Website Manager

Atlanta Fire United

Recruiting Advice by Dom

 


Coach Dom's Recruiting Blog

Dom is here for all current AFU members - parents and players, please feel free to reach out to Dom with any questions you might have regarding your player and his her options for scholarships:

Director of Recruiting 
Dom Martelli 
[email protected]
[email protected]

College search: Find the best colleges for you - September 1

College search: Find the best colleges for you

Student-athletes typically have a couple dream schools in mind when they begin their recruiting journey. But the chances of coaches at those schools recruiting their position and offering a scholarship might be fairly slim. That’s why we tell every student-athlete to keep their options open, research several programs and build a school list to maximize opportunities and find their best college fit.

Starting early in high school, student-athletes should begin to build a list of potential colleges. This list should include five safety schools, ten target schools and five dream schools.

Target Schools: These are the schools where you have the most realistic chance of getting in and will be the right fit not only athletically, but academically, financially and socially.

Dream Schools: Maybe these schools are a stretch academically, where you will need to improve significantly to qualify athletically or maybe too expensive without significant financial aid. You should have these dream schools on your list but recognize they might be a stretch.

Safety Schools: These are the schools you have on your list as your back-up plan. Keep your options open and consider schools that you otherwise might not have before starting your research. While these schools may not be your first choice, they’re still a good fit.

What to look for in a college

Academic Fit: Being offered an athletic scholarship doesn’t guarantee your acceptance into a school—you must qualify academically, too. If your GPA or test scores were to go up a few points, how many new doors might open? You can use Parchment's website to easily compare where your grades and test scores stand among other students and see your chances of being admitted into a specific college. Also, think about what you’d like to study in college and how much time you need to focus on academics outside of your sport. Ask the coaches how other athletes manage their course loads and find out if potential teammates are studying your major.

Athletic Fit: While Division 1 offers a high level of competition, less than 2 percent of high school athletes go on to play at that level. Focus your efforts on finding the division level that is the best fit for you. Target schools where you can make a valuable contribution to the team. That might be Division 2, Division 3, NAIA or even junior colleges, all of which offer great opportunities and scholarships.  Learn the differences between divisions to understand which one is right for you.

Financial Fit: How much can you afford and how much aid are you eligible to receive at each school? Athletic scholarships are only one form of financial aid, and amounts can vary depending on a number of factors including sport, team size and equivalency vs. headcount sports. Cost should be top-of-mind when pursuing programs - be sure to find out what kind of financial aid and scholarship options are available at each school you consider.

Social Fit: This will be your home for the next four years, so you’ll want to choose a school where you’ll be comfortable and most like yourself. Soak in the environment when you go on campus visits, including the location, size, dorms and social vibe. Ask other students what they like about living on campus to see if you can picture yourself there. Don’t forget to consider how far you are from home and even the weather. It’s beneficial to keep a checklist going of which personal preferences matter to you most as you start researching schools.

What division level is right for you?

It’s important to include a mix of Division 2, Division 3 and NAIA schools on your college lists. The majority of scholarship athletes compete outside of Division 1. In fact, while 56 percent of Division 1 athletes receive some form of aid, 61 percent of Division 2 and 82 percent of Division 3 college athletes receive aid or need-based scholarships. The right division level for you comes down to what you are looking for in college.

NCAA Division 1: These programs are highly competitive, and being an athlete is considered a full-time job. There are more than 350 D1 schools and they typically offer partial or full scholarships, but less than 2 percent of high school athletes play at this level.

NCAA Division 2: These programs tend to be a mix of private and public schools that are smaller to mid-sized. There are more than 300 D2 programs, all of which offer athletic scholarships. Athletes typically find a balance among their academics, athletics and social life at these institutions.

NCAA Division 3: There are more than 440 D3 schools and 81 percent of them are private. In general, they tend to be smaller schools. D3 offers athletes more free time so they can have a well-rounded college experience.

NAIA: The average NAIA school has 2,000 students and there are more than 250 programs nationwide. Like Division 3, these schools are smaller.

 

 

Impact of Coronavirus on College Recruiting - August 5

Impact of Coronavirus on College Recruiting

The NCAA has continued its suspension of all in-person recruiting through August 31; Different rules have been approved for the D2 level. The NCAA also granted an extra year of eligibility to college seniors. In addition, due to the closure of college campuses, official and unofficial visits as well as college camps are on hold.

It’s been said that the college sports recruiting process is more like a marathon than a sprint. For many, it may seem like full-time job. There are dozens of people to communicate with, events to attend and deadlines to meet—all while juggling the everyday rigors of being a high school student.

