For many players, playing soccer for their college is a dream. This article is about how to get there. Below you're going to find a collection of video and linked resources that will get you well on your way to:Understanding the processGetting your plan togetherKeeping you and your athlete safe from ego and from predators who would love to use that take your money Get to Know the NCAAWhether you're interested in soccer, football, swimming, basketball, or some other sport, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a good place to start. There are plenty of paid services that would happily insert themselves (for a fee) between you and the NCAA, but why use a middle man? The NCAA publishes the rules for how and when colleges can make contact with athletes, it has guidance for coaches, it's realistic about the academic and athletic requirements an athlete must meet in order to be eligible, and it even offers a checklist and an elligibility center to help you navigate the process. Get to Know the ProcessThe more you know about the process that get's an athlete selected (or rejected), the better prepared you are to navigate it. Just as i would never recommend jumping on a rubber raft and trying to run the Colorado river without a map and some careful preparation, I would not recommend putting in to the river of athletes trying to get a spot on a college team. The odds do not favor the unprepared. You need to know, for example:What life is like for the coach you want to go play for. How many days per week does he or she get 100+ emails from students just like you who want to play on the team? What is likely to get the coach's attention in a positive way? What are the rules for contacting colleges or for colleges to contact you? How often and how can you legally communicate?What kind of academic and athletic performance is expected at the schools(s) you want to go to? Hint: you can be the greatest athlete, but if you don't have the grades that meet the school standards, then your chances of being cut just went up!What are legitimately helpful services and those that just take your money?How do you make yourself look good on paper and on film? What is a highlight video? The down selection process is meant to reduce huge numbers (tens or hundreds of thousands of candidates) down to a handful of final picks. It's meant to be brutal. If you're not familiar with the rules, but your competitor is, who do you think is going to have a better shot at surviving that? If there are two slots available on a team you're interested in and there are 1,000 applicants, your chances of getting one of those spots starts at 2/1,000 or .2%. Not 2%. 2% - like less than 1%! Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to do everything you can do from your sophomore year through your senior year to improve those odds. You need to know that schools are going to be looking carefully at some key points:Ability - do you have the athletic and academic ability the school needs? Athletics aren't just about kicking a ball into the net. They include composure, ethics, leadership, attitude, and perseverance. Academics need to be at or above school standards or buy bye...Do they have a spot on the roster? If you're the best keeper in the world and the team needs a striker, you're out. If the team needs a box-to-box midfielders #8 and you're lightning fast on the wing but can't keep it up for more than 20 seconds, you're out. Schools will be looking to fill their needs. How well can you complete your questionnaire? If you're in the running, you'll likely be getting a questionnaire about half-way through screening. If you don't turn that in, the answer is easy - you're cut. If you turn it in and it looks like a kindergarten student sneezed with a crayon, you're cut. If your answers are thoughtful and accurate, you might get to move on. Can you handle the phone? For many kids today, talking on the phone has been replaced by texting o...
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