Here are some frequently asked questions at our college information evenings:
Q What’s the best way to be seen by a college coach?
A Division 1 and 2 Colleges:
For Women’s D1 and D2 colleges 80% of players are seen through ODP program. The other 20% are seen through ECNL academy teams, College Summer Camps, high school teams or at top level show case tournaments.
For mens D1 and D2 Colleges the majority of players are seen through the United States Development Academy, the rest are seen through the ODP Program, College Summer Camps, high school teams or at top level show case tournaments.
For NAIA and Junior Colleges:
Players are primarily seen locally and at showcase tournaments. NAIA and Junior Colleges usually also hold open try outs also.
Q What do college coaches look for?
A Firstly coaches will be looking for players who are able to cope with the physical demands of playing college soccer.
Coaches are then looking for players who are accomplished in all of the key technical areas of soccer such as, passing, receiving, heading, shooting, dribbling and defending.
If you have a certain attribute that is key to your game, for example, you are a great passer of the ball, then you must ensure that when you are being watched or when you are playing at top level showcase tournaments you exert that skill as much as possible.
Q What’s the time commitment in college soccer?
A During the soccer season, players will be expected to train/play 6 days a week.
Q What grade should players fully commit to one sport?
A There is no set deadline. If players are serious about playing college soccer then their commitment at high school would be at a level, that playing other sports, particularly at a high level would prove difficult.
Q Do you prefer positional players or versatile players?
A In one answer both. Players are required to have a high understanding of the positions that they will be required to play, but they will be required to have knowledge of different positions and different systems.
Q Would you contact college coaches after or before a tournament?
A Yes, definitely. It is not just about the colleges finding you, but you finding the colleges. Coaches are looking for committed players who have that little bit extra. If you contact the college coaches then it can only be of benefit to you.
Q What are the regulations for official college visits?
A Students should take a lot of care in the selection of their collages. As mentioned before, it is as much to do with you finding the college as it is the coaches finding you.
Q If you’re looking at two different players of equal abilities, and one has ODP experience but the other one doesn’t, does it affect the decision on who to go after?
A It is very unlikely that there will be two players of exact equal abilities, with the same strengths and weaknesses. However, in this scenario, we would select the player who has the greater experience, the ODP player.
Q Is there a different criteria for various levels?
A If you can play you can play. Accentuate the things you do well. In the women’s game, players that are exceptional in the air are rare and players that can strike a ball for distance 40-60 yards are sought after. Mental toughness is very important and how student athletes handle adversity is important.
Depending on the school, admissions is different but playing ability is not.
Q If you get an academic scholarship will it help with athletics?
A Absolutely, it will help. Most scholarship aided programs are limited to a certain amount of money per team, so if they can spread that out amongst the team it is very helpful. Monies covered for academics only aid the teams efforts to take care of their student athletes.
Q If you have a scholarship and get injured, do you lose your scholarship?
A It’s a case by case basis. It could depend on the injury, how it happened, how severe, what year the athlete is in, the athlete’s off field performance.
A scholarship is only for one year. There aren’t any four year scholarships. Each year, each scholarshipped athlete is reviewed for the next year.
Q When looking at recruits do you look at GPA’s, SAT’s, college prep classes, honors classes?
A It depends on the university or college. The real issue is whether you can be accepted by admissions and that the NCAA Clearinghouse requirements are met (16 core classes).