Each year the topic of early recruiting and committing as early as possible get more and more media attention. This year it has spread to not only soccer but other sports as well. A great ESPN article below talks about college coaches being in a Catch-22, even though they are morally and ethically against it, if they don’t do it to keep up with other colleges in their divisions they could lose their jobs for failing to bring in best players. Our sister company College Soccer Panels hosts college coach education nights all over the US and at many of the top soccer showcases as well. Every coach speaks about how boys are now starting to get offers in 10th grade and girls in 9th, which just 18 months ago it was boys 11th and girls 10th. One of the things I strongly believe in and we do at iSoccerPath is the commit process is better when extended as long as possible. More time to locate the best fit and for a player to mature to make the best decision possible. When the #1 sport for college players transferring in the NCAA is women’s soccer, that has to tell you there is a problem that has to be addressed. We have made a recent decision at iSoccerPath and College Soccer Panels to not invite college coaches to speak on our panels to clubs and showcases if they commit 9th graders. It is our small part of trying to change the process back to what is best for the player and the family and not the school or program. Coaches who speak on our panels about not recruiting or committing players early are the ones we want who talk the talk and walk the walk. How can a 13 or 14 year old teenage brain be expected to decide and know what is best for her/him 3 years from now and for 4 years after that? Are you committing to the coach or the school? Pretty good odds the school will be there in 3 years and beyond but no guaranteed the coach recruiting you will be. Take your time and build our soccer skills, your maturity level, learn how to travel without your parents, increase your GPA and test scores and your chances of finding the right fit increase 10 x.