~ 7 Deadly Sins of College Soccer Recruiting ~

Epilogue – What if your “favorite soccer player” tells you…he’s not sure he wants to play college soccer?

Strap in because this is going to be unpopular advice.

College soccer is not the same as club soccer.

It’s far more “work” than club soccer, with a greater level of intensity, personal commitment, and sacrifice.

For some kids, this will be the experience of a lifetime.

Others will see their “new life” at college strangled by the burdens of college soccer.

So, here’s what you need to consider.

Your child’s life to this point has revolved around soccer.

Their entire identity has been built around soccer.

When they tell you they’re “thinking about quitting”, this decision has not come lightly.

The best thing you can do for your child is to make it as EASY as possible to quit.

Encourage them to quit.

Talk about all the new things they’ll be able to do at college after they quit.

Remind them they can always play competitive intramural soccer without the heavy demands of the college team soccer.

Help them identify with a new life outside of a life dedicated to soccer.

This transition won’t be easy on either of you… but it’s our job as parents to make it as easy as possible for them to move onto the next phase of their life.

*********************************************************************

Finally, enjoy what you have while you have it.

Don’t miss games.

Spend the money to join them when they travel (yes, the costs are painful).

It will be over faster than you can imagine so love every minute!

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~ 7 Deadly Sins of College Soccer Recruiting – College Choice ~

~7 – How do you choose the best college to play soccer…to maximize your chances for a soccer scholarship?

The answer to this is simple, but not always popular.

As stated previously, there’s always a college somewhere that has soccer scholarship money for you.

The challenge is finding the intersection of a college that you want to attend and a college that wants you to play for them badly enough that they’re willing to pay you with a scholarship.

It’s not a matter of whether you can get a soccer scholarship, it’s really a matter of whether you want the scholarship.

 ~ Do you love the college?

 ~ Do you love the campus?

 ~ Do you think the team is a fit for your style / level of play?

 ~ Are you comfortable with the coaches?

 ~ After 4-years, will the degree obtained provide a good ROI (return on investment)?

The reality is there are hundreds of great colleges where you’ll be able to answer “yes” to all 5 of those criteria so never compromise and accept a “no” to any of them.

If you do find a college that fits your criteria, and offers you a scholarship, be decisive and take it… or politely thank them for the offer and tell them you’re going to reject the offer.

If you’re not 100% sure the offer is right for you, it probably isn’t so reject it and allow the coach to move on to another player and open the opportunity to someone else in your same position.

Remember, there’s a difference between “decisive” and “foolhardy”.

Spend time at the campus, check out the environment, social scene, research the starting salaries of the graduates, and talk to current players.

Most importantly, hunt down alumni players because they can afford to be the most truthful about their experience. You can do this easily using LinkedIn.

When your decision is finally made, never 2nd guess yourself!

Focus on the adventure ahead of you and prepare for this singular mission.

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~ 7 Deadly Sins of College Soccer Recruiting – Scholarships ~

#6 – How do you get a scholarship to play soccer?

There’s one way that works best!

You may have heard that getting a soccer scholarship is “impossible” but there’s literally soccer scholarship money that goes unused every single year.

But there’s a catch… there’s always a catch.

The catch is that you need to play on the team that has the soccer scholarship money remaining.

Often these colleges are not the colleges your child chooses to attend which is why this money goes unused each year.

So how do you get a soccer scholarship at the college you want to attend?

The first rule is that you need to be flexible and willing to attend a lot of different colleges.

The wider the range of colleges you’re willing to attend, the greater the odds of finding a program that:

  1. Has soccer scholarship money available
  2. Is willing to give their soccer scholarship money to you

Being brutally honest, you should remove the thought of an athletic scholarship from your decision process altogether.

Look at any athletic scholarship you receive as “manna from heaven” but do not count on a soccer scholarship nor base your college choice solely on the prospect of a soccer scholarship.

The #1 best thing you can do is focus on an “academic scholarship” at the school where you choose to attend and play soccer.

Academic scholarships are far more plentiful and often more lucrative.

After 4-years of college, a high GPA is going to do more for your career than being the captain of your college soccer team.

** People are getting soccer scholarships so always ask for the money …just be realistic in your odds of getting the money!

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~ 7 Deadly Sins of College Soccer Recruiting ~

#5 – Does video quality matter… and how can I create quality highlights?

So many people get this 100% wrong!

And even when people get it “mostly correct”, they often miss the most important details that make their videos almost useless to a college recruiter.

But if you follow these simple steps, you’ll be able to create and publish your own highlight and “all touches” videos with ease.

2 critical things to understand when creating college recruiting highlight videos:

  1. College coaches will not recognize your child on the pitch even when you state their jersey number.
  2. The video needs to direct the college coach’s attention to the point of action you’re trying to highlight.

I see far too many videos where I have no clue where to look and no clue who I’m supposed to watch.

Things you need:

  1. Highlight Animation – Used to direct the coach’s attention to the point of action.
  2. Video Pause / Auto-Restart – Used in conjunction with the highlight animation.
  3. Transitions – Clearly separate individual highlights.

Things to avoid:

  1. No Intros – Nothing worse than a 30 second cinematic intro to waste a coach’s time and encourage him to hit the “delete” button before the action starts.
  2. No Music – Just skip it. No upside… all downside. Ever hear of a coach selecting a player based upon their music selection?
  3. No Slow Motion – Unless your kid’s the Flash, this is just another waste of time for the coach. If they really move that fast, the coach can hit the rewind button and watch it again.
  4. No Zoom – Keep everything on a wide angle so the coach can see what is happening in the context of the game and other players.

