“Be bold and walk the path that is best for you.”
If you’re in highschool and starting to think about playing sports in college, you want to gather as much information as you can. Here’s an interview with a head coach of a women’s college soccer team that gives you insight to a coach’s perspective. (Special thanks to Coach Isaac Brooks, head coach at Union University, where they play NCAA D2 soccer.)
At what age do you start recruiting players? When should players start their college search if they want to play at a collegiate level?
We can’t recruit players until June 15th before their junior year, but we start identifying players as early as their freshmen year. Girls should really get going on the recruiting process between their sophomore and junior years.
What kind of player do you look for when recruiting? (In terms of soccer, academics and character/personality). How important are each of those aspects in relation to each other?
We look for girls that are high level players, with strong academic markers, and the ability to fit in with the Christian culture of our university. All three are exceedingly important; a player doesn’t fit our culture if she is lacking in any area.
Do you use any recruiting websites?
NCSA (Next College Student Athlete) and NSR (National Scouting Report) have proven to be the most productive for us.
Could you rate how important each of the following is in the recruiting process?
- Watching a player play with their club or HS team
Watching a girl with her club team is extremely important. Rarely will we watch a HS game
- Watching video of the player
I will watch film, but it is just a starting point.
- Seeing a player at an ID camp
This is one of the best ways to see a player. Make sure that you go to a small ID Camp, not a camp with 200+ players.
- Soccer references
This depends on my relationship with the reference.
How do you personally usually find the players that you end up recruiting? (ID camps, college showcases, etc.)
We see girls at Showcases, ID Camp, and then a large percentage actually reach out to us first.
One of the main ways players get in touch with college coaches is through email. Do you have anything you would suggest and/or discourage when it comes to this?
Send us an email! This is extremely important. Also, don’t stop emailing us if you don’t hear back right away. We are extremely busy and we can’t always get back with you right away.
How much does it help to have different references and connections in club soccer and/or college level?
We definitely check references. I also like to contact professors, pastors, or bosses that know a girl off of the field. They can usually give me a better idea of her character.
What advice do you have for soccer players when making their college decision?
This is your college choice. Not your coaches’, your teammates, or your friends. I have seen way too many players make the wrong decision because it was what somebody else wanted them to do. They were influenced by outside pressures. Be bold and walk the path that is best for you.