Following is an edited response to an earlier blog with several questions that I will answer. Sorry for the delay - was in Europe (yes- the Euros).
Regarding recruiting, my son will be a sophomore in high school beginning in September 2008, and he would like to hopefully play soccer in college. We have a few questions in this regard and we would greatly appreciate your insights.
We see that most schools have recuriting web form for interested students to fill out. When during a student's high school years would you recommend that a high school student/player fill out such a web recuriting form for colleges that he is interested in, e.g., during his sophomore year, after his sophomore year, during the Fall of their junior year, etc.?
ANSWER: CERTAINLY NO LATER THAN THE BEGINNING OF THE FALL OF THE JUNIOR YEAR. RECRUITING IS HAPPENING EARLIER AND EARLIER...NOT A GOOD TREND IN MY OPINION, BUT REALITY. LET THE COACHES OF SCHOOLS YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN KNOW EARLY.
Also, are such web forms a good and appropriate way for a student/player to make first contact with a college coach? ANSWER: BEST WAY IS VIA A PERSONALIZED LETTER AND/OR E-MAIL. PHONE CALLS ARE GOOD (BY THE PLAYER - NOT THE PARENTS) BUT COACHES CANNOT RETURN A CALL UNTIL AFTER JULY 1st BETWEEN THE JR AND SR YEAR. BE SURE YOU GET THE COACH'S NAME IN YOUR E-MAIL - NOT "DEAR COACH".
And, what other types of and frequency of player/student contact with a college coach would your recommend? UPDATES ON UPCOMING TOURNAMENTS ARE USEFUL. THERE IS A LINE BETWEEN OVERLOAD AND NOT ENOUGH CORRESPONDENCE. COACHES ARE SWAMPED WITH E-MAILS NOW A DAYS, SO BRIEF AND TO THE POINT IS BEST.
Finally, what are your thoughts on college camps? If a student/player is interested in a specific school, would it be a good idea to go to this school's soccer camp, and when would the best time be to attend such a camp, e.g., before the student's junior year, or before the student's senior year? ANSWER: I RECOMMEND GOING TO A SPECIFIC COLLEGE CAMP IF THE PLAYER IS VERY INTERESTED IN THAT SCHOOL. OTHERWISE I RECOMMEND GOING TO A CAMP THAT HAS A NUMBER OF COLLEGE COACHES AT IT (SHAMELESS PLUG FOR ELITE300.COM :) ) EITHER WAY THERE IS A BENEFIT. GOING BOTH BEFORE SOPH AND JUNIOR YEAR IS HELPFUL - AGAIN-ESPECIALLY NOW THAT RECRUITING IS HAPPENING EARLIER THAN YEARS BACK. COACHES NEED TO KNOW YOU BY YOUR JUNIOR YEAR WHENEVER POSSIBLE. NOT KNOWING YOU CERTAINLY DOES NOT ELIMINATE YOU, BUT OTHERS GET A HEAD START IF THEY HAVE DONE THEIR DUE DILLIGENCE.
HOPE THAT HELPS AND GOOD LUCK. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO THROW OUT OTHER QUESTIONS IN REPLY TO THIS BLOG.
Thanks very much for all the great information and guidance you are providing on this blog! And congrats again on the MD ODP boys successes.