Jungo Sports and Michael Mollay Webinar Recap - Soccer Parenting
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Jungo Sports and Michael Mollay Webinar Recap

A big thank you to the over 200 parents who joined us earlier this week for our webinar with Michael Mollay, Co-Founder of Jungo-Sports.com talking about key considerations for parents when it comes to the college recruiting process.  While the entire hour long recording is available at the SoccerParentResourceCenter.com (grab a 3 Day Free Pass at SoccerParenting.com/join if you are not a member), we've included some clips below. 

ENJOY!

The Importance of Broadening the College Search

TRANSCRIPT:

Skye:

Yeah. Okay. Let's talk about what sometimes happens unintentionally from coaches when you go to your club coach and you ask for recommendations, as a club coach, and I've experienced this myself, we know our schools. If I had an athlete that came to me as a club coach that wanted to go Division III before my experience with my daughter, I wouldn't have had a lot of thoughts, and I would have limited his or her search unintentionally just because of my lack of knowledge. Does that happen a lot? Are you seeing that trend, or is that something that you would agree is an issue that we need to try to resolve?

Michael:

No, absolutely. I think that's one of the problems that we're (Jungo-Sports.com is)  also trying to solve is that you have one or two individuals within clubs that the weight is on their shoulders to guide kids towards schools that would be a good fit. However, there are so many schools across the country. It's impossible for coaches to have all that information and knowledge. And so that was one of the keys for us was like, "How do we put together something where the feedback they're receiving results in something meaningful in terms of these are types of schools that would be a good fit?" And to be able to do that nationwide ... I mean, I live in the western region in Idaho.

And while I'm comfortable recommending schools to kids within my Region that I'm very familiar with, 70% of the schools are East of the Mississippi. So we've been able to capture that information and pull it in, in a meaningful way that really helps guide student athletes towards schools that are going to be a good fit for them.

Skye:

I'm going to try to explain. There's some questions here. And I encourage people to pop your questions into the question box. The chat is great if you want to keep that going, but I'm not monitoring the chat. So if it's a question you want me to try to bring forward here, put it in the Q&A.

So the app provides an opportunity for athletes to ask for feedback from all the coaches that they interact with, whether it be high school, club, somebody that they've had some training with, whomever. And then they can take that feedback and it gets aggregated and provides some ideas to broaden the search for an athlete so that they can maybe see and find and become aware of some schools that are not necessarily falling into the normal path of what they might be aware of based on state schools or recommendations from coaches, or  where athletes or previous teammates of the club have gone to play. Is that a good summation of Jungo-Sports.com

Michael:

That's fantastic. Thank you.

Freshman, Sophomore, Junior Year Considerations

TRANSCRIPT:

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Skye:

Some good questions are coming in. I know we're saying that we have been a little esoteric with this process and thinking outside the box. Let's talk some specifics, so specific things that parents need to be considering if their child is aspiring to play in college when they're a freshman. What should be on their roadmap of things to do the freshman year?

Michael:

So the number one thing is academics. When it's all said and done, to play on the college stage, the whole point is about your education. Certainly, it can lead towards other opportunities, but academics are a first and foremost because that's going to shape a lot of what the options become later on in this process. So making sure they're establishing strong academic rigor and good study habits. Those are important. And then at that point it's starting to really get an idea about where you're at as a player and start with a really big dream big list. From there you can really start refining over the course of the next two years.

Skye:

Yeah. No. Well, let's chime in. So freshman year really focusing on academics, making the list really big, maybe visiting some schools and getting a sense of the type of school you might be interested in the city, in the country or not urban or smaller, bigger, getting a sense of, "This is what I feel is a right environment for me likely." Maybe freshman year. And then sophomore year, what needs to shift?

Michael:

Well, in the sophomore year that's where the communications become really heavy. On the women side the recruitment process starts a little bit earlier than the boys, and so at that point it's about communicating with those schools of interest, developing that list, starting to take visits when you're traveling with your club teams. When you're in certain cities, take the time to go visit and walk around campus, get a feel for it, communicating with those college coaches for sure and then showcasing. It's going to be an important part of that process. And that's whether you're inviting them to training sessions or scrimmages or games or tournaments, whatever it might be. But communication becomes very important at that point.

Skye:

Yeah. For parents that are asking, it's identifying the schools, communicating with them to see if there's any mutual interest, making sure your child is seen by them. And we can talk about that because there's some questions about ID camps and this and that. And then working to find that mutual interest from the school that suits your child academically and suits you as a family financially.

