As the summer begins to wind down, many of our clients find themselves returning home after various college ID camps and clinics. Along with the unforgettable experience of attending these camps alongside other players with the same NCAA dreams, our clients also come home with a lot of feedback. College coaches use the camps as an opportunity to evaluate and assess potential and even committed recruits and determine whether a given player would be a good fit for their program and university. Every player, regardless of how well or poorly they’ve played, leaves a camp with some kind of performance review by the coach(es). The most important step after receiving feedback is to analyze it and apply it to their game. If you've been to an ID clinic this summer, here are some critical questions you should ask yourself about the feedback you received:
Do you understand it?
Feedback is useless if you don’t understand what it means. If you wish to move closer to your goals, you must know which areas to work on and be able to effectively communicate that information to your coaches and trainers so they can support your development. If you’re not sure what to make of the feedback, your trainer can be a great resource, as they understand your strengths and weaknesses and will likely be able to interpret the information and explain it to you.
How will you build on it?
Once you truly understand the feedback you’ve received, you need to determine the appropriate next steps to address it. For example, if a coach said that you need to improve receiving the ball under pressure, what will you do in the coming days, weeks and months to accomplish that? Small group and individual training sessions are excellent opportunities for addressing deficits, as your DA or club coaches have to focus on developing upwards of twenty players and improving the team, not just one individual.
What goals do you have?
Even if you received positive feedback, you have work to do. The next time a coach watches you play, they’ll be expecting to see improvement and growth; positive feedback is just the beginning of your journey. What goals can you set that will further enhance your game? If you’ve committed to a program, what can you do to help ensure you’ll be prepared for your first preseason, or to put yourself in a position to get serious playing time?
Self-reflection is a huge part of turning feedback into actionable steps. ID camps are wonderful – and costly – opportunities, so it's essential that any and all insights inform your next steps. We expect a lot of our clients and challenge them to be critical thinkers, but one of our greatest joys is helping them along this journey of navigating coaches' feedback to move closer to their college goals.
If you enjoyed this article, sign up to receive the latest blog posts directly in your inbox. Click here to subscribe.
Chris Bart-Williams is the founder and owner of CBW Soccer Elite. After an extensive career in the English Premier League, Chris now uses his vast soccer knowledge to assist families throughout the college recruiting process and prepare players for the mental and physical challenges of collegiate soccer. You can reach Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.