Soccer recruiting at the NCAA Division 3 level, is not always about how good of a soccer player you are. Recruiting at the NCAA Division 3 level is all about finding the right match between student-athlete and school, since there are no athletic scholarships to be had by any student-athletes at this level. Yet some of you may see, or have seen, student-athletes that are less talented getting a lot of recruiting attention from college coaches in the recruitment process. Why is that the case?
First, the important thing to realize again is that D3 coaches do not have athletic scholarships to offer. So if a D3 coach sees a good player, the coach cannot go to that player and say “If you come to my school, we will give you a $10,000 athletic scholarship.” It is more like— “If you apply to my school and you get accepted, you could be eligible for an academic scholarship based on your high school grades, board scores, and overall academic performance. If you play soccer and you are a good player, well that’s just great.”
So why do D3 coaches recruit players that may not be as good as other players? Simple, because those student-athletes are interested in our schools. NCAA Division 3 soccer recruiting is alot like sales—coaches are selling their schools, their soccer programs and their academics to potential “customers” that are the student-athletes and their families.
We are all familiar with “cold calling” and how un-successful that can be in terms of selling any type of product or service. The same is true in selling an NCAA Division 3 soccer program and school. It is much more effective, to “sell” the school and the soccer program to student-athletes that have already contacted the coach and shown an interest in the program. That student-athlete has already done some research about the school and found something appealing about it.
Keeping yourself on the coach’s radar as a student-athlete, you will need to contact the coach about your upcoming tournaments, visit campus and meet with the coach, attend camps where the coach will be (if possible) and keep them updated on your college search. By constantly reinforcing your interest in their program, it assures that you will stay on their recruiting radar.
The bottom line is this— Finding the right match between student-athlete and school is the ultimate goal. Highly recruited student-athletes are good at selling themselves to college coaches—being a good player in addition, will certainly help this out too!
Have a Happy 4th of July and thanks for reading!
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