If you’re a high school soccer player looking to play in college, you’ve probably heard the term “verbal commitment” thrown around quite a bit.
What exactly is a verbal commitment in college sports? In short, it’s an agreement between a student-athlete and a college coach that the athlete will attend that college and play on the team.
- Verbal commitments are not binding and do not guarantee admission to the college or a spot on the team.
- Verbal commitments can happen at any time during the recruiting process, and they are often made before a student has received an official offer.
- A verbal commitment is a signal to other college coaches that they are off the market and should stop recruiting them.
- It is not uncommon for athletes to receive multiple verbal commitments from different coaches, and then ultimately choose a different college altogether.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how verbal commitments can affect soccer players looking to play in college.
Understanding Verbal Commitments
A verbal commitment is an agreement between a student-athlete and a college coach, where the student-athlete verbally agrees to attend the college before signing a National Letter of Intent (NLI).
The verbal commitment is not legally binding, meaning that either party can back out of the agreement at any time without legal consequences.
The Role in College Sports Recruitment
When a student-athlete makes a verbal commitment to a college, it serves as a signal to other college coaches that they have their school of choice and coaches can stop recruiting them.
A verbal commitment is respected by the coaches or scouts. This will also allow them to recruit other kids that they shortlisted without wasting any more time and resources.
As I mentioned above, it is important to note that a verbal commitment is not a guarantee that the student-athlete will attend the college. Until the student-athlete signs a binding agreement, they are not legally committed to attending the university and can change their mind at any time.
It’s important to note that breaking a verbal commitment can damage an athlete’s reputation and make it difficult for them to be recruited by other programs in the future.
Impact on Athletes and Programs
For athletes, a verbal commitment can provide a sense of security and peace of mind knowing that they have a spot on a college team. However, verbal commitments can also limit an athlete’s options and prevent them from exploring other opportunities.
For colleges, verbal commitments can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, they can help programs secure top talent and build a strong team.
On the other hand, verbal commitments can also be a source of uncertainty and risk, as athletes can change their minds at any time and leave the program without legal repercussions.
As a player, you need to weigh out the risk and reward. A verbal commitment would benefit you if the school that you are committing to is your first choice. In this case, you’ll want to officially sign your letter of intent as soon as possible.
Can You Change Your Mind on a Verbal Commitment?
Yes, a verbal commitment is not a binding agreement, and you can change your mind at any time. However, it is important to note that a verbal commitment is still considered a meaningful statement, and colleges will expect you to take it seriously.
If you do decide to change your mind, it is important to communicate your decision to the coach as soon as possible. This will allow the coach to continue recruiting other players and fill the open spot on their roster.
It is also important to be honest and respectful when communicating your decision. Live by the phrase, “Don’t burn your bridges”, because you never know if they (or you) will come back around.
While it is not a legally binding agreement, it is a moral commitment that you have made to the coach and the program. Breaking a verbal commitment can damage your reputation and make it more difficult to find a college sports program that is a good fit for you in the future.
The best thing you can do is verbally commit if the school is a great fit and you trust the word of the coach to offer you an official letter. Best of luck!