Untold Soccer Stories
Julie Eckel grew up Cordova, Tennessee where she played three different sports while graduating with a 4.1 cumulative GPA. Her club team, the Tennessee Rush urged her to keep her options open throughout her recruiting process before she committed to the University of Tennessee.
Tennessee or bust!
Looking back on the college recruiting process, Julie always dreamed about playing soccer at Tennessee, but there are a few things she wishes she would have known before committing to a school.
“I wish I’d asked way more questions or even known the right questions to ask… For example, what happens if there’s a coaching change? Would the coach want me to transfer with them? Would I stay on the team?
These are incredibly important questions that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask the coaching staff when you’re considering a school. Julie’s biggest advice to recruits is to take the time to form relationships with the program and be honest with yourself throughout the process: “I wish I would have tried to form relationships with the Athletic Directors and the Assistant Athletic Director’s during visits.” This is important because they control which coaches are hired and fired, and building a strong relationship with them can help ensure you’re being looked out for as a person and a player.
Tell us, what did you LOVE?
“I LOVED my team. I think the most important part of a program is who is a part of it. From top to bottom.” While you should remember that players will always graduate and leave, it’s important to notice if there are any patterns of players leaving, sitting the bench, or getting playing time. That can sometimes give you an insight into how you might fit into the team on and off the field.
“I think you can get a feel of this from the players on the team and how they interact and talk about each other. This also tells you the kind of people the coach seems interested in recruiting. I personally value a coach who values players as people, rather than just as instruments.”
Julie’s teammates became her family and support system through an Achilles injury her senior year that forced her to redshirt and sit out an entire year while rehabilitating.
What’s up now Superstar?
After graduating with a degree in finance and international business, Julie landed a job working in Nashville. She loves the city and is able to stay close to her family and the University of Tennessee. She now works for UBS in market risk department within their Investment Bank to help traders mitigate risk.
Looking for more recruiting resources?
Enroll in ProfilePasser’s Introduction to College Recruiting course to learn practical strategies to help you reach your academic and athletic goals. The course includes personal mentoring from successful college and professional soccer players and a written online course with fundamental concepts, exercises, and applications.