Now that you know what to do… let’s look at how you do it.

Video is video, so almost any video editor will get the job done.

Some video editors are just harder to use i.e. Adobe Premier and iMovie, while others are easy because they’re purpose built for the task i.e. SocrPro.

The SocrPro video editor was built for the purpose, and it publishes automatically to your FREE Player’s Page, so it’s hard to beat the combination.

Steps to create a highlight / touch video:

  1. Upload a Video – Or use a Shared Video from anyone on the team or share your video with anyone you choose so they can create highlights as well. This is a primary benefit of using SocrPro.
  2. Watch the Video – Whenever you see a great play that you want to add to your highlight video, simply click the “Highlight” button and it will create a 10-second clip with a fade in / fade out transition.
  3. Add Focus Animation – Click the Focus Animation button and then drag / resize the animation where you want the coach to look. This will also pause / restart the video automatically.
  4. Render Video – After you’ve made all your highlight selections, save the video as a highlight video and it will combine all your clips into 1 continuous highlight video.
  5. Publish Video – Adding and arranging your video to your Player’s Page is literally “1-click” and then drag and drop to place your new video in the desired location on your playlist.

Since your Player’s Page uses the same personalized page link no matter what you add to the page, you will use this same link to send to the college coaches every time you add an update to your page.

Remember that college coaches are human and inundated with communication from prospective players, in addition to all the other things they’re doing daily.

Repetitive follow up with updates is the key to keeping your favorite player at the top of the coach’s mind and at the front of their recruitment list.

Sign up now with https://socrpro.com

7 Deadly Sins of College Soccer Recruiting

4 – Can you do it yourself…

…or should you pay a service?

This is a highly personal area and there isn’t going to be a single answer for everyone.

But… there are simple things to do and a few considerations to make.

# 1 consideration should be whether you’re doing this for the first time i.e. first child.

If you’ve gone through the process before, you likely have experienced the pitfalls and are better prepared for the journey the 2nd time around.

If this is your first foray into the college soccer jungle, there’s a high likelihood you’re going to step in plenty of elephant dung along the way.

Think of all the money you’ve spent on club soccer, personal trainers, showcase travel, and ID camps …does it really make sense to go “cheap” for the most important part of the process?

You’re about to cross the finish line, this is the time to spend a little extra rather than pulling back on the reins.

If you can afford it, hire a professional to help you through the process!

If you cannot afford it, then call some professionals for their FREE consultations and I guarantee you will learn far more from these calls than you will learn from 100 posts on social media.

This might seem a little “cheeky” but it’s the cost of sales for the recruiting services and the reality is that you might find a person in this process that presents an option for you that makes sense.

In either case, these calls will make you better educated in your selection of a recruiting service or to aid you on your DYI mission.

Here’s where you need start regardless of option desired:

You’ll always need to start with a Player’s Page to showcase your player’s highlight, touch, full game videos and bio / stats. (SocrPro offers free Player’s Pages).

This is a baseline requirement for college coaches and no real professional recruiting person will accept your child if they have no idea how they play.

These recruiting professionals stake their reputation on every child they promote because they’ve developed a deep trust with the college coaches that know and respect them.

College coaches expect the recruiting professional to bring them kids that will fit their program and this is true for all levels i.e. D1, D2, D3, Junior College, etc.

*I personally like smaller, personalized services that invest their time and reputation into your child. Avoid the “mass market” services that promise massive email blasts and other “mass market” techniques.

~ The best services are successful because they take a focused, highly targeted, approach and have deep relationships with the college coaches.

**Be very transparent about your college choices. If you only want to attend a D1 school, or a limited list of specific schools, make sure you tell them up front.

~ If your child is not a possible fit for the soccer programs at these schools, reputable recruiters will tell you and not take your money for a hopeless cause.

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7 Deadly Sins of College Soccer Recruiting – Showcase Tournaments

3 – Showcase tournaments do work…

…but only if you do it this way!

Let’s look at this from a statistical perspective.

There are thousands of colleges / universities that may, or may not, attend the showcase.

The showcase has hundreds of games played in one weekend.

Often spread over multiple locations miles apart.

Best case, all games are played at 1 massive facility.

All of this considered…

What are the odds that the coach from the college where you want to play will be at your game, watching while you’re in the game, at a time you’ve just made a spectacular play that makes you standout above all the others?

Hopefully you’ve answered, “lottery level poor”.

Now, if you’re willing to play at any D3, D2, junior college, in any state, with no regard for the program or academic reputation, then you don’t need to do this next step because there’s always a college somewhere that will need players.

The key to success at a soccer showcase is to be proactive!

You need to proactively reach out to the coaches at the schools you want to attend / play and ask them to watch you.

Send them to your Player’s Page for an introduction so they can see your videos and bio / stats.

Critical Point: If you’ve been in contact before, always assume they’ve forgotten you already

Always make sure you’re routing the coaches to your Player’s Page to get them excited about watching you at the showcase!

Secondly, make sure you send them your game schedule with dates, times, field locations and opponents.

Make it as easy as possible for the coaches.

Never make them work to find your game.

Third step is “follow up”.

Fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth step is “follow up”.

The soccer showcase is simply one step in a longer process.

Play hard, be a positive force, be persistent and you’ll get the spot you desire.

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