Dec 13, 2023

Decoding Club Team Participation in College Sports Recruitment: Insights and Realities

Participation in club teams holds significant weight in certain sports like soccer, volleyball, and softball, offering higher competition levels and exposure at events. The practice of "playing up" can notably benefit athletes. For instance, a 16-year-old on an 18 and under team instead of a 16 and under team can attract positive attention from college coaches.

This higher level of play often grants more opportunities for evaluations, especially for winning teams that compete in more games in tournaments and events, staying longer in the winner's bracket, which increases their exposure to college coaches.

However, it's important to highlight that joining a club team isn't a guaranteed ticket to being recruited. Mere participation in numerous tournaments without actively engaging in the recruiting process might not yield fruitful results.

According to Tim Twellman, an NCSA Soccer Recruiting Expert, top college coaches typically travel for high-priority players and rely on local contacts for evaluations in distant regions. The reality is that coaches, even at top programs, work with limited resources, often employing small coaching staff and constrained travel budgets, making the assumption that attendance at showcases ensures notice a misconception. This scenario is particularly pronounced in programs at the DII, DIII, and NAIA levels.