So You Want to Play College Soccer?


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College preparation and planning presentation at the 2013 South Dakota Soccer Association Workshops 11/16/2013

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So You Want to Play College Soccer?

  1. 1. SO . . . YOU WANT TO PLAY COLLEGE SOCCER? Updated November 9, 2013
  2. 2. • NCAA – National Collegiate Athletic Association (Divisions I, II & III) • NAIA – National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics • NJCAA – National Junior College Athletic Association (Divisions I & III) • NCCAA – National Christian College Athletic Association (Divisions I & II)
  3. 3. • How Many Schools:  There are 205 men's soccer programs in Division I, including powerhouses like Notre Dame, Indiana and Akron. There are 324 women's programs, including titans like Stanford, North Carolina and Penn State. • Scholarship Count: Women's soccer is allowed 14 scholarships. Men's soccer is allowed 9.9 scholarships. • Scholarship Breakdown:  Scholarships can be full or partial rides at the Division-I level, but with rosters exceeding 20 players, they are used carefully.
  4. 4. • How Many Schools: There are 204 men's programs, and 258 women's programs like powerhouses in Division II soccer. Men’s powerhouses include Saginaw Valley State & Simon Frasier. Women’s are West Florida & UC-San Diego. • Scholarship Count: Women's soccer has 9.9 scholarships to work with. Men have nine scholarships. • Scholarship Breakdown:  Partial rides are common in Division II soccer, as coaches can distribute the money to as many players as they wish.
  5. 5. • How Many Schools: Division III soccer consists of 408 men's programs and 434 women's programs. Powers include Messiah, Ohio Northern and Loras for the men and Emory, Messiah & Wheaton for the women. • Scholarship Count: Athletic scholarships are not offered or allowed in Division III athletics. • Scholarship Breakdown:  With no athletic scholarships, students often find financial aid or academic scholarships to assist with costs while playing soccer.
  6. 6. • How Many Schools:  There 198 men's programs in the NAIA and 198 women's programs. • Scholarship Count:  Both men's and women's soccer are allowed 12 scholarships per team. • Scholarship Breakdown:  Partial scholarships are common. Strong students who meet certain academic criteria can receive aid without it counting toward the program's limit.
  7. 7. • How Many Schools:  There are 146 men's soccer programs at the junior-college level and 132 women's programs. • Scholarship Count:  Men's and women's soccer are allowed 18 scholarships at the junior-college level. • Scholarship Breakdown:  Many scholarships at the junior-college level are full rides, but partial rides are common, too.
  8. 8.  How Many Schools: There are 81 men's programs in NJCAA Division III, and 67 women's programs.  Scholarship Count: Much like Division III four-year schools, D-III schools at the juniorcollege level do not offer scholarships.
  9. 9. Division Women's Men's NCAA Division I 324 205 NCAA Division II 258 204 NCAA Division III 434 408 NAIA 198 198 NJCAA Division I 132 146 NJCAA Division III 67 81
  10. 10. (Not all schools are fully funded…) Division Women Men NCAA Division I 14 9.9 NCAA Division II 9.9 9 NCAA Division III - - NAIA 12 12 NJCAA Division I 18 18 NJCAA Division III - -
  11. 11.  Myth: “Schools will recruit me!”  Truth: Most players/parents end up recruiting the school
  12. 12.  Myth: “Walk on players never get anywhere.”  Truth: Some walk-on players can end up with more scholarship money than “regulars”!
  13. 13. • Step 1 – Research Schools – – • Step 2 – Make List of Potential Schools – • Size and location, academics Quality of soccer program, coach, roster size and grade breakdown Include a few long shots, but majority of realistic choices Step 3 – Contact Coach – – – e-mail is usually most effective Inform coach of schedule for high school or club Be sure to put jersey number, jersey colors, potential positions, field number, and opponent
  14. 14.  Step 4 – Set up a College Visit     Official Visit – Paid for by the school  Allowed only five  Can start after July 15 going into Senior year of h.s. Unofficial Visit: Paid for on your own  Unlimited  Can take anytime Alert the coach that you are coming and request meeting Tour the campus, meet with admissions, etc…
  15. 15.  Step 5 – Follow up  Let the coach know what you thought of the visit and if you’d like to continue to stay in contact  Step 6 – Rank Visits  Keep a personal reflection after each visit
