At Gulf Coast United we have a proven track record of developing college soccer players. Our former players have gone on to play at the Junior College, NCAA Division III, NCAA Division II, NAIA, and NCAA Division I level. Our success runs equally across the boys and girls programs. There are certain things that you should know about the college recruiting process.
With over 1,200+ men’s college soccer programs across the country and over 1,400 women’s programs finding a scholarship is harder then you might think. Coaches divide their money up and very rarely give full ride scholarships.
Women's Soccer - There are a maximum of 14 scholarships for a DI team, 9.9 for DII teams, 12 for NAIA programs and a fully funded NJCAA program has up to 18 scholarships per team.
Men’s Soccer - There are a maximum of 9.9 scholarships per team DI team, 9 per DII team, 12 at the NAIA level, and 18 scholarships per team for NJCAA programs.
Mississippi Junior College Soccer Programs
Division I College Soccer Programs (examples)
Division II College Soccer Programs (examples)
Division III College Soccer Programs (examples)
NAIA College Soccer Programs (examples)
1. Make contact with the coaches
Review the list of college coaches who will be attending the camp. If there are schools that you may be interested in, write to the coaching staff expressing interest in their program. Let them know that you will be attending the camp and that you look forward to meeting them and having them watch you play. Be personal! Be Specific! Be Honest! You should start building a relationship with the college coach before arriving for camp.
2. Get face time with a college coach
While you are at camp to find the opportunity to personally meet the coaches whose programs you are interested in. Try to take a couple minutes to introduce you and tell them a little bit about yourself. The best time to do that is during check-in if coaches are available, walking to and from the training fields, and in the cafeteria. Be aware college coaches are not permitted to have any recruiting conversations with you during the camp.
3. Be vocal and positive on the field
College coaches look for players who possess leadership qualities. Any player who has a voice on the field will immediately stand out as long as it is in a positive or constructive way. If you have the opportunity to be vocal, speak up as a positive influence and leader for your team. All of these qualities demonstrate your relentless and positive attitude, and those are two key characteristics all coaches find impressive.
4. Train hard, play hard and run hard
If you are trying to make a good first impression on a college coach your attitude and your work ethic are your most controllable assets, and one of the best ways to set yourself apart from the crowd. If you lose the ball, work hard to get it back within the context of the game. If you have the ball, know when to keep it and when to give it up. If you get knocked down, get back up. If you are on the field, stay focused on the ball and always keeps your feet moving.
Be sure that you respect all members of the camp including the coaches, counselors, teammates, and campus staff. College coaches are not just evaluating you on the field but they are watching how you carry yourself off the field as well.
6. Request feedback
College coaches seek players who are students of the game. A player who shows a coach they are willing to learn and improve will separate themselves from players who don’t go that extra mile. Use this opportunity to engage with coaches about your game. Speak to them after a training session or game about what you might be able to work on to improve. Coaches love when a player takes ownership over their own athletic development.
Playing soccer should be fun! That is why we play! If you are not enjoying yourself it will show in how you approach the game. Coaches want players on their team who have passion for the game. These are the players who believe working hard and improving is fun.
You should always follow up with any college coaches you interacted with while at camp. You should thank them for working with you or taking the time to speak with you. If you can, try to reference something specific, conversation, or drill to help trigger their memory.
If you follow through with these 8 simple steps no doubt you will stand out as qualified prospective student-athlete to some college coaches. Obviously, your abilities will be an important aspect of this process but on a level playing field these things will give you the edge over your competitors.