Meet Allie, an incoming junior, high school and club soccer player and client of The College Program. This summer Allie had the privilege to attend two soccer camps back-to-back in Colorado. We interviewed Allie about her experience, how she prepared herself for these camps, what she learned during the camps and what she is going to do with this knowledge moving forward.
Q: How did you choose which camps to attend?
A: We started visiting schools the summer ending my freshman year during vacation. Both schools were on My College Game Report, offered the program I intend to study and were located in a place I love - Colorado. One school was D1 and the other D2.
Q: Had you met with either coach before the camps?
A: Yes, I used the information on My College Game Report to email the coaches at both schools indicating I would be touring their university and would like to stop by to introduce myself. I was able to meet with coaches at each school and kept them updated during my club season last fall and high school season in the spring.
Q: Off the field, how did you prepare for these camps?
A: Prior to attending each of the camps, I mailed a note card and followed up with an email telling the coach how excited I was to participate in their camp. I also asked my soccer coaches and Mr. Twellman for suggestions on questions to ask during the camps.
Q: You attended a D1 and a D2 soccer camp. Were they significantly different?
A: No - there was not a huge difference. Both camps were physically challenging and had several coaches from D1, D2 and D3 schools assisting. I appreciated getting perspective and feedback from all the coaches.
Training at the D2 camp was a little more spread out so I had more time in between sessions to relax. The D2 school also offered a seminar on recruiting. They provided information that I wasn’t aware of, like submitting my information to the NCAA Clearinghouse. Because less kids participated, the D2 coach and coaching staff had more time to spend with me.
Q: What about the talent of the other campers?
A: It could be because the D1 school had more in attendance, but I felt the talent was slightly better and the kids came from all over the US. The D2 school seemed to have more local players attend.
Q: What about each campus and living in the dorms, what did you like or dislike at each?
A: The D2 campus was smaller and I didn’t feel overwhelmed with the size. The dorms at both schools were nice and comfortable and the food was great! The bathrooms were similar at both dorms. I learned to shower just before bed otherwise I had to wait in a line. I enjoyed both my roommates and made friends at each camp.
Q: How did the coaches interact with you during the camp?
A: I felt comfortable around all the coaches. They came from a variety of schools and individually provided feedback as they coached me during a scrimmage. A few times I was placed in a new position to fill a hole which was a little intimidating, but I did my best. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to work with the D2 head coach directly for several hours on the last day and was invited to participate in the All Star Game, which was very exciting!
Q: Did you receive a formal evaluation before leaving each camp?
A: Yes I did. The feedback was very similar on both evaluations. I sent a copy of each to my high school coach and my club coach as well. My immediate goal for the fall season is to improve on any weak area mentioned in the evaluations.
Q: Have you been in contact with any of the camp coaches since?
A: Within a week of returning home, I sent an email to thank each of the coaches for their time with a link to my online profile. A D3 coach was my direct coach at the D1 camp and responded with good things to say about my performance during camp and made a suggestion regarding the video on my online profile. He suggested filming more of what happens after I make a play and where the ball goes to next. We appreciated his feedback and my videographer (mom) has plans to make these changes with upcoming video this fall.
Q: What can you take away from these experiences?
A: Even though I was comfortable at both camps and enjoyed working with all level college coaches, I believe I belong at a D2 school. The smaller atmosphere and academic structure fits my personality. Overall I feel the experience has made me more comfortable talking to coaches in person and over the phone.
Q: How will you move forward with your College search?
A: Last week I traveled to Kentucky to visit a D2 school much like the D2 school in Colorado, but without the mountains. I loved it and the visit only reinforced my interest in a D2 school. I will continue to update all the coaches I’ve met as well as other schools found on My College Game Report with my upcoming schedule. I plan on returning to the D2 school in Colorado next summer for camp and attend the winter ID camp at the D2 school in Kentucky.
I’ve already ordered a new My College Game Report for the eastern part of the country focusing on D2 and D3 schools.