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Playing College Soccer

Playing College Soccer

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.

College Soccer Recruiting Basics:

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.

Steps For High School Players

  1. Take the ACT and keep your grades up - Remember that the primary purpose of going to college is to get an education. As a high school student you need to prepare yourself academically to be able to handle the course work load once in college. The ACT is required to attend college - ACT Test Dates. See your High School guidance counselor about ACT prep courses and take the test several times if needed.
  2. Decide what level of college soccer you can play - Be realistic about your ability to play at the next level. Technical skill, athleticism, vision, and experience are just some of the things that will determine what level of soccer you can play. Talk with your select coach, director of coaching, and high school coach for recommendations. 
  3. Research schools that have the degree programs that you want - Think long term. What do you want to do for the rest of your life? If you want to be an engineer you do not need to go to a school that focuses on education and business. Do some research on what you might want to do when you leave college. Find out if there is a demand for this profession and how much this job will pay. Will you need to attend graduate school? School counselors, high school coaches, select coaches, parents, and family members are all good people to speak with when trying to plan a path for your education and future. 
  4. Complete clearing house registrations - NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, and NAIA schools all require prospective student athletes to complete the respective clearing house registration process. See below for information regarding the requirements and links for each level of college soccer. 
  5. Create Soccer resume
  6. Contact college coaches - Once you have figured out what level(s) of soccer you can play, taken the ACT, decided the type of degree that you want to pursue, completed the clearing house process, and chosen a few schools that match all of your criteria then you are ready to contact the college coaches.
  7. Have a back-up plan

Junior College

Mississippi Junior College Soccer Programs

Division I & Division Ii

Division I College Soccer Programs (examples)

Division II College Soccer Programs (examples)

Division III

Division III College Soccer Programs (examples)


NAIA College Soccer Programs (examples)

ACT Information

8 TIPS for ID Campers

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.

5. Respect

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.

7. FUN

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.

8. Follow-Up

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.