One of the big questions that parents always have about the NCAA Division III soccer college recruiting process is “How does my son/daughter get started with the recruiting process?”, “Where do we even begin?”, or simply “We don’t know what to do!” The good news is that there are lots of things to do to get the ball rolling and in this week’s post we will take a look at how to help players and families get started with the recruiting process.
Do Your Homework
The first thing for a student-athlete to do is to try to figure out what it is that you want in a college! So do your homework on yourself. Understand what you ARE looking for in a school and their soccer program as well as what you are NOT looking for in both. Do you want a small school? Do you want a school in an urban setting? Rural or suburban setting? Do you want a school with a religious affiliation? How far away from home do you want to be? Just an hour away so you can come home for family events or a six-hour plane flight away so you really don’t have to come home for family events. Do you want to play for a competitive program that is tops in the country? Or would you rather just play and have fun and enjoy being part of a team?
Next, do the math! What can you afford? How much are you and your family going to pay out of pocket for your education? How much money do you need in scholarships, grants or work-study? How much in loans would you be willing to take? Are you going to apply for outside scholarships? How much money will you need to earn over summer break to pay for school?
How are your grades? Do you have your heart set on a school that you can’t get into? Or are your grades, board scores (SAT/ACT), and academic resume good enough to get you in anywhere? If you need to pull the academics up, do you have enough time to do so and how are you going to do that? Does that mean less soccer and more studying?
Most importantly on your internal survey is to come up with an idea of a major or program of study for yourself. Figure out what you think you would like to study when you get to college (or at least have a good idea). This is most important because it is the reason why you go to college!
Many college students will change majors (and that is OK), however, you want to make sure that you have an idea of what is going to be something of interest to you as student. (Preferably you are not changing majors so much that you can’t graduate in four years.)
You Get The Ball Rolling!
Now, YOU must get the ball rolling! A coach will not know that you are interested in his/her program unless you get in contact with him/her. Simple as that. That can be through email, phone call, visiting campus, going to an Open House, filling out a prospective student-athlete questionnaire on the school’s website or even sending a good, old fashioned letter.
Next week we will help you start to put these ideas together into actual things that you can do to get the recruiting process started. In the meantime, thanks for reading!
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