Do Your Homework Before Getting Your Heart Set on a School
Making the decision on which schools to attend is not an easy one. It takes some good, hard research done on the players' part to figure out what school is best for them. In an interview with Amanda Cromwell the UCLA Women's Soccer Coach, she states:
"The number one challenge is figuring out which schools are realistic for each player. Many players come up with a list of schools they would like to go to without truly knowing if they would be a good fit for those schools. They spend a lot of time (and in some cases, money) targeting these schools and don’t gain any traction. This may happen with 2-3 schools and the player ends up frustrated and lost."
To help with this issue here are 3 questions the players and parents (preferably together) need to answer before starting your school search:
1. What Do You Want To Do Academically?
There are some schools that may not have the major you want or the best program for whatever it is that you want to do. College athletics only last 4 years or so, it is not everything. The education gained is what will last and what is important. Also, do you have the grades needed to go to that school? If it's an Ivy League school you are going to need a 4.0 or higher.
2. Where Do You Want To Live?
Fun Fact: According to Kara Hill, geographic location is the #1 reason athletes transfer schools. Before getting your heart set on a school think about climate, distance from family, crime statistics, all of the nitty-gritty details that might prevent someone from wanting to live in a certain geographic location. Make a pro's and con's list!
3. Where Can You Play Athletically?
No, really though. This is a question to ask the coaches and advocates in your life that will give you an honest answer. The percentage of girls who can athletically play at the University of North Carolina, Stanford, etc. is pretty slim.
An excellent way to be able to tell if you can athletically compete with that level of player is to check out the team bios on the school's website and see if you have similar accomplishments.
Before signing up for College ID camps with schools that are on your wish list, please consider these three questions before attending. A lot of time and wasted money could be saved if these three questions are answered honestly.
Here is a great questionnaire by College Committed to help you answer these questions!