Recently I led a presentation for U14+ OSC players who have aspirations to play college soccer. The topic is close to my heart as I experienced some of the best times of my life playing, and more recently, coaching collegiate soccer. Since our club re-structure took place there have been several projects that we have been focused on for the long term. One of those has been the development of a top level College Recruitment Program so that players can gain the information, advice and exposure needed to become successful post-club soccer players. The presentation was the first step of many in achieving our goals.
I realize that my path into college soccer was a little less conventional than most. I didn’t write any letters, didn’t produce a soccer resume, didn’t play in any college recruitment events… yet I ended up with a full scholarship at the University of Louisville. The sport has grown remarkably over the past 10 years in this country, as has the ability to recruit with advances in technology, social media and travel. It is a very competitive environment and players have to get ahead of the game to get noticed. I am now entering my fifth year as a college soccer coach (Division 1 and NAIA) and have gained a lot of knowledge on the recruitment process. I now want to share that knowledge with players playing in Oldham County so that they too get to experience the college soccer life.
The sport has grown remarkably over the past 10 years in this country, as has the ability to recruit with advances in technology, social media and travel
It is important to know that there is a place to play college soccer out there – you just have to go and find it. Too many young players in Kentucky think that college coaches will come knocking on your door with big money offers or that by traveling all over the country to ‘showcase events’ you will get spotted by a college coach. Both of these might be the case for a very, very small percentage – but in almost all cases it is the player who has to put in the hard work when it comes to recruitment. A ‘showcase event’, like any game, is almost always only useful for recruitment when the player has prior contact with a coach, and arranges for the coach to come and watch him/her play. Remember, in any given game a college coach will see 30+ players on the field and that is even if they come to your game! Kind of like applying for a job, you have to sell yourself. And that is where we can help.
It is important to know that there is a place to play college soccer out there – you just have to go and find it
As part of our College Recruitment Program we want to work with and mentor young players who have those dreams to play beyond U18. The dream itself is a wonderful start, but in order to make it a reality, hard work is needed with a soccer ball, in the classroom and during the recruitment process. With our help you can have a plan in place that can assist you in living those dreams.
The dream itself is a wonderful start, but in order to make it reality, hard work is needed with a soccer ball, in the classroom and during the recruitment process
If you would like a copy of the college soccer presentation please contact Simon Bird at firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Coaching, Oldham Soccer Club