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Discussion in 'NorCal Scene' started by Disco Stu, May 16, 2017.
At D3 and D2 camps yes. Maybe at some lower D1 camps in Idaho or North Dakota.
Camps = $$$$$
From what we were told, stay away from the big ID camps with multiple coaches as they really are just a money grab. Not to say that a stud player couldn’t garner some attention that could lead to something but it is rare. On the other hand college ID camps hosted by one school and their respective coaching staff can be a way to get your kid on that school’s radar.
My DD did not play for a premier or ECNL club so exposure for her was more challenging plus we were a bit late to the recruiting game. She had a short list of schools that she was interested in so during the summer before her sophomore year, we sent her to specific ID camps put on by those colleges she was interested in. After spending a day with the coaching staff of two of those colleges, she knew right away that they were not a fit and that she would not enjoy playing for the coaches of those schools.
One college however (her dream school and #1 choice) put on a 4 day residential camp where she got to stay on campus and spend a lot of time with the coaching staff. They had no idea who she was but she immediately caught their attention with her game play and she fell in love with them and the campus.
Needless to say, from that point forward, they engaged with her club coach and came to watch her play in tournaments . Dialogue continued through her coach and via phone at times. We sent her back to that same ID camp the next summer (prior to her junior year) and when my wife came to pick her up at the end, the coaches made it clear they wanted her to play for them.
Not saying it always works out this way but now that she is playing for said school, the coaching staff made it clear to us that they would have never known about her had she not gone to their ID camp because they were pretty much focused on YNT and ECNL players.
I really appreciate @SpeedK1llz sharing all of that. Having watched his daughter play, it is not a surprise that she'd jump on the radar of a coach while at a residential ID camp. He really highlights that there are different paths but some effort needs to be put into each player's unique path. The simple fact that she was (is) a great player and was on a really, REALLY good non-ECNL (pre-GDA) team was not something that they relied on. I'd be interested in his thoughts on whether she would have found some match had she not done the camp and if he's willing to share some of the recruiting paths of his daughter's teammates who are playing at the next level (one of whom has had quite a freshman year).
I don’t intend for this to be a commercial for West Coast soccer but the reality is, prior to joining Troy Dayak at West Coast, we thought the club she was playing with was enough to get her noticed. The reality is we were kidding ourselves as that prior club and team that she played on was good but not THAT good. We’d go to Vegas and Surf Cup and get put with the second tier teams. Sure there were a couple coaches on the sidelines but none from any schools we had heard of.
Additionally, none of the coaches or the DOC in that prior club really had any connections to D1 coaches and they really didn’t know how to showcase our girls (of course we didn’t know this at the time). By the fall of her freshman year, one family had already left our club for West Coast and several others were considering it. In addition to having a daughter who was a ‘98, the family who left our club had an older daughter whom I was hearing was getting some attention from coaches at West Coast.
My wife and I were already fearful that our DD was burning valuable recruiting time but we would soon find out that even early in her freshman year, we were behind more than we thought. This fear (and a lack of recruiting activity) is what drove me to reach out to Troy and see what West Coast was all about. Troy demonstrated to us very quickly that he had the pedigree and the coaching contacts to help our DD get where she wanted to be. After making the jump to West Coast, our DD was placed on a team that was already loaded with talent (Wild) and most of those girls had already made verbal commitments to D1 schools.
Being in the right club and on the right team makes all the difference in the world as we were now playing the best teams at those same tournaments we had gone to before and now the sidelines were lined with coaches. What we also learned at this point is most, if not all of the Power 5 schools, were done recruiting ‘98s and in some cases, were almost done with the 99’s as well! What? This is only my kid’s freshman year! That’s when my wife and I decided to get her to some resident ID camps to try and “catch up” on her visibility to the colleges she was interested in.