So can you answer the question here? And then let's just finish that train of thought…. So junior year, what's happening a lot in the junior year for the recruiting process?

Michael:

So in the recruiting process of junior year schools can contact you June 15th of your junior year, Division I, Division II. And you can start taking official visits August 1st of your junior year. So at that point you'll be distilling down your list by your junior year. For the early recruits, by that time they will be receiving scholarship offers and making decisions during that time, but that certainly can be extended all the way later into your senior year. So I don't want people to panic if that's not happening for them. But yeah, the junior year you should be taking visits, whether they're official or unofficial, and really fine-tuning what that list looks like.

Skye:

Okay. Excellent. So I think that answered a lot of those questions. Let's talk about ID camps, showcasing, opportunities, the variety of ways that parents can support their child in being seen by the college coaches. I'm sure you have a little list. Let's dive through those.

The Role of College ID Camps

TRANSCRIPT:

Skye:

So let's talk about ID camps. We went down that road of ID camps, and that gets expensive pretty quickly if you don't have your search narrowed. So what's your recommendation on choosing ID camps?

Michael:

I would be very selective. As I alluded to earlier, it's like get the most bang for the buck. A lot of kids will focus in on certain universities and they'll attend their camps for two or three years with the idea that's where they want to go to school. And sometimes it becomes problematic because ... Just understand, with some of these ID camps, it is a business. They want return customers. And so sometimes the feedback they receive in terms of player evaluations can also be interpreted as, "Boy, that's a school that's interested in me," when often that may not be the case.

There's definite messaging that's different in terms of come back to our camp as opposed to we are recruiting you? But again, get more bang for the buck in terms of maximum exposure. If it's a school that you really want to go to and it is a good fit, by all means attend those camps, but make sure you're having conversations with those coaches to really find out if there is interest. And if there is mutual interest, then by all means continue, but if not, then you might have to reconsider.

Skye:

Yeah. That brings me to a question that I got online from somebody. It says, "We've received a few emails from college soccer coaches for our son who's a high school junior, but how can we tell if they're really interested? We can tell if they're interested at the Division II and Division III level, but since we are in a Division I dead period, those Division I coaches to ask us to send film, and then we do. They say, 'Thanks, keep sending more film.' Well, that's been going on for over a year now, sending them film, them asking for more film. Are they truly interested, or is this something and the only thing they can see since they're in this dead period?"

Michael:

Yes to everything. Sometimes it is, in fact, a way they can communicate their interest. Sometimes it's just a generic mass email. The best way to decide for that, quite frankly, is to have their coach reach out to that college program, which I've done a number of times saying, "We're getting a lot of these emails from this player in particular. I know she's been communicating with you or he's been communicating with you about their interest. Have you seen this player play, number one? Number two, is there genuine interest?" That certainly is helpful, but it does require the coach engaging and being a part of that process.

Skye:

Do you think it's okay for the player to make that phone call if they're comfortable doing that? That's a great life skill.

Michael:

No, absolutely. I understand that's a little more problematic because of NCAA rules.

Skye:

Oh, right. Yeah, they can't always.

Michael:

Yeah. I honestly think the more a player can take ownership and engage in the process and drive communications, it sends such a great message to the college coach. It's just, "Look at this kid and the confidence. They're very bold." It's a great thing to do, and that says a lot about the character and integrity of a kid.

Skye:

Yeah. I think sometimes you have to go for the no. You have to say, "This is the school I'm interested. Are you really interested in me?" And see what their response is. And I know that youth coaches I hear a lot from them about how overwhelmed they are with this communication process, and there's a lot for them to take on with helping players find college experience. And so I would also be very clear in an email that as a parent or a player that you send to your club coach saying, "Can you please contact this school? This is the coach's name. This is their phone number. I've received eight emails from them and sent back and forth. I'm very interested in this school. Can you see, one, have they seen me play? Two, are they actually interested in me? Three, can I add this to my shortlist of schools that I'm considering? Should I add?" Maybe something as specific as that just coming to mind right away.

Michael:

Absolutely.

About the Author Skye Eddy

Founder, SoccerParenting.com Skye is a former All-American goalkeeper, professional player and collegiate coach. She holds her USSF “B” License and USSF National Goalkeeper License and is an active youth coach, soccer parent and coach educator.

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