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jimmyjazz

Recruiting for parents

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My HS soph son is getting some sniffs in soccer.  I have no idea how to vet the various services that are contacting us.  A coach? I can (maybe) deal with.  A "service"?, I don't know.

What I do know is that I don't have enough hours in the day to scout every school in the country that meets my kid's academic needs, major, etc. and will also offer the opportunity to pay for part of his schooling with a sports scholarship.  I might be a pessimist, but I'm pretty sure the Premier League isn't in his future.  This is about getting through the right college.

The most persistent service is NCSA ("Next College Student Athlete").  Their ability to act as a portal is attractive.  I have no idea if they are a leader in this field, a scam, a whatever.  This is our 4th kid, and the first who can break 15 seconds in the 100 m dash.  (By this I mean none of our other kids got recruited for anything but music and hair styling.)

Any advice on how to find the best service for gaining exposure to college coaches, setting up an info page with measurables, grades, video, etc.?  We have a basic HUDL account but his school is woefully inept in filming games, so content to date is sparse.

Maybe the first question should be: are all recruiting services scams?

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BILs kid played baseball in Aledo. He is playing d3 at a really good private school up north (hopefully...c19).

He got emails to go to camps all over. He said an email invite gets deleted and a call is accepted. Not sure how soccer is though.

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Services are a scam. Quality academic schools don’t deal with them.

However, you can use athletic recruiting to your advantage to get into a school you may not qualify for just based on academics. I know two people that went to Ivy League schools (Penn and Dartmouth) on athletic recruitments. They were very good students but if it wasn’t for athletics they most likely wouldn’t have made the cut. One of them never actually ran track at Penn. The day he got accepted and had his deposit cashed, he withdrew from the team. The other did compete all 4 years.

Also, you don’t need an athletic scholarship. You can always contact the coach and if they like what they see, ask for a preferred walk-on status which lowers admission standards at most schools.

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8 minutes ago, CooterBrown said:

Services are a scam. Quality academic schools don’t deal with them.

However, you can use athletic recruiting to your advantage to get into a school you may not qualify for just based on academics. I know two people that went to Ivy League schools (Penn and Dartmouth) on athletic recruitments. They were very good students but if it wasn’t for athletics they most likely wouldn’t have made the cut. One of them never actually ran track at Penn. The day he got accepted and had his deposit cashed, he withdrew from the team. The other did compete all 4 years.

Also, you don’t need an athletic scholarship. You can always contact the coach and if they like what they see, ask for a preferred walk-on status which lowers admission standards at most schools.

God those kids are fucking worst. Taking a spot from a kid who would actually help the team.

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My goal as a hs basketball player was to get an Ivy acceptance with whatever financial help they wanted to offer.  I wasn’t quite good enough at basketball or school to get that done, so I went to UT instead of mulling through the D2-D3 recruiting process.  UT was a lot cheaper back then, so the math may have changed.

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6 minutes ago, texifornia said:

God those kids are fucking worst. Taking a spot from a kid who would actually help the team.

This rewards dishonesty and teaches a bad lesson, but it really doesn't affect the team. Here's a "cliff notes" version of the way recruitments in the Ivy's worked (and I think still do looking that the public reporting of recent scandals):

There's no talent based scholarships (athletic/academic) but "need-based" aid is available to almost everyone who is a quality recruit. So if the coaches want you bad enough, the school can be free or at least discounted. The negotiation is usually between the coaches and the admissions office because being talented athletically and academically remains rare. Each sport gets a certain number of "points" that the coaches can trade to get someone with substandard academic scores into school. The coaches can allocate all the points to one recruit or distribute them across several recruits.

If you child is good at school and doesn't need money, going through the coaches to the admissions department doesn't really cost the coach much. The file just gets flagged as an athlete. Unless she/he is really good at one or the other (in which case they don't really need to worry), it will increase your chances of acceptance a couple of fold.

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Just now, quigley said:

This rewards dishonesty and teaches a bad lesson, but it really doesn't affect the team. Here's a "cliff notes" version of the way recruitments in the Ivy's worked (and I think still do looking that the public reporting of recent scandals):

There's no talent based scholarships (athletic/academic) but "need-based" aid is available to almost everyone who is a quality recruit. So if the coaches want you bad enough, the school can be free or at least discounted. The negotiation is usually between the coaches and the admissions office because being talented athletically and academically remains rare. Each sport gets a certain number of "points" that the coaches can trade to get someone with substandard academic scores into school. The coaches can allocate all the points to one recruit or distribute them across several recruits.

If you child is good at school and doesn't need money, going through the coaches to the admissions department doesn't really cost the coach much. The file just gets flagged as an athlete. Unless she/he is really good at one or the other (in which case they don't really need to worry), it will increase your chances of acceptance a couple of fold.

But it does take away points if a mediocre student is using it to get in. Our coach used about as many as he could to get a middling student but great swimmer from Sarasota into Columbia and he quit after an incredibly halfhearted week of practice. 

