Common Myths about College Soccer
"Talented high school athletes are actively recruited by Division I schools"
The majority of high school athletes and parents believe that talented high school or select athletes are actively recruited by Division I college coaches. The reality is that only about 2% of these athletes are “actively recruited” by leading college coaches, leaving the remaining 98% to “recruit themselves” through self-directed efforts.
"Most Division I schools give players full rides Division I men’s soccer has 9.9 scholarships."
Division I women’ s soccer has 12 scholarships. Not all schools provide their soccer programs with the full allotment. The scholarships are usually divided amongst 22 to 30 players. Most schools shy away from full scholarships, because it is a large investment in one player, and it often costs a team potential depth. As well, many schools choose to increase individual player scholarships year by year, based on performance.
"Scholarship money can only be found at Division I and Division II schools."
While only Division I and Division II NCAA schools offer scholarships, many Division III schools have money available based on need, grants, etc. Many schools take a holistic approach to recruiting students, and being an athlete at Division III might increase your chances of receiving other forms of aid. NAIA schools also offer scholarships and might be a direction to consider. Whichever Division you choose, approach the economic aspects of college from every direction.
"Being on the Championship Team or in the most prestigious select club is all you need to do to get recruited."
If you are recruited by a major college, chances are you were one of the best players on your team. You’ve been the "go-to player," the one who dictates the pace, the one everybody counts on. Some kids assume that since they were the star of their team, or on a championship team that they will be the star in college, too. They don’t fully understand the level of college soccer. They think they do, and their parents think they do, but they don’t. The pace of college soccer is like nothing else they’ve seen before, and even players who come from some of the top club teams aren’t used to the demands in college.
"Players need Parent Agents"
Stories of parent agents have received notorious status in the college ranks. A parent agent is considered a red flag, and often means an immature recruit, or an unenthusiastic recruit. To put it simply, college coaches are weary of parents who are the initiators in the recruiting process. Coaches want to hear from the kids. They want to know if kids are well spoken, mature, intelligent and enthusiastic about their university. In other words, coaches do not want to recruit the parent.
"Some schools are simply too expensive to consider"
"Discounted tuition" is a term used to describe the amount of money you are paying after you receive your financial aid package. Schools will often work with coaches to provide a package for a student-athlete, whom they believe will be a positive addition to their institution.
"Division I is Always The Best"
"Some players don’t have a good understanding of what Division I is," say some college coaches. They might say, “ I want to play Division I,” but I could recommend a good DII, or DIII school. In reality, there are some Division I programs that are no better than some Division II, or III programs. A lot of people have a misconception about the level of play at various universities.
"All Programs Are The Same"
Often, players will contact a college coach about attending their school and know nothing about the soccer team, the players, the coach, or the style of play. If you are a left midfielder, and the team has three sophomore left midfielders, then the chances are good that is not the school for you. If another school may have a graduating senior and a junior at your position, you’ re more likely then to get playing time earlier. If you are interested in a particular school, I recommend going and watching that team play. Watching one game will answer a lot of your questions. It is recommended that student-athletes make a list of the top schools of interest to them and then find out as much as they can about each school.
"There are many complex rules…."
There are rules regarding visits to a university, gifts from a coach, pickup games while you are on recruiting visits and contact with the coach. Many student-athletes are worried they will break the rules and somehow risk their college soccer career. However, most of those rules pertain to the coach and not the player - be sure to readthe rules and if you aren't sure, don't be afraid to research.....or to ask.