I believe that some of the most valuable lessons in life can be learned from the experiences of others. This maxim is especially true for families faced with the challenges of college recruiting. And while it’s never a good idea to try to keep up with the Joneses, hearing what other families have gone through – and learned – from their recruiting journeys can provide tremendous insight (and perhaps save you time, money and a few grey hairs). Today’s post takes a look inside one family's recruiting journey from a parent’s perspective, which I think you’ll find both relatable and encouraging. Going forward, I’ll share more of our clients’ stories in an effort to ease the stress and uncertainty of your own college recruiting process.
While NCAA rules prevent us from sharing her identity, the player we're highlighting below is a formidable defender who who committed to a D1 women's soccer program earlier this year. She's also a CBW Soccer Elite recruiting client. Here’s her mom’s take on the recruiting process.
Tell us about your family’s soccer journey. How did you get where you are today?
Our daughter started playing soccer when she was 4 years old. I say playing, but she really spent the first couple of years picking flowers on the field and running in circles. Our soccer journey has been a lot of fun. There were bumps in the road along the way, but those challenging times have shaped her into the player that she is today. We have been blessed with amazing coaches and trainers and have made friendships that will last a lifetime. And most importantly, she still loves the game. She works extremely hard and is very dedicated to improving her game. Our daughter's work ethic is a big contributing factor to her success.
What was the most enjoyable part of the recruiting process?
The most enjoyable part of the recruiting process was meeting the coaches and players from different colleges. We had the opportunity to watch training sessions, eat lunch with the coaches and/or players and tour the campus and facilities. It was a lot of fun.
Which part(s) of the recruiting process were the most challenging? How did you navigate through the difficulties?
Making a final decision was the most challenging part of the process for our daughter. We had to sit down as a family and navigate through the pros and cons. Thankfully, we had coaches and family to lean on for guidance.
How did the recruiting process impact your family?
It was far more stressful than I expected. Calling coaches, going on visits, responding to emails – it gets very overwhelming.
What was the most unexpected thing you learned from your college visits?
I found it interesting how differently coaches recruit. Some are looking for a specific position and see you in a specific position, while another coach is looking for a specific type of player that can play 4 or 5 different positions and play with both feet.
What impact did CBW Soccer Elite have on your family’s recruiting process? Do you think a recruiting service is worth the investment?
CBW had a huge impact on our daughter's recruiting process. Chris sat down with our daughter and told her what type of program he felt was the best fit. He and Dan also made sure that they understood what was most important to her in a college/coach. Chris trains her and watches her play so he is able to speak confidently about her strengths and weaknesses. When she received feedback from coaches, if she needed to work on an area of her game, Chris was there to help her. Dan coached her for years, all the way back to 8v8. He knows her personality well, what motivates her and how to push her. They have a great team in place to help the players reach their goals.
Is there anything else you’d like others to know about your recruiting experience?
My greatest advice is to remember that each player is on her own journey and go where you are wanted the most. What is important to one player may not be important to another.
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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.