The last three weeks we discussed those things to do leading up to the all important Senior Year. In this weeks post we discuss some of those things to do during your senior year. Obviously, your Senior Year is when all the three previous years come to a head and you have to make a decision as a student-athlete which school you will attend.
First off, there are A LOT of things to do your Senior Year! There are so many, that we are going to write this in two posts by dividing things into two categories. Category #1 is Decision Making Tasks and Category #2 is Tasks That Need To Be Done. We will look at the Decision Making Tasks this week.
The most important thing that you have to do during your Senior Year is MAKE A DECISION! For many NCAA Division III recruits, this is the hardest part of all. It means picking one school over another (or maybe several others) as your school of choice. Some student-athletes have lots of confidence and feel very relaxed about it, while others struggle with the process. What is I choose the wrong school? Is this the right place for me? Did I make the right choice?
To help you in that process, there are lots of things that you can do. First and foremost, you need to visit the campus. See the facilities, observe a class, go to the cafeteria, see the soccer field and all the athletic facilities. This is almost a MUST for 99% of student-athletes. How do you know if you will like a school if you have never been there?
Meet the people on campus. Meet your future teammates, your coach, assistant coach, athletic director- how do they make you feel? Meet the faculty in your major field— sit in on one of their classes. Meet the cafeteria staff- how do they treat you? Do you feel comfortable? Do you feel like you could spend four years there?
Watch the soccer team play a game. Do you think you can play at their level? Are you good enough to play at their level? Are you fast enough, strong enough, fit enough, skilled enough to play at that level?
Even better, do an overnight visit with the soccer team. This is a great opportunity to get to know the players on the team and what they are really like. Do you feel like you fit in with the team?
Communicate with people—ask lots of questions. Talk with the coach of the team and ask him/her their opinion of you. Do you think that I will be able to play for the team? Will I be a starter? Reserve? Will I make the team? Talk to the players on the team. What do they like about the school? What do they dislike? What do they like about the coach? Dislike?
Ask your parents—you may think that they don’t know much, but many of them have been through this as well, so they have experience which is invaluable. Plus, they have your best interests at heart and may be seeing or experiencing things that you as a student-athlete have overlooked.
Talk to the people you know at home or people in your social network. What do they know about the school? Some may say it is a great place, others may say don’t go there/it’s not for you. Ask your teachers or counselors at school for their opinion. Talk your high school or club soccer coach about it as well.
Do your own research. There is a great tool called the Internet where you can learn lots of things about colleges. Look at US News & World Report, Peterson’s or the college’s website. But also look at other social media sites to see some of the “inside” info that the professional sites won’t show you. Have an older friend already in college? Check out their Facebook account or Instagram account for details!
The bottom line is this— use as much information as you can gather to make a decision. You want to find the school that is the BEST FIT for you. Once you start this process, certain schools will be eliminated and others will move up your list until you find the one that is right for you.
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