As for others, I don’t like to speak for other parents or their kids but what I can tell you is that because they all eventually made the jump to West Coast shortly after we did, they were in the same boat we were. The tournaments with those coaches watching the Wild team helped get some visibility they otherwise would not have. At the end of the day, the “X factor” however, was Troy Dayak. He would show us the texts received from college coaches about our players. He’d tell us who spoke to him after the games and when we told him our DDs were interested in a particular school, whether he knew anybody there or not, he’d make a phone call.
As for that one stud player who had the great freshman year in college, I don’t know all the details but what I do know is that she never would have even been looked at by UCLA had it not been for Troy. Troy asked Cromwell to send a coach to watch her play in Vegas. They did and that player did not play her best game for one reason or another. They apparently said, “thanks but no thanks” (or something to that effect). Troy knew she was better than that and urged them to take another look. They told Troy that they’d be at an upcoming ECNL tournament and if he could get her there, they’d take a second look. Not being an ECNL club, Troy called another Bay Area ECNL club and asked if they would take her to that tournament as a “discovery player”.
She went with that team but didn’t start. When she finally did get in the game, I think she scored two goals. Not sure if UCLA was there during that particular game but word got back fast and they eventually did see her play and score and were well aware that she was one of the top XI at that tournament.
I don’t know what the final offer was and even if I did I wouldn’t say but I can only imagine that as late as it was, most, if not all UCLA’s scholarship money was spent. Needless to say, despite all the YNT and ECNL players on the team, said player went in last summer and blew everybody’s doors off with her fitness, strength, game play and sheer will. The rest as they say is history. I hope she’s getting more $ now.
Again, this is not intended to be a commercial for West Coast. It worked out great for many of us at the time (pre GDA). I do think that no one thing is the secret to success. I think there are many ways to go about it such as the right club, the right league, the right DOC, the right coach, college ID camps, good old fashioned e-mails & phone calls, etc. The more of those things you can take advantage of, the better your DDs odds. Oh and it’s NEVER too early to start!
Dayak is a marketing machine and has lots of connections.
Very good read, and a great testimonial for WCS even if you did not intend it that way. Of course, WCS is already fantastic about promoting its successes.
I remember reading a history of the AEB girls a while back on this forum and it stuck with me, as well. Did you write that? When all is said in done, you should think about putting together a history/article/something.
Anyway, good luck to your DD, I hope to see great things about her getting back on the field again soon!
Thanks @ballistic. I did write the AEB article (if it’s the same one I think you are referring to). That whole evolution was a good ride while it lasted but definitely gave me an unwelcome view to the underbelly of youth sports politics and Nor Cal Soccer politics. Let’s just say that I am glad I don’t have any more players in the Soccer pipeline as I really don’t know what I’d do between GDA, ECNL. Etc.
As for my kid, she’s doing well! Still 2-3 months of rehab to go but she’s been running with her team for the last month or so and her fitness level is better than some uninjured players on her team.
Her college and coaches are committed to her long term success so they have no plans to rush her back even though she should be good to go by the start of the season. She has worked really hard and blown by every milestone in near record time. That said, the coaches told us they will most likely ease her in by bringing her in off the bench and will place her on the defensive back line to start so that she is the “hunter” rather than the “hunted”. I’m sure she’ll be back at the 9 in no time.
New D1 recruiting legislation.
Congrats to all recent commits (EQ’s 2021 (lol) to Stanford); hope they all picked their top schools before this new ruling. ones who were pending now have to wait.
I’ve read through various articles and the available information on the NCAA’s site and it would appear that coaches/players can still communicate consistent with the old model (kid can call, kid can write, coaches can’t write back, coaches can pick up the phone) and that verbal commitments are still permitted. The challenge, of course, is that it all has to be done by phone w/o unofficial on-campus visits. I would expect that to change soon as well as the NCAA included this line in its release: “The Student-Athlete Experience Committee will continue to examine the recruiting environment, with communications (telephone, email, text), verbal and written offers, and off-campus contacts on the agenda for the next phase.” http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources...ision-i-council-adopts-recruiting-legislation