• IDA

How to Take Advantage of the New Recruiting “Normal”

Updated: Apr 6

COVID has impacted everything, and college sports are no exception. In-person recruitment trips are on hold, stadiums are empty, and millions of college athletes just lost a vital year of eligibility. Underclassmen and seniors alike are facing real uncertainty about their collegiate sports careers, but in a world of uncertainty, International Development Academy (IDA) is prepared.

“In this travel-restricted world, being able to put yourself on display for college coaches is a challenge,” said Patrick Robertson, Director of Recruitment for IDA. “Now more than ever, having an accurate, up-to-date highlight video is essential to getting noticed.”

Getting recruited the “traditional way”--with home visits and in-person attendance at live games--is especially difficult, as scouting trips still aren’t happening, and many leagues and teams spent the last year on hiatus. In other words, a whole lot of elite athletes have to find new ways to showcase themselves to coaches.

Which is why every aspiring college soccer player should be focusing on developing direct communication with college coaches and scouts and building up a video highlight reel. Having compelling, high-quality content, is vital, and the only way to get that is to keep playing against the best.

And now more than ever, having video highlights that stand out could be key to landing a scholarship.

“After restrictions are lifted, and they will be lifted sooner rather than later, college recruitment is going to go absolutely bananas,” Reuben Burk - Head Coach Connecticut College Men’s Soccer said. “Video is going to be how scouts prioritize their trips, their focus, and their recruiting efforts. Serious soccer players need to get their ducks in a row and be prepared for that eventuality.”

So how do soccer players do that?

Play with quality. Improve your game, work hard, and above all, document it. Give coaches something to get excited about before they’ve ever even travelled to see you play in person. You’ve even got an extra year to do it now.

That’s right. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges and universities have extended a player’s eligibility by one extra year. All currently-eligible players have the opportunity to play another season, and for collegiate players, especially sophomores and juniors, that extra time could prove transformative.

Instead of spending that year doing cone drills or hitting the crossbar, IDA gives players the chance to train with high level coaches, connected with the collegiate level. What’s more, they work with each player to put together a video that will really make them stand out. They know what coaches at every level want to see, and part of the process here is to make sure those abilities are highlighted, both on the field and on film.

And while the idea of taking an extra year isn’t necessarily “the norm,” in a year that’s been anything but, taking an extra year to play and improve will be encouraged.

Now is the time to act. College recruitment season is in full swing, and an up-to-date and compelling reel will be essential to getting noticed and standing out. Begin your journey with IDA now.

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