The student-athlete’s path to college is unique and requires hard work on and off the field.
This was the message of “Making Sense of College Soccer Recruiting,” a free webinar recently hosted by Soccer Chaplains United.
Jennifer “J.T.” Thomas, a college counselor at Maybeck High School in California and a frequent speaker on this topic at NACAC conferences, kicked off the webinar with a reality check.
“Not everyone gets a full ride…especially in soccer,” Thomas stressed. “If you’re after the money, you’re looking in the wrong direction.”
Only 2 percent of high school athletes receive NCAA athletic scholarships. And even among those students, few gain full rides. If you’re a part of the 98 percent, you are going to have to “be your own agent,” Thomas said.
She offered tips on creating the best highlight reel video, told student-athletes to keep their grades up because it opens their options up to play for more schools, and emphasized the need to clean up their social media accounts.
Thomas, a NACAC member, also told players to never verbally commit to a coach unless you have spoken with the admission office about actually getting into the school.
Though she admitted the college admission process for soccer players could be a lot of work, Thomas, a former college soccer player herself, shared from her own experiences and said it could be the “best four years of your life.”
Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.