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How To Get the Attenion of a College Soccer Coach

One of the most common questions we get is, "So, what is the best way for a player to get the attention of a college soccer coach?"

Yet the answer is really quite simple. Go up to the coach and ask!

Admittedly, the pathway of choice will often be an initial email, and the player may be diverted along the way to fill out a form or two for NCAA compliance purposes. But the fastest way to start the process is to simply initiate communication. Tell the coach: “I am interested in your program. Please evaluate me.”

‘Top 40’ NCAA Division One varsity soccer coaches can approach any gifted high school athlete they covet, with a fair shot at swaying them with the allure of high-profile programs, championship prospects, scholarship funds and other resources unique to those schools.

That still leaves ‘The Other 960’: the remaining teams at the NCAA Division One level, plus Division Two, Division Three, NAIA, NJCAA, and so on. These programs must scramble to field competitive programs after significant talent has been cherry-picked off the top, and the coaches at these programs need to identify players prepared to come to their school. Often, they must do so with a limited amount of time and a minimal expense account for recruiting trips.

So it is critical to take the perspective of a college coach at one of ‘The Other 960’ programs (a topic we will return to in the coming weeks). The coach understands that players choose their colleges for a myriad of reasons besides the fact that a coach is trying to recruit them. A small handful of those reasons are in the coach’s control. For example, if athletic scholarship funds are available, the coach can use that as an inducement. However, most factors remain frustratingly outside the coach’s control.

Desirable players may already have their minds set on the type of college experience they seek: A prestigious academic reputation or a specific course of study not universally available elsewhere. An urban environment or a sprawling tree-lined campus. An intimate New England liberal arts college or a warm-weather university with everything a large school could possibly offer. A school previously attended by a parent or relative. A varsity program where the player knows he’ll be able to start.

So how does a coach know that their college would be a good match for any given player? So that time isn’t wasted pursuing a player headed elsewhere? The player tells them! “Coach, I am interested in your program.”

Of course, the player should offer the coach a reasonable context for that statement. “I am interested in your school because it has a ceramics engineering program I want to major in, and my uncle is an alum who always speaks fondly about his experiences there. I just spent the last two years on my club team anchoring a flat-back four formation like you use (and from which I note that a few seniors are graduating).” The coach receiving this type of message now has a reasonable belief that this player will actually accept an offer of admission.

The coach is now more likely to invest the time and effort to attend a game, evaluate the player, shepherd the application through the college’s admission process and get the player admitted.

College coaches have a limited amount of time to spend evaluating talent. They have to choose carefully how to invest that time. Players predisposed to attend a given school can make a coach’s life easier. But they have to let the coach know!




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