If you are considering playing soccer in college, we recommend you reach out to prospective programs as part of your college search. Here are some recommended questions.
Q1. How many players have you committed to my recruiting class? And how many are you hoping to commit?
You need to make sure that the soccer programs you are pursuing are still recruiting prospects for your class. Keep in mind that although a soccer program may be done recruiting scholarship players, there may still be openings on the roster for recruited walk-ons.
Q2. How do my scores (GPA, SAT) weigh up to the general admittance requirements of your college?
You don't want to waste your time talking with a coach if you don't have a chance of being admitted to his/her school. Some colleges/universities allow athletic programs to admit students with lower scores than the average student while some do not. Coaches can request (and often do) a pre-admittance read of your transcript/scores to determine if you are likely to be admitted to the school.
Q3. Does the school have the major I want or are there a variety of potential majors?
Some prospects are entertaining schools because of the strength of the athletic program and a chance to play in the professional ranks. The majority of prospects, however, are combining academic pursuits and athletic performance. Make sure the school offers either the program you require or a degree that facilities your needs. Keep in mind that nationwide, approximately 50% of college students change majors at least once before college graduation. Make sure the school has a great variety of majors just in case.
Q4. How many of your seniors are graduating this year and what are their positions? How about juniors?
Knowing this information will help you understand the likelihood of playing in your first two years. For example, if you are a forward and the school is graduating forwards in the next two years, you may have a high likelihood of playing straightaway. On the other hand, if program is not graduating forwards, you may find yourself on the bench or redshirted? Check out the program’s roster online and see for yourself.
Q5. What is your program's style of play and how do you see me fitting in?
It's important to know if your abilities fit into the schools style of play. Prospects should know if you are going to play in a similar role or are the college coaches expecting you to play in a different role or position. You may want to also ask if the system of play may change in the near future. Also, you may be able to stream some live games off the athletic program’s website. Many athletic programs offer live streaming for free. This is a great way to see firsthand if you could fit into their style of play.
Q6. Which events will you recruit this season/year?
By knowing the coach's schedule, you can make sure to get all your information (resume, club name & squad number, game times, etc.) to the coaches ahead of time. You may even be able to influence your club manager or coach to register for a particular event where this coach will be present.
Q7. Would you like me to send you updates to our schedule before and during the events, if you are recruiting the event?
In the weeks leading up to an event, coaches are preparing the recruiting schedule for the event. That means that prospects have to get the schedules, squad numbers, times of games and field locations to the coach early. Do not overwhelm the coach, but make sure that you get the information to the coach in a timely fashion. If you send your information to the coach the last few days before the event, the likelihood that you get onto the recruiting schedule is not good. You can send a coach update emails from the venue of your games and confirm that you will be playing in the next game.
Q8. What is your graduation rate for your program?
A low graduation rate might reflect a high rate of transfers or a lack of student support services. Be wary of a program with a high rate of transfers, as this may be an indication that players are unhappy with the program.
Q9. How do you decide if a player is to be redshirted during the course of a season?
Some players are recruited because the coaches see the prospect playing minutes straightaway. Some players show potential and the coaches feel they will offer more in the years to come. Some coaches decide at the start of the year who will redshirt the season, while others wait until the season is under way. Redshirting is sometimes a good idea as prospects may play more towards the latter end of their playing careers.
Q10. How are financial aid, academic aid and scholarship aid earned and/or distributed among recruits and the team?
Financial aid packages can consist of athletic scholarships, academic scholarships, and/or need-based financial aid. It is important to understanding how this will come together and whether these numbers may change over the four years. Some programs will increase soccer scholarships if the player performs well during the four years.