If you’re doing it right, the recruiting process isn’t just a senior-year responsibility, and the amount of time you dedicate to your recruiting each week—or even each month—will fluctuate. Initially, you’ll need to spend extra time researching schools and writing individualized introductory emails to each coach. However, after your first round of emails and calls, you might hit a few slower periods, in which you send short follow up emails, refine your highlight videos and work on maintaining your recruiting. The key is to steadily keep moving your recruiting forward and hitting the major milestones.

If there is one mantra above all others for recruiting, it's "be proactive." This is especially true for communicating with college coaches. Coaches are extremely busy; they have countless recruits to consider, plus teams of their own to coach during the regular season. It's up to you to take control of your recruitment and stay in touch with the coaches at the schools you're interested in. Professionalism and persistence in your communication will put you ahead of other recruits—even those who might be more skilled athletes. 

Managing Your Recruiting During a Dead Period - May 11

Managing Your Recruiting During a Dead Period

 While in-person recruiting is suspended through at least May 31, there are still plenty of opportunities to get ahead in your recruiting. Use this guide to help you stay on track athletically and academically over the next few weeks.

Update your recruiting profile. 

Give your profile a fresh look by uploading a new highlight/skills video and a recent transcript. You can also add your GPA, test scores and key athletic stats to make sure coaches see and evaluate your most recent accomplishments.

Draft a new personal statement.

This is a great time to show college coaches your character. Stand out from the crowd by demonstrating your commitment to your sport and that how you’re taking on this new challenge head-on. 

Research college rosters. 

College rosters provide insights on the types of athletes coaches want to recruit, where they recruit and if they’re recruiting your position soon.

Add colleges to your target list. 

Make sure you have a good mix of safety, target and dream schools and for schools that may be a good fit

Take a virtual college tour. 

The best way to narrow down your preferences and figure out what you want your college experience to be like is by checking out a college campus—and it’s easy to do online!

Connect with coaches on social media. 

Following a coach or athletic program on Twitter or Instagram is a great way to get regular updates and a behind-the-scenes look at what competing on a college team is really like.

Email college coaches. 

Coaches are relying on digital communication more than ever, and messaging coaches is one of the best ways to stay in touch during this time. Check out our email tips to see how can stand out in a crowded inbox. 

Maximize your academic scholarship opportunities.

With schools closed and test dates pushed back, dedicate some time each week for online learning and extra test prep. A high GPA and ACT/SAT scores can improve your admissions chances

Maintain a regular workout schedule. 

Sticking to you regular training routine can be difficult if you’re stuck at home, but make sure you’re getting some exercise in each day. Try walking/running, online or app-based video classes and even some creative workouts so you’ll be prepared once practice starts again!

Rest and recharge. 

Whether it’s connecting with friends and family via video chat, getting creative with your workouts or just streaming your favorite show (we won’t judge!), set aside some time each day to help manage your stress and avoid burnout.

 

 

Calling College Coaches - May 9

Calling College Coaches: Phone Scripts and Voicemail Templates to Use on Your Next Coach Call

When should you start calling coaches?

The best time to start calling college coaches is after you’ve sent them a couple introductory emails. According to NCAA recruiting rules, D1 and D2 coaches aren’t allowed to answer or return the call until June 15 after an athlete’s sophomore year or September 1 of their junior year, depending on your sport. Keep this in mind as you’re calling college coaches. Even if the coach isn’t able to call you yet, they are still going to be building out their recruiting class by evaluating prospects online and at events. Before you can begin having phone conversations with college coaches, focus on your online profile and establish communications through your club and/or high school coach.

To help you make the most of every coach call, we’ve included some preparation tips, sample scripts and questions. Overall, remember to be enthusiastic and passionate about the coach’s program. Coaches look to recruit athletes who genuinely are interested in their program, and phone calls are a great time to communicate your excitement.

Insider tip: If you are having a hard time getting ahold of a college coach, ask your high school or club coach to call the college coach and schedule a phone call for you. College coaches can call club/high school coaches back at any time, which makes it easier for them to get in touch. An added bonus: When the college coach is talking to your current coach, they can ask your coach questions about you to help with their initial evaluation.

How to get ready for calling college coaches

Calling college coaches takes some preparation, but if you put in the work beforehand, your call will go much smoother. And remember: College coaches have been through this process thousands of times. They understand how intimidating and nerve-wracking it can be for high school athletes to call them. If you go into the call armed with the right information and a plan, the coach will most likely be impressed with your effort so don’t worry about any small mistakes along the way.

 Practice with a friend. Before calling college coaches, role play the call with a friend. Have them play the part of the coach, and make sure they ask you tough questions (we have a list of potential questions coaches will ask you outlined below) that you will receive when you’re calling college coaches?

Do your research about the school and program before calling? Make sure you have a few key facts about the school and the team at hand. If you can, call coaches while you’re in front of a computer, laptop or tablet. Open up a few different tabs you can use for reference: the school website, some articles about the team and the team roster, as well as your phone call script and your list of questions for the coach. Have your initial emails to the coach open, too, so you can reference when you sent them, and you can resend them if the coach asks.

