Memorial Day weekend is the traditional beginning of summer, and it is also the beginning of the summer recruiting season for college coaches. Teams have been working on their skills, looking to collect hardware for the trophy case as well as attract the attention of college coaches on the sidelines.
The players will be putting their best soccer on display, and the team staff can be a significant help to assist players in their recruiting efforts. Here is a team manager’s to-do list for the week leading up to a big summer showcase.
SUNDAY OR MONDAY (the week before the showcase begins):
- Finalize your recruiting flyer and get it sent to the printer. (What recruiting flyer you ask?)
- Find the link to the list of college coaches attending the tournament. Each tournament will have the list online, like the ManCity Cup HERE.
- Email your players and families, telling them to look at the list of colleges and decide which college coaches they’d like to contact.
- Give your players a sample email template they can use when emailing coaches. Be sure to tell the players to include the team’s schedule, their own cell phone #, the coach’s cell phone #, and a link to a highlight video or player profile. Including a sentence or two about why the player likes that particular college will also help the email stand out to college coaches! (“I watched your game against… The team looked great. I love how you attack out of the back, and I think my playing style will fit well. I also love the engineering program.”)
MONDAY OR TUESDAY:
- Remind your players to be sending out emails to college coaches.
- Have an in-person meeting or a phone call with your team coach(es) to discuss the recruiting strategy at the games. The coaches will be busy coaching and will not be able to deal with college coaches during the games, but ask your team’s coaches if they want to be told if a certain college coach is there to see a certain player. Some coaches will be eager to put in particular players to be seen if a college coach is there to see that specific player. Other club coaches would rather focus on coaching the game. Make sure you are on the same page with your team’s coach!
- Remind your players to be calling college coaches as well. A phone call or voicemail will go a long way to help a player stand out to a college coach. College coaches are making their recruiting plans for the showcase right now. If a player takes the initiative and courage to call a coach and leave a nice voicemail, it could make the difference between being on an evaluation list or not.
WEDNESDAY OR THURSDAY:
- Pick up the recruiting flyers from the printer.
- Buy sunscreen.
- Get a hat/shirt that has your club logo on it. Polo shirts are best, but whatever you can get is great.
- Get cash for parking at the fields.
- Check in the team.
- Remind players of the NCAA rules regarding recruiting at tournaments. NCAA coaches are very limited in the contact they are allowed to have with high schoolers. The rules vary so much from year to year that most NCAA coaches default to the most strict of the rules (no contact beyond just a simple greeting) for all high school athletes. (This is why it is vital to include the club coach’s cell phone # in all emails!)
- Also remind players and parents that you will be handing out recruiting flyers to college coaches during the games. Let them know that after each game you will send out a list of colleges that were watching. Let the families know that they can look forward to getting those lists from you (and that you like chocolate/beer/tacos, if they’re feeling grateful for all of your hard work).