One of the most common questions that we receive here at the D3 Recruiting Hub basically boils down to this- As a high school student-athlete, how do I know if an NCAA Division III college coach is interested in me for their school?
Since they do not have scholarship money to offer, NCAA Division III college coaches cannot offer you a scholarship or other athletic money to come to their school. Since there is no National Letter of Intent for NCAA Division III, there is no “contract” for you to sign to commit to a school either.
So how do you know that they are interested?
The answer to that question is a very simple and one word answer- TIME.
The more time that an NCAA Division III college coach gives you, the more he/she is interested in you. But how does this translate into actual actions?
#1- College coach comes to visit you- If a college coach comes to visit you at your home, they are giving up their time to drive to your house, sit and meet with your family, and then drive back. Depending on how far you are, that could be a lot of time! And more importantly it is time that they are losing away from their other responsibilities.
#2- College coach watches you play- Most NCAA Division III college coaches want to see their recruits actually play soccer against live competition to evaluate you as a player. Now, depending on their FIRST observation they may want to see you play again. If they continue to come and watch you play a third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh time and so on…they have really finished evaluating you. They are now “showing some love” and spending their time watching you, so that you know that they are interested.
This is a difficult area for student-athletes to understand, because NCAA rules prevent college coaches from speaking with players at recruiting tournaments. We would love to chat with you, but we are not allowed.
#3- Campus visits- When an NCAA Division III college coach invites you to campus for almost any reason, they want to spend time with you. Under these circumstances, they ARE allowed to speak with you (and family), so that they can really get to know who you are as a person. Again, they are giving up time from their day, often on a weekend or in the evening at the player’s convenience, when they could be doing other things. (The one exception/gray area is when coaches invite you to soccer camps at their school— camps usually put money in the pockets of the coach, so the more campers they get, the more money they make. Although most also use it as an evaluation tool as well.)
#4- Communications- This could be emails, phone calls or text messages. If an NCAA Division III coach is taking time to email you, call you or even text you, they are showing that they are interested in you. Some coaches can go overboard with this, but nonetheless the more they reach out to you, the more they are interested!
Bottom line is this—Time is money for EVERYONE! So the more time a coach is spending on you, the more they are interested in you as a student-athlete. Since NCAA Division III does not have the tools to offer athletic scholarships or commitment letters, spending our time on student-athletes is how we show our interest.
Questions? Comments? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.