Find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. Coach Chris Sartorius, who has coached men’s and women’s basketball at three different Division I schools, says, “Coaches want to have a good, personal conversation.” He adds, “If your family wants to listen, that’s fine, but make sure that you aren’t distracted.” If you feel more comfortable taking the call alone, let your family know you need to be in a quiet room without distractions and fill them in on the call afterwards.

 Call coaches between 6-9 p.m. when they are in season. Before you start calling college coaches, consider what times throughout the day and week they will be available to talk. Coach Sartorius explains, “Typically, I’d get out of practice around 6 p.m. and be talking to recruits anywhere from 6:30-11 p.m. at night,” Coach Sartorius explains. If the coach isn’t in season, there is more flexibility to call them in the morning or afternoon. However, if you’re not sure when is a good time to call a college coach, just ask them!

Insider tip: Try calling college coaches during the summer. They tend to be less busy at this time, so you will have fewer practices, games and other commitments to work around.

 

General script for calling college coaches

When you’re calling college coaches, think of the framework for your call like this:

  • Introduction, the reason you’re calling
  • Why you’re interested in their program
  • What you’d like to know about the program and what you’re going to do next.

To help you get a general concept of how a call with a coach will go, we’ve created a script for you to reference:

Introduction

“Hi Coach Brown, my name is Jane Doe and I’m an outside hitter at ABC High School. I recently sent you an email with my highlight video and wanted to follow up with you! Do you have a few minutes to talk right now?

In your introduction, bring up the specific reason you emailed the coach: Was it is to send them your highlight video, to show them your top stats and accolades or to arrange an unofficial visit? Be specific here.

“It’s not a good time”

“No problem! When would be a better time for me to call you back?”

  • Wait to see what the coach says. If they need to consult their calendar and get back to you, let them know you’ll follow up via email to schedule a better time. Try to set a meeting during this call, but if that’s not possible, don’t force it! Either way, let them know you’ll be in touch.
  • If a coach says that they are not interested in recruiting you at this point, that’s OK. You can always ask them for advice in the recruiting process. Be sure to thank them for their time.

“I can talk right now”

“Great! I’ve been following your program for a while now, and was really impressed by your win against XYZ State last weekend. I’d love to learn more about what you’re looking for in an outside hitter.

  • At this point, you can start asking the questions that you have prepared. The coach will probably want to ask some questions of you, as well. Make sure that you listen attentively to what the coach has to say and take notes to reference later on.

“I have to get off the phone”: “Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me! I’ll resend you the email I sent on Tuesday so you can take a look at my highlight video when you get a chance. I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback!”

  • No matter how the phone call went, be sure to thank the coach for their time. If this is the first of many calls—or the only call you have with this coach—you want to leave them with a positive impression of you.

Leaving a voicemail for a college coach

In many cases when calling college coaches, you’ll get sent to their voicemail. Before you call the coach, write out exactly what you want to say if you do get their voicemail. Then, give yourself a call and leave your prepared message. Listen to how it sounds and revise your script if necessary. Here are a few key pieces of information you want to be sure to include:

  • Your name
  • Your high school and location
  • Your position
  • Your grad year
  • Reason you’re calling (for example, following up on an introductory email, trying to schedule an unofficial visit, etc.)
  • How you will be following up (via email, phone, etc.)
  • The best number to contact you at
  •  A closing “thank you for your time”

 

We’ve included a sample script to help you get started in writing yours:

“Hi Coach Brown, my name is Jane Doe and I’m an outside hitter at ABC High School and will be graduating in 2020. I’m calling to follow up on an email I sent on September 1. I’d love to know what you thought of my highlight video and if you have any feedback for me.

“I’ll give you a call back tomorrow, September 28th at 7:30 p.m., and I’ll resend my email so you can check out my highlight video. My phone number is 123-456-7890. Thank you so much and I’m looking forward to talking to you!”

Insider tip: Try to keep your voicemail to less than 45 seconds.^

Questions to ask college coaches

When you’re calling college coaches, you need to have a list of questions prepared to ask them, which you will customize for each individual coach you’re talking to. For example, if you’re speaking with a coach at a highly competitive academic school, focus on academic-based questions. We’ve included some questions below that can help you get started.

Academic

  • What are the most popular majors for athletes on your team?
  • Does your team have an academic advisor and/or tutoring available to athletes?
  • Are there any specific majors that would interfere with the athletic schedule?
  • What are good academic goals I should strive for to meet the criteria of your university?

Athletics / Recruiting Process

  • How is your recruiting class looking for my graduation year?
  • What’s the best way to update you on my progress?
  • Are there any camps, combines or showcases that you’d recommend I go to?
  •  Where do you typically evaluate your athletes?
  • If I come to your school for an unofficial visit, would you be able to meet with me?

