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Cal South E-News | February 2012 COLLEGE PLANNING

February 16, 2012


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NCSA Athletic Recruiting

Are You A Division I Player?

Most people want to play soccer at the highest level possible, but Division I soccer is not for everyone. It is extremely time-consuming year round, and you must be incredibly dedicated and disciplined to make it work. A Division I player is not made overnight; Division I athletes have been playing against top competition since they were very young. A great deal of time, energy and money has been spent on these athletes in order for them to be placed in the category of being the best. In many cases, they have traveled nationally and even internationally to gain the experience that is necessary to prepare them for this level of play.

Division I coaches, especially at the top Division I levels, are looking for the best and they know where to look for the athletes that can compete at their level. Many Division I coaches will begin looking at athletes their freshman year, so if you are serious about playing at this level, you need to be taking the proper steps early on.

They are looking for players who have the following experience:

• ODP Experience:

o National Team/Pool
o Regional Team/Pool
o State Team NOT Pool

• Club Experience:

o Premier Club Experience
o Attend Major Tournaments

- Surf Cup
- Disney Showcase
- Score at the Shore
- Las Vegas Showcase
- Blue Chip

o Barcelona

• High School Experience:

o All-American
o Varsity starter
o All-State
o All Region/Conference/Sectional

Most Division I soccer players have club experience and play for a high level premier/elite club team that attends out of state tournaments. Division I players typically have ODP experience at the state level or higher. High-level club tournament play and ODP soccer come closest to mirroring the college game, and this is where most collegiate scouting takes place. Nearly 100% of all Division I soccer players who played for their high school teams have earned at least All-Conference recognition. Most have also received All-District, All-State and All-Region honors.

Pay attention to who is contacting you. Division I and II coaches can start sending you personalized letters and emails, in addition to any recruiting materials, beginning September 1st of your junior year. Before this time it is up to you initiate contact with these coaches and to get your name out there. Remember that there are no rules that are placed on you with regards to contacting coaches. Make sure that the schools you are the most interested in have access to your video and your club tournament schedule. In order to fully evaluate you, Division I coaches need to see you play in some form before your junior year. That way, you will hopefully be on their list of prospects and they will contact you right around September 1st. In a perfect world, Division I coaches would like to have their recruits committed by the end of their junior year and top Division I players will definitely have committed by this time.

For underclassmen, you still have time and you need to make sure that you fit the mold of what Division I coaches are looking for. For juniors and seniors, if you are not being contacted by Division I coaches after September 1st of your junior year you are going to have to work even harder to get your name out there. Things happen and some Division I coaches may not be done with their recruiting early, but you will need to be active in order to find out which coaches are still looking. This also means that you will need to be more flexible with the opportunities that are available and it would also be wise to look into some other levels where there will be more options.

NCSA at Soccer Nation Expo 2012:

NCSA Recruiting Experts, John Wilson and Ryan McMahen, will be at Soccer Nation Expo 2012 on Feb. 25 and 26 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. John comes with years of professional soccer experience including time with the Kansas City Wizards, Charleston Battery, and D.C. United. Ryan also brings his soccer career with the Michigan Bucks, Kansas City Wizards, and Austin Aztex. It's your chance to ask questions about recruiting!

About NCSA:

NCSA Athletic Recruiting changes lives by building leaders through sports and connecting four key communities involved in the college athletic recruitment process: qualified high school student-athletes and their families, high school coaches and athletic directors, college coaches, and professional partners such as the NFLPA, ESPN, and more. NCSA is the leading collegiate recruiting source for more than 200,000 student-athletes and 35,000 college coaches across the country. By taking advantage of this extensive network, more than 90% of NCSA Athletic Recruiting-verified athletes go on to play at the collegiate level. In addition, NCSA educates over 4 million athletes and their parents about the recruiting process each year through educational resources on its website, www.ncsasports.org, presentations of the critically acclaimed seminar "College Recruiting Simplified," and the book from NCSA Athletic Recruiting, "Athletes Wanted."