Below is the announcement for the newly formed EGSL - North. We developed a logo for the EGSL - North that can be used on your websites to promote your particiaption in the league. I've attached the jpeg image of the EGSL - North logo for your use. We'll be working closely with the NorCal member clubs to make sure that both the EGSL and the EGSL - North get off to a great start and that we make an positive impact on all of the players that will be participating in our leagues.
The announcement has been sent to SoccerNation as well so it should be posted today at www.soccernation.com.
The website should launch next week. I'll send an announcement on that when it is ready to go. Since the NorCal group will begin playing games in the fall, I'll work with Josh to make sure that the schedules are on the website as quickly as possible.
We're close to finalizing the dates for the Jr. ECNL event in the spring and reaching an agreement with the Vegas Showcase for the older sister teams. If you have older teams that would like to be in on the negotiations for Las Vegas, please let me know which teams so I can include them in our numbers.
For those of you who attended our panel discussion, we appreciate your taking time after a busy day. If you did not attend, we hope you will find some useful information from the notes taken during the presentations of ten college coaches and six RAGE players who are in various stages of the college experience. We hope to repeat this panel at our 2014 Rage College Showcase (dates to be determined).
Know the rules of communication. Visit the NCAA and NAIA web sites, which will tell you what the rules are at various high school grade levels.
The player, not mom and dad, should do the work. Coaches want to get to know the prospective players.
Academics are vital, as a good GPA and test scores will open many doors.
Some facts and figures
There are about 600 college soccer programs, probably with 8-10 freshman spots open. There is a good academic and soccer fit for probably every serious player. But you must be realistic. Very, very, very few young women will meet the requirements of Stanford, UNC, etc.
You will be in college for four years or so. You need to ask yourself the extremely important question whether this is the right school without soccer. Women’s soccer has a very high drop out and transfer rate and career-ending injuries are an unfortunate fact of life.
If in doubt about your likely academic success, ask the coach about average incoming students’ GPAs and test scores. They are investing in your academic success as well.
There are very good sources of information about scores, tuition and living costs, graduation rates, possible majors, etc, including the web sites of College Board, Forbes, US News and World Report.
Considerations mentioned by the coaches
Be realistic about your academic and soccer qualifications.
If you are thinking about the skills required and successes of college soccer, keep in mind that there are many D2, D3 and NAIA soccer programs that are more demanding and successful than many D1 programs. Do not limit your research based on ego of playing D1.
Communication with coaches:
PRUF REED YOURE E-MAILS. Make sure you spell the coach’s name correctly.
Copy all the coaches at the target school. Often the head coach is not the recruiting coach.
The coaches want to hear from you, not mom and dad. YOU, the player, own this. It is your future. If you cannot handle the communication with prospective coaches, why should the coach think you are serious?
If you show that you know something about the college, you will make a better first impression. If your e-mail sounds like one you will have sent to dozens of other schools, the coach will feel you are not serious.
Briefly tell the coach why you are interested in the school and soccer program.
Try to limit your soccer resume to current or vital information. Telling a coach that you scored 20 goals at U9 may not advance your case.
If you have been especially successful academically, make sure the coach knows that. The soccer budget is limited, so if you can get academic assistance that can be helpful. Good academic achievement also means you are more likely to be around for four years.
After you visit a campus for the first time and feel this school may be a good fit:
Talk to your club coach to see whether she/he has an opinion about the school. Your club coach may get more accurate feedback about you from the college coach, so ask for help.
Consider an ID camp at the school to see if you can compete, as most camps include currently rostered college players. Most likely the college players will have input about your performance, so engage them whenever possible. Follow-up after the camp. You have made a monetary investment, so you may as well know if it was worth the time and cost. If the coach does not give you the information you seek, that may be a very good indicator of her/his interest in you. Or, it may indicate a level of laziness of the coach. Neither is a good sign.
Be sure to talk to current players. Ask probing questions about the program, coaching style, academics, social opportunities.
If you are really interested in a college, try to meet professors in your likely major. You may be very turned off by the lack of contact in your first two years with professors at big universities. Maybe that does not make any difference to you.
Coaches may receive thousands of e-mails during the recruiting season, but if you are really interested in a school, more communication is likely to be better than less. Persuade the coach you are taking her/his program seriously.
Ask the college coach if a highlights or full game DVD would be useful to assess your fit into the soccer team.
What you need to know about the coach, but may be too afraid to ask.
This is your moment. The coach is trying to impress you, but is this the real coach or just a façade?
You will be spending four years with this coach, probably. The best sources for information are the players, but current players may be reluctant to be candid, so finding ex-players may be very useful. An ex-player may have a negative bias, so you will have to be pretty careful.
The turnover of freshmen and sophomores may be indicative of a coach who is not the easiest to get along with. Is it certainly fair to ask about turnover and why, then make your own judgment.
Watch a game, listen to the coach, is he a “screamer” or someone with helpful and encouraging instructions. You know the type. Sneak around to the bus after the game and try to eves drop on players and the coach.
Non-soccer students may have a good sense of how the coach behaves off the field. Other student athletes (not soccer players) may be good sources.
Does the coach have a record of changing jobs frequently, which might be a tip that he/she is not what colleges want to represent them.
Often your club coach may have some opinion. Ask.
It’s not just the coach that can cause stress in your life. Teammates can be a real problem, but you may have already encountered those problems on your club team. Your prospective coach will always tell you that character and teamwork are primary considerations in forming a team. What else will she/he say? Based on your experiences, be prepared to ask some probing questions.
What not to do
Mass e-mails are like junk snail mail that your parents never open. Personalize what you send.
Some coaches and many admissions offices will check your social media. Don’t post stupid or vulgar things. You will regret them on many levels because bad decisions about what you share will NEVER go away.
Don’t burn bridges with previous clubs or coaches. This is a small community.
Do not allow yourself to become a “victim”. Take responsibility. For example, if you are not getting the playing time you think you deserve, don’t keep switching clubs. Find out what you need to do and force your coach to recognize and value your hard work.
If you are having a tough time on the field (or if your team is not doing well), forgive yourself for what has happened and double your efforts. Coaches will see if you can handle adversity, a bad day, some bad plays or decisions, how well and what you communicate, whether you can go for 90 minutes, do you support other players who are struggling?
Ask college coaches about playing positions. You may find they are looking for flexibility. If you are unwilling to change positions or style of play, either find a college which will accommodate your view of yourself or get over it.
High school soccer is a lightning rod at many clubs. Your current coach may discourage high school play as there is a risk of injury and less competitive play. Some college coaches see a benefit to high school play which is in ways more representative of the college experience…daily practice, more frequent games in a short time frame, having to balance time between soccer and academics, different style of play, possibly less qualified coach than in club or one who is more driven to wins. In the final analysis, will playing high school soccer make you happy?
Fitness in college is essential, but so is game-playing in the summer. Playing on a semi-pro team is a good way to get ready for training camp. If that is not an option, consider training with a good U16 or U17 boys’ team, for example.