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The Right Picture: 4 years, 58 wins, 10 loses, 10 ties and 6 DEGREES

Dave de Hart has coached college soccer for 15 years with outstanding success on the field and in the classroom. The follow recruiting articles are provided for your information and benefit.

Head College Coaching Experience:

Modesto Junior College (1993-1995)

Neosho County Community College (1998)

University of the Ozarks (1999-2008)

Record at University of the Ozarks:

Overall Percentage               ASC         ASC  Finish

1999 7-9-2 (.444)                3-4-1

2000 15-7-0 (.682)                6-4-0        (1st)

2001 18-3-1 (.840)                8-1-1        (1st)

2002 13-6-1 (.675)                8-4-0        (2nd)

2003 13-8-1 (.613)                9-4-1        (2nd)

2004 11-9-0 (.550)                8-5-0        (4th)

2005 13-4-5 (.704)                8-2-3        (3rd)

2006 14-6-1 (.690)                10-3-0      (2nd)

2007 17-5-0 (.772)                11-2-0      (1st)

2008 14-3-4 (.761)                8-3-2        (3rd)

Totals: 135-60-15 (.678)       79-32-8 (.703)

Additionally, for six consecutive years, his teams earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award, a national honor given to those NCAA soccer programs with at least a 3.0 team grade point average.

Enjoyment! Not College Future

By Dave de Hart 

I play soccer because I love the game.   I play because I enjoy the competition. I play soccer because I like being part of a team and making new friends. I play for the physical activity.   I play soccer because it’s FUN! These and many other great reasons are why kids play youth soccer and these reasons are some of the true values of playing youth sports.

 Unfortunately, sometimes these values seem to be forgotten and are taking a back seat to the misguided concept and pressure that our kids are playing soccer for that mystic college athletic scholarship. I have recently heard far too many parents and kids concerned about their future higher education being tied to their performance on the youth soccer field.

 Let me remind everyone of a few facts and numbers.

• For every 100 high school athletes, there is one full athletic scholarship available. This includes football and basketball.
• More than 60 percent of all NCAA athletes receive NO athletic scholarship aid. This includes Division III, which does not give out athletic aid.
• The average NCAA athlete on scholarship gets, per year, about $12,000 LESS than the value of a full scholarship.

Here is one more fact. The best youth soccer player is not going to college nor play college soccer without the institutional required grades and test scores. The true reality is that the time spent in the classroom, doing homework, studying and reading and writing are far more essential to a young athletes’ college future then even one minute of soccer training.

In my short time back involved with youth soccer after 13 years of college coaching, I have been shocked by the distress and concern over college soccer. Way too many parents and players are concerned that coaches’ decisions in regards to training, positioning and playing time or whether or not a particular match is won or lost are critical to “my son or daughter getting a college scholarship.” This just isn’t the case.

The fact is that college coaches attend very few of your youth or high school soccer matches. The budget dollars and time are just not available. Because of these restraints coaches rely on contact from the student-athlete, recommendations and tryouts. They have little concern as to what position (save goalkeeper) a child plays, but are more concerned with “can this kid just play”. We’ll worry about where later. Regarding wins and losses, what possible concern is that of a college coach? Coaches are there to watch individual players. They rarely see an entire match and almost never could tell you what the score is or was.

Here are some realities and guarantees.   All college coaches will ask about a prospects high school grades and test scores. It is the players’ responsibility to contact, or respond to college coaches. It is also their responsibility to play well, at all times, not just for college coaches. And, far more young athletes will receive academic scholarships than will receive athletic scholarships.    

Creating the opportunity to go college is hard work and is no one’s responsibility but yours. Take accountability for this outstanding task and do the work to reach your goals. Understand that playing soccer in college is a bonus and don’t lose the true value of youth athletics. Play because you simply love to, not because you have too. Your college future is not depending on it.