  16. 16.     A prospective student-athlete can call coach at anytime Coach can’t call a recruit until after July 1 of senior year in high school, then only once a week A prospective student-athlete can e-mail coach at anytime, but coach can’t return e-mail until prospect’s junior year Parent/Player shouldn’t approach college coach at a showcase or tournament.
  17. 17.      A prospective student-athlete can call or e-mail coach at anytime D2 Coach can’t call a recruit until after July 1 of junior year in high school Less restrictions for D3, NAIA & NJCAA New rule – coach can text you Parent/Player shouldn’t approach college coach at a showcase or tournament.
  18. 18.  Process much earlier than males  DIVISION I LEVEL    DIVISION II LEVEL    Evaluation = Sophomore or Junior Year Commitments = Junior Year, Early Senior Year DIVISION III LEVEL   Evaluation = Freshman or Sophomore Year Commitments = Sophomore or Junior Year Commitments = Senior Year Signing Period = Early February
  19. 19.     Pressure to decide early not as great as girls Identification starts during junior year. Start visiting schools during junior year Signing Date the same as females (Middle of February)
  20. 20. Club vs. High School High School for local coaches Club just easier access and majority of the time is an overall higher level College Showcases Team profiles ODP Camps (summer, winter, identification) Visits, E-mails, Phone Calls Recruiting Services
  21. 21.  1 page profile sheet usually sufficient        High school name & phone number Your cumulative GPA & class rank Desired major (if you have one) ACT/SAT scores Your NAIA/NCAA Eligibility Number Any honors or AP classes you have taken Contact Information – email address, home mailing address, home phone, cell phone
  22. 22.  Contact Information –       Your email address & home mailing address Your home phone & cell phone Your parents’ names & phone numbers Your high school/club/ODP coaches names, phone numbers & email addresses Your school contact information, including mailing address & phone number Your guidance counselor name & contact info
  23. 23.      Positions you play Your physical characteristics – height & weight, 40-yd dash time w/ & w/o ball, mile time, vertical jump, long jump Relevant stats for offensive players & GKs Videos – include a link to highlight film  Most effective if coach hasn’t seen you play  Not necessary, unless coach asks for them Schedules – be sure to include jersey
  24. 24. Coach Smith, Hello, my name is Jane Doe and I play for the U17 Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club team. My graduation year is 2013. My jersey number is 17 and I play either outside back or outside midfield. I am interested in your school and soccer program and would like for you to come to one of my games if you are going to be attending either of these tournaments. My team will be wearing white or green. I am going to be in Raleigh, NC for the showcase, Friday November 30 - Sunday December 2. My game times are as follows: Friday 11/30/07 - 11:50am vs. Internationals, Field #2 Saturday 12/1/07 - 1:40pm vs. Dynamo, Field #5 Sunday 12/2/07 - 9:20am vs. CASL, Field #2
  25. 25.  School Applications – some are more complex than others! Don’t procrastinate…..  Meet deadlines – there are others waiting for your spot and your scholarship money!  Early applications are best – especially for scholarship purposes  Reference Letters from High School Counselors – give them time to get them done and follow up. Don’t wait until after high school graduation!
  26. 26.    Coaches like to communicate with the player rather than the parent Player should be the one contacting the coach, arranging visits, etc… On a visit, important the player talks to the coach and not just the parent; should come with a list of questions
  27. 27. Fair Question to a coach: “Do you see me as a scholarship player?” Majority of soccer players are not on an athletic “full-ride” Athletic Scholarship is a year by year agreement, not a four year agreement Most scholarships are increased before decreased
  28. 28. • FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) – Should be completed right after Jan 1st of senior year. Most schools require FAFSA to be considered for any scholarship – including academic.
  29. 29. • • NCAA Eligibility Center (Formerly known as the Clearinghouse) – register to confirm eligibility in junior year if playing D1 or D2. Cost is $60 NAIA Eligibility Center (New in 2011) – register to confirm eligibility at end of junior year if playing NAIA. Can also complete a student-athlete profile. Cost to register is $65
  30. 30. Questions & Comments