Cultural / Social Fit

  • How do the athletes on your team interact with each other? Do they hang out together outside of practice and games?
  • What is the housing situation for athletes?
  • Do athletes stay on campus during the summer?

Insider tip: During your first few calls with a college coach, avoid asking for a scholarship. You need to develop a relationship with the coach before you start asking them for money. A way to ease into the conversation could including asking a question like, “What does it take to earn a scholarship with your program?”

 

Questions to expect from college coaches

As with any conversation, your calls with college coaches will involve you asking questions and the coach asking some in return. No matter how tough the question, the best policy is honesty. If you are asked a question you don’t know the answer to, don’t be afraid to tell the coach you’re not sure, but you’ll get back to them later when you have the answer. Take a deep breath and a second to think before responding if you need it. To help you prepare for coach questions in advance, we’ve created a list of questions coaches will like you ask you during an initial phone call. We recommend that you prepare your responses to these questions before you start calling college coaches.

  • How are you doing in school: What is your GPA and test scores?
  • What major are you interested in?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses as a player? What are you currently working on improving?
  • What kind of training have you been doing?
  • Why are interested in my school and/or program?
  • What are your interests or hobbies outside of your sport?
  •  What other schools are you interested in?
  • What other schools are recruiting you?
  • Why do you think you can play at this level?

Is it bad for a parent to call a college coach?

As Coach Sartorius mentioned, coaches want to get to know student-athletes during phone calls. Especially at the beginning of the recruiting process, it’s important for athletes to be the ones calling college coaches. Later in the recruiting process, parents will get the opportunity to speak more with the college coaches, especially on the topics of financials and housing. During a Positive Coaching Alliance panel Stanford head men’s golf coach Conrad Ray expressed his views on who should be calling college coaches.

“The worst thing for [coaches] in our world is if we get a phone call and it’s the mom or dad of a high school freshman or sophomore telling me how good their kid is.” Coach Ray says. “If I had a piece of advice for parents, I would say, do what you can do to really empower your kid to be able to put themselves forward.”

A lot of parents worry their athlete is just too shy or too modest—or not driven enough—to stay on top of calling coaches. If it’s between never communicating with coaches and the parents calling, then parents might need to do a little bit of the legwork to get the process moving. However, recruits will have to talk to college coaches at some point, and with the right amount of preparation, even the shiest athlete can ace their coach calls!

What recruits need to know about the new NCAA rules April 2020

  • All in-person recruiting is suspended through May 31st 
  • Colleges are advised to suspend official visits and unofficial visits to campus
  • All recruits should check with any coaches they have scheduled visits with 
  • Coaches and recruits can still communicate via phone and written correspondence (email, text and social media DM’s)
  • The NCAA will continue to consult experts to determine whether the date needs to be extended

4 Week Recruiting Plan

We have put together a detailed 4-week recruiting plan for you to follow. In times like this, when you are unable to connect with coaches on the field, it's super important that you are still pressing forward with recruiting and connecting with coaches off the field. Remember, college coaches have a lot more time to spend in front of their computers at the moment... now is a great time to get in front of them

Week 1: Building Your Top 20 List

Take the first week to create your Top 20 College List based upon the criteria below. Create a pros and cons list as you uncover details about various colleges to build your list. This will be your target list you work off of for the next 4-weeks. Remember: The majority of the colleges on your list should be realistic options both athletically and academically.

  • Financial Aspects: Consider tuition - both in-state and out of state and the % of students receiving financial aid.
  • Academic Aspects: Evaluate the SAT, ACT and GPA requirements. Be realistic when evaluating your grades. Academics & college experience should be put before soccer. What major are you interested in and does the school offer it? Can you academically get into this institution?
  • Social Atmosphere: Super important! If you didn't play soccer, would you still want to be at this college? Offer other interests you have such as greek life, clubs, or activities outside of soccer.
  • Soccer Program: Is it a realistic match? Look at the current team, alumni, style of play, social media handles, coaching staff and current players' youth playing bios to help determine if you can REALISTICALLY play there.
  • Athletic Program: Take the time to research the entire athletic program. Other sports they offer. Facilities and support they provide athletes.
  • Size of School: Public or Private? Large 4-Year? Small 4-Year? Big City or Small Town. Are you a small private, or big football team kind of person?
  • Division: Make sure to consider ALL divisions (Div I, Div II, Div III, NAIA, Junior College) even those that may be outside of your initial thoughts; you will be surprised at the variety of opportunities out there.
  • Geographical Location: Beach or Mountains? Do you like seasons or unchanging weather? Do you prefer a school close to home or are you looking for a brand new experience in a completely different place?
  • Quality of Life: Evaluate the quality of life, scholastic intensity & then soccer.


