Question: I’m a 14 year old player who is beginning to get college recruiting materials in the mail. I’m also getting pressure from some coaches to change club teams to a higher profile team, but I like my teammates and have many friends on my current team. Is it going to hurt me in the recruiting process if I stay with my current club team? I have also attended the No. 1 Camps for the past 2 summers. -Molly A. From Westchester New York
Regional Director Christine Huber: Hi Molly! If you are looking to switch to a team of a higher caliber, ask yourself a few questions: do you like the coach, your future teammates, and the club as a whole? How many tournaments and showcases does the team typically attend? If the team is better than your current team, how much playing time will you realistically get? You could join a better team that travels more, but if you do not get much playing time, how will college coaches be able to judge your playing abilities if you are on the bench? Lastly, how involved is the club’s head coach in the college soccer community? Does she/he have strong connections in the soccer world?
As far as recruiting process, I believe the soccer world is a very small one, and this can work to your advantage – coaches talk and share information because they can not be at every tournament and game. To get noticed by the college of your choice, I suggest three things:
1) Go to tournaments throughout the winter and spring. Due to their own seasons, most college coaches are not able to attend a lot of high school games, but they are able to get to winter and spring showcases and tournaments.
2) Do your homework. Research and identify the schools that are a good athletic and academic fit. Make sure the school offers your major (if you have one) and is a place you have a real interest in attending. From this, compile a list of your top schools.
3) Email the head coaches. Introduce yourself with a brief bio, your intended graduation year, and a list of the upcoming tournaments and showcases in which you will be playing. When the tournament gets closer, email them again with your schedule along with your jersey number so they can easily locate you if they are attending.
No matter if you stay with your current team or switch clubs, keep working hard and developing your game every time you step on the pitch. Congratulations on being recruited and good luck. We look forward to seeing you this summer at camp again!
Christine Huber is a Regional Director of No. 1 Soccer Camps and Camp Director at No.1 Soccer Camps Blue Ridge, Northfield, Brewster and Pomfret locations. Christine was a high school All American soccer player, a two sport athlete at the University of New Haven where she was inducted to the school’s Hall of Fame, and has gone onto coach at the youth, high school, and collegiate level.