When does the Recruiting Process Start?
Recruiting starts when a player puts on a competitive uniform whether you agree with it or not. Regardless of whether you know what schools you are interested in, or feel ready or not to be scouted, coaches are always watching you play and formulating opinions of players and feedback from club coaches and dialogue is frequent. Top D1 schools recruit (i.e allocate scholarship $) much earlier (FR or even younger) while on the other end of the spectrum Nescac & Ivy schools track players years before being able to commit to their recruits in the Senior year of HS.
Player Profiles on Pass2me
Every player at PSV Union should have a profile regardless of age or whether or not they have any idea where they wish to attend. We dont require players younger than 10 years of age to list their college choices and encourage them to dream but we do expect them to have favorite players, teams and list their playing ambitions, be it professional or merely to simply have fun and learn. While 10 is young to start listing colleges, we dont take the lists seriously until age 12/13 when we start to see which players are realistically heading in a specific direction.
Sharing your Profiles with College Coaches
We only use/fwd/share. information from your personal page so be sure to keep your player page updated. If you want us to share your academic achievements, video or other info, be sure to adjust the customized privacy settings so we can openly share the information with college coaches. The amount of visibility you wish others to have of your page is completely up to you. Aside from your friendship with PSV you do not have to accept others' friend request for us and a college coach to see your Player Page information. We do not forward emails or docs. or stand alone video to coaches. Every time you update your player page we receive an automated notification. We also keep an analysis page which helps us track PSV players college activity. College coaches who are registered on Pass2me will be able to see your profile however, if coaches are not using Pass2me, college coaches will be referred to your Pass2me player page/link by us as well as we are specifically contacting them on your behalf. We will send a text or email with the hyperlinked url.
Most players have a profile out there on some type of system but remember, just having your profile on the internet is not enough to attract the attention of colleges. That is a good first step, but you need to tell us (so we can make contact on your behalf when appropriate) and (more importantly) you need to contact them yourself to let them know of your interest. They will really only look for you, or look up your profile, if they know you are interested in their program. It's possible for a coach see you in the middle of a game, but a much more likely scenario is if they hear from you or us and learning beforehand where/when you are playing, and stopping by to watch you specifically because contact has been made. The same applies to ID camps. Basically, coaches know who they are scouting beforehand.
College coaches like to see players show initiative and exhibit an interest in their program. In addition to us contacting the schools telling them of your interest you must send them a message (let us know when you do so we can stay in the loop and help you! copy us on all messages) expressing your interest. If coaches see we are copied it does help the conversation along. Tell the college coaches about yourself (list your club first if we are advocating for you-your school academic counsellor will ask to list them first) and ask them to view your profile and come watch you play, etc. Rest assured that we will be in touch with them so they will get a detailed evaluation from us if they request it. Don't be discouraged if you don't hear back from them as they cannot always respond due to NCAA rules.
Contact coaches to let them know about your interest in their program. It depends on the particular school and how you fit in there, and how interested you are in attending that particular program. Many players have a wide range of schools, from "safety" to "reach", both academically and athletically. The process starts with the player showing interest, and then getting an opportunity to be seen. If the coach is interested they will provide an accurate evaluation of your potential, personal characteristics and capabilities and fit at their soccer program.
Players should focus on enjoying playing and continue to work at their game and seek to make a positive impression at every training and games. Remember, there is a school out there for everyone. If you let your feet do the talking then the rest will likely follow. No amount of video, letters, calls, pressure on the coaches to assist in recruiting will help if you cant play the game well. The interaction between club coached and coaching directors and college coaches is constant so if you continue to improve and show committment then you will likely get recognized for this. Be realistic about your goals and select schools that are within your reach.
We have ranked below in order, the 'best' ways to get recommended to college. Finding the right college fit depends on your playing ability and academic prowess and ambitions, as well as financial and geographic requirements such as proximity to home and even school size. Being offered a scholarship. being recruited to play on the squad, having your application tagged and being a walk-on are all very different scenarios. Some players want to start on a team Freshman Year while others are willing to earn playing time. Some players want to get scholarship money while others can afford college. Some players seek the rigors of Nescac and Ivy programs while others may seek a less demanding environment. It means many things to many people. Aside from the very best way to get recruited which is to let your feet do the talking, there are various ways of helping you get recognized.