Week 2: 
Emailing College Coaches

Your week 2 objective is to start connecting with college coaches that are on your Top 20 list. Email. Email. Email. Remember, they are hunkered down too and welcome recruits reaching out to them. This "downtime" is a HUGE opportunity to make an impact. Think about it... right before a big tournament coaches receive hundreds of emails. Today, probably only receiving a few per day. You can make an impact and stand out more by emailing today and they actually have the time to open all their emails now!)

  • Email is personalized: When coaches receive an email from a recruit, they want to know that it is NOT a copy/paste to every coach across the country. There should be something personal to show genuine interest. Keep it brief, yet informative, authentic AND personal. Tell them why you are interested in attending their college and being a part of their team!
  • Player should write the email (not the Parent: Coaches want to hear from you; not from your parents or via a database email system. Also, make sure your email address is professional (your name and grad year is the best if possible) (ex. NO: [email protected] YES: [email protected])
  • Include Your Upcoming Tournaments/Games: When things return to normal and we all get back on the field (yippee can't wait!), you can include when/where you will be playing next and game details.
  • Interested College Major: Many schools have very specialized majors so coaches will narrow their player search to those specific majors.
  • GPA: Noting your GPA is always important... especially if it's stellar! Most highly academic schools aren't able to recruit a player lower than their school GPA standard (Ex: 3.6+). If you DO have a stellar GPA it can be advantageous to the soccer program because perhaps you would qualify for an academic scholarship instead of having to use soccer scholarship money.


Week 3: 
Create a Highlight Video

During week 3, begin by gathering your game highlights over the past 6 months to compile them into a reel. Right now, since you are unable to play in front of college coaches, highlight video/clips have become an important part of the recruiting process. By sending coaches your "highlights" you are still staying in front of coaches. Here are some things to consider when creating your highlight video...

  • Keep it short (3-5 minutes): Highlight videos should be just that, your highlights. Not entire games, just clips showing your special moments. If they are kept within 3-5 min they will likely watch most of your video. If too lengthy, you will bore them and they will move on. The main intention of your highlight video is to pique an interest. It's rare a player is offered a scholarship solely off of a video. However, your video gives the coach an idea if you are someone they want to continue tracking and see play live. Or remind them who you are after they have already seen you play. Give them the good stuff and the sweet spot is somewhere between 3-5 min.
  • Keep it positive: This is a HIGHLIGHT video – show your positives. This is not the time to show that you are human and make mistakes. Leave your bloopers off the reel and wow them with your talent.
  • Intro to your video: A few must haves at the start: Name, Team, League/Level, Jersey #, Grad Year, & Your Email/Your Coach Email. Something to think about including... a quick 5-10 second intro of you speaking can show personality – and put a face to the player on the video. it’s nice to have a personal touch to help you stand out and give the coach a look at you, the person. This is definitely not a must have, but rather nice to add if it sees fitting to you. Also, DO NOT make it lengthy, if you do add a verbal intro- keep it to 5-10 seconds.
  • Make it relevant to your position: It’s helpful to have “sections” in the video that are specific to you/your position. For example: if you are a forward you can have sections for:
  1. Goals
  2. Assists
  3. 3Movement off the ball
  4. Set Pieces
  • Make YOURSELF Visible: Remember, the scout doesn’t know who you are. Add a circle, arrow, light, some indication as to which player they should be watching. Even if you indicate your jersey # at the start, they are not going to scan the field for your jersey # on each clip. Make it very obvious who you are on every clip.
  • Music: If you are going to use music, make sure it is tasteful (and definitely without profanity!).


Week 4: 
Follow-Up

Week 4 will be your chance to circle back with another touch point to your Top 20 College List. Your highlight video may now be complete which is a perfect reason to follow-up. And if it's not quite done yet, even sending them a teaser with a few clips is a great reason to touch base with them again. Whatever your reason, it's important to use this "downtime" to get on their radar and the perfect way to do so, is through consistent communication.

  • ·Club Director of Recruitment Utilization (That’s Me)Domenic Martelli is an extremely important resource, yet I am underutilized in this process. You definitely should rely on Domenic Martelli for guidance in this process - I know you well as a player and a person. You have a unique opportunity to use this "downtime" to really utilize your Atlanta Fire College Recruiting Director. Schedule a 1on1 recruiting call with Domenic Martelli or a Google Meet.