Obviously there's an element of figuring that out that has to go into it from the coach's side, but that kid took away a slot from a kid who wanted to actually swim, and made the team worse for the entire time that hypothetical other kid (or kids, since the points can get allocated pretty freely) could have been competing, which punishes all the guys who stayed on the team.

He got ostracized for obvious reasons, no one on the team would talk to him his entire time in college.

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31 minutes ago, texifornia said:

But it does take away points if a mediocre student is using it to get in. Our coach used about as many as he could to get a middling student but great swimmer from Sarasota into Columbia and he quit after an incredibly halfhearted week of practice. 

Obviously there's an element of figuring that out that has to go into it from the coach's side, but that kid took away a slot from a kid who wanted to actually swim, and made the team worse for the entire time that hypothetical other kid (or kids, since the points can get allocated pretty freely) could have been competing, which punishes all the guys who stayed on the team.

He got ostracized for obvious reasons, no one on the team would talk to him his entire time in college.

Agreed. And that coach did a terrible job vetting the recruit.

Hopefully the dude who quit really took advantage of his educational opportunities and is doing something great for society. Alternatively, he learned that he can game the system with little consequence and remains a charlatan.

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Honestly, I wouldn't want him at an Ivy.  He's not cut out for that.  For all his strengths as a citizen and a teammate, he's just not a big time academic.  He'd get destroyed at a place like Brown.  I can totally see him at a medium-to-large public school.

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Do you really get that much exposure while playing soccer for your high school team? I imagine like baseball & basketball it’s more about the club/travel team you play for.

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1 hour ago, jimmyjazz said:

Honestly, I wouldn't want him at an Ivy.  He's not cut out for that.  For all his strengths as a citizen and a teammate, he's just not a big time academic.  He'd get destroyed at a place like Brown.  I can totally see him at a medium-to-large public school.

Sorry for derailing - having played a sport where the recruiting process was basically "what are your grades, measurables and times, and how intense was your training/lifting program" I have no idea what it's like for team sports.

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44 minutes ago, Helobious said:

Do you really get that much exposure while playing soccer for your high school team? I imagine like baseball & basketball it’s more about the club/travel team you play for.

He plays high level club soccer.  They don't shoot video, but his HS does.

I can shoot it myself, and the competition is better at the club level, but I'd rather watch the games.  I may just have to accept the fact that I need to be shooting video.

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46 minutes ago, texifornia said:

Sorry for derailing - having played a sport where the recruiting process was basically "what are your grades, measurables and times, and how intense was your training/lifting program" I have no idea what it's like for team sports.

Not knowing what you were recruited for, I can say that "what are your times and what are your grades?" are absolutely the top two questions asked.  When they hear "sprints in the low-mid 4.6 range for the 40" as a skinny white HS sophomore, they get excited.  When they hear "grades not good enough to get into UT but ideal for Texas Tech", they get very excited.  I think they want guys who are smart enough not to be a grade risk, but not much more than that.   Can't have too many distractions, you know.

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He plays high level club soccer.  They don't shoot video, but his HS does.
I can shoot it myself, and the competition is better at the club level, but I'd rather watch the games.  I may just have to accept the fact that I need to be shooting video.
I know things have changed some in the last 10 years or so, but when I was recruited for soccer it was all done through the club team. The showcase tournaments are where most coaches scout because they get the most bang for their buck.

If your son is interested in specific schools be proactive in reaching out to them. Find out what tournaments they go to, let them know what tournaments your sons team will be at, if they have any camps, or coach at other schools camps. I'm sure soccer budgets will be cut so recruiting may become more regional. If he is looking to go out of state, going to a camp at a big school could give him exposure to schools that may never look at him. Those camps usually have coaches from many schools in the region. The Notre Dame camp was one I know many people found to be helpful.

As for videotaping games, I don't think most coaches are interested in it. For club games it would be hard to give them anything meaningful to see if you are at field level, and high school games are usually not the level of competition they want to see you against. Finally, grades are important. With limited scholarship numbers most kids are on partial athletic scholarships, but oftentimes it can be supplemented with academic money.

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3 hours ago, jimmyjazz said:

Honestly, I wouldn't want him at an Ivy.  He's not cut out for that.  For all his strengths as a citizen and a teammate, he's just not a big time academic.  He'd get destroyed at a place like Brown.  I can totally see him at a medium-to-large public school.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, jimmyjazz said:

Honestly, I wouldn't want him at an Ivy.  He's not cut out for that.  For all his strengths as a citizen and a teammate, he's just not a big time academic.  He'd get destroyed at a place like Brown.  I can totally see him at a medium-to-large public school.

You'd be surprised.  Sometimes the hardest thing is getting in.  Students adapt and are surrounded by other students that are influential or can help.  Yeah, if he goes to MIT then it's going to be tough but if they're pursuing a passion, not as tough. But MIT is also going to vet like hell and interview.  You may also want to look at a school like UVA which is a good school academically and has a good soccer program.  

