information

o Highlight Tape

o Club/High School team and contact information

· Narrow down your list of schools to 5 that all would be a good fit for you.

· Keep detailed notes on which schools that you are interested in are corresponding with you, and begin to rank them in order of importance

· Check status with the NCAA Clearinghouse

· Complete FAFSA form again with recent tax information

· Respond immediately to any interest shown by college coaches

· Schedule and complete official visits, meeting the coaches and team and stay overnight if possible.

· Stay in touch with your high school counselor

· Narrow down your choices and get your applications in an early as possible

· Keep coaches updated on your achievements by sending them your updated online soccer resume

· MAKE YOUR DECISION!


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