· [email protected]com - 404-556-2312

RECRUITING SEMINARS

College ID Camp 2020 For High School Boys and Girls (U15 and up) 


Location: 
Bunten Road Park - 3180 Bunten Rd, Duluth GA 30096

Date:

Girls Camp
Saturday, April 25

Boys Camp
Sunday, April 26

Who:
Players 9 – 12 Grade
A
ll teams and players

Cost:
$90.00 per player (Ages 14 and Up)

Schedule

8:30 - 9:00am
Registration and Check-In

9:15am
Introduction of College Coaches

9:30am
Field session #1 
(training sessions run by coaches)

10:20am - 10:30am
End session #1 and Team discussion with College Coach

10:30am
Field Session #2 
(training session run by coaches)

11:20am - 11:30
End session #1 and Team discussion with College Coach

12:00pm
Lunch and Recruiting seminar & panel discussion

1:30pm
Field session - coaches coach and evaluate
(scrimmage games)

3:30pm - Wrap up and closing ceremonies

Objective:

This ID camp is open to all aspiring college players regardless of club affiliation. The goal is to educate student athletes on the college recruitment process while providing a unique opportunity to train while being evaluated first-hand in game like situations by actual college coaches. AFU guarantees the attendance of at least 8 current colleges coaches with representatives from NCAA DI, DII, DIII as well as the NAIA.

Camp directors and point of contact:
Director of Recruitment: Domenic Martelli – [email protected]

What to Bring:

Ball (age group appropriate size)

Shin guards with soccer socks that fully cover

Fluids (Water, Gatorade)

Sunscreen

Any required medical needs


Post 4 - CONTACTING COLLEGE COACHES

HOW TO CONTACT COLLEGE COACHES: EMAILING, TEXTING, CALLING AND DIRECT MESSAGING

“How do coaches find recruits?” is a question families ask every day. While coaches have their different methods for scouting out new talent, one good way to ensure a coach knows about you is to contact the coach yourself. Email, texting, phone calls, and even social media messages are all acceptable ways for student-athletes to contact college coaches.

Key steps to contacting college coaches

Start your outreach by gathering all the information you’ll need to include in your communications to college coaches. Your NCSA profile is a great place to keep all your important recruiting information. When communicating with college coaches, don’t forget to include a link to your profile so they can easily view everything they need to see to conduct their initial evaluation of you. Key information includes:

  • Your highlight or skills video
  • Your best athletic stats—verified, third-party stats from a combine or other event are preferred
  • Academic information, such as GPA and ACT/SAT scores if applicable
  • Contact information for you, your parents and your club/high school coach, plus the contact information for any personal trainers that you have
  • Schedule of where and when you’ll be competing throughout the upcoming season

Next, you’ll need to research coach contact information. Check out the school’s athletic staff directory on the institution’s website to find coaches’ phone number and email. To make this process easier, NCSA has a college search feature that provides the contact information for coaches at every school across the U.S. Here are some key pieces of information to look for in your search for coach contact information:

  • Does the program have a recruiting coordinator? Larger programs tend to have a recruiting staff, including recruiting coordinators. All recruiting will funnel through that person, so when you’re looking to send an introductory email, this is the best person to start with.
  • No recruiting coordinator? See if the program has a position coach. A great next person to contact is the coach for your position.
  • No position coach? Check for an assistant coach. When the previous two options fail, look for the contact information for the assistant coach. If you can’t find that, you can start with the head coach; however, the head coach is going to be a little more difficult to get ahold of initially.
  • Find something that stands out to you about that school. Coaches want to see that you are engaged and interested in their program. Including a personalized sentence or two about why you would like to join their program goes a long way.

Once you’ve gathered all the information you need, you’re ready to start reaching out to college coaches.


Calling college coaches: Phone and voicemail scripts to use on your next call 

In an era filled with text messages, emails, tweets and other communications, a well-placed phone call to college coaches can be extremely impactful. In fact, our research has found that the average college coach receives a mere seven phone calls from recruits each week—or fewer! Taking the time to call college coaches is a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd and get attention


Emailing college coaches: Tips and templates to help you reach out

Simply sending an email isn’t enough to get a coach’s attention. You need to create clear, concise emails with attention-grabbing subject lines to give yourself a chance at the coach opening your email, reading it and responding

Post 3 - How to Make a Soccer Recruiting Video

How to Make a Soccer Recruiting Video 

The preferred way for coaches to evaluate recruits is to observe them in person at club tournaments, but that doesn’t mean they will have an opportunity to see every recruit who’s on their radar compete in person. That’s where a well-done recruiting video can play a big role. The video will serve two key purposes: Provide coaches with a way to make their initial evaluation of an athlete, and if the coach cannot see them compete in person, the video might be the only way that coaches will get to see a recruit play. Here’s how it typically works:

In initial communications with college coaches, student-athletes should always include their recruiting video. This video should really focus on in-game action. Coaches want to see how athletes move in the game and what their ability to make plays is.

If the coach liked what they saw in the initial video, they will likely reach out to schedule a time to evaluate the athlete in person.

In this article, we focus on what athletes need to include in the initial highlight video that they’ll be sending around to college coaches. There are specific skills to showcase and different techniques to use to ensure athletes are making the best first impression.

