Dartmouth College Women’s Soccer head coach, Ron Rainey, has been a college coach for 11 years and was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in 2015. In 2018, Coach Rainey helped to lead Dartmouth women’s soccer to its most wins since 2012. The team also finished in third place in the Ivy League standings. Rainey has coached many successful players who have received all-league honors as well as NSCAA Team awards. Before Rainey began coaching at Dartmouth, he spent eight years coaching for the women’s soccer program at the University of Iowa where he led the team to their first-ever NCAA appearance in 2013.
LRT Sports: What is the most important quality you look for in a recruit?
Coach Rainey: Coaches look for recruits who are ready to balance academics, athletics, and the social part of school while developing in all of those areas through four years.
LRT Sports: When should an athlete contact you?
Coach Rainey: As early as possible. Probably freshmen and sophomore years in high school with schedules of what they have coming up.
LRT Sports: How should an athlete contact you?
Coach Rainey: The best way would be through email and that allows us to put them in a recruiting database to get information out to them about camps/clinics and give updates as the NCAA allows.
LRT Sports: What really jumps out at you when reviewing a recruit’s highlight video?
Coach Rainey: Have some context to the tapes, five or six minutes of live play where you are involved in the action. Then if you wish to show some highlights that work as well.
LRT Sports: When do you recommend recruits put together and share their highlight video?
Coach Rainey: We are flexible here but would not need to see something after every game.
LRT Sports: What advice do you have for recruits that get turned down by their dream schools?
Coach Rainey: Be persistent but realistic. Go to camps and clinics, keep improving as a player, work hard, and have fun playing your sport.
LRT Sports: What camps, leagues, showcases, and teams would you recommend a recruit to attend to gain exposure to college soccer coaches?
Coach Rainey: Again, there is so much out there. Just let coaches know when and where you will be and if they are unable to get out to watch, most schools have camps and clinics that they run.
LRT Sports: How big a factor is social media when recruiting players?
Coach Rainey: It is becoming bigger but not sure how much it will affect the process going forward.
LRT Sports: What is the minimum SAT/ACT score a high school athlete needs to have when applying to Dartmouth College?
Coach Rainey: Ivy schools vary but needless to say score high on your tests and do well in school. That is the best way to put yourself in a position to be recruited to an Ivy League school.
LRT Sports: What advice do you have for high school or club coaches that are working with recruitable players? How can they make sure their athletes get in front of the right people?
Coach Rainey: Contact the coaches, maybe get out and watch a game to see the speed of the play. Be realistically honest with the players about the chances of playing at certain schools.
LRT Sports: What type of events do you recruit at?
Coach Rainey: We go out to clinics, tournaments, league games, and high school games. We try to go where there are great players.
LRT Sports: What is the best piece of advice that you can offer to a recruit?
Coach Rainey: Have fun during your time playing your sport. That is really the most important factor in progressing as an athlete. Be ready to deal with the good times and bad times as well. But, keep working hard and getting better on the field and off the field.
When doing research in the recruiting process for my daughter I came across the LRT Sports website. I was immediately intrigued as this was another dimension of the recruiting process that many people don't even consider. My daughter and I could "short list" schools based on the education she was looking for, as well as the opportunity to play her sport. LRT Sports not only gave us pertinent information into the recruiting process with different interviews of coaches and players, it also gave us insight into current and/or former players' opinions on the coach of that school in her sport. We could use this information to re-prioritize my daughters list of schools based on this feedback. I have many friends that are, or will be, going through this process shortly and I highly recommend using LRT Sports as part of anyone's recruiting process.
The college process presents a myriad of challenges. Factor in athletics and it becomes even more daunting. Now, add the fact that you have zero experience with sports. What is a the mother of a college bound student-athlete to do? LRT Sports has truly lived up to its promise. It has kept "the college recruiting process honest and easy by providing first hand information about coaches, schools and the recruiting process." Their interviews with current students, coaches, and professional athletes have provided realistic guidance. I am much more informed because of LRT Sports! The coach ratings are the most helpful. LRT Sports interviews allow us to hear from students as to how the adults are impacting not only their athletic experience but also how they are helping to shape their adult self.
The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
Now that the recruiting process and the related stress is over, I wanted to thank you for your guidance. You did so much more than we had expected. Once you started the process by matching the best academic schools first, not the best sport programs, I knew you were the one. The way you laid out a timeline of contacting coaches, visits, and camps completely took any guesswork out of the plan for us. All of the student athletes that you put us in touch with gave us a look from the inside, and made us more comfortable knowing what was coming. Finally, using your website as a resource for knowing what to expect from different coaches based on former recruit reviews gave my son confidence before our meetings. There is no way we could have figured this out on our own, you really put us in a great position when decision time came.
I think hearing from other athletes is very beneficial. To be able to learn from people’s mistakes, and to be able to have access to those voices is really helpful; especially voices that have been there and done that. It’s very important for people to have access to information that could benefit them, and in this case there are many voices that can help the next wave of athletes.
If you have something that’s going to spell [the recruiting process] out for you… it’s so valuable. I think what everyone at LRT Sports is doing to spread the word and help advocate and educate athletes on the recruitment process is incredible.
Without question would have used LRT Sports. It would have probably been one of the most valuable tools that I could have had. If you want to know what these coaches are really like then I think this is the best tool out there. I’m really glad you are allowing recruits to have a resource like this moving forward.