At the recent 2017 NSCAA convention in Los Angeles, a panel discussion was held covering the topic of “Preparing Your Players to Play at the Collegiate Level.” An all-star panel was assembled to discuss ways that club directors, club coaches, soccer parents, and athletes can better navigate the college recruiting process and their college playing careers.
During this multi-part series, we will pass along the invaluable knowledge shared by this highly decorated group of college soccer experts.
Becky Burleigh, head women’s soccer coach at the University of Florida, MC’d the discussion. In her 21 years at the helm of Florida women’s soccer, Coach Burleigh has been named National Coach of the Year (1998) and five-time SEC Coach of the Year with a career record of 455-121-37. She opened up the panel discussion with introductions of each panelist, and she asked each college coach to complete the sentence, “I love it when recruits ______________”
- Steve Allison is the Director of College Placement for Lone Star Soccer Club in Austin Texas. Lone Star Soccer Club has placed over 1,000 players in college programs and has built a nation-wide reputation of recruiting excellence.
- Aliceann Wilber is the head women’s soccer coach at William Smith College. The five-time NSCAA Coach of the Year, Coach Wilber is the winningest coach in NCAA DIII soccer with 535 wins and counting. Coach Wilber loves it when recruits “write their own emails! We can tell!”
- Jeremy Gunn is the head men’s soccer coach at Stanford University. Stanford’s men’s soccer is the reigning NCAA champion, defending their title won the previous year. Coach Gunn loves it when recruits “SMILE on the field.”
- Frank Kohlenstein is the head men’s soccer coach at the Colorado School of Mines. As an NCAA DII school with a reputation for extremely strong academics, CSM consistently fields a men’s soccer team of outstanding athletes and engineers. Coach Kohlenstien and has been named the RMAC coach of the year seven times over his coaching career at CSM. Coach Kohlenstein loves it when recruits “have a great ‘play ethic,’ since soccer is a game to be played. Having a good ‘work ethic’ is great for a job, but soccer is to be played and enjoyed. Show that you’re enjoying yourself and enjoying PLAYING the game.”
- Sasho Cirovski is the head men’s soccer coach at the University of Maryland. A fervent advocate for the collegiate game, Coach Sasho has taken his Terapins to eight College Cups and placed many Maryland men’s soccer alumni on the USA Men’s National Team. Coach Sasho loves it when recruits “love the game.”
The coaches were obviously insistent that a love for the game is crucial to success at the collegiate level. The panel discussion also delved into the areas of recruiting communication, campus visits, ID camps, fitness, academics, and preparing for collegiate soccer. Stay tuned for more articles in this series, where we will share more invaluable knowledge from these college soccer experts.