Where to get highlight video footage?

In general, college coaches want to know how athletes respond in a game, so they’d prefer to see game footage over practice footage. Most coaches want to observe how athletes see the pitch—they need to judge their decision-making and skills. Think about it: If a college coach isn’t going to have the opportunity to watch someone play in person, what’s the best way for an athlete to showcase their talent as a men’s soccer player? It’s showing their best game footage

How long should a soccer recruiting video be?

The recruiting video should be 3–6 minutes long and include 20–25 clips of game action for field players. Any longer, and it will run the risk of having the coach lose interest. Position players should create a men’s soccer highlight video with game footage. Goalies should create a men’s soccer skills video that’s supplemented with game footage and highlights.

Defenders

  • Defending: 1v1, small groups, crosses and corners in the air, chasing down players, blocking shots
  • Intercepting, running forward and getting into the attack
  • Showing timing, defensive shape, technical abilities, a clean first touch
  • Keeping possession with your distribution
  • Wings: making runs forward

Midfielders

  •  Both sides of the ball: blocking passing lanes and getting into the attack
  •  Reading the game with off-the-ball movement
  • Working hard defensively

Wingers

  • Beating opponents down the line and turning the corner
  • Crossing the ball, preferably with both feet
  • Playing 18 to 18 with a good engine
  • Making well-timed and creative runs
  • Showing change of pace

Defensive center-midfielders

  • Staying consistent and reliable
  • Winning all balls in the air and distributing them to teammates
  • Clogging up the middle and disrupting opponents’ attacks
  • Clean first touch

Attacking center-midfielders

  • Playmaking ability
  • Showing technical control in tight spaces
  •  Speed of play
  • Clean first touch

Forwards

  • Goals and assists
  • Getting behind the back line
  • Dribbling, combining and timing runs
  • Finishing with multiple surfaces
  • Getting on the end of corner kicks and crosses and put them on frame
  • Reading the play to know when your teammate is about to win the ball and check back into space to be an outlet pass
  • Playing back to goal and playing others in

Goalies

  • Skills footage and match footage; highlight skills that weren’t shown in match footage
  • Shot stopping
  • Extension and collapse diving to both sides, preferably in a variety of situations
  • Collecting, parrying and boxing
  • Breakaways, angle play and sliding saves
  •  Distribution: back passes, punts, drop kicks, throws, rolls
  • Punting: follow the ball when filming to see the distance
  • Goal kicks
  • Showing footwork throughout the video

Editing tips, how to pick the right plays

Once the footage is shot, the next step is to edit it down to the best 3­–6 minutes, which includes 20–25 game clips for field players. Start the video off strong with big highlight plays. Recruits have about 30 seconds to make an impression on the coach, so pick opening plays or skills that will leave an impression. From there, make sure to add in other key skills that college coaches want to see. The goal is to get coaches hooked in the first 30 seconds, so they continue watching the video to see the depth of the skillset. During the video, athletes can distinguish who they are in each play by using a simple arrow, a circle, a spotlight—something clean and simple to alert the coach who they should be watching.

Remember that every touch and play doesn’t have to be perfect. Coaches are also interested in how players adjust to imperfect situations. Recruits should also include their contact information (name, email and phone number) and their coach’s contact information (name, email and phone number) at the beginning and end of their recruiting video.

 

POST 2 - Academic Eligibility Requirements by Division

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NCAA Division I

The following requirements are for all athletes who want to play NCAA DI sports and receive an athletic scholarship. 99% of athletes who meet the DI requirements will also be eligible at other division levels.It's important to remember that just because you meet the academicrequirementsof the NCAA, you are not guaranteed to gain admission into the school of your choice. Here are the current NCAA DI requirements for athlete graduating in the class of 2019 or later.

  1. You must graduate from high school
  2.  You must complete 16 core courses and receive a minimum GPA of 2.3 in those courses. The core course requirements are as follows 4 years of English, 3 years of Math (Algebra 1 or higher), 2 years of Natural or Physical Science, 2 years of Social Science, 1 additional year of English, Math or Natural/Physical Science, 2 years of Social Science and 4 additional years of English, Math or Natural/Physical Science, Social Science, Foreign Language, Comparative Religion or Philosophy
  3. You must complete 10 core course, including 7 in English, Math or Natural/Physical Science, before your seventh semester. Once you begin your seventh semester, you may not repeat or replace any of those 10 courses to improve your core-course GPA
  4. Earn anSAT combined score or ACT sum scorematching your core-course GPA on the Division I sliding scale, which balances your test score and core-course GPA. If you have a low test score, you need a higher core-course GPA to be eligible. If you have a low core-course GPA, you need a higher test score to be eligible

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NCAA Division II

The requirements to play NCAA DII sports and receive a scholarship are lower than the DI level. All eligible DI athletes are eligible at the DII level. If you don’t meet the DI requirements but meet the requirements below, you can compete at the NCAA DII level.

