Once you have started making your list of potential colleges and universities, what do you need to do next? My assumption is that you are looking to get recruited by these institutions. The thing that a student athlete has to realize is that coaches most likely won’t know that you are interested in their school until you contact them and let them know. I have heard from student athletes time and again saying things like “Why doesn’t this coach call me?” Or “Why haven’t I gotten an email from this school?” We don’t know if you are interested unless you tell us!
I tell students and parents all the time that college coaches are not mind readers and we do not have magical crystal balls that tell us who is surfing the athletics web page of our school. The best person to tell college coaches that you are interested in their program is YOU.
There are lots of ways to get in touch with the coach, or coaches, of the schools that hold your interest. My personal number one preference is email—send the coach an email. It is great because coaches can usually access their email from anywhere at any time day or night. Frequently, I will be in my hotel room the night of a recruiting tournament responding to emails from students.
What should you include in your email? The important facts:
- Graduation Year
- Email address
- Home/cell phone numbers
- Home address
- Contact names and info for references (club/high school coaches)
- Intended major (if you know it)
- Position(s) that you play
- GPA/SAT/ACT scores
- Club team info
- High school team info
You can put all this info into a Word document and just attach it as well. If you are playing in any upcoming competitions—club tourneys, high school games, etc.,—include that info as well. Also if you have a profile on a website like Soccerscheduler.com, National Scouting Report, BeRecruited, or NCSA Athletic Recruiting, let us know that as well so we can track you.
Another great option is to complete a Prospective Student Athlete Questionnaire. Most schools have these set up on their athletic department website and these should go to the soccer coach. You want to put in as much info as you can so the coach can get a good picture of who you are. There is also the telephone call too—if you don’t speak directly with someone, be sure to leave a message with a phone number and the best time to call you back. Don’t try to leave a detailed message with all the info above.
Some other ways to get coaches to notice you are these:
- Schedule a visit to campus and meet with the coach directly
- Go to an Open House that the college is hosting
- Attend a soccer camp at the college or find one the coach will be attending
- Attend a college fair at your school and talk to the admissions rep from the college of your choice
For most coaches at the NCAA Division III level, there are limited resources available to the coaching staff with regards to the recruiting budget. (Even Division I and II colleges have limited budgets, they are just usually bigger than what we have at the Division III level.) The bottom line is that the initial burden is on YOU to let the coach know that you are interested in their program. That will kick start the process and get the ball rolling. Good luck!