The last two weeks we looked at what to do during your freshman & sophomore years in high school to prepare to get recruited for NCAA Division III soccer. This week it is Junior year and with only two years left there is a lot to do!
First and foremost though—continue to focus on your academics! If you don’t have a good GPA at this point, there is the a chance to still pull it up over the next two years. Hopefully you have a strong foundation that you can build on. Make sure all required courses for graduation are taken or lined up on your schedule. If you are looking at rigorous academic D3 schools, make sure that you consult with your counselor on AP or Honors classes to take.
All of these academics go into your resume. Yes it is a good idea to put together a resume for the college coaches that you are going to contact. We won’t go into specifics about “how” to create your resume, but please see the articles “Your Soccer Resume” and “More Resume Tips” for details.
As part of your resume, you are going to need your SAT or ACT scores. Most student-athletes will be taking these exams (at least the first time) during their Junior year in high school. So make sure that you are prepared! If you don’t get a perfect score the first time you take the test, you can always take the test(s) a second or third time. Some even take both exams.
You may also want to start creating a video of you playing soccer. You can add to this throughout your Junior and Senior years. Some coaches may request them, while others may not. YouTube is a great resource to post videos, so you don’t have to burn DVD’s. You can check out our post “Do I Need A Video?” for more details.
As a Junior, you want to start thinking about where you want to go to college. Nearby? Far away? Urban setting? Rural? What do I want to study? Business? Pre-Med? Engineering? Computer Science? What about cost? How will finances affect your decision?
Start building this list with pros and cons of each school. Start to visit the schools. You want to visit the schools more than once and at different times of the year to see what the campus feels like. (Keep in mind most campuses are slow during the summer.)
Contact the coaches of the schools on your list. If you are visiting a school, see if you can set a meeting with the coach. Bring your resume & video. Get some feedback and ask lots of questions. Find out what recruiting events the coach is attending. Are they hosting/attending any camps? Can you attend a game or practice? Start to build a picture of what NCAA Division III soccer is like.
Soccer wise- you want to make sure you are going to be where the coaches are so you can get recruited. Whether that is at your high school games or club tournaments. Continue to improve upon your skills, speed, strength, stamina and abilities. Make yourself an attractive player, play multiple positions either at club or high school level.
The bottom line is this— your Junior year is a BIG year where lots of things start to happen. Most college coaches will start the recruiting process now, so you need to prepare. Make sure that you put yourself in the best possible position both athletically and academically.
As always, thanks for reading the Hub! Questions? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.