Tactical

SELECTING AN APPROPRIATE COLLEGE

For many players the chance to play college soccer in the United States is an opportunity that they would like to pursue. How do I get there? What do I do? Who do I contact? The questions are endless and the amount of information is sometimes overwhelming for players and their families. The following article is offered as a guidline to those players and their families seeking an opportunity to attend university and play college soccer.

Choices…

  • NCAA Division I – Larger schools, Scholarships, Clearing House.
  • Division II – Smaller Schools, Scholarships, Clearing House.
  • Division III – Competitive Sports, No Scholarships, Grants.
  • NAIA – Competitive Sports, Scholarships,No Clearing House.
  • Junior College – Competitive Sports, Scholarships.Facts…
  • There are 8,182 High School Programs with an average of 51,066 players graduating each year.
  • There are 721 College programs with an average of 6 player openings per year. This equates to 4,416 total player openings. On average, 8% of the players find a scholarship.
  • Soccer is an equivalency sport. Teams on the men´s side have 9.9 scholarships and 12 on the women’s. This can be divided any way the coach sees fit between 25-30 squad players.

Building a Resume

  • Name/Address/Phone/E-mail.
  • High School / Secondary School Advisor’s Name/Number.
  • GPA/Class Rank/Honors Courses taken.
  • High School / Secondary school soccer achievements.
  • Club Soccer achievements.
  • Representative honors (regional team, national team etc.)
  • Position.

Things to Consider…

Location

  • Close to home or far away.
  • Particular climate.
  • Rural or City.
  • Campus Setting.

Environment

  • Religious Background.
  • Conservative or Liberal.
  • Private or Public.

Size

  • Large or small classes.
  • Size of the school.
  • Personal attention.
  • Quality of teaching (Graduate Assistant)
  • Small fish in a big pond or big fish in a small pond.

Academic Life

  • What is your desired field of study.
  • If interested in graduate program what is their placement rate.
  • What are their entrance requirements.

Calendar of Events while in High School

Freshman Year

  • Start off with the best grades you can.
  • Your goal is to graduate in the top 10 % of your class.
  • Join a good club team that will travel to high level tournaments in the USA.
  • Represent your State, region, nation if possible.

Sophomore Year

  • Send resume& cover letter along with tournaments you will be attending.
  • Take your PSAT/SAT/ACT Test.
  • Check with academic counselor to make sure you are on track to graduate.
  • Attend an overnight soccer camp.
  • Continue to represent your State, region or national team.
  • Continue to travel to high level tournaments.

Junior Year

  • Continue to represent you State, region and national team.
  • Continue playing club and have a player bio ready for tournaments.
  • Repeat your SAT/ACTand improve your scores.
  • Your goal is to try and make the Regional ODP team.
  • Select a college camp based on one of your top 5 choices.
  • Don’t let your grades slip – top 10% of your class.
  • Register with the NCAA Clearing House: Website is www.ncaaclearinghouse.net
  • Request that your transcripts are sent out to schools.

Senior Year

  • Begin campus visits (Sept. 1)
  • Protect your GPA
  • Retake SAT/ACT
  • Submit FAF (Financial Assistance Form)
  • Continue playing at the highest level possible.
  • Continue playing in club tournaments.

What are the NCAA Clearing House Requirements?

  • 14 Core Courses.
  • 2008 16 Core Courses.
  • Have at least a 2.0 core g.p.a.
  • Meet SAT/ACT score formula.
  • NCAA Requirements are different than the university requirements.
  • Work with your high school / secondary school counselor.

What are the 14 core courses?

  • 4 years English.
  • 2 years Math.
  • 2 years of Natural/Physical Sciences.
  • 1 year of lab, if offered.
  • 1 year of additional English, Math, Science.
  • 2 years of Social Social Science.
  • 3 years of additional courses from above or religion, foreign language, computer science.

Questions to Ask

  • What is the graduation rate of that sport ?
  • Are tutors available ?
  • Where does the coach see me fitting in ?
  • What is the academic advising situation like ?
  • Do you need a video of me playing ?
  • What positions are you looking to fill ?
  • Search for schools at NCAA.ORG (college bound student athlete).

Take the Initiative

  • Make contact with the coach at each of the schools you are considering by phone or email.
  • Visit the school, meet the coach, players, watch a practice or game, and tour facilities.
  • Visit with the academic advisor within your potential major.
  • Visit with the academic consultant within the athletic department. How does the school offer academic assistance?
  • Make a video of yourself.

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”

Attending college can be one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences of your life. It can be made even more enjoyable by making the right choice. Plan ahead, do your research and choose carefully.

The Author

SoccerSpecific

SoccerSpecific

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