Edited by Mdhorn

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I'd love to see him at a place like UVA.  My bank account wouldn't, unless a partial ride was almost fully augmented with academic money.  But, that will be the case at almost any out-of-state public (or private) school.  I would be surprised if he could play at that level as well, but I'm not discouraging anything, athletic or academic, at this point.

Regarding college showcases:  his club team plays at least two per year, one local (Austin area) and a much bigger one in Dallas.  We did reach out to the first coach who expressed interest and he did show up again, and then their entire program was cancelled (St. Ed's).  So, that sucks.

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9 hours ago, Flash said:

If your son is interested in specific schools be proactive in reaching out to them.

This is pretty important - coaches, especially the assistants in charge of recruiting, value anything that makes their lives easier, and they appreciate that's its worth more to them to invest their time in someone who is clearly interested in their school. If you can narrow your list a bit, you should be able to send a clear profile with maybe some key information and video clips (however it works best for soccer) to those schools.

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My daughter completed her career as a D1 softball player, last year. She was recruited fairly heavily, and we did not pay anyone for a service. Her travel ball coach helped, but the most important thing we did was narrow her list of preferred schools and then attend camps at those schools. Camps work almost like an official visit, as you guys can see the school, meet the coaches etc.

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Is it true that in minor sports, coaches will tend to value in-state (or nearby) recruits more, since their travel budgets are so limited compared to football, etc.?

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1 hour ago, jimmyjazz said:

Is it true that in minor sports, coaches will tend to value in-state (or nearby) recruits more, since their travel budgets are so limited compared to football, etc.?

You would think, but it just depends on the school. For example I know that Trinity (D3 program) has a large number of players from Europe. Other schools are probably all in-state.

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Posted (edited)

If your son is entering his Sophomore year, he’s on schedule, but his options will begin to evaporate quickly in 12-18 months. My daughter missed off-season camps after both her Freshman and Sophomore seasons due to injuries. The fact that her HS season was in the Fall instead of Spring like most kids across the country didn’t help because college coaches didn’t see her play (as a side note, her former MLS  HS coach was a dick, and we know for a fact that he promoted other girls over my daughter - a two-time first team all-state player - for the simple reason that he hated her club coach and wanted to discourage any of her HS teammates from playing for that club). Did I mention he was a dick?

After her Junior season, she attended camps, but it was obvious that they were looking at Sophomores. We ended up hiring another former MLS player to help get the attention of D-1 schools, but most of those coaches were out of scholarships or had hit roster limits. She was invited to walk on - or in one case accept what was basically a gray shirt - so she ended up accepting a full scholarship (mostly academic) at D-2 school. The guy we hired did a bang-up job of getting coaches to look at her, but it was simply too late. He knew a decent number of coaches personally, and his regular job was in sales, so he had no problems applying a little pressure on them.

We had no experience with a “service,” but I suspect most are pretty worthless.

It all worked out for her. She finished as the career scoring and points leader, graduated with a 4.0 in both chemistry and biology, and is starting medical school at - ironically - the only D-1 school she was offered, but didn’t accept because she “wanted to go to college where there are mountains.” She is incredibly stubborn.

So, besides taking the opportunity to brag on my daughter, I want to emphasize that the next 12-18 months are crucial in your son’s search. 

Edited by ImissWallyPryor

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My two eldest sons were recruited athletes coming out of high school.  One, was recruited by Ivy League (Princeton, Dartmouth, and Penn) as well as lots of lesser schools (Lehigh, Bucknell, etc.).  The other ended up at Pomona to play soccer.  

Recruiting Services are worthless.  They just register you on mailing lists.  Don’t pay for them.

Men’s Soccer has very few scholarships and almost no full rides.  Most coaching staffs have very little travel budget, and no where near the time to recruit effectively.  Unless your son is on the National Team Pool or played DA, you need to recruit the school.

Each school has a “recruit me” questionnaire on their athletic site.  It is primarily about your sons academics.  Fill this out.  Follow up with a letter of interest to the Coach explaining why this is your dream school.  It needs to be personalized to each school.  Find their camps the Coaching Staff runs and attend them. This is critical to show interest. Visit the campus on your own and meet the coaches, again shows interest.  Make a highlight video and an extended cut video of your son's performance.  The Coach will ask for this if you meet their academic standard.

Remember, you need to recruit the school for these non-revenue sports.
 

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Appreciate it.  My son will be a junior, so it may be true he's behind the curve, but I think the current environment has slowed everything down.  I have also been told by multiple coaches that boys get an extra year beyond girls to get noticed, simply because they mature later.  Could be true, could be them telling us what we want to hear.

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Posted (edited)

Best of luck.  It seems like a long time from now till the end of his Senior year, but it's going POOF!!!!! fly by!   My $.02 is never to cut short an opportunity, and I say that towards the Ivies if something emerged.  There is academic support and resources amply available for regular students.  The athletic programs almost certainly have to have the best of it.

There is a payoff deluxe for getting that degree there.

Enjoy the race...

 

Edited by Iceman

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