College Recruiting

5 Do’s to Get Recruited for College Soccer

Unless you play for a top ten ECNL or DA team, game film is the best way to get the foot in the door at your dream school.

by Tim Bennett

A veteran of the college and youth soccer ranks. 24 years at the Division I level as a player, assistant coach, associate head coach, and Head Coach in such conferences as the Big 12, SEC, PAC 12 and the Big East. Served as an ECNL staff coach, US Soccer Development Academy Director and an Executive Director at the club level.

You have a dream school (or dream schools) you’d love to play for in college; let’s call that dream school College T. Unless your dream school has a relationship with your club or coach, or you play for a top ten nationally recognized ECNL or DA team, your game film is the only way that you’ll get your foot in the door. 

There may be up to ten roster spots for the coach or recruiter at College T (let’s call her Coach Stacy) to fill for your year. Coach Stacy has a limited budget and limited time, and she’s unlikely to offer you a scholarship without seeing you play in person at least once. That means your communication with Stacy, and especially your video footage, needs to be exciting enough for Stacy to commit the resources to investigate you further and make a trip to see you play.

There are a lot of do’s when it comes to recruiting video, so let’s go through them (there are also some don’ts, but you can read those later).

The 5 Do’s:

1. Moments with Context

Coach is going to wonder if the goal in your first moment is from a match where you blew the team out 10-0, or you scored the winning goal in a 4-3 nailbiter. Provide context to the recruiter, including who you played, when the game was, and the score. If you’re using Trace iD, all of this comes preloaded as part of your moments, so focus on choosing the right moments.

2. Wide Variety of Skills

The recruiter will give you one minute to impress, and you want to make her evaluation as easy as possible. Put your best moments first, and group them by type (pass, off ball, attack, etc..). If you’re an attacker, that means a few goals, followed by a few moments of your positioning in space, then a few counter-attacks, and so on. Here are some types of moments you should be showcasing based on your position.

3. Elevated, Quality Video with a Player Spotlight

A recruiter doesn’t have a lot of time. You want to make recruiting you as easy on their eyes as possible. That means elevated footage of the game. Believe it or not, college coaches want the video to zoom out. They’d like to watch the play develop, how you react in space, and how you communicate with your teammates. The view should show between ¼ and ½ of the field.

Within the first three seconds of the moment, you should have a visual cue, make it obvious who you are on the field. If you’re using Trace, a spotlight is automatically added to make it visible who you are in the moment.

All of your Trace moments on Trace iD will also come with Radar, which is essential for college coaches–giving them another way to see how you play off of other players and keep track of everyone on the field. Radar allows them to do this.

4. Full Game Sample

About a minute in, if the recruiter is intrigued, she’ll want to watch you uninterrupted for 10 minutes. Make sure that you not only send a highlight video but a 10-minute sample of a full game. They want to see both. Don’t be afraid if the full game has some mistakes; the coach knows you’re human; she wants to see how you recover and how those mistakes affect your emotional state.

With Trace iD the recruiter can jump to the moment they’re watching in the full game with a single click. We want to make it easy for a recruiter to find all the information they need so they can focus on your abilities as a player and student instead of fumbling around with different links and technology.

5. Academic Info

You may be the best player in the world, but if you’re looking to play as a college athlete at a school with strict academic requirements, it’s not going to happen with a low GPA. Put your SAT, ACT, GPA, and graduation year upfront in your initial email. If you’re using Trace iD, put all of this info in the About section of your iD.

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