1: WORD OF MOUTH FROM TRUSTED AND REPUTABLE SOURCES: Personal recommendation from current and past professional soccer coaches & professional players and current & former college coaches. Like any industry and profession word of mouth recommendations from highly regarded individuals is worth a great deal. If these people like you as a player and person and they think you are a good fit for a team or club then a call or text from these people can alter a players career. Don't expect these individuals to exaggerate a players ability. They will do their homework before putting their name to a player as they want to protect their reputation they have built over generations in the game. Before they recommend a player they need to do their diligence also. The qualities they typically look for in a player is good technique, competitive spirit and soccer passion, tactical understanding, good decision making and ability to read the game. They look at a players first touch and creativity and physical prowess- pace, mobility, power. They may see you play in a game as a striker and recommend you as a midfielder or a defender so dont be surprised. Their eye for the game and insight is something that is subjective and they can see the intangibles that a person who has not played the game at the highest levels cannot see. If and when you impress them on the field, then you need to impress them with your personal character. Are you dedicated, hard working, a good teammate, confident but not arrogant, can you bring out the best in other players? Are you punctual and reliable with respectable social habits? In short, are you someone who is going to reflect well on whomever is going to put their name to you?
After discussing your potential as a player with these trusted individuals, college coaches typically follow up with a personal visit to games or practices. They will tend to want to see a player train and play and know the background and habits of a player: What will this player be like when they join a college program? how do they practice? do they train well? are they interested in the game? will they excel? do they have the desire and dedication and aptitude for self improvement (remember there many NCAA restrictions that prevent college coaches from 'forcing' their players to even practice on their own at college so they are seeking motivated players!). Getting into a program and staying in and earning playing time are 2 different things. Players need to convince coaches they are worth having for 4 years. This includes written evaluations & video- supplement (be very careful with video as coaches know every editing trick. Videos only work if they are very well done. Coaches do want to see a player play in an entire game so they may want to see an entire game on video.
2: ATTEND COLLEGE ID CAMPS: This is an excellent way for coaches to see players for extended period of time; these camps allow colleges to be creative with NCAA recruiting rules re: recruiting. Its a great way for college coaches to get to know the players' personality: coachability, attitude (towards teammates, coaches etc) and training habits; Players to see the campus and get a feel for the environs and meet the staff. We don't recommend attending an ID camp unless the players club coach or club head coaches communicate with the college coach to see if its the right fit. You dont want to waste your time attending if you arent actually being recruited. It can be costly and time consuming if you arent targetting the right program. Make sure the program is compatible with your grades (GPA/SAT/ACT) and your playing abilities.
3: LEAGUE PLAY WITH CLUB TEAM: (very important to see players play in their element- coaches like to see how players train). We have had many players offered scholarships and roster spots from being scouted at training games as well as league games and tournament play. However, coaches wont discriminate when they see a player play.
4: TOURNAMENTS :These are hit and miss. you may play well, or not; coaches may not see your best performances; you may even not be on the field when they are watching or the coach may not even be at the game- a good place to get 'seen' but you will still need personal references and you will likely be told to attend ID camps and they will follow up more scouting. you dont have to win games or come first place to get recognized by a coach. They dont care who wins or loses the games as many times college coaches recruit players who play well on losing teams too and finals are generally considered to be the 'worst' games in tournament format. showcase tournaments with no Champions/points are the best events as they give coaches an opportunity to see the qualities of a player based on 3 games in 3 days as opposed to 5 games where players are fatigued and the soccer is typically of a poor level when you get to the final game. Tournaments are very useful if your club coach or Coaching Directors are working with you to make sure the colleges you want to attend are going to see you play. Tournaments should be used for players development especially in the summer months but can be useful for recruiting purposes if done correctly.
5: ID platforms Federation training, ODP, PDP, id2 platforms: Even these players will need to get a strong recommendation: training habits; future potential etc. While these are important platforms, they provide limited exposure and were more important before video & technology apps have made scouting easier. Being invited to ODP or PDP or id2 or National Training Center wont guarantee you get college or national team recogniztion but it wont hurt your chances either.
OTHER: NATIONAL TEAM SELECTION: Because there are so few of these players in any given year and because these players area already heavily scouted by colleges very early on in a players career, this avenue is only available to very few players.
* College coaches do not care if your team wins or loses.
* College coaches don't recruit teams, they recruit players.
* It doesn't matter what position you play- they may see other qualities in you. Dont lock yourself into a position.
* Once in a blue moon a college coach will see a talent an immediately offer a player a spot. If a college coach likes you at a tournament they will need to see you at one of their ID camps and have you visit the campus.
* Many coaches want to see how a players trains and plays with their team, so they will try and get to a practice and game.
* Ivy and Nescac type schools will need to see ACT, SAT scores before committing to you. As with any school there are academic requirements, however, the high performing academic schools need to keep their options open until a player is academically qualified.
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