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Cal South E-News | April 2012 COLLEGE PLANNING

April 20, 2012


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NCSA Athletic Recruiting

High School vs. Club Soccer: Maximize Your Collegiate Opportunities

There comes a time in every player's soccer career when he or she needs to decide how seriously they want to pursue soccer. At some point, every youth soccer player will be asked the question: do you want to play soccer in college? If being a collegiate student-athlete is something that a youth player wants to pursue then sacrifices may have to be made, and starting early in the recruiting process is the key.

Pressures to get discovered typically mount as players get older and begin high school soccer when they are in ninth grade. The tradeoff is usually between club soccer and or relying strictly on the high school soccer program. What is going to get you noticed? While the cost of choosing club soccer over high school sports can be tough, if playing soccer at the collegiate level is your ultimate goal then it is a sacrifice that will have to be considered.

There are several reasons why club soccer is so important if you want to play college soccer. First, as a rule, club soccer is more competitive than high school soccer and consequently athletes who play club soccer are generally more committed players than those who do not. Second, college coaches do most of their recruiting from tournaments which club soccer teams attend. If you are not competing at those tournaments, then it is difficult for a coach to see you play and ultimately recruit you. And lastly, the experience gained from playing soccer at a competitive level will help mold you into a more desirable college prospect. The earlier you start the better it is for coaches to see you at tournaments and showcases through your high school career.

Playing college soccer is not for everyone; but, if that is your goal is to play (especially if it is Division I college soccer), you need to start early to help make sure that you are maximizing all of your opportunities and getting the most out of every club season.

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."