Brooke Oxberry – Co-founder of SCOUTINGZONE — Spoke With Diane Scavuzzo on What to Do and the Mistakes to Avoid
Technology and soccer work well together and can improve old-fashioned paper immensely — but what really is important when it comes to trying to get recruited by a college scout?
COLLEGE RECRUITING INFO: Part II – Brooke Oxberry
SCOUTINGZONE is a smart, cutting-edge mobile app that has changed the college soccer recruiting game forever.
With so many youth soccer tournaments today, ever stop to think how do scouts track players?
SCOUTINGZONE is an online app a lot of college coaches pay for — the easy to use innovation makes scouting easier and more efficient by streamlining the on-site experience at tournaments and showcase events.
Founders of SCOUTINGZONE Tara Parker and Brooke Oxberry both grew up playing soccer — so they remember and understand the entire recruiting process.
Here are invaluable tips on what to do and mistakes to avoid from the experts!
Diane Scavuzzo: Are there secrets to getting recruited?
Brooke Oxberry: There are no secrets. It is super straightforward. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. The kids that are reaching out to college coaches — those are the ones who get recruited.
The secret is to get the coach to come and watch the player play and then play great.
Every time you step on the field — you never know who is watching. It could be your opportunity for your dream school or an amazing scholarship.Players must seize the opportunity or perhaps miss their chance.
Every time you step on the field, you need to be all in.
Diane Scavuzzo: Is it really that simple?
Brooke Oxberry: Player should always play as if their dream school is on the sidelines — every time they step on the field because that coach might be there — you do not know who’s watching.
The difference can be how you play in the four or five minutes that the coach is watchinng — from being on the roster or not.
Coaches usually watch players several times, but every minute a coach is watching, the player is making an impression — good or bad.
Diane Scavuzzo: What are the top mistakes made when trying to get recruited by a college coach?
Brooke Oxberry: There are so many talented players playing soccer today, all trying for very few roster spots and athletic scholarships — for the 90 minutes of the game, the intensity really has to be there otherwise, the coaches really do move on.
You have to be laser focused and have your head in the game.
It’s ok to make a mistake, it’s all about how you handle it — making a mistake happens, bad body language shouldn’t.
Brooke Oxberry: First, a lot of people believe that just playing in a high caliber showcase is enough to get recruited, or playing on a good team, or playing for a well-recognized and prestigious club. It is not.
Here are the top four mistakes:
- Regardless of what club you are with, or what showcase you play in — you must be your own advocate and reach out to college coaches.
- Sometimes, the money parents have spent throughout the years of youth soccer can give a false sense of entitlement. Parents pay clubs to develop their players, and yes, a clubs reputation can help but don’t feel entitled.
- Parents can do a lot of damage to their kids in the recruiting process. Do not let coaches think that mom and dad are taking care of everything.High-level schools want to see that the players are taking responsibility. Coaches will delete parents’ emails. And yes, coaches can tell if a parent or player wrote the email.
- Kids really need to pay attention to their grades. They are critical.
Unless you are one of the top 20 kids in the nation being recruited for the US Soccer Youth National Teams, you need to reach out to college coaches.
Related Article: SCOUTINGZONE Soccer Recruiting For College
Diane Scavuzzo: Do college coaches really understand the grading differences between private and public high schools?
Brooke Oxberry: Some high schools have really strong reputations for producing academic players, but overall it is the actual GPA that matters most.
The top colleges and Ivy’s are looking for players who are participating in the student body and look to see if they have any philanthropic interests.
Colleges want to know what players are doing in their community, and these things often matter more than the name of the school itself.
As far as grades, AP courses get noticed. Coaches look at whether players are getting an A in a regular class or an AP class. My advice is to take the harder class if you can.
The bottomline, numbers really matter — GPA, SAT, and ACT.
Diane Scavuzzo: Does being a player on a U.S. Soccer Development Academy (DA) team really make a big difference?
Brooke Oxberry: Coaches are going to maximize their time and yes, it helps. But, do not be discouraged if you are not on a DA team as coaches will make an effort to go out to all other important events because they are really trying to find the great player that didn’t make the DA team.
And, remember, there are hundreds of colleges in the USA not just the top dream schools like UCLA.
Diane Scavuzzo: How do you define success?
Brooke Oxberry: Success is when one of our SCOUTINGZONE players achieve their goals — when they are offered a roster spot or an athletic scholarship.
Diane Scavuzzo: What surprises people about YOU most?
Brooke Oxberry: I think people are surprised to find me very approachable and that I’m always happy to take the time to help someone. It’s all for the good of the game.
I am always happy to help.
For how SCOUNTINGZONE works and how they help over 80,000 players read part I Youth Soccer: Want to Play College Soccer? Important Recruiting Info
What is SCOUTING ZONE? It is the app college coaches us to find what field and what time a player is playing.
For the youth soccer players, SCOUTINGZONE provides a direct connection to college scouts, allowing players to update their profiles — maximizing exposure with their highlight videos, photos and more — right in the application scouts use to track and watch players.
Players can create a Top 10 College list that alerts scouts of player matches for their program, increasing the opportunity for recruitment — and so much more.
Related Article: US Club Soccer Helps College Coaches ID Players