According to the NCAA, less than six percent of all high school senior soccer players will go on to play at the NCAA Division I, II or III level. The recruiting process can be complicated, daunting and downright confusing for many athletes seeking one of these coveted soccer scholarships.
ESPNHS is turning to these high school athletes for helpful advice in dealing with the recruiting process.
Each Wednesday in the month of April, ESPNHS will feature tips from elite high school soccer players who have verbally committed to NCAA Division I programs. Each of these players is featured on our Class of 2013 Verbal Commitments List, and each has something unique to offer for other players seeking scholarships.
Today we hear from Hailey Brohaugh, Madison Franklin, Ashley Hatch, Jenny Olensky and Sara Waters.
QUESTION: “What did you learn or what surprised you about the recruiting process?”
Hometown: Short Hills, N.J.
High school: Millburn (N.J.)
College Commitment: Syracuse
“I was really most surprised by how early the process actually starts. I was getting prospect camp e-mails and letters as early as my freshman year after national showcase events. It seems kind of early, however it seems to be more the standard now. I tell my younger sister Jamie [that] the most important thing is to enjoy the game. Don't put pressure on yourself to perform or be perfect. Just try to get a little better every day and always work as hard as you can because you never know who is watching!”
Hometown: Gilbert, Ariz.
High school: Highland (Gilbert, Ariz.)
Club: Gilbert Arsenal
College Commitment: BYU
“I learned that you need to put yourself out there in front of the colleges you are interested in by attending their soccer camps. I realized how important it is to keep the colleges updated on your progress and upcoming games/tournaments. Most of all, I learned that hard work and sacrifice pays off. As my dad would always tell me, ‘It's the little things that make a big difference.’”
Hometown: Shorewood, Wis.
High school: Shorewood (Wis.)
Club: FC Milwaukee
College Commitment: Wisconsin
“I learned how fun the recruiting process is. It’s so exciting to see schools you want to play for on the sidelines of your game watching you play. I loved having a little bit of that pressure when playing a game. But also I thought going on my unofficial was so great. I got to meet players and learn the team atmosphere. Although it went by quick, I thought the process was really fun.”
Hometown: Strongsville, Ohio
High school: Strongsville (Ohio)
Club: Cleveland FC
College Commitment: Western Kentucky
“As a player starting to go into the recruiting process, I did not know a whole lot about it. I learned that when you're visiting schools you need to look at a lot of different aspects including the soccer program, the coaches, the field, the players, things about the school, the dorms, the location, etc. Also, I learned if you don't love a school, you should keep visiting others until you find one that you do love and that is right for you and what you're looking for.”
Hometown: Madison, Miss.
High school: Madison (Miss.)
Club: Mississippi Fire
College Commitment: Alabama
“Start looking for a college choice as soon as possible. As a freshman I thought college visits were weird, but now I realize that I needed to take them more seriously. Having to decide where you want to go will sneak up on you real fast, and if you haven’t looked enough it will be hard. What also surprised me was all the rules you have to follow, like when you can talk to them and when they can talk to you.”