College Night Response

Hi Golden Gloves Keepers,

Just wanted to say that if you missed College Night from the No Limits staff, you missed a lot of great information regarding how to get ready to play soccer in college. Dave DeHart and the rest of the No Limits staff presented lots of great facts, figures and myths of college soccer and the recruiting process. While there was a lot of good information, some of the take-a-ways I got from the meeting are:

1. Work hard to get into college. That means getting a resume together, maybe even putting a DVD out there and getting your name out to as many potential colleges you are interested in. Start your freshman or sophomore year if possible. Coaches don't have the time and/or budget to explore every opportunty so they are looking for people already interested in their school. I can remember back when I started the college search and while I had a few opportunities, I never had as many as I thought I would. I thought coaches would be looking at me just because of my success (I was on the National Team after all), but the fact of the matter is that most coaches didn't know much about me. You have to go to them, not the other way around. So, do the work, don't have an "entitlement attitude" and make it easy for them.

2. Be open-minded and explore all opportunities. Some people think that the only way they'll play college is at a D1 level. The fact of the matter is that there are very few athletes who even get to play in college, let alone at a D1 school. Most players don't get a full-ride scholarship. And while many D1 schools will generally have a higher level of competition, there are a lot of great D2, D3 and Junior Colleges that are extremely competitive. But most of all remember that the degree will stay with you longer than your soccer career so think of playing soccer as a bonus. Get a degree from a University that you'll be proud to show off to potential employers. Remember student-athletes are students first--both now and then so stay academically focussed and choose a University that's right for you and your future. And make sure to take care of your academics now--strive for the best GPA possible and take the ACT/SAT test as many times as possible to get the highest score.

3. Ask questions and get help.   This can be scary.   You may not think you're good enough or you're not sure of what the future holds so you won't ask. But it never hurts to ask questions. There are a bunch of resources out there so all you have to do is ask around. Use anyone and everyone. Don't be afraid to ask for help, either to get information or to improve a piece of your game that's missing. Start to get informed so you can make better decisions. More information leads to less guessing and it allows you to be more prepared. And preparation is one of the keys to success. So start asking, take a chance and get help...what do you have to lose?!!

Yours in Soccer,

Mitchell Watson

Golden Gloves Goalkeeping

Helpful College Information

Myths and Realities of College

Athletics and Recruiting

Reprinted From:

Varsity Edge

*        Myth: If you are good enough, coaches will find you
         Reality: There are too many players and too few coaches for every player to get exposure, plus many coaches have strict recruiting budgets           and part time jobs, making it sometimes impossible to see many players in person. Their season is also much more rigorous and takes place           the same time your does, leaving them little free time.

*        Myth: Division 1 programs have big recruiting budgets.
         Reality: Some of the larger schools with top notch football and basketball programs do have large recruiting budgets but most do not. There           are very few coaches that have the ability to fly around the country to recruit players and have an endless coaching staff that they can send             out to scout.

*        Myth: Division 3 Schools are weaker athletically
          Reality: In some cases yes, but in many cases no. Many Division 3 programs have very talented athletic programs, this is often because                players there are there to get an education first and play athletics second. But they are still talented and dedicated athletes who wanted to                continue their athletic career in college, but wanted to do it on their own terms. If you think you can just stroll onto a D3 program you are in              for a surprise.

*        Myth: All colleges offer athletic scholarships

          Reality: Only Division 1 & 2 colleges can offer athletic scholarships. Division 3 Programs cannot offer athletes athletic scholarship money.

*        Myth: Most athletes get a full scholarship or no scholarship

          Reality: Most coaches divide scholarship money up to a number of players, so if a coach has 2 full scholarships available he or she can                  divide that money up and offer a portion to 10 different players if they want to.

*        Myth: Division 1 programs do not offer walk-on tryouts.

          Reality: While walking onto the Kentucky basketball team will be pretty difficult, many coaches rely on walk-on's each year and will usually              conduct tryouts to give as many kids a chance as possible. It is better to find out what walk-on opportunities exist before you show up at the            field, but now you know they do exist and it is possible.

