Finding a soccer scholarship can be a difficult process. Men’s soccer is available at fewer colleges than a sport like basketball, and budgets for soccer are smaller. That’s why learning exactly how the soccer recruiting process works from a trusted resource like NCSA is essential.
When does the soccer recruiting process start?
1. The soccer recruiting process starts in middle school. Soccer recruiting starts early because the competition for soccer scholarships is extremely high. There are just over 1,200 collegiate men’s soccer programs. That may sound like a lot, but when you consider that there are nearly 1,800 colleges that offer men’s soccer, it’s easy to see why schools are selective and why soccer scouting has to start early.
How do I get discovered?
2. Introductory emails to soccer scouts as well as third-party evaluations from a trusted neutral source like NCSA. Introduce yourself to prospective coaches and soccer programs with a simple email. Learn facts about the college and coach you’re getting in contact with so that you sound informed. Try reaching out to both the head coach and assistant coaches and tell them why you fit their team. If you don’t get a response in two weeks, follow up with another email or phone call. If the second attempt doesn’t get a response, then cross the school off of your list.
Once they know that you’re interested, college soccer coaches can identify you as a prospect using online tools from a trusted resource like NCSA.
NCSA head soccer recruiting coach David Kryger explains the best way to reach out to a college.
How do coaches evaluate prospects?
3. The Internet is your best soccer recruiting tool. Scouting for soccer isn’t easy. Budgets for college soccer teams aren’t nearly as high as they are for basketball or football, so the best way a college soccer scout can evaluate you, without spending money on travel, is the Internet. Easy access to video highlights and statistics from a third-party evaluator like NCSA helps soccer coaches quickly find players that fit their system. Showing your skills on the Internet makes the recruiting process easier for both you and the soccer scouts you want to impress.
Where am I qualified to play?
4. Just over 1% of the nearly 400,000 student athletes that participate in high school soccer will play at the Division I level. The majority of college soccer programs aren’t in DI, so set your expectations accordingly. Nearly 85% of college men’s soccer players compete at the Division II, Division III, NAIA or junior college level. NCSA is an experienced neutral talent evaluator, and can tell you what level your skills are best suited for and where you’re likely to find the most success.
NCSA discusses the differences between divisions in college soccer.
What is my coach’s role?
5. Your coach can help with your on-the-field development, but getting a scholarship to play soccer is your responsibility. Your high school or club soccer coach is probably very busy and has too many responsibilities to be able to dedicate the time that the soccer recruiting process requires. There’s a good chance that you’re not the only one on your team soccer scouts are looking at, and having a high school coach manage the recruiting process for several athletes at once is just too much to ask.
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