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Playing Beyond Club Soccer

Permission from KC Prime Elite Soccer Club

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Transitioning from Club to High School to College Soccer

               
      So you want to play soccer past youth club?  How can my child do that?  This is some information that may help your child achieve that goal.  It is meant to guide your thinking and help you make informed decisions.  You should do your own research on all of this information.  It is not an all-encompassing document for all players or situations and you ultimately do what is best for you and your family.  These general guidelines should help you along the way.

               If you are realistic about your playing ability, thorough in your search, continue year round working on your game and get good grades, there are hundreds of college soccer teams filled with players who were not the all star player in club or high school.  If you do your homework, you can probably find a place to play while you attend college.

               High School and College coaches are not usually known for player development because of the time limits for player contact enforced by their governing bodies, like the NCAA or MSHSAA.  You must continue to work on your game, whether with your youth club, on your own, or with friends.  Do not give up on your club, yourself, or your dreams – but be realistic and remember that with every institution – ACADEMICS and GPA is the highest priority!  

Reasons for Choosing a College or University

1.      Academics – What degree am I interested in?

2.      Proximity to home – How far away do I want to be? 

3.      Cost – Can we afford the tuition?

4.      Social – Do I have friends attending (or playing) or do I like the city or town?

5.      Soccer – Should be last on your list of reasons


What to do in High School to prepare to play in College


Freshman Year – 9th Grade

1.      Academics are a priority!  Final high school GPA will determine merit scholarships.  Do some academic planning and make sure you are taking the right college prep courses.  Take any advanced placement courses that you can handle.

2.      Continue to work on your game technically and tactically.  Work on being in top physical shape.

3.      Tryout for your High School Team.

4.      Play for your Club team so you can play year round. 

5.      Tryout for USYSA Olympic Development Program (ODP), even if you do not make it – do not worry.

6.      Research College Academic and Soccer Programs you may be interested in.

7.      Begin creating a student/player profile resume.

8.      Attend local or regional soccer games and their ID Camps.

9.      Attend Summer Camps for Colleges that you have researched and are interested in.


Sophomore Year – 10th Grade

1.      Academics are a priority!  Final high school GPA will determine merit scholarships.  Do some academic planning and make sure you are taking the right college prep courses.  Take any advanced placement courses that you can handle.

2.       Continue to work on your game technically and tactically.  Work on being in top physical shape.

3.      Tryout for your High School Team.

4.      Play for your Club team so you can play year round.  Volunteer in your Club at camps.

5.      Tryout for USYSA Olympic Development Program (ODP), even if you do not make it – do not worry.

6.      Continue to research College Academic and Soccer Programs you may be interested in.  Narrow down your choices to 15 or so that are realistic with your academic and athletic abilities.

7.      Update your student/player profile resume.

8.      Attend local or regional soccer games and their ID Camps.

9.      Attend Summer Camps for Colleges that you have researched and are still interested in.

10.   Begin shooting videos of you in games to start a collection of highlight clips.  This should include moments in the game both on and off the ball.  How you react at both good and poor play and moments of interaction with your coaches.

11.   Begin making a plan of how, when, and where you can contact and be seen by college coaches.

12.   As a sophomore, you can write or email a coach, but they may not contact you directly unless they represent a 2 year school.  Two year schools may contact you at any time.

13.   College coaches may officially begin contacting you the June before your Junior year per NCAA rules.


Junior Year – 11th Grade

1.      Academics are a priority!  Final high school GPA will determine merit scholarships.  Do some academic planning and make sure you are taking the right college prep courses.  Take any advanced placement courses that you can handle.  A cumulative GPA higher than 2.5 will get you into most schools.

2.      Take the PSAT as soon as possible.  Take the SAT and ACT also.

3.      Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center and the NAIA Eligibility Center.  Understand their rules for eligibility.  And make sure to follow all their rules.

4.       Continue to work on your game technically and tactically.  Work on being in top physical shape.

5.      Play for your High School Team.  Aim to start on Varsity.

6.      Play for your Club team so you can play year round.  Volunteer in your Club at camps.  You should aim to be on the highest level team you can play on with players like you and who are interested in playing past high school.

7.      Travel with your club team to recruiting events and showcases throughout the year.  Write to coaches of schools you are interested in AND all coaches attending and have them evaluate your play.

