Letting Coach's get to know who you are
Coaches receive thousands of emails and phone calls from prospective players and their parents all the time. Rather than having to make contact with each and every one of them they would prefer a way to screen prospective candidates so they can better allocate their time and efforts on players who may fit into their program. What they are really looking at is four areas:
►Do they have a proven record of athletic accomplishment; i.e. level of play, training, etc.
►Does the athletes playing style fit my program.
►Academically can they adjust and maintain eligibility.
►Will they fit in with the group dynamics on and off the field.
So how do you convey all this information into a package that catches the coaches eye and gets them to want to meet with you? It all starts with your Soccer Profile. There are two components of this profile, the background information and the game video. Starting with the background, similar to building a resume for a job search, you are simply building your soccer resume. Weather seeking a new job or a position on a collegiate soccer program, the most important thing to do with you resume is to regularly review it and identify areas you should work towards improve upon and then add updating the resume.
The Soccer Resume should have: Personal information, athletic information including a link to your profile website, list of academic and athletic awards, training attended, accomplishments and references. If you do a computer search you will find countless examples and templates. To save you sometime this is a template I used for my child.
Do it yourself project
As we mentioned earlier there are several companies and sites that will gladly assist you in your recruitment process. For the purposes of this site, we are going to show you how to make your own site at no cost to you. The site I recommend is Weebley.com. This site is expandable based upon your programmable knowledge. Basically this means you do not need to understand the difference between html, java or c++. All you have to do is drag, drop and type; it's that easy. Here is an example of one that was created by someone in Idaho.
Now I am not a big fan of the layout he used in his site, you can see how easy it is for a coach to navigate through the site and get a quick feel about the player. Some coaches look at a profile once, others may look as many times as forty five or more. This is the one big advantage the paid sites have in that they are able to track the coach that is looking at your profile. This helps you know how serious they are about you. However, don't get roped into the thought if they don't go to your site a lot they are not interested in you. Some only use it as a tool to identify someone. Once identified they may feel there is no need to go to your site as they may just want to watch from a distance or depending on their specifc recruitment rules start the communication process.
When building your online profile you want to include everything you had in your Soccer Resume and more. This is a great place to include letters of references from coaches, links to newspaper articles, club news pages you were highlighted on. Most importantly this is where you can embed your video highlights.
Does & Don'ts of Video Taping
Coaches want to be able to evaluate a player in an 11 v 11 game, not a practice environment. The fastest way to get a coach to stop watching is to have highlights of yourself at a practice, camp or clinic. Once you have enough video to edit I recommend you create your own YouTube site where you can post the videos. I would make it private so only you have the link. The reason I say this is you don't want a coach to go to your video and read a comment someone made that makes them question your playing ability or personal charactor.
- When recording, do it from a high perspective. Coaches want to be able to see the play develop, your interaction and what you do afterwards. They like to see all aspects of your game including combination play, foot skills, shooting and defending. To do this its best to break the filed into 3rds.
- Always use a tripod - nothing worse than bouncy film.
- Do not zoom in and out when filming. You will inevitable get the great foot skills, but miss the ball going into the net.
- Film as often as you can, too much video to choose from is better than too little.
If you have a video program that lets you easily edit and highlight the player that works best, but its not nesesarlly required. You don't want any one video highlight to be more than three minutes long. They are meant to be "trailers" to grab the coaches attention. I typically try go though and track each highlight on a log indicating the name of video, start and end time of clip I think is good, rank it on a scale of 1-10 and list what it is of. Once I have gone through all my video footage I look at my logs and decide what clips I want to use. If I have the software to highlight the player I try and put a few clips together of a similar nature. This shows it wasn't a onetime thing I am highlighting. If I don't have that software I try and put clips together where the player is wearing the same color/number jersey. This way it's easier for the coach to follow who you are.
If you don't have special software program your computer probably has Movie Maker. This is a windows based program that comes with most windows based computers. If you don't see it on your start menu you can do a search for "MovieMaker.exe". It's very easy to use and there are lots of YouTube videos on tips for using it.
I would try and do one video highlight each season; one club season followed by one high school season. This will give the coaches a good cross comparison as to the level of competition and your ability to adapt to it.