Why Soccer Recruiting is Tough Work
Here in the U.S., sports like football, basketball, and baseball seem to dominate our
society’s favorite hobbies. These sports are very popular at all levels, from elementary school recreation leagues to college teams and the pros. Sports are a huge part of our culture and millions of fans identify with these sports in some way.
Internationally, however, soccer is considered the most popular sport. It has a huge European following and there are tons of countries in Africa and South America who have been playing some version of soccer for decades. While soccer consumption is growing in the U.S., its popularity worldwide has been significant for a long time and has a rich history in the cultures of many countries.
There are thousands of international student-athletes who are looking for an opportunity to come to the U.S. and earn a soccer scholarship while attending college. We get tons of athletes from all over asking us questions about getting a scholarship to play soccer in college. Because of the interest from students both here in the States and internationally, soccer has become a highly competitive college sport, which means it makes it that much harder to earn a scholarship for it.
To give yourself an edge in soccer recruiting, you should take these tips into consideration:
Know Where to Target Your Efforts
In order for you to find your best chance at a soccer scholarship, you have to know what level you fit best in. Elite level soccer players with competitive club success and possible Olympic Development experience should aim for Division I programs. By knowing what level you fit best in, you can take more time and effort focusing on those opportunities that you have a better chance of earning. You will have more time to develop relationships with the coaches who have a genuine interest in you and find out more about their school so you can make a more informed decision.
Have a Polished Resume and Highlight Video
College coaches don’t have the time to constantly ask athletes for more information about their skill level. That is why you should be prepared with all the necessary information to send to coaches from the first contact. Your soccer resume should have a personalized cover letter and a summary of your academic and athletic statistics. Make sure you are giving the coaches the most recent and most updated information. They don’t want your soccer stats from two years ago; they want to know that you are still playing competitively and collecting stats.
Your highlight video should be a compilation of footage that demonstrates your ball handling skills, offense and defense plays, and your ability to play the field and work with your team. It is important that you are clearly visible to the college coach so they can pick you out easily in the video. They can’t evaluate you if they can’t see you!