After finishing with college soccer and understanding the entire process the way I do now there are a number of things I would change if I got to do it all over again. Many people have gone through the recruitment process, each slightly differently. The good news is you don’t have to invent the wheel. Instead, you can copy the same steps others have to taken to achieve this goal of theirs. In part 1 of this series I discuss some of the changes I would stress all soccer players looking to play at the college should be aware of. The sooner you put these into practice, the more likely they will benefit you.
Despite having my college soccer experience paid for, there are many things with regards to the scholarship process I would like to have happened differently all of which would have helped with the overall recruitment process.
I’m going to go way back to elementary school and say I would put a greater emphasis on academics. It’s not so much about trying harder in school but more importantly I would have taken summer school starting in elementary school each summer to maintain and get ahead in certain areas of studies. Going into high school this would have freed up time to focus more on training and the entire recruitment process.
SAT test: I would have started to prepare for this exam much earlier. This exam contains English and math that all senior high school students have seen before. Nevertheless, it is important to prepare for this exam alone. In addition, I would have written it each year starting in grade nine until my senior year to and hopefully improve my score each time. If you know what is on the exam and specifically prepare for it then you’ll have a greater likelihood of scoring well.
The whole point about putting a greater emphasis on academics is to free up time for soccer and to make your life less stressful. Being recruited is a difficult process and can take-up much time, therefore, it is best to be on top of your studies and allow yourself to concentrate on the recruitment process without any distractions.
Finally, depending on the school you are looking to play, there may not be as much scholarship money available. For instance, smaller schools without American football programs often have less athletic scholarship money available than schools with American football programs. This is where the importance of academic scholarship money comes in to play. The reality of most soccer programs is they don’t have many athletic scholarships available. In fact, there isn’t even enough for the starting eleven on a team, including top division one teams in the nation. But no matter the school or soccer program there will always be plenty of academic scholarships available. If your skills are good enough for the college level and your grades are high then it will be difficult for coaches to turn down offering academic scholarships. It would be better to focus on the academic scholarship than solely athletic scholarship. In fact, depending on the school and soccer program you are interested in, your chances of playing there might hinge on your grades. Knowing the above, it may not be a bad idea to start listening to your teachers and those around you pushing in academics.
Things I would do differently to get a soccer scholarship: part 2 coming soon