8.      Tryout for USYSA Olympic Development Program (ODP).  Make the team if you are a D1 prospect!

9.      Continue to research College Academic and Soccer Programs you may be interested in.  Narrow down your choices to 8-100 that are realistic with your academic, financial and athletic abilities.

10.   Continue shooting videos of you in games and begin editing a collection of highlight clips.  This should include moments in the game both on and off the ball.  How you react at both good and poor play and moments of interaction with your coaches.  Put a short (10-15 minutes or less) video of highlights together.

11.   Update your student/player profile resume.  Include video highlights in digital form.  Send it to coaches of programs you are interested in.  Keep a log of coaches who respond, and resend to coaches who do not.  Include any assistant coaches.  Keep notes of any correspondence for reference.

12.   Attend soccer games of colleges that you are interested in and attend their ID Camps.  Analyze their style of play – where would you fit in?  Do you like the coaches?

13.   Attend Summer Camps for Colleges that you are still interested in.

14.   Make unofficial visits to Colleges of interest.  Try to schedule it through the soccer coaches first before you go through the admissions office.  Physically hand your player profile and video highlights to coaches.

15.   Begin getting applications for the colleges you are interested in and any scholarship applications available at those schools.  Begin filling them out over the summer.

16.   Keep in touch with admissions departments and college soccer coaches.


Senior Year – 12th Grade

1.      Academics are a priority!  Final high school GPA will determine merit scholarships.  Do some academic planning and make sure you are taking the right college prep courses.  Take any advanced placement courses that you can handle.  Aim to improve your GPA.

2.      Retake the SAT and ACT.

3.      Continue to work on your game technically and tactically.  Stay in top physical, mental, and athletic shape. 

4.      Play for your High School Team.  Aim to be an impact player on Varsity.

5.      Play for your Club team so you can play year round.  Volunteer in your Club at camps.  You should aim to be on the highest level team you can play on with players like you and who are interested in playing past high school.

6.      Travel with your club team to recruiting events and showcases throughout the year.  Write to coaches of schools you are interested in AND all coaches attending and have them evaluate your play.  Review any new possibilities that present themselves.

7.      Tryout for USYSA Olympic Development Program (ODP).  Make the team if you are a D1 prospect!

8.      Narrow down your choices to 8-10 that are realistic with your academic, financial and athletic abilities.  Apply to these schools by their due dates.

9.      Put a final short (20 minutes or less) video of highlights together.

10.   Update your student/player profile resume.  Include video highlights in digital form.  Send it to coaches of the 8-10 programs you are interested in.  Keep a log of coaches who respond, and resend to coaches who do not.  Include any assistant coaches.  Keep notes of any correspondence for reference. 

11.   Attend soccer games of colleges that you are interested in and attend their ID Camps. 

12.   Make unofficial visits to Colleges of interest.  Physically hand your final player profile and video highlights to coaches and assistant coaches.

13.   Prepare and submit applications for admission and any scholarship applications.  Send final profile package to all coaches of schools that you have applied.

14.   Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as well as other financial aid applications.

15.   Have your final High School transcript sent to the NCAA and NAIA Eligibility Centers.

16.   Review all offers of admission and financial aid.

17.   Revisit or make formal visits to the 3 schools you are most interested.  Reach out to players on those teams you may know or played against, or even from your home city or town. 

18.   Pick the College with the best combination of academics, desired proximity, social environment, financial aid, ultimate cost and right soccer program for you.  Good Luck!


Items for your Student/Player Profile Resume

·        Personal Data – Name, Birthdate, Picture, Height, Weight, Dominant Foot, Position, Address, Phone, Email

·        Academics – GPA, Graduation Date, ACT/SAT Scores, Transcripts, Any Academic Honors, Senior Year Schedule

·        References – Teachers, Advisors, High School & Club Coaches, Club DOCs and Technical Directors – and all of their contact information

·        Youth Club Achievements– Teams played for as a youth, References and Coaches and their contact information, any team achievements, any team or individual awards. 

·        High School Soccer Achievements – For each year, Stats, Team and Individual Awards, Position, References to Coaches and their Contact Information

·        Soccer Strengths

·        Personal Strengths

·        ODP Information

·        Other Soccer Achievements and Interests

·        Other Personal Achievements and Interests

·        Video Highlights

·        Unofficial High School Transcripts

·        High School and Club Schedule for any remaining or future games          

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