Getting Started / A Suggested Timeline
Many of these items pertain to NCAA schools only. It’s always best to check with the umbrella organization to verify recruitment rules. The governing organizations meet on a regular basis and can change rules. For NCAA schools always check here for the latest information: http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/resources/recruiting-calendars/2015...
(The most important thing freshman year is to begin to identify colleges that you are interested in. You will want to have a list going into sophomore year, so you can begin making contact.)
- Make good grades! All schools and coaches want good students.
- Begin thinking about what you enjoy doing, and what career you want.
- Visit nearby colleges, and while on vacation, take time to visit campuses. It's never too early to begin thinking about the kind of college experience you want.
- Begin compiling a list of colleges you have interest in. You may not be sure what you want and the list will grow and change over time, but it's never too early to start the list. See page 9 for help getting a list started.
- Many colleges offer camps for high school players: consider attending their camp but be willing to consult Barcelona United regarding recommendations for camps.
(NCAA Div. I and Div. II coaches cannot call or write you yet, only send general information and camp information, so don’t be disappointed if you write a coach and they do not write you back. Only NCAA Div. III coaches may contact you at this time.)
- Keep your grades up!
- Begin compiling a list of possible colleges or universities that meet your interests and research their academic and athletic programs.
- Take the PSAT test.
- Write a cover letter and soccer resume and send it out to possible schools.
- Review NCAA Clearinghouse eligibility requirements. The summer before your junior year, register with the NCAA Clearinghouse.
- Select junior year courses to fulfill these requirements.
- Play at the highest level possible. Keep a record of athletic achievements.
As of September 1, you can now talk on the phone with a coach at NCAA Div. I level. (June 15 for NCAA Div. II) If you are a top level player, expect some phone calls. If not, call the coach yourself. A letter followed by a call shows interest in the program.).
- Keep your grades up!
- Send coaches updated resume and player profile, send dates of tournaments and league games.
- Organize a filing system on colleges that respond to your inquiry and indicate interest. You will need names and phones numbers of coaches and also when they indicated interest.
- Make a list of all the colleges/universities you have been in contact with and rank them in order starting with your favorite school (based on what you know at this point) down to your least favorite school. Start by calling the coach at your least favorite school. You
will probably be nervous when you talk to this coach however, by talking to a coach at your least favorite college/university, you will gain confidence for when you contact the coaches who are higher on your priority list.
- Most likely, if you are calling a coach, you will get his or her voicemail. Practice leaving a message beforehand. You can even call yourself and leave a practice voicemail on your cell phone. If you do get in touch with a coach, make sure you take notes on the
conversation. Also, keep a list of your top five questions to ask and make sure that these questions cannot be answered by looking on the Web site.
- Play in College Showcase tournaments, summer tournaments or participate in ODP events.
- Attend any recruitment seminars at these tournaments. Also attend College Fairs and register your sport with each college.
- Consider attending the summer camp of a school of interest, or one which has a lot of college coaches on staff.
- Narrow your search to 10 or so schools and engage in regular correspondence with the coach. Check your status with the NCAA Clearinghouse.
- Make unofficial visits (at your expense) to selected schools. Meet with the coach and see the team play, if possible.
- Take the SAT or ACT tests. Make sure scores are sent to your schools of interest.
- Select senior year courses to complete Clearinghouse requirements.
- Stay in touch with your high school counselor and Obtain financial form (FAFSA).
(When classes begin, you may start taking official visits to the schools that have interest in you and vice versa.)
- Don’t let down in your class work. Finish strong.
- Check status with the NCAA Clearinghouse.
- Narrow your search to 5 schools.
- Complete FAFSA form again with recent tax information.
- Respond immediately to any interest shown by colleges.
- Schedule and complete official visits (at schools expense). Meet with the coach and the team and stay overnight if possible, see the team play.
- Stay in touch with your high school counselor.
- Narrow down your choices and get your applications done early.
- Keep coaches updated on your achievements by sending them your resume through the fall and play in high level events in November and December.
- Provide your coach and counselor with your interest college list. Discuss college interest with your coach and counselor.
- Make a decision!