The Differences in College Recruitment Through the Years


Ainsley Golini '23, Writer

I am a high school athlete that’s been looking to play soccer in college, but the process of trying to get recruited has been one of the longest and hardest things I’ve ever done. The worst part is, I’m not even close to being done with it. Both my parents went through the recruiting process, but as I was asking them questions on how they did it I realized a few differences between the recruiting process now versus back in the 1990s. I asked my mom, who was an all-star tennis player ranked number third in the state her senior year, a few questions on how she was recruited.


“How did you get in touch with the coaches, and how often?”

“Well, we had to call the athletic department at the college, because emailing wasn’t a thing, and ask for the coach. And I would say I talked to two different coaches once.”


“How often did you practice your sport on a weekly basis?”

“I only played tennis about five days a week for only the spring high school season, and maybe in the offseason I would play once a month.” 


“When you weren’t practicing with your team(s) how often did you do outside of practice training by yourself?”

“In the summers I would take lessons about once a week, during fall and winter I didn’t pick my racket up. I was too busy with soccer and basketball.”


“Did you go to different colleges and do ID camps to get recognized by coaches?”

“Nope, not at all.”


“ When did you start looking at colleges for your sport?”

“I started looking at colleges for my sport senior year, when I was looking for a college in general.”


“ Did you always know you wanted to play in college?”

“Nope, it was more of a last-minute thing”


“How committed were you to the recruiting process?”

“Not very,  I only thought about it when I got good at it.”


From what my mom said about her recruiting process, it seems that this process only started her senior year and she wasn’t that invested in getting recruited. Meanwhile, athletes today began their recruiting process before high school. For me it was the same way with training every week with my club team, twelve months out of the year. I always knew I wanted to play in college, so after practices, I would take up another practice, or I would go for an extra run or even go the field with my dad and kick a soccer ball into a net a few times. It’s always been intense training even since before high school, but when high school came it started with summer league, then it was two hours a day for six out of the seven days a week through August all the way to the beginning of November. When the high school season was over I would go straight into my club winter training not even a week later, then my club’s spring season. The same process would repeat every year. 

Even though I was training every month it still wasn’t enough. I have to do extra training or extra weight training just to be the strongest or just to stand out to a coach even just a little bit. The recruiting process doesn’t stop at just training, you have to email coaches, you have to make highlight reels, you have to go to ID camps, you have to basically build a resume with awards you’ve gotten from tournaments or showcases that you’ve been to in the past. To be recruited to even a decent school you have to be extremely committed to the recruiting process, it can and will take years, you just have to be patient. Even with doing all of this it still isn’t enough to go D1 for women’s soccer, but I’m looking to play at a good D3 school and this is just the beginning for me.