Former UNC Soccer Player & Current NWSL Athlete gives Necessary Recruiting Advice

North Carolina Tar Heels

Dorian Bailey played for the North Carolina Tar Heels from 2015 to 2018. She won the honor of being on the Freshman All-ACC Team. In her four years at North Carolina, she played in 86 games to which she scored 17 times with 17 assists. 

Washington Spirit

Bailey was signed to the Washington Spirit team’s active roster for the 2019 NWSL season. She hopped right into a soccer career on Washington’s season-opening win and made her first appearance on April 13, 2019. 

International career

In 2013, Bailey won a Bronze medal in the 2013 CONCACAF Women’s U-17 Championship. Her impressive skills earned her invitations to training camps with the United States under 19 and then under 20 national teams. 

Bailey gives recruiting advice to athletes and speaks about what she would have done differently. 

LRT Sports: Being that you competed at the college level, what was the hardest part about the recruiting process, and what would you have done differently? 

Dorian: The hardest part of the recruiting process is probably communication between college coaches and the players. Especially in women’s soccer, where players are getting recruited around the age of 14, it is difficult for there to be clear and informative communication between the two parties. College coaches aren’t even allowed to reach out to the players at this point in time, and if/when the player contacts a coach, a lot of stuff can be lost in translation. If I could go about the process differently, I would allow my parents to join in on the calls and discussions with the college coaches to ensure that everyone is on the same page. 

LRT Sports: How active do you think parents should be in their child’s recruiting process? What are some do’s and don’ts as far as them helping? 

Dorian: I do think that parents should be involved in their child’s recruiting process to an extent. Like I stated in the earlier question, the recruiting process for women’s soccer takes place at a very young age, so I think it is important to have parents involved at that stage. Obviously, they should not be overbearing, but they should be involved. Parents should reach out to the college coaches that are interested every once in a while, but not too often. They should ask for full transparency with the coaches and mostly assist with the communication between the coach and player. 

LRT Sports: What advice can you give to the high school athletes who are not being recruited but want to play at the college level? Should they be discouraged, email coaches, send a highlight video, etc.? Do they have a chance against athletes who are being recruited? Please explain.

Dorian: I think it may seem discouraging for athletes who aren’t being recruited, but I would encourage them to send an email, highlight tape, or even make a phone call to coaches and universities that they are interested in. Obviously, you don’t want to be overbearing, but I think it is acceptable to reach out and promote yourself. There is always a chance that a coach will take an interest. Even if a player doesn’t initially get scholarship money, walking on to a team and proving oneself to be a positive addition could ultimately warrant some scholarship money throughout the years. 

LRT Sports: Sometimes, high school athletes don’t understand teamwork the way that college athletes do. What makes a great teammate at the college level? 

Dorian: A great teammate at the college level has to be selfless. In high school, athletes are used to being the star and the center of attention. In college, everyone around you is just as good, if not better. It is crucial that athletes understand that the team comes before the individual, and they need to be willing to accept their role on the team at that point in time. 

LRT Sports: What are the three characteristics that high school athletes will need to compete at college athletes in order to be successful in their sport?

Dorian: I think the first and most important characteristic would be discipline. There is a lot of freedom in college, and an athlete must be able to balance their life. Along with this characteristic comes time management. Being able to manage one’s time to be successful in all areas of one’s life is extremely important, as well. Lastly, I would say that confidence is necessary to be successful in one’s sport. Coming from high school — a situation where an athlete was most likely a star — it is important to be confident in one’s self when surrounded by other equally talented players. Encompassing these traits will help an athlete be successful through the course of their college career.

Edited by Caroline Kurdej

* Originally published on December 30, 2019, by Kate Morris

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