  1. You must graduate from high school
  2. You must complete 16 core courses and receive a minimum GPA of 2.2
  3. The core course requirements are as follows 3 years of English, 2 years of Math (Algebra 1 or higher), 2 years of Natural or Physical Science, 2 years of Social Science, 3 additional years of English, Math or Natural or Physical Science and 4 additional years of English, Math, Natural or Physical Science, Social Science, Foreign Language, Comparative Religion or Philosophy
  4. You must take the SAT or ACT
  5.  Earn an SAT Combined score or ACT sum score matching your core-course GPA on the Division II sliding scale, which balances your test score and core-course GPA. If you have a low test score, you need a higher core-course GPA to be eligible. If you have a low core-course GPA, you need a higher test score to be eligible

NCAA Division III

If you are going to compete at the NCAA DIII level you do not need to register with the NCAA. The NCAA has no academic requirements for DIII athletes. Each university sets their own academic standards for student athletes and financial aid. It is best to contact the coaches at the DIII universities you are interested and get the standards from them.


Post 1 - What is a scholarship

What is a Scholarship?

Receiving an athletic scholarship is not as common as families think. Offers are often confused with an actual scholarship, and they are two different things. Before you have accepted an athletic scholarship, it is important to know how often it will be renewed because not all athletic scholarships are renewed annually. Here is why an athletic scholarship may or may not be guaranteed for four years.

It’s no secret that the college recruiting process can get complicated, especially when it comes to athletic scholarships. There are a lot of things to consider when pursuing an athletic scholarship, including important deadlines, new recruiting rules, as well as knowing which divisions offer athletic scholarships in the first place. But are athletic scholarships even guaranteed for four years? Read on to find the answer to this and other important scholarship questions.

A SCHOLARSHIP OFFER IS NOT A GUARANTEE

It’s important to note that when a coach extends a verbal scholarship offer, it’s non-binding. This means that the scholarship will be granted if certain requirements are met, and one of them is signing the National Letter of Intent. However, keep in mind that even though they are not binding, verbal offers and commitments should still be taken very seriously for the majority of athletics programs. 

SO, WHAT IS AN ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP?

An athletic scholarship is the amount of financial aid given to a student-athlete from a collegiate athletic department to help offset the cost of tuition. It is awarded based on the student’s athletic abilities, athletic department budget, type of sport and division level. The team’s coach is tasked with deciding who to award scholarships to, as well as how much money each student-athlete receives. 

ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS CAN BE GUARANTEED FOR FOUR YEARS, BUT IT’S NOT THE NORM

The NCAA has allowed colleges to provide multiyear scholarships since 2012. Additionally, in 2015, NCAA D1 colleges from the Power Five conferences (colleges in the Football Bowl Subdivision, plus Notre Dame) agreed to implement a rule that prevented multi-year D1 scholarships from being canceled or not renewed for any athletic reason.

So, yes, there are athletic scholarships that are guaranteed for four years, but they are not the norm outside of powerhouse football programs. While the practice of extending multi-year, athletic scholarships has been growing, it is largely dependent on whether specific programs and coaches are open to offering them.

Most athletic scholarships are only guaranteed for one year, but they are generally renewed annually. There some exceptions to this such as having academic or conduct issues. So, be sure to discuss scholarship offers in detail with each coach in order to get a good idea of what your situation will be.

SCHOLARSHIPS CAN BE TAKEN AWAY

It’s possible for student-athletes to lose their athletic scholarships, which can happen for a variety of reasons. The most common scenario is when a student-athlete thinks they have a scholarship, but all they have is an offer. This is one of the pitfalls of not understanding the difference between a verbal offer and an actual scholarship.

While college coaches are usually the ones who extend verbal offers, the National Letter of Intent is actually the binding agreement between the college and the student-athlete. That means if you sign an NLI and the coach who offered you the scholarships leaves the program — which can and does happen — your contract with the school remains. 

However, next year that same offer may not be on the table if there is a new coach and you were awarded a one-year scholarship. So, in the case of a coaching change, know that you may not get a scholarship in the second year.

Getting injured or redshirted are common reasons why your athletic scholarship may not be renewed. In addition, if you have disciplinary issues with the school, if you end up on academic probation or if you’re not performing as well as expected, the coach could take away your scholarship and extend it to another athlete. 

WHILE RECEIVING AN ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP OFFER IS A GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT, IT ISN’T THE END OF THE ROAD.
The offer is not finalized until the NLI is signed so it’s important to know where you stand with a coach at all times.

Contact

Atlanta Fire United Soccer Association
P.O. Box 296 
Duluth, Georgia 30096

Phone: 678-664-4238
Email: [email protected]

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