Welcome to SoccerNation’s “Ask The College Coach” column. In this series we take questions from soccer parents from around the country and have real, currently employed college coaches answer. If you’re interested in having a coach answer your question, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Ask the College Coach”.
Dear iSoccerPath- I am the mom of a 10th grade girls soccer player who plays at the highest level in our club here in California. My question has to do with committing to a college in 10th grade. One of the girls on our team just committed to a school and she, like my daughter is only in first semester of sophomore year. My daughter has not taken any tests yet or any AP or Honors classes to establish a GPA.
With the rules that say a coach cant contact my daughter how does a sophomore get committed? It really makes us feel we are now behind the 8 ball and need to speed up and get an offer. Can you explain how this happens and should we be concerned for our daughter?
Our answer this week is from Michele “Bud” Nagamine, Head Women’s Coach at Division 1 University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine, coming off their best-ever year in program history, Bud writes:
First of all, it’s important for players and parents to understand that collegiate soccer programs and student athletes all move through the recruiting process at different paces. If a program is in the top 25-50 schools in the country, they usually move through the process much earlier than other schools. If a player is on a National Team or in the National Pool, they usually commit earlier than others. This is neither good nor bad; it just is what it is for each respective program and player.
The decision to commit early is entirely up to the individual. Some players know exactly where they want to go to school and what they want to study, so when that school expresses interest in them, they jump at the chance to commit. Some players have no idea what schools will be a good match for them, so they may opt to take numerous unofficial visits to look at campuses and meet the team/coach face to face. The most important thing is to do as much research as possible on the school, the coach and the soccer program. Since the NCAA Division 1 rules prohibit college coaches from contacting sophomores, your club or high school coach becomes an extremely important part of the recruiting puzzle. Your coach can communicate with college coaches and assist in setting up times to talk or can relay information back and forth.
Although we are not allowed to contact you, you can contact us anytime via phone, text or email. If possible, you can leave a message that says “Hello, this is _________ from __________ soccer club and I graduate in ___________. My coach is _____________ and I play (position). I will be calling you again at _________(give time).
This allows the coach to plan accordingly and do their best to be available for your call. Most importantly, don’t worry! If your daughter works hard in the classroom and focuses on being the best soccer player she can be, things will fall into place. She should cast a wide net and identify 20-30 schools she is interested in and do as much research as possible on each school. If she markets herself and attends ID camps, she will be found. Remember to always play for a coach that wants you! Mahalo and good luck!