*        Myth: I shouldn't go to a Division 3 School if I need scholarship money

         Reality: Many D3 schools offer attractive financial aid programs and you should not overlook any school, even if they do not offer athletic                 scholarships.

*        Myth: College coaches will help me get into their school if I am on the bubble academically.

         Reality: While some coaches may be able to "nudge" the administration and I use the term nudge very carefully, most coaches will not and             cannot help you get into the school. There are thousands of students who may want to attend a school, who may be more talented than you           and they have every right to attend even if they don't play a sport. Plus, a coach does not want to put you in a position where you may fail               academically. That is not fair to you or them and they will be pretty honest with you when assessing your academic standing. Some college             coaches will not even acknowledge your athletic skill until they have determined you are close enough academically to get into their school

*        Myth: If you receive a form letter from a coach, you are being recruited

         Reality: Coaches send out thousands of letters to players they may or may not have heard of and there are probably 200 kids tearing open             the same exact letter you got. Read the letter and respond to it, whether you are interested in the school or not.

*        Myth: Recruiting companies give me a better shot at being recruited.

          Reality: While recruiting companies have been around a long time, there has been a surge in the number of companies attempting to                      promote athletes over the Internet claiming that if you put an online profile of yourself on their system, coaches will find you. While there are            rare cases of this happening, the research we have done and the feedback we have received on these services is very poor. There are                    simply too many of them and coaches will be hard pressed to spend 2 hours sifting through a 1000 student-athlete profiles online that really            tell the coach little about you as a person and as an athlete.

*        Myth: Graduating from high school and getting good grades in enough to make me eligible to play college athletics

         Reality: You must have a minimum GPA, SAT/ACT score and must complete a certain number of core classes such as math, english, 

         history, science, and foreign language. If you have good grades and good SAT scores but maybe failed english your freshman, you may be 

         in trouble. Please sit down with your guidance counselor to review your courses and to register with the Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse.

*        Myth: College coaches only recruit top players

         Reality: College coaches recruit anyone they think can play at their program and recruit anyone who shows an interest in their program. Just           because you are not the star of your team does not mean you cannot play in college.

*        Myth: I shouldn't go to a school where I can't start my first year

         Reality: Why not, If you go to a school where you can start your first year, chances are you are not in a very strong program or they do not             face strong competition. You should go to a program where you have time to grow athletically and get better over time. You will be facing                 more experienced players in college and it will take you time to get your skill level up to theirs.

*         Myth: High school coaches are qualified to determine if I am college athletic material

          Reality: While many coaches are, many are not and many never played a sport in college. The bottom line, there are many factors that                    determine if you can play in college and your high school coach may have no idea if you can or not.

*          Myth: College coaches will be honest with me when I meet with them

           Reality: Many will, but in some cases this is big business and coaches cannot afford to have few options available, so even though they 

           may tell you that you are the number one quarterback, there may be 3 or 4 other quarterbacks that they have recruited already or are trying             to recruit.

*         Myth: College coaches can contact me anytime they want.

           Reality: There are strict rules as to when a coach can send you literature and contact you. A coach cannot call you till after you have                       completed your junior year. For more specifics, please visit

*         Myth: Playing college athletics will not be much different than high school, aside of the skill level

           Reality: Playing college athletics is an unbelievable commitment in time and in dedication and will be nowhere close to your high school                 experience. In college you will play or practice for 3 seasons, in the fall, winter and in the spring, and be required to do lifting and running                 programs as well. You may also be practicing at 6AM or Midnight or twice a day depending what facilities are available when.

*          Myth: I will be able to play more than one sport in college

           Reality: While this may be physically possible, it may not be realistically possible. College athletics is not like high school where you have               one season in the fall, spring or winter and that is it. A college athletic team will work out in all three seasons in one form or another making             it very difficult to dedicate yourself to one team. Coaches will also question your own personal dedication to their team and may frown upon             any attempt to play more than one sport.